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Old 20-03-2015, 15:49   #1
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Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

Any opinion on the best price & quality marine generator in 8 - 15 kw size? We have spent $5,000 in last 6 months and are about to spend another $1,000 on our 12.5 kw with 6,200 hours on it . Could it be time to install a new generator?
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Old 20-03-2015, 18:35   #2
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

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Originally Posted by Emerson White View Post
Any opinion on the best price & quality marine generator in 8 - 15 kw size? We have spent $5,000 in last 6 months and are about to spend another $1,000 on our 12.5 kw with 6,200 hours on it . Could it be time to install a new generator?
My personal preference on generators, especially larger ones, is Northern Lights. However, we have had great luck with Kohler's in the size range you're looking plus they're among the quieter ones. I've also talked to other captains and yacht managers who like Kohler.
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Old 20-03-2015, 21:58   #3
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

We had a lot of trouble with a Norther Lights. Their argument about relays vs circuit boards is fine so far as it goes, but we were repalcing relays almost constantly.

Admittedly this was on a generator new in 92, so the design is likely different, but I wouldn't own one again.
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Old 20-03-2015, 22:47   #4
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

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We had a lot of trouble with a Norther Lights. Their argument about relays vs circuit boards is fine so far as it goes, but we were repalcing relays almost constantly.

Admittedly this was on a generator new in 92, so the design is likely different, but I wouldn't own one again.
We have four Northern Lights Generators and have had no issues. I have several friends who are captains and rank Northern Lights first. If you were replacing relays constantly, you likely had another issue impacting them. Even on those 23 years ago, that was not a common issue and likely an indication of another electrical problem.

Still in this small range I'd highly recommend Kohler.
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Old 20-03-2015, 23:46   #5
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

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My personal preference on generators, especially larger ones, is Northern Lights. However, we have had great luck with Kohler's in the size range you're looking plus they're among the quieter ones. I've also talked to other captains and yacht managers who like Kohler.
Ditto. Always heard great things about NL. Have had great luck with my Kohler, though.

Two tips:

1. If you can afford the cost and weight, go for 1500 rpm (or 1800) heavy duty continuous duty rated one. The difference to high speed ones is amazing.

2. Don't oversize it. Use a Victron or Mastervolt charger/inverter with power boost to shave peaks off your demand.
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Old 21-03-2015, 00:48   #6
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
We have four Northern Lights Generators and have had no issues. I have several friends who are captains and rank Northern Lights first. If you were replacing relays constantly, you likely had another issue impacting them. Even on those 23 years ago, that was not a common issue and likely an indication of another electrical problem.

Still in this small range I'd highly recommend Kohler.
We had multiple NL mechanics try to find the problem and an electrician. No joy. As soon as we ripped it out for a Kohler we didn't have any more electrical issues until the boat was hit by lightning.
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Old 21-03-2015, 10:58   #7
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

I replaced my G&M genie a few years back with a Westerbeke 7.6BTD and couldn't be happier with my decision. It is super quiet, weighs only 395 lbs and at 19" X 27" X 20"H leaves me lots of extra space in my lazerette. Only burns 1/2 GPH diesel.
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Old 21-03-2015, 11:22   #8
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

Cheapest and best method I found was to buy a lightly used mobile lighting plant and pull the generator out of that....gives you an 8 KW generator with a wonderful Kubota 3cyl deisel. Hook it up to your heat exchanger and good to go. Had it for 2 years no issues.
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Old 21-03-2015, 12:19   #9
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

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Originally Posted by Emerson White View Post
Any opinion on the best price & quality marine generator in 8 - 15 kw size? We have spent $5,000 in last 6 months and are about to spend another $1,000 on our 12.5 kw with 6,200 hours on it . Could it be time to install a new generator?
I can't say if it is time for you to replace your generator, but I will mention our boat came with a 10KW Fisher-Panda [3 air conditioners for the tropics on board...] It is powered by a 3 cylinder Kubota diesel and it has a flawless record over 10 years [with the usual maintenance and new injectors 2 years ago.]

It is the absolute quietest generator I have ever [not] heard... Panda has two exhaust outlets, one is underwater. Even if you are on deck you cannot tell if the gen is running unless you wander over to the side where the exhaust is blowing bubbles. Below decks you can hear the hum of the diesel in the engine room, but low volume music playing hides is well enough that I have to glance at the gen instrument panel to confirm it is running...

The sound attenuating clam-shell the gen is mounted in is mounted to a 1/2" steel plate weighing 300lbs, which is then mounted (using anti-vibration mounts) to the boat.

If it died and was unrepairable [if I had to replace it...] I would research as you are, but wouldn't hesitate to use the same model given my personal experience, and its documented track record thus far.

FWIW

Good luck with your project.
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Old 21-03-2015, 14:58   #10
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

I have had a good run with the Mase IS 11.1. It is in it's own w/t compartment also used as Laundry. Fitted a heat exchange thro' a 20 litre hot water tank. Nice cabinet and reasonably quiet. 11kVa provides battery top up , watermaker ( 240v electric ) besides the hot water. Neat little Yanmar 2cylinder in the box.I need about 1 hour per day when pure sailing.
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Old 21-03-2015, 15:16   #11
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

We have an 8kw Northern Lights and have no complaints.
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Old 21-03-2015, 15:32   #12
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

I've had good luck with the Mase 7.6 (8.1 is the current model), running at 1800rpm/60hz. The selling point for me is the intercooler, no heat from the unit, hence no blower required. It's a Yanmar 3TNE and uses off-the-shelf Yanmar parts, no need to pay Mase a markup for engine parts. Mase North America provides excellent service/support.
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Old 21-03-2015, 17:11   #13
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Re: Recommended marine generators 8 - 15 kw

I installed a Westerbeke 7.8 kVa in 2011, it now has over 2000 hours on it, looks brand new and the only issue we have had is with the fuel lift pump and this was due to a blocked filter. I cant comment on the larger models but I reckon ours is a ripper.
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