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Old 14-09-2011, 16:13   #1
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Generator Etiquette

I admit it; I use my generator. We currently only get to spend a few weeks on our boat at a time. It's in the Caribbean, and it's hot 24/7. During the day the heat is fine. If I get a little hot, I get wet. We don't like to sleep in a pool of sweat and two weeks is not long enough to get acclamated, so we run the deisel genset so that we can run the air conditioner through the night. It also helps to take a lot of the humidity out of the boat. And, of course it gets the batteries charged.

Now, I know that some, maybe most, of the people on here hate to hear a generator running. I don't care for it either but ours is pretty quiet as compared to others I've heard. It is far quieter than a dingy outboard, but of course a dingy doen't run all night.

When we enter an anchorage we try to choose a spot that is far enough from other boats so that we don't hear their activities. The exception would be a known party spot.

So, what can I do to let all you genset haters know that if you anchor close to us you'll be serenaded by the burning of deisel through the night?

From the jolly roger thread, I'm thinking maybe I can just hoist one of those to tell everyone that we might not be thinking about being the quieted boat in the anchorage.

On the upside, the boats running their gensets probably have the coldest drinks and plenty of ice. So anchor far away but feel free to stop by for a sundowner. Us part time cruisers that are planning to be full time cruisers would enjoy meeting those of you who are living out the way we plan to.



Lucky Larry
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:25   #2
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Re: Generator Etiquete

Respectfully, I don't believe you could make big enough letters on the sides of your boat that said something like "All Night Generator" that could be read from the maximum distance it could be heard.
Imho, a truly quiet generator doesn't exist except in boats over 100'.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:36   #3
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Re: Generator Etiquete

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
I admit it; I use my generator. We currently only get to spend a few weeks on our boat at a time. It's in the Caribbean, and it's hot 24/7. During the day the heat is fine. If I get a little hot, I get wet. We don't like to sleep in a pool of sweat and two weeks is not long enough to get acclamated, so we run the deisel genset so that we can run the air conditioner through the night. It also helps to take a lot of the humidity out of the boat. And, of course it gets the batteries charged.

Now, I know that some, maybe most, of the people on here hate to hear a generator running. I don't care for it either but ours is pretty quiet as compared to others I've heard. It is far quieter than a dingy outboard, but of course a dingy doen't run all night.

When we enter an anchorage we try to choose a spot that is far enough from other boats so that we don't hear their activities. The exception would be a known party spot.

So, what can I do to let all you genset haters know that if you anchor close to us you'll be serenaded by the burning of deisel through the night?

From the jolly roger thread, I'm thinking maybe I can just hoist one of those to tell everyone that we might not be thinking about being the quieted boat in the anchorage.

On the upside, the boats running their gensets probably have the coldest drinks and plenty of ice. So anchor far away but feel free to stop by for a sundowner. Us part time cruisers that are planning to be full time cruisers would enjoy meeting those of you who are living out the way we plan to.



Lucky Larry
Well Larry, thanks for the opportunity to comment on this. It takes me back to Fetiye, Turkey in 1990...ish. The anchorage was beautiful tree lined bay, a few yachts anchored. the breezes soft and warm. As everyone settled down to enjoy their sundowners in this wonderful environment......a generator started up, quiet as it was, it reverbeated around the whole anchorage in the stilling air. I saw every boat owner look over to see who it was and people called out to stop the noise but on it went...I rowed my dinghy over to quietly let them know how many of their fellow boaters were having to tolerate the noise of their genset but not the benefits they were enjoying....the noise stopped and a big cheer went up from all the boats around!

Larry, I'd look into setting up a wind scoop in the forward hatch, they work well even in light airs....do try it, please!!
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:38   #4
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Re: Generator Etiquete

You're welcome to run it next to me, even if you don't offer ice and drinks. IMHO people get way too bent out of shape over trivia. If its reasonably quiet and I'm in my cabin and its keeping me awake then I'd have been awake anyway. Your gennie might be a convenient scapegoat but that's all it is.

I don't run ours at night b/c we're in the PNW but I'd run it in a heartbeat if I felt the need to. If you're really worried about it, most of the gennie noise comes from the water exhaust. If you put in a water separator and return the cooling water under the waterline it will make a huge difference in the noise level.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:41   #5
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Re: Generator Etiquete

The etiquette is you do not make noise after sunset that may disturb your neighbors, just like at a campground.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:41   #6
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Re: Generator Etiquete

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
I admit it; I use my generator. We currently only get to spend a few weeks on our boat at a time. It's in the Caribbean, and it's hot 24/7. During the day the heat is fine. If I get a little hot, I get wet. We don't like to sleep in a pool of sweat and two weeks is not long enough to get acclamated, so we run the deisel genset so that we can run the air conditioner through the night. It also helps to take a lot of the humidity out of the boat. And, of course it gets the batteries charged.

Now, I know that some, maybe most, of the people on here hate to hear a generator running. I don't care for it either but ours is pretty quiet as compared to others I've heard. It is far quieter than a dingy outboard, but of course a dingy doen't run all night.

When we enter an anchorage we try to choose a spot that is far enough from other boats so that we don't hear their activities. The exception would be a known party spot.

So, what can I do to let all you genset haters know that if you anchor close to us you'll be serenaded by the burning of deisel through the night?

From the jolly roger thread, I'm thinking maybe I can just hoist one of those to tell everyone that we might not be thinking about being the quieted boat in the anchorage.

On the upside, the boats running their gensets probably have the coldest drinks and plenty of ice. So anchor far away but feel free to stop by for a sundowner. Us part time cruisers that are planning to be full time cruisers would enjoy meeting those of you who are living out the way we plan to.



Lucky Larry
I understand the acclimation thing. I tolerate a much higher room temperature now that I've moved aboard my boat than I did before. And I agree with you -- it's when you want to sleep that you need the boat cooler. Windscoops are better than nothing but I think they're much better for acclimated folk. i don't know the answer for this one because I sympathize -- but I really hate the sound of a generator.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:45   #7
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Re: Generator Etiquete

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Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
So, what can I do to let all you genset haters know that if you anchor close to us you'll be serenaded by the burning of deisel through the night?
Just let everybody in the anchorage know that you are saving up for a LiFePO battery pack to run the AC all night. They'll understand.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:51   #8
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Re: Generator Etiquete

I paddled away from my running Honda e1000i one evening to test how the sound carries.

It fades out quite quickly.

Anyone close enough to hear that thing humming is parked rudely close, unless it's a very crowded anchorage, in which case I can always count on someone else running a much louder generator anyway.

I rarely run the generator at all, but when I do, I no longer worry about the noise.
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:58   #9
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Re: Generator Etiquete

Larry, is the genset enclosed in a sound enclosure? Do you have a gas/water separator (Vetus or Soundown) on the exhaust? Those things help a lot to keep you on the good side of the others.
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Old 14-09-2011, 17:43   #10
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Re: Generator Etiquete

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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
The etiquette is you do not make noise after sunset that may disturb your neighbors, just like at a campground.
+1
A simple, courteous rule.

My ex and I were the only boat at Conception Island (Bahamas) for 3 glorious days when a large motor yacht (75 feet +/-) pulled in. Great, we thought, now we have to listen to a genset all night. The motor yacht then proceeded to work it's way through the coral heads until it was as far away as possible. Just as we were heaving a sigh of relief, they launched some jet skis. As we were contemplating the ruin of our peaceful anchorage, two of the jetskis came running up to our boat, said hello, and requested that we call them if they made too much noise. They then went back to the motor yacht, and we neither heard nor saw them again.

We were so dumbfounded I'm still not sure if we actually said anything.

To my thinking it was a well run charter vessel. If they can be so courteous while trying to make a buck, it would seem that cruisers could do the same.

Always err on the side of courtesy. Karma is powerful stuff.
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:04   #11
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Re: Generator Etiquete

I hate the heat as much or more than the next person. So I insulated the hull and underdeck, rigged an awning and a windscoop. In the slightest breeze I am comforatable. I have never understood the whole generator thing. Why spend huge amounts of money to buy a boat to be part of the great outdoors just to stay inside and watch tv in airconditioning?

I kinda don't mind running the genset for a couple of hours during the day to charge things up. I do the same thing when we loose power at home after a hurricane but I would never run it more than a few hours a day.

Thank you for asking. I think that you knew what the answer was before you asked it
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Old 14-09-2011, 18:54   #12
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Re: Generator Etiquete

I think it depends on the type of generator. We have a 8KW northern lights and it is extremely quite. The only thing you hear from on deck is the water out the exhaust. We also have 2 Honda 2KW generators that we run in parallel and those are up on the deck. We run the Honda's to save money as it is much cheaper than running our big 8KW diesel. Although the Hondas are relatively quite we are very careful not to run them after dark, early in the morning, or when we are in a very quite anchorage (even during the day). We have been anchored next to people that run a Honda up on there deck late into the night and although you do get use to the noise we personally would not want to impose on others in that way. If we have to turn the generator on before 9 am or after sundown we start the big diesel and pay the price for the extra fuel so we do not become a nuisance to others
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:02   #13
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Re: Generator Etiquete

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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Imho, a truly quiet generator doesn't exist except in boats over 100'.

Not sure about that. I have a Kohler 7.5KW machine and it is very quite. But it operates at 1800 RPM. I can barely hear the exhaust noise when I am right next to my boat in my dinghy.

In past years I have hauled anchor and relocated when I found myself near a boat running a generator at night. It was not the engine noise that bothered me, it was the water leaving the exhaust stream...swish.....swish....

I never run my genny after about 7-8PM but again, we are not in warm waters.

Foggy
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:05   #14
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Re: Generator Etiquete

My generator is MUCH quieter than any wind generator in 10+ knots of wind...is quieter than 4 people enjoying good conversation and cocktails, is quieter than ANY halyard slapping, etc..etc...

It's in a sound enclosure and water muffled......

Some people just dislike them because they can....
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Old 14-09-2011, 19:13   #15
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Re: Generator Etiquete

I would never row over to someones boat to tell them to turn off their genset.....

To me it is "white noise"

There again there is a sailboat in Baltimore that has a 71 series Detroit Diesel Genset....It's been so long I can remember how many cylinders it
had....but talk about a screamer....that one can be heard from over a quarter mile away

That one would have me getting the swivel gun out.
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