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Old 23-12-2008, 08:23   #61
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With the demands you list, you definitely need an aggressive charging system. A small diesel gen set, permanently installed, would likely serve you better and be lot less hassle than getting gasoline to the boat as it can be tied to your main fuel tank. If you dont want an A/C generator, there are units available that put out 12volt and they run quiet. Or buy the Kubota "arrow" engine and make your own, fairly easy with that engine format and about 100-120 lbs total once complete. Small enough to mount in the average Lazzarette too and will burn about 1/2 pint per hour.

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Old 23-12-2008, 09:30   #62
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When I did the calculations I found it more cost effective to install a 3.5kw diesel genset than to install a couple of big alternators. Reasons are:

1) At the time the cost of copper was very high and it was going to run me over $2k to have the wiring and alternators installed professinally. I couldn't find the time to do it myself.

2) The warranty on the repower would not allow me to run a couple of big alterators.

3) I also needed to run a watermaker and the bracket alone to run the comporessor was going to run $500. (plus voiding the warranty) The genset allows me to have 220v to run the watermaker

4) I like the idea of having 110/220 ac around to run my power tools.

5) the Genset drinks 1/5 of a gallon an hour and can run the battery chargers that I have. At 7HP it will be much easier and cheaper to replace the genset engine than to repower.

6) I figures a genset would add more value to the boat then the alternators if I ever sell.

yes it is more work than solar. At the time I had the money. I would cow consider a Honda eu1000 as a back up.

Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 23-12-2008, 10:29   #63
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Back in the good old days - you know, when we had to walk barefoot through 8' snow drifts just to get to our boats (maybe they were sand drifts?) - anyone who wanted reasonable levels of electrical power either ran their engine every day to charge batteries or had a water cooled marine diesel generator. Some things don’t change. If your electrical demands are similar to S/V Illusion’s, you need a generator and I doubt that a portable will suffice.

In 2 years of cruising the Bahamas/Caribbean our needs were about 50-80 amps per day and they were more or less exclusively provided by solar and wind via a large AGM battery bank and a good marine inverter. We had refrigerator/freezer, watermaker, hot water (20 min. per day), VHF, SSB, GPS, 2 computers, radar, coffeemaker, microwave, hairdryer, CD player, TV, VCR, lights, etc. Some of these things were rarely used, but I thought we had more amenities than most and we almost never ran the engine (yes, we had a high output alternator) except to move the boat. It had nothing to do with cost effectiveness or being green. It was all about self sufficiency, convenience, and comfort - and well, some nonnegotiable demands from the Admiral: "It’s a sailboat - we are not going to run that engine or a generator every day BUT I am not going camping either AND I am going to have a hot water shower AND you’re going to make it happen, Captain." About $10,000 later I made it so.
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Old 23-12-2008, 10:34   #64

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My math, 400 watts solar,=,+- 20 amps during peak solar 80 amp hrs 5 amps off peak 7hrs 35 amp hrs, wind gen highly variable but probably average 20 amp hrs day.fridge 12 hrs @5 amps only run while 5 or more incoming amps on meter turned to coldest setting. 60 amp hrs. pumps water and bilge 3 min @ 10 amps .5 amp hr led lighting 5 sets including anchor @250 ma 12 hrs 15 amp hrs 2amp hrs propane solenoid 5 amp hrs radio 5 amp hrs 7"lcd tv 3 hrs. 155 amp hrs in 87.5 amp hrs out given effiency loss in battery charging on average we come out about even or a little ahead while at anchor.
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Old 23-12-2008, 11:14   #65
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Down in the Eastern Caribbean solar seems to be to me the best way to generate power. I have a catamaran with just over half a kilowatt of capacity over the bimini. On sunny days it kicks in about 6:30 AM and peaks at 30 amps at around 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Most days the Blue Sky controller goes into acceptance before noon. This is with a fridge and a freezer going. On a cloudy day I still get from 10 to 15 amps during mid day. I have a 675 amp house bank so I can last several days before using the alternators to recharge. I have yet to go more than three hours on one of the main engines in any month. Being on the hook most of the time I consider it my primary charging system.
It is not cheap. My solar system cost about $4600.00 even though I did part of the installation myself. It is reliable, does not require maintenance besides cleaning the panels once in a while. It is quiet, which is a big reason why I went sailing in the first place. It safely continues to keep charging even while I am away, so that the fridge and freezer can be left on for a long time.
Unlike Florida and parts of the Bahamas you do not need air conditioning, the Trade Winds do that for you. That would be the only reason I would consider a genset ( gas or diesel ).
Agreed that everyone has their priorities, cost, places to install equiptment. In an other area of cruising, and whether using marinas or not I might consider a different solution.
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Old 11-03-2009, 19:31   #66
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I know its been a while since anyone last posted but I wanted to say here in Canada Honda is having a great sale for the eu 2000 at 1399 dollars =]

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