Portable generator questions

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Jbaggs
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Portable generator questions

Post by Jbaggs »

I have been looking around the web for info on portable generators and how they hook into the boats electrical. I see a couple of post that they are not safe. My plan was to have it on my open air flybridge and have exhaust running out the side. We never sleep on the boat and no overnight trip. It would only be for day of fishing and or Cruise. I would like to have it for charging batteries, coffee maker, tv, outlets, tools and stove. Not all will be at same time. The boat does have shore power hookup but my dock space is at a private residence that I rent. So my question is why are they unsafe? Can I run the generator into the shore power? I did not dig into the shore power yet but I see it has 3 breakers for outlets fridge and stove. I am assuming that this is not tied into batteries? Why does the fridge have a 12v switch and a breaker?

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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by comodave »

The reasons they are unsafe are many, off the top of my head, carbon monoxide poisioning, gas fumes getting into the boat from either refueling the generator or the generator tipping over, getting burned on a hot exhaust and probably more that I am not thinkin about right now. Carbon monoxide poisioning is a very real possibility and putting the generator on the flybridge would be a very bad choice. The exhaust needs to get overboard where it will not be blown or sucked back into the living spaces. Even if you are awake, there is a real chance of co poisioning since it comes on slowly and may not be noticed until it is too late. I have been on a boat where several people had co poisioning and others had no symptoms at all. Children are more easily effected. When fueling the portable generator in the boat gas fumes are displaced from the empty tank by the gas going into the tank. Where are these fumes going? To say nothing about what happens if you happen to spill some gas. Portable generators could fall over and spill gas if it is not secured properly. Last thing I would mention, what does your insurance company think about using a non approved generator aboard your boat? Will they cover you if something bad does happen? What level of liability are you willing to assume, because if someone is hurt or killed, you will be liable.
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WayWeGo
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by WayWeGo »

There are lots of opinions on portable generators on boats, most of which are against using them. If you do use one, you should have it outside the hull on a swim platform, and you should definitely have CO detectors everywhere there are people. CO will accumulate in the lower parts of the boat, so putting it on the flybridge seems dangerous to me.

CO poisoning can happen in situations you would not expect. I used to race cars and at one race, a driver got CO poisoning during a 30 mile race with the windows open in the car and driving at an average speed of 60+mph. He ended up driving off the road and not even knowing that he did. With the high demands for situational awareness on a boat, you have to be careful with CO poisoning, even on a flybridge due to the station wagon effect from exhaust gasses exiting at the transom. Having a CO detector at the flybridge helm is a good idea.
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prowlersfish
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by prowlersfish »

While I feel they have no place on a boat if you must follow WAYWEGO.s advice and Flybrige in not the place for it at all
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Big D
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by Big D »

The only place you should run the unit is on a swim platform. The problem is what to do for storing it when not in use. Technically it should not be stored on board. If you do, be aware that it is always venting fuel vapours when it's not running and the proper precautions must be taken. Typically when one has a portable generator on board, or an outboard for example, there's also a gerry can along for the ride. Again, you need to be aware that precautions need to be taken. The best place for storage if you must is also on the swim platform.

The thing about CO is that it doesn't matter if an engine is marine rated or not, or if it exhausts overboard or not, either way even CO from a running marine engine exhausting overboard can be deadly. Under the right wind conditions, overboard exhaust be it from a portable generator on the platform or on bridge or your main engines can be potentially lethal. That's why it's recommended the vessel be closed up when running either underway or standing still.

Depending on the type of fridge you have, some run only on DC, some only on AC and some on both. When the vessel is rigged for a dual power fridge, you'll have a breaker for the AC side and one for the DC side if wired correctly.
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WayWeGo
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by WayWeGo »

prowlersfish wrote:While I feel they have no place on a boat if you must follow WAYWEGO.s advice and Flybrige in not the place for it at all
I thought my advice was that it is not a good idea to use a portable generator on a boat -- I must not have been clear enough! :roll:

That said, there are many boaters who do so, especially on cruisers like Rosborough and C Dory boats. Big D has good advice on this if you feel you must. Some people use an adapter cap to connect the generator to a 6 gallon outboard fuel tank. I guess you could share this if you have a 4-stroke outboard.
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by Jbaggs »

Thank you for the help! No portable gen on my boat! Now what is my other options? Inverter with bigger house bank?

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K4282
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by K4282 »

Love my Honda EU2000i, they now make one specifically for boats with a shore power plug called and EU20001 Companion that my friend got for his 26 Cruiser rogue and he plans to get the accessorizes to plumb it into his boat fuel tank and have the exhaust out of a thru hull. He uses his constantly running his reverse cycle air conditioning and everything else. These have become far more common especially on older boats, nobody's running the loud gas hogs from the 70's and 80's anymore, if your interested I have 2 about to go to the scrap yard lol. I dont have a need for mine that often and I usually have sitting on my bow. Many people leave them up on the bridge as well (3 of my closest friends I can think of off hand as myself occasionally if its raining) however I try not to do that as people warn of the exhaust fumes however im pretty sure the vent for my head gives off more exhaust fumes than a Honda generator running for 7 plus hours on one gallon of gas.
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prowlersfish
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by prowlersfish »

The bow is a very poor location . On the hook the wind will be blowing the fumes back to the cockpit area .
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by P-Dogg »

the wind will be blowing the fumes back
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Big D
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by Big D »

The bow hatch is open and the generator is right in front of it venting fuel!

The Hondas are great units. Very quiet and dependable but is your friend thinking of running it in his engine compartment hence fuel tank and exhaust hookup? What is it about this unit that qualifies it as "Marine"?
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And thanks to the gang, 2012 Trojan Boater Of The Year

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prowlersfish
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by prowlersfish »

Honda on the power plug

"The EU2000i Companion offers one 30A receptacle for RV applications"

Read the manual , I don't think you will find any thing on marine use . They do say to keep it far away from windows doors and vents

http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/pe/ ... 397010.pdf
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vabeach1234
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by vabeach1234 »

I use a Kipor generator to power my boat while on the hook at events. I put in on the swim platform and bungee it the boat in case it decides to vibrate off. That said, I only use it to power the microwave, coffee maker or to charge the batteries. I typically leave the front hatch open so that there's no way fumes can accumulate in the cabin (there needs to be a breeze to flush out the fumes though). I have used my generator to run the AC to cool the cabin down during hot days but typically that is not for long periods and never while sleeping. Just too many scenarios to make for a bad day with CO poisoning. CO detectors are always a must. For my boat, even while running the boat (on plane), my CO detector goes off due to the station wagon effect if the wind is in a certain direction. I run my blower all the time while running the engine and this helps a lot. So if CO gathers in the cabin while just running the boat, that only reaffirms to me the high possibility of it happening on the hook with a generator running.

Also, you need to be aware of the person next to you if you are rafted up. Your exhaust could easily enter their cabin. There's been news stories of this happening.
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Big D
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by Big D »

prowlersfish wrote:Honda on the power plug

"The EU2000i Companion offers one 30A receptacle for RV applications"

Read the manual , I don't think you will find any thing on marine use . They do say to keep it far away from windows doors and vents

http://cdn.powerequipment.honda.com/pe/ ... 397010.pdf
That's what I read too Paul and why I asked because I didn't see anything when they came out to qualify it as a marine unit. A 30 amp receptacle doesn't give it a marine certification or make it safe to run in an engine compartment. I'm assuming that's where buddy is hooking it up.
She was a 1969 36 ft wooden beauty with big blue 440s that we'll miss forever.
And thanks to the gang, 2012 Trojan Boater Of The Year

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K4282
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Re: Portable generator questions

Post by K4282 »

I didn't read anything on the companion model, I bought a regular one for $970 3 years ago and its been great. I dont see a need to research the newer models at this time, I expect mine to last many more years and do not plan on mounting it in the boat. I like how much room ive freed up and weight removed from removing the dinosaur it came with.I like the option to use it at my house or camping or whatever. As for exhaust fumes I have never heard of anyone complaining or getting sick. Although my longest run time is usually no more than 20 minuets (hot shower) generally windows and doors are going to be open naturally. The unit burns tablespoons of gas and exhaust it from its quiet 1/2 muffler I usually point into the wind (if any), I cant see it generating that much harmful CO to flood out a cabin, theirs more CO blown into the boat backing into a slip.

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