This is just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.
But I would never dream of putting this type of generator on any boat of mine.
That's powered by a single-cylinder, air-cooled
Kubota engine -- this one: Kubota OC60 - Kubota Model OC60 Diesel Engines - OC Series Engine
That's a light-duty rototiller engine, not designed for continuous or heavy use and with greatly inferior thermal control without water cooling
In this generator, it screams its lungs -- or rather, its one lung -- out at its redline of 3600 RPM
. How long do you think a light-duty air-cooled engine operated at redline will last?
Generators on boats are one of the most troublesome items there are, which can really spoil a cruise
when they act up. In my humble opinion, a marine
generator should be as absolutely dead simple as possible, heavy duty, understressed, made to run continuously for years without problems. So they should be the opposite in philosophy from these and from the similar, and notorious, Fischer-Panda generators.
I would strongly urge you to consider a heavy duty three-cylinder, direct drive, low-speed genset if you can possibly find the space for it. Yes, it will be bulkier, heavier, and more expensive, but it will pay for itself in spades by not ruining your cruises.
The main brands are Onan/Cummins, Kohler, and Northern Lights
. Of these, I think there is a general consensus that the Northern Lights
are the best, the Rolls-Royce of generators.
All of these have 3-cylinder, fresh water cooled, diesel
engines operated at 1500 or 1800 RPM, less than half of their redline in other applications. Directly driving the oversized generator head
so there are no belts or gears to give you any trouble. They produce much less noise and vibration than high speed gensets, particularly one-lungers, and the tone of the sound is more pleasant and melodious since they are operating in a low-stress regime, rather than pushed to their limits at redline.
Northern Lights makes a small one -- 4.5kW -- which is an absolute beauty. Without a question that's what I would install if I were in the market for a genset.