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Old 08-31-2013, 09:06 PM   #41
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They are not essential, plenty of boats are set up to work comfortably without one.
But if I did not have one I could not use the domestic espresso machine kept onboard. Otherwise we need more battery and a big inverter. A/c would be an issue, if we had/need it,which we don`t.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:21 PM   #42
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I have a Northern Lights/Lugger 4.5 KW on my boat, mounted just below the Galley. Having the genset there blocks access terribly to many other things, and any maintenance to the non-service side or control box of the genset requires contortions I'm no longer able to demand of myself. I've done a new hatch to move the genset below the veranda just forward of the lazerette, and have cleared and re-skinned my pilothouse roof for 8-10 solar panels. This was expensive, but I'm looking forward to using the florida and Caribbean sun to eliminate the genset usage as much as possible, perhaps only for A/C. I'm looking into solar hot water as well. These are the advantages of living in the sun.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:12 AM   #43
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I have a Northern Lights/Lugger 4.5 KW ....I've .... cleared and re-skinned my pilothouse roof for 8-10 solar panels. This was expensive, but I'm looking forward to using the Florida and Caribbean sun to eliminate the genset usage as much as possible, perhaps only for A/C. I'm looking into solar hot water as well. These are the advantages of living in the sun.
How much house battery do you have? With 8-10 solar panels, depending on sizes, you`ll have some real output. Not heard of solar hot water on boats previously, except the simple black plastic water bag with gravity spray, hung in the sun absorbing rays. Should be possible,following domestic designs seen on roofs, maybe even using an existing storage tank.I agree a/c would be a big ask of solar.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:10 AM   #44
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I'm looking into solar hot water as well. These are the advantages of living in the sun.
Shouldn't be much of a problem to equip the boat with solar hot water provided you can run two hoses to the upper deck and reconnect them with your shower and a faucet. The folks in the Caribbean have all sorts of holding devices for solar water, all black, the most useful for your purpose would be either a flat plastic tank, say 5 gallons or a flat series of plastic pipes. Either would require additional real estate exposed to the sun.



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Old 09-01-2013, 12:35 PM   #45
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How much house battery do you have? With 8-10 solar panels, depending on sizes, you`ll have some real output.
I'll end up with 1000-1350 watts, and for now I still have two wet cell 8D's but when we start full time cruising, I'l probably opt for some gels. I've seen some solar hot-water panels about the same size as regular panels, but when you've got a dedicated hot water panel like that, one would have to be able to remove or reposition the panel when away from the boat. Otherwise, it will just keep producing hot water, and the circulatory and storage system would have to be working as well.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #46
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>If having a 120-amp alternator, what does that really mean?<

Depends , if its a car style alt it will produce 120A at perhaps 12V, when just started.

Warm it may only produce 75A , and even less if battery charging (14V) is required.

A higher quality alt will produce 120A at 14+V , but it will be larger , probably require 2 belts and cost up to $1000 for a quality unit.

Most folks will settle for a big truck alt $150 for 135A and install a better for battery charging V regulator with a temperature sensor.

The output of most alts can be had above idle ,very high speeds are not required for full output.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #47
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A generator is like a microwave. If you don't have one you don't miss it. Once you have one, you can't live without it. Our boats consume more and more electricity as time goes by. We now have electronic navigation, cell phones to charge, laptops to use, a tv to keep up with the news and my favorite shows, refrigeration, ice maker, heat, AC if you cruise south, hair dryers for the admiral, perhaps an electric stove and oven, lighting and on and on.

I have owned Grand Banks for going on 20 years and have many friends with GBs. It is rare to see a GB on the east coast without a genny. The first time you can't start an engine because you ran down the batteries you will wish you had a genset. If you want to enjoy the cruising experience, don't spend a single sleepless night worrying about power management. If camping is your "thing" you sure don't need a GB. This is of course my very opinionated opinion. Now excuse me as I want to have a hot shower.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #48
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>The first time you can't start an engine because you ran down the batteries you will wish you had a genset.>

I would be wishing for a qualified person to install a proper electrical system.

Stoopidity with the house systems is no reason for a dead boat.

< We now have electronic navigation, cell phones to charge, laptops to use, a tv to keep up with the news and my favorite shows, refrigeration, ice maker, heat, AC if you cruise south, hair dryers for the admiral, perhaps an electric stove and oven, lighting and on and on. >

These are all items that can be handled many ways.

A noisemaker to charge a cellphone?
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:00 AM   #49
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Ha, ha. That's really funny. You forgot about the hot shower. Oh, let me guess, you have one of those solar water bags you leave in the sun.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:17 AM   #50
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So there you have it OP - for comfort, convenience, all systems battery charging, safety and charging your cell phone buy a boat with a genset. Don't forget to isolate the genset's starting battery from all other loads or your wife's hair dryer or kids late night TV watching could render the above niceties moot.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:36 PM   #51
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Genset: another engine and its related paraphernalia to acquire, maintain, fail, and repair.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #52
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And to provide things nothing else on a reasonable sized boat can manage easily.

About 2 hrs maintenance per year...maybe an extra 2 hrs every 2-3 years for cyclical maintenance.....product lasts decades with minimal care.....the portable Hondas are even less maintenance.

Anyone that doesn't use air conditioning/heat on a regular basis and lives aboard or cruises extensively....doesn't get it...most of the rest of us understand.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #53
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... and most of you have twin propulsion engines and a flying bridge. That's OK with me. I'm used to being in the minority.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #54
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venture out of the SF area on something other than a cruise ship and then let's talk about luxuries/necessities.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:56 PM   #55
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venture out of the SF area on something other than a cruise ship and then let's talk about luxuries/necessities.
Good point!
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:09 PM   #56
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Can you believe it? Some people think they need an all-electric kitchen to feel at home on a boat!

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Old 09-03-2013, 06:36 AM   #57
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>About 2 hrs maintenance per year...maybe an extra 2 hrs every 2-3 years for cyclical maintenance.....product lasts decades with minimal care.....the portable Hondas are even less maintenance.<

Some noisemakers I have seen take 2 hours to get the sound box open enough to do a by Da Book service.

Perhaps we can kill this fantasy with a Total Genset Cost per hour or per KW posting.

My Eyeball is about $10 per hour of operation ,all up costs.

Yes the better gas units like the Honda are far better per hour..
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #58
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Per hour operating costs (US dollars) of Bay Pelican's 8kw 27 year old Westerbeke:

Fuel: $4.50
Impeller .15
Oil filter .06
Oil .20
Racor .35
Fuel filters .20
Heat Exch .80
Coolant .03

Total $6.39 per hour

These are just the everyday items. In the last 15 years I have spent $7,000 (US) on repairs, most of it when the AC portion of the generator had to be replaced.

With this in mind, I love my solar panels and wind generator, and using two chargers load my generator when it is operating.

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Old 09-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #59
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Per hour operating costs (US dollars) of Bay Pelican's 8kw 27 year old Westerbeke:

Fuel: $4.50
Impeller .15
Oil filter .06
Oil .20
Racor .35
Fuel filters .20
Heat Exch .80
Coolant .03
Total $6.39 per hour
I thought about doing this too, but since you took care of it I can adjust for the difference in fuel cost and I am good!!! I'm not sure of the fuel usage per hour. Not enough load, no AC, is usually the issue for me, so I think I'm less. But I'll go with your 1 gal per hour.

Onan 7.5 kw 36 years old
Total $5.65 per hour

p.s. All routine maintenance, coolant, checking and changing oil, and all filters is performed by opening the sound shield front service panel. Turn five twist clips and lift the panel off. if you need access to the starter, the back panel is eight twist lock machine screws and is less than 5 minutes to remove.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Per hour operating costs (US dollars) of Bay Pelican's 8kw 27 year old Westerbeke:

Fuel: $4.50
Impeller .15
Oil filter .06
Oil .20
Racor .35
Fuel filters .20
Heat Exch .80
Coolant .03

Total $6.39 per hour

These are just the everyday items. In the last 15 years I have spent $7,000 (US) on repairs, most of it when the AC portion of the generator had to be replaced.

With this in mind, I love my solar panels and wind generator, and using two chargers load my generator when it is operating.

Marty
Really? That's approaching the per-hour propulsion cost of the Coot.

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