Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Open Topic, General Social Lounge

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby Rpontual » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:05 pm

gofast24 wrote:
Rpontual wrote:My boat has a Kohler 6kW unit. It is approaching 500 hours, it is a work horse.

I have 300 hours in the engine, I use the generator all the time for a/c and sometimes grill.

You have diesel propulsion engines but a Kohler 6 kW gas gen set? Or most likely a Kohler diesel gen set ?


I forgot to say, my generator is powered by diesel. Sorry for the confusion.
Romulo

2018 Bavaria R40 Coupe, Diesel
2015 Regal 35SC, Diesel - SOLD
Rpontual
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby kellyg » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:56 pm

Gofast,
I'm with you as far as luck with a Westerbeke . I had the same unit as yours and had over 1000 hrs without an issue.
Now since I converted the engines and genset to diesel, I am continuing the same luck. Knock wood!
Gary Kelly
Mount Sinai, NY
2001 Regal 3780
REPOWERED WITH YANMAR 2011
Smooth seas never made a skillful mariner
User avatar
kellyg
2012 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
2012 Regal Owners MULTIPLE Donator!
 
Posts: 647
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:22 pm
Location: Mount Sinai NY

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby gofast24 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:39 am

kellyg wrote:Gofast,
I'm with you as far as luck with a Westerbeke . I had the same unit as yours and had over 1000 hrs without an issue.
Now since I converted the engines and genset to diesel, I am continuing the same luck. Knock wood!

Gary,
What was the reason you switched to diesel? Have to assume you put a lot of hours on your vessel and the fuel efficiency diesel vs. gas (typically 25%/30% better) was the main reason? What gasser engines did you replace and were they shot or any other problems with them?
What did you do with the pristine Westerbeke 7.0 kW gasoline fueled gen set? As far as I am concerned, with both of our experiences to date, your used Westerbeke , to me, would be worth more than a new Kohler et. al. set?
gofast24
2001 Regal 4160
Twin VP 8.1GSiI V Drive Inboards
Lake Lanier, GA
gofast24
 
Posts: 2330
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 pm
Location: Lake Lanier GA

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby xixp » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:48 pm

Well i have to admit my Kohler was inocent this time!
It was a gas quality related ussue; once i purged the genny fuel line and run it from an external tank it started and run well.
2016 SC 35 , "Phoenix"
2010 3760 (sold)
User avatar
xixp
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:42 am
Location: Miami,FL

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby gofast24 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:51 pm

Thanks for the update! Assume it was water in the fuel and if so, didnt it create a problem with your propulsion engines? In our case our propulsion engines have a combo fuel filter/water separator but the Westerbeke only has a tiny pencil eraser size mesh filter screen in the fuel inlet of the carb> Have been wanting to add a pre fuel filter/water separator for several years but the carbureated gen set kinda likes a little water in the fuel :)
gofast24
2001 Regal 4160
Twin VP 8.1GSiI V Drive Inboards
Lake Lanier, GA
gofast24
 
Posts: 2330
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 pm
Location: Lake Lanier GA

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby xixp » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm

Yes , i started having issues with the port engine (hard cold start and a litle vibration at 1400 rpms) but dealer said that may be it was a plugs issue due to excessive idling. (Stb didnt show any issue).
After replacing the plugs nothing improved but computer didnt show any errors either so dealer told me to just run it at speed to clear it up.
But when all of the sudden the genny didnt run either i decided to check the gas myself. The Genny has a priming function and a valve before the injectors to check pressure so i attached a hose to that valve while priming the line (i routed the fuel intake to an exernal tank) . The gas that came out didnt look so clear and when i stirred the container the gas had a whitesh tint. I had added Startron to the tanks so i thought that the withesh tint was due to Startron but as soon i tried to run the genny from an external tank it fired up immediately.

It seems that the bigger Volvo engines could handle better bad gas but the little genny couldnt.

My next step is to empty the tanks because its not worth to risk low hours engines (they have 95 hrs) despite the dealer advice of running them anyway.
2016 SC 35 , "Phoenix"
2010 3760 (sold)
User avatar
xixp
 
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:42 am
Location: Miami,FL

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby Rpontual » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:12 pm

gofast24 wrote:Thanks for the update! Assume it was water in the fuel and if so, didnt it create a problem with your propulsion engines? In our case our propulsion engines have a combo fuel filter/water separator but the Westerbeke only has a tiny pencil eraser size mesh filter screen in the fuel inlet of the carb> Have been wanting to add a pre fuel filter/water separator for several years but the carbureated gen set kinda likes a little water in the fuel :)


My boat came with an external pre-filter/water separator for each engine (3 total). May be because it is diesel.
Last edited by Rpontual on Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Romulo

2018 Bavaria R40 Coupe, Diesel
2015 Regal 35SC, Diesel - SOLD
Rpontual
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:01 am

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby gofast24 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:53 am

Assuming you mean both the propulsion and gen set both have a pre filter/water separator that is almost mandatory for a diesel engine! Water in a diesel engine injection system is a 100% sure catastrophe. A gas engine can handle water much better than a diesel and about 1/10th the cost to repair/replace vs. a diesel engine. Prior to retirement my experience was having a "switchable" fuel / water separator that would allow the changing from one filter to the other while under way, but I am talking about 500 to 8000 HP diesel propulsion and gen sets certified to ABS/ BV / USCG etc. A totally different animal on our "small' pleasure boats but still a good idea to have the "switchable " filters in either case.
gofast24
2001 Regal 4160
Twin VP 8.1GSiI V Drive Inboards
Lake Lanier, GA
gofast24
 
Posts: 2330
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 pm
Location: Lake Lanier GA

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby Alan B » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:38 am

Not on this forum quite sometime , late for topic, wanted too share my gen set issue.
Some advice & thoughts on my idea and use next generator ( if I purchase )
If I did not have the worst luck with my 2860 Regal 2003 Commodore I would have no luck
Purchased Regal 3 years ago . My so called good deal long gone
2 new long block engines, recently installed . While engines out easy too get too generator
Did a basic service on Kohler 5 E generator , changed antidote , filters, plugs, oil , sanded rust , painted in areas, grounding strap was rusted installed new cable etc etc
Started on garden hose , ran fine . I did have thoughts about having a company come down go over generator since no blockage with engines ,and they knew more about unit then me , but its running , nothing too do , its a small gas engine .
I generally do my own work and hated too hire a person only too say , it runs good ?
I only use generator too make coffee while at sea .
Boat marina kept and have dock side for electric & A/C
Like most of you that posted generators on these boats are not used often , not maintained, not started , rust away.
On my Regal with twin engines almost impossible too do basic work. Almost easier too pull engine too do any work on engine, forgetabout generator work .
I use my boat too often, 2 /3 days of every week , sleeping aboard at times , here in FL, I would start generator often just too keep it working .
MURPHIES LAW . after new engines installed I fired up generator like I generally do ,it was running ruff . After few minutes I looked up from cabin , black smoke coming from under deck , WIring or burning rubber , So intense Looked like boat was on fire . Closed , eventually burning smell was gone .
Weeks later I started , after few seconds burning smell . CLosed
Calls too Kohler tech says call the guy . Most times he has been helpfull over the phone on impeller and basic service questions . Without viewing or putting testing equipment He says possibly internal , When stator wiring which is encased in an epoxy strips, Positive wiring grounds, Hence the big cloud of black smoke Could start fire .

DAMN just put 15 thousand into engines , now too pull an engine too pull generator too put thousands into a 17 year old rusted gas OLD generator that is seldom used. I find out parts hard too get . Generator is old technology
Driving me crazy having a piece of equipment not working, looks crappy if I want too sell boat ( which is my plan too get something larger ) .
I am getting the bug too get out of dodge few weeks taking boat from space coast of Fl too keys staying aboard few weeks .
We would be sleeping at marinas
I have a big power invertor TESTED ran TV & coffee pot same time no issue . GOT TOO HAVE MY COFFEE , Not worried about refrigerator , coolers with ice works for days
Only thoughts air . If we did anchor might need air , and thinking a portable generator , Honda , or similiar , Plug in dockside .
I dont know watts my present generator uses but generator is 5 E model and powered boat with battery charger, hot water tank , tv , refrigerator
Here in Fl always have need and would leave in garage . If needed put on swim platform .

What generator should I look for and watts . I heard of boaters running a hose off muffler into water ? how does that work

Thanks folks
Alan B
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:26 am

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby EpicWakeJump » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:50 pm

I would recommend a 2000w minimum. Yamaha makes a pretty light 2400 watt and Honda has the “handy” 3000 watt. Good luck and all marine generator engineers and boat equipment architects should be tarred and feathered.
2013 Regal 28 Express 300 hp volvo-penta
EpicWakeJump
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:09 am

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby gofast24 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:38 am

EpicWakeJump wrote:I would recommend a 2000w minimum. Yamaha makes a pretty light 2400 watt and Honda has the “handy” 3000 watt. Good luck and all marine generator engineers and boat equipment architects should be tarred and feathered.

Still have to love my 2001 Westerbeke 7.0 kW , 1800 RPM, 4 pole, 60 HZ internally counter balanced Mitsubishi automotive derivative carburated 3 cyl. gasoline engine set! My sons say it runs like a sewing machine and I agree! Too bad that the newer sets (under 6 kw) are 2 cyl. 3600 RPM , 2 pole sets. They need exotic isolation mounts and in most cases a complete engine sound attenuation cover over them in order to sleep overnight!
PS: Just for fun we have used one of my sons 2 kW Honda quiet sets while on the hook, works great but cant run anything over 2 kW, and have to let it run continuously off the fuel saving governor mode if we want to have one of our two AC units automatically start and run.
gofast24
2001 Regal 4160
Twin VP 8.1GSiI V Drive Inboards
Lake Lanier, GA
gofast24
 
Posts: 2330
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:03 pm
Location: Lake Lanier GA

Re: Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

Postby Morgz » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:52 pm

Just an idea for those wanting to run their A/Cs off a Honda. Install a soft starter on your A/C compressor! Dometic make one called a SmartStart but there are others around.

Totally agree on the Koehler, we had a 5kW on our 2860 (now sold) and it was junk really. Noisy, needed lots of maintenance and hard to work on; not necessarily the fault of the genny itself, more a reflection on the lack of room in a 2860 engine bay. Once we got it sorted, we ran it hard every time we went out, which helped. As soon as it started running rich I knew it was time to change plugs, and that was quite often.
Regards,
Geoff
2005 Regal Commodore 2860
Groove Armada SOLD :(
User avatar
Morgz
 
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Previous

Return to Dockside Chat

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests