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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: December 26 2011 at 10:42 | IP Logged Quote eshover

As mentioned previously, I switched to golf cart batteries
three years ago. I am very please so far. Many, many
trawler owners have made the same switch for ease of
replacement as well. As most of you know, a vast number of
trawler owners are former sailor and enjoy much of their time
on the hook. Golf cart batteries are made to take many many
discharge cycles. Our boats are not set-up as trawlers, so DC
power management is usually required if we are to anchor out
for hours on end.

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: December 26 2011 at 11:36 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Nice to hear from you again.  Hope you had a Merry Christmas and that your New Year will be joyous.  Unfortunately my oldest 8D battery is only 5 years old and I've been getting 8-9 years out of them.  So I don't expect any batteries in either my starting or house battery banks to need replacement much before 2015.

But when the first 8D does go bad I'll replace the house batteries with golf cart batteries.  At present I don't have any problems anchoring out for hours on end.  The problem comes when I try to anchor out for days on end.

Generally though, anchoring out in one place for more than a day is boring to me.  After a day I want to move on.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: December 26 2011 at 11:59 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

I was looking around on the web and here is another diesel genny that might work on our Connies.

This one only costs $1499, has electric start and a hush cover.  But it's air cooled, is bigger and heavier (400 lbs) than the Kubota.  It puts out 7500 watts. What we need is the same thing only smaller.

If you liked that one here's another in green:

I has the about the same specs but only puts out 6000 watts.  But its smaller and lighter.  It's also cheaper at $1299.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 26 2011 at 12:08


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Fantasy
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Joined: November 30 2006
Posts: 324
Posted: December 26 2011 at 12:30 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

Since those generators are air cooled, you would need a dry stack exhaust which won't work too well in our generator rooms.  Of course, you could mount it on the flybridge if it's not enclosed.

John



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: December 26 2011 at 12:57 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Good point John. While non-ignition protected devices are
allowable on diesel boats (ONLY), proper cooling and
exhaust is a necessity. While the CO emissions are much
lower on diesel, it is still present in the exhaust. Proper
hose, silencing device, etc is necessary.
Fuel supply is a consideration as well. The supply should be
that of a direct delivery (just as the existing engines and
genset). One should never use utilize a device in ANY
engine room whereby the delivery of fuel to a storeage
tank is performed by hand and the chance of a fuel spill
can occur. No good.
I do not believe that the installation an air cooled device
would be prudent.



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"Southern Charm"
1986 Connie 500
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: December 26 2011 at 13:03 | IP Logged Quote eshover

I would also like to inform folks that if you install to ABYC
code, you either meet or exceed the CFR's (Code of
Federal Regulation).

ABYC code is not restricted to ABYC members only.
Anyone can review the code book at West Marine and
hopefully buy one. Currently, I believe the online store at
ABYC is going under renovation and I do not believe that
purchases can be made, but they are available from WM.
While reading the ABYC code book is about as exciting as
watching grass grow (believe me, I know), it is real nice
additional reference book to keep on hand. Plus you can
make yourself look real smart and win a few "dock bets"
with it! :)

Emory

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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posts: 2317
Posted: December 26 2011 at 14:19 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

When you keep looking you usually find what you're looking for.  Here's a genny that fits all our requirements:

It's a Phasor LP1-2.2 which uses a 4.5 Hp water cooled Kubota diesel and produces 2200 watts.  It's electric start with a remote control, weighs only 215 lbs. with its sound shield (not shown) and is USCG approved.

I don't know exactly what it costs but the 3.5 KW Phasor LP1-3.5 which produces 3500 watts costs $5000.  The 2200 watt model ought to be considerably less; probably a little over $4,000.  This is what is called an auxiliary generator and is specifically designed for maintaining ship's services while at anchor away from shore power.  It probably wouldn't run air conditioners but it's certainly much better than an anemic 500 watt inverter/charger/battery system that costs $3500, needs a special house battery system and requires that the main genny be run for an hour every four hours.

There are several other auxiliary gennys that I'm looking at.  Some of them may be cheaper.  But this one is cheap enough to convince me that the battery/inverter/charger method is a waste of time and money.

I don't plan on buying an inverter/charger/battery system or an auxiliary generator this year.  The economy is going to have to improve a bit before I do that. 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 26 2011 at 14:20


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A Murray Chris Craft Constellation 500
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Fly Bridge
"Navigator"




Joined: April 17 2011
Posts: 339
Posted: December 26 2011 at 14:46 | IP Logged Quote Fly Bridge

Pete:  researched the Phasor marine generator, model LP1-2.2  I only did one search for pricing, so there may be some fluctuation, if for a more through search.    Also do not know the age of website, so that could be of some affect, as to price. 

Price is: $4,480.  as per website www.1800runsnew.com  MARINE ENGINES, INC.  located at 41 Pope Road  Holliston, Ma. 01746  1-800-786-7369

To a fault, I am a "Thrifty"person.   Some of my friends define me in more "Endearing terms".   However, if left with no other choice, may have to bite the proverbial bullet.  I need a "Genny" myself, but things are tight, right now.  Perhaps, "Someday"!!

Thought I would pass this info along, to you Pete, and the other Captains. 

Fly Bridge (Dan)   from Catalina Forum.



Edited by Fly Bridge on December 26 2011 at 14:56


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1979 Chris Craft,Catalina Sedan FB, 33ft. 2 Helms, 2/5.7. New 2004. Port eng. removed to rebuild. Starboard operating. Presently in "Backyard Dry Dock". Home Port:Holiday,Florida. (danbushey@msn.com)
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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posts: 205
Posted: December 26 2011 at 14:57 | IP Logged Quote eshover

The 2.2 and the 3.5 Kw are about $300 apart or so. I think I
would be inclined to spend the money for another 1.3 Kw.
Spending the money only to find you don't have enough Kw
would be sad. Remember, you've got to install a thru-hull for
raw water, run a proper exhaust system, etc. A lot of work,
so you'd want to end up a very happy customer. Good
thought here though.   

http://www.1800runsnew.com/NLM/phasor_gensets-NLM.html

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1986 Connie 500
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: December 26 2011 at 17:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dan, Emory & John,

I searched too but didn't find a price for the 2.2 so I estimated about $4200.  I was off a bit ($280) but I stlll think the auxilairy generator is a much better deal than the battery/inverter/charger system.  Battery/inverter/charger is a lot to type so I'll just use BIC in the future.

I agree with Emory that for an extra $300 I'd opt for the 3.5 Kw unit at about $4800.  But there may be cheaper units out there. I'm still looking.

BIC systems start at about $2,500 for a 300 watt system and jump to $3,500 for a 500 watt system when you make the assumptions I made in my previous posts. I think that's about right but I'm going to re-investigate it. Beyond that the price growth is astronomical.  

Jumping from $3500 for a 500 watt BIC system to $4,500 for a 2,300 watt auxiliary generator (4.8:1 improvement) is a hell of a big improvement.  And going from $3,500 for a 500 watt system to $4,800 for a 3500 watt auxiliary generator ( 7:1 improvement) is an even bigger bargain.  Generally I think that if you opt for a BIC system you are going to be disappointed.

But the BIC system is a big improvement over no offshore power system at all and for those on a budget it may be all they can afford.  I may have been too pessimistic.  I'm going to look at it again.

Pete37



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Fantasy
"Navigator"




Joined: November 30 2006
Posts: 324
Posted: December 26 2011 at 18:15 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

A 3000 watt inverter with a 140 amp charger can be had for under $1300, or as low as $1000 on e-bay for a factory rebuild.  This unit will handle about 9,000 watts of surge.  If you plan to replace your house batteries soon, it's a good investment (assuming you'll use it).  If you use the regular house 8D's, don't expect to get many years of service from them, they can't handle that many cycles.

I've considered an auxiliary generator for the rare occasions we're anchored several days (such as waiting for a gulf stream crossing window) but think I'll wait until the Onan croaks and then downsize to something quieter in the 8-10kw range, which is more than adequate for our boating style.

John



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: December 26 2011 at 20:45 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

Don't wait for your Onan to croak.  You may croak before it does.  They are very reliable generators.

The prices I mentioned in several of my recent posts were from the West Marine catalog which generally isn't the cheapest place in town; as I noted.  But they had a 3000 watt inverter with 150 amp charge capacity for $1700 which isn't so far from your number.

Used and factory rebuilds are always a crap shoot.  It takes guts to buy one. If, as you say, you would only use an auxiliary generator on rare occasions just make do with your Onan behemouth.  The small number of extra hours won't make much difference to it's lifetime.

The inverter/charger is still a great thing to have aboard for those occasions when you want to use some AC accessory but don't want to bother with the genny.  Even if it doesn't give you complete energy independence from the shore you'll get lots of use out of it.  I'd love to have one but Santa didn't bring me one.  Be happy you have a nice Santa.

Pete37

PS: When I mentioned $2500 for a 300W BIC that was the wattage that the system would support for a 24 hour time frame with the charging periods I suggested.  The inverter itself would have a much higher rating.



Edited by Pete37 on December 26 2011 at 21:08


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Fantasy
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Joined: November 30 2006
Posts: 324
Posted: December 27 2011 at 08:00 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

 

Pete,

My 15kw Onan (that's what the 460's come with) has had a number of issues but I have been able to repair or jury-rig solutions. It's like any old machine with several thousand hours on it, they can nickel and dime you to death until you have had enough.

I've replaced the exhaust riser ($700), throttle solenoid, fuel pump, and did a rebuild of the raw water pump (shaft, bearings and seals). But, the biggest problems are with the electronic controls which are no longer available, although you can replace components with generic stuff. On this model, Onan put the control box inside the sound shield where there is very little ventilation. The heat trips an internal breaker that won't reset until everything cools down. My solution has been to flex duct the air intake to the hull air vents to grab cooler air and to exhaust the warmed air (from the windings) to the generator room blower. That seems to work. Otherwise, it just recirculates increasingly warmer air from the generator room and trips the breaker.

I didn't buy my inverter with anchoring in mind, although I do use it for that. I bought it as an alternative to running the generator while underway and it is perfect for that use since the alternators make up most, if not all of the power used. I've purchased a number of factory rebuild electronic items, including the inverter in 2003, and have been very pleased. These units are generally customer returns of new merchandise that are thoroughly re-tested, repaired (if needed) and warrantied.

John



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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Delaware Jim
"Navigator"




Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: December 27 2011 at 12:14 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

All,

I have to side with John and others who look at an inverter/charger setup and added batteries at $1000-$1500 range as far more practical than a $4000+ aux genny.

Pete's analysis of electric consumption was pretty interesting.  In our case, the singular concern is powering the 18.5 ft3 AC refrig overnight.  The AC lighting and TV/DVD player in the evening does not consume very much power. DC loads may include the water pump & sump for a 5 minute shower and anchor light.  I am planning to install a timer on the refrig to allow it to run about 1 hour of every 3-4 hours; experience shows this will keep everything including ice cream in good shape.

We are planning some "long weekend" (3-4 day) trips this coming year where we will be out for the duration.  Shorter engine runs will require more genny time, but still only see the need for two-2 hour or so daily genny run periods one AM and one PM) to maintain the refrigerator demand.  Every 3-4 days may require an additional run to restore batteries to capacity. 

I have two questions: 1) does anyone see any significant issues with this plan? and 2) for those who have installed additional batteries, where do you have them installed?

We wish everyone a great new year!

Jim

 



Edited by Delaware Jim on December 27 2011 at 12:17


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posts: 2317
Posted: December 27 2011 at 13:30 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

You seem to have had more than your fair share of generator problems.  I havenít had any except for my water pump impellers but I guess I shouldnít say that because Iím going to jinx myself.  Iíve got about 2500 hours on the genny.

The water pump impellers used go out regularly at about 150 hours of genny running time.  The problem seems to be that the cooling water intake thru-hull is too high on the hull and when running at high speed the bow lifts and the genny sucks air part of the time.  Naturally the impellers donít last long under those conditions.  The key to long impeller life is not to run your genny when youíre doing 20 knots.  Since Iíve started obeying that rule I havenít had to replace an impeller.

On the 20KW Onans the electronics are in a box over the generator.  The engine is in a separate sound shield.  Perhaps thatís why I havenít had any troubles with the electronics.

In reviewing the lackluster performance of battery/inverter/charger (BIC) systems Iíve come to some conclusions as to why the performance of BIC systems is disappointing for anchoring out applications.  Basically, the problem is that most inverter/chargers donít have enough AC to DC conversion capability.  Most of them are limited to 100 amps of charging capacity.  And if you assume a charging cycle of one hour charging (with the genny on) followed by four hours discharge (with the genny off) the average current that can be supplied from the batteries in the discharge period is only 25 amps which at 12 volts is 300 watts.  Naturally the AC power output from the inverter canít be more than the DC input so you are limited to something less than 300 watts of average AC power during the four hours the genny is off.

However, if the objective is to supply power to AC devices while cruising, it would be easy to obtain 25 amps of battery charging from the engine alternators.  Larger alternators could probably supply up to 60 amps.  So, while cruising, the alternators plus inverter/charger should supply most of your AC power needs.  High galley loads during mealtimes and water heating may, however, require the use of the genny.  And once at anchor you will need to scale back to 300 watts average load.

For most of us, who are marina hoppers (going from one marina to another) or weekenders (short two or three day trips), the reserve capacity of our house battery banks (plus perhaps some periods genny running) should take care of our off-shore power needs.  The inverter/charger does a splendid job of supplying our minimal AC power needs.

You can survive on a BIC system but for serious anchoring out the auxiliary generator seems to be a better solution.  However, most of us arenít serious ďanchor outersĒ.  Each year we spend about 60 hours on about 30 trips to nearby anchorages and spend about 4 hours at each anchorage.  And when we do an ďovernighterĒ itís usually to a marina.  So I doubt that many us of need (or will buy) an auxiliary genny regardless of how cute they look.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 27 2011 at 13:34


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 27 2011 at 13:37 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Jim,

I've done some pretty thorough assessments of our power use at anchor and have been surprised at all the little stuff that adds up.  You are right about the fridge being a major concern and a timer might help.  Setting the thermostat higher might work better, especially if your unit has a defrost timer and heater.  That said, I sometimes turn off the fridge circuit breaker for an hour or so if we are sitting on the inverter and "catch-up" when the generator is on.

Trial and error is probably the best approach to getting a power management program that works for you.  I've developed mine by tweaking it like a budget, cutting "expenses" where I can and increasing "income" where I need to.  In this case shedding power loads and running the generator longer. 

Here are some other items that I found to be significant in a 12 hr. anchoring period (as a point of reference, I estimate my new fridge uses 51 AH's): Computer/gps for anchor watch-65 AH; Flat screen TV and Home theater-61AH in 3hrs; anchor light-20 AH; primary gps for anchor watch- 20AH; windlass-19.5 AH; stateroom fan-25AH.  Some remedies for me included, skipping the redundant anchor watch, using a solar anchor light (unless I am in a dangerous spot), replacing the stateroom fan with a window scoop and trying not to fall asleep in front of the TV.

Enjoy your cruising,

John

PS  Nothing charges the batteries better than a night in a marina and with diesel at $4+ it becomes reasonable alternative to long generator runs.

 



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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: December 27 2011 at 13:53 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Fridge Power Consumption

I was worried about the power consumption of my old GE refrigerator/freezer (original equipment on a Connie).  It stiil runs fine but I know it uses more power than the newer fridges.  So I bought a Kill A Watt meter for about $25 and measured the average power consumption of my fridge on several hot days last August.  The power consumption was about 140 watts (280 AH/day) on all the measurements which were 24 hours in duration.

The new fridges run about 65 watts (130 AH/day). Jim's figure of 51 AH in 12 hours would be 102 AH/day which is fairly close to that. So my old fridge burns a little more than twice the power of a new one.  It's annoying but not worth replaceing the fridge over.

If you are serious about making power estimates buy a Kill-A-Watt meter and make actual measurements.

Pete37

 



Edited by Pete37 on December 27 2011 at 14:24


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 27 2011 at 15:10 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

I agree, the kill-a-watt is a nice tool, especially for the fridge which has a cycling time that is hard to estimate.  Regardless, 150 AH is a huge savings on a battery bank with 225 AH or less, safely available.  But of course, that isn't your concern, although you have said you would like to anchor more.

BTW, among the cruisers I travel with, anchoring and time on the inverter is the norm, not the exception, but I understand your perspective.

John



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Pete37
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Posted: December 27 2011 at 20:29 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

You're right, the power consumption of my fridge isn't a problem and won't be until I have an inverter/charger and am trying to anchor out.  As we found out in some of the past posts the inverter/charger will cost about $1600 and the batteries for the new battery bank will cost $840 for a total of $2440.  Plus there will probably be another couple hundred for wiring and switching equipment.  So the total cost will probably be about $2,700.  Add another thousand for a new refrigerator and it's installation makes the total $3,700.

But I'm not buying the $3,700 battery/inverter/charger/new refrigerator system for the same reason I'm not buying the $4,500 auxiliary generator.  The costs just don't justify the benefits.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 27 2011 at 20:39


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 07:59 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

There is nothing about recreational boating that can be justified on a cost basis.  It's all about entertainment and how much of your kids' inheritence you are willing to spend for your own amusement.

For me, the inverter cost $1,300 and I expect to use it for at least 10 years, I'm close to that now.  I don't figure in the batteries because I had to replace them anyway and the difference between an 8D and my 8D deep cycles is negligible over the life of each battery.

Worst case, the inverter will add about $130 to my entertainment bill this year.  That's more than the cost of playing checkers but less than a nice night on the town.

John



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 08:33 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

John,

I have to agree with you about the cost of boating!  How many batteries/types do you have on the 46?  Where are they located?

Happy New Year to all!

Jim



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Fantasy
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 09:19 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Happy new year, Jim,

I have two 8D deep cycle batteries (from Defender) that are in the house battery location.  I have gotten as many as 5 travel/anchor days before plugging in.  The inverter never goes to low voltage shut-off during that time but I'm sure it would if we were not traveling and just anchored.

I've considered installing a 3rd battery and one possible location is the generator room.  I no longer use the 110V fresh water pump and the new a/c circulating pump is much smaller than the original so I have the space.  A third battery is not essential to me but I do have the charging capacity to improve/expand the system.

John



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Furman1
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 09:56 | IP Logged Quote Furman1

Hi All, been working trying to survive in this economy. 

Furman



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Pete37
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 10:27 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

You seem to live in a fantasy world.  Perhaps that's why your boat is named "Fantasy".  Just a few posts ago everyone was saying a $4500 auxiliary generator was too expensive.  But now apparently nothing is too good or too expensive for our Connies.

Unfortunately for me I still live in a world where cost counts.  And I think most of our Connie owners live in that same world.  Perhaps I should have said "The costs just don't justify the value of the amusement."

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 28 2011 at 10:34


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 11:29 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

You're putting words in my mouth.  Of course cost counts and I never said anything to the contrary.  But, we all boat differently and what gives me the best bang for the buck may make no sense for you, as I said before.  You rarely anchor for long periods, so have no use for an inverter.  I get that.  I do longer distance cruising and anchor a lot.  An inverter makes much more sense for me than paying the $120 a night that you would pay at a marina, or running the generator while I'm underway.

Who cares whether the majority of people on the forum boat your way or my way or somewhere in between?  Isn't there room enough for all of us here?  If you can't find any benefit from my boating experiences, please feel free to ignore them.

John



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Pete37
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 20:23 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

I guess it depends on where you stand.  I bounced the idea of getting an inverter/charger off my wife Arlene and explained it would save $120 per night at a marina.  She said something like "That's a great idea."  But when I went on to say it would cost about $3,700 she frowned and rebutted with a "What about all the things we need for the house?"

If I already, had an inverter/charger, I would be extolling its virtues.  But I don't so I've got to trade it off against the "things for the house" argument.  Perhaps you've been married longer than I and have a good answer to that question.  If you do I'll try it on her and see what happens.

Pete37



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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 28 2011 at 20:40 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

I have added both an inverter and a 4.3 Kw auxiliary generator. My
reason for adding these were for a few main reasons. One was for
convience - it's very nice to disconnect shore power without missing a
beat. The inverter seamlessly takes over anything other than the heat
pumps, laundry and stove. Second is a long term savings. I can cruise
all day and anchor over night without running the 20kw generator
This saves fuel, maintaince and over all ware and tare on a 25 year
old generator. The way I use my boat, the cost of the inverter will
pay for itself in fuel savings alone and the cost of the auxiliary
generator has the potential of doing the same in possible large
generator rebuild/replacement. In other words I look at adding the
inverter and auxiliary generator not as an expense, but as an
investment.



Allen
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Fantasy
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 08:03 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No inverter for you!"  In my 42 years of bliss, I've learned that once my superior officer has dug in her heels, it's not possible to drag her over to my side.  Clearly, it's way to risky to ask for permission; forgiveness is the preferred strategy.

John



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Posted: December 29 2011 at 08:11 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Allen,

Saw your chilly looking photo going out yesterday in 40 knot winds.  Very nice!  Did you have the heat pumps running in that blow?

John



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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 09:27 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

John

 

It was really windy yesterday, but not that cold (mid 40ís) for someone not in the Bahamas. Yes, that was a little jealous sarcasm. Itís cold this morning with some ice on the creek though. To answer your question, the generators are winterized.   I ran the heat pumps while in the slip to get the cabin warm.  While out running the inverter can handle the electric heat.  I have an electric fireplace (maybe you have seen a picture of it on the facebook page) that has a 1500 watt heater and I also use a portable 900 watt ceramic heater on the helm console.  Between the two of them the cabin stays tolerable even on days running below freezing.

 

Allen

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Pete37
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 10:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

I guess from your last post I should buy the inverter (or auxiliary generator) and then ask my wife for forgiveness.  The trouble with that is that you hear the "If you hadn't......we could've....." refrain for ever and ever.

Another ploy would be to find a used inverter or generator at a low price and say to her "I saw it and it was at such a low price I just had to buy it"  She uses that one on me after every trip to the department store. It's the "Don't look at what I paid.  Look at what I saved." ploy. You can go bankrupt from all those savings.

Another scheme would be just to buy the inverter and leave the house batteries alone.  That way I would only have to justify $1,300 not the $2,500 the full system would cost.  And when the old 8Ds go bad in a couple years because they weren't designed for deep cycling and I have to replace them, I'll just say,  "It's a damn shame dear.  They just aren't making batteries the way they used to."

The trouble with that is that I really don't have much confidence that the inverter route is going to solve the problem.  But the auxiliary generator approach comes in one big $4500-$5000 lump.  That's an awfully big pill to swallow. 

What I'm really looking for is a used 3500 watt diesel generator at $2,000.  But they seem to be very scarce and I haven't found one yet.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 29 2011 at 10:17


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Posted: December 29 2011 at 10:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allen and All,

I agree with a lot of what Allen says in his post of the 28th but disagree with some of it too.  Having both an auxiliary generator and inverter certainly is a convenience.  But a good battery/inverter/charger (BIC) system costs about $3,500 and a 4.3 KW generator costs about $5,000.  Installation probably would run at least another $1,000.  So weíre bordering on a $10K investment.

Iíve heard the cost saving due to reduced fuel consumption argument before but it just doesnít hold water.  My 20 KW Onan diesel generator burns 1.2 gph at half load (10 KW).  So generating power with a diesel generator requires only about 0.12 gallons per KWH.  And at $3.85 per gallon thatís $0.46/KWH or  about 4X what you pay the power company.

Running the boat in the anchor out mode with a BIC system takes less than 500 AH per day and at 12 volts thatís 6 KWH per day or $2.76 per day.  At that price itís going to take about 3,600 hours (150 days) of operation to pay off the $10K investment.  For reference, most of our Connie engines have logged only 2000 hours in 25 years.

Of course Allen will tell you he got his inverter/charger and auxiliary generator for next to nothing.  But that doesnít mean that you will be able to get them at the same price.  And of course with a 4.3 KW auxiliary generator you can enjoy a much more power rich environment than with just a BIC system.  Quadrupling the anchor out power consumption to 24 KWH/day (an average of 1,000 watts) would only raise the cost to a little over $11 per day.  We could all afford that.

The simplest solution to providing offshore power would be to find a 3.5 KW diesel generator and run it at 1000 watts 24/7. A new one would cost about $5,000 but a used one might be found at $2,000.  Typical yearly use would probably be less than 20 days (240 hours) at a cost of $200 in fuel.  The BIC system is also convenient for those who want completely silent AC power but not essential.

So, in my opinion, a small auxiliary generator (such as Allenís 4.3 KW unit) is the right solution for providing AC power when away from the dock.  It can probably even supply some of the air conditioning, water heating and cooking needs that are normally considered out of the range of BIC systems.

Pete37



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Posted: December 29 2011 at 10:31 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Inexpensive Diesel Generators

I still like the idea of an inexpensive diesel genny of the type used on construction sites as shown in the picture below:

At $1,299 they are inexpensive.  They have a dry exhaust but a seawater pump could be added and seawater could be mixed with the exhaust.  The exhaust could then be disposed of in the normal manner.  Radiated heat from the block normally comes out through the vents you see on the left hand side.  I've seen some of these units working and it isn't an awful lot of heat.; the engine is only 10 hp.  It could probably be dumped into the engine room and go out through the engine room vents.

It has electric start and an instrument panel to monitor it.  Size, however, is likely to be a problem.  It would probably have to be stripped down to get it into the genny room.  It would go on the starboard side opposite the 20 KW genny.  The stuff there now would have to be moved to the presently empty under galley compartment.  The water heater, though, could probably stay where it is.

 



Edited by Pete37 on December 29 2011 at 11:06


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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 10:44 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Pete

I donÔŅĹt know how hard you have looked. This generator has been on craigslist for some time now. It has the faryman engine on it (same power as mine). A little noisy, but much quieter than a 6v92.  He is asking to much for it but open for offers. He would be crazy not to take the $2000 you are looking to spend on an auxiliary unit (I, myself would offer much less).  And this one comes with alot of the other parts that are needed to hook it up. Of course you would need some additional wire and mechanical parts. Let your wife know how much I saved you, maybe she will allow you to have it.


Allen



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 19 2013 at 14:12
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Pete37
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 11:10 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allen,

Thanks for the tip.  I'm looking into it.  While apparently it hasn't got many hours it looks old.  But definitely worth a look-see.

BTW:  Preliminary checking indicates its very similar to a 4.3 KW Faryman Diesel Generator (new price, $5000 without sound shield, $6300 with sound shield).  The lower 3.5 KW rating he lists probably indicates it's an older model.  Parts are still available for the newer models.  Don't know the vintage of his engine or the status of parts availability.  It's probably raw water cooled which could be a problem on an old engine.  The sound shield if I thought it needed one would be about $1,300.  As an interesting side note I found that used 20 KW Onans can be had for about $7K.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 29 2011 at 12:32


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 16:02 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

That looks like a great deal.  Don't miss it!

John



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Pete37
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Posted: December 29 2011 at 16:45 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

Which looks like a great deal, the Faryman or the Onan?  I have an Onan and don't need another.  The Faryman, I'm going to have to think about and talk to the owner before I'll decide whether it's a great deal.

The owner left out the age.  It looks old and it's a raw water cooled engine which may be totally corroded out.  I't could be in the scrap iron category for all I know about it.  And the owner toolk it out of his boat so there's no way of even knowing that it runs.  There are an awful lot of ??? in this item.  But I'll look at it and talk to him.  Maybe we can work something out.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 30 2011 at 09:57


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scottflys2
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Posted: December 30 2011 at 12:19 | IP Logged Quote scottflys2

Hey Allen I am trying to add an inverter to my system would you happen to have the schematic of your installation or picture thanks scott    

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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 30 2011 at 12:51 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

How you been doing Scott

 

Installation was fairly simple. I rearranged the 240v AC circuit panel so Group 3 was all inverter breakers.  I removed the hot line from the 50 amp main breaker for Group 3 and ran that to the 120v AC input of the inverter.  I than ran the 120v A/C output of the inverter back to the main breaker. Neutral and grounds had to be run also.  In other words a created a loop through the inverter.

 

On the DC side, I use the house batteries.  I added a (I think) 300 amp fuse to the rest of the large DC fuse box on the forward engine room.  From there I installed a battery switch and then to the 12v DC input of the inverter.  The 12v DC negative came from the negative terminal block on forward engine room wall.

 

I had to disconnect the old battery charger from the house batteries and make sure to label the 240 A/C panel ďInverter breakers hot when inverter is onĒ or something like that.

 

The whole job took about 5 hours. There is a photo on the Facebook page

 

Good Luck

Allen

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scottflys2
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Posted: December 30 2011 at 16:51 | IP Logged Quote scottflys2

Hi Allen thanks for info I've been down for a month with kidney stones
uck but back aboard Gemba now. I think my system had an inverter
and it was removed sometime. Y'all have a Happy New Year Scott

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