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Sailing the seas of Confusing Portable Generators


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We have a Kipor 1000 and have been happy with its performance.  I soon found that the expense of petrol and the difficulty of getting it on the cut was worth the effort of converting it to gas.  I have just enough room in the gas locker for a third bottle.  It's much cheaper to run on gas and not inconvenient.  I run the generator on the bank with a long flexible gas hose from the bottle.

 

N

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On 06/01/2021 at 10:35, p6rob said:

 

There's no way I could lift it on and off the boat from the bow, so have to carry it through the boat,

So you are running it on the boat? How do you ensure no carbon monoxide can get into the boat's interior?

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Just now, David Mack said:

So you are running it on the boat? How do you ensure no carbon monoxide can get into the boat's interior?

I ran it on the stern with the exhaust facing over board and facing the wind flow which heads downstream from the boat. I also have carbon monoxide alarms both with lcd displays one near the stern and another just over halfway to the bow; so far neither has registered any carbon monoxide. 

The cheap generator was a waste of money. It lasted about 10 hours total running time over about a two weeks and now has no compression, so I've bought a Kipor suitcase generator to replace it. 

 

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On 29/06/2020 at 15:09, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Are you thinking that you can sit a petrol generator on the back of the boat and run it there ?

You should lift the generator off the boat and place it down eind of the boat and run it on the bank - you will be unlikely to lift a 3.5Kw genny about.

 

You cannot run your engine (genny or boat) after 8pm so you need to plan your battery charging during the day - you cannot just switch it on when convenient :

 

If you are looking at 3.5Kw, or even 8.5Ww then you need to be considering on-board silent water cooled generators which will cost about £10,000 installed.

 

Have you carried out any evaluation / review of your actual electrical usage ?

 

Assuming that you are looking for a 'portable petrol generator' I'd suggest that if the Honda 2.0I is too expensive, look at the 'next one down' which would be the Kipor 2.0i I am more than happy with our Kipor.

Good quality and a 'fraction' louder than the Honda.

 

 

From the BSS :

 

There are three critical risks linked to using generators that boaters must know about and manage if they are to keep themselves and other people safe from being poisoned, being electrocuted and avoiding fire.

Generator 3 Risk Warning 270X285For some boaters wanting off-grid electrical power means that they see portable generators as the only option, but if the risks that come with their use are not fully appreciated deaths, injuries and loss of property can and has happened

Carbon monoxide (CO) – generators especially petrol ones can produce extremely high levels of CO, a poison gas that can kill in minutes or leave survivors with long term critical health effects. However diesel engine exhausts have also been linked to illness and CO deaths

Fire & explosion – the mishandling of petrol and leaking fuel from generators have resulted in spectacular incidents and that have seriously injured people and wrecked boats.

Generator In Hatch WFRS 270X270

Also the use of poor cabling and connectors can also introduce just as real although possibly less obvious fire hazards.

Electrocution – any 230V ac system can be a killer and must be given

proper respect and precautions should be taken to guard against shocks.

These are the core points that should never be forgotten.

  • Never install a portable generator permanently or make unauthorised modifications that are not supported by the manufacturer, or proprietary component supplier.
  • Never run generators on the boat, or on the bank near to doors, vents, windows and hatches. If you can smell exhaust fumes in the boat, it could mean the cabin is also filling with deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Never refuel any generator anywhere aboard the boat; take it to the bank and ensure you are a safe distance from other boats and potential sources of ignition.

 

 

P6rob, is there anything confusing about Alan de Enfields post that I am quoting above?

On a more practical note, you can save the premiums on your life insurance and funeral plan, they ain't going to pay out based on what you are telling us about the way you are using the generator. Just saying...

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1 hour ago, Eeyore said:

P6rob, is there anything confusing about Alan de Enfields post that I am quoting above?

On a more practical note, you can save the premiums on your life insurance and funeral plan, they ain't going to pay out based on what you are telling us about the way you are using the generator. Just saying...

Thanks for the warning. It is duly noted.


Rob

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  • 1 month later...

I've had a few outdoor generators for my boat over the last few years, from a big remote-start diesel down to the small suitcase petrols. The only one that hasn't had to go back to the workshop has been the Honda. I nearly sold it on at one point but I'm so glad I kept it, it has been flawless (and definitely the quietest I've experienced).

 

My worst experience was with the Hyundai diesels (which I think are actually made by a 3rd party with Hyundai stickers on). It had so many problems and they weaseled out of the warranty by claiming I hadn't loaded the generator enough.

 

Appreciate this is all anecdotal but happy to expand on any of the points. If I was buying again today I wouldn't consider anything other than Honda.

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1 hour ago, BrumBargee said:

I've had a few outdoor generators for my boat over the last few years, from a big remote-start diesel down to the small suitcase petrols. The only one that hasn't had to go back to the workshop has been the Honda. I nearly sold it on at one point but I'm so glad I kept it, it has been flawless (and definitely the quietest I've experienced).

 

My worst experience was with the Hyundai diesels (which I think are actually made by a 3rd party with Hyundai stickers on). It had so many problems and they weaseled out of the warranty by claiming I hadn't loaded the generator enough.

 

Appreciate this is all anecdotal but happy to expand on any of the points. If I was buying again today I wouldn't consider anything other than Honda.

 

Seconded! We have used our Honda as live-aboards for fifteen years. We do run the generator on the back deck with the exhaust pointing away from the boat. This was probably quite wrong but we rarely use the back cabin (certainly never when the generator is running) and there is a bulkhead and big engine room between the back cabin and our well ventilated living area at the front.

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I can' t see running a generator on the rear  or front deck being any more of a CO problem than running your engine to charge batteries.Exhaust must of course be piped away,but look where the exhaust outlet is on most boats.

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8 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

I can' t see running a generator on the rear  or front deck being any more of a CO problem than running your engine to charge batteries.Exhaust must of course be piped away,but look where the exhaust outlet is on most boats.


Logic might lead you to conclude that, however small carburettor petrol engines in generators are tuned slightly rich. Their exhaust is about 10% carbon monoxide (100,000ppm) compared to less than 0.1% (1000ppm) for a diesel engine. So from a CO point of view you have to be much more careful with a petrol generator. 

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22 minutes ago, Mad Harold said:

I can' t see running a generator on the rear  or front deck being any more of a CO problem than running your engine to charge batteries.Exhaust must of course be piped away,but look where the exhaust outlet is on most boats.

 

Petrol = Very bad

Diesel = Just a little bit bad.

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Find this post very interesting, if i understand this right a suitcase generator will do the same as a shoreline hook up regarding charging your battery bank ? or is the idea of a generator[say a Honda EU20I/22I] when away from shore power to provide power to use lights, tv, radio or other elec appliances ? or is the generator used as a power source for the battery charger to charge the battery bank ? there by providing the power from charged batteries. This may seem obvious to most on here but i would have thought there is a large power spike when charger is turned on especially if battery bank levels are low ? Would be very interested to know as was thinking about a genny and would like to know how a genny is used on board.

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5 minutes ago, br4k3s said:

Find this post very interesting, if i understand this right a suitcase generator will do the same as a shoreline hook up regarding charging your battery bank ? or is the idea of a generator[say a Honda EU20I/22I] when away from shore power to provide power to use lights, tv, radio or other elec appliances ? or is the generator used as a power source for the battery charger to charge the battery bank ? there by providing the power from charged batteries. This may seem obvious to most on here but i would have thought there is a large power spike when charger is turned on especially if battery bank levels are low ? Would be very interested to know as was thinking about a genny and would like to know how a genny is used on board.

 

 

You plug your battery charger into the generator and use the battery charger to charge your batteries.

You lights, pumps etc run off the batteries

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