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Old 12-26-2009, 03:20 AM   #1
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Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

I was wondering if anybody has had any expirence with "Next-Gen" generators.* I am in the process of restoring my old 1975 Marine Trader and will be in the market for a new genset.* I looked at these units at the boat show a couple years ago and was impressed at how quiet they are and also how compact.* Old genset was an "Entec" 6.5 kw, it was HUGE and un supportable parts wise.*
I'm new to posting here but have been lurking/reading for some time.* The restoration project is major, as old MT's were not known for their quality of construction.* Got the outside done, ready for final paint and right now rebuilding the engine stringers as both were totally rotted away.* Fun!.* Have pix but need to resize them.* Will figure out how and do a post of the work in progress later.* Been doing so much I could do a TV show "This Old Boat"* whith all that I have gone thru so far.*

Bill
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Don't know about "next gen" generators. But if you decide to go with a "regular" generator, there are only two to pick from. Northern Lights and everything else. Our boat still has its original, 70s- vintage Onan MDJE and so far it continues to run as advertised. Ideally it will continue to do so until we can no longer run the boat and sink it for an artificial reef, but if the day comes that it quits, it will be replaced with a Northern Lights.
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Old 12-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Bill, We have researched the Next-Gen quite a bit and from the feedback we have received it is a very good unit and seems to be quite dependable. I too would prefer a Northern Lights but in our case it is just not practical because of the size of the unit compared to Next-Gen. It will have to mount in the engine compartment and we have to live with those constraints. The Next-Gen is the unit we will be installing. Chuck
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Old 12-26-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Marin,
There are lots and lots of gensets out there. You make it sound like NL gensets are 2 or 3 times as good as anything else. Can't be possible. First of all NL dosn't even make anything. They are an assemblage of parts from manufacturers around the world. Anybody can obtain the nessesary parts and arranging them all together is'nt rocket science. For the buck I would think Westerbeke or Klassen would be a better value and 999% as good or even better.

Eric Henning
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Old 12-26-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Well, for the most part I think every diesel marine engine for use in smaller boats like ours, either for propulsion or power generations, is based on an automotive or industrial engine. So the fact that NL uses base engines made by Yanmar, John Deere, Daimler-Benz, etc. seems sort of irrelevant.

A lot of NL gensets are purchased by people who have the money to buy any genset made on the planet regardless of cost. If you look at the equipment lists on vessels like Paul Allens 400-something foot yacht, or the yachts owned the McCaws, etc., etc. etc., they are all Northern Lights.

So I'm basing my opinion on how the market regards these generators, not on my own bias--- we don't have one anyway.

I don't know how many "times" better a NL is. Probably can't measure that anyway. But in terms of reliability and performance, they seem to consistently be the hands down winner in the comparison tests I've read, including commercial applications which are far more demanding than what we do with them.

In fact in some of the comparisons I've read it's almost like the reviewer says, okay, we've got all these generators we're going to look at. One of them is a Northern Lights and it's the best, so we're going to talk about all these others instead.

But, like everything with boats, what I said is just my opinion. So all I will say is that if it's my boat, and I have to buy or replace a diesel genset, the only thing I would consider-- at least today, don't know about the future--- is a Northern Lights because, based on what I've read and been told by people who have them or didn't buy them and subsequently say they wish they had, it's the only generator I would consider. When I hear people say, "it's almost as good as a Northern Lights," I know what kind of generator to buy.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:39 PM   #6
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

"Northern Lights and everything else."

That says it's not worth looking at anything else. But I'll accept the probable fact that it's It's your opinion aquired from someone else and enforced by your buddy Sentor. I'll admit it's a fairly safe way to shop if your'e not willing to spent any time shopping. So your'e going to base your next genset purchase on the actions of people that haven't done any research or shopping? What's this*** .. buy a Chevrolet*** ..3000000 people can't be wrong? You don't even know IF NL gensets are better. This is not fair though***** .. your'e being serious, and fairly nice as well and I'm mostly just jivin ya. But if you could make a comment like the above and not get a rise out of anyone you'd get bored. However I'll bet NL gensets are 3% better for 30% more money. The fishing industry up here in Alaska depends largely on Klassen gensets. I should call Dave and see what he says.

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Old 12-26-2009, 10:19 PM   #7
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Hi Eric. I'm afraid I don't know who Sentor is. I do tend to think that the people who build mega-yachts probably do a hell of a lot of research to determine the best components of their customer's boats. So there's no point duplicating what they've already done.

I've been associated with a yacht that had two NL gensets. The yacht was all-electric and at lest one of the gensets was running 24/7. Since their installation in the early 90s they'd been trouble free outside of routine servicing and maintenance. But you're right, I have not had any direct, long-term personal experience with them.

So if the day comes when we have to replace the Onan with a NL, I don't feel that the decision will be based on people that haven't done any research on gensets. On the contrary, I feel that the people I will be basing my decision on will have done more research than the average recreational boater because a) their clients have had the money to pay them to look into however many generators they want, b) they have had experience with a range of generators, and c) the nature of their business gives them the time to do the research, even to the point of visiting the manufacturers in person. I'm not going to do any better than that on my own.

That's not to say somebody tomorrow won't come out with a generator better than NL. But if they do, the trades will be full of positive reports about it, and I'll have something else to look at in the event we need to replace the generator.

I trust you had a great Christmas.
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:17 AM   #8
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

"I do tend to think that the people who build mega-yachts probably do a hell of a lot of research to determine the best components of their customer's boats. So there's no point duplicating what they've already done."

About 75% of marketing is "after marketing" which is done simply to keep existing owners happy , so perhaps they will come back.

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.

IS NL worth the extra? Not to me,but I dont worry about resale on my "superyacht".

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Old 12-27-2009, 04:21 AM   #9
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

The Norther Lights 6KW is my other option, however it is almost 100 lb heavier and I have
to watch the weight as the boat will become bow heavy quite easily. Thank you for th input
Chuck, I have not seen any posts/reports on the Next-Gen is why I inquired. I think the most
important issue as to the "Best" make of anything is the support/parts availability. In that aspect NL has a good rep for parts availability just about everywhere. The old Entec Gen that
was on the boat when I bought it had issues. The drive coupling to the gen let go twice on me, and probably on the previous owner also as the bellhousing had a chunk broken out of it. Also the wet exhaust elbo corroded thru, aluminum, and was not available here in the states, could get one from France at over $500! I was in the Bahamas when it let go, was lucky to get the old one welded up at a place on Grand Bahama Island, made it thru the rest of the trip but it was on it's last legs. The engine was a Kubota, no issues there, was able to get parts from any Kubota tractor dealer but the marinization by "Nanai" was useless.
Parts support along with size are my main considerations for the replacement. I've heard that Onan and Kohler use alot of "propriatary" parts, only available from them at a substantial higher price than any equalivent generic part, ie raw water pump impellers, that shy's me away from them.
Just a little expansion on the reason behind my question.
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Old 12-27-2009, 08:52 AM   #10
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Bill, There was a discussion on the SSCA discussion board a while back on the Next-Gen and they have had several discussions involving generators with folks that have been cruising for extended times. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 12-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Quote:
Marin wrote:

I do tend to think that the people who build mega-yachts probably do a hell of a lot of research to determine the best components of their customer's boats.
As one who specs such things for mega-yachts, the research has more to do with which of the well established manufacturers has a set of generators which meet the power requirement, have class approval, and are in stock or available when they are needed. Price is important as well and some manufacturers may offer attractive pricing if they need to move a set of generators at any given time and that often tips the scales.

The choice is nearly always between NL, Cat, and Kohler. Since the electrical end rarely gives any problems it is the prime mover that matters most and and NL and Kohler use brand name engines that can be serviced anywhere and that is as important as the history of the engine make and model.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:12 PM   #12
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

I agree the important factor is a long lasting engine and parts/service are available.* When/if it comes time to replace it would be with another gen with a name brand engine not what the name of the gen set is, and what fits the space.* Acraully I plan on going with the biggest hp engine rather than szing by the KW.
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Old 12-27-2009, 01:26 PM   #13
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

I have operated a lot of commercial boats in the past, and the vast majority have had N/L generators.* The last one had two 40KW units that had over 30K hours each, with only one rebuild.* They were still going strong when the new owners replaced them simply due to the advanced hours.* They chose to install another set of N/L's.* These have proven to be very reliable units.* The yacht I currently run has three generators, and the N/L is the one that always runs, and it has never failed, despite being underloaded most of the time.* I can't say anything bad about them.* .....Arctic Traveller

Trawler training and yacht charters at www.arctictraveller.com
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #14
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Isn't 50Hz the European standard? You'll want the 60.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:16 AM   #15
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

I am not sure I'm as comiitted as Marin is, but I installed a NL 4.5 kw in my previous boat and it was a fantastic unit. Extremely quiet without an enclosure.

My buddy's Westerbeke was*very loud. Both were late 90s models.

*
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:28 AM   #16
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Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Folks are forgetting that the noisemaker engine is 1/3 the package.

The generator "head" (the part that makes the electric) can be from Cambodia or ???? , the better ones come from the USA, from a commercial gen set source like Lima.

The final important part is the speed / load brain, a flyweight and spring? or an electronic box , as usual price and quality and service life will vary Widely!

Cheap , is cheap for a REASON!

That is NOT to say expensive (big add budget) is any better.

Examine the parts build list not the brand label.






-- Edited by FF on Sunday 17th of April 2011 04:29:40 AM
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:04 AM   #17
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Isn't 50Hz the European standard? You'll want the 60.
*

*Don't know about which standard goes to what country(although I do realize the US is 60hz), but generally speaking on most generators, 1800RPM(engine RPM)=60hz and 1500=50hz.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #18
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

anyone have an idea of the cost involved in replacing a genset?
my Onan is leaking oil through the front seal, mechanic says better to get a good used unit..
ofcourse he could just be looking for work.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:34 AM   #19
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Ideally it will continue to do so until we can no longer run the boat and sink it for an artificial reef, but if the day comes that it quits, it will be replaced with a Northern Lights.


Why not a simple rebuild of the original," 70s- vintage Onan MDJE," and another happy 30-40 years?

If used with light loads these "antiques" seem to have lower fuel burn than the modern yard implement powered noisemakers.

Parts are easily obtained , which may not be true from parts bin assemblies , after the "next" model is produced.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:52 AM   #20
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RE: Next-Gen 5.5Kw Generator

Re Nexgen - Peruse boatdiesel comments for some additional info

Re Westerbeke noise - my 12.5 is whisper quiet

Re Northern Lights - I'm not sure their small units (less than 7 KW) have the "live forever" reputation as their larger units

RE Kohler - I've had two small units, a 3.5 and 5 KW. Wonderful sets

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.
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