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  #11  
Old 04-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
Keep the cord out of the water. Do
not touch the generator or cords if you are wet, have wet hands, have bare feet, or if the
equipment is wet. Never handle live electric cords or equipment with bare feet.http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf
I guess running my generator in the dinghy (floating about 20 feet downwind) when I am on my mooring isn't a good idea.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2009
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As always, I'm amazed by the wealth of knowledge here on sailnet. Thanks for all the replies. I definitely learned a lot.
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Old 04-23-2009
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Generator Noise

It really depends on what type of cruising you are going to do. Most people swinging on the hook find the noise from generators very distasteful. A lot of cruisers even have issues with noisy wind generators. Personally, one of the main draws to sailing over owning a power boat is the peace and serenity one gets from sailing.

If you need a generator to power your air conditioner, or TV, or microwave, or ..., why not stay home and enjoy all of the comforts. An alternative would be to use a quiet wind generator or solar panels.

Of course generators can have their uses on board for temporary chores, but please don't spoil the serenity of my peaceful sunsets. That's why I cruise.
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Old 04-23-2009
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I just love someone who anchors or moors upwind from me, sticks a portable generator on their stern scoop, fires the noisy, stinky thing up while we're having a glass of wine in the cockpit, and jumps in their dinghy to go ashore for dinner, leaving that sucker running.

Running a portable genset on deck in the evening is exactly the same as running around on a jetski all night.

That said, I never venture south of Long Island Sound, and rarely south of Maine, so may have different sensibilities. If you're in Florida, maybe everybody does it and it's considered OK. To me, running the engine or genset after 5:00PM to charge batteries is very poor manners. No kidding.
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Old 04-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahara View Post
I just love someone who anchors or moors upwind from me, sticks a portable generator on their stern scoop, fires the noisy, stinky thing up while we're having a glass of wine in the cockpit, and jumps in their dinghy to go ashore for dinner, leaving that sucker running.

Running a portable genset on deck in the evening is exactly the same as running around on a jetski all night.

That said, I never venture south of Long Island Sound, and rarely south of Maine, so may have different sensibilities. If you're in Florida, maybe everybody does it and it's considered OK. To me, running the engine or genset after 5:00PM to charge batteries is very poor manners. No kidding.
Agreed!
In Newport two summers ago, two powerboats on nearby moorings did exactly that. They both put them up on their forward deck, started them, and then left the boat.
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Old 04-23-2009
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here is one for ya, fells point maryland, very near to me. has dock, as in the old transport ship day type that is free to tie to. its a semi tourist area, with bars and places to eat.

so i go to fells point to tie up for the weekend, and what pulls in, a house boat, you know the boxes on a hull. they tie and for the whole weekend they have their genny running, the whole weekend 2 am and all. the sad part is they keep the boat less than a mile away, why come over
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I like my Honda 1000 watt.

I do use mine on the boat so long as there is a little breeze, enough to keep the boat pointed into the wind. I put the generator on the very back of the boat with the exhaust pointed aft so that any air movement just carries the exhaust off the back of the boat and away without any threat of getting it in the cabin. I also close the cabin door when running the generator, and I only run it when I am doing something, I never go to sleep while the generator is running, for example. Usually when I am running the generator I am also using power to do something anyway.
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Old 04-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
What you want to do, if at this time you do NOT have an AC unit, is find out how much start up watts it needs, along with the how many watts it needs to run. The start up watts is usually what kills a gen set/ AC combo. The AC may run on say 1800 watts, but it needs 2200 to start the thing up, which kills the genset. Or in your case, do not buy a 2000 wt unit, get a 2500 or higher unit since you have neither at this time.
This is correct. My 12,000 BTU Marine Air heat pump/AC, along with the 115 VAC "March pump" that circulates sea water through it, eats 17-18 amps at "kickoff", which is pushing my Honda 2000 to the limit...i.e. it may not work. I have yet to actually try this in real life, but knowing that it's an issue will save time and experimentation.

But another aspect to the Hondas that is less well known to me is whether or not the ability to "gang" them together via what? some sort of thick Y-connector? will yield twice the amperage (equivalent to a 4,000 w output).

This is enough to run a 16,000 BTU unit plus a power tool, as far as I can tell, but I don't know if anyone's tried it.

On a certain level, it makes more sense to have two identical 42 pound, 2000 watt portable gensets and a "combiner cord" going into your 30 A shore power receptacle than it does to have a single, 80-100 pound 3000W genset.

One factor is maintenance, another is that they are each others' backup for everything but kicking off the AC, and a third is that most battery chargers will accept their full output, meaning you can supply most battery banks with a much reduced run-time. Fourth, you could run power tools on deck AND vacuum the boat without drawing on the inverter simply by using them as 13 amp AC power supply at anchor.

Lastly, lugging and stowing two Honda EU2000s is going to be easier than lugging and stowing a single, larger genset.
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  #19  
Old 04-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
Frankly I have always recommended against using a portable genset on a boat. Rather than write an essay here, here is the link to an article I wrote on this. Portable Generators Pro and Con. http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf
I understand the issues entirely, having owned and operated an Atomic 4 safely for 10 years (motoring downwind, the blower is your friend!), but if you accept that wind direction, operating on deck, proper ventilation, closing off the cabin when in use, storage, CO detectors and so on are key, then I think the pros outweigh the cons. EDIT: Having read the paper, I have to comment that yes, some of those scenarios are pretty scary. My use would be on a steel deck (on a pad that was fireproof, electrically insulating and sonically deadening) and fully ventilated to the open air in calm or near-calm conditions, and with proper measures taken to close off that end of the boat from fumes.

GPS has led to many a fatal error in judgement due to improper use, lack of updating paper charts and plain failure to look out the bloody window, but it is still worth it.
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Last edited by Valiente; 04-24-2009 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Lastly, lugging and stowing two Honda EU2000s is going to be easier than lugging and stowing a single, larger genset.
And one acts as a spare for the second - you just reminded me of one of the reasons why I bought the 1000 watt instead of the 2000 watt, because 2x 1000 watt generators works the same way, you can gang them.
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