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Old 08-01-2010, 16:22   #1
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Thoughts on Adding a Generator

Happy New Year All!
With the snow piling up here in Ohio my thoughts turn to boat projects. One item on the list is improving Fair Windís electrical system as we make her ready to be our new home. I have been looking at some of the new, compact generators on the market based on the Kubota 1 cylinder diesel engine. Aqua Marine has a unit with a 150 amp 12v alternator that can also incorporate a watermaker and refrigeration compressor into a compact platform. NextGen makes a similar unit but with a 3.5kw 120v generator, but I would have to have a separate watermaker. This would give a bit of redundancy, as the failure of the generator would not rule out making water.
Any thoughts or experience with the two?
Mike
s/v Fair Wind
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:51   #2
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I have the Next Gen and like it. I am trying to set it up to run my watermaker but have had too many other boat projects come up to get it working.
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Old 08-01-2010, 21:20   #3
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I also have a next gen, mine 3.5. This unit uses the 5.5 gen head so it should not be as affected with so much current loss as it heats up. I will try to let you know about the refit of electrical. Onan has a control module that with an inverter, the generator and shore power is all kinda married together with auto digital controls. I hope to be able to use it with a the Next Gen. I will post about it as I get more into it.
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:12   #4
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Thanks Charlie and Mule. Anyone have any experience with the Aqua Marine?

Mike
s/v Fair Wind
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:22   #5
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I purchased an Aqua Marine My-T-Gen in August of last year. I did not get the watermaker option as I had recently installed a Spectra Cape Horn system earlier in the year. The My-T-Gen replaced a Westerbeke 8BTD genset that worked fine but leaked oil badly. The Westerbeke also used almost a gallon of diesel per hour so I sold it to a mechanic.

I only have about 17 hours on the My-T-Gen but it has been running fine and does output a full 150 amps/hour at 12VDC. Getting it installed was another matter. What I didn't realize nor was it made clear to me is that the My-T-Gen is a kit. The alternator was mounted to the engine but that was about it. The water pump">raw water pump (12VDC) and the coolant pump (also 12VDC) were in their respective boxes. The heat exchanger was in a separate box. The instrument panel (I ordered full instrumentation) wasn't wired. The wiring harness was too short and there isn't an extension available - I had to extend the harness myself (good thing I have a cable stretcher! Just kidding . . . ). There were no motor mounts that came with the unit and I found some great stainless steel ones but they were $40 each. I had also ordered an optional high-temp/low oil pressure shutdown solenoid but it required diodes that didn't come with the unit. The wiring diagram that came with the unit was not only lacking in sufficient detail but was wrong in some cases. Dan, the owner of the company, was very helpful in providing tech support and did send me the diodes at no charge but the solenoid still doesn't operate correctly. The system needed an electric fuel pump but I had to buy one of those locally as I did the fuses for the fuel pump and water pumps. I reused my old Powerline regulator which still works great.

All in all, I think the generator will give me many years of trouble-free service. However, I spent an inordinate amount of time putting the thing together, one because I'm anal about so many details but, two, because there was so much to do.

Fischer Panda makes a 12VDC generator but it sells for over $9,000. The My-T-Gen was about half that without the extras that I had to buy. It probably wouldn't have been any contest if my time was worth anything (it isn't) but I had difficulty in finding any good feedback on the Fischer Panda.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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