Plumbed for a generator but have yet to put one in (need to spread the pain over a few years). Have 2 d400's and solar panels with highout put alternator. Figured would keep me going until moving south or adding watermaker. Wondering about sharing suggestions for diesel gensets. Fischer Panda was on the list until Zanshin's kind post. Hate engine noise and not too keen on wrenching either ( do it but grumble). Thanks.
I have owned a Fisher Panda 4.2, a Mastervolt 3.5, and the Tayana has a Ferryman.
This is all opinions (and some hear-say), so take it as such. But I have owned these...
I never had any real problems my FP... but many people did. They seem t have gone through a few ups and downs. They started off with a great product. Then they tried to change or cheapen things up. Maybe they had a problem with distributors? Then they started making a better product again. My issue with them was never the issues per se, but their customer service was purportedly terrible. I now understand that they have really tried to make amends and are making a good product again with good customer service. I would consider one, depending on the use.
My current generator is a MasterVolt. Well, we have had a love-hate relationship. I have had a lot of problems with this generator. That said, Mastervolt has really tried to stand behind their product and have good customer service. I think they are not doing a lot in the US market anymore. Last heard there is only one US distributor and he is out of Texas, IIRC. I personally would lean back to FP over the MV.
Last is the Ferryman on Pop's Tayana. That thing is a clanky, loud, vibrating generator. However, it is as dependable as it gets and loves loads. It also runs at a lot lower RPMS and will handle about anything you throw at it. Dad recently rebuilt it, and it is probably good to go for another 4000 hours.
If I was going to buy another generator, and I had the real estate for it, I would put in a 'Ferryman' type generator. Maybe a Westerbeke or Onan, etc. I would opt for something that was a lower RPM that ran smooth ad liked to run long hours. The high RPMs Generators (like mine that idles at 3750 RPM), are very quiet and take up very little space. But that space comes at a price in longevity, and difficulty to maintain. Plus, when you cram that much stuff into a little bitty box, things seem to wear out quicker or seem more likely to break.
If I did not have the space for a large footprint generator, I would go to a FP type generator. But I would suggest that you over size it some. My 3.5 is very easy on the diesel, but we also have to be very careful what else is running or we will overload it. I personally would opt for nothing less than a 5kw on a typical cruising boat in the tropics, where you may want to run the a/c (and you will want to run the a/c at times).
These are all my opinions, take then as such.