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Old 02-02-2023, 08:38 AM   #41
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The saga of the SS Phelps continues- Boat has no generator. Diesels are beyond my budget considering boat is an 84. Got a GOOD deal on a westerbeke 4.5KW. But it's gas. OK guys, have at it why I should do or not do it. For what I'm paying for it, I could probably sell parts off it for more, so I'm rolling the dice. Question is SHOULD I do it, and are there aspects I have not considered. It would go it the lazarette.
The answer is NO, this was an easy question. A diesel boat isn't set up with the safety measures required for gasoline machinery, which are primarily bilge ventilation and ignition protected devices. On a boat with gas engine(s), every installed electrical component if required to be ignition protected (alternator, starter, pump motors, relays, etc). On a diesel boat this really isn't a concern due to the much higher flash point of diesel compared to fuel so you may have one or more non-ignition protected devices in your boat which would be a concern with a gas system now installed in the hull. The electrical systems of these old "trawlers" have been tinkered with for several decades now and you never know where a previous owner installed some non-ignition protected device in some hidden spot that you would overlook.

In theory you could retrofit the boat to address these concerns but you will probably spend same as the additional cost of a diesel generator over a gas unit. It would also make any surveyor leery, even if everything was done correctly. If you absolutely need a generator on the cheap, a portable unit is much more straightforward, just follow all the gas storage precautions you would with a gasoline powered dinghy.
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:12 AM   #42
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The answer is NO, this was an easy question. A diesel boat isn't set up with the safety measures required for gasoline machinery, which are primarily bilge ventilation and ignition protected devices. On a boat with gas engine(s), every installed electrical component if required to be ignition protected (alternator, starter, pump motors, relays, etc). On a diesel boat this really isn't a concern due to the much higher flash point of diesel compared to fuel so you may have one or more non-ignition protected devices in your boat which would be a concern with a gas system now installed in the hull. The electrical systems of these old "trawlers" have been tinkered with for several decades now and you never know where a previous owner installed some non-ignition protected device in some hidden spot that you would overlook.

In theory you could retrofit the boat to address these concerns but you will probably spend same as the additional cost of a diesel generator over a gas unit. It would also make any surveyor leery, even if everything was done correctly. If you absolutely need a generator on the cheap, a portable unit is much more straightforward, just follow all the gas storage precautions you would with a gasoline powered dinghy.
Really good points. My mind went to practicality of having two different fuels, re-sale, etc. Never thought about the ignition protection aspects, which are signficant as you point out.

Good post -

Peter
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Old 02-02-2023, 10:28 AM   #43
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Jon, Hope all goes well with your IG36 purchase. We really like our 36IG Classic. It has a 5kw Westerbeke which has been very reliable. One thing I like about having a generator is you do not have to go overboard with an elaborate battery bank if you don't want to. We only have 4 golf cart batteries for both starting and house bank. Of course the genny has its own battery. Has worked well for us. Have cruised the boat from the Great Lakes to the Florida keys!! Many great memories. Good Luck. Peace
We are getting ready to do the survey on the 1984 IG 36 classic, which I think means ďdouble cabinĒ. We plan to cruise and anchor extensively up and down the East coast, the islands over to the Panama Canal.

Adding solar and LiFePo batteries is in the plan, as the house batteries (8d) are shot.
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Old 02-02-2023, 01:25 PM   #44
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Just wondering where you are considering mounting your solar panels? I have 1 150watt panel and have not really found a great place to mount it. I had it on the side of the flybridge and did not like that, then I mounted it to the aft hand rail on the flybridge swinging up as needed. That was okay but not perfect. Best place would probably on the bimini top, but I like the option of taking the canvas off in storms or lowering the whole thing for a low bridge. Thinking of just mounting it on the aft cabin roof and give up some of that real estate. Not easy to run wires to that location without messing with the aft cabin headliner. I do like the idea of solar but not much space for it on our boat.
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Old 02-02-2023, 02:59 PM   #45
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The answer is NO, this was an easy question. A diesel boat isn't set up with the safety measures required for gasoline machinery, which are primarily bilge ventilation and ignition protected devices. On a boat with gas engine(s), every installed electrical component if required to be ignition protected (alternator, starter, pump motors, relays, etc). On a diesel boat this really isn't a concern due to the much higher flash point of diesel compared to fuel so you may have one or more non-ignition protected devices in your boat which would be a concern with a gas system now installed in the hull. The electrical systems of these old "trawlers" have been tinkered with for several decades now and you never know where a previous owner installed some non-ignition protected device in some hidden spot that you would overlook.

In theory you could retrofit the boat to address these concerns but you will probably spend same as the additional cost of a diesel generator over a gas unit. It would also make any surveyor leery, even if everything was done correctly. If you absolutely need a generator on the cheap, a portable unit is much more straightforward, just follow all the gas storage precautions you would with a gasoline powered dinghy.

+1. Absolutely do not install a gas generator in a diesel boat that hasnít been setup for gas from the getgo. Too many things will not be ignition protected.
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Old 02-02-2023, 03:03 PM   #46
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Just wondering where you are considering mounting your solar panels? I have 1 150watt panel and have not really found a great place to mount it. I had it on the side of the flybridge and did not like that, then I mounted it to the aft hand rail on the flybridge swinging up as needed. That was okay but not perfect. Best place would probably on the bimini top, but I like the option of taking the canvas off in storms or lowering the whole thing for a low bridge. Thinking of just mounting it on the aft cabin roof and give up some of that real estate. Not easy to run wires to that location without messing with the aft cabin headliner. I do like the idea of solar but not much space for it on our boat.
Iím thinking right now is on top of the Bimini. There are many fittings and brackets to do this. I will make it easy to take down if weather requires it. Maybe replace the Bimini with some kind of hard top? I really donít know what else would work. On top of the front cabin?
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Old 02-02-2023, 03:41 PM   #47
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Anybody have a Westerbeke remote panel to sell?
Or even the wiring colors in the sheathed cable & what they go to? Diagrams online don't give that. Since i am putting this in the lazarette & its gas, should i add a bilge blower to the compartment?
(To vent before start)
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Old 02-02-2023, 03:52 PM   #48
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Anybody have a Westerbeke remote panel to sell?
Or even the wiring colors in the sheathed cable & what they go to? Diagrams online don't give that. Since i am putting this in the lazarette & its gas, should i add a bilge blower to the compartment?
(To vent before start)
I really wouldn't do it, there are some decent used diesel generators out there, look hard. I just sold a 8kw Onan for $3100.
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Old 02-02-2023, 04:24 PM   #49
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I wouldn't do it, but yes get the appropriate bilge blower. Be sure your lazerette is COMPLETELY sealed from the rest of the boat. My lazerette has channels that run into the engine room for water to drain to bilge. Mount Carbon monoxide detectors.

I looked at a boat and the PO just cut a big vent hole from his lazerette to the cockpit and ran a portable in there.
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Old 02-02-2023, 04:25 PM   #50
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Tks for the reply. Boat is an 84 & sunk on land. Needs a lot more important things before i drop that kind of $ on a "nice but not necessary " option. But for what i paid fot it, its wotth having aboard.
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Old 02-02-2023, 04:53 PM   #51
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Tks Charlie. I plan to run the blower the entire time the gen is running, seal all but one limber hole for water in center. Draw a vacuum on the lazarette.
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:06 PM   #52
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Please take the advice against a gas gen in a diesel boat seriously. Do look around more for a diesel running take out. I've seem Westerbekes occasionally under $1000. If you're good at finding parts made from unobtainium old Onans can be found for far less. I recently picked up a running 7.5 for $500 to use as a parts donor.
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:13 PM   #53
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I've seem Westerbekes occasionally under $1000. If you're good at finding parts made from unobtainium old Onans can be found for far less. I recently picked up a running 7.5 for $500 to use as a parts donor.
Yep. I've got a Westerbeke 5.0bcd that's surplus to needs and will be coming up here cheap.
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Old 02-02-2023, 05:15 PM   #54
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How cheap, diesel & where are you?
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:21 PM   #55
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How cheap, diesel & where are you?
Toronto. Will post an ad here.
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Old 02-02-2023, 06:35 PM   #56
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I’m thinking right now is on top of the Bimini. There are many fittings and brackets to do this. I will make it easy to take down if weather requires it. Maybe replace the Bimini with some kind of hard top? I really don’t know what else would work. On top of the front cabin?
Think You are on the right track. Top of the bimini or a hardtop would probably be the best location. Our front cabin gets shaded easily depending on the boats relation to the sun. Not a bad place to sit when it is shady.
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Old 02-02-2023, 07:59 PM   #57
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Thanks again for all of the different responses! I will be moving my posts to the Island Gypsy page from now on.

Yes the boat still has teak decks. Iím not thrilled with this but will work with them or remove them.

The solar option is on my mind instead of a generator. With the cost of a used 8k genset being roughly 6,000.00, a lot of batteries and solar can be installed. This would limit or eliminate the use of the AC when away from a dock. It would probably limit use of a water maker as well. ...
Some IG teak laid decks have foam board as the "sandwich" material instead of teak offcuts that tend to rot. You may get a look around the lazarette edges. If so it makes a deck redo way easier/cheaper.
If I acquired a boat with no genset I might well follow ronobrien`s approach of passive solar + more batteries + Honda 2-3kw for back up/occasional use. Retrofitting a diesel genset is going to be a PIA.
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Old 02-02-2023, 08:09 PM   #58
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Iím thinking right now is on top of the Bimini. There are many fittings and brackets to do this. I will make it easy to take down if weather requires it. Maybe replace the Bimini with some kind of hard top? I really donít know what else would work. On top of the front cabin?
Challenge is having structure to support a person while installing the panels. Flexible solar panels secured to the Bimini with rare earth magnets might work but I doubt they'd survive more than about 40-50 kts, and thats only a guess.

Will be interested to see what you do and how it works out. So many times folks like me see the negative, but it works out just fine.

Good luck -

Peter
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Old 02-03-2023, 04:38 PM   #59
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Challenge is having structure to support a person while installing the panels. Flexible solar panels secured to the Bimini with rare earth magnets might work but I doubt they'd survive more than about 40-50 kts, and thats only a guess.

Will be interested to see what you do and how it works out. So many times folks like me see the negative, but it works out just fine.

Good luck -

Peter
If you built a light weight hard top, you could glass in "L" brackets and you could slide in the panels to a stop. Then you'd only need to put in one stop on the end to hold the panels in place. 2 or 3 rows, whatever you need. Then they would also be easy and quick to remove.
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Old 02-03-2023, 06:03 PM   #60
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Like one of our members said in his avatar.

There are three ways to do something.

The right way. In this case using a professional marine electrician and installer

The way somebody else did it. In this case , bad wires and plumbing, etc.

The wrong way. In this case an improvised fuel can for supply and an extension cord running to the genny with a gang plug on the end.

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