How desirable is a diesel generator?
I am familiar with the expression "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", but I'm asking for clarification if I actually have a "gift" horse or a "fleabag"?
My sailboat came with a 6kw Fischer Panda AC generator. It is loaded with "safety" switches that can cause grief if they mis-read anything; temperature, oil level, voltage, rpm, etc. These safety devices have cost me over $300 already, in addition to a new battery, and the upcoming required periodic service.
I installed a 230 watt Solar panel that keeps my 630ah house bank brimming full. The generator is only a backup at this point unless the house air conditioner is run while on hook. It may "sip" fuel, but only charges at 40 ah which seems to never peak the batteries while the main engine charges at 100ah. Several hours of motor sailing has the batteries fully charged.
Our next planned trip will be the Bahamas Fall 2012. With an excellent solar panel and normal expected motor sailing, is a generator still a desirable piece of equipment or a noisy budget hogging, space hogging piece of iron?
At this time, other than running the A/C unit, I don't see any value for a generator while cruising the Bahamas from December to May. But I'm the novice asking those of you who have experienced the Bahamas with or without a generator for your candid opinion.