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Old 25-12-2017, 16:39   #46
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

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Originally Posted by OndinePLC View Post
You are correct, the break was due to corrosion cracking evident from an inspection of the fracture.
Just about anybody who has spent time on boats knows about SS corrosion, I personally have been on three boats at sea that have lost their forestays due to corrosion cracking of fittings.

Nevertheless a properly manufactured shaft like this should not fail on an engine not many years old and with few running hours. I expect a properly marinised diesel to last for ten years and 5000 hours running at least. There is at least one of these shafts on every engine powered boat in existence, but I've never heard of one failing like this before.

I understand Kubota makes their engines in China and Taiwan (Taiwan stainless - ring a bell?). The pump may well be outsourced, but it is still a failure of their QA/QC to ensure that the material composition and forging, machining and finishing process are correctly carried out to achieve a level of corrosion resistance consistent with the expected lifetime.

1) The Pump is most likely a Johnson pump or Jabsco pump

2) The pump failure has nothing to do with how and where Kubota are manufactured.

3) do you use the same level of logic to claim that all rigging wire and fittings are dodgy based on the failure you have seen?
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Old 26-12-2017, 05:22   #47
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

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Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
1) The Pump is most likely a Johnson pump or Jabsco pump

2) The pump failure has nothing to do with how and where Kubota are manufactured.

3) do you use the same level of logic to claim that all rigging wire and fittings are dodgy based on the failure you have seen?
1) We were unable to identify the pump using the web in order to obtain a spare shaft, nor could we obtain info from Kubota. It certainly was not any well known make. We had to have a new shaft made. IMO a third strike against Kubota.

2) With respect I totally disagree.

3) Yes. I try to buy wire from Sweden or Germany as I find USA sourced wire (which may not have been manufactured in USA of course) often acquires surface rust in a few months. If rigging and fittings are less than ten years old I donīt worry about them. After that I inspect them regularly.

Now please excuse me I need to go up the mast....


-------------------------------------------------

"A Small Slip" by Cris Robinson available on Kindle eBooks
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Old 26-12-2017, 06:44   #48
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

We had a Fischer Panda on our last sailboat. It was like having a curse riding with you everywhere. Unreliable. Always breaking down or overheating. Leaking oil. etc. etc. etc. Top all that off with rotten customer support, expensive parts and a poor dealer network and you get the picture.

We spent thousand and thousand trying to get the cursed thing to work properly and when it finally died on us in the islands and we installed a Northern Lights, I can honestly say it was one of the happiest cruising days of my life.

The NL was smooth, quiet, reliable and trouble free for as long as we had the boat.

There are exceptions to every rule, but most people love their NL gensets, and most people hate their FPs.
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Old 26-12-2017, 08:07   #49
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OndinePLC View Post
1) We were unable to identify the pump using the web in order to obtain a spare shaft, nor could we obtain info from Kubota. It certainly was not any well known make. We had to have a new shaft made. IMO a third strike against Kubota.

2) With respect I totally disagree.

3) Yes. I try to buy wire from Sweden or Germany as I find USA sourced wire (which may not have been manufactured in USA of course) often acquires surface rust in a few months. If rigging and fittings are less than ten years old I donīt worry about them. After that I inspect them regularly.

Now please excuse me I need to go up the mast....


-------------------------------------------------

"A Small Slip" by Cris Robinson available on Kindle eBooks


You seriously think KUBOTA has anything to do with an aftermarket pump attached to their engine? Who did the marinization?
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Old 26-12-2017, 11:17   #50
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

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You seriously think KUBOTA has anything to do with an aftermarket pump attached to their engine? Who did the marinization?
Exactly.

I have a kubota based genset.
Diecon Engineering built it
I have no idea who's pump it is, there are no markings, but I am not blaming Kubota for that.
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Old 26-12-2017, 13:48   #51
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

I can give you some insight. I just replaced my Fischer Panda 8KW with that 6KW Northern Lights. I was having all kinds of issues with my FP, but it was 15 years old and that was when they had raw water cooled electrical ends. It only had 400 hours on it but was corroded from water leaks. I spent $4K fixing leaks and only go another 20 hours out of it before it leaked again and shorted out the electrical end.

I was so frustrated i wanted the best generator money could by and my searches brought me to the Northern Lights. It's been installed for a few weeks now, I only have 50 hours on it. But I can say it is MUCH quieter than the FP in my boat. The FP runs at 3600 RPM vs 1800 RPM for the NL. So you can guess that is going to be quieter and less vibration. It is a little bigger, but not by much.

I think FP got a pretty bad reputation from the raw water cooled days. They have been re-designed long ago, but that doesn't comfort those like me that had to replace generators with such low hours. I was not the first owner, and I would guess the previous owner didn't do good maintenance. Gensets are packed away in dark small spaces and often ignored.

For what it cost me, I'm going to really take good care of this Northern Lights. if I have problems, I'll update this post.
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Old 30-12-2017, 06:35   #52
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

I believe the Generator was sold by Kubota, as I remember it only had Kubota labels on it.
However I might be mistaken, if so apologies to Kubota.

Anyway the thread was more concerned with Fischer Panda's generators.
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Old 30-12-2017, 14:24   #53
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

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I believe the Generator was sold by Kubota, as I remember it only had Kubota labels on it.
However I might be mistaken, if so apologies to Kubota.

.
I have found nothing on the internet saying that Kubota themselves ever manufactured or sold marine gensets.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:49   #54
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

The Fisher Panda I had used a 3 cylinder Kubota engine. It was the same engine that is in a small Kubota tractor we have. Great engine, but the FP has an overly complicated cooling system, crappy water pump">raw water pump with lip seals (rather than a pump with a spring/carbon seal like the NL) too many sensors, stepper motor for throttle, raw water cooling on the generator back end, complicated inverter circuit, a bank of capacitors, and an electronic control panel rather than switches.

Then take all that stuff and put it in a sealed fiberglass case where you can't see the raw water pump leaking. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2018, 18:01   #55
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Re: Northern Lights or Fischer Panda?

I think we've pretty well answered the OP's question so now's as good a time as any for a bit of thread drift......or a mod is welcome to move this post to a more appropriate location.

Since I'm happy with my NL genset, the best thing I got from reading this thread was that I happened to notice OndinePLC.s book mention below his posts. The book is called "A Small Slip" by Cris Robinson and is available on Kindle for $2.99 (I think) and is one of the most entertaining and informative books I've read in quite awhile. The author manages to convey a lot of information but he does it in a fun way and often with humor. It's about Cris, who, back before GPS, got caught in an unexpectedly strong current so ran into an island, wrecking his sailboat just off Venezuela. Since they had just lost everything, he and his wife stayed there and had a family and ended up taking over a small island boatyard that had been shut down for a couple of years. They built it into a thriving business with lots of repeat customers amongst the Caribbean cruisers of this era and if not for the crazy world of Venezuelan politics 30 years ago would probably be retired multi-millionaires by now. If you want to know more details than that you'll have to read the book! Lots of cruising boat problems and situations and creative ways to deal with them. While it was very entertaining reading about some of the "colorful" characters and the situations they presented him with, I was also interested and impressed by how determined and creative and resourceful he was. You also can't help but gain some insight to how the politics, lifestyle, and the people of Venezuela really were (both the good and the bad) in Venezuela during the years just before Chavez took over. Check it out....

He's also got another book coming out soon called "Desperate Deliveries" and after having read A Small Slip I'm looking forward to reading that one too.
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