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Old 06-07-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Genset went under water in accident

Our Lugger 7.5KW Gen set with 550 hours on it went under water in our slip during an accident last Tuesday. The water came up to the half way point of the round part of the generator. No sea water got inside the diesel or the wiring box on top of the set. The engine runs and the oil is clean. I have not tried the generator under power.

Our insurance adjuster is saying he does not want the set worked on or dissembled for cleaning and service. He wants to replace prorated for the age (28 years) I want it fully replaced or serviced to operate as it was before the accident. We rarely use it as we have a solar set up but it is nice to have if you need it.

What is your experience with this situation or advisement on what you would do?
Thank you all,

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Old 06-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #2
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Years and years ago my Dad dealt with a bunch of motors that had been submerged due to hurricane surge. They opened them up and flushed with freshwater. Dumped small ones in a tank of freshwater. Then they baked them in an oven overnight at about 200 deg. About 90% survived and ran fine for years.

You need to get the salt out. That is primary and do it soon.

Why don't you make a deal with you adjuster. Take the depreciated value and try the above yourself.


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Old 06-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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If the AC portion and the alternator have not been cleaned I expect you will have to replace them. Just my guess based upon my spraying my generator with salt water.

Full replacement would be wonderful, but that is a question for the language of your insurance policy. There are good generator mechanics in Marathon. I would get one on board immediately.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:06 PM   #4
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I'd pull the armature end off of the prime mover ASAP and get it flushed, cleaned and tested. Then take what ever money they offer you and apply it to your costs.

Based on how your policy is written you may have no choice but to take their deal with out getting into a fight that may not be worth it financially.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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I'd have to go with Capt. Bill on this one. Pull the back-end off and send it up to Broward Armature. They've seen it a zillion times. They can evaluate the issues and fix them no matter what. If you've got money coming, you could decide what to do after the evaluation. Don't forget you've got a good engine that's worth something too.

I'd be curious to know what kind of $ the pro-rate deal would give you. Good luck.

"When life gets hard, eat marshmallows”.
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:51 PM   #6
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Just so you can get an idea of the money on the table when you are getting estimates...

A new Marathon generator end will cost you in the $2300 range

A new NL generator should be around $12K
Kevin Sanders
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Seward, Alaska
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Old 06-07-2014, 05:55 PM   #7
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I had a wet generator a couple of years ago. It was considered a consequential loss, due to the generator being in no way responsible for its loss. My insurance policy was vague, but with a good relationship between the repair shop and the adjuster, they go the job done. What I had initially thought was 100% my own responsibility, and so I looked at various inexpensive to quite expensive options, and the price rose from the replacement of only the generator (the wet part) to a $22000 complete change.

I had only 4.0 kw of Onan power. I now have 4.0 kw of Westerbeke power. No upgrade, other than age, (over 20 yrs - not sure when the PO installed the original).
As for getting your insurer to step up, the wording of your policy is important, but so too is the personal relationship you and your repair shop have with the adjuster.
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Old 06-07-2014, 09:17 PM   #8
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Yes, pro rata cover on a 28 year old unit won't be much.

Maybe that is why the the adjuster doesn't want a mechanic to start pulling it apart.He knows the labour cost would be more than what the insurer will give you as a payout.

Is it worth spending much time/money on getting the unit back up and running again?
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:10 AM   #9
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Two issues. First, depends on the terms of your policy. Is it replacement value? If not, it's depreciated value and depreciated value of a 28 year old gen is very little. That would be their maximum responsibility in that case.

Now, if your insurance is only depreciated value, you really need to work to salvage it yourself. The problem is you've already let it sit for some period of time. If it's been sitting outside the water, it's already been rusting. Still, I would suggest talking to a local mechanic about what he can do and what he feels is your best hope. At the very least if the insurer totals it, maybe they'll grant de minimis salvage value and let you retain it and try to recover it.

At any rate I'd imagine repair cost, if still repairable, would exceed it's depreciated value and that will work against you.
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Old 06-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #10
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I had a good experience with All Keys Diesel in Marathon on some minor issues with my generator when I was still learning my boat. That was about 6 years ago though. 305-289-2070.

Time is of the essence when salt water is involved, agree with others get the genset electrical end looked at ASAP, its been almost a week now, especially since you have run the engine in the meantime. And the engine too.

I really sympathize with all your troubles; hang in there, stuff like this is part of the sport, and sometimes you get injured in any sport.

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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If the engine & controls are fine, then swapping out the drowned generator end for a new one is a great option: all new electricals, maybe you could go a little larger (or smaller) than what you have (had) now. Much more attractive than drying out/repairing/re-winding the old end and not expensive ($1900 for about 7kva + uninstall/reinstall costs)

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