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Old 13-09-2012, 10:25   #1
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Backup Generator

Hey all. I am looking at installing a backup generator to by boat. I currently have an Air-x wind generator to help keep things charged. My boat is currently equiped with an Atomic 4 gas engine, so I was thinking of converting the stern locker to hold a 4000 watt portable gas generator and connect it to my main fuel tank. There is already a y-valve installed on the fuel lines, so is this a good idea or am I nuts? I'm not looking to run it full time, just for when the wind generator can't keep up or the wind is very light. The one I'm looking at installing, well, to be honest I'm looking at doing it kind of ghetto, and just using my shore power cable to plug the genny into my shore power outlets. Like I said, I don't want it for full time use, just for emergency use or occasionally to run my a/c unit off of (not sure if it will, but want to give it a try). Plus, I don't want to spend $3000+ for a dedicated generator. I can do this for roughly $500. Ideas?
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Old 13-09-2012, 12:08   #2
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Re: Backup Generator

If you just want a emergency gen set or something to run your battery charger, the HONDA 2000(2 KW) is a great unit.

I used one on my last boat by placing it on the bpow and plugging my shore power cord into it.

It has an internal fuel tank and runs for about 3-4 hours on a tank of fuel.

Ebay has some good prices on new HONDA EU 2000i
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Old 13-09-2012, 12:41   #3
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Re: Backup Generator

I was thinking more something like this:
3500/4000-Watt Portable Generator with RV Ready, CARB-46533 at The Home Depot

Not sure if its feasable, but I was going to bolt it into my stern locker (which I'm not using) and tie it into my main fuel tank. Not for continuous use, obviously, as that would drain my fuel too quickly, but more to have it when I need it type deal. Or if its ridiculously hot out and I want my A/C running.
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Old 13-09-2012, 12:46   #4
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Re: Backup Generator

You do understand that's an air cooled engine? Where would you route the exahust?
Those things are beyond loud too, if you put it in the cockpit locker it'll get seriously hot, the exahust needs to be routed somewhere (and it's even hotter). It will run an ac no problem, but there are much better solutions.

I regualarly run a 9000btu ac on a honda 2000, you can store it in the locker and pull it out when needed. If you only want to charge batts you can also look at the honda 1000. or a yamaha, but what you're proposing is not a good idea at all.
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Old 13-09-2012, 12:48   #5
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Re: Backup Generator

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You do understand that's an air cooled engine? Where would you route the exahust?
Those things are beyond loud too, if you put it in the cockpit locker it'll get seriously hot, the exahust needs to be routed somewhere (and it's even hotter). It will run an ac no problem, but there are much better solutions.

I regualarly run a 9000btu ac on a honda 2000, you can store it in the locker and pull it out when needed. If you only want to charge batts you can also look at the honda 1000. or a yamaha, but what you're proposing is not a good idea at all.
Ok. Thats why I was asking. I'm just not sure a Honda 2000 would run my a/c. I've got a 12,000btu Mermaid unit.
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Old 13-09-2012, 12:52   #6
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Re: Backup Generator

I don't think the honda will run the 12k mermaid. I've got a 9kbtu window unit in the RV, the honda gen will run it and the lights and the absorption refrigerator, but nothing else. I think the problem with the 12k unit will be starting (It might though).

As far as the other gen........you'll lose the use of the whole locker, and you'll cook anything near it while going deaf in the process.

See if you can find a rental shop around you and see if they rent small honda gens. That way you can see if the 2000 will start your ac.
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:10   #7
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Re: Backup Generator

Ventilation is a big problem with those type’s of generators. You need to get a generator that is designed to be mounted in an RV, it will have ducted cooling. Go buy any RV dealer and look at the generator compartment. Also consider that these tight generators are not intrinsically safe, i.e. ignition protected. Also an expensive way to charge batteries unless you have a very large battery charger. Just my two cents, Mike.
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:15   #8
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Re: Backup Generator

I run my 16,000 BTU AC with my Honda 2000i. I can not run anything else while running the AC but I can run the house and recharge the batteries with it the rest of the time. I use my outboard motor gas tank as an auxillery gas tank and can run it all night without having to go out and refill the little built-in gas tank.
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:53   #9
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Re: Backup Generator

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I run my 16,000 BTU AC with my Honda 2000i. I can not run anything else while running the AC but I can run the house and recharge the batteries with it the rest of the time. I use my outboard motor gas tank as an auxillery gas tank and can run it all night without having to go out and refill the little built-in gas tank.
a 16k?!?! did you need to add a start cap or anything else?
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Old 13-09-2012, 13:55   #10
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Re: Backup Generator

One answer: Honda 2000i :>)
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Old 13-09-2012, 15:02   #11
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Re: Backup Generator

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Originally Posted by Kevin84 View Post
I was thinking more something like this:
3500/4000-Watt Portable Generator with RV Ready, CARB-46533 at The Home Depot

Not sure if its feasable, but I was going to bolt it into my stern locker (which I'm not using) and tie it into my main fuel tank. Not for continuous use, obviously, as that would drain my fuel too quickly, but more to have it when I need it type deal. Or if its ridiculously hot out and I want my A/C running.
A boat here in Panama is using one of those portable construction generators for battery recharging.

Like you he was trying to go cheap... The problem he found was the unit is incredibly loud and annoyning to not only him, but every other boat in the marina.

You will not make friends with something like this..

Also as previously mentioned, you will not be able to run something like this inside the boat. It is not designed to do that and will release an incredible amount of heat and defeating your air conditioner.

I still would try and find a used HONDA 2000 and if need be, a second HONDA 2000. The units are designed to run in series to create 4000 Watts

The HONDAs are much quieter than the construction type gen set.

On our Catalina 36, we put the gen set on the bow when running and the noise level was comfortable. The internal fuel tank allowed use to store the unit inside when not in use.
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Old 13-09-2012, 17:58   #12
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Re: Backup Generator

Ok. Thanks for all the replys. Just FYI, I wasn't planning on just sticking the unit in there and saying done. I was going to modify it to route the exhaust into the water and ventilate the aft locker to keep the unit cool. Not sure if that would help or not, but was what I was thinking. Might have to take a look at the Honda though.
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Old 13-09-2012, 19:24   #13
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Re: Backup Generator

be careful of carbon monoxide...heavier than air and odorless so it will fill the boat unless you have proper exhaust arrangement. This is a not a good thing to go the cheap route on in my opinion. I do like your thought process though, I am always thinking of ways to jury rig things. Hurricane Leslie just knocked out our power grid here in Newfoundland for a couple days and I had a grand time rigging up my 4000 watt contractor genset in the backyard and snaking cords thru the house. I have had a couple honda 2000's on earlier boats (the tayana has an 8kw diesel...luxury) and I am a big fan of those little sets....good luck with your power planning..Cheers. Steve
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Old 13-09-2012, 19:34   #14
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Re: Backup Generator

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Originally Posted by Ocean Cowbuoy View Post
be careful of carbon monoxide...heavier than air and odorless so it will fill the boat unless you have proper exhaust arrangement. This is a not a good thing to go the cheap route on in my opinion. I do like your thought process though, I am always thinking of ways to jury rig things. Hurricane Leslie just knocked out our power grid here in Newfoundland for a couple days and I had a grand time rigging up my 4000 watt contractor genset in the backyard and snaking cords thru the house. I have had a couple honda 2000's on earlier boats (the tayana has an 8kw diesel...luxury) and I am a big fan of those little sets....good luck with your power planning..Cheers. Steve
Oh I was planning on having a licensed marine mechanic inspect the system prior to starting the genny the first time. And having him look at the plans prior to installing it to see if I've missed anything.
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Old 13-09-2012, 19:49   #15
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Re: Backup Generator

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Oh I was planning on having a licensed marine mechanic inspect the system prior to starting the genny the first time. And having him look at the plans prior to installing it to see if I've missed anything.
No mechanic with any sort of credentials will sign off on an air cooled gen installed and operated below decks. Honestly, rent a honda gen from something like sunbelt rentals or similar near you, and see how nicely it works out.
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