The History of Rainman
How an Australian Engineer became a Watermaker Manufacturer
Available Watermakers were Just Too Complicated
In 2012, Dave Goldie had just gotten back from the Mariana Trench, in the north Pacific Ocean where he’d been working as an engineer on film maker James Cameron’s “Deepsea Challenge” project.
He was living on his Beneteau 411 yacht in Sydney Harbor. Spending a lot of time away from marinas, it quickly became apparent he would need a watermaker.
After extensive research into the available systems, his frustration grew. While there are many good quality systems on the market, none of them really met his needs. Some were too complex, raising concerns about long term maintenance. All were too expensive, and all required an invasive installation process.
Pondering his options on his boat one afternoon, he looked at his red Honda portable generator. He then asked Ben Deacon, one of his sailing friends, “Why can’t someone make a system that’s as simple to use as my Honda gen set?”. After some bouncing around of ideas and concepts, he took on the challenge. Fortunately, his background includes both pressure engineering and industrial design, and he set about creating a system to meet his needs.
A Portable and Self-Contained Watermaker is the Solution
The breakthrough idea was all about simplicity – a portable generator that makes water instead of electricity. It would be a self-contained unit that required no installation – that allowed the elimination of all the electronics, solenoids and control systems that cause so many maintenance problems.
One the guiding principles was that they would only work with top tier suppliers. People would be taking these systems to the furthest corners of the world, so reliability would be a top priority. Working with companies such as Honda, Dow Filmtec and General Pump, components were specified that would give thousands of hours of service in a marine environment.
The First Portable and Self-Contained Watermaker becomes a Reality
After several prototypes and extensive testing, Dave and Ben had developed a working pre-production prototype. Dave’s attention to detail went beyond the reliability and function of the system and extended to the design. Several hundred hours were spent hand shaping the mold for the original fiberglass shell. Internal components were designed on CAD and proto-typed using 3D printing. The first thirty petrol (gasoline) systems were made with the fiberglass shell. Later the design would shift to a rotomolded polyethylene shell for all systems.
After significant market research and enthusiastic responses from various people in the Australian marine industry, Dave and Ben knew they were on to something. They realized that in order to launch the system to the market, they would require capital for production and greater commercial experience to build Rainman into a viable business.
At the time, entrepreneur Ron Schroeder happened to be looking for an early stage opportunity to invest in and take an active role. After further market research, the three decided to commercialize the Rainman system.
The production ready prototype was launched at the 2014 Sanctuary Cove Boat show on the Gold Coast, Australia. After a massively enthusiastic response at the boat show, production began and first shipments shortly thereafter. Keen to expand our product line, work immediately began on design of the electric versions of the system (230V/50Hz and 115V/60Hz). The first units were marketed across Australia. After achieving local success, we launched internationally later in 2014.
The First Rainman Distributor in the US
Looking to expand into the North American market, the Australian Rainman manufacturer developed a relationship with some guys from Cape Hatteras Marine, in Newport Beach, California who became the first dealer to represent the product line in the United States. The dealership was formalized under the name “RainmanUSA.com” in early 2015 and has been showcasing Rainman desalination units at major boat shows across the country ever since.
New product offerings such as the 12V DC powered unit, the smaller / lighter MK2 Electric Powered unit and all the new “Naked”
install units with many new and innovated options and accessories can be seen here at RainmanUSA.com or at a Boat Show near you. Stop by and say, “hi” to Alan and Dave. They’ll be happy to show you the latest in portable desalination systems and answer all of your questions.
Meet the staff
- Alan StappAlan started Cape Hatteras Marine in 1999 and began manufacturing his line of personalized boating products for West Marine, Overton's, Defender Industries and a slew of other retailers across the country. He helped develop one of the first online embroidery design tools enabling customers an easy way to design their custom mats, fender covers and personalized clothing & apparel. Alan also saw the need for high quality boating products and accessories that actually work! He is continually adding unique boating products from across the globe to his site which meet his exacting requirements. You can meet and chat with Alan at many of the major boat shows across the country or at the company headquarters in Costa Mesa, California. Brokers, dealers and prospective vendors should give him a call.
- Jennifer MartinezCustomer Service WardenJennifer is our first line of defense. She is very knowledgeable (and helpful too) with placing custom and personalized orders over the phone. You'll also see her online in the Cape Hatteras Marine chat room assisting customers with their questions and concerns. She is a stickler about the details, which you'll come to appreciate after you receive your order. If ever there is a problem with anything, she can fix it!
- Dave DudgeonQuality ControlDave has become well known throughout the marine industry for his persistent dedication to the industry's lengthy list of boat and trade shows for the past 20 years. You can find him at all the major boat shows (and some smaller ones too) across the country. He's up on all the latest, unique boating products and accessories found at the Cape Hatteras Marine booth, including the newest, award winning portable "Rainman" desalination systems. He's been with "Rainman USA" since the first units landed here in the United States. In between all the boat shows, Dave can be found at our production facility in Costa Mesa, California making sure that all orders are being made to the exact specifications and quality we have become known for. If you ever have any questions about any of our unique products, he's the one to call!