Generator Dilemna

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Generator Dilemna

Postby svandiamo » Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:01 am

We just picked up our new HC43T, Andiamo. It has an old Kubota genset on it and the log says it has over 10,000 hours. The problem is...the starboard aft stateroom was sacrificed for this generator. The berth was cutoff by about 3 feet and a false wall was put in place to house the generator and all its soundproofing. Now this stateroom is good only for storage. It is not long enough to sleep even a small human.

I have several questions. How many hours are expected out of a good generator? Is 10,000+ a lot? How many of you actually use gensets vs solar or wind powered energy. We really want this stateroom back so we are considering removing this genset and returning the stateroom to its original configuration. What are your thoughts on this? Do the benefits of a genset actually outweigh the value of this stateroom for a family of four? I would actually prefer to install some solar panels that dont use any fossil fuels and get rid of this old generator.

I'd appreciate some feedback regarding this. Anyone want to buy an old Kubota?
SV Andiamo III 1982 HC43T #68
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Postby Bill » Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:20 pm

Can't answer many of your questions but I can offer the following. We too have a generator on the boat. On our 43Ketch it is placed under the companionway and between the two fuel tanks leaving both cabins vacant for whatever use we find.

After cruising for a little over a year with limited solar power and no wind generation we definitely have plans to add a Rutland Wind generator and about 200 more watts of solar (total will be 380). The trouble with the ketch is the limited about of clear space to put either. At this time we are running the generator about 4 hours per day (4.5 kw Entec West). The generator is one of our major sources of mechanical trouble, and if we could ever break something that was $1,000 of more to replace we would push the unit over the side and buy one of the small portable hondas. Unfortunately repairs are usually between $50 - $300 so it's hard to chuck the unit.

If your planning to cruise you will thank yourself for recovering the aft stateroom. With a family of 4 you will either want the berth or want the storage for more important things like boogie boards, spinnakers, beach chairs, dive equipment, stowage of you warm or cool weather cloths that you don't need for another 6 months and other assorted gear.
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Postby johnrobinson » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:59 pm

Jim; I'm using my stbd. aft bearth for storage and glad to have it so I think you're on the right track. I was able to installed an Ample Power 150 amp. generator in the lazerette and am using it for battery charging and high amp loads. There are some pictures of the installation in previous posts last year. I don't remember exactly when but look under the posts for my name.

Best Regards, John Robinson, s/v Crossings, 43T
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Postby johnrobinson » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:01 pm

AndiamoIII sorry about the confusion I thought I was addressing Jim of Apropos . . .

John
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Postby svandiamo » Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:54 pm

Thanks for the info. After some discussion with the first mate and others, I think we will eventually remove the old generator and reclaim the stbd aft stateroom for our daughter. She needs her own space if we are going to stay a happy cruising family. I will look into other installation options for some smaller gensets. Perhaps I could get around the Puget Sound and take a look at some of your boats for ideas.

How many hours should one expect to get out of a genset like mine? It is a Kubota close to 10 years old. The log shows over 10,000 hours. Has it served its usefulness or is there still some good life left in it? It is kinda big and bulky so I dont think I could relocate it. But perhaps if it is still good, I could sell it and buy a smaller one.

Thanks for the tips.

Gene
SV Andiamo III 1982 HC43T #68
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Postby johnrobinson » Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:24 pm

Gene; don't know the direct answer to you're question but I would guess that a Genset running at constatnt duty should be able to run more hours that a main engine which are often rated at 5,000 hr's between rebuilds. However I suspect that there might be somethind wrong with the hours meter. 10,000 hrs/10 years is 1,000 hrs a year . . . .that's about 3 hrs a day every day of the year . . .sounds high to especially since I know that Andaimo III sat in a brokerage in Lake Union for over a year while I looked at her.

Good Luck, John Robinson, s/v Crossings, Seattle
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Re: Generator Dilemna

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