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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 07-31-2009
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Small portable gas generators

Since my Cascade 29 has an outboard auxillary with limited charging capabilities (10amp) I have to come up with a way to charge batteries (2-3 gell cells using a 30amp charger) while sailing and run a few appliances. I'd like to be able to run a small low watt microwave for boiling water and maybe a few other small appliances/tools from time to time while at anchor and possibly underway so I have been considering a small portable 1000watt gas powered generator.

I am aware of the dangers involved with having a low flashpoint fuel such as gasoline on board but since the auxillary is gas powered (New Yamaha 9.9 High Thrust) I figured I may as well stick with the same fuel for the generator also since I will already have gasoline on board.

The boat has a watertight lazeraette compartment in the stern I plan to store the gas tanks and generator in. Of course the generator will have to come out to be used and be sufficiently cooled down before returnig it to this area (suppose i could put it in another lazzeratte if this location turns out to be a bad idea).

Anyway, is there anyone else out there doing this or thinking about it? Am I nuts for even considering this? I have considered solar, wind and even hydro but don't want to invest the type of money needed for this type of equipment right now, maybe in a few years but autopilot, radar and a chartplotter are first in line.
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Old 07-31-2009
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There have been many threads in the past about this process. Besides the obvious kaboom issues you have other constraints:
1. You can not use the generator when under sail and not likely at a dock only at anchor.
2. It is not made for marine use and may not last as long as you would like although some people have reported several years service.
3. You need a good one (honda) so the noise is not a factor
4. You do not want to run it while you are sleeping. You may not wake up.
5. It is a major target for theft.

Last edited by davidpm; 07-31-2009 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 07-31-2009
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Yes, I had considered the issues you have mentioned. Wonder how long the little honda or yamaha would last in a saltwater environment? Why wouldn't I be able to use it underway though? I figured as long as weather conditions weren't bad i might be able to get away with running it under sail...

Oh yeah, I had planned to make a deck mount for it when it was in use.

Last edited by docrn; 07-31-2009 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 07-31-2009
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I have a Honda 2000. I have been using it fo 3 years. It runs great, starts on the first or second pull. I have used it many times while sailing. I use it to charge batteries, make ice cubes and cook on a small one burner stove.
I also run a shopvac and power tools with it.
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Old 07-31-2009
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I have a Honda 1000 (wanted a 2000 but the vented overboard locker I made for it could only barely fit the 1000 and the gas for it and for the dingy outboard). It is now in its second year and works fine. I have used it underway but primarily use it at the mooring when working with tools that require 110. Just remember to shut it off by turning off the fuel switch to keep the carburator clean. Be careful and you should be fine.
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Old 07-31-2009
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I too am curious about the comment
Quote:
can not use the generator when under sail
I do not see the logic behind this. Securely fastened on deck in a CALM sea, exhaust pointed away from the cockpit; what is the problem?


And BTW, those Honda generators are well worth the extra dollars you pay for them. Not that we have one (yet), but I have seen and heard them in use and they are far and above so much more quieter than any of the other less expensive brands/models
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Old 07-31-2009
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Have had a Honda EU2000i for five years now. Cruising six months a year. Just clean the carb now and then, change the plug every year. Woorks fine.
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Old 07-31-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
And BTW, those Honda generators are well worth the extra dollars you pay for them. Not that we have one (yet), but I have seen and heard them in use and they are far and above so much more quieter than any of the other less expensive brands/models
Agreed. I have a diesel generator, but have seen those little Hondas in action. They are quiet, efficient, and powerful. Good product.

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Old 07-31-2009
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Ditto all the positive comments. I would note however that Honda is NOT the only quality and low noise brand out there. Specifically...the Yamaha generators have been getting equally positive reviews.
For those who need cheaper and are OK with noisier...the $549 Honeywell looks like a great alternative. Honeywell HW2000i - 2000 Watt Portable Inverter Generator
the video on starting will give you a good idea of the noise level.
YouTube - How to Start Your Honeywell 2000i Inverter Generator
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Old 08-01-2009
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Honda EU 2000i

My research has convinced me that the 2000 is a great unit my problem is how many surge A/C BTU's can it handle on start up ? ( first reply-am I in the right forum? Just posted my first question in the "Intro. yourself Forum )Cheers!
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