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Old 04-10-2018, 10:46 AM   #41
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Our 12.5 WB works just fine, provides power when needed and we couldn't enjoy our boating lifestyle without it. That said, if all your power needs are to heat your coffee a can of Sterno, Kenyon alcohol or Coleman stove will suffice.

As previously noted, determine your power and energy needs and the answer will appear. Idling at the dock or at anchor to charge your batteries is likely choice number 31 or so.
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Old 04-10-2018, 10:50 AM   #42
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I know it's not that helpful if your mind is made up, but it sucks to fire up the generator at a nice quiet anchorage - plus they're expensive!

Balmar 200-amp (depends on number and type of engines) - $1500

Total price for an amazing setup: $6-8k. You could probably survive with much less, and you'll never have to think about having to start the generator; just cruise, make coffee whenever you want, and always have hot water.

So you believe running a big boat's main propulsion engine with an alternator preserves an anchorage's tranquility more so than an onboard generator???? Really?
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:13 AM   #43
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I share your Honda experience!!! It (1KW) is a great generator, quite and very reliable. Mine is close to 30 years old and I have done nothing it other than oil changes but it does get little use now. When I had my Hunter sailboat it sat next to the mast, covered of course and it was my main means to battery charging.

I certainly understand the attraction to the honda generators, and believe it's quiet for you on your boat. But for other reasons that I don't fully understand, they project their noise far and wide. I hear the moment one starts in an anchorage, and thank when it stops. Built in diesels, on the other hand, are barely audible, if at all, buy your neighbors.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #44
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I share your Honda experience!!! It (1KW) is a great generator, quite and very reliable. Mine is close to 30 years old and I have done nothing it other than oil changes but it does get little use now. When I had my Hunter sailboat it sat next to the mast, covered of course and it was my main means to battery charging.
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I have a 7.5KW genny that we use for hot water and cooking while away. I also installed 4 each 295W mono solar panels along with a Victron 150-70 MPPT controller. My batteries are setup as two banks with each consisting of 4 each 215AH GCís.

My point is the solar provides just about all of our power while away from our slip. Heck, we are power pigs with 2 TVs, 8.2 cuft 120VAC fridge with self defrost lights and my list just goes on. IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM for solar, it can make your familyís life far more comfortable and you can avoid running your big engine. Not picking on you at all, just trying to offer a helpful suggestion.
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I certainly understand the attraction to the honda generators, and believe it's quiet for you on your boat. But for other reasons that I don't fully understand, they project their noise far and wide. I hear the moment one starts in an anchorage, and thank when it stops. Built in diesels, on the other hand, are barely audible, if at all, buy your neighbors.

My old reliable 1KW Honda rests comfortably and covered in my garage.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:31 AM   #45
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well think whatever you want.

my Honda 1000 on eco throttle on one side of my superstructure cant be heard on the other side of the boat more than 50 feet away.

have tested it in many places and other boaters didnt know it was running.

less noise than the birds, the frogs, the road a half mile away, the jets, the bad guitar player, the guy a mile away with the loudest stereo ever put on a boat, many installed gensets, outboards.....etc. etc.....
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:34 AM   #46
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So you believe running a big boat's main propulsion engine with an alternator preserves an anchorage's tranquility more so than an onboard generator???? Really?
Yikes! no way.
The point was to run off of batteries and charge between anchorages. I assumed he would need a bigger alternator to charge a larger battery bank.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:52 AM   #47
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Yikes! no way.
The point was to run off of batteries and charge between anchorages. I assumed he would need a bigger alternator to charge a larger battery bank.

Well, to each his own. I prefer not to run either of my main engines to charge batteries. My choice is solar (preferred) or battery charger powered via my 7.5KW generator. My battery bank has almost equal capacity that was described but I cannot go a weekend on anchor without somehow recharging. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are power pigs with refrigeration, TVs, lights, microwave etc.

Back to my old Honda days...... I fully agree with psneeld's experience pertaining to noise. Those small generators are very quite, not at all like the cheapies of yesterday peddled by Harbor Freight
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:53 PM   #48
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...
the bad guitar player...

Hmmm... didn't remember noticing you anchored nearby recently when I've been strumming...




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my Honda 1000 on eco throttle on one side of my superstructure cant be heard on the other side of the boat more than 50 feet away.

have tested it in many places and other boaters didnt know it was running.
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Back to my old Honda days...... I fully agree with psneeld's experience pertaining to noise. Those small generators are very quite, not at all like the cheapies of yesterday peddled by Harbor Freight
FWIW, I've read -- mostly on cruisersforum, probably, but maybe others too -- the small generators are quiet when they're idling or under light load, and (much?) louder when under heavy load. Might be the "audience factor," in that case. We haven't ever noticed one, as far as I know, but that might be because we've not really been near one on the water.

We once borrowed a pretty small one to run our home fridge and a couple other (I thought minor) household loads during a local power outage, and I thought that generator surprisingly loud. Think it was smaller than a 1kW model, though, if there is (was?) such a thing.

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:01 PM   #49
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Our most recent exposure was probably larger than a 1kw. Probably a 2kw. It was too far to tell exactly. I have a 3kw at home and agree there is a big difference in the noise level between low power eco mode and when it's really powering something.

It's really pretty funny when the sailboats are the noisy ones in an anchorage, and us power boats are the quiet ones :-)
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:55 PM   #50
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We once borrowed a pretty small one to run our home fridge and a couple other (I thought minor) household loads during a local power outage, and I thought that generator surprisingly loud. Think it was smaller than a 1kW model, though, if there is (was?) such a thing.

-Chris

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Our most recent exposure was probably larger than a 1kw. Probably a 2kw. It was too far to tell exactly. I have a 3kw at home and agree there is a big difference in the noise level between low power eco mode and when it's really powering something.

It's really pretty funny when the sailboats are the noisy ones in an anchorage, and us power boats are the quiet ones :-)

It is not clear if the generators described were Honda. Yes, I know from experience the noise from a cheap genny that the big box stores peddled and for all I know continue to do so. My first small genny was LOUD to the point that it even bothered me so much that I paid top buck on Nantucket for my 1KW Honda. It is not a good comparison to toss one of those POS into this discussion about the performance of a Honda. And, nope! I donít have any financial interests in Honda. Donít even own one of their cars.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:59 PM   #51
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the 2KW and 1KW I believe have the same db specs.... the 2KW is more likely to throttle down than the 1KW based on the average use I would subject it to.

I really wonder the actual experience many have with these units rather than just passing on the quiet anchorage myth.

Sure I experience some totally quiet anchorages, but many of mine along the AICW really arent.... if really a silent anchorage I abstain, move, or ensure I buffer the sound to near silent.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:41 PM   #52
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There are many Chinese "copies" of the quiet and efficient Honda "suitcase" gennie,and Yamaha generators.I had one of the copies on a previous boat, noisy, cranky, hard to start,not a patch on the originals. Some copies are ok, like Kipor, but on my experiences (not on my boat, I have an Onan), the Honda is hard to beat
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:39 PM   #53
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I have 2kw solar, and 2 x 200A alternators. So its only after a cloudy/rainy day that I'm not moving to a new anchorage that I need to run a generator. Battery bank is 1284 Ah AGM, and I had drawn down 670 Ah by this morning. More cloud and some rain and prefer not to move today, so out came the Honda's.

I have a pair of 2kw units running at present. With just one it was running hard and still subject to overload unless I reduced max charge current. Now, with a parallel cable and two running in eco mode its pretty quiet and charger runs at full capacity.

Patches of sunshine at present, so getting solar boost also and seeing a total of 180 A charge rate. Once I'm back to 75% SoC I'll put the Honda's away.

I don't have aircon, and heating water is via the engines or at anytime via the Webasto hydronic system's furnace. The latter has a bypass 'summer loop' that avoids heating the whole boat when not desirable. So I really don't miss having a diesel genny. Indeed, I tossed the 7.5 kW Onan and the 2.5 kW Mase units the PO had installed and have no regrets at all.

For the OP, consider larger battery bank, a quality inverter, plus larger alt and solar. And have a Honda, 3kW if you want to run aircon occasionally. This should meet your needs easily. But if you need aircon for a lot of the time, installing a diesel genny would be the way to go.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:19 AM   #54
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It is not clear if the generators described were Honda.

Yes, the small one we borrowed was a Honda. I think running close to full power almost all the time during that particular event.

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Old 04-11-2018, 06:38 AM   #55
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For the OP, consider larger battery bank, a quality inverter, plus larger alt and solar. And have a Honda, 3kW if you want to run aircon occasionally. This should meet your needs easily. But if you need aircon for a lot of the time, installing a diesel genny would be the way to go.[/QUOTE]

if I remember correctly two 2kw Hondas are cheaper and more efficient than 1 3kw Honda at the same load .they are a lot easer to move around too. I have a 2000i companion I used on the old boat . the 30 amp power cord plugs right in with no adaptors .if I get another one to go with it I will get the standard version. then I will have the emergency battery charger .

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Old 04-11-2018, 06:57 AM   #56
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OK bought a new to me 1985 34T MK III. has the 200hp Perkins.
No generator onboard. But the elec. panels are setup for one.

Any suggestions on a generator ? Size ? Mainly want it to run the water heater for showers and morning coffee. Maybe not at the same time.
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Only way currently to recharge is by running the main or dockside. We have done w/o a genny for years (another boat). The Mainship had a genny at one time and we were looking at options.
Not a live aboard but looking at anchoring out for several days to a week or at least longer than we have gone before. Although we would probably run-cruise somewhere to another anchorage during that time frame.
As above, I'll have to run the numbers and see how long the batteries will hold up...

I've been thinking on this more... since we owned the same boat. Electric/alchohol cooker and AC/DC fridge.

We had an installed diesel genset, and used the electric galley... so we simply started the genset morning and evening to cook, charging the battery at the same time. That could get us through a week at anchor easily enough.

Solar didn't exist at the time but as I think on it now, installing solar panels wouldn't have been all that easy, I think, given the bimini (IOW, no hardtop), unless maybe some of the roll-out panels could work. Deploying, connecting, disconnecting, stowing, deploying, connecting, disconnecting, stowing... doesn't sound too great, to me.

But another way to get through a week at anchor -- as others have said -- could well be a much bigger battery bank, an inverter for whatever small appliances that might be aboard, and a suitcase generator. I think the latter would be best running on propane... partly because it's reasonably easy to store propane safely, partly because that eliminates potential fuel problems with ethanol gas in MD), partly because quick safe storage would like be easier (no need to drain carb), etc. Genset sized to run the onboard AC, given MD summers.

Batteries, maybe a bank of four L16s for a 600-Ah house bank, or even six for a 900-Ah bank. Or maybe six GC2s for about 660-Ah capacity, or eight for 880-Ah. I'd maybe consider individual weight of each battery, lifting requirementds, before choosing. Charger eventually upsized to deal with that kind of capacity. Or maybe a combination inverter/charger to simplify installation.

And change all your lighting to LED.

IIRC, there was a single 8D battery, probably about 245-Ah, to starboard in the engine room, for both starting and house functions. (Sound right?) I think I remember you could park a '57 Chevy in the space where that battery lived, so I'd think adding batteries wouldn't be a space issue. Watering wasn't easy; today I think I'd go with AGMs, but there are battery watering systems for flooded lead acid batteries. If you simply add capacity, with no wiring changes, you'd still have the suitcase genset to charge in case you inadvertently ran the bank down too low (we had the installed genset for that). But it didn't take much in the way of cranking amps to start our DD 8.2T, so a charge from a small suitcase genset would very likely start your Perkins if necessary.

What I'm leading to is thought about what numbers to be comparing. Installed genset (including installation), maybe or maybe not some of those other electrical upgrades... vs. larger battery bank, invert/charger (for example), and suitcase generator.

But then also consider "hassle factor" with the suitcase thing. I dunno much about that, but others have made it sound like not too much twiddling.

Except for that electric cooking thing, and given all-LED lighting, I'd bet we could have lasted about 4-5 days at anchor without recharging, if we'd had an 880-Ah battery bank. Just a guess, though. The fridge wasn't all that efficient back then, at that would have been the biggest drain.

If so, maybe a simple spare battery and some jumper cables would be enough of a starting backstop, maybe no genset required at all if your Perkins will provide hot water reasonably quickly... and if your current fridge doesn't chew through batteries like our older one did... and if that's enough time at anchor between shorepower recharges... and if AC at anchor really isn't required...

And so forth...

I could see your way forward being incremental. Change lighting to LEDs, upsize your battery bank, put a spare starting battery and jumper cables (or maybe a jump pack) onboard, go anchor somewhere, see how long that lasts. Evaluate what else, if anything, you might want to do after that... If it's even close, maybe just upsizing your alternator would be an option, too, for some better charging while making hot water.

Hmmm.... I seem to have rambled a bit...

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:04 AM   #57
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We used to use a 2Kw Honda inverter series to charge batteries. If the charger was limited to 5 amp AC input which gave 33 amp DC output, the Honda was reasonably quiet but slow to bring back the bank to 80% SOC. The next step for our charger was 10 amp AC input which gave 66 amp DC output. Twice the charging rate but also noticeably louder that I would only run that way in the middle of the day with other boat traffic around. The next step was 15 amp AC / 100 amp DC which is above the continuous amp limit of the Honda. I did not risk the health of the Honda running there and it was too loud anyway.
It seemed like there was always at least one bonehead boat in any anchorage that would run a construction generator around dinner time past sunset thus destroying the tranquility of the evening.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:00 AM   #58
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A diesel generator is louder than a Honda, but because it is installed in side the boat the hull absorbs most of the sound and the thru hull exhaust is pretty quiet after running thru a lift can muffler. The generally quiet Honda set on your swim platform projects what little noise it makes across the water. I believe we have all experienced conditions where you can hear the conversation across a creek as plain as day. It is probably the exception when the whole anchorage is disturbed by such a unit but annoyances have a way of standing out. Anyone using a cheap construction generator around others is just rude and has probably been inconsiderate their whole life.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:24 AM   #59
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Who says its on a swim platform?

And on the opposite side of my boat, it has 2x as much boat absorbing the sound as something 10x louder in the middle.

I have tested noise levels numerous times and would not run it if others were close or I couldnt shield the sound adequately.

Everyone I ask say they never knew I was running it.

Making all inclusive assumptions is just as rude.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:28 AM   #60
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My earlier ramblings brought back a few other memories, of dubious value...

This was in the early- to mid-'90s, we didn't have no steenkin' smart phones or other small DC-hungry devices, we didn't have an inverter (so no microwave or TV without the generator), and biggest DC drains on our system were the incandescent anchor light (all night) and the AC/DC fridge running on DC all the time we were away from the dock.

The inverter thing was a serious attraction; we didn't care much about TV and so forth, but we often rafted up with other club members, mostly serious sailors, who were all able to produce hot canapes at Happy Hour, and early morning coffee, without having started up their generator. "How you do that?" I asked. Inverter, of course.

Then again, I can't remember if we even had a microwave to tun with an inverter anyway. (Think we did; I'm a bit hazy on that.)

And we solved the coffee thing with a percolator on a one-burner Coleman propane camp stove in the cockpit. Or else on the propane grill, sometimes. And we could do a few decent meals using propane in the cockpit...

But I really, really wanted an inverter. Two boats and 25 years later (11 years into this boat), I finally got one.

At this rate, maybe that bow thruster is still another 10 years down the road...

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