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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 04-25-2011
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Generator Recommendations

I'm looking to purchase a portable generator to charge batteries and make hot water on my boat. The water heater has an 800 watt element. The littlest Honda generator makes 1000 watts yet I see most people with the larger 2000 watt generator. NOTE: I will NOT run anything else electrical on the boat when charging or making hot water. I will switch off the refrigerator when heating water. I do not want the extra weight (double) of the larger generator. Does this scenario make sense to people?

Solla Sollew
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Old 04-25-2011
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Though your water heater may be rated 800 watts continuous..the start up surge maybe enough to trip the breaker on the 1000 watt generator. If you have a friend who owns one try it before you buy it..
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Old 04-25-2011
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Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
If you have a friend who owns one try it before you buy it..
Or rent one.

I have owned two Honda eu2000i generators. They are bulletproof and reliable. Not to mention, super quiet.
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Hard to rent those little generators. Most rental outfits are targeted at the contractor market. Also, I don't believe a heating coil has any startup load issues. My recollection is that this is only an issue for motors, for example in a refrigerator compressor.

Curious about where you kept your Honda. My boat is a Bavaria 33. Lifting the unit out of the cockpit locker sounds like a real pain.

Eric
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Old 04-25-2011
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Your original post said you wanted a generator to "charge batteries and make hot water".

IMHO, it would be inefficient to forego a generator which could do both.

The 800-watt element in your hot water heater will draw about 6.7 amps. You're right that there's no start-up current problem; the load is purely resistive.

A Honda EU2000i is rated at about 13.3 amps continuous, so you'd have about 6.5 amps maximum for a charger while making hot water. An efficient charger with a reasonable power factor would give you 30-40A of charge power for your batteries, while making hot water.

When not making hot water, you could run a charger with twice that capacity. So, a strategy if you only had a generator to make hot water would be to run a larger charger FIRST. Then, when the amperage draw has dropped back as the batteries come up in charge, cut in the hot water heater.

You could also plumb your engine to make hot water, if you haven't already.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 04-25-2011 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 04-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgraig View Post
Hard to rent those little generators. Most rental outfits are targeted at the contractor market.
I had no problem renting one when my usual unit was in the shop for service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgraig View Post
Curious about where you kept your Honda. My boat is a Bavaria 33. Lifting the unit out of the cockpit locker sounds like a real pain
I kept mine in my workboat, but would often lift it out when I parked the boat on its trailer in front of my house. I think they weigh about 45 pounds. I could lift it in, or out, of the boat, from ground level without much difficulty.
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EU2000i 53.8 lbs with fuel and oil

EU1000i 33.2 lbs with fuel and oil
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
EU2000i 53.8 lbs with fuel and oil

EU1000i 33.2 lbs with fuel and oil
Which I think makes a fairly meaningful difference. I don't use it on the boat, but I do own a 1000w. It is the most remarkably light and quiet generator I could imagine. If I could get away with the small unit, I would. If not, the 2000w is certainly more capable.
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