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Old 01-08-2014, 01:30 AM   #1
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How much do you run your genset in PNW?

I am still browsing through some trawler and sport fish sedans type of boats in PNW. I know that further south the energy demands are much more strenuous especially in the summer when we use our boats the most. In PNW, most if not all have the genset onboard. 4-9kW capacity mainly. Most are not in the sound protective shields though??? Although engine rooms are sound proofed to a degree, and gensets being quieter they still produce fair amount of noise when the boat is anchored or moored. So, being in a quiet anchorage with several other boats in the vicinity, do you use your generator throughout the day and shut it down only during night hours. Do your appliances (fridges mainly) run off batteries as well or only off the genset? How much can you run with your house batteries only? I noted that several boats have only the electric heat and stove/oven while fridges/freezers usually come in 12/110V combination. I guess the electric power consumption on an anchored/moored boat is pretty subjective topic but wanted to hear your varied opinions nevertheless.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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While I am currently down south I have boated with a Krogen 42 in both the PNW and the Northeast (Quebec, the Maritimes, and Maine). Genset use was fairly consistent dependent on whether we were moving or at anchor. At anchor 2 hours per day took care of refrigeration and all the house needs. We do not have electric cooking but have a water maker which draws plenty of power. On those occasions when we needed electric heat in the Northeast the genset was used substantially more. Our genset has a sound shield and a boat anchored near us would not be bothered. The sound was mostly that of the water exhaust. Still we tended to run the genset for an hour in the morning around 8 am and an hour in the evening around 6 pm. We have a 1300 amp battery bank and use two large chargers when we charge the batteries.

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:54 AM   #3
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We run our genset (12kW) quite a bit while underway, and for a couple of hours a day max when on the hook. I changed our stove from electric to propane, installed a diesel heater, and a new 6v house bank (6 batteries). On the hook, the fridge, lighting, potable water, and diesel heater are 12v, as well as a 1000w inverter for the TV and Internet router. With good management, we can go several days without the generator.

Our genset is in a sound shield, and it's noticeable in the cabin for sure, but nothing unbearable. Outside, the genset is whisper quiet.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
We run our genset (12kW) quite a bit while underway, and for a couple of hours a day max when on the hook. I changed our stove from electric to propane, installed a diesel heater, and a new 6v house bank (6 batteries). On the hook, the fridge, lighting, potable water, and diesel heater are 12v, as well as a 1000w inverter for the TV and Internet router. With good management, we can go several days without the generator.

Our genset is in a sound shield, and it's noticeable in the cabin for sure, but nothing unbearable. Outside, the genset is whisper quiet.
Thanks Peter,

This is my idea of cruising and enjoying the quiet places of PNW. I guess your fridge is the biggest consumer of them all. Cooking ,heating and entertainment gadgets are only few hours a day while the refrigerator is running almost all the time.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:04 AM   #5
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Very similar to Marty. When on the hook or at a remote dock with no power, typically an hour or less in the morning and then an hour early evening. Mornings include using the coffee maker and the water heater gets turned on during the evening running for morning showers. 960 amp-hour house bank. Our 8KW Onan is in a sound shield and our exhaust seems to be one of the quieter ones around. Still, we try to be a good neighbor and run it as little as possible in the tranquil locations.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:18 AM   #6
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The generator is on less than 2 hours per day. We have 1100 amp house capacity, Trojan T-105s. The refrigeration and freezer are on separate 12VDC Danfoss compressors. We have left the boat for 5 days for land travel so the only thing on was the fridge/freezer and bilge pumps and used less than 50% of the capacity. Propane for cooking and excluding the water-maker, microwave, hot water heater and charger we're pretty much a 12 VDC boat.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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We run our generator for a few hours a day while on the hook. In the early morning, and in the evening. These times coinside with food prep times since we have an electric stove.

We are frar enough north and the water is cold enough that except during the very warm month of July we generally have one of the furnaces on all the time. This helps deplete our batteries.(among other things)

I have no problem admitting my boat is a power hog. For example just one of our Furuno displays draws 8 amps DC all the time. Then there's the inverter which runs the satcom pod, and the list goes on and on. I also have no problem running my generator.

If you were at anchor in the same bay as us, you'd probably not even hear our generator. It is extremely quiet. If I run it at the dock bow pointed in, you cannot hear it from the fairway.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:33 AM   #8
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We cook with electric. At anchor we also like the run our 12 KW gen during morning and evening food prep time. This will usually total 2 to 3 hours per day. We do our water heating, and sometimes run the heat or A/C during that time. I like to keep the gen loaded. The gen is in a hush box with a water lift muffler, and is not obtrusive inside or outside the boat. Without electric cooking we can go a couple of days with no gen time. The gen makes life aboard almost luxurious.

We try to keep the SOC meter in the 70% and above range. While travelling the two alternators do a good job of keeping the charge up.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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When we bought our boat one of the things we had installed was a generator exhaust water separator. It separates the cooling water from the exhaust and discharges the water beneath the boat through a thru-hull. Much of the noise from a genny is the gurgling of the water that is discharged overboard.

We have a 15KW genny and when it's running you can barely hear the low hum of the exhaust that is discharged.

We use the genny a LOT. Where we live it's hot in the summer (90*+ much of the time) and when we're out we use the genny to run the A/C units. Same thing this time of year--we use it for the heaters.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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When we bought our boat one of the things we had installed was a generator exhaust water separator. It separates the cooling water from the exhaust and discharges the water beneath the boat through a thru-hull. Much of the noise from a genny is the gurgling of the water that is discharged overboard. We have a 15KW genny and when it's running you can barely hear the low hum of the exhaust that is discharged. We use the genny a LOT. Where we live it's hot in the summer (90*+ much of the time) and when we're out we use the genny to run the A/C units. Same thing this time of year--we use it for the heaters.
We also have the the same setup with our 12kw. We also use the generator ALL the time anywhere we go.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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Same here!!

The boat is all electric and no AC needed in our cruise area. We only run the generator a couple hours per day when away from the dock. Don't need the generator while cruising, unless we need the stove, coffee maker or when teenage girls are on board (hair driers, curling irons, need I say more?) the twin 80 amp alternators handle the rest.

The boats engine room is insulated and the 7.5 kw generator is in an insulated sound shield case. You feel a slight vibration more than hear it running. The exhaust is very quiet and has never been a problem in any anchorage.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #12
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Hi Brico,

Yeah, you're correct. This is a very subjective subject. Every boat, every user, and every cruise can and will result in a different usage pattern for on-board AC generators.

For what it's worth, my boat uses AC power for the stove, electric baseboard heat, the hot water heater when not underway, an 80-amp Mastervolt "smart" charger, a 12VDC/110VAC refrigerator, and the various 110VAC outlets throughout the boat. It is also equipped with an 1100W inverter, a 1060AH DC house bank, diesel forced air heat, etc. etc. It's a very typical mid-80's electrical installation on a fairly complex motoryacht.

When underway, all 110VAC loads are provided via the inverter, unless we choose to use any appliance (stove, hair dryers, toaster, etc.) that exceeds the inverter steady-state capacity. Two 160-amp DC alternators on the main engines, each providing input to the house bank only, tops up the bank within a couple of hours.

When at anchor, typical run time for my 12KW AC generator (in a sound shield) is 2 hours in the AM to prep for breakfast, top off hot water for showers, run hair dryer, toaster, etc. Then again at night, 2 hours to prep for dinner. Rest of the time, the battery bank easily handles the house loads. I have never run the AC generator overnight, nor certainly 24/7 for any reason. But obviously, in the PNW I don't require air conditioning for comfort.

Noise is not obtrusive, but annoying aboard. And almost non-existent outside the boat, unless you are rafted alongside a fellow boater. It's on my "wish list" to upgrade the exhaust to an exhaust/water separator, but for now there is a noticeable "splashing" overboard from the exhaust. No one has complained, but it bugs me. Again, for what it's worth, the generator has accumulated ~1400 operating hours in 29 years of use.

Hope this helps.

Pete
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:38 PM   #13
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I don't consider a generator a requirement (at least in our case). We don't have one. A previous owner removed it. But we do have about 1500 amp hours of batteries. Our power needs are low. Propane stove and all LED lighting. The fridges are the biggest draw. And we listed to the stereo a bit. No TV. Diesel heat with an electric fan. Some charging of electronic devices. We can go about four days on the batteries, but rarely stay anywhere that long.

Of course if we had a generator, we would likely have a different approach.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:58 PM   #14
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Then comes along old Uncle Al, He runs a 2000 Watt Honda mounted in a old white cooler with end cut out for exhaust. The cooler sits on rubber padding to insulate from being heard quit so loud in the cabin. Now folks, around here, we local folk, wandering into a favorite anchorage and view visiting boat (singular) at once say, "Damn, the place is crowded!" and if enough light remains, move to another "Hideie Hole". We run our little gen set during the evening dark till 'Beddy By' time. We shut our frige off with the Gen set as the frige will hold cool (No freezer-it has one but not worth our effort to deal with its use) till morning when we will run during first coffee and 'Brecky' and the frig is turned back on.
If, we are in a situation where there are visiting boats, we try to be good neighbors and co-ordinate with the visitors gen sets use.

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Old 01-15-2014, 01:59 AM   #15
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From Memorial Day through early October 2013 we ran our 1800 Ryobi maybe 3 hours total. Much of that was to clean up using my little shop vac from time to time. I have gone propane for cooking, grilling and a propane coffee maker. We have a large 5 gallon sun shower which also provides hot water for dishes. We use an icebox instead of fridge. Our two 6v and xantrex inverter power a table lamp, stereo with rechargeable battery and led table lamp, as well as charge phones and tablet. We can go 4 nites easy without a charge. I realize it it is not for everyone, but wifey is happy enough and it sets a low maintenance example for our toddler daughter going forward.
Al, if you could, can you send me a picture of your cooler set up for the Honda?
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:24 AM   #16
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Is the Kipor gas "suitcase" generator sold in the US? It is here, I heard, right or wrong, it was so accurate a copy of the Honda there were issues over distribution.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
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Bruce, Will, however at the moment it is here at home acting as our winter backup which ironically was the case yesterday after a surprise winter storm with 60 knot winds. Blew trees down on to the hydro electrical system. Annual occurrence so the little gen set does double duty. Not in the box here at home. but will place your name on my note pad and attempt to pass on to you.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:59 AM   #18
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I don't consider a generator a requirement (at least in our case). We don't have one. ... Our power needs are low. Propane stove and all LED lighting. The fridges are the biggest draw. .. We can go about four days on the batteries, but rarely stay anywhere that long.
We're similar, but like to move on after two nights at anchor as we don't like to go below 60-percent charge, and recharge by running main propulsion toward a new destination.



Leaving Ayala Cove after two night's moorage.

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Old 01-16-2014, 03:19 PM   #19
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I am in the process of switching lights and looking at my electrical system for long term cruising. My genny, once it warms up, you can hardly hear it if at all. The exhaust is routed to the main engine exhuast on the port side and then flows out the back of the boat. You can't hear standing 50ft behind the boat.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:06 PM   #20
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We're extremely efficient and low key regarding our electric (both DC and AC) and fuel energy use on board... a holdover from my mid 20th Century New England boating decades - LOL.

Our house bank consists of four (4) G31 deep cell wet-batts in parallel; about 440 ah. I try to not ever let it get more than 50% depleted before charged back to 100% (I usually recharge at 40% +/- depletion).

We run our 7.5 Kohler 1 hr +/- in morn for batt charge, coffee, micro, water heater, fridge, and computer/cell-phone charge. Same at night for similar use and electric stove/oven if desired (I propane BBQ a lot!). This energy use and replace program allows us to remain on hook for as long as we like with power to spare. I do not run gen set while underway.

We have no inverter; and, I don't plan to! Use computer for evening movies and wall mounted radio during days. If house bank batt power gets used beyond our normal ah draw then gen set may need to run a little longer in morn or eve. It is quiet both in and out of boat. For fridge during day and night hours we always keep a small (5" x 5" x 12") plastic container under its freezer filled with ice. AC power twice per day and the ice (that lasts for a couple days) it is sufficient to get us through even the hottest summer weeks; during winter ice in tray lasts several days to a week. Cause we boat in temperate climate of SF CA's fresh water Delta air conditioning is not needed and even winter months are not too cold so heating requirements are not too severe.

A really neat heat source we at times utilize when out and about in colder weather is the “Heat Mate” Heat Mate Portable Alcohol Fuel Heater Stove Emergency Indoor Cooking Heating RV | eBay My family used this btu adjustable heater aboard boat during the 1950’s, 60’s 70’s in New England. Today’s design seems exactly the same as back then. It’s safe, easy to use, and has never failed me. As well you can even cook or heat water on it if desired (not that I ever have).

Happy Boating Daze!! – Art
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