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Old 05-12-2014, 04:57   #1
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Generator placement and noise control

I have a Lagoon 420 and it did not come with a generator. I purchased a Honda 2000eu and it is louder then I had hoped. Any ideas on placement and noise control?
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:34   #2
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

By placement do you mean inside the boat? Not a good idea with a portable gas generator for several reasons. CO in the exhaust is a very serious concern and could kill you. This is a concern even running the Honda on deck. Even with a good breeze the wind eddies around the large cabin house of a catamaran could be moving the exhaust inside the boat unless you set the generator very far aft and outboard.

Putting the Honda in a very small space or enclosure if not designed carefully could result in overheating and damage it.

I recall a thread a while back where someone built an enclosure and sound shield for a Honda that made it almost silent but at the same time allowed proper ventilation, exhaust and cooling.

What is your intended use? If just emergency backup or occasional charging at anchor would it fit on the transom steps? Some people have set them in the dinghy with an extension cord. Of course this increases the chance of the noise annoying your neighbors.

If you plan on much more extensive use you might want to consider installing a full size diesel genset.
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Old 05-12-2014, 05:46   #3
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Generator placement and noise control

I put mine in the dinghy. Keeps CO down and you can't hear it all inside of the boat. I'm a mono though don't know if that would make any difference or not. I use the dinghy fuel tank as the extended run tank too.


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Old 05-12-2014, 07:30   #4
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

You might be able to make a 3 sided sound absorber for the Honda that is open away from the boat and absorbs sound coming toward the boat. It should not need any ventilation then. The Honda could also be placed on a rubber sound absorbing pad. The pad will help with noise getting into the hull and traveling throughout the vessel.
We have both a Honda EU2000 we used in the past and now a 3.5 KW diesel generator. The diesel is in a sound proof cabinet that is in a sound proofed locker. It can still be heard when it is running. It is a bit louder inside the cabin than in the cockpit. The boats around us can't hear the diesel generator running in their cockpit but some can hear it in their cabin. I think the sound travels through the water and into their hull. That may limit the ability to sound proof a generator in your own boat. Maybe some silicone filled motor mounts to isolate it all ?
If we had a generator failure we would not replace our diesel but go back to using the Honda. This boat came with the diesel and we enjoy it but I don't think for us it would be worth the expense to install a new one. We do not use it to run the AC. We live aboard for 4 or 5 months of the year in the winter in Florida/Bahamas.
Anyways just our experiences, good luck, Bob
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:07   #5
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

Thanks for all the input. I have it on deck and just purchased a heat rated tube for the exhaust to dump in water. I will try building a foam enclosure and let you know how it goes. I'm using the gen to supply power to the boat. Charge batteries, hot water, and small heaters.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:18   #6
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
Thanks for all the input. I have it on deck and just purchased a heat rated tube for the exhaust to dump in water. I will try building a foam enclosure and let you know how it goes. I'm using the gen to supply power to the boat. Charge batteries, hot water, and small heaters.
Are you saying that you are connecting this tube as an extension off the exhaust and the end of this extension will be under water?

If so, that is a very bad idea. The exhaust pushing against the water in the pipe will create a lot of backpressure in the exhaust system and will burn up the motor.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:58   #7
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

I agree with a64pilot on the dinghy placement. Cats are very rigid, and work as sounding boards. Sounds like you don't regularly use your Honda, so it's easy when at anchor to place it in your dink and let it drift behind on the painter. We found that the vibration onboard our Mainecat 30 was worse than the noise. It never bothered the neighbors.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:03   #8
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
Thanks for all the input. I have it on deck and just purchased a heat rated tube for the exhaust to dump in water. I will try building a foam enclosure and let you know how it goes. I'm using the gen to supply power to the boat. Charge batteries, hot water, and small heaters.
Remember, foam melts and burns.

If you read the instructions that came with your generator, I believe you will see a caution not to run it in an enclosure.

I agree with skipmac that trying to extend the exhaust under water is a bad idea.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:29   #9
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

My 1000w gen with built in battery charger, i will use a rubber hose into the water . But not very deep will it go ( back pressure ) thought . Of course i only paid $125.00 new , not quite the price of the Honda . I think your best bet is the dinghy , inclosure could cause fire . sincerely .
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:53   #10
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

The Honda set me back $ 1100.00 and I don't want to burn it up. The enclosure is half open in the front and back. It really makes a difference, but may need to run and watch it for a full day. I put it in the dink and it still sounds loud, to me. Kind of discouraging. I purchased the Honda because of all the talk about being quiet. It's not quiet under a load! A water maker takes about 5 hours. That was the main reason for the purchase.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:52   #11
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
The Honda set me back $ 1100.00 and I don't want to burn it up. The enclosure is half open in the front and back. It really makes a difference, but may need to run and watch it for a full day. I put it in the dink and it still sounds loud, to me. Kind of discouraging. I purchased the Honda because of all the talk about being quiet. It's not quiet under a load! A water maker takes about 5 hours. That was the main reason for the purchase.
I bought one as well and was also quite disappointed in the noise. Not nearly as quiet as I had hoped. Not horribly obnoxious and 1000 times better than a Home Depot special but very audible. Several years ago I had a small (750 W) if I recall Yamaha generator that wasn't much louder than a sewing machine. Was expecting something more like that with the Honda.

For a test I started my Honda in the back yard and walked away. 100 yards away I could still hear it clearly.

Here's a link to a youtube video of a guy with a sound enclosure he built for a Honda.

Note that not only the exhaust but also the cooling air off the engine is routed out of the box into the wooden baffle. This will insure that fresh cooling air is constantly drawn in with no chance to recirculate inside the enclosure so heat can't build up inside. Also from what I can see there would be little to no additional back pressure to the exhaust.
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Old 05-12-2014, 13:33   #12
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

I'm about ready to find a "plan B" The insulated box works ok, but it looks like crap, is a pain in the ass, and will need to be tested over an extended period. No fan, but seems to be enough air.

I can't tell you how many times, I have slinked around my boat, because I fired up the engines in an anchorage. Not easy sleeping when a gen fires up near you either. The sound seems to be amplified on my cat. Got to be a better way. Not going to buy questionable water at .10/gallon either. A water maker is a must, for me.
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Old 05-12-2014, 13:51   #13
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

I suggest placing it on the swim step of the nearest powerboat. Then they can have the blame.
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Old 05-12-2014, 15:19   #14
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Re: Generator placement and noise control

[QUOTE=skipmac;1693331] CO in the exhaust is a very serious concern and could kill you. This is a concern even running the Honda on deck. Even with a good breeze the wind eddies around the large cabin house of a catamaran could be moving the exhaust inside the boat unless you set the generator very far aft and outboard. /QUOTE]

Yes, CO is dangerous and can not be detected with your nose. But it can be easily detected with a good quality CO detector. Since I'm debating adding a Yamaha 2000 to my boat, I'm thinking about my strategy as well.

I'm first going to put three CO detectors in the boat:
  1. V-berth
  2. Main saloon mid-ships
  3. On the side of the engine cover just inside the companionway.

Then I'll run the generator with it sitting alternately on the cabin top or rear deck at the stern and see if I ever have any CO alarm.

I really don't know the answer, but think that testing with multiple detectors will show up any problem areas. The cost of this one at Amazon.com is very reasonable and it even works on either 110 or an internal battery. You can plug it into an outlet and even have it powered by the generator.

If any of you have generators and don't have CO detectors, I'd suggest they'd be a worthwhile investment.

Murph

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1965 Cal 30
Muskegon, MI
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