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Old 13-06-2010, 15:07   #16
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Northern Lights, they are used by lots of the commercial boats because of their reliability.

Diesels you occasionally need to load heavily to prevent carbon buildup. Babying a diesel by running them light all the time is not a good thing.


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Old 13-06-2010, 16:49   #17
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Location: Cruising Florida and the Bahamas
Boat: Lagoon 410
Posts: 94
We just replaced our lemon Fisher Panda with a NorPro 7kw.
Some of the advantages:
5 year, 5000 hour warranty
yanmar diesel
your ultra basic KISS genset in comparison to the FP which caused me nothing but problems.
I paid $6400 for the genset and $1200 for the enclosure in Jan of this year. We got a quote for the FP at about $13,000. I think Norpro have increased their prices now but you may still find something at a boat show.

You can get a fancy monitoring panel - as much as I would like to get a better picture of what the genset is doing, we opted out and went for the basic stock panel. You have a much better chance of fixing you unit in the Bahamas than the one with all the extra sensors and electronics.

We are 250 hours into our new set, we run it everyday (right now 95 degrees) as we are cruising the Bahamas right now and not a hitch of a problem. The enclosure was a bit larger and overall heavier than the FP and a couple of dB louder but overall we are very happy with our purchase.

We average about 0.37 GHP fuel consumption, though mostly loaded at ~50-60% of capacity.

Norpro's customer service was so-so. They shipped us a 220v set even though we requested a 110v. Bickered with them forever to let us exchange the 220 breaker for a 110 breaker. The only way they would do it was to charge us something like $180 for the breaker. Picked one up at We$t Marine for $40 and just said F-it as we were headed for the Bahamas. Boggles my mind that they would black mark themselves on such a trivial issue???

Don't undersize. Look at some typical usage scenarios to make sure you have enough power. For us we have to be able to make water and charge batteries at the same time. I would shoot for 75% of the rated power as your target as you wouldn't want to run the unit at full load for any extended period of time. For me, making water, charging batteries and a bit our 110 for misc. components we average about 36 amps.

There you have it, the good and the bad.


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Old 02-08-2010, 05:24   #18
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Caribbean
Boat: Cheoy Lee, 44 Cutter. Dolce Far Niente
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Genset selection

Beyond picking the right genset for electrical requirements, durability maybe the most important factor I looked at in the selection process. In this regard there is a company in Seattle Wa called Mer Equipment that builds Isuzu powered continuous duty generators mostly for commercial fishing applications. They are more expensive than the simple recrational products offered by Onan, Northern Lights, Westerbeke etc, but the lifespan with good maintainance is between 20,000 and 50,000 hours. They are constucted with no expensive computerized components are simplistic in every way and can be repaired by an average human with limited skills. If you factor in the lifespan of 3 - 10 times normal gensets the added cost is a deal. Plus the Isuzu is very reliable and parts can be picked up at most automotive suppiers in remote locations. I priced a 6.5kw complete and it was $13,000 delivered. for the extra $4,000 on a new build one of these gensets could outlast your boat. Now that is unusual for a mechanical item. Good luck.

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