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Old 22-04-2014, 10:02   #1
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Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

Hi,

We are commissioning a new sailboat this spring and it will have a Fischer Panda 12 Mini installed by the yard. I have seen comments concerns with the FP products. I can't tell if there are historical issues or if there are current quality and design issues.

If you have direct experience with FP generators and are willing to share your thoughts I would appreciate it.

Thanks
Doug
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Old 22-04-2014, 10:22   #2
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Re: Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

My news is about 8-10years old. We found they were very problematic. Too many bells and whistles for protection, which essentially rendered the unit always non functional. Would work for an hour in testing and not work next time. The factory was little help. This is on two units installed in new boats. Personally I would avoid them "until proven innocent". Lots of choices out there.
Just one opinion, maybe they have solved all their issues, I dont know.
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Old 22-04-2014, 20:12   #3
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Re: Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

I worked in the BVI for a couple seasons, yacht maintenance on transients, charter boats and cruisers. I saw a lot of FP units, and frequently they'd be a mess and difficult to deal with. HOWEVER, most - if not ALL - of the issues were related directly to either piss-poor installation (crammed in a locker with inadequate air and poor exhaust system design); or equivalently poor maintenance.

There were issues with inferior exhaust elbows for a while - and when one of those lets go inside that tiny enclosure with all the exposed electrics, bad things happen. that was mostly on the really small units though - single bangers mostly.

the slightly larger ones had a little more space inside the enclosures and seemed to have slightly higher quality components and assembly. When i found units that were adequately installed and maintained, I found nice little gensets that ran well - albeit at 3600 rpm usually, and for go d knows how long in the end.

I did install a couple of the 12 kVa units on some emergency vehicles here about 6 years ago (along with remote rads and related piping); and they've been running flawlessly so far.

In my opinion, the 12 kVa units are a good piece of kit, if installed properly and maintained. Will they go as long as a Northern Lights 12 running at 1800 rpm? probably not - but they also don't weigh a ton and require a large engine room...

YMMV... Find a reputable installer/tech, and listen to their advice, and follow the manufacturers instructions... then good luck!

bg
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Old 24-04-2014, 04:27   #4
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Re: Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by NSboatman View Post
?.. HOWEVER, most - if not ALL - of the issues were related directly to either piss-poor installation (crammed in a locker with inadequate air and poor exhaust system design); or equivalently poor maintenance. ...
These are small quiet engines with lots built into a tiny space. You need to look carefully at the maintenance schedule and all the things you need to check even every 50 hours. Unless you know about engines that would mean an engineer checking it for you every 2-4 weeks. For most people that's just not going to happen - hence the problems FP have.

We have the DC version and have had water ingress twice due to poor installation - mine!!! Only other problems in 6 years were relays failing and the exhaust mixer rebuilt twice. The diode block cooling circuit also gets encrusted with salt so we fresh water flush for 1 minute every time we stop the genset. I think that is now fresh water cooled.
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Old 24-04-2014, 04:57   #5
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Re: Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

Doug,
Congrats on the new boat, I saw the pictures on facebook. As for the FP, in private use it should be ok. The maintenance schedules have been issues for us in charter service. We are the FP dealer in St Thomas and there is another one in Tortola. Pack up spares before you leave for the Caribbean. I would want a water pump, an exhaust elbow, the bosch relays, a voltage regulator, a set of capacitors, fuel filters etc. The Kuboto engine is a nice engine we rarely have a mechanical problem with them, it's always the electrics that cause problems. Read all the manuals and make yourself comfortable with how it works and the maintenance schedule. A well maintained one following the service intervals will hold up a lot better than one that's ignored until it breaks. Also make sure they are putting a water separator muffle on that discharges the water under the boat. It will not have that annoying splash when it's running that way.

We use the vetus ones for this Gas/water Separator - Exhaust systems

Jay
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Old 24-04-2014, 10:51   #6
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Re: Fischer Panda 12 Mini Reviews Wanted

The troubles we had were with the auto protection electrical devices. Wouldnt allow the engine to run due to "no water flow" DUH... it's not running yet! etc. Seemed to be one thing after another similar to that. Based on the mentioned list above....
" I would want a water pump, an exhaust elbow, the bosch relays, a voltage regulator, a set of capacitors, fuel filters etc. "

....do you really want to buy a unit that's expected to need all that in the first few years of use? My Northern Lights never needed ANYTHING in the first 1500 hours of use but normal maintenee /oil change fuel filter..
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