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Old 23-09-2011, 07:09   #1
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Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Hello:

Although ideally I would like to install solar on my boat I am thinking that the overall system cost is not achievable this year. As such, I am considering a gas generator to bridge the gap.

I know the Hondas are well rated but I also see they are about 2 times the price of other models (at least what I have seen locally). For example, a Honda EU2000KC2 is currently "on sale" for $1299. This compares to a Generac iX2000 with a regular price of $626 (Canadian funds).

At this point we typically sail for 3-4 weeks per season in a freshwater environment so our needs are modest. I figured 1000w - 2000w to charge the batteries, using our pathetic alternator or shore power to make up the difference.

Does anyone have recommendations on small generators? Are the Hondas worth the extra cost? Also, what minimum wattage should I consider?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Old 23-09-2011, 07:25   #2
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

The hondas have set the bar pretty high. Quiet and simple. I have seen a few clones. One marketed by Honeywell in the Bahamas was a close second place. Yamaha also makes one . These are all inverter based so in the eco throttle position they will vary the rpm based on the load. In an anchorage it is all about the noise. You can buy a cheap 2Kw contractors genset but it will be LOUD and has a fixed 3600 RPM to get the correct frequency. . Someone might cut your anchor line. 2000w will work for most needs.
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Old 23-09-2011, 07:29   #3
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Either a Honda or a Yamaha. .I have the Honda EU2000. Great machine. I bought it after using a friends 1700W whatever brand that weighed a ton and was LOUD to the extreme especially when pulling hard...

You get what you pay for

good luck
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Old 23-09-2011, 07:30   #4
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There are two sizes to consider. KW rating and physical size. Figure out how many kilowatts you will be using at any single time and what the startup amp draw is for your AC appliances. The second size is the physical size - will it fit on deck where you want to put it?

After hurricane Ivan I spent a year living at anchor and got myself a 6.5 kW Powertrain generator as my primary electric plant. I was anchored on an industrialized waterway so the noise was not an issue. I mounted mine on airfilled tires in the back and removed the front hard rubber mounts and put a small bumber under the front. This greatly reduced noise by eliminating vibration.

After 6 years in a saltwater environment and about 10,000 hours, it is still going strong. This biggest problem I encountered was water intrusion into the fuel tank so I kept a small gas can and screwdriver handy to bleed the Carb.

A portable gender won't win you friends in an anchorage, but some discretion in anchoring location and timing goes a long way.

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Old 23-09-2011, 07:40   #5
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

as I was recommended and have since recommended to others (who took my advice and are now recommending the same)...

Honda EU2000i. More expensive than the competition and worth every cent.

the manual says to have the EU2000i in for service every two years or 200 hours, whichever comes first. I put over 200h on mine every *month* for a year and a half with nary a hiccup. that reliability alone was worth the extra cash.

I had a friend with a similar usage case laugh at me for paying more than double what he paid for his no-name 2000w genny, then complain about the noise. he replaced his with another cheapo when the electronics died, then *again* when the motor on the new genny died, and finally he bought an EU2000i.
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Old 23-09-2011, 07:53   #6
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

My EU2000i is now seven years old. I have had one problem and that was the inverter dying which I have heard is very unusual. If you keep the carb clean and change the plug every year or so they say that they will run forever. Having said this I would not buy a Honda in Canada, they are terribly overpriced. Try a Kipor, I see quite a lot of boats from Canada with them.
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Old 23-09-2011, 08:19   #7
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADMPRTR View Post
For example, a Honda EU2000KC2 is currently "on sale" for $1299. This compares to a Generac iX2000 with a regular price of $626 (Canadian funds).
The H2000e is widely available from a number of different sources for $899 incl. shipping, Mayberry being one common source, Wise Sales another.
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Old 23-09-2011, 08:44   #8
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

admptrtr--you park with a generac in any anchorage you can hear it to alsaka. generac is NOISEY.
honda is quiet.
generac dies in 6 months on water. honda is still running in 7 yrs.
been there, done that.
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:21   #9
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Thank you All.
Is there anyone who has a generator who also has solar panels or other means to generate electricity? If so, how frequently do you use the generator?
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:37   #10
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADMPRTR View Post
Thank you All.
Is there anyone who has a generator who also has solar panels or other means to generate electricity? If so, how frequently do you use the generator?
before my now 7 yr old pwm controller died, i was using my genny once every week or two for 5 hours to beef up my batts, also was before my engine functioned in my boat.
when i arrived in mazatlan and set up my solar array, i found my pwm controller was no longer functioning--i am in a marina until named storm season is done, wishing i had a wind genny to supplement.. i have shore power until nov 1. after nov 1 i will again use solar. i also have 1 new to me panel, looks like rated at about 3 amps incoming, by the size of it, so i figer on 2 amps or so. my coming to me pwm controllers are 25 amp rated. my incoming should be about 20 amps..
i might use the honda if i need it, but i figure i wont be using it more than every coupla weeks or so, if that. might use it for power tools.
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:52   #11
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i might use the honda if i need it, but i figure i wont be using it more than every coupla weeks or so, if that. might use it for power tools.
My thought is if I am going to buy a solar array anyway, maybe I should skip the gennie altogether, especially if it starts getting up in price. However, zeehag, you make a good point...
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Old 23-09-2011, 10:58   #12
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADMPRTR View Post
I figured 1000w - 2000w to charge the batteries, using our pathetic alternator or shore power to make up the difference.

Does anyone have recommendations on small generators? Are the Hondas worth the extra cost? Also, what minimum wattage should I consider?
Are you are going to use the generator to power your existing battery charger? What type of charger do you have? The wattage you need will depend on the input amperage of your charger. If you have a 20 AMP charger, you will want a 1000W generator. If you have a 60 AMP charger, a 2000W. If you have a 100 AMP chager, neither will work for you.
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:00   #13
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

On another tack, I looked up the maximum input current requirement on a Xantrex TrueCharge. The 40AMP is rated at 9.0A load at 104Vac which is 936 watts (7.8A/120Vac) and the 60AMP is rated at 13.5A/104Vac which is 1404W (11.7A/120Vac).

http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Bat...-01_Rev-B).pdf

I read that to mean depending on the size of charger I purchase, I may be able to down size the gennie. What, if any, is the drawback of maximizing the load on a generator?
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:07   #14
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

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Are you are going to use the generator to power your existing battery charger? What type of charger do you have? The wattage you need will depend on the input amperage of your charger. If you have a 20 AMP charger, you will want a 1000W generator. If you have a 60 AMP charger, a 2000W. If you have a 100 AMP chager, neither will work for you.
I have and old ProMariner ferroresonant of unknown vintage and output. My guess is it is 40AMP but that is a guess (it is installed in such a way that I can only see the name but not the rating).

As I also need to replace my batteries I am trying to think system wide so I will probably upgrade that to a Xantrex TrueCharge 40 or 60. I still need to size the whole system including determining by daily usage and battery capacity.
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Old 23-09-2011, 11:16   #15
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Re: Gasoline Generator Recommendations

The Honda is worth it. They are invertor generators for one thing, so only run at the required speed to support the draw. Non invertor gen's have to run at a set speed usually a noisy 3600 rpm to keep the voltage correct. There are other invertor gens out there now. I see the local hardware store is selling a Ingersoll (?) that I think is an invertor.... not sure. Looks almost kdentical to the Honda... probably on purpose. But I tell you... the little Honda is hard to beat. Would the 1000w work for you to save some money? I think the Honda makes 12-18 volts and inverts it to 120 volt, and has a direct 12v output!
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