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Old 07-05-2015, 08:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I don't think Northern Lights makes a two cylinder?? Smallest is a 4.5kW, three cyl. Could be wrong though.
you are right ski now that i think abut it mine was 4.5 3cyl, had it in the boat for nine yrs and never had a problem oil changes thats all
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:56 AM   #22
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Where was yours installed? We installed our phaser in the lazz. Every time I walk into our engine room I'm thankful, that Camano's engine compartment was small for a kid!
I mounted mine on a bent piece of aluminum plate between the engine and the Lazz. The muffler was in the lazz. I did cut an access port into the lazz. floor to access the Tides Shaft Seal from there.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:12 AM   #23
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Why go small when you can go teeny-weeny? (No idea about this unit...found it this morning rummaging through the net)

AVERO™ FLEX-LITE (FL) 2.5 kW
AC/DC Diesel Powered Generator Set

Flex-Lite 2.5kW AC/DC Diesel Powered Generator Set - Advanced Engine Technology Ltd.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:26 AM   #24
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Just curious, what's the problem with the Farymanns. I've got one and so far (5 years) no problems at all. Just lucky maybe but interested.
A few issues:

1. They run at 3600rpm. This causes a lot of vibration and things shake loose and break. Probably wear faster too, but few log enough hours to really test durability.

2. Noise. While they may not rank that high on a dB meter, the noise quality is offensive, at least to me. A high note "buzz" vs a "purr" of a 1800 3cyl.

3. Water intrusion. Chronic problem on some, especially the Panda. Theory is that on shutdown, engine kicks backward off compression on last rev and sucks wet exhaust into cylinders. Valves and piston/liner corrode.

4. Panda specific: If water leaks inside enclosure, wet insulation in contact with oil pan rots it out.

5. Control systems- Most using this engine have strange controls that are difficult to troubleshoot when they don't work.

When I was deep in the generator business, we had a small pile of dead Pandas.

Not all the brands using the Farymann engine came into the shop as failures, but there are enough downsides to avoid them.

On some boats the size/weight benefit of these made them the only viable option. I simply refused to install one as I did not want an unsatisfied customer down the road. Those boats went elsewhere. This was for new installs, if it was already in there we would try to fix it or replace with a better unit.
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Old 07-05-2015, 11:49 AM   #25
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I will add one more damnation of the small Panda. When the raw water seal fails, and it will, unlike other engines where the water simply drips from a weep hole, the one on the Panda will sling it everywhere. It is like a salt water mist everywhere. If you don't catch it quickly, the salt water will soon corrode the whole thing to junk.


My dock buddy had that happen to his Back Cove 29. Unfortunately nothing else would fit, not even one of the 3.5 KW Kubota based gensets. He spent more than $10,000 to replace it. Frankly I damn Back Cove about as much as Panda for causing that.


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Old 07-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #26
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I mounted mine on a bent piece of aluminum plate between the engine and the Lazz. The muffler was in the lazz. I did cut an access port into the lazz. floor to access the Tides Shaft Seal from there.

That is some great engineering Steve!!


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Twin Lehman 135's
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:14 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
I mounted mine on a bent piece of aluminum plate between the engine and the Lazz. The muffler was in the lazz. I did cut an access port into the lazz. floor to access the Tides Shaft Seal from there.

Oh ok. We got ours between the two stringers in the Lazz, had to modify the sound shield but it fit like a glove.
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:56 PM   #28
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Dewey Electronics MEP-531A for Military Contract

The World's Smallest Portable Diesel Generator: The Dewey Electronics MEP-531A for the US Military
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:43 PM   #29
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Yes, just search for panda reviews and user experience, especially on cruisers forum. It will cure you of any urge to even consider buying one.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:43 PM   #30
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I had one of these on my last boat (it was branded as a Mastervolt then). 3600 rpm with a Kubota motor. I had the soundshield, exhaust separator, and anti-vibration plate. Worked reliably except for once when the strainer filled with jellyfish and it shut itself down (ate the impeller). Not as quiet or vibration free as my current Onan 9KW, but the little one did the job it was intended to do.

Diesel Generator 3.5kW high rpm (USA) - MARINE
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:49 AM   #31
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Ski is very much on point, good friend of mine I fish with has one of the belt driven 3600rpm gens and between noise coming from engine hatches or the obnoxious exhaust splashing I'm not sure which is worse, on the upside he doesn't leave it running long as everyone complains about it. Recommend you that hear it first hand, personally the Honda is much more user friendly.
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Tough one. The 3kw belt drive ones are a bit rough and noisy, but pretty reliable. The 4kw Farymanns are POS's. The 5kw Northern lights is the cat's meow, but probably too big and heavy for your 28. Expensive too.

Probably the best go is the Phasor belt drive. Just don't expect it to be silky smooth and quiet.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:21 AM   #32
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If it were me I'd find room for the smallest Northern Lights unit and call it a day.

I dislike spending money as much as the next guy, but sometimes spending a little more up front makes you happier in the end.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:23 AM   #33
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I would contemplate the noisemaker as only part of the on board AC system.

A large enough boat would want to operate 2 air cond at once so about 4KW would be big enough.

A 135A alt would be belted to the front for rapid battery charging

It would have a heating coil in the hot water heater.

If that meant a pair of HW heaters was required , no big deal.

I would add a pass thru and boost inverter to the system , to get the air cond started easily , and make living on a dock with limited power far easier.

Life should be possible on a 15A circuit with minor compromise.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:02 AM   #34
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I've decided to spend some money on Possum and I'm considering installing a real generator. I can make do with my little Honda but I'd like a real generator.
I'd like to find one that I could put in place of one of my 25 gallon water tanks.
It would need to be able to be serviced from one side and as small as possible in a sound shield. Oh yeah, diesel.

Any suggestions?

Random thoughts:

3600 RPMs is usually loud, 1800 not as much.

I think I've seen "soft sound shields" advertised somewhere. I gather it's a bag-like thing of some sort.

How would you use it? I assume you've done a comparison between small genset and an inverter/more battery alternative? (Dunno if a modest bank of L16s might or might not weigh less than candidate gensets).

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Old 07-08-2015, 09:04 AM   #35
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Chris I think the word your looking for is sound blankets. I've seen them, they look like they'd be pretty effective but have never seen one running with one first hand.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:14 AM   #36
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Why would you belt a big alternator to a genset ? It already has a huge alternator. Do a load calculation and get a genset big enough to run everything and a Victron inverter/charger to take care of startup loads/recharging. Assuming enough space is available.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:18 AM   #37
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Chris I think the word your looking for is sound blankets. I've seen them, they look like they'd be pretty effective but have never seen one running with one first hand.
There was one company awhile back that had generic sound enclosures with soft sides...

Haven't seen it in years...don't know if it is still around.
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Old 07-08-2015, 11:44 AM   #38
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I dislike spending money as much as the next guy, but sometimes spending a little more up front makes you happier in the end.
They say that "good relationships are the hardest won." At the outset, I disagreed with a lot of Keven's posts but continued reading them anyway. Lately, I find myself in total agreement him. The above is just another example.
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Old 07-08-2015, 02:18 PM   #39
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Chris I think the word your looking for is sound blankets. I've seen them, they look like they'd be pretty effective but have never seen one running with one first hand.

Yep, that's probably it. I suspect they were probably meant as an affer-market improvement to an already-installed-but-unshielded genset.

Dunno how effective they might be, relative to sound, but something like that might make service access easier.

(Wonder if something like that could be useful for an AC unit, too, now I think about it...)

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Old 07-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #40
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They say that "good relationships are the hardest won." At the outset, I disagreed with a lot of Keven's posts but continued reading them anyway. Lately, I find myself in total agreement him. The above is just another example.
I've been told I'm a difficult guy to like. Good friends have told me they had to force themselves to like me.

My apologies if I occasionally get up on a soap box.
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