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wwilson 07-19-2009 02:35 PM

Generator Etiquette
Regardless of whether or not you own or use a generator - what is your opinion (if any) on the correct use of a generator in proximity to other boats?

I just spent an otherwise lovely evening in the anchorage by Gibson Island off the Magothy River (Chesapeake Bay) to the all night accompaniment of a generator run from a SeaRay 30-yards away. Seemed "tacky" to me, but what do I know?

Maybe a good Sailnet poll will help resolve "proper" etiquette.


imagine2frolic 07-19-2009 02:43 PM

Everybody should know what is considerate, and what is not....pretty simple......i2f

wwilson 07-19-2009 03:03 PM


Originally Posted by imagine2frolic (Post 506692)
Everybody should know what is considerate, and what is not....pretty simple......i2f

It would be well if everyone did - but it is unfortunately clear that they don't, or more likely all have a different idea of what is considerate. The poll may help with a general definition... but only if you vote.

fpr 07-19-2009 04:46 PM

When we were cruising, we anchored far away from other boats for peace, quiet and privacy.
I did not want any crap from a sea ray....

I set up the gen-set, on my Cal 46, for no noise....double motor mounts to kill any vibration, 2 mufflers -1 water lift and 1 regular and oversized water outlet at water level, next to the AC outlet to stop the 'gurgle'....

The only way someone off the boat would know it was running was to dink near the water outlet.

I had to have 110v or the family would not go cruising....:confused:

I don't understand why someone who has 'enuf money to buy a big Sea Ray wouldn't demand a quiet generator.

Some of the gen-sets in RV's are amazing not a decible....

If someone had a noisy generator, I would grab my kids and dink over to ask what the schedule was for the gen noise.
Kids need sleep....

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.


bheintz 09-02-2009 11:48 AM

To a sailor a generator is noisy, to a power boater a generator IS quite.

sck5 09-02-2009 01:22 PM

If they are hiding inside in air conditioning then maybe they have no clue how loud it is outside. Or maybe they dont care. Clueless would seem to cover it.

labatt 09-02-2009 08:47 PM

We run our generator whenever we want, but when I purchased it I got a wet/dry separator for it. As a result, only gasses come out from above the water and the cooling water comes out below the waterline. Soooo... we don't have the noise level a lot of other people have when we run it. You can hear it close up, but it's hard to tell it's running about 30-40ft away.

AdamLein 09-02-2009 09:36 PM

I think the fairest option would be to adopt the same first-come-first-serve mentality as in anchoring: if you're the first one to an anchorage, do what you like. But if you come to an anchorage with other silent boats in it, do as they do, or go find a noisy boat to berth next to, or berth someplace else entirely. Basically, don't force people to endure conditions that they didn't implicitly agree to endure by anchoring near you. On the flip side of the coin, if you want quiet and you come to an anchorage with other boats' generators a-gurgling, find someplace else to spend the night.

So you know personally I would have voted for both "Live and let live" and "They're a blight," because just because I have an opinion about generators doesn't mean I can demand others share it.

HerbDB 09-03-2009 08:18 AM

I think that the portable generators used on deck are a problem, but I don't often hear anything from gensets installed below.

On my boat, I have a genset in the engine room, which is dead center in the boat under the cockpit (center cockpit boat). Its loud below decks, but not from outside unless you get near the exhaust and hear the splash.

We generally only run it to charge and when it would be convenient to have AC power for some reason. The inverter does OK for most of those.

On our trip to the Bahamas, we found that an hour in the morning and and hour in the afternoon took care of the charging. We generally did this when we were cooking. This allowed us to freely use the microwave/convection oven and to run the Air Conditioning if the heat was building up in the cabin from cooking.

I wouldn't go cruising without one, but I am not a purist. I do like my quiet anchorages and try to respect that others may feel the same.

dieselboy 09-18-2009 02:57 AM


Originally Posted by bheintz (Post 519201)
To a sailor a generator is noisy, to a power boater a generator IS quite.

I am a crossover.. I have been a power boat guy for a long time and am only now moving to sailing. Yes, its true to power boat people a gen set is quiet and cheep. I tend to have a bit more respect than others of my former....
I have a small boat "29'" so there is little to no room for a real gen set but i did buy a Honda EU1000. which you have to damn near sit on to hear. I use it to charge batts and off it goes.
I enjoy the peace and quiet but i also know i sail in an area where is is some times 90 degrees at night in high humidity and if it was my wife or kids "if i had any" cooking then no one sleeps and i under stand a person running a gen at night.
You never know why people are doing what they are till you ask, hell they may not know " no night time gen sets".

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