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Old 10-08-2016, 06:12   #76
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by sstuller View Post
Maybe I sail in a different world but in tidal waters boats don't lie to the wind. They lie to the current. If the generator is at the stern and you have wind against current it will blow the exhaust back into the boat. You better have a CO detector. Thanks
I think anyone who has a powered vessel of any sort with a cabin that doesn't have a CO detector is crazy. We have one and we have a diesel.
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Old 10-08-2016, 07:58   #77
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by sstuller View Post
Maybe I sail in a different world but in tidal waters boats don't lie to the wind. They lie to the current. If the generator is at the stern and you have wind against current it will blow the exhaust back into the boat. You better have a CO detector. Thanks
No not different world...just in an excessive worry world in my opinion.

I've lived aboard on my mooring here in the Morro Bay tidal estuary now going on 4yrs and we use our Honda 2000 daily to make hot water. Wind and current are always holding the boat at weird angles and you know how many times one of my 3 CO detectors (aft cabin, lower salon and forward cabin) has beeped on the boat from my Honda generator running up on the bow? Zero...zip...Nada. Then I guess you could also count the 4yrs of cruising Mexico and using the Honda daily there as well. Nor have I ever smelled exhaust down below.

Now do you need to pay attention and use your brain when using a Honda 2000 up on deck? Sure, and the "use your brain part", might rule out some folks (hey lets just be honest here). But for folks that have spent any time in cruiser anchorages around the world, a Honda with a sunbrella cover up on deck is just about as common as a gas powered outboard engine.

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
I think anyone who has a powered vessel of any sort with a cabin that doesn't have a CO detector is crazy. We have one and we have a diesel.
Bingo....
To me it's common sense like having a propane sniffer alarm under your propane oven. It's so cheap and easy, why not take the precaution.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:05   #78
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

The household CO detectors only go off at a pretty high percentage, which I guess is where they should cause nothing is worse than the boy crying wolf.
However as part of my job every aircraft I certify as part of the test flight I have to monitor CO levels. I use a mini-SA portable gas detector.
So I carried this thing on my boat as I was curious and no matter where I put the Honda's (I did not try the bow as I had hatches open) I got detectable levels of CO.
CO is cumulative, that is it builds up in your blood over time, and levels that won't kill you or give you headaches or make you nauseous, will still affect your health long term. Wasn't bad with my Son helping, but a Honda is more than my wife can handle and I can't get one out of the Lazarette and into the dinghy by myself.
However putting them in the dinghy did four things, first no detectable CO, secondly that is the best place for the dinghy fuel tank that I was using as an extended run tank anyway, thirdly it made it so that they could not be heard inside the boat at all, it was like being plugged into shore power, and last if God forbid some how or another there was a fire, just loose the painter and let the dink go or fight it with a fire extinguisher, but likely the big boat would incur no damage.
Having been severely burned before by hydraulic fluid and almost burned alive, fire scares me more than just about anything, it was the worst pain I have ever felt.


But hauling the things in and out of the Lazarette and knowing there is gasoline in them was a real pain.
However I do concede that for many they are the best solution for AC power, and your just not going to get 1600 W any cheaper than you can with one, and at least the Honda seems to be very reliable and very easy to service.
I am also one that believes that if you don't have a source of power to fully charge your bank pretty frequently, it will shorten it's life, LifePO being I guess the exception, I guess a LifePo boat can truly be a pure Solar powered boat.
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Old 22-09-2016, 12:18   #79
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Here is how to prep the generator for marine use.

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Old 25-09-2016, 05:35   #80
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

I was looking at the Hondas online and saw that the make one that has a 30 amp recptical. There would be some obvious advantages to this. My question is,are 30 amp 110 volt receptical always the same prong layout?
I ask this because then I can use my shore power cable.
Also, and excuse my ignorance if I run a wire from the ground on the gen set to the negative on the start battery is it grounded.
Before any one asks the genny is not in the engine room. Just close by
Thank you
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Old 25-09-2016, 06:45   #81
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
I was looking at the Hondas online and saw that the make one that has a 30 amp recptical. There would be some obvious advantages to this. My question is,are 30 amp 110 volt receptical always the same prong layout?
I ask this because then I can use my shore power cable.
Also, and excuse my ignorance if I run a wire from the ground on the gen set to the negative on the start battery is it grounded.
Before any one asks the genny is not in the engine room. Just close by
Thank you
I do believe the Hondas with the 30 amp receptacle is of an "RV" style, but it should easily be swapped to the standard "marine" one. That said the genny will still only produce 2000 watts, so don't expect shore power-like amperage, unless you parallel the Hondas.

FWIW, I've run a Honda eu2000 for years and am still here to type this. I also have a Yamaha, but it does not have the same "umph" as the honda (it will not start my AC where the Honda will)
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Old 25-09-2016, 07:04   #82
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
I do believe the Hondas with the 30 amp receptacle is of an "RV" style, but it should easily be swapped to the standard "marine" one. That said the genny will still only produce 2000 watts, so don't expect shore power-like amperage, unless you parallel the Hondas.

FWIW, I've run a Honda eu2000 for years and am still here to type this. I also have a Yamaha, but it does not have the same "umph" as the honda (it will not start my AC where the Honda will)
Thankyou. I understand that 2000 is 2000 no matter what the the plug, thing was that with a bigger plug and wire the losses would be reduced and perhaps a bit safer.
I take from your response that a 30 amp marine is different from 30 amp rv style
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Old 25-09-2016, 07:12   #83
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Note to boat designers:

We need lockers on our boats where we can store dinghy fuel and devices like portable generators containing gasoline/petrol and anything else (butane lighter fuel, etc. etc.) which we can't store in places which drain to the bilge.

I kept a 1kW Honda generator on my boat for a few years, and I broke me head over where to keep it. I thought it would rust out in the anchor locker or behind the transom platform, but I didn't want to keep it in the laz where it could fall over and possibly leak fuel. So I ended up keeping it below in visible spaces so that I could see that it was upright and not leaking. It was a big relief when I finally sold it this year.

These devices can be really useful, and how to carry them should be considered by boat designers.


Another cool thing you could keep in such a space would be a gasoline/petrol powered, or better yet, propane powered crash pump. Propane so that you don't have to worry about the carb gumming up in storage.
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Old 25-09-2016, 08:07   #84
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
Thankyou. I understand that 2000 is 2000 no matter what the the plug, thing was that with a bigger plug and wire the losses would be reduced and perhaps a bit safer.
I take from your response that a 30 amp marine is different from 30 amp rv style
First, to make sure we're on the same page, Honda makes two different models of the EU2000 generator, the "standard" model and the "companion" model. The companion model has different receptacles than the standard but is otherwise exactly the same; motor, output, ratings, etc. The companion is intended to connect to a standard model using a special cable that allows the two generators to work together as one 4000 Watt unit. NOTE the actual rating is 1600 Watts each but I think they will put out up to 2000 surge.

The large 30 amp receptacle on the companion model is the same as a 30 amp marine receptacle. I plug my standard marine 30 amp 120V cord into the Honda EU2000 Companion and directly into the boat's connection and it works perfectly. Just be aware that you're only getting 16 amps surge or 13 amps continuous power if I recall exactly the data from the Honda spec sheet.

There is an issue with grounding and the reverse polarity light on your AC/DC panel may glow. This has been covered in detail in several previous threads about using portable generators on a boat which you should be able to find easily with a forum search.
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Old 25-09-2016, 08:21   #85
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Skipmac thanks, it was the companion I was thinking of. I will hunt for the posts regarding grounding portable gen sets
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Old 08-10-2016, 15:57   #86
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

Thanks all of you. This thread has really helped me however I'm still going to throw something out there.
Had been on a slip, now on a swing mooring. Changed to new batteries with a 200W solar / wind configuration about a year ago (more or less the same time as moving to the swing). Electrical tech suggested I put batteries on shore charge once in a while to extend battery life. This in addition to the charging coming from the sun / wind and the occasional motoring done. Being so far from the marina, I've been thinking of using small generator as a replacement for the shore power. Does all of this make sense?
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:01   #87
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Re: Portable Generator on Boat

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Thanks all of you. This thread has really helped me however I'm still going to throw something out there.
Had been on a slip, now on a swing mooring. Changed to new batteries with a 200W solar / wind configuration about a year ago (more or less the same time as moving to the swing). Electrical tech suggested I put batteries on shore charge once in a while to extend battery life. This in addition to the charging coming from the sun / wind and the occasional motoring done. Being so far from the marina, I've been thinking of using small generator as a replacement for the shore power. Does all of this make sense?
Ive equalized my batteries using a 1 kva honda and a good charger, so yes a generator can suffice.


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