Originally Posted by Mimsy
The generators sole purpose on the boat is to run the AC units, which is why we are thinking of ditching the whole system. It takes up way too much space and was not installed in the most thought out manner.
You can easily wire that into a gen/shore switch so that it can power your boat's charger too and other things. That would probably even be less expensive than paying to have a diesel genset pulled out!!! Instead you should be asking yourself how you are going to charge your batts? Do you have a large solar array and/or wind gen? Even then, you will have to periodically charge them.
Cam said that he ran about 150-160 ah/day (please review the Philosophies of Cruising thread in Boat Buying Forum). Ours was more like 160-180ah/day, but we have/had kids so it is like powering for 4 versus two. Regardless, as a LA, unless you can read by candlight and have no accessories (like radar, cp, radio, etc), you are going to go through a bunch of ah.
Most boats with 2-4d's have approximately 400ah (on the high side) total ah. You should NEVER go below 50% charge or you will seriously deteriorate the lifespan of your batts. That means that you have at or about 200 ah/day which mean that you will be recharging your batts almost every day!!!!
You can increase this time by increasing batteries or adding other means of charging. However, if you don't think you like the size of your gen and ac, try throwing a couple more 4-d's in there! And you will, even with 4-4d's, spread your recharge out by a max day-day and a half.
These are the realities of cruising as we experienced them. We eleceted, this time, to put on a large solar array to help offset the AH loss. We are almost completely off the grid. We did this because last time, as you can see, we were running our genset all the time and got tired of the smell of it. But better that than the main! And FYI, I also dropped some serious coin into a new Mastervolt Diesel Generator (and a/c). So, I am not telling you to do something I have not already done.
I also ama aware that I2F is a cruiser and take his advice well (even though he does not have a real boat - one of those quasi multi-hullers... hehe). Also, Funsailthekeys is knowledgeable so I would respect his opinion too. I am simply giving you our experience, which apparently is slightly different from theirs. Again, in full disclosure, I had/have kids. Not sure I would have done it much different even if I did not though. My wife would not have.