When Do You Guys Use the Generator

Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by 320Bob, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. 320Bob

    320Bob Active Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    AZ
    2012 Chaparral 267 SSX Sold
    Boatless
    This was my first season boating and I have not had a generator on my two previous boats. I bought the boat used with 55 hours on it and the previous owner order the generator option. I just read through the manual on my Kohler 5 Kw generator and it seems to require a lot of maintenance along with the 1 hour per week "exercise" regimen. Since I will always be connected to shore power at the dock I would not need it unless there were a power outage. So what do you guys use this $11K piece of equipment for in your boating?
     
  2. everthing's irie

    everthing's irie New Member

    889
    Jan 20, 2008
    Georgia
    2006 290DA
    Twin 6's
    I run mine every time we go down to the boat. We take a cruise each visit and run all systems.
     
  3. trit21

    trit21 New Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    We use ours whenever we leave the dock. Ice maker needs 110vac and we run the AC continuously in the summer and well almost all the time. Not to mention the blender for the drinks as well. :) Currently my gen has 550hrs on it.

    We also spend nights at the island every weekend or every other weekend again in the summer as well. Just depends on how you use your boat. We spend a lot of time away from our marina at night during summer months.
     
  4. hack4alivin

    hack4alivin Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 18, 2008
    Joppa, Maryland
    320 Dancer
    Twin 350 V Drives
    We will use the generator when out on the hook. While out we may need the A/C or if we are out for an extended period of time the refrigerators will be draining the batteries so I will run the generator to charge back up. Some use it while underway, I don’t. If I don’t use it for awhile I will run it at the dock and turn off dock power and run it under load for a short period of time.
     
  5. dellis2628

    dellis2628 New Member

    18
    Aug 7, 2008
    Mears Great Oak Landing , Fairlee Creek
    1988 Sea Ray 340 DA
    454 Mercruiser w/ "V" Drives
    Generally, we go away from the dock for the weekends, rafting out together. You will find the generator a wonderful appliance when you are wanting that hot coffee in the morning, or wanting to cool the cabin down in the evening before hitting the sack, being able to use the microwave, and not hving to worry about taking all the batteries down to dead from the refrigerator, cabin lights, music system and the rest of the 12V equipment. More than the American Express Card, you won't want to leave the dock without it!
     
  6. bmac

    bmac Active Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Holbrook, NY
    2006 58 Sedan Bridge, Walker Bay Generation 390 RIB w/40hp Yamaha, 2014 Wellcraft 232 CC w/Yamaha
    MAN 900 CRM
    Whenever we leave the dock the gen set is the first engine started and the last to be shut down when we get plug back in. I run the generator whenever I'm underway, rafted up or anchored out. My generator has almost twice as many hours as the propulsion engines.
     
  7. Southpaw II

    Southpaw II Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 18, 2008
    Madison, MS
    2001 380 DA
    T8.1 Horizons
    Since your boat probably has a dual voltage refrigerator, you don't need to run the genset every time you go out on the water like larger boats do. The only item(s) needed to run, if you chose, would be the A/C - Heat or the ice maker.

    Unless it is very hot, I normally don't crank my generator to go out. I just don't think the ice maker justifies it, and normally my ice will last the day for me. Larger boats will typically have lots more hours on the generator than the mains, but smaller boats are just the opposite. I sold a 1998 290 after 5 years with 220 hrs. on the mains and 80 hrs. on the genset.

    I do try to run my generator under load about once a week; for about 10-15 minutes. It's important to run under load to prevent the motor from running too rich, which will shorten the life of your plugs.

    Don
     
  8. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    I don't use mine all that much either. BUT I do exercise it at least once a week. Most people who have had gen problems likely never run them. Engines need to be run!
     
  9. trit21

    trit21 New Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    I also think the important thing to note here is most people run the gen often, wether to run AC, frig, charge the batts, or whatever to exercise the unit. A piece of machinery needs to run, especially in a salt water environment to exercise all the seals and moving parts.

    If you don't use it, you loose it.
     
  10. Tonka Boater

    Tonka Boater Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Wayzata, MN
    1997 232 BR
    502 MAG, Bravo I
    I run mine every time I leave the dock. I turn it off when the kids are swimming so that I don't create any CO pockets that can kill them but when we're onboard it's pretty much running all the time.
    .
     
  11. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    North Jersey
    2003 480 Sedan Bridge
    QSM-11's
    We use our generator all the time with the 480DB. Whenever we are not at the dock, the genny is running. The fridge and freezer won't run on DC, and the kids stay inside with the air and TV which also need 120V.

    On our last boat, a 340DA, we didn't use it quite as much, but the fridge and TV would run on 12V. So while cruising, we wouldn't run it much. We would run it for a while when anchored.
     
  12. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    I'm sure your kids appreciate this.......:smt038
     
  13. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Active Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    '08 H240
    5.7
    You've got a very sought after option on that 320! We use our gen every time we boat, but we overnight on the hook. We turn it on to recharge the batteries, run the air, or cook dinner if we are microwaving something. What I've gathered from reading this and other forums, is use it at least one hour a week, and always run it under a load. Have your AC on, or your water heater. If you don't use it, it'll cost a lot of $$$ in repairs!
     
  14. 320Bob

    320Bob Active Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    AZ
    2012 Chaparral 267 SSX Sold
    Boatless
    You guys convinced me that it is a good thing. I have sensed in my brief time on this forum that I am NOT among tree hugging sorts so the additional carbon footprint created by running the gennie while cruising will not offend most sensibilities here.:grin::grin: Also, with this new rig, the wife and I plan to have our two four-footed kids aboard and I'm sure they would appreciate an air conditioned cabin for their afternoon snoozes.:thumbsup:
     
  15. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    Same. Additionally, we go away for a whole weekend at a time where we go to another marina and never use the generator. 5 years old - almost 1300 hours.
     
  16. hack4alivin

    hack4alivin Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 18, 2008
    Joppa, Maryland
    320 Dancer
    Twin 350 V Drives
    Remember to run the blowers when using the generator and be conscious of your carbon monoxide detector. Although your generator should have build in shutdown on CO it is something about generator use you should educate yourself on. Many threads already on this forum about that. Be safe:thumbsup:
     
  17. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    We don't use ours much during the early part of the season in April or even weekly under load during the season. I'll start it in April to make sure all is well and that's about it except for maybe once a month until we start cruising in late June to early August. Even then, we stay mainly at marinas in Michigan and Wisconsin so there is not a need for it. We do have favorite anchorages in northern Michigan and we use it for cooking and to keep our ice supply fresh while on the hook. But ice lasts 24 hours on our boat and we can make a lot of ice while having coffee, breakfast and reading in the morning. Then it's off again. Beginning in the fall it is run every week end because we are on the hook until mid October when the boat is then put away. We use it for lighting, helm air and heat and for cooking then. While the unit goes many days without use, it does get enough to be trouble free. We are in fresh water so rust is not in our lexicon. Salt water conditions may require more use to keep things from rusting.
     
  18. osd9

    osd9 New Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    MidAtlantic
    2003 410DA
    Caterpillar 3126-TA w/ ZF 80-IV
    I don't use mine much. I excercise it every 3-4 weeks. I just finished winterizing the genie. I put on a total of 7.5 hours for the 2009 season.
     
  19. trit21

    trit21 New Member

    Dec 16, 2007
    Live, Orlando: Boat, Ft. Pierce
    See signature
    See signature
    I was going to name our boat 'Carbon Footprint' but the wife talked me out of it, thought it was a little too much, screw you tree hugger thing. Still think it is a good name though.
     
  20. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    Damn straight! There's no way you could be a powerboater and be a tree hugger. Not when 1MPG is about as green as a boat gets.
     

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