Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-09-2010, 06:09   #1
Registered User
 
PatrickS's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Espoo, Finland
Boat: "Tranquil" - '79 Westerly Berwick Ketch
Posts: 62
Poor Man's Genset (Is This a Crazy Thing To Do?)

I've been wanting a genset for awhile. Solar doesn't do much for me this far north (Finland) and I tend to prefer to anchor where there isn't alot of wind, so wind generators aren't optimal.

But dedicated marine gensets are rather pricey.

There are more and more inexpensive air-cooled portable diesel generators on the market. E.g. the following can be had for around 600 euros:



What I'm thinking is to get one of these and install it in one of the lazarettes, with the intension of running it with the lazarette hatches open, and with the exhaust vented out in similar fashion to a Wallas heater (probably using Wallas parts), with fuel taken directly from the main tank, and with the shore power cord plugged in to its AC output. It's electric start, so should be fairly user-friendly.

It would be a tad bit noisier than a dedicated marine genset, but tolerable (about 70db).

(And before anyone suggests it, no I won't have either gasoline or propane on my boat, so the typical small Honda generator is out)

My only concern is heat. Not sure just how much air cooling is needed for one of these, and whether it would be enough to just have the hatches open or whether a bilge blower would be needed.

Comments?
__________________

__________________
.
If a man speaks at sea where there is no woman to hear, is he still wrong?
PatrickS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 06:36   #2
Mooderator
 
capngeo's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Key West & Sarasota
Boat: Cal 28 "Happy Days"
Posts: 4,211
Images: 12
Send a message via Yahoo to capngeo Send a message via Skype™ to capngeo
Unless so rated, it will NOT fare well in an enclosed compartment.

Just curious, why no gasoline? If handled properly, it is as safe as any other fuel... In fact Honda sells an "extended run" fuel cap that connects to a standard 6 gallon outboard type marine fuel tank.

If you are dead set not to have gasoline, look for a small used water cooled marine diesel set. Pretty common to find them here in the US for $1200-1500 in good condition
__________________

__________________
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
capngeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 07:12   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
My knee jerk reaction is that a lot of "marine grade" stuff (although over priced) has a lot of desirable features that you really don't realize until you've opted for the non-marine grade version. One of the first ones I could imagine would be corrosion and heat build up.

I think as long as you'd be willing to run it on deck and have it rust away in a couple of years as a worst case scenario, than it sounds great.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 07:14   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,848
That style unit is Much noiser the you may think, Glad I am not your neighbor
__________________
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 07:32   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,061
You will need much more than a bilge blower to keep it adequately cooled. You will need direct air flow unless it's out in the open.

If you think 70db is tolerable for anything more than a few minutes I am glad you are across the sea and won't anchor near me. I own a contractors generator that makes an awful racket (for home use only -- would never take it aboard) and it is rated 69 db. Each 3db increase is DOUBLE the perceived sound level. That makes this more than six times louder than a Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt inverter generator (55-60db). The tone and vibation isolation level are also factors that will affect how annoying ths unit is. Much of the noise comes from valves and other mechanical vibrations, not all of it comes through the exhaust. The Honda and Yamaha inverter units have been designed very carefully in this regard and are very easy to live with.

I could understand not wanting to carry gasoline if you were operating a warship, but flammable liquids and propane can be handled safely on a recreational boat and since you are concerned/aware of the dangers that should not be a problem.

The vast majority of boat fires are caused by electrical problems. Why don't you eliminate electricity instead?
__________________
SailFastTri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 07:47   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tampa to New York
Boat: Morgan 33 OutIsland, Magic and 33' offshore scott design "Cutting Edge"
Posts: 1,594
Dont know what the diesel unit runs but wondering if you couldnt do the same thing for the same price marinizing (sp) your own unit. Some outfit has been selling westerbeke 8 hp slow run diesel engines on ebay for $1250. Add a water pump">raw water pump and heat exchanger, riser etc to diesel, attach choice of electric generation methods, and maybe a refrigeration pump. Enclose it and insulate and vibration damp it well. That would seem to me to be a more favorable end result for your money.
__________________
forsailbyowner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2010, 08:41   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
You will need much more than a bilge blower to keep it adequately cooled. You will need direct air flow unless it's out in the open ...
Indeed, you’ll need combustion air, plus a lot of cooling air.

Caterpillar has a good application guide on Diesel (generator) Engine Room (compartment) Ventilation:
http://www.gregorypoole.com/products...ENTILATION.pdf
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Poor Man's Watermaker ? Chrisc Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 39 08-03-2011 17:42
One Man's Hunter Is Another Man's... slowasigo Monohull Sailboats 13 18-08-2009 09:59
Poor Man's Tug markpj23 Seamanship & Boat Handling 5 20-06-2006 11:09



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:21.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.