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Old 10-24-2019, 05:15 PM   #61
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Ships' AC loaded are not grounded to the generator in most installations, I researched it thoroughly when planning for the installation of a diesel generator in our last boat. Both the blue sea systems rotary (dual pole) and the interlocked two pole breaker set ups do not switch the grounding wire. I installed a separate ground switch to accomplish this (while away from the dock) and was almost universally told I was a fool for doing so on this forum. Break out the multimeter on your boat and report your findings.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:17 PM   #62
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I've got an older Honda 2000 with regular 15 amp outlets. Bought it in 2001 to use when our power goes out at our house during windstorms. I thought I would try it on our Mainship to possibly use as a backup. The reverse polarity light on the electrical panel goes on. I was told by someone on the dock that I should connect the ground to neutral at the generator. What do you electrical experts say about that?
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #63
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Depends, depends, depends....read more.... in bth those cases.
Guy we cruised with lost his outdrive to electrolysis from a portable.

Perhaps post a link from any genset manufacturer with the guidelines or schematic on how to set it up correctly in marine use.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:49 PM   #64
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Some don't and that was my concern when I posted about CO2 danger.

CO is carbon monoxide, it's poisonous. CO2 is carbon dioxide, it's not nearly as harmful, however it CAN cause suffocation if there's enough of it to displace the oxygen that the human machine requires to stay conscious.



Not to nitpick as it's usually a typo, but there may be some readers who may not be aware of the difference. We need to be accurate when discussing the safety issues involved. Inaccuracy erodes credibility.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:03 PM   #65
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I've got an older Honda 2000 with regular 15 amp outlets. Bought it in 2001 to use when our power goes out at our house during windstorms. I thought I would try it on our Mainship to possibly use as a backup. The reverse polarity light on the electrical panel goes on. I was told by someone on the dock that I should connect the ground to neutral at the generator. What do you electrical experts say about that?
This from ABYC.

“The only AC neutral to ground (connecting the white wire to a green wire) connections on board are made at generators or inverters, and then only when they are invert mode. Additionally, if the boat is equipped with an isolation transformer, then the boat side of the transformer becomes a new source of AC power and therefore a neutral to ground link is established.

The mistake the land based electricians will often make is to link the neutral and grounding buss bars behind the main power distribution panels on the boat. This simple error will create a situation where as each AC appliance gets turned on, more and more current from the appliances that would normally return to its source via the neutral conductor gets dumped into the boat’s grounding system.

Combine that with a bit of not so great dock wiring and the current enters the water via a through-hull fitting, creating a potentially lethal situation for swimmers near your boat.

The lesson here? Keep your cousin Vinny the licensed electrician away from your boat’s AC wiring until he gets some training on MARINE electricity. My shameless plug? Make sure the person working on your boat’s electrical system is ABYC certified in electricity.”

https://abycinc.org/blogpost/1678504...t-Tips?tag=ESD
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:31 PM   #66
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Guy we cruised with lost his outdrive to electrolysis from a portable.

Perhaps post a link from any genset manufacturer with the guidelines or schematic on how to set it up correctly in marine use.
The trick is not to hook it up to the whole boat or use it like a marine genset.


There's tons of info out there...


I just plug a battery charger or single appliance at a time into mine...low chance of shock or stray current.


Been doing it on 2 boats for nearly 20 years with no ill effects.
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Old 10-24-2019, 08:49 PM   #67
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The trick is not to hook it up to the whole boat or use it like a marine genset.


There's tons of info out there...


I just plug a battery charger or single appliance at a time into mine...low chance of shock or stray current.


Been doing it on 2 boats for nearly 20 years with no ill effects.


I think psneeld has it here. Simple application. Small and efficient portable gas generator, run up on deck, for a few hours while awake and monitoring, with the basic shore power cable plugged in to run the charger, in the odd situation where necessary for longer stays on the hook.

There are a million “what ifs”, but none of those fit the profile the OP (me) posited.
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:04 PM   #68
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Daymn, I did not realize people were trying to power their boat with a portable generator. I should have suspected it when they talked about powering their A/CSs
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:54 PM   #69
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Cigatoo, thank you for the information. Based on the first paragraph it looks like it is OK to connect the white and green wires together at the generator.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:19 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Cigatoo View Post
This from ABYC.

“The only AC neutral to ground (connecting the white wire to a green wire) connections on board are made at generators or inverters, and then only when they are invert mode. Additionally, if the boat is equipped with an isolation transformer, then the boat side of the transformer becomes a new source of AC power and therefore a neutral to ground link is established.

The mistake the land based electricians will often make is to link the neutral and grounding buss bars behind the main power distribution panels on the boat. This simple error will create a situation where as each AC appliance gets turned on, more and more current from the appliances that would normally return to its source via the neutral conductor gets dumped into the boat’s grounding system.

Combine that with a bit of not so great dock wiring and the current enters the water via a through-hull fitting, creating a potentially lethal situation for swimmers near your boat.

The lesson here? Keep your cousin Vinny the licensed electrician away from your boat’s AC wiring until he gets some training on MARINE electricity. My shameless plug? Make sure the person working on your boat’s electrical system is ABYC certified in electricity.”

https://abycinc.org/blogpost/1678504...t-Tips?tag=ESD
I found that - the neutral and safety busbars bonded together - on my boat two years ago. I looked for it, and found it, after reading about its ill affects here.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:47 AM   #71
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I think psneeld has it here. Simple application. Small and efficient portable gas generator, run up on deck, for a few hours while awake and monitoring, with the basic shore power cable plugged in to run the charger, in the odd situation where necessary for longer stays on the hook.

There are a million “what ifs”, but none of those fit the profile the OP (me) posited.

actually no...I plug the charger directly into the genset using an extension cord...though I used to use the shore power cord...I don't energize the whole boat system with the genset, it just charges batteries and if I need AC power, the boat outlets run off a marine grade, properly installed inveter.



by doing that I eliminate even the fearmongerers worry that by touching something electrical while the genset is running. Just so I won't cook myself because of wetnss, bad plugs, frayed wires, Halley's Comet, etc...etc... (even though I have managed for 65 years without zapping myselt )
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:00 AM   #72
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One negative to Honda's compact gensets is that it doesn't have a fuel shutoff. You either run it out of fuel or leave fuel in the carb for next time. There are aftermarket kits for the fuel shutoff valve for Honda gensets.
Yamaha's similar gensets do have the fuel shutoff valve so you close the valve and the genset sputters to a stop in a minute or so, leaving the carb dry.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:16 AM   #73
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One negative to Honda's compact gensets is that it doesn't have a fuel shutoff. You either run it out of fuel or leave fuel in the carb for next time. There are aftermarket kits for the fuel shutoff valve for Honda gensets.
Yamaha's similar gensets do have the fuel shutoff valve so you close the valve and the genset sputters to a stop in a minute or so, leaving the carb dry.
A URL for the aftermarket shut off valve to the Honda please?
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:23 AM   #74
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FWIW - one small harbor we boat out of ...Northport NY.
Two occurrences of Co poisoning causing deaths of 3 people in the past 3 seasons.
More if you consider the 'near misses' where folks were not killed.
Off topic - CO poisoning at Lake Powell has been common. Especially with kids swimming between tubes on large anchored houseboats.

There are all sorts of vessels with gas powered bilge mounted gensets ala SeaRay etc. I've had a few. CO issues a normal factor to watch out for with gasoline engines. It shouldn't dominate the pros and cons of portable genset brand and use discussions.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:48 AM   #75
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Cigatoo, thank you for the information. Based on the first paragraph it looks like it is OK to connect the white and green wires together at the generator.
I would be very careful with a portable generator. I like Sneeds method. Direct connection from the appliance to the generator. Bypass the boat altogether. Also be careful with CO. CO can sneak up on you if you are not paying attention.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:55 AM   #76
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The trick is not to hook it up to the whole boat or use it like a marine genset.


There's tons of info out there...


I just plug a battery charger or single appliance at a time into mine...low chance of shock or stray current.


Been doing it on 2 boats for nearly 20 years with no ill effects.

Perhaps post a link to any of these sites , one that you prefer.
Or a link to a marine article or surveyor that speaks about the best methods to utilize a portable genset on a boat.
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:52 AM   #77
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Perhaps post a link to any of these sites , one that you prefer.
Or a link to a marine article or surveyor that speaks about the best methods to utilize a portable genset on a boat.

Ah...using my same tactic against me...good call.



Of course any "licensed/certified/published Pro" is probably going to recommend against them if in writing.



But me...a lowly, but highly experienced, well trained, but unpublished pro falls back on his recurrent mantra of operational risk management where you take all the risks identified by the other "pros"...and mitigate or eliminate them. So now MY post becomes the only link you need.


You can kill yourself a dozen ways every day on your boat if you don't think about what you are doing...all I am saying is be smarter than the guy who gets $500 an article to say it's unsafe because it's the easy and legally safe thing to write.


My reference to the abundant internet info is the stats that these guys use don't really prove much, the real dangers to life or limb are really small if careful and the anecdotal evidence of portable generator use compared to incidents is overwhelming.


Well...just to one up myself.......here was an article that I found in about 10 seconds of googling that echoes some of my thoughts....and virtually every danger is easily mitigated or fixed.


http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:43 AM   #78
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Ah...using my same tactic against me...good call.



Of course any "licensed/certified/published Pro" is probably going to recommend against them if in writing.



But me...a lowly, but highly experienced, well trained, but unpublished pro falls back on his recurrent mantra of operational risk management where you take all the risks identified by the other "pros"...and mitigate or eliminate them. So now MY post becomes the only link you need.


You can kill yourself a dozen ways every day on your boat if you don't think about what you are doing...all I am saying is be smarter than the guy who gets $500 an article to say it's unsafe because it's the easy and legally safe thing to write.


My reference to the abundant internet info is the stats that these guys use don't really prove much, the real dangers to life or limb are really small if careful and the anecdotal evidence of portable generator use compared to incidents is overwhelming.


Well...just to one up myself.......here was an article that I found in about 10 seconds of googling that echoes some of my thoughts....and virtually every danger is easily mitigated or fixed.


http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf

"Of course any "licensed/certified/published Pro" is probably going to recommend against them if in writing.
That is what I have found as well.

Also - no insurance company that I know of will cover any liabilities or losses from carrying one that I know of.

"but unpublished pro falls back on his recurrent mantra of operational risk management where you take all the risks identified by the other "pros"...and mitigate or eliminate them. So now MY post becomes the only link you need"

Took your advice and looked one up....
https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/sta...erator-safety/
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:56 AM   #79
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I don't believe you general claim that all insurance companies will deny claims involving portable generators. Too many variables.


Of course some safety foundation is going to regurgittae the same old stuff that is for the most part easy to deal with the hazards.


And finally...I feel a lot safer managing my little portable under very controlled conditions compared to a built in ABYC OKed gas genset below decks running all night to keep some cool or warm. All those same warnings can be applied at least in some fashion to built in gensets too.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:13 AM   #80
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I don't believe you general claim that all insurance companies will deny claims involving portable generators. Too many variables.


Of course some safety foundation is going to regurgittae the same old stuff that is for the most part easy to deal with the hazards.


And finally...I feel a lot safer managing my little portable under very controlled conditions compared to a built in ABYC OKed gas genset below decks running all night to keep some cool or warm. All those same warnings can be applied at least in some fashion to built in gensets too.

Boating to us has always meant being around many folks of various ages on our boat and the boats we travel with.
Mitigating hazards has always required taking all of these people into account not just me.
Additionally we do require reasonable insurance as part of that reasonable risk mitigation.
Your posts do not indicate any insurance companies that might fit this portable genset issue, no marine electrical articles on how to wire them up , nor any articles on the best practices of safe use by the genset companies or any other recognized marine experts.
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