The origins of Rainman established our reputation as the “Portable Watermaker” in the blue case. Although many customers will prefer to install their Rainman, many benefits exist for keeping your system portable.
- You don’t need to install the system. Ten minutes after receiving the system, you can be making fresh drinking water.
- If you are a cruiser and a racer, you can easily offload about 2/3 of a crew member in weight by putting the watermaker ashore.
- No extra holes in your hull.
- If you are space constrained, you can remove the system for more people and gear on shorter trips.
- If maintenance is required, you bring the system to a technician rather than a technician to your boat.
- When you upgrade your boat, the system goes with you. Installing a system in your boat will not add much value to your boat.
- You can loan it to a friend.
- Reduced initial cost due to no expensive installation process.
- You can fill up your neighbour’s tanks with our product water extension hose.
- Moving the system around is easy if you have an RV, live near water, or have another boat.
- You can easily resell the system if you are no longer getting use out.
- Minimise risk to your vessel during storm season by leaving your Rainman ashore.
System Types Available
You have maximum flexibility in power sources if you wish to keep your system portable. Any of our three platforms can be used as portable. In order of popularity, these include:
AC powered watermaker
The primary design principle in the AC Rainman is that it must start and run using a Honda 2kVA portable generator. The ubiquity of this generator has helped make it the most popular system in our range. It can also run on a good quality 2kVA inverter. Higher capacity generators and inverters are commonly used as well.
Petrol (gasoline) powered watermaker
An update of the original Rainman, this system can run without any external electricity source. Just add fuel and salt water. We designed this with a Honda GXH50 motor and a simple belt drive system.
12-volt DC powered watermaker
This system was designed with lower power and lower flow rates. Simplicity and low maintenance is retained by utilising a simple triplex plunger pump. Due to the lower productivity and requirement for a shorter power cord, this system is more commonly installed than kept portable.
Two Components – One Watermaker
The system is made up of a pressure supply unit (PSU) and a reverse osmosis unit (RO). Both parts are required to make a complete watermaker. The PSU lifts the seawater, filters out the sediment and puts the system under high pressure, while the RO unit extracts fresh water from the stream of pressurised seawater. Most of the water goes out to waste as brine output, while about 20% of the volume is extracted as fresh potable water for your tanks. Different RO options exist for you to select with your AC Rainman system, each to achieve their own specific objective.
Flexibility for the Future
If you are uncertain whether you wish to have a portable or installed watermaker, the best option is to buy the portable version. You can then run it for a while portable and decide if you are happy with that configuration or wish to install it at a later date. It also gives you more time to determine where you want to install the system. Analogous to buying a pre-owned house, you live in it for a while before deciding what renovations you might require. It is easy to install a portable watermaker, but you do not want to uninstall a permanently mounted system.
Using the Watermaker
After a few uses, it will take about two minutes to set up your watermaker for use. More detail is available in the operations manual, but the steps are:
- Set the systems up. You may choose to leave the systems in a locker and only move the hoses around.
- Hook the black high pressure hose from the reverse osmosis case (RO) into the quick connect coupling on the pressure supply unit (PSU).
- Put the intake hose into seawater.
- Put the green waste brine hose overboard.
- Turn the system on.
- Slowly pressurise the system to 55 bar (800 psi) using the control valve. Fresh water will begin coming out of the white product water hose.
- Let it run for a short period of time, then put it in your tank.
- When tank is full, depressurise the system and put it away.
While there is limited maintenance on your Rainman watermaker, there are a few things that should be looked after to ensure a long life of your system.
When storing system:
- Fresh water flush and pickle the system when storing it for more than a couple days. This may sound complex, but it is an easy five minute process with no specialist knowledge required.
5-50+ hours of use:
- Change the non-proprietary prefilter after 5-50+ hours of us, depending on cleanliness of the source water.
- Change non-proprietary impeller in the lift pump after a year or two, depending on use.
- Change the high pressure pump oil each 300 hours of use, using SAE-30 weight oil.
- Change the non-proprietary sized reverse osmosis membranes after 5-10 years.
- If your system starts losing performance, the non-proprietary pump seals may eventually require replacing.
Spares and Consumables
Your new Rainman system will arrive with enough spares and consumables to keep you going for a while, so most customers do not need to order more with initial purchase. There are a variety of items you will need over time to keep your system running for many years.