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Old 08-08-2017, 11:08   #16
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Re: Generator yes or no?

Like I said, it all depends on your power needs vs your passive (solar/wind) power production. You can cram a lot of solar on modern boats.

Where and how you cruise will all factor into this equation. Where I currently hang out there is no need for a/c, although a watermaker might come in handy.

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Hey Mike, you hit The Rock yet?

Speaking of where to cruise... Not yet DF. We're travelling north shore now, north of Anticosti. Going slow, as usual. Gonna do a few more hops before making the big jump across the Gulf.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:06   #17
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Re: Generator yes or no?

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2000 W at 12.5 V is 160 amps, that is hitting a bank hard. We will run a short time load like that off the inverter, like the toaster for instance, but you can't pull that many amps for long.
Agreed, not for long at all unless you have two good sized alternators feeding that current back in to make up for the huge load. It's definitely not a situation where air conditioning is feasible.

I carry 4, 8-D's and two 170 amp alternators...but I am the rare exception.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:45   #18
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Re: Generator yes or no?

If you hate mosquitos or worse no-see-ums get A/C and a generator.
Run it at dawn and dusk and no need for air-gen and solar.
After 3 days of clouds and light wind you will need to run a 50 HP engine for a
few hours in order to get 2 - 3 hp.
A generator won't cost you much more than ecological wind and solar.

But then if one values the environment, have the Paris Accord signed.
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Old 08-08-2017, 13:05   #19
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Re: Generator yes or no?

Once a week, or so I start the generator, start the AC powered 50gal/hr water maker and throw in a load of laundry, 2 hours later stop the gen set, have 65-70gal of new water and clean clothes, dish rags and linens, also I have no paper products aboard except toilet tissue, all napkins and dish clothes and cleaning clothes go into the weekly wash......yes I love my little northern lights gennie...........ohh I get a kick into the batteries also.....
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Old 08-08-2017, 14:58   #20
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Re: Generator yes or no?

I am of the opinion that you want to enjoy your boat in comfort. Solar and wind is just not enough. Then you either run your engine more often or use a generator. If you sail actively then you will end up using the engine often enough to recharge your batteries. If you like to stay at an anchor for weeks on end, then get a genny.
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Old 08-08-2017, 15:24   #21
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Re: Generator yes or no?

Yes, get the generator, put on some solar and forget about the windmill.
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:38   #22
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Re: Generator yes or no?

+1 to forget wind

As much solar as possible, a big Alt + MC-614 VR off the propulsion engine and (maybe) a little Honda later if you find you're too frequently burning dino juice for bank charging only.

As much as possible on the boat 12V native, no inverter(s) or at least kept to a minimum, so shore AC ideally used only to charge the bank.
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:52   #23
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Generator yes or no?

I started out thinking go 12V as much as possible, even have a Milwaukee vacuum cleaner, however good 12V appliances are hard to find and expensive if you do, and since I'm sure the market is so small they just are nowhere near as good as the 110 stuff.
Then I got a Magnum 2812 inverter charger, largely for the big charger part, but have decided that the inverter is likely the most useful half, I have a tendency to just leave it on always, and we always have 110 VAC just like being at the dock, and now we can use inexpensive, but much better quality blenders, toaster, counter top ice maker, TV, whatever without having to do anything to have it.
No, a big quality pure sinewave inverter is definitely worth having
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Old 08-08-2017, 16:55   #24
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Re: Generator yes or no?

Hmmm, as someone who cruises with all three (solar, wind gen and gas generator) there's no doubt solar is king. But if you've maxed out your solar panel space and still need more amps I'm not sure which I'd choose IF I had to choose (and really, why would you have to choose...)

The free (and non-polluting) wind is offset by the low and intermittent output. The dino generator will produce on demand, at high amps. But the noise and pollution are aesthetically unappealing to me. So it would a toss up for me.

But seriously, get all three if you can.

I've used my gas generator for 2 hrs in the past 40 days. I use my wind gen all the time. It usually doesn't produce a lot of amps at any one time (except when it blows hard), but it does produce a lot over time. And it produces overnight when solar doesn't.

Depends on your needs and personal hangups
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Old 08-08-2017, 19:52   #25
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Generator yes or no?

I have Northern Lights 5KW on my Hunter 356. Have over 3200 hours since new in 2003. We start the generator, unplug from the dock and keep the salon at 72 degrees with heating or cooling. We plug in at dock, then stop the generator. We charge computers, IPads, IPhones, microwave, Keurig coffeemaker and run Dish network off KVH antenna and also have 2000 watt inverter/ charger with 2 4D Lifeline house batteries. Would not be without the generator.
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Old 09-08-2017, 00:13   #26
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Re: Generator yes or no?

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Hi Guys, just after some advice on a generator.
I am looking at buying a new Beneteau 41.1 oceanis. As i am planning on cruising, they have recommended a Generator. Do i really need this? it is a extra 10,000

I will have Solar!! and eventually Wind Gen. I just thought that turning on the engine would be enough to charge the batteries up? or could this damage the engine?

We will have normal applicances onboard appart from Air con.

Your help and advice will be highly appreciated.

Richie
You don't 'need' it, but depending on your cruising, it could be good to have. We do not use ours if we are marina hopping, but if we anchor out in a bay for a while, we use it morning and evening for a couple of hours to top up the batteries, and while doing that, to run the desalinator (12V/230).
We also have solar, but it is mainly for when we are not on-board - the 120W being plenty to keep the 10 batteries topped up.
Running your propulsion engine just to charge the batteries is not good practice. Apart from poor efficiency, it does not load the engine, and can lead to cylinder glazing.
So - marina hopping no. Anchoring out for days at a time - very handy.
The other consideration is space - you will lose a bit in your lazarette area. Typically they will mount the generator in the centre. Much as our generator is handy, and we would not be without it - I do eye off that space it uses ...
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Old 09-08-2017, 01:22   #27
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Re: Generator yes or no?

Cruising long term, and living at anchor is certainly possible without a gen set of any size.

We've done so for over 30 years now with no gennie, but with varying amounts of solar, wind and hydro for battery maintenance. If we stay south in Tasmania far into the fall, the solar contribution becomes inadequate, and some main engine time is required, around an hour/day at worst. Often done whilst moving about, not too onerous. The rest of the time we are good on our passive systems.

The secret is (as a few others have noted) reduction of electrical needs. We've never felt we needed air conditioning, for at anchor there is almost always a breeze, and we've organized good ventilation. A modest fridge, LED lighting, and attention to turning off unneeded stuff has kept us going. Oh... two 600 watt inverters for AC loads, one 110, one 240 volt (yanks living in a largely 240 volt world).

Some posters claim that such paucity of power means that one is camping, not living. There are enough CFers who have been aboard to attest that we ain't just camping!
But each to his own. I'm happy to not have the space and weight penalties associated with a gen set, and from observation, they seem to be troublesome beasts as well... so, even if we are not camping we're happy campers with our setup!

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Old 09-08-2017, 03:48   #28
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Re: Generator yes or no?

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Once a week, or so I start the generator, start the AC powered 50gal/hr water maker and throw in a load of laundry, 2 hours later stop the gen set, have 65-70gal of new water and clean clothes, dish rags and linens, also I have no paper products aboard except toilet tissue, all napkins and dish clothes and cleaning clothes go into the weekly wash......yes I love my little northern lights gennie...........ohh I get a kick into the batteries also.....
What model washer dryer do you have? We are thinking of installing one...thank you
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:43   #29
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Re: Generator yes or no?

I'll put it simply and of course half the people who read this will be pissed off despite me stating the obvious truth... so here goes with unfiltered the un-PC.

Cruising with a generator is like living in a small apartment with all the modern conveniences possible including watermakers, a/c, electric appliances, refrigeration etc.

Cruising without a generator = camping.

Note: Even Mike has a generator.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:06   #30
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Generator yes or no?

Cruising and even camping are different things to different people.
Of interest is most often those without them are the long term cruisers, and those with them are part time. Perhaps part time cruisers it's more difficult to give up some things that they have taken for granted living ashore.

However cruising is of course different for different people, we have those that crank the generator before unplugging and turn it off only after being plugged back in, to those that don't have one at all. Both are cruisers.

I have one, but hope to minimize its use, as I realize nothing lasts forever and it's more than $5K to replace.


Ken,
To a few, your boat is camping. I'm sure you have seen those boats around.
My thought is it's not really a yacht unless it has a four place helicopter for a dinghy.
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