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Old 29-07-2020, 12:41   #1
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Non-Marine Generator Choices?

I’m looking ahead to replacing a nearly 10 year old non marine generator I have. It’s been exposed to salt air and loves to run for 30-40 mins and shut down unexpectedly. Even with almost no load.

I’ve replaced the carb, the low oil sensor. It just decides to shut down randomly.

I’m looking hard at the EFI generators because everything EFI is better than carburetors and all the annoyances they cause.

So would you buy a $1000 EFI generator (Ryobi), replacing it when it dies, or go for the $4000 EFI generators (Honda EU 7000, Onan 5500).


Here are the links:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-7-...00FI/303035840

https://www.amazon.com/Honda-Eu7000i.../dp/B00YY9SDVG


https://www.norwall.com/products/Cum...5.5HGJAB-6755/
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Old 29-07-2020, 12:50   #2
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

In general, any higher RPM, air cooled generator is not very efficient. At full load, they're all about on par with the ancient design marine Onan I've got in my boat. If you can figure out something water cooled, it'll be more efficient. Water cooled engines are easier to keep quiet too.

Or, another option is something like the 5kw diesel portable unit that Generac offers (the XD5000E). It's significantly more efficient, although being small, high RPM and air cooled, nowhere near what a good, water cooled, low RPM diesel can do. Biggest downside is that it will be louder.

You might also be able to find a used marine diesel genset. Ditch the raw water pump, replace the heat exchanger with a radiator and fan, build an enclosure with wheels and a fuel tank (or mount it to a small trailer) and you've got a nice, beefy generator. And you can size the fuel capacity to your needs (rather than being a slave to refueling on its schedule).
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Old 29-07-2020, 12:54   #3
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Sorry. Should have been more specific.

While I love your posts and help, rslifkin, the design philosophy of the boat will not be compromised. At all. Ever. LOL

The design philosophy is an extremely lightweight catamaran without thru hulls and with the least amount of “marine” accessories possible.

This is the core design philosophy.


So for instance, a home refrigerator. Things that don’t require me to waste my time fixing them and either work or are replaced.

Note: there is no diesel aboard this boat. It‘a gasoline powered.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:09   #4
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Gotcha. When you specified non-marine and mentioned the units you're looking at, I figured you were talking about for the RV or for power while working on the cat, rather than a generator to install on the cat.

Based on this going on the boat, I'd personally lean towards the Onan unit out of the 3 you listed. It's meant to be enclosed, so the air cooling setup will be much easier to work with in your application than a unit that's meant to just sit out in the open. The inlet and discharge air should be easier to manage, as it pulls air in one spot on the enclosure and then blasts it out another spot (around the exhaust discharge).

The Onan is a few pounds heavier than the Honda and a bit heavier than the Ryobi, but by the time you're done enclosing the others, it'll probably be very close. Just watch out that it comes in both a carb and EFI version, so make sure you get the right one.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:13   #5
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Having been an avid Honda customer for many years in vehicles, motorcycles, outboards and generators, I would be leaning very heavily towards Honda.

The question is, is Honda gouging you at 4 times the cost, or is the Ryobi a POS worth 25% of the Honda. I am trying to wrap my head around the 400% difference in price.

That in mind, I'd still be apt to buy the Honda. I've had a Honda 2K on my swim platform for 11 seasons.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:15   #6
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
The question is, is Honda gouging you at 4 times the cost, or is the Ryobi a POS worth 25% of the Honda. I am trying to wrap my head around the 400% difference in price.

The Honda is an inverter generator, the Ryobi isn't. That alone accounts for a large price difference.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:19   #7
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
Having been an avid Honda customer for many years in vehicles, motorcycles, outboards and generators, I would be leaning very heavily towards Honda.

The question is, is Honda gouging you at 4 times the cost, or is the Ryobi a POS worth 25% of the Honda. I am trying to wrap my head around the 400% difference in price.

That in mind, I'd still be apt to buy the Honda. I've had a Honda 2K on my swim platform for 11 seasons.
Look into the materials used in construction of some critical components such as the winding density, type of fuel injection/ carburetor and material as well as the wiring (tinned vs. non -tinned) and you can answer your own question.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:46   #8
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

What are you going to do with this thing? Put it on the boat?
One thing I don’t think your considering is noise level, the Ryobi and those types of generators are meant for construction sites etc, where noise isn’t really important and as such are most often incredibly loud.
The Cummins / Onan is most likely orders fo magnitude quieter, probably more so that the Honda even.
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:54   #9
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

First question, do you actually need 7000 watts of power??
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Old 29-07-2020, 13:58   #10
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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First question, do you actually need 7000 watts of power??
2 x 15,000 btu air conditioners say yes.
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Old 29-07-2020, 14:05   #11
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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What are you going to do with this thing? Put it on the boat?
One thing I donít think your considering is noise level, the Ryobi and those types of generators are meant for construction sites etc, where noise isnít really important and as such are most often incredibly loud.
The Cummins / Onan is most likely orders fo magnitude quieter, probably more so that the Honda even.
Exactly why Iím leaning toward the Cummins/Onan. Itís the most quiet of them all.

The current air cooled 5kw generator is this one:

https://m.northerntool.com/shop/tool...7313_200467313

Lasted nearly a decade and if I didnít leave it sitting for years I think it would still be going just fine.

Itís reasonably quiet as I have it installed in a way that most of the sounds goes straight up in the air instead of out over the water. There is very little noise inside the boat since itís mechanically isolated for vibration.

However, quiet is very valuable. Always looking for a more quiet solution.

I have a smaller Onan on my RV. They are finicky things that require a lot of maintenance to run correctly, but I am used to the maintenance. Itís simple once you get used to it.
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Old 29-07-2020, 15:51   #12
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

I think this Onan may be as quiet as an RV generator, and they are the quietest of the air cooled generators.
I believe it’s also in a sound shield that may be pretty well weather proof too.
Now I’m a fan of Honda, but in this case I’d rather have the Onan.
Gut says the Ryobi may be a an aluminum blocked gas motor without main bearings etc, while the Onan will be steel sleeved and likely roller bearings on the crank, full pressure oil lubricated with a filter.
They will all burn a significant amount of fuel, 5 to 10 gls a day if your running airconditioners.
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Old 29-07-2020, 16:42   #13
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think this Onan may be as quiet as an RV generator, and they are the quietest of the air cooled generators.
I believe it’s also in a sound shield that may be pretty well weather proof too.
Now I’m a fan of Honda, but in this case I’d rather have the Onan.
Gut says the Ryobi may be a an aluminum blocked gas motor without main bearings etc, while the Onan will be steel sleeved and likely roller bearings on the crank, full pressure oil lubricated with a filter.
They will all burn a significant amount of fuel, 5 to 10 gls a day if your running airconditioners.
Isn't using an portable gas generator on a boat a dangerous proposition? I'm thinking things like improper grounding, CO and yet another fuel source in the open?
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Old 29-07-2020, 17:04   #14
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

Just looked the Onan is also significantly heavier than the Nexgen 5.5, and the Nexgen is of course a Diesel, is a Marine genset and will burn less fuel.
Onan 280 lbs, Nexgen 230 W/O sound shield, which I would not recommend, and 270 lbs with sound shield.
It’s also a 5 Kw continuous generator. But will run two AC’s
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Old 29-07-2020, 17:10   #15
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Re: Non-Marine Generator Choices?

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Originally Posted by NaClyDog View Post
Isn't using an portable gas generator on a boat a dangerous proposition? I'm thinking things like improper grounding, CO and yet another fuel source in the open?
The grounding is an easy fix if your concerned, Iím not so sure you should be, never heard of an issue, and I canít believe as big a corporation Honda is, that they would do anything unsafe, can you imagine the lawsuits?
The CO and gasoline is a concern, but can be safely managed as long as the hazards are known and proper measures taken.
But they are by nature inherently unsafe, as are gasoline automobiles, but we have a lot of those and not many deaths from fire or CO poisoning.
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