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Old 03-28-2018, 11:07 AM   #1
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City: Olympia WA
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Whispergen?

I'm looking at a used trawler that uses an older 12v Whispergen system for power and heat. I'd never hear of this before and now know that the company went out of business in about 2008 and that service and parts may be sparse. What do you know about these things? I think this may be the weakest link of this boat. I'm sure that replacement generator and furnace would be expensive. Thanks for any input you might have.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:52 AM   #2
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I looked up Whispergen. It uses a Stirling cycle engine to drive a 12V alternator. The rejected heat- and there is a lot of that in a Stirling, is used to heat water for heating which is circulated to fan units throughout the boat.

I am sure that most of the Stirling engine's components are custom built and given that the company is out of business, the odds of finding replacements are minimal. Also when heat is not needed in the summer months it is a very inefficient DC generator.

I would consider it to have negative value in any boat- It will cost money to remove and replacement will require a new generator and heating system as you note.

David
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:13 AM   #3
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The good news is you can decide weather a 12V or 120V V noisemaker would work best for your style cruising..

And decide on weather a full dead winter heating setup or an above freezing setup will work best.
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:39 AM   #4
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Waterford

Can only but agree with David Marchand. I'd add if you're headed into Northern BC or AK, you'll want reliable and common heating and generating capability.

I note you are in PNW. Not knowing your cruising plans and vessel I can only but guess at your future needs. If you really like the boat ask your favorite installer for an approximate install cost of a hydronic diesel furnace setup. If the "existing" radiators and coolant piping are in good shape that is a plus.

It doesn't seem that your genset needs would be to great. Get a price on this too. Maybe a 3 kW but that is easily calculated from current and planned future loads

I'd say you're looking at a minimum $20,000 all in. if you're really handy and have the time, less. Be insistent in your negotiations, there are many nice vessels to choose from in your area.
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Old 03-30-2018, 10:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for your comments. My own research makes me think that this is a show-stopper. It just doesn't seem worth the time or money to make things right on this boat.
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Old 03-31-2018, 06:52 AM   #6
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"It just doesn't seem worth the time or money to make things right on this boat."

Every used boat is well, a used boat.

It may not be realistic to attempt to deduct from the sales price a new bestitis systems.

Even if the boat was fitted with what ever you think right , it will be well used , perhaps maintained ,perhaps not, and due for replacement in time.
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