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post #5 of Old 11-26-2007
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What has air conditioning have to do with it? Do you WANT air conditioning? If so, the Hondas won't cut it. You'll need a 4 KW genset (and I hear a lot of knocks against Panda...but as I'll never buy one, caveat emptor.)

If you don't want airconditioning, then "typical loads" are best met via solar/wind charging, with the Honda EU2000 as a backup, or as a means to run occasional heavy loads (ShopVac, drill, big fans, Koolatron, emergency pumps) without imposing on the inverter.

Because you'll have an inverter, right?

The Honda EU2000 is a beautiful thing, and it allows small boat owners to have some luxuries by providing via charging of the house batteries or directly 8-10 amps of cheap, dependable AC. But on a larger boat it is at best a supplemental thing to solar/wind/alternator. It's part of a bigger puzzle that dare I say takes a holistic approach to energy generation, and could see little use (until the boat shorts out and you need it to call for help on the radio, or to run a spotlight on your sails), or it could be used a fair bit, if you want to run appliances or tools with it.

Imagine being on the hook and power washing your deck. A Honda EU2000 can do that. So can an inverter, but not nearly as efficiently. Eight minutes of running a 700 watt microwave in the galley, on the other hand, is more or less an inverter task, as is energizing the boat's AC plugs so you can charge up hand tools, VHFs, the kids' DVD player, the laptop and what have you.

If you go to remote places on calm days, hauling a Honda might make a lot of sense...imagine cold food on the beach of some deserted cay, or maybe a line of Christmas lights to illuminate a seaside tryst...putt, putt, putt....

There's several recent threads that discuss the role of portable generators. As primary sources, they are strictly small potatoes. But as backups to the backups, or as portable ways to do stuff that would kill your house banks in short order, they are great value, especially on a bigger boat that has the room to store them and the deck on which to lash them.
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