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Old 16-10-2014, 06:22   #1
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Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

Ok, getting ready to shove off for the Bahamas for a few months....

My fridge demands are pretty minimal at say 40 amp hrs per day and other loads slight. Should be using under 80 amp/ hrs day.

BUT, I have gone super KISS with this boat. 180 (rated) battery capacity 6V gels tend to perform more like Trojan T-105s at 225 amps/hrs. Will have about 190 watts solar and maybe a air marine wind gen assuming I get it mounted and it still works/ $100 off Craigslist.

In addition, I have outboards that put out maybe 7 amps charging and no inboard AC system or AC charger.

SO, I'm thinking if buying a small petrol generator to help on those lean sun/ winds periods.

The obvious problem is an EU1000 basically puts out jack direct to 12V about the same as the outboards. Since I don't have a battery charger I'd have to fit a separate charger.

Does anyone have experience with an alternative setup with a generator that puts out a decent say 20-30 amps DC. It know Tanaka and a few other used to make some small 2 stokes, but they were noisy as hell and no doubt impossible to find parts for and some blokes will be paying the price of a new honda for ones on EBay.

So to make a long story short, looking for a standalone petrol 12V charger OR a small AC with small reliable charger. Don't really need it for gels as it will not be left plugged in unattended on the dock, so voltage will never get out of control.

cheers,
Jeff
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Old 16-10-2014, 08:43   #2
Zil
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

The honda with a separate 120V charger will prove to be best choice.
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Old 16-10-2014, 10:22   #3
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

You just are not going to find a better way to go than a Honda Generator powering a ships battery charger. I would recommend the Honda 2000 and a 60A battery charger because at the end of the day the 2000 can just to so much more than the 1000 for so such a small price increase.
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Old 16-10-2014, 10:42   #4
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zil View Post
The honda with a separate 120V charger will prove to be best choice.
Yes, battery chargers aren't that expensive really. Or you could save money by not paying the price for a Honda for your short cruise. I like the Honda, but for a few months... hmmm ... there are other similar machines. I bought a 2 stroke $100+/- generator a few years back from Harbor Freight. Runs perfectly, used it last winter to power the house "must haves" when the power was out.
For a few months.. the best solution may be a 100 amp alternator/regulator on your diesel.
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Old 16-10-2014, 14:41   #5
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

I too would install a battery charger, not a portable one, you may find yourself able to plug into shore power more often than you may think.
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Old 16-10-2014, 14:47   #6
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

How about a nice little screaming meme at 60 amps.



*60 amp - 12 VDC DC Generator and Battery Charger for Marine and Severe Conditions

GENSET Model
APS-6012G
Load Voltage ( V )
12 VDC nominal
Voltage Low ( V )
13.5
Voltage High ( V )
14.8
Rated Amp Output ( A )
60
Display
LED meter
Noise level dB / 7M
65
Engine Model
YK154F
Type
4-stroke, OHV, gasoline engine
Displacement ( cc )
87
Fuel tank capacity ( L )
4.2
Continuous running time ( Hrs. )
6.5 @ rated output
Starter system
Recoil starter
Unit size LWH ( mm )in
(390315325) 15x12x13
Net / Gross weight kg/lbs
17 / 37

Buy it now price $999.00


Lloyd
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Old 16-10-2014, 15:19   #7
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

We tend to find a nice anchorage and then stay put for awhile. Our big draw is the fridge. House bank is four golf carts. Solar panel is only 135W, no air gen. So after 3 days the batts get down to maybe 70% and its time to recharge. We could run the diesel but its not recommended to run a big diesel with a small load (alternator) for a couple of hours. Enter the Honda 1000.

I hook up a standalone automobile smart charger, 35 amp, to the Honda and the batteries. One quart of gas and 3 hours running and the batteries are back up in the 90's. Put everything away and do it again in 3 days. The Honda is so quiet my neighbors dont notice.

We went with the smaller 1000 because its really all we need AND it fit perfectly in a corner of the lazarette. The 2000 wouldnt fit. But, if you think you will need the extra power, the 2000 is worth the small extra cost. We used "the small extra cost" to buy the smart charger.
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Old 16-10-2014, 15:25   #8
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

By the way, I would stay away from all of the low priced generators if you expect to depend on it. Theres a reason why cruisers universally own Hondas.
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Old 16-10-2014, 15:32   #9
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

Any chance you could take just some of the money a Honda cost and go with more Solar so no gen is needed?
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Old 16-10-2014, 16:40   #10
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

I might get more solar, the main issue is in sunny days I'd have WAY more power than I needed which I guess is not a true problem per se.

I was going to need a trash pump to help clear the muck from my canal and dock so I was thinking if I could find a quiet 4 stroke one, I might be able to remove the water pump and fit an alternator in its place. Will give it some more thought.

CSY: what brand and model is that 35 amp charger? I have always had bad luck with those auto type chargers for extended use.
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Old 16-10-2014, 17:41   #11
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

boatguy30 -

The charger was made by Vector. They made them in several sizes up to about 40 amps. I've had mine for maybe six years and nary a problem. Unfortunately, they were bought out by Black and Decker. I think B&D is making it again. Try googling. I know that West Marine now sells one but i'm not sure how good it is.

Like a64pilot says, the best answer is to get more solar. I planned on adding a second 135 watt panel, which might have made it possible to live 100% solar. But every boat has a limited amount of real estate for mounting solar panels.

As for making your own 12v generator, I may have good news there too. I also thought about that approach, and when googling around one day some years ago, discovered a company that makes a steel stand and bracket on which you can mount a small gas engine and an alternator, for that very purpose. I don't have a clue where that website is, but you may be able to google that one too. I decided against it because it seemed to be too 'dirty' unless i could figure out a way of enclosing it somehow, which meant more work. (Getting the idea that i'm lazy?)

As for air gens, I don't like them either. Too many 'parts'. Blades and stators and rotors and bushings and bearing and fields and magnets and ...., solar is a lot simpler. Set it up once and go back to lying on the beach....
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Old 16-10-2014, 17:55   #12
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

Does anyone know anything about the Kipor 2000 about $700 on ebay lots cheaper than a Honda
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Old 16-10-2014, 19:46   #13
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

This one uses Honda engine. 55 amp 12v DC.

ALTEN USA, Inc.

I have never seen or used one of these myself.

Steve

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Old 16-10-2014, 20:16   #14
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

The yamaha ef2000is is similar to the Honda eu2000 of comparable specs and quality. The yamaha is cheaper, has a fuel gauge, and fuel shutoff control, which enables you to run the carb dry without an empty fuel tank (for storage). It also is nicer styled, IMHO.

I'm not saying it's better, only because I don't want get into arguments. I'm saying its a good choice. I've owned one about 5 years, and it's holding up well.
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Old 16-10-2014, 21:47   #15
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Re: Lightweight Simple Portable Generator/ Battery Charger??? Ideas???

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
boatguy30 -

<SNIP>

As for making your own 12v generator, I may have good news there too. I also thought about that approach, and when googling around one day some years ago, discovered a company that makes a steel stand and bracket on which you can mount a small gas engine and an alternator, for that very purpose. I don't have a clue where that website is, but you may be able to google that one too. I decided against it because it seemed to be too 'dirty' unless i could figure out a way of enclosing it somehow, which meant more work. (Getting the idea that i'm lazy?)
<SNIP>.
I built something like this using just some scrap steel, used a small 2 hp briggs engine and it worked OK for what it was, which was a project for some 7th graders. It's been sitting in the back of one of my sheds for eons, but I saw it the other day so if you want a pic of it just let me know. I believe I got about 600 watts from it without any sort of optimizing.

It was a fun exercise to find out if something worked, but on a boat I think I'd seriously consider a bigger alternator on my main engine instead.
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