Team Windcraft : A portable watermaker for cruising sailors

This was a blog post, originally posted on the Team Windcraft website in October 2014.

Over the past eighteen months, we’ve been following an exciting new start up-business based in Sydney. Rainman Desalination looked around the desalination market and identified an unfilled gap in watermakers.

Traditional desalination systems require installation into your boat and have levels of sophistication that drive the prices up. While many boat owners are happy with having a fairly complex system installed into their boat and its related cost, many owners avoid that investment. Rainman has delivered a simple and robust design that will make a watermaker more accessible to those boat owners that to date have shied away from them.

Rainman Desalination initially launched a petrol powered system, driven by a Honda 50cc 4 stroke motor.  After early market acceptance and successful launch of this system at the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show this year, they set about expanding their product line to include a 240V electric version as well.  They have created three standard high output reverse osmosis options, two of which are packaged in a handy brief case format.  Now there is a modular product suite that includes two pressure supply units (petrol or electric) and three different reverse osmosis options, suiting many mixed sets of requirements.

The system takes about two minutes to setup and operate. You put the unit on the swim platform, throw the intake hose overboard and start the motor.  After closing a valve to pressurise the system, it starts generating fresh water, which you then use to fill your tanks.  The system also doubles as a salt water pressure washer with the optional pressure washing gun.


This type of system brings a variety of benefits to users:

  • No installation required – can save costly invasive procedure (although it can be installed if desired)
  • No electronics or software – which may corrode or fail in a marine environment over time
  • Decreased life cycle cost – the simple but robust design means initial cost is reduced and ongoing maintenance will be lower
  • Easy to understand – many cruisers like to know exactly what is happening with equipment on their boat. It is easy to follow what is happening with this system.
  • The system can be removed from your boat when not cruising to save weight.  Particularly interesting to cruiser / racers.
  • It can be shared or loaned out amongst friends – if you trust them.
  • The petrol powered version is completely self-contained and does not load your electrical system.

Here’s a simple schematic diagram

While this is an impressive system, it won’t be for everyone.  For cruisers liking full automation, traditional in-built systems hold advantages:

  • You don’t need to move the unit from storage and set it up to use it.
  • There is typically much more automation, so you don’t physically move hoses around when you use it.
  • It doesn’t take up locker space on the boat.
  • Some can be used while underway in heavy seas.
  • If you will struggle to move the 26.5kg portable Rainman system, the portable system is not for you.

Rainman Desalination is Sydney based, with manufacturing in Beaconsfield.  It’s great to see some Aussie enterpreneurship bring a new and unique product to the marine market.  We’ve used the system and it’s truly very simple as you can see from this video.

Rainman Desalination are attracting international interest and have been included in the final stage of the prestigious Design Awards for Marine Equipment (DAME) at this year’s giant METS trade show in Amsterdam in November.

Windcraft have partnered with Rainman Desalination, offering it as an option to our new and existing customers. Please contact the Service Centre  if you’d like to learn more or arrange a demonstration of the system.  Prices range from AU$5,200 to $7,100 for a complete system, depending on options chosen.

Helpful Links

» Team Windcraft website

» How does desalination work?

» View options for portable Rainman desalinators

» Browse Rainman global stockists for worldwide delivery

» Contact the Rainman team should you have questions about our marine desalination systems