We did not have a Watermaker for our Caribbean sabbatical. We learned to take showers with little more than a litre of water. We had little issue surviving for weeks at a time on our tank of 450 litres. So we proved that a Watermaker was not REALLY a necessity… But it certainly is a great luxury.
Everything on a boat is a compromise. A Watermaker is no exception. Space, power and money are the items that need balancing. We ended up choosing a Spectra 200T 12v 8gal/HR unit… and are very pleased with it. We are able to run it whenever we have surplus electricity and now enjoy an unlimited supply of showers and drinking water.
JT Halden performed a miracle and was able to fit the entire unit inside an extremely small compartment under one of the seats on the settee.