Portable Generator vs Genset - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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I always wonder how the danger(s) posed by gas gensets such as the Honda compare with that of propane which is almost ubiquitous to cruising sailboats. Regardless of one's use of a gas genset, gasoline is typically already aboard most boats for use in the outboard which leads me to believe the gasoline hazard posed specifically by gensets is moot. Certainly the availability and use of propane sniffers is comparable to that of CO detectors so availability of warning devices is also a moot issue.
Intuitively, I would think that propane causes far more accidents than gasoline and as both are commonly found aboard (gas for outboards and propane for cooking).
Do the statisitcs bear out the warnings against the use of gas gensets?

Paranthetically,I was parked immediately behind a boat using a Honda sitting on his transom last summer in Cuttyhunk and tried paying attention to it's use as I was considering buying one at the time. Not having heard it running all day , I vertured over by dinghy that night to ask only to hear it was in fact running - convinced me about it's quiet operation.

Last edited by k1vsk; 11-27-2007 at 11:42 AM.
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post #12 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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Propane accidents are rare - especially when you consider how many boats are so-equipped. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs frequently. There have been so many cases of carbn monoxide poisoning, including many deaths, that the Coast Guard in recent years has stepped-up it's campaign of warning boaters about the risk. Carbon monoxide can "pool" in unpredictable locations -- so fitting your boat with a CO detector(s) may or may not help you.

The big difference between the risks of propane and CO from gasoline combustion is that the propane appliance, when functioning properly, is not a risk. The gasoline appliance, when functioning properly, is emmiting a poisonous gas.
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post #13 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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John—

That's kind of a given, and every boat that runs a genset should have a CO detector aboard.

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post #14 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Folks are probably tired of hearing me say this, but I'm going to repeat myself nonetheless:

The U.S. Coast Guard and ABYC recommend strongly against using portable gasoline generators aboard recreational vessels. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the greatest threat, as is risk of fire.

Please don't anchor ANYWHERE near other boats if you plan to use one of these on deck. Nothing ruins a peaceful anchorage quite like an air-cooled portable genset.
I could not have said it any better than John.

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post #15 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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Good Info

Great information as usual, thanks!
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post #16 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
John—

That's kind of a given, and every boat that runs a genset should have a CO detector aboard.
Agreed, but Diesel gensets do not pose the same risk.
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post #17 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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John-

While diesel gensets don't pose the same fire risk, they do provide a serious CO risk.
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Agreed, but Diesel gensets do not pose the same risk.

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post #18 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Agreed, but Diesel gensets do not pose the same risk.
How much quieter do you think the diesel Genset will be - particularly to the people on board?

A friend has a Honda on his boat using it forthe coffee maker and charging batteries .. I kinda liked the idea of using to it to run a portable ac heater briefly in the morning to take the chill out of the boat during the late fall or early spring anchorages..

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post #19 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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All good points of view but for those of us who also have a gas genset sitting in the garage or shed, it's not a big deal to ensure it is stored and run safely since we're used to it. From what I've observed, the objectional noise from this particular genset sounds (pun intended) like a perceived rather than real concern.
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post #20 of 110 Old 11-27-2007
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BTW, diesel gensets are generally noisier than gas gensets of the same size. The two-stroke gas gensets are pretty noisy, but the four-stroke Hondas are pretty quiet.

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