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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-27-2013 10:25 AM
Minnewaska
Re: A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

I know the OP is over a decade old, but some things never change. NEB dropped the motor, no kidding. Standard service level on the Bay.
10-27-2013 09:09 AM
svHyLyte
Re: A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

Quote:
Originally Posted by nhirsch View Post
this is a good thread, hadn't read it before. my experience w/FP has been pretty good. they are nearby me so when I call it's almost my neighbor. A fellow named Robert I believe helped me a few times. The info on the starter motor is great - I had to replace one that I got from FP but they cut me a good deal but next time I'll remember that (I hope it won't be needed and I hope if so, I'll either find this forum or some other solution other than paying list price) so thanks for the postings.
We have gotten very good service and help from FP's Ft. Lauderdale operation on the few occasions when needed for our 4.2KW generator, purchased in the Spring of 2002. The chief technician is Robert "Bob" Grubert. He's somewhat gruff but he knows his business and can be very helpful. The second fellow to know if Jeff Till, the head of the sales operation. Jeff has been very helpful to us when we've had a thorny issue to deal with. The machines are very dependable when they are properly maintained but they are somewhat precision machines and the maintenance must be rigorous so they need be installed where they are easily accessed. If not, maintenance invariably suffers and with it, performance and reliability.

FWIW...
10-26-2013 06:46 PM
nhirsch
Re: A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

this is a good thread, hadn't read it before. my experience w/FP has been pretty good. they are nearby me so when I call it's almost my neighbor. A fellow named Robert I believe helped me a few times. The info on the starter motor is great - I had to replace one that I got from FP but they cut me a good deal but next time I'll remember that (I hope it won't be needed and I hope if so, I'll either find this forum or some other solution other than paying list price) so thanks for the postings.
05-13-2011 01:15 AM
SpawnyWhippet Just in case you need a new starter motor for the 4500, just order a pattern part 12V / 0.9kW starter from your local motor parts store for a VW Jetta 1.0, Passat 1.3, Polo, Scirocco 1.3 or Vento 1.4. Iskra part number is IS 0404 / 11.130.404. Fischer Panda just applies their own sticker on the box and uplifts the price by 150 Euro.
It may save you several hundred Euros and a month of waiting.
12-07-2007 03:58 PM
SVDistantStar This is why i have an Onan 1400w gas genny. It runs great, never gives an issue and only cost me about $350.
12-07-2007 01:40 PM
Valiente No, but back in the days of Usenet I heard enough bad things about FP to put me off permanently, even if I wanted a genset, which I don't.

It is simply easier for me to adjust to the fact that living aboard is going to involve some compromises regarding the availability of AC power, and to adjust my habits accordingly.

Twenty thousand dollars buys a lot of nights at even expensive slips, where you can grab 30-60 amps from shorepower and run that washer/dryer, the air conditioning and a disco ball, if you wish.

Having said that, I've done a fair bit of research into "off-grid" power generation, because the technologies used for anchored boats and houses in the woods are largely the same, and you might wish to check out WhisperTech's "WhisperGen" line of Stirling engine gensets. They have an intriguing "sell" and although not yet common, seem to have a good rep due to the inherently simple nature of their mechanical operation when compared to IC gensets.

http://www.whispertech.co.nz/main/dc-marine/

But if you've looking for 9 KW, you're in a different league.
12-07-2007 09:52 AM
speciald Yes I know this is an old thread. My last boat had a Fisher Panda.The current owner gave up and replaced it this Summer with a Mastervolt. Probably not a good coice as it is also a fast reving genset. She spent over three thousand dollars in two years on the FP and it still overheated. I currently have a mini 12 FP on my boat. Last year it overheated, did not automatically shut down, and warped the head. ~ 3000 dollars later and it still overheats when the load exceeds 40 amps. this is less than 50% load. Haver pickeled the heat exchanger, blown out all lines to r/o blockage, checked both water pumps, checked capacitors, frequency and voltage on the back end to r/o backend overload - all normal. I've had many coversations with FP service in Ft Lauderdale with no resolution of the problem.I'm about to spend 20k on a 9kw Northern Lights that I should have bought the first time. FP has redesigned the cooling system to cool the generator with coolant rather than fresh water but that doesn't seem to be my problem but indicates that they have had a cooling problem on the old design. Any comments on Northern Lights reliability?
12-20-2001 05:57 AM
Denr
A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

You go girl!
12-19-2001 06:50 PM
geoffschultz
A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

There has been significant (60+ posts) regarding my issue in the news rec.boats.cruising news group. One very interesting post was brought up regarding the Fischer Panda warranty. I''ll just quote it. If you''re interested, please read the news group or use http://www.deja.com/ and search for "Fischer Panda" under rec.boats.cruising for the entire thread.

>BTW, I have their sales brochure here in front of me. They claim
>their warranty is "unlike any other generators". Well, ok. They
>warranty the rotor indefinitely. They warranty the generator back
>end for five years.

>But they warranty the engine only for ONE year.

>Contrast that with the new Kohler 8kw unit that I just had
>installed to replace my failed Onan.

>Five years or 2,000 hours, covering the engine AND electrical end.
>Including labor to pull and replace if necessary
>$100 "per incident" charge in years 3-5, $0 for the first two.

>"The unbeatable Panda warranty"?

>Its not even close by my calculation. Unbeatable HOW? That the
>rotor has a lifetime warranty? That''s nice, but irrelevant if the
>engine blows up after two years!

>(And oh, by the way, that Kohler was $6,600; the best quote I had
>on the Panda of equivalent output was $14,000. I could EAT one of
>the Kohlers ENTIRELY and STILL be ahead!)

>The Entec-West 4200 looks to be powered with a Farymann W18 engine
>from what I have here - same motor that''s in the Panda. Entek
>West''s unit is actually LIGHTER (170 lbs .vs. 233), is smaller (20"
>long .vs. 21, 13" wide .vs. 15, and 18.5" high .vs. 21!) AND is
>heat-exchanger cooled - a big plus for a saltwater boat. With the
>enclosure the Entec-West is an inch or so larger in all dimensions
>than the Panda, still compares well weight wise (they''re a pound
>different) AND their enclosure is stainless steel - not fiberglass.

>Finally, the EW-4200D in the enclosure specs out at 63Dba at one
>meter.

>Panda''s 4200 specs at 66dba @ 1 Meter.

>3dB is SIGNIFICANT.

>The Entec-West is QUITE A BIT quieter in its enclosure.
>(Also, they have designed the unit so it can be hand-started....
>that''s nice, particularly when your battery is completely dead!)

>I''d price the Entec West 4200 before allowing Panda to sell me a
>new engine, but that''s just me.

-- Geoff
12-18-2001 01:38 PM
geoffschultz
A Precautionary Note on Fischer Panda Generators

Jeff H has decided that it was the responsibility of the boatyard to supply a new generator. I disagree. They sent the unit back to Fischer Panda to have it serviced and Fischer Panda sent it back having been repaired. If it couldn''t be repaired, then FP should have said so. But that isn''t what occurred. One can conjecture that the problems that I''ve been having have been the result of it being dropped, but no one can prove that. I can''t.

It''s also been suggested that I''m going after FP because they''ve got deep pockets. False. I''m going after the company who manufactured the generator. The boat is in Curacao. They''re an international company who has the means to resolve this issue as opposed to a boat yard in Rhode Island.

This is a matter of picking which battle to fight. Perhaps you would have done it differently, but I suggest that if you had spent as much time considering the options as I have, that you might have come up with the same strategy as I did.

I will admit to posting this in about 6 different boating related forums. I will also admit to e-mailing every dealer that I could find as well as their German parent company. As a result I believe that someone finally took notice and I''m not ashamed of this at all!

I did however forget to update this forum with the following post that I placed in other forums:

I am happy to report that the president of Fischer Panda, USA, just called me to discuss my problem. He was very apologetic for dropping the ball. We had a very constructive conversation and we agreed that:

1) Fischer Panda will ship a new Farryman engine to Curacao.
2) I will ship my old unit back to them.
3) They will determine what the cause of the problem is
4) If it is determined that this isn''t a Fischer Panda problem, I''ll pay for the new engine.

This was actually my proposal. You might think that I''m crazy for agreeing to point 4, but I was about to buy a new engine from a distributor anyhow. I believe that FP will be fair in their analysis, and with all of the pressure coming from other organizations within FP (I e-mail blanketed the US and German parent site), I think that they''ll see things my way. Or at least I hope that they will. I want to show them that I''m very willing to work with them, and hopefully they''ll respond in kind.

Things are looking up right now. I''ll keep you posted.

-- Geoff
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