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Old 10-01-2018, 02:48 PM   #1
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Generator blew up

My generator quite suddenly blew up. 11kw Westerbeke. Age unknown - 2 years new to me. Ran fine for those 2 years. Cause unknown. Boat is 45' trawler (vintage 1982). located in The Bahamas. Fairly easy access to the engine room.

It had been running all night and in the morning I suddenly heard a knocking sound but before I could shut it down there was a great bang and a lot of smoke. After it cooled down I found a hole the size of a dollar coin on the side of the block down low just above the oil pan. Sticking my finger in the hole I can feel a moving part which I suspect is a connecting rod?

I am resigned to buying a new unit but I am wondering about the prospects of a rebuild? Does anyone have any experience doing this? Located in the Bahamas (Exumas) does not help because of the lack of good tradesmen.

Also would consider the purchase of a new rebuilt? Any value in the old unit?

Sure would appreciate any advice.

Thx
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:56 PM   #2
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Bummer.
No high temp or low oil pressure auto shutdown?

Surely the generator bit will still be OK, just the engine needs replacing repairing.
Possible dollars saved.
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:19 PM   #3
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Ouch; in the Exumas with a thrown rod. BAd....

My home genset did this last year, also with no warning. IMO the engine is now worthless.

Seems like Bahamas duty will cause a hike in cost, but try Harbourside Marine and Lightbourne Marine in Nassau and see what they have to say.
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:56 PM   #4
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How much longer are you planning on being over there?
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:17 PM   #5
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It might be worth a trip to Florida.
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:45 PM   #6
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Find out who makes the 'beke, Kubota? Get a short block from them and get out the wrenches. Life in paradise...
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Old 10-01-2018, 06:54 PM   #7
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We had some work done by On Site Marine in Spanish Wells. Spanish Wells is a long day trip from Staniel or a short hop from Highborne. Spanish Wells Yacht Haven can help finding mechanics. Not as far as Nassau and a pleasant and cheaper stop. The lobster fleet is based there so there is qualified help. Good luck!

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Old 10-01-2018, 07:03 PM   #8
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I assume its diesel? If so and if you have a racor on the fuel line, see if you have some water in it or in your tank.
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Old 10-01-2018, 07:09 PM   #9
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Hole in the block is not rebuildable.
A new Kubota engine based Phasor 12KW gen set is about $12K plus installation and taxes in Florida. Keep this in mind when you hear the price quotes for a rebuilt engine replacement.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:02 PM   #10
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Duty will likely be in the 45% range. Your cruising permit will allow duty-free parts required for propulsion repairs, but probably not for a generator.
I'd be looking at heading to Lauderdale, your options for repair, probably with warranty, probably in a timely manner will be significantly broader. You're in the Bahamas, surely you're aware that Bahamians have yet to embrace the concept of urgency. The savings in duty alone would probably make the trip back worthwhile.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:46 PM   #11
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If it was the last engine block in the world, it could be fixed, but there could be other damage, too. A short block or new complete set. The old set could be sold on ebay for parts. Many do that.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:56 PM   #12
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Engine with a hole in the side is DONE. Not much usable for a rebuild.

Engine maker for that model is Mitsubishi. Model number cast into side of block under injection pump, serial on flat next to where injection pump seats.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:58 PM   #13
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Time to look at big solar?
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:22 PM   #14
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Run, run, run. Get a Genset from a non predatory company. Suggest one with a Kabota engine. Tractor parts are cheap. Westy head gasket $211 but if you can find a Mitsubishi correct part $49.00. Valve $23 vs $73. And so on. There is no cross reference I could find. Do the search option on this site for the full story, it ain’t pretty. I made the mistake of repairing...stupid on my part, Penny wise and dollar foolish.
Try Phazor.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:21 PM   #15
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Id be heading for the nearest American port with a Northern Lights dealer.

Get a new generator installed in a day and be back cruising.

This problem is best and easiest solved by visa
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:26 AM   #16
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I agree with this statement below, since you don't know the age this might not be worth the effort of swapping out diesel side, plus look at down sizing if possible, not sure you need 11kw full time do you? Good luck.

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Id be heading for the nearest American port with a Northern Lights dealer.

Get a new generator installed in a day and be back cruising.

This problem is best and easiest solved by visa
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:28 AM   #17
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I agree with the sentiments expressed above that the engine is not rebuildable and I wouldn't dream of replacing it with a short block, assuming you could find one. Labor to do it right will be expensive and then you have to find what caused the problem in the first place which was probably not the block.


So too many issues to resolve which for sure can't be done in the Bahamas. Install a new generator sized for your needs. I doubt that you need 11 KW.


But make an insurance claim. Your loss was sudden and probably not due to normal wear and tear. So that may meet the basic requirement for an insurable loss.



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Old 10-02-2018, 10:25 PM   #18
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NextGen is a good option for generator replacement.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:42 AM   #19
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Absent a generator; that's one less engine to worry about.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:10 PM   #20
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Yikes, that is a sad story. As ksanders, wrote, "This problem is best and easiest solved by visa," (in other words, all it takes is money). But, that's not what any of us would want to hear in your situation.

If you choose to remain in the Bahamas while replacing the genset, you might try stretching the argument about customs duty on the imported component(s). Once I was successful at getting the duty waived on some expensive refrigeration parts, arguing that they were for use aboard a foreign yacht in-transit (as opposed to use or resale in the Bahamas). I think the customs officer has some discretion, and I must admit it took a lot of polite, persistent arguing before he gave in and released my stuff.

In your situation, I would reluctantly opt to make that money-saving trip back across the Gulf Stream. Would be interested to hear the outcome - good luck!
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