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Old 05-01-2014, 16:13   #16
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

I gritted my teeth and ponied up for a diesel genset. Even without the sound shield the only thing people hear 20 yards away is the cooling water from the exhaust. My friend came onboard while it was running and thought we should find the bilge pump that was running. He must be used to noisy bilge pumps!
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Old 05-01-2014, 16:26   #17
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Kits are sold for doing just what you describe: Services

Mark
That site specifically says the kits are for outbuildings, not living spaces.

edit: whoops, someone beat me to it.
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Old 05-01-2014, 16:27   #18
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

We met quite a few folks in the Sea of Cortez who came south from California with small Honda gasoline generators that they were going to run on deck 'cause they were so quiet and fuel efficient. Most of those boaters had either sold their generators or quit using them within a year of getting to La Paz.

There are two serious problems with their use

- fellow boaters will chase you from the anchorage 'cause they are so noisy
- gasoline is a scarce commodity and they use a lot of fuel when running close to capacity

IF you do not run them close to capacity - then they can easily be replaced by a pair of solar panels and a small inverter.

And I certainly don't want you in the same marina as me nor do I want you anchored within 50 yards of me if you are going to use a gasoline generator below decks.

A boat in our marina burned to the waterline two weeks ago for exactly that reason. They spilled gasoline while fueling the gas powered generator and an unknown ignition source ignited the fumes - hours after the gasoline was spilled. The gasoline fire in the lazerrette burned thru a diesel fuel line to the propulsion diesel and the rest is history.

Two fireboats worked on the fire below decks for 40 minutes with a 1.5" (200 GPM) water line and a 1.5" foam line. They were unable to contain the fire because the leaking diesel got into the bilge, ran thru the limber holes, and allowed flaming diesel to appear all over the boat. The 57' boat eventually went up in flames - endangering the entire marina.

We were three docks (50 yards) downwind of the fire and our boat still smells like burnt fiberglass.

Gasoline engine below deck - really bad idea!
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Old 05-01-2014, 17:23   #19
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

The SOC cruisers must be very different than the Caribe cruisers because a very large number of boats in the Caribe have and use those generators.

As per Honda, the fuel consumption is 3.64 hours per gallon at full load and 8.73 hours per gallon at 1/4 load. Whether that is a high consumption of a rare commodity is relative. Do you feel the same way regarding fuel consumption about 2-stroke outboards? Those seem to be the pinnacle of piousness for many.

We have two bow lockers completely sealed and isolated from the rest of the boat. They have overboard drains. They can be ripped right off and the boat would not take on water. Any spilled liquids would drain overboard. Wouldn't this be considered an "outbuilding" or "non-living space"? Do you know that the OP doesn't have something similar, and was only considering a way to use a Honda generator in one?

Do you consider your propane locker a living space? Isn't it dangerous to have that fuel on board too? Or have you rationally mitigated the risk - just like someone might consider doing with a portable generator...

Mark
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Old 05-01-2014, 22:50   #20
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

Colemj:

"As per Honda, the fuel consumption is 3.64 hours per gallon at full load and 8.73 hours per gallon at 1/4 load."

That is exactly my point! I'm guessing you are quoting the fuel requirements for a Honda 1000 so at 1/4 load you are making 250 watts of power. That is two medium size or one big solar panel. Why carry a generator and extra gasoline when you can get the same power for eight to ten hours a day from a solar panel?

And at 250 watts (18 amps / 14V ) you would need to run the generator for about five hours a day to usefully recharge the battery.

If you want to put 140 amp hours back into a 12V battery system you would have to run the generator at full power (70 amps /14V) for almost two hours which means you burn almost four gallons of fuel a week ($15 a week?)

A gasoline generator seems noisy and wasteful to me.

"Do you feel the same way regarding fuel consumption about 2-stroke outboards? Those seem to be the pinnacle of piousness for many."

I have two 2-stroke outboards and have no concerns about their usage of gasoline or their environmental impact. My concern was the practicality of carrying enough gasoline to keep the generator running and the cost of purchasing that fuel.

Maybe my concerns are unfounded but there were many times when we did not have access to a gasoline refill facility for six weeks at a time. We carried 15 gallons of gasoline for our outboards and I find it hard to understand how you would carry another 15 or so gallons for the generator.

"We have two bow lockers completely sealed and isolated from the rest of the boat."

If you have the Honda generator in the bow - how does the power (70 amps at 14V) get back to the batteries? Really long cables?

"Do you consider your propane locker a living space?"
That comment is downright silly!

There is no source of ignition in a sealed propane locker that is drained overboard. And, this is REALLY Important, propane is heavier than air and drains overboard. Gasoline vapors are lighter than air and accumulate overhead. And, we have a propane sensor in the galley that automatically shuts off the propane in case of a leak.

"Do you know that the OP doesn't have something similar, and was only considering a way to use a Honda generator in one?"

Well Yes I do - the OP said " I've been thinking about the possibility of using a portable (gasoline) inverter generator instead of a standard marine diesel, installed in a similar location (lazarette)." and that is exactly what I was responding to.

Your comments are interesting but not relevant to the OP question.

SO - I stand by my assertion that installing a gasoline below decks when the compartment was not designed for gasoline is inherently dangerous and that on deck gasoline generators are noisy and rude.

I intend no offense and I can see your point but I just can find no room for a portable gasoline generator in my ideas about cruising.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:54   #21
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The SOC cruisers must be very different than the Caribe cruisers because a very large number of boats in the Caribe have and use those generators.

As per Honda, the fuel consumption is 3.64 hours per gallon at full load and 8.73 hours per gallon at 1/4 load. Whether that is a high consumption of a rare commodity is relative. Do you feel the same way regarding fuel consumption about 2-stroke outboards? Those seem to be the pinnacle of piousness for many.

We have two bow lockers completely sealed and isolated from the rest of the boat. They have overboard drains. They can be ripped right off and the boat would not take on water. Any spilled liquids would drain overboard. Wouldn't this be considered an "outbuilding" or "non-living space"? Do you know that the OP doesn't have something similar, and was only considering a way to use a Honda generator in one?

Do you consider your propane locker a living space? Isn't it dangerous to have that fuel on board too? Or have you rationally mitigated the risk - just like someone might consider doing with a portable generator...

Mark
I don't think people are saying it can't be done. Lots of boats have gas engines in them and they don't all spontaneously combust. The key is proper installation and taking the necessary safety precautions.

I think the problem with projects like the one under discussion is that most people don't install them properly, and likely don't even know what proper installation looks like or even what the concerns are.

That's what leads to accidents, whether it's a fire, CO poisoning, or whatever, not to mention annoying all your neighbors because it's more noisy than a generator needs to be.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:05   #22
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

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Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
I gritted my teeth and ponied up for a diesel genset. Even without the sound shield the only thing people hear 20 yards away is the cooling water from the exhaust. My friend came onboard while it was running and thought we should find the bilge pump that was running. He must be used to noisy bilge pumps!
And they can be made even quieter with a GenSep to separate the exhaust water and gas. Then the water outlet is below the waterline and silent, and the gas outlet is above and just sounds like a drier vent. It completely eliminates the splashing exhaust.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:40   #23
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Colemj:

"As per Honda, the fuel consumption is 3.64 hours per gallon at full load and 8.73 hours per gallon at 1/4 load."

That is exactly my point! I'm guessing you are quoting the fuel requirements for a Honda 1000 so at 1/4 load you are making 250 watts of power. That is two medium size or one big solar panel. Why carry a generator and extra gasoline when you can get the same power for eight to ten hours a day from a solar panel?

And at 250 watts (18 amps / 14V ) you would need to run the generator for about five hours a day to usefully recharge the battery.

If you want to put 140 amp hours back into a 12V battery system you would have to run the generator at full power (70 amps /14V) for almost two hours which means you burn almost four gallons of fuel a week ($15 a week?)

A gasoline generator seems noisy and wasteful to me.

"Do you feel the same way regarding fuel consumption about 2-stroke outboards? Those seem to be the pinnacle of piousness for many."

I have two 2-stroke outboards and have no concerns about their usage of gasoline or their environmental impact. My concern was the practicality of carrying enough gasoline to keep the generator running and the cost of purchasing that fuel.

Maybe my concerns are unfounded but there were many times when we did not have access to a gasoline refill facility for six weeks at a time. We carried 15 gallons of gasoline for our outboards and I find it hard to understand how you would carry another 15 or so gallons for the generator.

"We have two bow lockers completely sealed and isolated from the rest of the boat."

If you have the Honda generator in the bow - how does the power (70 amps at 14V) get back to the batteries? Really long cables?

"Do you consider your propane locker a living space?"
That comment is downright silly!

There is no source of ignition in a sealed propane locker that is drained overboard. And, this is REALLY Important, propane is heavier than air and drains overboard. Gasoline vapors are lighter than air and accumulate overhead. And, we have a propane sensor in the galley that automatically shuts off the propane in case of a leak.

"Do you know that the OP doesn't have something similar, and was only considering a way to use a Honda generator in one?"

Well Yes I do - the OP said " I've been thinking about the possibility of using a portable (gasoline) inverter generator instead of a standard marine diesel, installed in a similar location (lazarette)." and that is exactly what I was responding to.

Your comments are interesting but not relevant to the OP question.

SO - I stand by my assertion that installing a gasoline below decks when the compartment was not designed for gasoline is inherently dangerous and that on deck gasoline generators are noisy and rude.

I intend no offense and I can see your point but I just can find no room for a portable gasoline generator in my ideas about cruising.
Learning moment:

vapor density of gasoline is 3-4 times that of air .... Gasoline fuel vapors accumulate in low confined spaces...
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:59   #24
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

I agree with your dismal of Honda Generators, but you do need to get your facts correct to support your case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
....so at 1/4 load you are making 250 watts of power. That is two medium size or one big solar panel. Why carry a generator and extra gasoline when you can get the same power for eight to ten hours a day from a solar panel?
You won't get 250 watts from a 250 watt solar panel for 8-10 hours a day. Maybe half that if you are lucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
If you have the Honda generator in the bow - how does the power (70 amps at 14V) get back to the batteries? Really long cables?
The Honda only produces 1Kw at AC voltages, and only 8 amps at DC output.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:10   #25
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

"The Honda only produces 1Kw at AC voltages, and only 8 amps at DC output."

Does that mean that the power rating is only for 120 V AC power?

If so - does that mean the Honda generator has to power a standard AC battery charger to put power into the DC battery bank?

"You won't get 250 watts from a 250 watt solar panel for 8-10 hours a day. Maybe half that if you are lucky."

You are correct - our 500 watts of solar panels consistently put over 160 amp hours back into the batteries each day.

160 amp hours * 14V = 2280 watts / 8 = 248 watts per hour (approximately)

And... YES gasoline vapors are heavier than air!
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:30   #26
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

The fuel consumption quotes were for a 2kw Honda. The rating is AC, so yes, it means an AC charger. There is no distance issue with this - just like there is no distance issue with a diesel genset.

I differ with you - I think my comments have been very relative to the OP's questions.

The OP never stated that he did not have a separate locker/lazarette for this. He stated he was considering installing one in a similar location as a diesel genset. Our diesel genset is in a completely sealed locker with drains. Many other boats have similar locations for theirs also.

Again, fuel consumption is relative - as I pointed out. Some can carry enough fuel to last many weeks, some can't. Some cruise where fuel is everywhere and some do not. Some strap jugs along their rails - in fact, a large number do this!

Comparison to a propane locker is not silly. It is very similar - separate from living spaces, designed for a specific purpose and a solenoid could spark in it. Similar to propane lockers, adequate fail-safe devices could be used in a generator locker.

While you may prefer solar, that is completely beside the point in this thread.

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Old 06-01-2014, 10:38   #27
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

OK, let me step back in, don't like seeing it come to blows!

As the OP, what I was, in fact, asking was whether technology on small, portable, gasoline inverter/generators had evolved to the point that it might be practical to install one on your run-of-the-mill sailboat. In particular, I was seeking to get opinions from someone who had done it, or seen it done, or knew why it was not possible to do.

Whether or not gasoline is a good idea, or whether solar might be better, etc., was not really part of the question. There are many other considerations, of course. I was just asking about this one.

Thanks to all for your input. Pete
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:53   #28
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

I pretty much have the full setup on my boat;
!00 A alternator off my 8/71 $300,
20K Northernlights genset dry exhaust keel cooled $18,000 installed
250 Miller Bobcat diesel welder genset $12,000 installed
6 8D batteries $2,000
Xantrex charger inverter $3,500 installed

What do I use?
My Honda 2000 gas generator $900
one gallon of gas per day for 7 hrs running time to keep my two 7 cu/ft freezers cold and my batts charged up and my laundry washed and my computers up and my lights on.

If I were starting over, I would save myself the $35,000 and just get the Honda.
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Old 06-01-2014, 13:13   #29
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
I pretty much have the full setup on my boat;
!00 A alternator off my 8/71 $300,
20K Northernlights genset dry exhaust keel cooled $18,000 installed
250 Miller Bobcat diesel welder genset $12,000 installed
6 8D batteries $2,000
Xantrex charger inverter $3,500 installed

What do I use?
My Honda 2000 gas generator $900
one gallon of gas per day for 7 hrs running time to keep my two 7 cu/ft freezers cold and my batts charged up and my laundry washed and my computers up and my lights on.

If I were starting over, I would save myself the $35,000 and just get the Honda.
You must have every anchorage to yourself... 7 hrs/day running a Honda? Can't imagine anyone anchoring within a 1/2 mile.
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Old 06-01-2014, 13:33   #30
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Re: Inverter/Generator permanant installation

I seen a yr or so ago where a boat manufacture actually offered the Honda 2000 as an option. Mounted permanently in the engine compartment with a SS tube welded to the exhaust, and ran thru the transom with loop to prevent water ingestion. Kinda surprised since I don't believe it's ignition proof rated. Seems pretty risky to me. Run the exhaust blower to help temps and air flow thru. Just passing along a tidbit I read and saw a pic of the installed option. Curious if one were to build a double wall exhaust pipe to incorporate a small water pump that draws very little amps for use to cool the outer exhaust tube? Would address the hot exhaust tube and noise??

On that note, would a hi temp hose connected to a modified exhaust outlet on the gen, and then hung overboard into water work? Gurgling may be less of an annoyance than straight exhaust.

Don't recall the manufactures name off hand
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