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Old 10-04-2016, 12:04   #1
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Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Buying a boat that does not have a built-in generator, but does have air conditioning.

So, to run the air conditioners at anchor we want to install a generator to make this possible and very hot nights.

What would be a cost estimate for a used generator, and or recommendations for a brand.

Admittedly, I'm new to this part of boat mechanics, but have a lot of experience with basic systems that exist on boats.

Thanks for any guidance comma

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Old 10-04-2016, 15:19   #2
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

I have no idea for a used unit. But for a new unit I recently got a Lambardini LMG -4000 4kw unit. I"m doing all the installation myself and I'm still finishing up, but so far I have bout $7,000 into the project.
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Old 10-04-2016, 15:20   #3
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

What size is the boat and what size is the A/C?


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Old 10-04-2016, 16:08   #4
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

If your boat has a 30 amp shore power, then you can run everything that you can run off of shore power with a 3.5 or bigger generator. 3500 W at 120V is 29 Amps.
I went with a Nexgen 3.5, did the work myself and like Sailorboy I may have 7 k in it, maybe a little less. The Nexgen kit is pretty complete.
If your a 50 amp boat, then you may want to go to 6KW or a little bigger.

As with everything a used generator can be hit and miss as to what your getting, unless your really mechanically inclined and know what your looking at, I'd advise against used.


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Old 10-04-2016, 17:19   #5
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

A64 is correct, but be careful. You need a generator that is rated to 3.5kw continuious, most generators are rated to their peak output which can only be sustained momentarily. Typically the continuious output is 25% or so below the peak.
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Old 10-04-2016, 17:36   #6
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Had a friend who got an estimate for a new 4.2 KW genset for an IP 38 from a reputable boat yard: $14K. That included labor.
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Old 10-04-2016, 18:23   #7
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Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Yeah, I was going to have it "professionally" installed, and ran into what was apparently several thousand dollars for a days work.
I did have a shelf glassed in, I did the rest of the install in one, long day. Really wasn't hard at all, simple mechanics. About all I had to buy was exhaust hose, fuel line and battery cable and an automatic switch so it connects automatically.
Fuel filter, exhaust muffler, engine mounts, panel and the wiring harness came with the the Nexgen.

Initially I tied into the fuel tank thru the extra bungs that had been installed for a generator, but later tied into my main fuel filter with a T, that worked better as that way I had a 30 micron initial filter and a 2 micron final, before I had only the 2 micron and was clogging filters quicker than I liked.

I had had the thru hull previously installed on last bottom job as I knew I was going to have a generator.


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Old 11-04-2016, 08:26   #8
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Yes agreed, also air conditioners have electric motors that have large back-EMF which means in laymen's terms that you need a generator that can produce peak loads of a lot more than the continuous load. So for example, if your air conditioner (when cycled on) takes 3kW, you need a generator that can produce more to start up the aircon unit. Depending on how it's rated, maybe a lot more!


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A64 is correct, but be careful. You need a generator that is rated to 3.5kw continuious, most generators are rated to their peak output which can only be sustained momentarily. Typically the continuious output is 25% or so below the peak.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:27   #9
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

I just happen to have a used 4kw Fisher Panda 120v generator for sale that is in excellent condition $4500 - this is exactly the amount I put into it within the las 100 hrs of use to make it like new.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:38   #10
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRG View Post
Yes agreed, also air conditioners have electric motors that have large back-EMF which means in laymen's terms that you need a generator that can produce peak loads of a lot more than the continuous load. So for example, if your air conditioner (when cycled on) takes 3kW, you need a generator that can produce more to start up the aircon unit. Depending on how it's rated, maybe a lot more!
Correct except for the "back - EMF" part. When the motor is not turning, it's nearly a dead short and draws a lot of current. Once it starts turning, it is the "counter emf" that reduces the amount of current drawn by the motor.
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Old 11-04-2016, 08:47   #11
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Any time generators are mentioned it reminds me of my experience with Generac generators. I've posted this before in this forum but thought it was worth saying again. You see, I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

A friend has a very low time Generac iX 1600 Generator. On starting, the over load light comes on and it will not make power. The Inverter Module has failed. A new Inverter module cost around $670.00. A brand new Generac 6719 IX Series 2000 Portable Inverter Generator list for $566.00 on Amazon.

Need I say more?
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:05   #12
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Dear All
May I suggest a DC generator, plus inverter !?

This way, you charge batteries efficiently and all the year round.

I understand that this is not optimal for the high demands of AC... sorry.

Having AC with proportional absorption, vs current on/off system, would be the way!
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:31   #13
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Cheapest way is a portable honda generator. We built a fairly waterproof enclosure on the stern deck(midship cockpit ketch) and had a transfer switch installed. With lead sheets, low noise outside; almost no noise inside. Plus any fumes are always downwind. $6k total.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:03   #14
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

For someone only wanting occasional power I have read nothing but good about the 2K Hondas witch can be tied together to supply 4k. If you want an marine water cooled, diesel?
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:05   #15
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Re: Cost estimate and recommendations for generator

Possible suggestion in starting out might be a Honda EU2000 with a "hard start" capacitor on the A/C. I have had no problem starting and running a 16K BTU marine A/C and having enough left over for many other conveniences of home. We found we started using it less and less as time went on as we begun the de-evolution process back into cavemen or more used to the conditions.


At any rate, if you find you would rather invest in a fixed unit after time, you will not lose much on the investment. Hard Start is good to have anyway and you can sell the EU2000 on the used market for pretty close to what you paid for it.
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