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Old 14-08-2010, 10:22   #46
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Carbon Monoxide | Indoor Air Quality | US EPA

http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/pd...sc82_rev_a.pdf
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Old 14-08-2010, 10:42   #47
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USCG can do about anything, along with their pals at DHS, but I doubt they will be concern about the gen on board. Unless they consider it unsafe to navigation.
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Old 14-08-2010, 21:06   #48
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The USCG doesn't have a problem with air cooled gensets (I worked in the USCG Office of Boating Safety for over 20 years as an engineer) However the USCG, ABYC, ISO, and Canadian CG have a problem with portable generators being permanently installed on boats. Any permanently installed gasoline engine has to meet standards for fuel sytems, electrical systems, vemtilation, and exhaust. None of the portable generators on the market meet any of these standards.

So you can use them. as a portable, but do not install as a permanent genset. Of course there are BIG concerns about carbon monoxide. The best place for a portable genset is on the dock. Some people place them on the deck, swim platform or open cockpit. All of these invite CO to come in through vents, AC ducts, vents and drains for sinks, and any other opening in the boat. There are also concerns about shock hazards. Here's my take on it: Portable Generators Pro and Con http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/portable.pdf
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Old 15-08-2010, 05:50   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike View Post
... Here's my take on it: Portable Generators Pro and Con
Your paper mentions grounding safety; but doesn't provide any substsntive advice.
How do you address source grounding, when a portable generator is operated:
- from a dock ?
- from the boat?
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Old 15-08-2010, 07:46   #50
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If you use it on a private dock, that is one thing. Using it on a finger pier would endanger the folks in all boats on the dock, IMHO.
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Old 15-08-2010, 11:32   #51
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I am going to take somewhat of a cop out here and say you need to follow the generator manufacturers instructions. Most portable generators provide some means of grounding the case of the generator. The old rod in the earth works, with a wire to the generator. Wiring it to a metal pipe, works. That used to be the way it was done in a lot of homes.On some that have metal cases, just setting them on the ground or on concrete effectively grounds them. (very hard to do on a boat which is why I don't recommend using portable generators) But as i said follow the instructions. Some of the generators have very good three wire systems with a built in GFCI, and the green and white (grounding and neutral) are connected inside the generator. However some of the cheaper models don't have any Ground Fault protection.
This all boils down to the ABYC and NEC requirements that the power source have both the neutral and grounding wire connected at the power source. If you look at lake power plants, that is the case, If you look at boat wiring diagrams for permanently installed generators, the green and white are connected in the generator. If you use a isolation or polarization transformer as your power source the green and white are connected at the transformer. This provides a ground fault path.

Anyway I'm rambling. The one thing you don't want is for you to become the fault path back to ground. If there is a ground fault in the system ( a white or black touching a casing for example) the green is the fault path. But if you have no ground and you touch the metal case or anything else that has current flowing in it, you become the path to ground.
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Old 23-09-2010, 10:09   #52
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a few years ago the boat us magazine had a sad story about generators and the exhaust under swim platforms. If I remember correctly, people were poisoned by carbon monoxide when swimming and hanging around the platform (at anchor and the generator running). These were probably the "built-in" gensets on power boats. I cant say If there is a law or insurance provision about this. So it is just some thing that came to mind.
If you find out the coast gard position please let us know.
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Old 23-09-2010, 10:24   #53
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What about adding a short pipe to the genset exhaust and then an exhaust hose from that pipe that can be dropped overboard, terminating close to the waterline. Exhaust CO2 is heavier than air so it should stay at the water level, well below any ports.

I did something similar with a generator in a work trailer. Ran the exhaust hose out the open door of the trailer and down to the ground. Worked fine.
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Old 23-09-2010, 11:24   #54
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We have the Yamaha 1000 generator as it is used just to recharge the house batteries through the shore power inlet. It is very light and quiet. On our last trip to Desolation Sound from Seattle we also carried and used a solar panel and found we did not once use the generator. We moved the boat every 2 to 3 days so the alternator did most of the charging. If we were longer on an anchor the Yamaha would be very useful.
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Old 23-09-2010, 12:12   #55
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Quote:
a few years ago the boat us magazine had a sad story about generators and the exhaust under swim platforms. If I remember correctly, people were poisoned by carbon monoxide when swimming and hanging around the platform (at anchor and the generator running). These were probably the "built-in" gensets on power boats. I cant say If there is a law or insurance provision about this. So it is just some thing that came to mind.
If you find out the coast gard position please let us know.
I was one of the engineers in the USCG Office of Boating Safety at the time. There were some fatalities from Carbon Monoxide on houseboats, primarily on Lake Powell, because people were swimming under the rear platforms. Those who went in to save them also were poisoned. The reason was simple, on some houseboats the installed generator exhaust and the engine exhaust exited under the platform. These platforms came down to the water level at the rear of the platform, effectively trapping exhaust.

We ordered a massive recall involving 19 boat manufacturers and several model years. The fix was to reroute the exhaust to the side of the boat or to a dry stack exhaust which would put the exhaust above the highest deck on the boat. Now most houseboat manufacturers are using dry stacks. But there are some who route the exhaust to the side.

There have been numerous other carbon monoxide problems with houseboats but most are due to ignorance on the part of the operator. Almost all the houseboats that have had CO problems are rentals. Either the rental operator didn't properly inform the customer of the danger, or the customer simply wasn't paying attention. I could tell you a lot of horror stories about this.

This is not to say that other powerboats don't also have CO problems, they do and people have died.

Rules to follow:

Never ever run the generator when you are sleeping. Yeah it may be hot and sticky and you want the airconditioning but you may also end up dead.

When running a generator make sure there is air flow though the cabins of the boat that flushes any exhaust away from the boat.

keep the generator exhaust downwind.

Install a good marine CO detector and learn what the alarms mean. Install new batteries annually. If the thing keeps alarming DON"T SHUT IT OFF. Find out why it is alarming.


Make sure bulkheads between passenger areas and engine areas are airtight!

Check exhaust lines and connections frequently on engines and generators.

Keep engines tuned up. They produce less CO when correctly adjusted. (just an aside, a few years ago I took my car in for a smog test and it need a tuneup badly. After the tune up it got a reading of zero CO. )

Make sure your engines are getting enough air to run properly. An engine starved for air produces more CO, burns more fuel and produces less power. This is especiallly true of big block V-8's They need lots of air. When the carb says it needs 800CFM it means it!

Last but most important educate yourself. There are lots of resouces available on CO poisoning and how to prevent it. New Boatbuilders Home Page - Carbon Monoxide
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Old 23-09-2010, 12:16   #56
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Hey Tom... I didn't think there was enough sun between the San Juans and Desolation Sound to get more than about 1 amp hour out of a solar panel! You lucked out... Capt Phil
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Old 01-06-2014, 16:05   #57
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

GordMay,

Your explanations are spot on to an issue I had trying to using a friends Yamaha 1000 portable on my Mainship 390 Trawler as a supplemental AC source for charging the inverter battery bank (versus using the noisy inboard 8KW diesel). I do run that diesel genset for cooking, hair drying, etc. but prefer not to run it four hours a day to keep the inverter bank topped off. When I tried connecting the Yamaha last summer (I'm in the Great Lakes so it's a short season) I got a reverse polarity indication on the sub-panel that the inverter feeds and proceeded no further. I haven't purchased a portable yet and wanted to make sure it would work before I take the plunge. We head up to the boat for the season on Friday and I wanted to pick one up before I arrive at the marina to launch the boat. FYI, the friend who's Yamaha I tried uses it on his 37' Regal to charge his batteries during the day and has no issues.
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Old 07-06-2014, 13:28   #58
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Honda 2K all the way.. I have one and even the extended tank (5 gal) runs my 5 K ac all night in Florida quiet i sometime use a halyard to life it off the deck to stop the vibe on the deck..
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Old 22-07-2016, 18:50   #59
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Has anyone converted a Yanmar 5500 Diesel generator in the builge of a boat?
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Old 22-07-2016, 19:24   #60
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by Pura Vida View Post
After much thought on this I am considering changing camps and getting a small honda or yamaha generator.
Get the Honda 2000 over the Yamaha...Why...because the Yahama generator can't start the 1.0Hp motor on our water maker while the Honda 2000 can. The Techs at Yamaha will swear up and down that anything the Honda can do, they can do and better....but real world testing trumps a online tech support guy.

Want the view on a Honda from a Long Distance cruisers...Check out this blog post from SV Totem for a real world, no BS view on the issue.
Portable generator benefits, and how to care for one aboard | Sailing Totem

And another Cruiser's praise of the Honda:
http://svjustaminute.blogspot.com/20...-my-honda.html

We have an 8KW diesel genset aboard, but we often just run our Honda because it's quieter, more fuel efficient, easier to maintain, and besides if only people that are anchored way too close would be able to hear it anyway...smile...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Engineer View Post
One more question....How do I determine for this guy how many KW I will need to start up his A/C unit? Thanx
The largest AC unit the honda 2000 can run is a 5000Btu...we did it on a few occasions during the summers in the Sea of Cortez out at anchor to help survive the heat.

From a battery charging standpoint, we can run our 60A DC battery charger for about 7Hours on a Single gallon of Gas...so that is LOT of Amp Hours from a 5gallon Jerry Jug and the Honda 2000.
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