help outboard with alt buy gen set ? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-20-2012
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help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

I will try to give as much info as I can then ask me the questions. I am not sure how much power I would need on my boat? I have no galley and do not plan to get one. All I can think of right now is the running lights and maybe a (12volt fan that I do not have) Should one buy an outboard engine with an alternator this adds about 400 to the cost of the outboard engine. If without would a small say $400 four stroke generator? plus the outboard engine without an alternator be better? a small $130 63cc two stoke generator? Will these generators charge the battery without a lot of fuss? What is an inverter? To get a alternator you must buy at least a 4 HP. fifty plus LBS. engine This adds about 15 pounds over the smaller (light weight race engine) PHRF rules say you need to have 40 lbs on the transom The boat is my new to me 1974 Catalina 22. It will be in fresh water lakes and might see one or two overnights. I like to camp but I have done this in a tent always without a generator. I never thought to much about having a generator or a boat you can sleep in. Last summer I stayed on a C-22 for a few nights in a range of temps. A fan would have been nice. Regards, Lou
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

If you stick with motors under 6 hp they will be approx 59 lbs even with alt. Thinking Tohatsu, Nissan, Merc, etc ... Going to a 9.9 will add huge weight and more power

How about trying a solar panel trickle charger since all you are doing is topping up the house batteries. Use a battery powered camping latern rather than cabin lights when staying aboard and use a small marine charger when tied up to a dock to keep the batteries topped up. Somthing similar to a Guest Charge Pro 6AM portable charger. That way you can aslo take the battery off at season end or other times to keep charged.

If you have no instruments and only running lights your electrical requirements are minimal and you should be fine without an alternator.

A generator is totally un necessary and very noisy

Sorry for the ramble. Thinking as I go

Mike
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

40 watt solar pannel with a good control like a genasun

I have and A4 with a 51 AMP alt and NEVER use it for charging
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

For one or two over nights the cheapest way will be simply having enough battery, even if you have to add one. Think of it this way; most of your power load is at night when none of the charging tools will be working anyway.

My second boat was a Stiletto 27 which we took on cruises up to 3 weeks. No charging other than a very small alternator and staying in a marina every 3 days or so. Tried a small solar panel, but it was more trouble than it was worth. Adding a second battery (group 24) was better.

My current boat is much more power hungry, but even so for 1 night I rely on batteries for the above reason. Yes, larger cruisers have solar for longer trips and inverters (12v DC to 110v AC) so that they can use home appliances, but none of that makes sense on a small boat.

A small charger (GUEST ChargePro Weather-Resistant Battery Chargers at West Marine) or a portable charger and a group 27 battery should be all you need. If you need more, add a second battery first.
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

You don't want the generator. You don't want to be changing oil and fussing with an extra engine. It's complexity you don't need. So I really suggest going with the alternator, or the solar panel as others suggest.

The solar is a good idea no matter what. Lead acid batteries are happiest when they're topped off and solar is great at doing that. So no matter what you can't go wrong with the solar. A decent size solar, 40 watts or more, and a good deep cycle battery would be fine.

That said, personally, I think you should just spring for the alternator and keep yourself and future buyers happy.
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

Outboard alternators do not produce much and you would need to run it a LOT to get ant meaningfull amp/hours of output.

I would go with a solar panel and as a backup if you can afford one a dinky HONDA suitcase generator.
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Old 11-21-2012
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Re: help outboard with alt buy gen set ?

Can you charge wherever your boat is stored? I do 1-2 night overnight a lot in my C22 and I've never come close to killing my single group 27. There just isn't that much to run. We are pretty conservative with power...we have a wind-up lantern that we use when we don't need the full-power cabin lights, an LED anchor light, we mostly use a handheld VHF during the day, etc. so that helps, but we weren't draining the battery that much before we figured all of this out. I have a little 6A smart charger that keeps the battery topped off while we're away.

I do have a generator on my engine (5hp), but you'd have to run it for hours and hours to charge a dead battery with it. It barely puts out any power, especially at idle. I think they're really made to power running lights on dinghies or something. Mine came with the boat and I'm glad I have it as an emergency way to run the running lights and VHF, if it ever comes to that, but I wouldn't count on it as a primary way to charge the battery.

As others have said, an additional battery behind the keel cable would be my next step. I have no idea where I'd put a generator on my boat, especially when it's full of junk for "cruising mode," and I'd never want to listen to it.
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Last edited by chip; 11-21-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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