Why Do Marine Generators Suck So Much?

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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.
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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
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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?
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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.
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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 :)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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