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Old 07-21-2013, 03:31 AM   #41
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"
On the commercial side the gen head made by LIMA seems to be the most sought after with the operating engine up to the desires of the boat, eg whatever he can fix , or got great service from last.


FF
Lima generator ends are actually Marathon generator ends. Lima is a Marathon brand name.

Current production Northern Lights generators primarially use the Marathon generator ends which as you indicated are the best there is.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #42
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How quiet?

Hi Freedom 35 . . since you just installed the 5.5 kw Nex Gen . . . how would you rate it's noise factor overall??? Also you mention it runs at 1800 RPMs?? When I called them this morning they said 2800 RPMs??
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I have just install a 300lb. NextGen 5.5KW and it works great. I remove a 200lb Panda Gen 4.5KW and installed the the NextGen. Why did I pick the the NextGen well the Salt water cooled Panda was ate up with corrosion ran at 3600 RPM and only produced 4KW power, well maybe not even that. It didn't want to run my 2KW Air condition. The NextGen runs at 1800 RPM and is fresh water cooled. Once again it was also the size that I picked the NextGen. I would highly recommend the NextGen 5.5KW. Note also the Westerbeke 5KW wouldn't fit.
One more thing is the alternator for charging the battery is an option I use the AC charger for the battery.
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Old 11-03-2015, 12:59 PM   #43
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Thumbs up Northern Lights

I'm in the same "boat" myself. Looking at different marine generators. I believe I will settle on a Northern Lights, as it appears to be the best bang for the buck. I'm not sure if they come in 5.5 kw, but they do come for sure in 5 kw.

Came across interesting article today, worth a read. Helpful info for a lot of common problems you may come across with a marine generator:

Northern Lights Marine Generator Troubleshooting Guide
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:13 PM   #44
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The Northern lights 5.5kw was changed to the 6.0kw, from my understanding its the same unit with a different breaker, maybe someone else can confirm that. In any case I have the 5.5 model and a 2k hours with nothing but great service.
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Old 11-04-2015, 07:26 AM   #45
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For us light (less than 200 hours per year)*genset users., the longevity of a genset is up ot the owner to determine, not the manufacturer.


The 200 hour a year folks might consider a gas Honda unit with a 6 gal outboard tank.

No installation , hang it on a davit , or stick it in the dink, behind the boat.

Honda will start an air cond.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:07 AM   #46
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The Northern lights 5.5kw was changed to the 6.0kw, from my understanding its the same unit with a different breaker, maybe someone else can confirm that. In any case I have the 5.5 model and a 2k hours with nothing but great service.
The NL 4.5, 5, 5.5 and 6kW all use the same basic engine. The early ones were 64mm bore, the later and larger ones are 67mm bore. But the same outside dimensions and weight. Gen end is Taiyo and I think all of them use brushes, but tend to be reliable. The engine is a Shibaura mini tractor engine. Good machines, but far from perfect.

Nextgen uses Kubota, that engine is just as good if not better. Lima/Marathon gen ends are good, but the little ones are capacitor regulated which has sloppy volt controls. Larger ones use electronic regulation, preferred. Not sure what regulator the 5.5 uses. I think all the belt drive ones are capacitor.
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Old 11-04-2015, 09:38 AM   #47
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I had a NexGen 5.5 KW generator. It was a good unit. It only had one hiccup. I was in St. Augustine, and needed a part. I went up to the factory in Jax. They handed me the part over the counter at no charge. I also needed a Y connector for a RayMarine HSB connection. Picked that up at the RayMarine dealer, also. It was a good day.

The generator was powered by a Kubota engine turning at 2800 rpm. The generator end was cog belt driven reduced to 1800 rpm. She just hummed away smoothly doing her job. We could power two marine A/C units and other stuff without load shedding.
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:17 AM   #48
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The generator on my NextGen 3.5 kw is a Newage Markon unit. Since they advertise that the generator end is capable of 5 kw, I suspect that it is the same as NextGen's 5 kw genset. It is capacitor regulated and the capacitors are known to over heat and burn out, particularly if there is no cooling blower installed. But cheap and easy to replace.

David
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Old 11-04-2015, 11:43 AM   #49
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Yep, I have a box of capacitors of various ratings for those things.

If the nextgen is direct drive at 1800, it is a different unit than the belt drive. The belt ones run the engine at 2800, it's happy spot, and the gen is a two-pole at 3600. The direct drive 1800 machines are four pole. Not sure if Newage or Marathon, both are good industrial machines.
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Old 11-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #50
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The generator on my NextGen 3.5 kw is a Newage Markon unit. Since they advertise that the generator end is capable of 5 kw, I suspect that it is the same as NextGen's 5 kw genset. It is capacitor regulated and the capacitors are known to over heat and burn out, particularly if there is no cooling blower installed. But cheap and easy to replace.

David
We had a 3.5Kw Phasor even with fan we had to move it outside of the box.
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Old 11-09-2015, 03:14 PM   #51
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Next Gen 3.5 KW

I recently installed a Next Gen 3.5KW in my Helmsman 38. I purchased directly from Next Gen, excellent pricing and saved a lot of state sales tax. They were very helpful and service was excellent.

The install was done by my local marine electrician. The unit only weighs 160 lbs, and I decided not to enclose it, as the main salon lazarette where I put it is well sound insulated. The unit has a Kubota single cylinder engine, and the generator is built in Italy. Sitting directly over it, I measured 60 Decibels which is quiet enough for me. The unit installed easily and so far I have only 15 hours on it. It starts easily, and give me the equivalent of 30 Amp shore power while burning less than 1/3 GPH Diesel. I am very pleased with it.
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Old 02-26-2016, 01:55 AM   #52
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July 2011 is a long while ago but on a long shot I'm hoping you catch this.

Sent you a PM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:39 PM   #53
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just bought a 2007 boat with a NexGen 5.5. Kubota turning a toothed belt on a [labeled] Markon Generator from United Kingdom.

it has 50 hours on it and ran the AC, battery charger, microwave and fridge all together, also ran the fridge, electric stove burner, and AC at the same time.

Quiet enough. sounds like a lawn mower on the transom
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:12 PM   #54
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I have a Next Gen 3.5 in our boat, it has about 150 hours on it. Great little genny. The support folks are great when you need to call them. I'd buy another but hope that's years away for a bigger boat.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:34 PM   #55
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If I were purchasing a noisemaker , the Kubota engines seem fine.

I would troll the web to see which Kubotas are most used in lawn implements and lawn tractors.

These will have parts in stock or online for the longest time , and be easiest to maintain.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:35 PM   #56
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that is a smart idea, FF!
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:22 PM   #57
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I think if my big Kohler ever bites the dust, I'd look at replacing it with a small, quiet, hi-output DC genset....I have a big-ish inverter (Victron) which I could parallel with an identical model to produce all the AC I'd need.
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Old 10-15-2017, 08:13 AM   #58
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" I'd look at replacing it with a small, quiet, hi-output DC genset."

GREAT! this would allow the engine to only need to run at RPM to create the DC voltage that is needed.

The fuel and noise savings would be good.Would help run a bow thruster too!

For big users 24V 300A DN 50 alts are available rebuilt , 12V 240A are most common

Speed control is what all the new gas Hondas and other quality folks do, it will probably be 2-3 more decades before the boat noisemaker mfg bother.
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:02 AM   #59
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I think if my big Kohler ever bites the dust, I'd look at replacing it with a small, quiet, hi-output DC genset....I have a big-ish inverter (Victron) which I could parallel with an identical model to produce all the AC I'd need.
Or you could buy a small, quiet AC genset that is compatible with all the AC devices we have on our boats.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:05 PM   #60
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Or you could buy a small, quiet AC genset that is compatible with all the AC devices we have on our boats.
"Small" and "Quiet" don't go together in AC gennies. I would avoid like the plague those small AC sets that need to run at 3000/3600 rpm (2 pole). For a quality DC genset example consider the output/weight/compactness of this from renowned US firm Ample Power:

Genie 12V, 280 Amps

The G12/280 uses the same powerful engine as the G24/175, but produces 280 Amps at 12-volts instead of 175 Amps at 24 Volts.
Dimensions are 24L X 22W X 24H. Weight is 185 pounds.
The other advantages of a DC genset is that the efficiency losses of generating AC power then converting it back to DC for battery charging are avoided.....these are significantly more than losses from quality inverters.
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