Portable Generator vs Genset - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 11-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
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.
I believe that with a modicum of caution (only use on deck, well lashed, in places where the wind will blow the exhaust off the boat).

In addition, if used on the foredeck, make sure all hatches and dorades are closed off if being used.

Make sure all CO detectors are in working order.

Never run unattended or unsecured.

Basically, think of them like gas mowers on your deck, and think of the precautions you would take in such a circumstance.
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  #32  
Old 11-28-2007
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just a matter of time until the C.G. recommends that outboards not be used on fishing boats because someone got sick while drinking beer and trolling for jellyfish because of the station-wagon effect of all that CO being backwinded under the canvas cover.
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  #33  
Old 11-28-2007
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Valiente,

I agree with both you and K1VSK that some folks have the experience, foresight, and presence of mind to use these carefully and without incident. Personally, I wouldn't trust myself -- but I'm a bit of a nimrod. Recognizing this shortcoming in myself, I default to the recommendation of experts. I could not live with the consequences if a careless or even unrecognized oversight on my part jeopardized the health or life of a family member -- particularly after being forewarned.

If folks choose to run their AC off these while sleeping sealed up below decks, that is a risk they choose to take. But if you are rafted with other boats that don't have AC, remember that their hatches and ports are likely to be open and the CO could pose a threat to them on a still night or if they end-up downwind of the exhaust.
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  #34  
Old 11-28-2007
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If I were going to use a genset... I'd set it up on the leeward ama deck. That would minimize any risk of fumes—either gasoline or CO—collecting in any real quantity.. of course, the guys with only half or third of a boat don't have this option.
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  #35  
Old 11-28-2007
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If you have a strong wind, you can still get gassed. I wonder how many people have set the generator up on their transom?? Sounds right, huh? Boat is always pointing into the wind. But if you have a ddger, can't that create a vacuum and pull the CO back down below??

I know when we are motoring into a strong wind and the dodger is up, we get a lot of dieself fumes into the cockpit. Seems very likely that a generator would do the same thing on the transom or in the cockpit.

People use gas generators all the time. If you go into a LA anchorage, many of the boats there have gas generators. I think a diesel is better - for the many reasons I have listed above. However, it has a considerably higher cost. But if that is all you have budgeted/can afford, you will make do.

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  #36  
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If the genset was out on the ama... getting gassed is very unlikely, since it is considerably lower than the rest of the boat and about 7' out to the side of any possible openings.
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I am not doing a very good job at describing this (and not sure my picture is any better), but here is what I am saying:

It seems to me that when the wind blows strongly across a dodger (Especially with a bimini) it acts like an airfoil in that it creates a negative pressure inside of it. That in turn pulls the air from behind. Depending on how strong the wind is blowing and how close the generator is, you can suck the fumes backwards into the boat... much like a sail pulls your boat through the wind.

Here is my crappy illustration to show what I am talking about:



Not all of it is sucked back down below, but some of it will be and it could accumulate over time.

Think about when you are motoring into a stron headwind and you are gettin gassed out from your main diesel. It would seem to be the same principle to me.
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  #38  
Old 11-28-2007
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That's the stationwagon effect - which could occur atwartships when at rest with a beam wind.
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  #39  
Old 11-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
If folks choose to run their AC off these while sleeping sealed up below decks, that is a risk they choose to take. But if you are rafted with other boats that don't have AC, remember that their hatches and ports are likely to be open and the CO could pose a threat o them on a still night or if they end-up downwind of the exhaust.
I understand and share your concern: we are proposing ocean cruising with a child. But we also don't plan to use the gas generator to run A/C, and certainly not to leave the thing running while we sleep, any more than I would leave a car running in a garage while I dreamt.
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Old 11-29-2007
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I agree with the last post. I have a diesel genset on our boat. We are currently cruising in the Bahamas. We run it morning and evening to keep the batteries charged particularly if we are not moving.

I like doing this around dinner time, because it allows us to get a little ice from the portable ice maker and to use the microwave for meal preparation.

An added benefit is that we can run the AC to keep the cabin from heating up when using the stove. I think it is a great addition to any sailboat that has the room.

Herb DuBois
on Split Decision currently in Marsh Harbor, Abacos
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