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Old 12-05-2018, 13:22   #1
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Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

I apologize in advance for what might be a dumb question, but I clearly am ignorant when it comes to portable generators. If I had a portable generator and I wanted to charge my batteries (instead of running the engine) while at anchor, does it just plug into the boatís shore power connection? Or is it more complicated than that? Iím not trying to run ac, just charge the batteries.
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Old 12-05-2018, 13:47   #2
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Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

It can.
The venerable Honda for example is available in two models for the US version, all this is US 110V 60hz only, rest of the world is of course different.
One model has two regular house plugs, you can use an adapter to convert to the shorepower plug, but it easily falls out in my opinion.
The other model is called a companion model, it comes with a plug that matches the shorepower plug, just plug the shorepower plug directly into it like you do at the dock. They usually cost $100 more though.
Their real intent is they are the model that you plug into if You Parallel two Hondaís together to get double the output.
One Honda can make 13 amps continuously, or two 26 of course.
The new 2200 will make more of course, just not sure exactly how much, but I would guess about 15 amps.

The Honda is very well thought of, it is sort of the standard by which others are measured.

https://powerequipment.honda.com/gen...200i-companion
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Old 12-05-2018, 13:47   #3
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

You will need a plug adapteróó- and an oxygen mask.

I have delivered two boats with portable generators. One I was on without the owner and (long story) had to run the generator for an hour to charge some equipment. The fumes almost asphyxiated me in 10 minutes.

The other was owner assisted and we needed to run the gen to feed the water maker. Same thing.

Both times the generator was on the aft-most part of the deck and outboard. Both times the CO and exhaust fumes came into the cabin.

If you insist on doing this, please install a CO/CO2 detector! And obey it.

Some folks connect a Rube Goldberg connection to port the exhaust below the gunwale, that may work.
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Old 12-05-2018, 13:55   #4
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

What I do.... with my little Honda.

I simply plug it into my shore power connection..... I have a short pigtail just for this job.

However....

My shore power switchboard has three switches.... battery charger - Hot Water - and a switch for a pair of 240V sockets.

I switch off the Hot Water... failure to do so makes the gen set unhappy..... very unhappy.

I leave the sockets energised so I can use them for minor duties if so required.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2018, 15:14   #5
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Ditto separate circuit for the charger. My charger connects between the circuit breaker and inverter/shore supply selector so that the charger can never run off of the inverter and can still operate with the rest of the boats AC circuit isolated in the "off" position.

As for CO issues. There's been a number of fatalities caused be the use of portable gensets on boats so definitely install a CO detector in the cabin. Having said that, the induction of CO into the cabin would be very dependent on the deck structure of the vessel, the position if the generator and wind speed and direction.
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Old 12-05-2018, 16:19   #6
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
...the induction of CO into the cabin would be very dependent on the deck structure of the vessel, the position if the generator and wind speed and direction.

One would think so, but one boat was a Bene 36.7 and the other was a PDQ cat. Both time the gen was well aft of and outboard of the superstructure of the cabin.
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Old 12-05-2018, 17:40   #7
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Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
One would think so, but one boat was a Bene 36.7 and the other was a PDQ cat. Both time the gen was well aft of and outboard of the superstructure of the cabin.


A large reason I sold my Hondaís and went to an built in gennie was CO.
I had a real sensitive CO meter for work, would read single parts per million and no matter where on the boat I put the Honda, I got measurable amounts of CO inside of the boat, not dangerous, but measurable, and CO is cumulative, you donít get rid of all of it with just a little fresh air, it stays in the bloodstream for quite some time. I found that if I lowered the dinghy into the water and put the Honda in the dinghy, then there was zero CO in the boat, and the Honda couldnít be heard from inside of the boat, but that was a pain.

Having said all that, I have a brand new in the box Honda Companion model that has never been serviced sitting beside me now, wondering if I should sell it or keep it. Bought it for battery charging, hate to put so many hours on the Diesel generator, now Iím not so sure.
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Old 13-05-2018, 08:50   #8
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

here is a electrician note; if generator has a ground fault device this device monitors voltage potential between ground and neutral if boats electrical has been bonded this will trip device. then lies dilemma would not consider safe to modify cord. fair winds
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Old 13-05-2018, 09:52   #9
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Cruising in Florida for years, I've seen many cruisers with portable gas generators (mostly Honda's) running them at night, on deck, or in the aft part of the cockpit. I assume that they are using them to run air conditioning, (as it was in late spring or summer)... so the boat would have all the ports and hatches closed.. totally sealed. I wonder if CO2 can still enter somehow. For all that have experienced fumes in the cabin... where some hatches or ports open, or was the boat closed up? Reason is, I was thinking of running A/C with a portable generator... but not if there would be a CO2 problem... can't see how the gas could get in it the boat is totally close.
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Old 13-05-2018, 10:47   #10
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Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

It still gets in, a boat, or mine anyway is not airtight.
However as has been said have at least one CO detector, I have one that is also a smoke detector, so two birds, one stone.
They do have life limits I think, they donít last forever, Iíd assume over time the sensor goes bad?
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Old 13-05-2018, 12:16   #11
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

CO concerns is one of the reasons I prefer to run the engine vs a gas generator but it is a fact that there are many cruisers with Honda's or equivalent generators. I have always thought that the safest way would be to extend the exhaust and dip it in the water. It may not be optimal for the generator die to back pressure but it will definitely be as safe as it gets. A next level modification that will get rid of most noises is to create a water proof enclosure and dip the whole generator in the water with a snorkel for the intake and a U urn exhaust that goes above the water and then back in. I would not go through all this trouble but I can imagine it may be worth while for someone who is keen on using gas generators safely. May be position the whole thing on one of these outboard motor mounts for easy lowering and raising.
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Old 13-05-2018, 12:36   #12
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Year's ago, i had a 12 volt Honda generator for charging battery's, i would hang it over the transom to negate any CO2 and reduce the noise, loved that unit, it wasn't marketed in the states for some reason, [didn't have AC output]
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Old 13-05-2018, 14:50   #13
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Yes. I used an adaptor lead I made up so that I could put the Honda gen-set under cover out of the rain and where the exhaust faced down-wind. It worked really well. One has to be careful not to overload the gen-set by running an air conditioner--I was limited to fans. Everything else worked fine. If you have a 2kva gen-set you might even run a microwave.
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Old 13-05-2018, 16:46   #14
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

One word: Solar Panels
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Old 13-05-2018, 17:16   #15
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Re: Does portable generator plug into shore power outlet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
One word: Solar Panels
Not to nitpick, but that was two words



And here's another two: Cloudy days.
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