I'm going to have to agree with Sean (the other Sean) on this one. If he's looking to be lightweight and economize, the petrol genset isn't so bad, with the exception of it being less reliable.
Like everything with sailing, it would be about risk management. He should:
*Keep the genset outside and in a locker similar to a propane/LPG locker
*Use caution as it gets hot
*Don't let any CO inside the vessel or sit downwind breathing in CO
*Store all petrol carefully and properly (we all have it aboard for our ourboards, don't we??)
*Locate it near the stern, since sailboats face into the wind
99% of the time or when you are underway. This keeps CO and exhaust
falling over the stern and not collecting in the cockpit
(assuming center cockpit)
While I doubt the smaller petrol genset will work for his application (2KW electric
motor), I'm sure it's a reasonable solution for more modest power requirements. I wouldn't count on it performing well for more than 6 mos, and wouldn't stake my watermaking or refrigeration
on it (owing to the fact that petrol engines are more maintenace intensive and don't last as long). However, it would work.
When our old diesel genset died this summer, I bought a 3.5KW petrol and used it up on deck
for 2 weeks, running it each day. Now, I have a new "portable" genset mounted on deck
permanently. It's a 5KW Yanmar
diesel, but it is air cooled and deck mounted. It has the same issues as Sean's would have, with the exception of being a more reliable diesel unit. Weighing in at 200lbs, it's much more heavy than Sean wants though. I used it every single
day for 6 mos without incident. It provided all power for our charter
guests, 120VAC refer, computers
, lights - everything since we didn't tie to a dock
the whole time.
If all cautions are taken, I don't see why a "portable" (meaning air cooled) genset can't be made to work for marine