Having struggled through this thread I have to toss in my two cents worth.
First I have a Honda EU2000
and while it's much, much quieter than a Home Depot special it is NOT quiet. I have run it in the woods and could hear it clearly 100 meters away, even through the trees and underbrush. Wasn't loud and annoying but at 30 meters it was. On the water
where sound carries better I think it would be annoying at 100 meters and at night, no way.
I have also owned boats with built in, water
cooled, sound shielded generators that were so quiet I had to open a hatch
to confirm it was running. I've tied up at a dock
(without shore power) right next to a boat
that ran the generator
all night and all I heard was a little splashing and didn't mind at all. Then there was the sport fisherman in West End a few years ago that had a generator
that I swear sounded like an F16 taking off.
I've cruised all seasons around the Caribbean
and US east coast
and 99.9% of the time, except when tied up in a marina, didn't need air conditioning
. A good shade cover and fans were just fine. BUT there are those occasional nights when the wind
dies, it's very hot and muggy and then the bugs come out. Without air conditioning
the options are leave the hatches open and get eaten alive or lock yourself in and die of a heat stroke. On a night like that I would kill for air conditioning. I would gladly crank the noisiest machine on the planet to run the ac and if Mike O'Reilly came over to complain I would
toss him overboard
invite him in to cool off.