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Old 05-19-2016, 11:58 AM   #41
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We stopped the genny when we didn't need it for the loads anymore, but that typically co-incided with the batteries being at least at 90%. When we were living on a mooring, and/or anchoring out all the time, I had an automatic generator start as part of my Magnum system, which was adjustable as to when it "cut in" and set cut out (easily adjustable and over-rideable) at about 2 hours. It was triggered by the charge level of the inverter bank. The newer ones are much more sophisticated and can be set acccording to all sorts of parameters, such as true state of charge from the battery monitor, and incorporate warm up and cool down cycles and attendant load shedding capabilities.

Have to admit that battery charging was not our top of mind reason for using the generator, other than if for some reason we had discharged the inverter bank prematurely, thus the AGS. I think the daily exercise played a big role in the thing being so long lived.
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:49 PM   #42
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As I am still learning my boat, I use the generator in the morning until the battery monitor shows "float" charging, and the same in the evening. I have 6 6v golf cart batteries in my house bank. Am I charging too long each time? Do the rest of you get to the "float" stage of charging before shutting down the genny?

Probably depends on how much your batteries had been discharged each time, and then also on how your charger works (or is programmed).

The absorption charge on our charger is set for 4 hours, so usually the switchover to float would take far longer than we run the genset.

And then there's the part about how many simultaneous days we'll be away from the dock... If we're out for a couple weeks, one or two hours per morning and per evening has been fine. That doesn't usually mean waiting until float (on the charger) happens.

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Old 05-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #43
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Boy, it's interesting to read this thread. We spent two years with our Carver, never ran the generator (other than once in a while to make sure it still ran). On the Mainship now, the gen wouldn't start when we took ownership (dead battery). We figured we'd worry about it later and motored about 350 miles over about 16 days and never missed it. Well, we did marina hop every night, so that's why we didn't miss it much I suppose. When we had the boat pulled for shipping we had the marina replace the gen battery and tune it up, runs great -- but last summer and so far this summer, we've never used it at all. I suppose if we got used to using the microwave on the hook, or A/C, or watching TV or using the stove while anchored out we'd want to fire it up more often, but some previous posters are right, ours might be dead from lack of use and we wouldn't even know it.
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Old 05-19-2016, 05:51 PM   #44
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If we don't have A/C at anchor we don't stay out - it is just stifling otherwise.
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:33 PM   #45
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If we don't have A/C at anchor we don't stay out - it is just stifling otherwise.
At 90 degrees and 100% humidity I bet all would be running there gen, even with a 10 knot breeze it is just a convection oven.
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:42 PM   #46
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They've always been called a "noise maker" so I assume that's what they're used for. I've heard a few so that could be conformation of same.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:04 PM   #47
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They've always been called a "noise maker" so I assume that's what they're used for. I've heard a few so that could be conformation of same.
Called noise makers by sailboat owners who don't have them...lol

Today's generators with sound shields don't make much noise at all.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:11 PM   #48
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I've never heard the term "noise maker." Maybe the little gas Hondas that some folks throw on their swim platforms, that sing out to the red neck sand bar.

We have a 16KW Northern Lights that runs on the same level of the boat as us but, frankly, the A/C motor and fan more than covers the noise.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:17 PM   #49
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As a former sailor, I have been annoyed by generators running in an otherwise quiet anchorage. However, the newer installations are amazingly quiet.
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:42 PM   #50
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As a former sailor, I have been annoyed by generators running in an otherwise quiet anchorage. However, the newer installations are amazingly quiet.

They're just as loud as you remember them only now you don't notice the noise over the sound of ice clanging in your glass.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:24 AM   #51
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"Called noise makers by sailboat owners who don't have them...lol

Today's generators with sound shields don't make much noise at all."

Most are quiet INSIDE the boat running it , but seldom are quiet OUTSIDE .

An exhaust can be made really quiet with a proper sized water lift muffler setup.

Most use undersized (cheaper to buy) water lifts to get it quiet aboard , with little concern for the anchorage.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:31 AM   #52
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Having anchored hundreds of nights, and been on a mooring a couple hundred more over a period of 6 years or so, in both large crowded anchorages/ mooring fields and small, the only generators found noisy from other boats were the outdoor Honda type and some brands of windmills. Halyards and bad music were the more common noise pollution. Some of you guys need to get "out there" more.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:13 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Having anchored hundreds of nights, and been on a mooring a couple hundred more over a period of 6 years or so, in both large crowded anchorages/ mooring fields and small, the only generators found noisy from other boats were the outdoor Honda type and some brands of windmills. Halyards and bad music were the more common noise pollution. Some of you guys need to get "out there" more.
Amen.

FF writes that most are noisy and most have this and that. Well, I don't know where he's encountering his "most", but I sure know it's not true in our area and not true for us. Far more noise from other things. 100' from our boat and you don't hear anything and if you're closer than 100', then you're too close. Then the loudest noise we've encountered is those returning at 2 AM by dinghy from a bar, loud and obnoxious. We could have complained but we just ignored.

As to Halyards and bad music and windmills and other noises, they're at marinas too. Oh and then the fishermen getting up, preparing and leaving at 5 AM. They need to get out to the fishing holes early. Could they be quieter and more considerate than some are, of course. But I don't go boating to complain. It's part of life.

If one wants or expects complete silence, then they better get far away from civilization and the animal kingdom as well. I wonder if they complain about their neighbor's air conditioners on land or about the cars starting and running.
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Old 08-14-2016, 10:14 PM   #54
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Batteries and Charging

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I operate similar to kchace. I typically operate between 60-85% after day one with 2-3 hrs of gen time. It's faster to charge from 60-85% SOC than from 70-95%. I can't heat water (1300W) at the same time, either. Also, my Keurig is a high draw item for the first minute while it heats the water (1500W) so it gets solo gen time also. On shore power, it's the 30A dance...on my Honda generator, it's a 13A dance.

My previous fridge and the Nova Kool I have on order both operate 12V/120V and they switch automatically to 120V when it's present and back to 12V when the 120V source stops. You may not need to turn off the 12V CB when running the gen. What type of fridge do you have?

I also have a Californian 34, with 2 8D House/Starting Batteries and a Nova Kool fridge.

If I am off the dock for several days, I am unable to maintain 100 charge with the original 20 amp charger and the generator running 2 hours a day.

The generator has lots of reserve capacity - I am thinking of going to a 40 amp charger. Any suggestions on the size of charger I should install?

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Old 08-15-2016, 12:17 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Having anchored hundreds of nights, and been on a mooring a couple hundred more over a period of 6 years or so, in both large crowded anchorages/ mooring fields and small, the only generators found noisy from other boats were the outdoor Honda type and some brands of windmills. Halyards and bad music were the more common noise pollution. Some of you guys need to get "out there" more.
+1 ^
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:31 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by FF View Post
"Called noise makers by sailboat owners who don't have them...lol

Today's generators with sound shields don't make much noise at all."

Most are quiet INSIDE the boat running it , but seldom are quiet OUTSIDE .

An exhaust can be made really quiet with a proper sized water lift muffler setup.

Most use undersized (cheaper to buy) water lifts to get it quiet aboard , with little concern for the anchorage.
How do you figure most are under sized?

Most, if not all, come with mufflers that have inlets and outlets that match the ID size of the exhaust hose coming off the genset.

Do you see a wide range in the physical size of the muffler bodies offered here based on the same size of the inlet/outlet exhaust hose connections: Centek Industries - Products

It's not like you can get a significantly larger muffler with the same size inlet/outlet fittings on them.
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Old 08-15-2016, 03:22 AM   #57
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Pretty disgusted at what I see as inefficiency in gensets.
I have a 7kva genset which according to online calculators churns out 290 amps at 24v.
I have a 5000va inverter/120amp charger so it wont take all the amps.

What are you supposed to do with the extra juice?
Looking forward to having my 2250 watts of solar hooked up by weeks end, THAT will be efficiency as no diesel being wasted generating something I can not use.

I was impressed that with 8 x 220ah 12v batteries and the above mentioned inverter that I could run a 500 liter 2 door samsung fridge/freezer, watercooler and icemaker plus a second bar fridge (for the hell of it) and all pumps, lights tv, radios etc and the battery bank dropped close to 10%/day.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:37 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Starwatch View Post
I also have a Californian 34, with 2 8D House/Starting Batteries and a Nova Kool fridge.

If I am off the dock for several days, I am unable to maintain 100 charge with the original 20 amp charger and the generator running 2 hours a day.

The generator has lots of reserve capacity - I am thinking of going to a 40 amp charger. Any suggestions on the size of charger I should install?

jimk
Do you have an inverter? Better inverters have a built in battery charger that switches from charger to inverter when either the generator or shore power is disconnected. Units like the Magnum Energy have programmable chargers that allow you to set the charge rate (amps) based on the size of your battery bank. Mine will do up to 125 amps. The actual maximum charge rate will vary based on the battery amp capacity (not CCA [Cold Cranking AMPS]) and whether its lead acid or some form of maintenance free battery. Checking the battery manufacturer's website should give you their maximum recommended charge rate.

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Old 08-15-2016, 05:37 AM   #59
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"100' from our boat and you don't hear anything and if you're closer than 100', then you're too close."

New England anchorages may be an eye opener for you, as will many in the Bahamas.
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:52 AM   #60
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JimK

The cost benefit of buying a larger charger depends on the amount of time you spend at anchor. If it is just a few days a year buy a small, perhaps 40 amp charger and run the generator for a few hours.

If you spend substantial time at anchor consider a combination charger inverter which will provide a 100 or 125 amp charger. This plus you current 20 amp charger will top up the batteries quickly.

Stand alone chargers greater than 40 or 60 amps become expensive.
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