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Old 07-31-2014, 12:55 PM   #21
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If you are going to be cruising far afield, then getting one of the big brands (Onan, Kohler, NL, Westerbeke) makes a lot of sense. If not, and you have a local dealer, then one of the value brands such as NorPro or Phasor, both of whom have many happy customers, are worth looking at. I wouldn't be so down on Kohler, as someone said no brand is going to do well without fluids.

Western Branch in Portsmouth is a Westerbeke dealer; you might start your search with them. I have had good experience with them here in NC since they took over from Covington and have heard good things about them from other Detroit Diesel owners up in VA. I can get you a number for a Kohler rep here in the area who I've known since his many years at Hatteras and Jarrett Bay, may be the kind of guy who can cut you a deal and advise on the value of your old set.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:12 PM   #22
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That Kohler is a Yanmar 3TN engine. Should be completely fixable for a couple $k.

If you replace it, probably can go with a 5kW. Buying tips: 3cyl, 1800rpm, no computer. Norpro, Phasor, Westerbeke, N lights fit the bill. Onan, Kohler have computers.
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Old 07-31-2014, 04:59 PM   #23
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I was lucky to be able to use a local Marine Generator dealer to recondition my old Northern Lights 4.5 KW. I was three weeks doing that job, and from what I saw come in that dealer, I doubt that I'd trade my Northern Lights for any of those other brands. The Marathon windings are a work of art in comparison to the others I saw there. They told me they rarely see a Northern Lights, Westerbeke once in a while, but really make their money off Kohler, Onan and a host of other off brands.
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:16 PM   #24
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Is there a way of replacing just the engine component? Seems to me that the actual generator end should be fine. Cummins makes small diesels for generators. Talk to a Cummins dealer, there's one in Kent Island, MD. The placement issue must be dealt with, unless there is a way to remote the fluid accesses. Howard
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
really make their money off Kohler, Onan
A lot of that of that is due to the installed base being much higher.

BTW, NorPro would be considered an "off brand" and has used Marathon ends over the years. Marathon is not exclusive to NL.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:27 PM   #26
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Northern Lights are now using Marathon gen-ends? I thought they used Taiyo.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:39 PM   #27
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Thanks to all for your suggestions. What a great forum for a new owner!!!
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:57 PM   #28
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Northern Lights are now using Marathon gen-ends? I thought they used Taiyo.
They were.

Can't say for sure all models but NL is now marathons biggest customer.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:48 PM   #29
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But, tho previous owner knew what was going on so I'd suggest a thorough servicing and trouble shooting of the engines and related cooling systems to get the vessel to perfect go forward status.

Great advice in this thread but the above is a nugget of pure wisdom. Search the forum for a thread started by username Bligh. He recently purchased a Nordic Tug that surveyed great. That thread is a true clinic on how to go through a new to you boat.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:18 PM   #30
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I have had a Westerbeke, Onan, and Northern lights.
NL hands down, you get what you pay for. It's easy and simple to maintain and are bullet proof and require no Zincs.
Just my POV
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:51 PM   #31
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I am a Westerbeke 7.7 KW owner. It's a good running unit. But, Westerbeke is really close to the vest about who supplies their engines. They would like you to believe they build them but they don't. Some are Perkins, I guess mine is a Mitsubishi, but don't know for sure. Parts are very available but priced like they are made of gold. I needed a circulation water pump ( antifreeze ) a year or so and the price was way beyond reasonable. It was available though. I tried finding an agriculture or small equipment Mitsubishi replacement. And eventually decided my time and risk that it wouldn't fir were worse than the cost. About $400 if I recall. I chose my time over my money after a fair amount of research. It turns out the little 3 cal Mitsu is a common engine in a number of compact tractors, refer nuts, and the like. I would think you could replace your Yanmar with something from the commercial market for not a whole lot of $$$
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:02 AM   #32
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Since the cost of a new genny is just part of the pie

I think I would replace the engine on this one and not have to go through the complete removal and rigging of a different unit. 280 hrs is nothing on the rest of the unit.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:13 AM   #33
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I think we'll use it quite a bit since we plan on "gunk holing" the majority of the time cruising the Bay and the ICW.

The question is hardly if you will anchor out, it is how large your power requirements actually are.

Regardless of the noisemaker, install a SOC meter first.

If you cook with propane , switch to LED lighting and use HW from an engine loop , your power requirements will be quite low,ONLY IF you bight the bullet and get a really modern 12v reefer setup.

Only time the little Honda would have a problem is it can only operate one air cond at a time.

I would borrow one and go cruise for a week.
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:58 PM   #34
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I think I would replace the engine on this one and not have to go through the complete removal and rigging of a different unit. 280 hrs is nothing on the rest of the unit.

That probably the most reasonable idea!
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:20 AM   #35
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If the engine is a Yanmar (or Kubota) take the engine off the gen head and go to the local big truck reefer shop.

They rebuild the units , and also sell good running takeouts.

3 running engines for a grand or so might solve your requirements for quite a while.
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