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Old 20-12-2008, 19:35   #31
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I try not to use the engine to charge my batteries because I just don't like the noise even though the engine compartment is very well insulated but there is still a small vibration for the diesel. Also when you are trying to conserve diesel it is a cost thing and the work of refueling in a foreign port hauling fuel is a pain in the behind. Oh I also forgot about the watermaker. When you add .2 and .4 and .9 and.23 and so on you are glad you have every source available to charge your batteries. As for a Bimini top my enclosed dodger is the only way to go, with the zip in screen panels it keeps the sun off you and the flying critters out. Although it is sometimes a pain keeping the plastic windows on the dodger clear of salt spray for visibility, I would not leave port without it! I am a radio geek and my boat looks like a Russian fishing trawler that does not fish. I have a Wifi antenna a vertical screwdriver antenna for my Ham radio and multiple vhf antennas (vhf radio,weatherfax,AIS) hanging off the arch support. And still have a backstay antenna. The Radios I use are SEA 235, Icom M802 with AT140 tuner, SCS Pactor lll with Bluetooth, Icom M706G MKll with a Kantromics 9612 TNC Modem all tied to a Apple Mac Mini running windows all running on DC including my Toshiba 17" with DVD, now you know why I need good charging systems.

A quote by Larry and Lin Pardey "If you can't repair it, maybe it shouldn't be on board."

Does that mean I should leave my liferaft and EPIRB and radios off. I think it was Eric Hiscock said go simple but go. Well I have come to an age I need my comforts and if I can not fix it someone can. There are a lot of very talented cruisers that love to horse trade or will fix it for a cold one.

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Quote from Eric Hiscock (Cruising under Sail) one of the first books I ever read.
fortunate is he who early in his sailing career encounters and successfully weathers a severe blow. No one who has done so can honestly say that he has enjoyed it, nor would he readily seek to repeat the experience but in no other way can he gain confidence in his ability as a seaman . . . ."
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Old 21-12-2008, 05:53   #32
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Rich,

You obviously have a big electricity budget with all the radios and there need lots of charge capacity. Diesels are noisy, but gen sets are not exactly quiet either and the noise is usually confined to YOUR boat and doesn't make a quiet anchorage sound like a construction site. I hate the noise my diesel makes, but it's pretty much confined to the cabin. As I noted when I am recharge mode, I try to do things where the noise is not distracting, like showering, vacuuming, cleaning in general, even cooking.

I agree that one is better off when you can fix all your gear but this should not limit what complexity can offer. My arguments concerning gen sets, is that they are noisy, heavy, disturb the neighborhood and the power they generate can be done by the diesel.

The ease of getting fuel is an interesting reason to use a gen set. Frankly, getting your boat to a fuel dock should not be at all difficult and in fact should be a piece of cake. Of course, wind conditions can make it a bit challenging. If you have a 60' cat coming alongside may be not as easy as a 32' sloop and this would mean fewer visits to the fuel dock. This was part of my calculus when I selected my boat. But if you need fuel for the diesel, you can use jerry cans for diesel ferried in a dink just as easily as you can do for gasoline. I suspect most of those who use the gen sets are not dropping in to the fuel dock with their boats on a "whim".

For my type of "cruising" I can't see what a gen set would do (except that emergency back up), but others make a different calculus, have different daily energy needs and so forth.
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Old 21-12-2008, 12:04   #33
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Why would you want to put excessive wear on your main engine for battery charging, idling or even higher idles with no loading on the engine is bad for them. Why wear out a multiple thousand dollar noisy engine just to charge batteries, Honda's are cheap and you are not going to hear them too far away. Unless you have a really big solar array, you won't be able to do the charge that a Honda 2000 can do. I don't have one wyself, but friends do and unless you are really close, all you gear is a hum.
We have a KISS, solar panels, and 2 high output alternators on our boat. The main engines aren't used for charging batteries unless the boat is underway.
The Hondas are a cheap way to get a pretty good charge at a very reasonable cost. Theoretically 125 amps if set up right. Thats with a honda 2000.
And a Honda 2000 can't really be heavy if you can tote it around with one hand.
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Old 21-12-2008, 12:22   #34
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This all comes down to having backups and multiple methods of doing the same thing...in this case, charging batteries. Rarely does one method of doing the same thing make another method worthless or obsolete. Overall, the more methods you have of accomplishing something, the better off you are. Choice is good.
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Old 21-12-2008, 13:11   #35
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Santana raises the issue about idling ruining a diesel, that is running it without a load. If I am not correct both the alternator and a compressor or loads. I know my revs change when the alternator kicks in and also when the compressor kicks in so there must be some loading there. I don't know if this "qualifies" as the sort which will not shorten the life of a diesel.

As I noted below, I have been using my engine for charging e/ refrigeration and high output alternators for most of the 23 years of the engine's life so far. How many years should one expect from a diesel? Mine is going on 5000 hrs.
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Old 21-12-2008, 13:19   #36
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The alternator and compressor although "loads" are not the loads considered adequate for running the diesel. These "loads" are considered to be with the transmission engaged and the prop turning. This may work for some people with no problems but on other engines not so good. Once again as it has been said over and over, it is a matter of choice and what works for one may not be the choice or necessarily what works for someone else.
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Old 22-12-2008, 03:13   #37
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The alternator and compressor although "loads" are not the loads considered adequate for running the diesel...
Anytime you run a diesel engine at less that 30 percent load, for any appreciable duration, you run the risk of wet stacking.
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Old 22-12-2008, 07:04   #38
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I have 4 solar panels, a KISS wind generator, and 60amp alternators on my Yanmars. My biggest draw is the fridge, freezer & autopilot. Something no one has mentioned is running power tools. I do sanding, and all sorts of work on the boat while out.

I was hit on the bow while docked under the 17th st. Bridge in Lauderdale in the middle of the night. My boat is wood, and a piece bigger than my fist was missing. I did the work myself, and it took power tools to do it. It would have killed me to do the work by hand.

It's rare I need the Honda, but I am glad it's there when I do, and yes. At times I have used it to catch up with the batteries too. The P.O. use to run a sewing maching, heat knife, drills, grinder, and other sorts of tools. No use in sucking the life out of the battery for these kind of jobs. Then again I can't fill my storage space either, because there's so much.....i2f
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Old 22-12-2008, 07:16   #39
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Say what???

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Anytime you run a diesel engine at less that 30 percent load, for any appreciable duration, you run the risk of wet stacking.
Gord, I hate to sound ignorant, but what the hell is "wet stacking"??

I guess that it must not be fatal, 'cause I reckon that most of us put on a high percentage of our engine hours at less than 30% load.

Cheers,
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Old 22-12-2008, 08:25   #40
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A diesel engine is subject to "wet stacking" or over fueling if run for long periods of time with ultra light loads (less than 40% of the rated output). "Wet Stacking" causes the engine to smoke and run rough because the injectors become carbonized. Running a heavy load will usually clean up the over-fuel condition and allow the engine to perform properly. Diesel engines operate better and more fuel efficient when loaded (70-80% of the rated output is optimum).
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Old 22-12-2008, 08:42   #41
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Diesels have a much greater lifetime having been run under a load. This means more than 75% of maximum horsepower. Ask any diesel mechanic worth his salt.
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Old 22-12-2008, 11:07   #42
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"why use a honda generator"
The answer is simple.....They are the most cost effective, versitile, convenient, reliable and simple way to have power when and where you need it. Can you run your power tools from your solar panels?? Not in my corner of the world. As for heavy and loud, that is not the case, I can barely hear my eu2000 running on the deck from inside the cabin. maintinence is low and very easy, change oil regularly, and as with any honda they will last alot more than a few years. My high output alt. on my new diesel will be great for charging when motoring or motor/sailing, but it is not more efficient to run at anchor. I would like to get a wind generator and a few panels in the future to help with charging needs when conditions permit. As was said its good to have back-up and options to suit the need. I still need to build my bank and get an inverter, this will all cost alot more than my honda, and still won't run my power tools or jump start my main engine if needed.
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Old 22-12-2008, 11:49   #43
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Originally Posted by emeraldsea View Post
"why use a honda generator"
The answer is simple.....They are the most cost effective, versitile, convenient, reliable and simple way to have power when and where you need it. Can you run your power tools from your solar panels?? Not in my corner of the world. As for heavy and loud, that is not the case, I can barely hear my eu2000 running on the deck from inside the cabin. maintinence is low and very easy, change oil regularly, and as with any honda they will last alot more than a few years. My high output alt. on my new diesel will be great for charging when motoring or motor/sailing, but it is not more efficient to run at anchor. I would like to get a wind generator and a few panels in the future to help with charging needs when conditions permit. As was said its good to have back-up and options to suit the need. I still need to build my bank and get an inverter, this will all cost alot more than my honda, and still won't run my power tools or jump start my main engine if needed.
An inverter certainly will run your power tools if you get one with enough AC watts. As far as charging up your batteries enough to start your engines, inverter/chargers will do that as well.

I'm not discounting the use of a Honda generator. That can be one more tool in your bag.
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Old 22-12-2008, 12:34   #44
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An inverter certainly will run your power tools if you get one with enough AC watts. As far as charging up your batteries enough to start your engines, inverter/chargers will do that as well.

I'm not discounting the use of a Honda generator. That can be one more tool in your bag.
An inverter is useless in this context unless you have a battery bank of enormous proportion to power it which is the fundamental limiting factor in any boat. And regardless of the bank size, charging it with an inverter/charger in the absence of shorepower makes the value of a genset self-evident, particularly if one realizes that using the engine/alternator to charge a large bank is both destructive and impractical for no other reason than time.
For some, a genset may be of little value based upon their cruising needs but it seems equally clear that the myriad of needs we all have and the uses to which it can serve make it advantageous for those who can afford the luxury of an alternate power source.
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Old 22-12-2008, 12:41   #45
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My new Honda 2k was less than $1,000 out the door. The boat came with a European ex650 Honda that put out 240. I had an adaptor to knock down the juice, but the sanders still acted like they were on steroids, so I bought the 2k Honda.

We all go about skinning the cat differently. No one way is the right way. As long as I am not inflicting any pain, or cost onto you. Then it really shouldn't matter how I skin the cat I have....pun intended on the word CAT!!!!!!!!.....i2f
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