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Old 05-05-2015, 20:10   #1
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Boat: Luders Cheoy Lee 36
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Electrical options

Inherited Dad's 1990 36' GB Europa with Single Cummins Diesel. Dad was old school, charts and no chart plotters, 12-volt system with no inverter to generator. Hot water and 120 volt outlets only if plugged in dock side. Thinking of adding either genset or inverter to power a microwave, computer and flat screen. Have thought about adding a 120-generator to the engine as an option. Along with plumbing the hot water tank off the engine. Any thoughts ?

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Old 06-05-2015, 05:43   #2
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Re: Electrical options

A generator would provide a lot of flexibility, but I'd think you could have a very effective setup with an inverter, substantial house bank, and good charging system. Unless you stay many days continuously at anchor using lots of amp-hours, I'd think this could do the job.

Calculating your AH requirements between recharges would be a good first step. We used a spreadsheet to make that easier, and wound up with very good estimates and a well-matched system.

For sure, plumb the water heater to use engine heat.

Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37)
"Cruising in a Big Way"
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Old 19-05-2015, 17:51   #3
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Re: Electrical options

36' is on the small side for installation of a diesel genset. You probably don't have a location suitable for the physical installation and unless you need air conditioning you don't need a genset. The prior poster has the best idea. Most people in your situation that feel they need a little extra boost are getting a portable Honda. Pros and cons with that.

Why can't things remain where i carelessly left them?
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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Old 20-05-2015, 04:56   #4
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Re: Electrical options

We had a diesel genset on our 34' single-diesel trawler; no particular problem with space.

But as NewMoon suggests, starting with basic information about how long you might be away from shorepower -- and your expected energy budget -- would be the best place to start.

Up to a certain point, and inverter and a honkin' big battery bank -- with a decent alternator on the main engine -- may be quite sufficient, and not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things. Beyond that point, genset.

Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
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Old 21-05-2015, 13:53   #5
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Re: Electrical options

I use a Power Jack 3kw low frequency sine inverter, 24v input on my boat. I did have an 8kw split phase 220, but it was too heavy. These are cheap and sold by numerous vendors on ebay, but they are all the same family, it seems. Parts are available, but sometimes language and distance can make it interesting. Plenty of other models are available, too, but I recommend sine wave and low frequency for best results.

The inverter powers my microwave and coffee pot during the cruise and the shop vac, power tools and lights back at the shop.

All my power comes from solar panels, which also run the propulsion, and is stored in 6 8v golf car batteries.

If you need lots of power, 24 volts is best, I think, and adding a 24v alternator just to keep the batteries up avoids having to run at a specific rpm to get 60 cycle ac. The inverter takes care of that. Best of all, a lot of the time the engine can be off and the power is silent.

If you go to a 24 volt system, you can get 24 to 12 volt converters pretty cheap to run accessories. I have two 30 amp converters that have never given a minute of trouble, even when doused with seawater. They are inexpensive on ebay.

And yes, if you can pull heat from the engine, better it go to you than the fishies.
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