SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Super Fuzzy
Joined
·
17,132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been generator threads before this but not from what I can see in recent times. So rather than resurrect an old thread I'll start a new one.

If you have a generator what size is it and how happy or not are you with it ?

If you don't have one would you like to ?

We have trouble keeping up with power out unless we take a fair bit of care. Even so, with a couple of fridges and a couple of computers our solar cells and wind genny struggle to keep up.

So, am thinking of a generator but not sure about size, brand etc. My guess is that size and weight would be the biggest problems to overcome. I'd only be seeking to use the thing for back up battery charging rather than having to use the main engine when at anchor.
 

·
Living the dream
Joined
·
350 Posts
Was in exactly the same boat as you, pardon the pun. We use a Honda 10eu purchased primarily for battery charging and for it's quietness, small size and light weight. Using two battery chargers, it can pump about 45 amps max into the batteries. Love it!

Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Living the dream
Joined
·
350 Posts
i don't have a gen perhaps the issue is storage not generation?
if you have a generator please do not run it at night as sound travel a long way across an anchorage
Agreed. We run ours usually mid morning, however the little Honda cannot be heard from around 20 metres away with any breeze blowing whereas a neighbour has a Ryobi 2kva unit that can be heard from 100 metres away in most conditions; Honda certainly did their homework and probably explains the premium price tag!

Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Old soul
Joined
·
5,661 Posts
We have trouble keeping up with power out unless we take a fair bit of care. Even so, with a couple of fridges and a couple of computers our solar cells and wind genny struggle to keep up. So, am thinking of a generator but not sure about size, brand etc.
I have a 1000 watt portable gas Yamaha. It's as quiet as they come, very fuel efficient, and it does us fine for our back up charging needs. Mostly we make do with our wind, solar and alternator charging, but on rare occasions we've employed the generator to top up the batteries.
 

·
Super Fuzzy
Joined
·
17,132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i don't have a gen perhaps the issue is storage not generation?
if you have a generator please do not run it at night as sound travel a long way across an anchorage
Mate I won't even run our wind genny at night and I am obsessive about slapping halyards. Even music and voices need to be toned down after dusk, not to mention those who would engage in a bit of rumpy pumpy with the hatch open.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,484 Posts
Maybe one of the new Efoy fuel cells is for you??

efoy.com
 
  • Like
Reactions: MedSailor

·
Bill SV Rangatira
Joined
·
421 Posts
Mate I won't even run our wind genny at night and I am obsessive about slapping halyards. Even music and voices need to be toned down after dusk, not to mention those who would engage in a bit of rumpy pumpy with the hatch open.
i wish all our neighbors were as considerate
i think i may need to find a few better place where there are no power boats
 

·
Super Fuzzy
Joined
·
17,132 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Reef Magnet ... what do you mean by two battery chargers ? I was under the impression that those small portable jobbies can be hooked up directly. Though surely some kind of regulator would be necessary.

So how do you connect it up ? Obviously the PG cannot be operated down below and a long cord would need to have a fair bit of grunt to allow for voltage drop. Hmmm .... there are a couple of 12v inputs in the cockpit. I've never figured out what they where for but is it likely that they are actually there for connecting to the generator ? If so, would it be just to run something 12v down below or would they connect to charging circuit ?

Not overly sure how I find out the answer but find it out we will .... Sherlock's fuzzier brother is on the case.
 

·
Living the dream
Joined
·
350 Posts
Reef Magnet ... what do you mean by two battery chargers ? I was under the impression that those small portable jobbies can be hooked up directly. Though surely some kind of regulator would be necessary.

So how do you connect it up ? Obviously the PG cannot be operated down below and a long cord would need to have a fair bit of grunt to allow for voltage drop. Hmmm .... there are a couple of 12v inputs in the cockpit. I've never figured out what they where for but is it likely that they are actually there for connecting to the generator ? If so, would it be just to run something 12v down below or would they connect to charging circuit ?

Not overly sure how I find out the anser but find it out we will .... Sherlock's fuzzier brother is on the case.
Hi TDW

As far as I can tell, no-one uses the 12 outlets on the genset to charge batteries. Firstly it's only 8 amps and secondly, and far more importantly, it's not regulated and can fry the batteries. In fact, when we purchased our boat, the 12 month old AGM's had been destroyed to the point of distorted cases with moulded gas bubble marks which I'm pretty sure were caused by the PO's using the unregulated DC output of their genset for charging.

What is done instead is to use a regular AC charger. I wanted to achieve as close to a 50A peak charge with the 10eu as I could. This is about the practical limit based on losses incurred in an AC charger as it transforms the AC supply into DC charging output. What I discovered was that the charger's with the best efficiency were also the ones with the biggest price tags. When it came to the brand that I wanted to use, the limit was 35A max based on the AC input requirements for the charger (i.e. it isn't as efficient as the $$$ chargers). Because I already had a cheap 20A Ebay sourced charger anyway, I figured that I'd go with a 25A unit and parallel it with the 20A. The advantages being that the two chargers would start separately and reduce surge on the genset, I'd always have an emergency spare and the price was right!

Now, the cheap charger is totally wrong for charging AGM's, however it can be disconnected once the charge curve drops below 25 amps, so it's function is simply to pump the extra amps in when the batteries are low and accepting high charge rates. Because we have reasonable solar, I usually stop charging once the charge current reduces below about 10A and let the solar take over from there.

One thing to note about the Honda generator is that it has an economy mode that throttles back if the maximum output is not required. In practical use I find this works very well and that fuel consumption between a light load and heavy load is reasonably proportional with the added bonus that genset runs noticeably quieter at lighter loads. This makes it excellent for battery charging, as the load will lighten on the genset once the charge rate decreases as the the batteries reach full charge.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,484 Posts
Sounds rather interesting. Wonder how easy is availability of the fuel cartridges ?

Any idea how much they are ?
You'd have to do some checking about the methanol availability.

A friend installed one of these a few years back, I think the price has come down some, but IIRC the unit was around $7K back then. He claims to be getting much better fuel economy than they say, and there is a ready source of the fuel cannisters here in Vancouver.

Clean install, the noisiest part of it is a rather quiet ventilation fan, steady 6A output when running silently, rain or shine, light or dark. There are models with higher outputs. They kick in and out as needed depending on how you set up the control panel. His is no larger than a serious portable sewing machine case.

Pricey but maybe not much more than a genset w/aftermarket install, much more than a carry around gas generator of course, but cleaner/quieter and more convenient. Probably on a par with initial cost of serious solar and support structures. However unlike solar (but like any genset) it does need continual feeding when it's running. The methanol cannisters around here are slightly smaller than a jerry can.

I think the price is dropping slowly on these as time goes by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,128 Posts
As I mentioned in your other thread, I have something around an 8K Mase. (still too lazy to go look up the exact size) Love it. A bit of a pain to maintain, as she sits in a locker in the center of the bilge, under the salon floor.

This the part that I really like. You could be standing on top of the genset hatch, while she is running, and you wouldn't have to raise your voice one decibel to talk. It lives in a locker with 2" sound insulation all around. When you sit in the cockpit, you literally can't hear it running at all, let alone from another boat. All you hear is water splash out the exhaust port.

We primarily use it to recharge the house and maintain hot water for showers. Since it's on for hot water anyway, I will often run the air con in our stateroom, to stay cool getting out of the shower and keep the onboard humidity down. Guest will take advantage to run a hair dryer occasionally and recharge electronics, but those typically happen when recharging the house or making hot water anyway.
 

·
Closet Powerboater
Joined
·
3,925 Posts
Fuzzy,

I have to admit that Faster's fuel cell link peaked my interest. Hydrovane (the self steering people) have one as well and it looks like a pretty good bit of kit. The fuel is proprietary (as they all seem to be) but it's in a dry form and you mix it with water to make a 5L batch of fuel. They claim this 5L silently turns into 300AH.

Depending on fuel cost and availability, I would not be above taking the chemicals to a lab, asking what's inside and buying the raw ingredients in bulk. They actually list the chemicals that are in the fuel, just not the recipe. They seem pretty harmless as well.

Hydromax 150 Fuel Cell - Hydrovane

MedSailor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
Hey Andrew,

We have experience with Mastervolt 3.5 Whisper and a Fisher Panda 4 or 5 (I forget now). Both were diesel generators.

The mastervolt was an absolute pain. I was ALWAYS working on that thing and parts were often ordered from overseas. The Fisher Panda, even for all their negativity, ran without issue, ever. It is my understanding that they have fixed their customer service issues, but others would know better like Mainsail I guess. A few positives of these types of generators are that with a water muffeler/exhaust they can run and are very quiet. They are also very, very fuel efficient and do not require you having to carry a bunch of gasoline as it can pull off of your main tanks. Lastly, they will probably be able to handle a lot more loads (esp important for those with air conditioners/heaters).

The big negative, and it is a big one, is the cost. I would guess you could drop 15k to have one installed after it was all said and done. Priced against those little Hondas (which are pretty quiet), that is hard to swallow. It is all about tradeoffs I guess.

Hope that helps.

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
993 Posts
Brian! Welcome back! How's the brain?

MedSailor
Hey there. Well, better and same. Don't fight constant headaches and PCS issues, but that is because I have learned what things set it off: TV, movies, anything with flashing lights, etc. Slowly moving back into some of the old previous life!

Thanks again for asking.

B
 

·
Old as Dirt!
Joined
·
3,491 Posts
We have had a 4.2KW Fischer-Panda, installed in 2002 that we have been very pleased with. It is more than sufficient to run our 16K BTU air conditioner while charging our 450 Amp Hr battery bank and our water heater. During the Summer months, while anchored out (in Southwest Florida), we need the Generator for 4-6 hours in the late afternoon but once the yacht has cooled down, we're quite comfortable without it. Some have complained about the Panda but many of the reported issues arise from inadequate or poor owner maintenance or improper installations. We've had a few problems but the fellows at Panda have been terrific in response.

FWIW...

PS: Brian! Great to hear from you again. We hope all is well/improving!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cruisingdad

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
6,187 Posts
If you don't have one would you like to ?

We have trouble keeping up with power out unless we take a fair bit of care. Even so, with a couple of fridges and a couple of computers our solar cells and wind genny struggle to keep up.

I'd only be seeking to use the thing for back up battery charging rather than having to use the main engine when at anchor.
I don't have one and it has always seems that people are posting generator problems. With that said I still wish I had one. A 3KW would be enough, but I would probably get a 5KW.

But why don't you just get a portable unit? I have a Hyundai 2200W unit that I paid $525 for (its a lot like the Honda).
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top