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Old 05-21-2015, 02:01 PM   #1
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Portable Generator

Camano 31
Has anyone used a portable generator ( Honda,etc) to be used as their generator source while on the hook? ( Run AC,charge batteries, etc)
On occasion we are on the hook and seems much more economical to only bring the portable Gen when necessary and save on expensive Generator install, ongoing maintenance and the extra weight and subsequent fuel burn.
Not sure how many watts/amps necessary to run onboard AC or a cruise air unit.
Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:04 PM   #2
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Our 3.5 Phasor ran the AC and the battery charger but would have to turn the AC off to use the microwave.
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Old 05-21-2015, 02:13 PM   #3
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Many folk with smaller boats use Honda portables. You have to be very careful with carbon monoxide, fire risk, etc. Also salt spray will kill them pretty quick.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:03 PM   #4
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Nice boat. I checked out the Cutwater and Ranger tugs at the show. Lots of boat packed into 28 feet.

Two questions.

What is the size of your air conditioner?

You need a generator that can provide the momentary amperage to start the compressor. The starting current can require several times the running amperage. There are systems like the Dometic Smart Start that may help reduce the required starting current.

Where do you plan on putting the portable generator while it is running?

Needless to say, CO poisoning can be an issue depending on where the generator is placed while running.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:21 PM   #5
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Greetings,
First things first. Welcome aboard.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:25 PM   #6
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No AC on Ebbtide so we use a Honda EU2000 and put it on the swim step. I would also recommend a CO2 alarm, pretty inexpensive insurance against a disaster.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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If you plan to use it in anchorages after dark, don't expect anyone around you to be friendly. It just shows you don't give a _____ about anyone else. The obnoxious noise carries a long way over water and ruins the solitude of the area. The inverter type portables are pretty quiet at low loads but if they are loaded down running A/C the noise levels are right up there with the non-inverter types. The worst are the $500 for 3500 watt construction site gennys that run high speed even if only powering a TV.
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USNA81 View Post
Camano 31
Has anyone used a portable generator ( Honda,etc) to be used as their generator source while on the hook? ( Run AC,charge batteries, etc)
Just tried mine out last week. 2000 watt, mounted up on the bridge out of the way, connected to the Boat AC system with a short 12' Cable when needed. Wanted to try it for heating water, Charging the Batteries through the onboard charger, and running the electric side of the stove as each of those (cept the charger) are around 1500 watts. Worked great. Haven't tried it with my AC unit yet but it does have a soft start capacitor, so I'm hoping it will work.
I wouldn't run it for long periods, but it does help in a pinch without starting the engine. Those morning hot water showers are important! As noted, Put a CO detector onboard..
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Old 05-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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If you do a search of past threads. you'll find loads of info and advice from those of us who use units like the Honda eu2000i. It's done often and safely with simple safety steps and considerations. Sailboaters have been using them for a very long time.

Issues:

Noise

Gasoline storage

CO fumes

Corrosion
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:41 PM   #10
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I might add don't talk to the snobby Sea Ray folks about using a Honda genny. It's like talking about anchors here....

BTW Welcome!!
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Old 05-21-2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I might add don't talk to the snobby Sea Ray folks about using a Honda genny. It's like talking about anchors here....

BTW Welcome!!
Some of them need the extra power to light up their million gigawatt underwater lights.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
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Welcome aboard. Your anchor is too small, it's the wrong kind and you don't have enough chain.

Now that is out of the way, I use a Honda 2000i to run my 5000 btu air conditioner. I had to add a start capacitor as Heron mentioned. It works fine. In fact I've run it on a Honda 1000i. Without the capacitor it would take over 3000 watts to start it.

That said, if I had a nice big engine room like you have, I'd save up for a diesel generator.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:48 PM   #13
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Welcome aboard. Your anchor is too small, it's the wrong kind and you don't have enough chain.



Now that is out of the way, I use a Honda 2000i to run my 5000 btu air conditioner. I had to add a start capacitor as Heron mentioned. It works fine. In fact I've run it on a Honda 1000i. Without the capacitor it would take over 3000 watts to start it.



That said, if I had a nice big engine room like you have, I'd save up for a diesel generator.

Big engine room?! Funny one parks. They're two places they put them, over the shaft log just astern of the engine and in the lazz. We opted for the lazz so we could maintain. The shaft log should we have to access it. Ended up being the right decision, with the sound shield the little phasor fit right between the stringers. We did have to modify it a little but not a lot.
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Old 05-21-2015, 09:54 PM   #14
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Oliver, I kind of wish I had bought your Camano when you were selling it. I'm sure it was in great shape.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:05 PM   #15
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Portable Generator

Quote:
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Oliver, I kind of wish I had bought your Camano when you were selling it. I'm sure it was in great shape.

Yeah she was, the guy who bought here got a great deal. A lot was put into it (mostly upgrades). The buyer got it for what we paid for it. Believe she now resides In Punta Gorda.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:02 PM   #16
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I never had one on my sailboat, but a friend had Honda EU2000 and I used it quite a bit too. A great generator - pretty quiet and bullet proof. Despite a small engine room (cave) on my KK54 it holds a 20 kW NL with an 8 kW NL in the lazarette.

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Old 05-22-2015, 02:46 PM   #17
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Portable Generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Oliver, I kind of wish I had bought your Camano when you were selling it. I'm sure it was in great shape.

I want to buy Oliver's 47 when he upgrades to the.....N72......N120?

I'm saving my pennies! 😁
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:30 PM   #18
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Cardude, I think you're right. Oliver needs a much bigger boat. The problem is they don't make anchors big enough to make him happy if he gets a bigger boat.
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Old 05-22-2015, 03:58 PM   #19
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We have had a Honda 2000 for 2 1/2 years now and have a little over 1200 hours on it and it still runs like the day we bought it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:34 PM   #20
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I agree

Parks should buy a Camano.

Cardude should buy Oliver's 47.

Oliver should build an N86' and let me drive it.

The OP and I should buy Honda generators and laugh at you 3 buying boats.
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