Honda 2000 portable generator supplied us with 120-volt electricity when we needed it at anchor. On our sailboat, we used an inverter most of the time and our solar panels and wind generator kept the battery banks topped off. We made the decision early on to install a permanent generator on Beach House for our upcoming cruise to the Bahamas and the Great Loop. We likely won't have the wind conditions needed for a wind generator like we had in the Caribbean, and solar panels are not practical for us right now. We want to be able to run the air conditioner in the Bahamas and the heat in the Great Lakes when we need it, and an inverter would just not do. Generator options for boats are plentiful, and deciding which one would best suit our needs took a lot of research.
house battery bank had been relocated, the shelf where the generator would be located needed some reinforcement and rebuilding. It was strengthened with a layer of 1/2-inch plywood and sealed with West System.
Next Generation 3.5 generator in a sound shield. We wanted a small footprint that would fit in the space we had in the engine compartment. We needed it to be able to handle our 16,000 BTU air conditioner/heating system. It also needed to be capable of running all of the rest of our appliances, battery chargers, water heater, power tools and whatever else we wanted to run on board. Weight was also an important factor since the unit would be sitting against the hull on the port side of the boat and weight distribution had to be a consideration. The generator also had to have a good reputation in the cruising community for reliability, sound construction and ease of maintenance and repairs. The Next Generation scored high in every category.
Centek 1 1/2-inch waterlock with a side entry and top discharge. A small shelf was needed to mount the waterlock at the appropriate height and to keep it level in the slanted bilge.
inverter that is connected to the main electrical panel that needed to be wired into the circuit. Each electrical panel required a transfer switch to allow us to select between shore power, the generator and the inverter on the main panel without ever having two sources connected to a panel at the same time. For the main panel, we used a Blue Seas 3-way switch that lets us switch between the shore power, generator or inverter.
two-way switch to connect the shore power or generator. This panel is not connected to the inverter since it won't ever run the AC unit.