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Generator built-in


manu

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Hi

i'm looking for the way to charge my batteries. What do you think  is best of the options bellow:

1: suitecase generator

2: built-in generator 

3: boat engine

 

Thanks for your help 

 

Cheers

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Don't be tempted to build in a generator not intended to be built in.

 

"On 1 April 2013 a mother and daughter on board the motor cruiser Arniston suffered fatal carbon monoxide poisoning on Lake Windermere, Cumbria. They were overcome by fumes from a portable generator which had been installed in the engine bay and modified by the addition of an exhaust which subsequently failed allowing the small sleeping area to fill with lethal carbon monoxide."

 

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-on-motor-cruiser-arniston-with-loss-of-2-lives

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It really depends on your circumstances and what you can afford to spend:

 

Built-in generator: Really the 'gold-plated' solution. It's the quietest, saves wear and tear on your engine and is most convenient. The down side is it's probably the most expensive option and it takes up extra room in the boat. You might be able to offset some of the initial cost against that of installing and maintaining a gas system, as a generator could allow you to go gas free.

 

EDIT: I'd definitely echo what David said above. The only generator that should be built-in to a boat is one that was made for that purpose. Don't be tempted to modify a suitcase genny for use inboard. Not only are they not gas-tight, it may well be a fire/explosion hazard.

 

Suitcase generator: Even the quietest Honda will be too noisy for some neighbours, particularly if you're working it hard to get charge into your batteries. It might make you unpopular depending on where you moor. On the plus side it's much cheaper than a built-in generator and relatively cheap to maintain provided you buy a decent one (having owned a few, I wouldn't get anything other than a Honda now).

 

Boat engine: You probably already have one, so it's free. It might also be quite quiet depending on your exhaust. The down side is idling to charge batteries long-term can be bad for some engines (although you can mitigate this by charging in gear, you may damage the bank if you keep doing it in the same spot). You also need to ensure your alternator to battery setup is getting you the best efficiency as ultimately it's not the primary output of the engine.

Edited by BrumBargee
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I don't think this question can be answered properly without knowing about the OP's electrical use, cruising patter, and battery bank size and type. If the OP has what one might describe as a floating cottage with all mods con the answer will probably be a proper inbuilt generator. If it's essentially a holiday boat with modest electrical needs then sufficient  solar would be ideal backed up with engine charging when required. Or anything in between.

 

 

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  • Athy changed the title to Generator built-in

I have both solar (3 x 180w panels) and a suitcase type generator.

Since the sun started to peek through the grey I have not used the genny but during February it was invaluable, especially as I use a washing machine on board.

 

I would go for both again if I had the choice.

 

My genny was an absolute bargain, its 2 KVa (not 2 KW as described), compact, weighs 19 kg and is really quiet at 59 dB rating.

In eco mode it runs all day on a tank of petrol.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silent-Inverter-Petrol-Generator-2KW-Portable-Camping-Caravan-RV-Blackline-4600-/333801751734

 

 

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12 minutes ago, MarkH2159 said:

My genny was an absolute bargain, its 2 KVa (not 2 KW as described), compact, weighs 19 kg and is really quiet at 59 dB rating.

In eco mode it runs all day on a tank of petrol.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silent-Inverter-Petrol-Generator-2KW-Portable-Camping-Caravan-RV-Blackline-4600-/333801751734

 

 

Generators are strange things.  They are all near-silent to their owners and yet, noisy and annoying to everyone else.  There are other examples of this phenomena - such as my boat makes no wash; I work locks properly - others rush at them and others dawdle. 

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1 hour ago, Tacet said:

Generators are strange things.  They are all near-silent to their owners and yet, noisy and annoying to everyone else.  There are other examples of this phenomena - such as my boat makes no wash; I work locks properly - others rush at them and others dawdle. 

Did I say 'silent'...?

It is really quiet when compared to some, but at 59 dB it would still be a nuisance to some so that is why I use it 'carefully' just like the locks.

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2 minutes ago, MarkH2159 said:

Did I say 'silent'...?

It is really quiet when compared to some, but at 59 dB it would still be a nuisance to some so that is why I use it 'carefully' just like the locks.

No - you didn't say silent  Neither did I say you did.  But for what it's worth, the ad you now link to does say silent......

 

Be assured - we all works locks carefully.  It is others that rush or dawdle.

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16 minutes ago, MarkH2159 said:

Did I say 'silent'...?

It is really quiet when compared to some, but at 59 dB it would still be a nuisance to some so that is why I use it 'carefully' just like the locks.

But it doesn't say how far from the machine the reading was taken or at what load, well on the spec I looked at it didn't

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3 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

But it doesn't say how far from the machine the reading was taken or at what load, well on the spec I looked at it didn't

Correct, but then neither does the similarly sized Honda at 4x the price, it does give higher noise figures though.

 

https://www.honda.co.uk/industrial/products/generators/inverter/specifications.html

 

All I know is this one works well, fits in the space I have and I found it invaluable during the past two months.

I did always use it with respect to others but most of the time I was moored alone in the middle of nowhere.

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8 hours ago, manu said:

Hi

i'm looking for the way to charge my batteries. What do you think  is best of the options bellow:

1: suitecase generator

2: built-in generator 

3: boat engine

 

Thanks for your help 

 

Cheers

 

Built in generator is the best option. But it has to be a proper cocooned, water cooled, marine diesel generator. Budget on about £6- 8K including fitting.

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24 minutes ago, MarkH2159 said:

Correct, but then neither does the similarly sized Honda at 4x the price, it does give higher noise figures though.

 

https://www.honda.co.uk/industrial/products/generators/inverter/specifications.html

 

All I know is this one works well, fits in the space I have and I found it invaluable during the past two months.

I did always use it with respect to others but most of the time I was moored alone in the middle of nowhere.

Sound pressure level at workstation (dB(A)) 71
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58 minutes ago, MarkH2159 said:

Correct, but then neither does the similarly sized Honda at 4x the price, it does give higher noise figures though.

 

https://www.honda.co.uk/industrial/products/generators/inverter/specifications.html

 

All I know is this one works well, fits in the space I have and I found it invaluable during the past two months.

I did always use it with respect to others but most of the time I was moored alone in the middle of nowhere.

 

All the Honda generator specs I've read state 7m at 1/4 load.

 

https://www.justgenerators.co.uk/honda-generators/honda-eu22i-petrol-inverter-generator.html

 

Edited by blackrose
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16 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

But it doesn't say how far from the machine the reading was taken or at what load, well on the spec I looked at it didn't

 

As you say the distance the noise is measured from is important, as is the load on the generator.

 

It is also usual to quote noise against the weighted dBA scale, rather than just as plain dB.

 

This is because the dB scale is logarithmic, weighting it to the A scale makes it correspond better to human hearing, which is more sensitive to some frequencies thsn others.

Edited by cuthound
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14 hours ago, system 4-50 said:

Its not just the noise.  I don't like the smell of petrol generators' exhaust, not even my own.

 

I don't like the smell of petrol generator exhaust, but then I dislike the smell of diesel exhaust even more. 

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19 hours ago, Tacet said:

Generators are strange things.  They are all near-silent to their owners and yet, noisy and annoying to everyone else. 

Once when were moored up for the afternoon, a boat moored behind us and then proceeded to carry a small petrol generator half way alongside us. He placed it right next to our open lounge windows - which was the limit of the length of his extension lead - and started it going. When I remonstrated with him about it, he replied that it was too noisy for him to use it near to his own boat. Strangely enough, every time he returned to his own boat it would mysteriously stop working; after half a dozen times he gave up and carried it away again.

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I was once moored behind a boat on a nice summer day, enjoying a nice quiet time, after a sumptuous lunch, with the bow doors open. The chap ahead started his traditional single cylinder engine which caused the glasses to rattle on their shelf in my boat, he then locked his door and went to the pub 200 yards away, to sit in the sun with a pint. After 30 minutes I gave up and moved away. He obviously knew his engine was annoying but needed to charge his batteries, if he had offered to buy a pint and have a chat we would have joined him and bought the next round. Instead he has a black mark against him in my book. So inbuilt generator if you have a noisy engine, if a modern well encased with a hospital type silencer then you used a portable the few no the of the year when solar is rubbish and lend it to a relative to look after for the summer and make use of the extra space for essentials.

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2 hours ago, Keeping Up said:

Once when were moored up for the afternoon, a boat moored behind us and then proceeded to carry a small petrol generator half way alongside us. He placed it right next to our open lounge windows - which was the limit of the length of his extension lead - and started it going. When I remonstrated with him about it, he replied that it was too noisy for him to use it near to his own boat. Strangely enough, every time he returned to his own boat it would mysteriously stop working; after half a dozen times he gave up and carried it away again.

I might have been tempted to find out whether the generator floats!

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22 hours ago, Tacet said:

Generators are strange things.  They are all near-silent to their owners and yet, noisy and annoying to everyone else. 

 

Not really, it's some of the people running the generators who are strange things. Many of them are just inconsiderate. Just owning a cheap noisy generator because you don't want to spend the money on a decent one is inconsiderate in my opinion.

 

I was once moored at the Grove on the GU and a couple of boats moored up behind me. My Honda was already running and it was getting close to 8pm but I wanted to finish charging so i knocked on one of the boats and apologised to the woman for running it a bit late and asked if the noise was bothering her. She looked at me like I was mad and said "What noise? I can't hear anything" I went back to my boat feeling a bit foolish. I often get comments on how quiet it is, but I'm still aware that it may be bothering others. That's the key really.

Edited by blackrose
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As I said earlier a friend had a well installed Lister single cyl Start o Matic in his boat, could hardly hear it. We then tied next to a boat that had the same type of machine but on the bank, had a motorbike silencer, awful noisy thing that rattled your teeth and leaked and smoked and was a total nightmare. Its possible to get a quiet engine but you have to work at it.  Petrol in the boat is not a good idea. At all. 

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

I might have been tempted to find out whether the generator floats!

I was tempted to do that one night at Norbury Junction where this arse was running his suitcase genny after the pub shut just to watch his TV. But I thought better of it as i would have been committing criminal damage, so I just chucked his plug and lead in instead thinking 'dry that one out if you can'.

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5 hours ago, Keeping Up said:

Strangely enough, every time he returned to his own boat it would mysteriously stop working; after half a dozen times he gave up and carried it away again.

 

Odd that - the sugar in the fuel tank trick usually works first time ... :icecream:

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