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Old 06-12-2008, 12:16   #1
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Genset Input Please

OK, the Admiral has decided to put a genset on board. I will admit that except for the cost I'm not totally adverse to the idea.

First, we don't need a large one. For one thing the hatch to where we would keep it is only 15x15 inches. There's plenty of room once past that bottleneck. Second we are looking at the 3.5/4 Kw gensets which should handle our needs.

Yesterday we were at the St Pete boatshow and spoke with several reps.
We looked at Fischer-Panda, NexGen, and Mastervolt. They all seemed to be fine machines.

We want a genset that is quiet enough to run in an anchorage without disturbing our neighbors or ourselves. (I don't want to have to crank the TV volume on a movie to max just to hear it over a genset and I would prefer that our neighbors not even know it was running)

All three claim to be "whisper" quiet but I heard that before from AirMarine X on their windgen.

All three will require some disassembly to get through the hatch which will increase the installation cost. There was a Mase genset in that spot when I got the boat but it went belly up and took 3 days to get out!

FINALLY, we get to my request. At this point I've more or less dropped the idea of the F-P simply based upon cost. At 12K before installation I just can't afford it. The two left are NexGen at about $6k and Mastervolt at about $9k. Ordinarily I'd go with the $6k and be done but I'm going to be living with this beast for quite a while. If needs must I'll go to the higher price. In any event I'm looking I figure at about another $2K for installation.

Can anyone provide any input?

I google searched this topic and the only real thread I found seemed to be a pissing match between Fischer-Panda friends and foes.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:20   #2
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You better talk to Pat " nevermonday " here on this forum. He knows everything!
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:22   #3
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I found him to be a strait shooter when I bought my genset from him.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:47   #4
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If you only have 15"x15" access.......consider spending some of that 2K install money on improving the access. It will be well worth your while to reduce the cost of the genset install...while improving the service access for the necessary maintenance.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:56   #5
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Yes, I've considered improving the access. But I'm not sure that it would cost less than the $2k.

We're talking about cutting a larger hole through the deck of the lazaratte, reinforcing the glass around the hole and adding hatch coamings, and then fabricating another hatch. Not cheap, nor simple even if I did it all myself.

Keep in mind that the $2k install fee does not go to zero if I have a bigger hatch. It will still be between $1,000 and $1,500. There will be wiring to run, plumbing for fuel, exhaust, and cooling and the cost of a new thru-hull.
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Old 06-12-2008, 14:34   #6
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2K isn't a bad labor quote for a boat that has never had a gen.

I've used the NextGen and FP with good results. Did you quote the NextGen with the sound enclosure?

I'm not familiar with the layout of the CR38. Can you post some pics of the opening and laz area?
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Old 06-12-2008, 14:49   #7
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For pix it will be a while. Holidays etc.

The boat actually did have a genset at one time but it was factory. They installed the genset and THEN put the deck on!! When it went belly up I had the old thru hull removed so that will have to be replaced. There is still an exhaust port in the transom but just about everything else will have to be replaced.

NexGen and Mastervolt indicated that the hatch size is more of a pain in the fundament than anything else but that it would add a few hours to the install. NexGen told me that removal of about a half dozen bolts will easily allow it to go thru.

Oops Sorry. almost forgot - yes all quotes included the sound shield. I BELIEVE they all included the muffler as well.

I'm taking the install issues as common to both gensets. What I'm trying to get here is whether there is a significant, i.e. noticeable difference in the two gensets to justify an almost $3K difference in price. Remember the two primary judging criteria are reliability and noise.

Issues about hatch size, and so forth are unimportant. All three say they can do it although the F-P vendor was probably the least enthusiastic.
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Old 06-12-2008, 14:59   #8
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Have had a NextGen 3.5KW model for 5 years, and am very happy with it. Only one problem thus far; that was with the advanced voltage regulator which is supposed to hold the voltage to close tolerances. It went belly up a couple of months ago. Not really difficult to replace.

The Kubota engine has been super....much better than a smaller Kubota I had on an earlier DC generator.

Mine was professionally installed, and has the sound enclosure. It's tolerable, and is VERY quiet for others in the anchorage.

So, here's one vote for NextGen.

Bill
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Old 06-12-2008, 15:47   #9
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Thanks Bill,

That's what I was looking for. From the sound of your post it would seem that gen was quite to others but a bit noisy on board. Was it engine noise or vibration? The Mastervolt does have an optional steel mounting plate with rubber feet to help absorb some of the vibration of a 1 lung diesel.
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Old 06-12-2008, 16:05   #10
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I have a problem with the Mastervolt and the Yanmar they use. From my experience that engine when used for industrial purposes can have a short life span. There is no rebuilding it. Yanmar doesn't offer an oversized piston. By short life span, I'm saying 2000 hrs instead of the 10K most generators are capable of. the NextGen uses a watercooled kubota. It's small and I think run at 2800 RPM? instead of the 3600 the Yanmar runs.
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Old 06-12-2008, 16:10   #11
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Never Monday,

The literature I have says the Mastervolt is using a "indirect injected 4-stroke engine, manufactured by Mitsubishi & Kubota" ....... "The Whisper engines are designed for marine use and are soft mounted inside a sound shield".

Perhaps they've upgraded and/or simply changed suppliers?

Just checked: 3000 rpm
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Old 06-12-2008, 16:37   #12
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We have an Onan 9KW genset in our Catalina 42. Fits quite nicely in our aft lazarette. I believe they use a Kubota 3-cyl engine. It's an older model.
Re: Fischer-Panda: discussions we have had about them revolve around the fact that they purportedly run at high rpm's (3600-3800)
edit: our genset runs at 1500-1800 rpm's
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Old 06-12-2008, 16:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabo_sailor View Post
Never Monday,

The literature I have says the Mastervolt is using a "indirect injected 4-stroke engine, manufactured by Mitsubishi & Kubota" ....... "The Whisper engines are designed for marine use and are soft mounted inside a sound shield".

Perhaps they've upgraded and/or simply changed suppliers?

Just checked: 3000 rpm
my bad, I was thinking of Mase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spammy View Post
We have an Onan 9KW genset in our Catalina 42. Fits quite nicely in our aft lazarette. I believe they use a Kubota 3-cyl engine. It's an older model.
Re: Fischer-Panda: discussions we have had about them revolve around the fact that they purportedly run at high rpm's (3600-3800)
edit: our genset runs at 1500-1800 rpm's
Tech time
The common marine generators run at 3600 or 1800 for 60Hz and 300 or 1500 for 50Hz.
Now, there is a caveat. The electrical generation end needs these speeds. The engine can be run at a different speed then belt driving the generator to get the RPM needed.
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Old 06-12-2008, 21:15   #14
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Victron Energy (who makes chargers and inverters but not generators) did a "Generator Shootout" earlier this year. You can get the full report by emailing Victron (see their web site) or a pretty detailed article published in Professional Boatbuilder.

Professional BoatBuilder - June/July 2008

The test didn't include the NexGen but did have the others you're considering. They also looked at the Kohler 3.5 as well as the Onan 4. Both of which you might want to price and size.

Be sure to look carefully at the service network in your cruising area.

Carl
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:37   #15
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I have a F P 12KW, very quiet, totally enclosed in the sound proofing cabinet and mounted on air cushioned legs to prevent vibration transfer. It also has a water seperator in the exhaust. The next door neighbors at the marina don't know when I am running it. It makes less noise than the hydronic furnace.
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