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Old 07-31-2014, 06:41 AM   #1
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New Genset suggestions

We unfortunately have to replace our Kohler 8 kw generator (285 hours) due to head gasket, warped head, scorched pistons ,etc after the oil sample only told us 1% glycol and minor water in it before we purchased the boat two weeks ago. There was no coolant in it at all! Where it was mounted in our Mainship 400 it was impossible to check fluid levels without dismantling nearly half the aft section of the boat.
I'd appreciate any suggestions for replacement makes since Kohler has fallen from my graces of late. I spoke with a broker yesterday that has had the same symptoms with the last two boats he surveyed.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:59 AM   #2
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Westerbeke seems a quality product for it's price.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:29 AM   #3
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The gold standard is Northern Lights isn't it?
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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because the price you pay for them?...

I'm curious why people think they are so much better than sets like Westerbeke that run for 20-30 years/10,000+ hours without major issues or even that many minor ones.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:41 AM   #5
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I am a Northern Lights fan also. What ever you get make sure you have good access to all the service points and fluids. Might need to relocate it or something to make sure you can access everything. Sorry this happened to you so early into your new boat.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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We have the Westerbeke now and it works well. I have had few problems with her but have got them resolved. We had the NL on the previous boat and were pleased also. No issue with either one of them.
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
because the price you pay for them?...

I'm curious why people think they are so much better than sets like Westerbeke that run for 20-30 years/10,000+ hours without major issues or even that many minor ones.
Uggg......I have a westerbeke...great generator...
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:55 AM   #8
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Salvage

We're in Norfolk. Is there any salvage value to the Kohler with 285 hours??
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:13 AM   #9
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How much do you think you'll use a generator and for what? Maybe try a Honda 2000 to see if you really need one. Spending $14K, plus sound shield, plus installation, is a lot of boat units. I'm sure you've given some thought on a replacement model and where it's service points are. The Northern Lights are all on one side as I believe the Westerbeke's are also.

We're a Northern Lights fan having owned 2. Their reliability, dealer network and parts availability, in areas that we have cruised, has been a big plus.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:16 AM   #10
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Generator use

Larry,
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.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:31 AM   #11
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Larry,
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.
So much for that idea then. Ask around your home marina for who has the best service and reputation for any of the major 1800 rpm generators. It may make life simpler down the road.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwalz View Post
We unfortunately have to replace our Kohler 8 kw generator (285 hours) due to head gasket, warped head, scorched pistons ,etc after the oil sample only told us 1% glycol and minor water in it before we purchased the boat two weeks ago. There was no coolant in it at all! Where it was mounted in our Mainship 400 it was impossible to check fluid levels without dismantling nearly half the aft section of the boat.
I'd appreciate any suggestions for replacement makes since Kohler has fallen from my graces of late. I spoke with a broker yesterday that has had the same symptoms with the last two boats he surveyed.

Seems like if difficult access and lack of service is the underlying problem, the brand of replacement probably doesn't much matter. Can't imagine any other brands doing all that well with no fluids...

Sounds like replacement choice is an easy issue; eeney, meeney... rock/paper/scissors, whatever. Also sounds like if the access for service isn't improved the same problem will reappear no matter who won the coin toss.

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Old 07-31-2014, 09:31 AM   #13
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We're in Norfolk. Is there any salvage value to the Kohler with 285 hours??
There can be. Or you might be able to do a trade out where you give some one your old Genset for getting it out and installing the new one.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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We just went through a generator replacement three years ago.

A new 8KW Westerbeke was quoted at $8400

A new Northern Lights 9KW was quoted at $12,400.

Both are good generators.

The Northern Lights is quieter. Actually the NL is the quietest generator in its size range.

The voltage regulation is more accurate being a electronic type, but not so much more accurate that anybody would notice.

The generator end on the Northern Lights is a Marathon brand unit. Nothing wrong with the Westerbeke though.

I bought the Northern Lights.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:44 AM   #15
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My vote goes to Northern Lights, great gennies.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Seems like if difficult access and lack of service is the underlying problem, the brand of replacement probably doesn't much matter. Can't imagine any other brands doing all that well with no fluids...

Sounds like replacement choice is an easy issue; eeney, meeney... rock/paper/scissors, whatever. Also sounds like if the access for service isn't improved the same problem will reappear no matter who won the coin toss.

-Chris
You nailed it Chris. Overcoming Mainship's bad layout design is job one.

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.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:50 AM   #17
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We have a Northern Lights now for 15 years (5.5kw), works flawlessly since new. You might find you could go with a smaller unit like a 6kw and run most of what you would need, smaller foot print, reduced weight and lower cost to a 9kw unit.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:53 AM   #18
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Generator access on our Mainship 350 is the same as the OP - AWFUL. There really is no other place to mount a genset on these boats except under the cockpit floor between the two water tanks. I would suggest downsizing your next genny to make access to it a bit easier. A 4 or 5kw would be more than sufficient. We have the 8kw now and there is no way we ever need that much power. We also have a Honda which never fails and does a super job charging our battery bank and as a backup to our main set.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:43 AM   #19
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Ive been eyeballing this one http://www.kohlerpower.com/marine/detail.htm?sectionNumber=13461&categoryNumber=8361 &filter_1=60 Hz&prodnum=21540602 Hz&prodnum=21540602
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:26 PM   #20
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Smaller is something to consider. Basically comes down to whether you intend to aircondition at anchor (also possibly an electric oven. With a Krogen 42 with two large chargers (135 amps and 105 amps) and an electric water heater (1500 watts) plus ac/dc refrigerator and freezer) we have a hard time fully loading our 8 kw. When I was considering whether to repair or replace last year I was seriously considering downsizing to a 6kw unit.
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