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  #21  
Old 11-27-2007
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The honda EU 2000i runs my mermaid 16500 btu air conditioner just fine - but not the hot water, battery charger etc all at once. The 2000 puts out a sustained 13amps, including the water pumps - which is all the installed AC on a Gemini needs. Not every boat needs 4kw to be cool.
Some folks have a home depot window mounted cheap unit - they work fine with the 2000i as well.
Gasoline storage aside (anyone got a diesel outboard for the dinghy? Yeah I thot not - and who cruises without at least a 5hp for the dinghy? )
I'd get a 1000 and a 2000 - run the 1000 when that's all you need, use the 2000 when the load picks up, that way you have redunancy and load capacity. If you are doing the southern lats with ladies, forget the 'don't need a airconditioner' - get a portable hatch mounted one. You'll sleep better on windless nights and suck the humidity out of the cabin.
Oh - one more kicker, the Honda's are cheaper than a 2000w inverter and don't suck your battery dry or keep you up at night worrying about power consumption while the wife blow drys her hair.

Last edited by chucklesR; 11-27-2007 at 01:10 PM.
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  #22  
Old 11-27-2007
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I will just add in my experience here.

I used a gas genset once (well, several times, acutally). Never again. It rattled the boat and stank and carrying the gas was a pain in the butt.

I have had two diesel gen's since then: a panda and a Mastervolt. I prefer the MV. It is pretty idiot proof. I will say that I never had the issues with my Panda that others have shared. It ran fine and only needed oil changes. The same is true with the MV.

With a nice water muffeler, the gens are very quiet and only give a nice, soft hum. HOWEVER, they are VERY expensive. 15k seems about right, installed. You can cut that cost by doing a bunch of it yourself, but it is a project.

If you are not going to put in air conditioning, I do not see the point of a generator. With a nice battery bank and a good inverter, you can run everything on your boat. I am not trying to start another solar thread, but I have had a solar arch built, with 4 Kyocera panels, and a Outback MX-60 for: 3700+2400+600. That is about 7k, and I am TOTALLY off the grid. I can put out over 200ah/day. You can cut that cost considerably by jerry-rigging you panels on top of your bimini or some other creative invention... but I think the money may be better spent on the arch since it can serve many other purposes. It is cheap, quiet, free energy that does not require any maintenance. Now, compared to a gas generator, that may seem expensive and it is. I appreciate all those that can deal with the rattle and frustration of those noisy little Honda dudes. I am not one of them.

Just my opinions, so take them as such. I do not mean to put down those that get the gas generators, I am just giving my experience and opinions.

- CD
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  #23  
Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
John- While diesel gensets don't pose the same fire risk, they do provide a serious CO risk.
Actually, diesel gensets produce only a fraction of the amount of CO that gasoline engines and generators produce. They pose no more CO risk than diesel auxiliaries, which is to say very little. The greatest risk of CO poisoning in boats equipped with diesel engines and gensets occurs when they raft with or dock in close proximity to vessels that run gasoline engines and gensets. The CO from the other boats can waft aboard, and since there is no requirement to equip such diesel powered boats with CO detectors, the CO could go undetected. This is reason enough to install CO detectors in your diesel powered boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
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.
DC diesel gensets run at a constant rpm, and can be shielded with sound proofing specifically tuned to the frequency of noise produced. They tend to be very quiet when properly sound-proofed. AC diesel gensets vary their rpm with load, and tend to be noisier because they are more difficult to sound proof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
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.
To each his own. But I wouldn't want anyone reading this to misunderstand your statement above and conclude that you safely operate that generator "in the garage or shed". That is only where you store it. I see no great risk in carefully storing the generator aboard a vessel in the same vented locker in which you already store your gasoline supply. It is the operating of it on deck that creates the serious risk, and that is why ABYC and USCG recommend against doing so.
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  #24  
Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Actually, diesel gensets produce only a fraction of the amount of CO that gasoline engines and generators produce. They pose no more CO risk than diesel auxiliaries, which is to say very little.


I wouldn't want anyone reading this to misunderstand your statement above and conclude that you safely operate that generator "in the garage or shed". That is only where you store it. I see no great risk in carefully storing the generator aboard a vessel in the same vented locker in which you already store your gasoline supply. It is the operating of it on deck that creates the serious risk, and that is why ABYC and USCG recommend against doing so.
Not to nit-pick but there is lots of misinformation related to diesel CO production as compared with gas engines. Although true that diesels produce CO at a lower concentrtion in the exhaust, it is equally true that diesels exhaust a much greater volume all else being equal such that although the concentration is less, that actual CO production is essentially equivalent and therefore equally dangerous making the issue of gas gensets CO hazard moot. Either can create the same hazard and arguably, operating one on deck has less potential for dangerous fumes to collect below than the other.
Bottom line - either can be dangerous if operated by an idiot or intelligent neglect.
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  #25  
Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Not to nit-pick but there is lots of misinformation related to diesel CO production as compared with gas engines. Although true that diesels produce CO at a lower concentrtion in the exhaust, it is equally true that diesels exhaust a much greater volume all else being equal such that although the concentration is less, that actual CO production is essentially equivalent and therefore equally dangerous making the issue of gas gensets CO hazard moot. Either can create the same hazard and arguably, operating one on deck has less potential for dangerous fumes to collect below than the other.
Bottom line - either can be dangerous if operated by an idiot or intelligent neglect.
K1VSK,

Since your claim above is contrary to EVERYTHING I've ever read on this subject, I'm going to ask you to provide convincing evidence that the CO output of diesel combustion is effectively the same as gasoline. Don't forget to factor that the diesel generator or engine will consume a fraction of the amount of fuel of the comparable output gas engine/generator. My understanding, all else equalized, is you will find the diesel emits something like 10% of what the gasoline engine puts out in CO. But if you have evidence to the contrary, I will be eager to read it.
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Old 11-27-2007
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To add to the Panda knocking - I have one aboard my boat and apart from oil changes and impeller changes it works well. Press the on-off and the start button to start it, and the off button to stop it. It runs quietly and produces power enough to charge batteries, heat water, run 2 AC units and the A/C plugs (although both AC units need to be started separately).
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Old 11-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
K1VSK,

Since your claim above is contrary to EVERYTHING I've ever read on this subject, I'm going to ask you to provide convincing evidence that the CO output of diesel combustion is effectively the same as gasoline. Don't forget to factor that the diesel generator or engine will consume a fraction of the amount of fuel of the comparable output gas engine/generator. My understanding, all else equalized, is you will find the diesel emits something like 10% of what the gasoline engine puts out in CO. But if you have evidence to the contrary, I will be eager to read it.
John
I understand your skepticism as this myth has perpetuated itself quite well over the years so if I have time tomorrow, I'll find the data to support my statement, however, I did post it once here previously to show the calculations for various sized diesels and gas engines to demonstrate the science. It would be much easier on me if I simply suggest that, as you are the one questioning it, and if you really wanted to see it and judge for yourself, to do a search of the actual data.
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  #28  
Old 11-27-2007
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K1VSK,

I am not challenging your integrity, nor do I doubt that you have posted support for your position somewhere here on Sailnet. However, I am not going to expend my time searching the internet for evidence supporting an assertion I believe to be incorrect. I feel the onus to prove rests with the proponent of an assertion that is contrary to established understandings and recommendations.

If you have authoritative, scientific evidence to support your position, I would honestly like to read it. And if it is convincing, I also think someone should contact the US Coast Guard and ABYC to apprise them of their mistake. At this time, both of these organizations continue to warn against the use of portable gas generators aboard recreational vessels due to the risk of CO poisoning. Both also state in their guidance regarding CO that diesel engines pose significantly less threat. The relevant portions of the ABYC document states:

"Portable Generator Sets - Do not use this equipment on boats. Gasoline powered portable generator sets produce CO. These sets discharge their exhaust products in locations which can lead to an increase in the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the occupied space."

(ABYC TH-22, Educational Information About Carbon Monoxide, July 2002, at 7); and:

"What Makes Carbon Monoxide?

"Carbon monoxide is produced anytime a material containing carbon burns, such as gasoline, natural gas, oil, propane, coal, or wood. Common sources of CO are internal combustion engines and open flame appliances such as cooking ranges, central heating plants, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and charcoal grills.

"The carbon monoxide component of diesel exhaust is extremely low relative to the carbon monoxide level found in gasoline engine exhaust."

(ABYC TH-22, Educational Information About Carbon Monoxide, July 2002, at 1-2, emphasis added.)

The US Coast Guard adopts this ABYC guidance and incorporates it by reference in its safety bulletin on CO. (US Coast Guard Boating Safety Circular 74 -- Carbon Monoxide, The Invisible Killer (June 1992), Citing and Incorporating ABYC Technical Information Report T-22 (Educational Information About Carbon Monoxide), January 1992. [citing an earlier versin of the ABYC adivisory above]).

You and I have had this debate before, and I think we agreed to disagree. Which is fine. I also acknowledge that many cruisers are using portable gas gensets. I just don't want an inexperienced reader of this thread to draw the wrong conclusions for lack of sufficient information.
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  #29  
Old 11-27-2007
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Yes, but doing so would probably require a permanent or semi-permanent installation...rather than a portable unit. Most smaller boats, like the OPs are too small to fit a permanent genset installation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
DC diesel gensets run at a constant rpm, and can be shielded with sound proofing specifically tuned to the frequency of noise produced. They tend to be very quiet when properly sound-proofed. AC diesel gensets vary their rpm with load, and tend to be noisier because they are more difficult to sound proof.
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  #30  
Old 11-27-2007
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I'll throw my 2-cents in here since I can speak from experience. As I live along the Gulf Coast, an air-conditioner is a must. This past season I had a choice of spending $8,000 - $10,000 for a 5KW professionally installed diesel genset, or spending $1000 for a gasoline-powered, air-cooled, self-installed unit. After doing a lot of research, I concluded that a diesel genset is ideal. The only drawback is cost... but it's a MAJOR drawback. I could not see forking over so much money for a diesel "marine" generator when an adequate alternative exists. Using a gasoline-powered, portable generator in a marine environment presents a large set of obstacles, but I was convinced that these obstacles could be overcome (what with mother necessity and all that).

The challenges to overcome consist chiefly of the following:

1.) Carbon Monoxide risk
2.) Air-Cooled engine
3.) Gasoline Fumes
4.) Small capacity tank
5.) Exhaust Fumes
6.) Non-marinized components
7.) Inconvenient (unit has to be lugged onto the deck for each use)
8.) Noise
9.) Must handle starting loads of a 13000 BTU air conditioner.

I decided to go with a portable gas-powered generator and overcome these obstacles. I purchased a Yamaha EF2400IS. This is a true sine wave generator of very good quality.


Noise, Inconvenience

To overcome these two, I permanently installed the unit within the rear lazerettes. The unit is bolted down and the lazerette is sound insulated. The unit comes with thick rubber feet. It was very quite to begin with, but now it's virtually silent.

Air-Cooled engine, Exhaust Fumes

This was a bit of a challenge. I basically designed and constructed a wet exhaust and adapted it to the unit. Sea water is pumped through a seacock and strainer and sprayed into a copper-constructed mixing chamber. Exhaust gases are also led from the unit into the chamber using a flexible, galvanized aluminum exhaust hose wrapped with fiberglass mesh. Here, the sea water and exhaust gases mix. Dirty, warm water falls via gravity to the bottom of the chamber and out a through-hull, and heat and fumes are drawn off the top of the chamber using a high-volume blower and exiting through the stern.

Gasoline Fumes

My "wet exhaust" can be operated independently of the generator unit. I switch it on for a few minutes before powering it up and the blower removes any fumes. The blower and the sea-water pump are both sealed, ignition-protected devices.

Non-Marinized Components

This model Yamaha has an entirely aluminum frame. It seems to be suited to stand up against the elements. Since it's installed below deck (as is my old Perkins 4.108) I would expect it to hold up at least as well as the Perkins in a marine environment.


Small Capacity Tank

You can purchase an adapter for this unit that allows you to safely tap off of a larger tank.

Carbon Monoxide Risk

The unit is installed outside of the cabin air space. Nevertheless, I have TWO carbon monoxide alarms in the cabin.

Running a 130000 BTU Air Conditioner.

I have a Flagship Marine 13,000 BTU air conditioner with a rotary compressor. This generator EASILY starts it and runs at about 1/2 of it's rated load to power it continuously.



I have ocean tested this setup countless times this past season trying to find a problem with it. Rough seas, HOT weather, heeled over, etc, etc. It refuses to fail. As a bonus, I can remove the unit in 15 minutes using a wrench and a screwdriver if I ever needed it ashore. One downside is it probably wouldn't pass inspection for insurance purposes. Total Cost? $1500 and a few weekends of work.

Last edited by jr438234606; 11-27-2007 at 10:25 PM.
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