My experience with FP units is not extensive: serviced several on boats I looked after in the BVI for 2 years; installed 2 on other yachts in the Northeast; and put 2 units in emergency/service trucks (one 10 kW, one 15 kW - both with remote
roof mounted rads); but I'll tell ya my thoughts anyway...
units were tricky to install, cranky to get running right, and difficult to service
. They are so tightly packed into their sound shields that there is no margin of error left for any kind of issue arising inside - like a tiny fuel
leak. any of those sorts of things inside those enclosures make a god awful mess in a hurry - coating all the electronics
and resulting in more problems down the road. I had a throttle regulator
unit (a DC motor
and ballscrew assembly) fall off one unit, several contacts vibrate loose on another, and 2 exhaust
elbows corrode out creating a horrible mess inside that lovely fiberglass
and foam enclosure.
I will also say, as an engineer
who designs similar pieces of hardware
, these units are beautifully done - at least in theory. Also, at least 50% of the issues I saw with these units were related to crappy installation
and poor systems layout and planning; not really the designers fault - although they do seem to assume too much intelligence on the part of both the installers and the operators.
Contrast this with the land based units - the ones I put on the service
trucks - which are running like sewing machines. There has been absolutely no issue with either of them, and they look and sound like the day they went in. both are at over 3000 hours now. From this I conclude 2 things: Salt water
is the main killer (the closed loop roof mounted rads circulate only glycol); and that in general, marine
applications are just that much more demanding.
YMMV of course...