Join Date: Feb 2014
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: eight kilowatts
It is very common for generators to have shortened lives because of either low engine loading or just lack of use at all. There have been a lot of heated discussions on the TrawlerForum regarding minimum loading of engines. One of the biggest factors is whether the engine is one of the new Tier-4 electronically controlled common rails, or just an old fashioned mechanical engine.
Assuming mechanical, I would estimate 35% being a safe minimum and you'd probably want to run it once a week for several hours. Certainly higher loading is better, but unless you're running your aircon, it may be difficult to provide such a high load. Perhaps timing water heater, battery bank bulk charge, electric oven and clothes washer/dryer.
I had two gennies in my power boat and hated both of them. My opinion is that unless you have aircon, then do not mount a genset. Today's energy efficient lighting and appliances, coupled with solar options, are all wonderful, whether for a sailboat or a powerboat.
BTW, outbound commented about installing a larger unit because the price was better, which is understandable. If you find yourself only running 2-3 kWhr over the next year, then consider having the injector pump (or other systems) de-tuned by a mechanic to a lower hp rating. The electrical head end does not care what it is loaded to (as long as the RPMs are correct), it's the diesel unit that needs to run properly.