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Old 03-21-2015, 07:02 AM   #81
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Northern Lights only 540 hours 2002 model 8 KW

Our gen set is used very little because of our solar power. But when needed we want it to work. I was surprised when the generator no longer worked and discovered the winding had a shorted circuit due to corrosion from age. Several places in Florida gave estimates of $4-5 K to replace the winding, and related parts. This would be after I removed the 300 pound + unit and shipped it to them. The offers were they would get my old unit armature and coils, replacing them with a rebuilt rewound coil and armature. I would be responsible for new bearings and the labor to remove and replace. A local mechanic was hired to remove and replace the unit at $400. shipping to re builder $350. one way. The re builder Dreisilker Electric Motors Carrollton, GA, 30117 - YP.com
Rewound the armature and field coils, replaced the bearings and shipped the unit back to me in 3 weeks downtime. Cost $1200.
Now 6 months later the set runs good with ample power for two 16K AC and other loads we have. HTH
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #82
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Next Gen

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I guess we have the smallest generator on this thread so far... NextGen 3.5kW. Starts/runs like a champ, low rpm, very compact, can only hear the gurgle of exhaust when running on the outside. Not too loud inside the boat, but we don't have a full sound enclosure. Just the sides and top. But I never worry about it running too hot in the ER. Meets 90% of our needs, but sometimes wish we had the 5kW NextGen.
I installed same 3.5 KW gen set in my Helmsman 38 PH. I only have 15 hours on it, but it seems to be a great unit. Provides equivalent of 30 Amp shore power, and that is plenty for me. Main reason I wanted it was so I could run electric hot water heater without having to run my Cummins QSB 5.9 380HP when at anchor. I don't have an enclosure on it, and it is in my main cabin lazarette. Reasonably quiet. I measured 60 dBA while sitting right on top of it. So far I am very pleased with it.
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Old 01-03-2016, 08:16 PM   #83
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I generally get my gen ends redone here for about $500. Thats for a 15kw unit. Cooked out rewound, rewired, totally redone like new. No bearings or brushes (if it has brushes) or exciter rewind, just rotor and stator. I take it off, take it to them and pick it up, then reinstall. While the set is out I completely redo the entire thing, all new hoses, rebuild raw water pump, clean entire cooling system both engine side and exhaust, fix any issues it may have had or that I find, completely strip/derust the unit, prime with 2 part epoxy, repaint with 2 part polyurethane. I usually have about $2000 in it when done.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:05 PM   #84
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Even though I had an old Onan on a prior boat, and it gave me a lot of trouble (more than one guy told me that mechanics called them "Oh-No's"), I replaced it with another Onan -- an EQD, and for my current boat I spec'd two EQDs. Have never had a problem (even though one is always running when I don't have shore power), and they are so quiet they are literally hard to hear and have zero visible exhaust. And they are served by Cummins (which I have for mains).
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:06 AM   #85
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1977 7.5 kw gasoline Kohler... sweet baby!
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:37 AM   #86
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Everything you ever wanted to know about marine generators

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload...7-jan-2008.pdf
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #87
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The big key to long diesel generator life, beyond regular maintenance, is to use them.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:42 AM   #88
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I've noticed my 3 cyl westerbeke is getting harder to start and I'm smelling a little blow by oil smoke . Probably getting time for compression test ?
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:35 PM   #89
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I've noticed my 3 cyl westerbeke is getting harder to start and I'm smelling a little blow by oil smoke . Probably getting time for compression test ?
Those 8BTD and 8WMD had gear reduction starters that barely spun them over fast enough to fire even with a good healthy engine. Make sure your battery and cables are in good shape. Slow crank speed is a common cause for hard start.

Blowby can be checked by hand by pulling off the little tube that goes from rocker cover to intake. Pull it off and if flow is just "wafting out" then rings are sealing fine. If it is blowing hard, then rings are not good.

You should not smell the blowby, it should all be going into intake.
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Old 01-04-2016, 05:01 PM   #90
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Thanks Ski, I'll check out the blow by . The water is up too high right now and docks are closed. I'm actually getting a burnt motor oil smell out the exhaust like driving behind a car burning oil . Not a diesel smell but motor oil smell .Oil level does not show burning any oil .
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:28 AM   #91
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Probably getting time for compression test ?

Might clear up if it ran a good while at heavy load.

More frequent oil changes also help unused or too lightly loaded units.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:02 AM   #92
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Probably getting time for compression test ?

Might clear up if it ran a good while at heavy load.

More frequent oil changes also help unused or too lightly loaded units.
Never thought of that . It doesn't have much of a load at all . If I didn't use my roof top unit in the summer I could do without the generator all together .
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:17 AM   #93
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Hair dryers and space heaters are a great way to load up a gennie. Around 1.5kW each, and cheap to buy.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:50 AM   #94
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Bay Pelican has a 8kw Westerbeke. We use two chargers (235 amps) and the water heater 750 watts to load her once a day during season. So far so good.
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:58 PM   #95
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I'm with Art (#43 & 85) - '76 Kohler 6.5 - dare I say it? Gas. Ultra reliable, starts instantly, quiet, very little voltage drrop with load, runs everything on the boat with no strain. 1200 original hours, replaced the water pump due to small shaft leak a year or so ago. Plenty of parts still around. Reminds me that I need to run it - doesn't get used often except when we lose dirt house power during storms and evacuate to the boat and the AC.
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Old 01-07-2016, 09:24 PM   #96
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I'm with Art (#43 & 85) - '76 Kohler 6.5 - dare I say it? Gas. Ultra reliable, starts instantly, quiet, very little voltage drrop with load, runs everything on the boat with no strain. 1200 original hours, replaced the water pump due to small shaft leak a year or so ago. Plenty of parts still around. Reminds me that I need to run it - doesn't get used often except when we lose dirt house power during storms and evacuate to the boat and the AC.

sbu22 - Nice to hear success story from another gasser who also squarely faces TF's diesel brigade!

I calc we gasoline drinking Captains are out numbered by maybe more than 10x on TF. That's perfectly OK with me!

There are many pros and cons for diesel or gas propulsion in boats. I like em both.
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:39 AM   #97
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Caltexflanc and Ski in N.C.:

I run (and own) a generator service shop and all I can say is "Hell Yes" to your advice to run the generator. It's almost "use it or lose it". We recommend a minimum of two hours at half load once per month. (two hours continuous, not half an hour four times) More is better.

The more you run it, the better it runs. Make it work. Get it hot - that dries out the windings, drives the moisture out of the lube oil, and puts some fresh fuel through the filter.

Keep the faith!

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Old 01-08-2016, 10:28 AM   #98
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back to FF and Art (# 70 & 71) - I use several Honda eu6500 gensets in my business. These work in industrial environments and are mostly running at max output. It is sometimes necessary to locate/operate them in more or less confined spaces (no, NOT OSHA confined spaces) that I think are very comparable if not more challenging environs than my engine room - close proximity to very hot vessels and piping, outdoors, lots of steam, etc. We have again and again cooled them with judicious use of a Kmart box fan or two , flex duct, and duct tape.

If my Kohler ever goes south, I will be replacing it with a Honda. 275#, 6.5 kw, $3500 NIB. I envision placing it in a box (the current Kohler is freestanding in the ER - not enough noise to warrant soundproofing - the Honda is amazingly quiet) with push/pull fans interlocked with the ON/OFF. Not sure I see the need to "marinize" anything.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:51 AM   #99
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SBU:

Actually, I agree with you. While I've never put one on a boat, I have a ton of customers using those portable Honda inverter-type generators on RVs, mobile food concession trucks and two on mobile dot-and-cat grooming trucks (seriously! I'm not making this up. There really are people in Boston who will pay for a professional to come to their home to give their pets haircuts and shampoo them.)

One advantage to the Honda idea is that if it ever gives you trouble, you just yank 'er out and drop it off at your friendly neighborhood generator shop. In extreme cases, just drop it over the side and get another one.

Cheers!

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Old 01-08-2016, 11:07 AM   #100
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A buddy had a Honda 2000, I think that was the rating, used it on a huge pontoon boat to do local cruises and run chargers, stereos, blenders, lights, etc. One day some knucklehead crew slipped while moving it around and it went overboard and submerged. He was able to snatch it right out with a line that was around the handle so it was only under water for a matter of seconds. They soaked it with wd40, let it dry a bit in the sun, and it cranked right up. They ran the thing for another couple of years, then I think someone stole it.

Nice little machines, those Hondas. In fact I can't think of any turds Honda has made regarding gasoline engines. Their stuff just plain works.
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