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Old 13-05-2016, 20:02   #1
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The time has come....

...... to pull the trigger on buying a new genset. I am so conflicted though. I'm genuinely stuck between essentially three choices for my size/weight constraints.

Nextgen 5.5kw 2 cylinder running and 2800rpm
Phasor marine 4.5 kw 2 cylinder running at 1800rpm
Westerbeke 5.5 3 cylinder running at 1800 rpm.

I plan on installing the new genny in my lazzerette where the old one was, but I will have to modify it a lot (cut the floor out and lower it 4 inches into the rear cabin, thereby lowering the ceiling height over the bed)

The nextgen is the smallest and I might be able to fit it in the lazzerette without the sound shield on its own without the need to do an modifications to the fiberglass/cut floor, which is a huge plus on its own. ( I plan on making the entire lazzerette a sound box to mitigate the noise , but I have my concerns with the higher rpm 2 banger. )

I have never heard the difference between them so I don't know how much it will make a difference in vibrstion/decibles. The westerbeke is the biggest and would require the most fiberglass modification to get it into the locker, and it is also the most expensive option, but I could run it the most probally with the fewest issue... I think?!?

The phasor I would still have to lower the floor to fit it in height wise, but it's much less longer in length so it wouldn't take as much room,,,, annnd runs at 1800 sweet rpm spot....

The thing is, I use a lot of power when I'm editing videos, running ac's, my wife's watching movies/cooking ect. Ect so I am concerned about continually using the next gen at 2800 rpm's.

I don't want to be changing oil every 50 hours. Or run into maintaince issues...I want to change oil every 150 or 200 hours if possible. And I plan to rack the hours up.

So, wise forumn members, based on what you know of me, or don't know, what would you recommend and what experience with either of these models does anyone have?

See photos below for what I'm working with.

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Old 14-05-2016, 04:08   #2
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Re: The time has come....

Without regard to those brands/models or your size constraints.... I'd prefer a 3-cylinder model that runs at 1800 RPMs.


-Chris
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Old 14-05-2016, 04:50   #3
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Re: The time has come....

none of those brands is a reliability champ.
might want to consider a northern lights and put reliability first over just trying to find something to fit the space. Definitely get a unit that runs at 1800 rpm or the noise on a boat your size will drive you crazy.
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Old 14-05-2016, 05:05   #4
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Re: The time has come....

Whichever genny you instal make sure you can mount the waterlock/muffler low enough and dead in line with the genny to stop water getting back into the exhaust from the muffler when the boat heals.

I've had the cylinder head rebuilt twice because of water coming in the exhaust valve. Now I drain the water from the muffler after each use. That was my only solution.
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Old 14-05-2016, 05:27   #5
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Re: The time has come....

I'm very restricted on the size as of unit I can fit in... so unless I lower the rear head room by like 6 inches there is no way I'll fit in a northern lights...

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Old 14-05-2016, 09:34   #6
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Re: The time has come....

We have a 3 cylinder Westerbeke running at 1500 rpm and like you will be facing the repower decision in a year or two.

The basic Kubota block has been a champion but the marinisation bits such as heat exchangers etc have not been so reliable. Unless we are running A/C the genset rarely gets used. In our cruising we have observed that generators seem to be the highest failure item in many boats. Rarely do our usage patterns fit with what is best for the generator.

We now have the usual compliment of solar panels, big alternator on the engine and wind generator feeding a quality battery bank and a big mastervolt inverter. Bottom line is that we can and do go weeks without needing to run the genset to charge batteries. Originally the boat had 220 volt fridge, freezer and no renewables meaning we ran the genset every day for at least one hour.

I have almost completely eliminated the inbuilt genset option and will either go for the ubiquitous Honda inverter generator or more likely will be a single cylinder Yanmar diesel driving a 150 amp 12 volt alternator. Form factor of the yanmar is perfect for us (I am planning to repurpose the one off our dive compressor) and you can either have a dry exhaust or make a wet exhaust.

We were very surprised to see on a friends boat that in extremis the Honda (or their inverter) can start and run the small soft start A/C unit they have in their sleeping cabin. Over the years we have found 99% of our A/C use has been in marinas. If the need for A/C is driving the need for a genset have a fresh look at your A/C system, some of the older ones can have the start capacitor changed to reduce start up problems.

One last issue.... gensets usually get shoe horned into tight places with poor access to service points... I have lost so much skin on my Westerbeke and curse every time the service comes around. The thought of servicing a Honda on deck is very appealing.

Just another perspective...

Ross
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Old 14-05-2016, 11:01   #7
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Re: The time has come....

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtgemini View Post
We have a 3 cylinder Westerbeke running at 1500 rpm and like you will be facing the repower decision in a year or two.

The basic Kubota block has been a champion but the marinisation bits such as heat exchangers etc have not been so reliable. Unless we are running A/C the genset rarely gets used. In our cruising we have observed that generators seem to be the highest failure item in many boats. Rarely do our usage patterns fit with what is best for the generator.

We now have the usual compliment of solar panels, big alternator on the engine and wind generator feeding a quality battery bank and a big mastervolt inverter. Bottom line is that we can and do go weeks without needing to run the genset to charge batteries. Originally the boat had 220 volt fridge, freezer and no renewables meaning we ran the genset every day for at least one hour.

I have almost completely eliminated the inbuilt genset option and will either go for the ubiquitous Honda inverter generator or more likely will be a single cylinder Yanmar diesel driving a 150 amp 12 volt alternator. Form factor of the yanmar is perfect for us (I am planning to repurpose the one off our dive compressor) and you can either have a dry exhaust or make a wet exhaust.

We were very surprised to see on a friends boat that in extremis the Honda (or their inverter) can start and run the small soft start A/C unit they have in their sleeping cabin. Over the years we have found 99% of our A/C use has been in marinas. If the need for A/C is driving the need for a genset have a fresh look at your A/C system, some of the older ones can have the start capacitor changed to reduce start up problems.

One last issue.... gensets usually get shoe horned into tight places with poor access to service points... I have lost so much skin on my Westerbeke and curse every time the service comes around. The thought of servicing a Honda on deck is very appealing.

Just another perspective...

Ross
Overall though do you like the westerbeke? Did you buy it new?

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Old 14-05-2016, 11:35   #8
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Re: The time has come....

The generator was on the boat when I bought her with minimal hours and I had her rebuilt at 6000 hours but the mechanic said it really did not need it. The Kubota block is brilliant.

Once I got rid of a lot of the westerbeke stuff like raw water pump and heat exchanger (replaced with an oversized Bowman), exhaust elbow, engine mounts etc it has been much more reliable. Westerbeke parts are expensive and did not last. Swapping over to other makers parts or having better ones fabricated changed it from being just OK to a very reliable unit.

-r
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Old 14-05-2016, 12:52   #9
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Re: The time has come....

Just briefly - Of the six or eight friends that have the high RPM "screamers" all have had numerous problems with the units ranging from minor, but hard to diagnose, electronics failures to complete engine failure.
The most recent was in the Bahamas last month, we all tried to find the electronics prob., even spent hours on the phone with the factory all to no avail. Finally pulled the unit and put it on a pallet for the states.
Go to the old "tractor" eng. units that run at a reasonable speed and workable harmonics though having it right over the master berth precludes "napping and charging"
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Old 14-05-2016, 13:35   #10
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Re: The time has come....

The high rpm generators wear their motors faster, make more noise, and create more heat per hp. Many people trying to quiet the noise end up restricting air flow and make the engine work harder, using more fuel and creating more heat.
The 2800 rpm engine is basically a big lawn mower engine.
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