midwesterners, beware of Balmar! - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-03-2008
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Have had similar experiences with Balmar and even though I still use the latest version of their smart regulator I have given up on their alternatiors. It would be long distance but I can really recomend Gen Star which is a alternator shop in Oakland California. The first Balmar alternator I purchased advertised 110 amp out put but never made more than 65 even with a 50% discharged 500 amp AGM bank. I took it to Gen Star and spoke with John who knew the product down to bearing sizes, diodes and windings. For 80$ he rebuilt it and from that point forward 100 amps was routine.

We then decided to go cruising and I wanted closer to 200 amps. Talked with John again and he built me a Leese Nevelle that was customized to cut in at lower RPM with heavier windings, larger diodes and heavier bearings. The alternator was designed for use in emergency vehicles with high amp requirements at low RPM and long runtimes. During 9 months of cruising it would easily put out 170-180 amps at the beginning of the charge cycle and then continue to put 100 or so amps into the batteries while also handling a 100 amp load for the water maker! It allowed me to shorten engine run time a take advantage of the AGM charge profile.

The price - under 600$. The equivalent Balmer - about 2800$.

The Balmar claim to be "marinized" does not fly with me because the alternator that comes with most marine diesels is not modified for the marine environment.

The contact info for Gen Star is:

Gen Star Industrial & Automotive Elec.
1367 Willow
Oakland 510-893-6161

Hope this helps -

Craig Alger
Blog: Sailboatsailor.wordpress.com
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-04-2008
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Start Rite, 3616 Texoma Pkwy, Sherman, TX
Telephone is 903-892-6022. Ask for JR.
They do all the stuff for Valiant and have done some work for me. They should be able to help. I do not know if they will ship diodes directly - ask JR for that. However, their rates are reasonable and work is pretty good.

AYE! I second them, they are top notch, smart.... and funny!
(when you live in Sherman, you gotta have a sense of humor) .....

If you need someone local, wander theu your local telep pages for 'automotive starter REPAIR.'
typically, this won't be pepboys or western auto (did i just date myself?)
It'll be something like "roys alternator shop" or "billy-joe-ray-bobs starter repair".
They'll be in a hole in the wall, with a couple of cigar chompers drinkin' a Dr. Pepper behind the counter.
Pretty much the smartest humans on earth concerning anything with a pos. and neg. terminal.

Or, call a Heavy construction equipment dealer. Ask the serice dept who they use locally to rebuild staters and alternators, they'll steer you right.

We are not primarily on earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

Some people are like slinkies: not really good for anything... but you can't help laughing when you push them down the stairs
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. Local Caterpillar dealer pointed me to a repair shop! Should be back in business by the weekend.

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1980 Endeavour 37 sloop, currently in the Mississippi near St Louis
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-04-2008
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Ragtimedon, does your Endeavor happen to be Dale West's former boat?
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-04-2008
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Anybody know anything about amptech alternators? Greatwater in Broomstick Maine sell them with a pretty good listed output and a decent price.
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