Repair westerbeke or replace and with what?

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Senior Member
Jun 25, 2012
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Gulfstar 36
Ok, my last thread delt with repair generator or go inverter and larger house bank with solar. I decided to go with generator and add some solar (330 Watts. ) So now the question is do I repair the Generator or replace with another and what type. The Westerbeke has 960 hours on it. The Diesel runs well, the generator smoked no output. I can replace generator portion, back end with rebuilt or new. Both are available. The problem is removing. The marina supposed to do the work wants to remove the engine and generator one piece. This will be difficult as the generator is to the left of a small door, large enough to slide the unit out after removing the mounts and parts of the sound box. Then the unit needs to be rotated about 20 degrees clockwise to come through the opening. it will just fit. The generator will have to be lifted by human power up about 2 1/2 feet to the salon the up again out the door and over the deck rails. A lot of work and I see tons of damage possibilities. I propose just rotating so the back end is at the door and replacing the back end, OR should I bite the bullet and replace the whole unit with another brand. I seem to remember other sayings the generator portion has given them problems and have had to replace it twice. Any experience or thoughts I would appreciate.
PS something smaller in size would be a welcome but I see nothing smaller.
Rotate it, pull the gen head off, send it to Broward Armature for a rebuild.

Sounds like your easiest and cheapest option.

Have you determined the cause of the no output situation? Lots of simple things can make the output go away.
That said the Phasor Compact 6 Kw is a nice unit.
If the generator has 960 total hours, I would find a professional generator technician. Twice I thought my buddy's generator end had died from to much full load use. Each time the technician came out and diagnosed the problem with a low cost repair. From recollection he lost a capacitor one time and another time an electrical wire (not the winding) failed from vibration.

My Westerbeke 8KW died last year. The engine ran great but there was only about 12V output. The problem was one of the diodes that are internal to the windings failed. The only fix was to rewind the field coils. (Poor design in my estimation) I had a rebuilt generator (not the engine) put in. We were able to do that in place by unbolting it from the engine. The generator portion weighs about 150# as I remember. We built a sling to get it up to floor level. Have a Westerbeke tech who is familar with your model of Westerbeke take a look at it.
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Westerbeke- there's your problem, I had an 8kW in a 42' Sea Ray with the exact problem as yours, the most common advise & repair by professionals was to "excite" the field and it should produce power, except a Westerbeke. Mine needed the generator section as well, and the back end is very difficult to remove in the boat. If you decide to repair, follow the advice from David M above and exchange yours with Broward armature, they have an exchange program for the generator section and built a business rebuilding Westerke generators.
I’ve had a similar issue. Did you say the back end alternator was smoking/smoked? If you can rotate it to get the back end off, it likely needs major work and a change over option with Broward is your best bet! When my back end was removed and the rotor pulled, scorch marks and rubbing scars could be seen on the stator wiring faces. According to the service mgr, he’s seen many like this caused by wearing of the rear end shaft bearing, enough to drop the rotor so it makes contact.

Westerbeke are significantly different in their wiring design, but a change over replacement should keep you running for some years!

Anyone know who makes their generator ends? marathon and Taiyo are two I’m familiar with.
Just like OC Diver said above, my 8BT generator had the primary wire short the unit out completely last month, after 24 years of vibration wearing through the wire insulation. I had both the rotor and stator rewound at a shop, plus removal ans reinstallation (and payingfor rush service in overpriced Nassau), for about $2500. Replacement would be $12k, plus labor, in Miami, so a few days on the dock in Nassau was clearly the better option. Gen runs great now, and we never had to leave the Bahamas. With only 2800 hours, the diesel is barely broken in and has tons of hours left on it..
Sounds like the engine part of the Genny is fine.....normally if these grenade, it's because of back flow of raw water, this does not sound like your problem, so as suggested above, have a certified tech run some tests, I'll bet he can get it done and running well under 4 digits! Probably much lower actually.
To R & R the generator is the same for repair or replace. Except if it is replaced with something else there will be changes, like exhaust, fuel connections, mounts, wiring, gauges, etc. At 960 hours and engine running well, to me it makes sense, practical and economic, to repair what you have.
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