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Old 10-20-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
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Portable generator

I want to buy a small portable generator (for top side) that I can plug my shore power cable into for recharging my house batteries without having to run the big diesel. Basically Iím trying to figure out the minimum wattage output necessary for this.

I assume the most relevant info is I have a Xantrex Trucharge 40+. What factors do I need to look for?
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:20 PM   #2
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Hard to beat a Honda 2000.

https://www.generatormag.com/honda-e...erator-review/
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:43 PM   #3
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Well, the important thing to know is that the Truecharge 40+ draws 8.5 amp from a 120V AC supply at maximum charging rate. Add that to any other must have AC loads and you have the basic spec for your generator.


Assuming it is 8.5 amps total, the 1,000 watt generators like the Honda EU 1000 won't work. But just barely- you could try measuring the current and find that it rarely or never hits 8.5 amps and usually stays within the Honda EU 1000 continuous current spec which is probable 7 amps or so.


Otherwise go with a bigger generator like the Honda EU 2000 or preferably the EU 2200. An advantage of the EU 2200 is you can use it to power your hot water heater which typically draws 1,500 watts which is just over the EU 2000's continuous rating.


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Old 10-20-2019, 12:47 PM   #4
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I want to buy a small portable generator (for top side) that I can plug my shore power cable into for recharging my house batteries without having to run the big diesel. Basically Iím trying to figure out the minimum wattage output necessary for this.

I assume the most relevant info is I have a Xantrex Trucharge 40+. What factors do I need to look for?
You will need more than minimum wattage if you will be using it with anything aboard the has a motor. Motors have a big surge load as they start unless they have capacitors that hold a charge or a soft start circuit. If you have an inverter I would select a genny just a touch larger than the inverters continuous rated output. Say the inverter is 2500w continuous. I would step up to a 2700 or 2800 watt unit. Also, be aware that some gensets won't accept a marine type shore plug. You may need to change either the shore cable plug or the genny outlet. Dealers choice here. Make sure the socket is positioned so the plug doesn't take the strain of the cord and the plug can't rotate out from vibration. This has happened to me on a camping set up.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:49 PM   #5
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The Honda 2000 is reliable and quiet. I think it’s now the 2200.
Stay away from Generac. I bought a big Generac for my house and have had nothing but trouble.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:52 PM   #6
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Dave, where did you get that 8.5A for the 40A charger? Seems high. It can provide 40A on three channels, but that is total, not 40A for each channel.

I have a 20A charger and when I first kick it on with low batts it is like 3A.

So thinking a 1000w gennie is probably fine.

To the OP, measure the amps the charger pulls with batts sorta low. Measure right when it kicks on.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:57 PM   #7
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Goes without saying but I will anyhow. Be sure you have a CO detector or two in the boat.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:59 PM   #8
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...

Otherwise go with a bigger generator like the Honda EU 2000 or preferably the EU 2200. An advantage of the EU 2200 is you can use it to power your hot water heater which typically draws 1,500 watts which is just over the EU 2000's continuous rating.


David
I have the Honda eu2000i that I use to top off batteries and run my 1500W Keurig coffee maker or water heater. The eu2000 is rated at 2000W peak, 1600W (13.3A) continuous and the eu2200 is rated at 2200W peak, 1800W (15A) continuous.

I have no problem running my 1500W Keurig or water heater on the Honda 2000.

My charger provides a 55A 12V charge with a 13A peak AC load.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:00 PM   #9
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2nd the Honda 2000. at 8.3 amps you can use the ECO throttle and its can run at low RPMs. The 1000, while normally quiet, will be running full throttle where its not so quiet.
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Old 10-20-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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Many marine chargers can be set to limit the maximum charge amperage. If yours has this capability, you can correspondingly reduce the charger's maximum power requirement as much below 8.5 amps as may be necessary to charge from a 1,000 watt generator (if that is the way you want to go).
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:04 PM   #11
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Dave, where did you get that 8.5A for the 40A charger? Seems high. It can provide 40A on three channels, but that is total, not 40A for each channel.
Ski:

I know it sounds crazy high, about 50% efficiency, but the data comes straight from from Xantrex' Owner's Manual, see copy attached, on page A3. Now I must admit, every large charger I have ever owned had a real world maximum draw of about 75% of the specified AC amperage draw. But........

David
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Old 10-20-2019, 03:56 PM   #12
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Goes without saying but I will anyhow. Be sure you have a CO detector or two in the boat.
And replace it every 5 yrs.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:23 PM   #13
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And replace it every 5 yrs.
Thanks for the reminder. I just checked our hard wired Fireboy-Xintex CMD-4 and itís due, by a lot.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:16 PM   #14
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I am not a fan of using a portable gas powered genset due to the potential problems. You have a sundeck according to your avitar, so why not put some solar panels up on top of the sundeck hardtop? Then you donít have the possible problems of using a portable gas genset and you could do the solar panels for about the same money. No gas fumes to explode, no CO to put someone asleep just sun powered electricity for free after you buy the panels.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:06 PM   #15
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My 1000W Honda (now 22 years old with no significant maintenance) runs my ProMariner 50A charger most of the time..every once and awhile if the gas is bad, etc...I can reprogram the charger to 75% output and all is well.


My charger has a regular 110V plug so instead of plugging in my shore power and living with the dangers of a portable genset plugged in there...I just run an extension cord to my charger.


While CO is a danger, I only run the genset while awake and onboard in an area where fumes go overboard and downwind.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:35 PM   #16
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Thanks for the reminder. I just checked our hard wired Fireboy-Xintex CMD-4 and itís due, by a lot.
We just replaced ours this spring. It was expired too. I made a label for outside the unit this time. ;-)
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:21 PM   #17
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I went with First Alert smoke detectors on my boat. They connect wirelessly so when one goes off they all go off. I am going to add a CO detector to the system. Their CO detector will alert at the end of life so you donít forget to replace it.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:43 PM   #18
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And replace it every 5 yrs.
Yup, 5 years and you get the EOL alarm and there is no way to reset it. Gotta buy a new one.
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:21 PM   #19
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Portable Generator

Ok I get it that those without an installed marine diesel generator just might wish to replenish their batteries or run a few high current devices with a portable generator but why would someone with a properly installed and fully operational marine generator wish to do this? I'm sorry but I don't buy the "they are so quiet" part of the running of these Honda or Yamaha generators. It's not the total db's they produce but more the frequency of the noise. We spent two days anchored in Watmaugh Bay (south east corner of Lopez Islands in the San Juans) with a Bayliner 40 foot something that ran one of these in lieu of a marine genset for hours both morning and night. Others in the anchorage ran their marine gensets (well not as early or late or for as long) but the high pitched drone of that portable left none of the others in the anchorage with any real peace and quiet. I'm always careful to not run my genset before 0930 or after 1900 and since I am fully aware that the sploosh sploosh of the exhaust can be an anoyance. I'm very sorry if that steps on anyones impressions of the "quietness" of these types of devices but I find the incessant high pitched whine well beyond the noise of the propely installed units.

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Old 10-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #20
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I need a bit of education here please. I've long been under the impression that a portable generator was a big no-no on a boat per ABYC due to the lack of a neutral/ground connection. I know people do it all the time I'm just wondering how they do it safely.

Is there something you do on the generator that makes it safe?

Is it a non issue if you are sure your boat is wired correctly?

Is it just a roll of the dice that it won't cause an issue or a leaking current problem?

Something else???

I'm not trying to be a "Richard" here...I really don't know if this is just another boating legend I've been told.

Thanks mucho!
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