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Adding Generator to Carver

Discussion in 'Carver Yacht' started by keepsthabeat, Feb 12, 2014.

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  1. keepsthabeat

    keepsthabeat New Member

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    I looked but didn't find a match for my question so forgive me if i over looked a similar thread…
    I looked at a very promising Carver aft cabin this morning but one thing it didn't have, which i thought was standard equipment, is a generator. It does have a convertor however. We plan on spending many nights aboard, so I will have to have something to keep the fridge running, and part time air condition. So i have done some researched and found a whole host of pro's and con's. My idea is to mount a small generator up on the fly bridge as minimize risk of air contamination. So other then fueling, air pollution, noise pollution; what problems may occur? Also, can I tie the Gen into the boat's existing electrical system or will I just want wire up a circuit dedicated to the appliances only?

    Thanks for your time,
    Zack
  2. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Zack,

    I just moved your thread OUT of YF's Technical Forum and over to the Carver forum. The Tech Forum is for larger yachts and we have posted several stickies warning Carver owners to post to THEIR forum. If you post to our Tech forum again your membership will be removed.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You didn't say what size Carver you own, but I'm assuming you have gas motors? The flybridge is an odd location. It'll be exposed to weather, rocking and you'll be lugging gas up there as you fill on a rocking boat. Noise and vibration will also be a problem. Many people who just want a gen for a night here or there mount it on the swim platform or aft deck where it's more convenient and keep the noise and vibration away from the cabin.
    If you're making a permanent installation though, why not in the engine room where you can tie into the fuel system and the electrical system much easier? Please also use a marine gen, not one from HD. You want it marinized and with a flame arrestor, through-hull with sea strainer, zinc and overboard exhaust.
    If you tie into your electrical system put a breaker on your panel with a block so shore power and gen power can't be delivering at the same time.

    A marine gen installation is an option on most boats under 40', and costs about $5K-10K depending. That's why it's an option. Most daytrippers don't need one since they only sleep on board at the dock, if at all.
  4. keepsthabeat

    keepsthabeat New Member

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    The boat I am looking at is a 1981 Carver 32, aft cabin. In an identical model except 1983 the Gen was installed, which I presumed to be standard equipment for that model boat…either way the guy who owns it is a marine mechanic professionally and told me there is a DIY way to install a generator under the console on the fly bridge and run the exhaust out. That would not eliminate my having to haul fuel up to it. I am going to take another look in the engine compartment for a spot to mount a gen(I'm fairly certain that space is taken up by the power inverter). The engines are gas and in the other Carvers I scouted the Gen fuel was supplied by the Engine tanks. One fix I read about is to run the Gen via cable to the boat's shore power tap. that seems to easy to be true!

    Chances are I will only need Generator power for a few hours a week, but with my significant other onboard I know I will need hot water, fridge, and climate control.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Exhaust fumes drop. I wouldn't want it above the cabin. "a few hours a week, but with my significant other on board I know I will need hot water, fridge, and climate control." says permanent professional installation to me.
    P.S. it sounds like the guy selling it is either a) a fool, b) thinks you are or c) wants to kill people. Between the fire hazard and the Co hazard, it's nuts.
  6. Laurence

    Laurence Senior Member

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    No generator

    Add more batteries and use the inverter! In a 32 foot and a few hours a week away from the dock, you don't need a generator.
  7. keepsthabeat

    keepsthabeat New Member

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    I think the guy is really trying to get it off his hands. He has been owner financing to his old buddy, but now his buddy wants out of it. The seller just bought a new SeaRay cruiser so I get the impression we just will do anything to pawn it off. The good news is that it was under interior restoration and it looks flawless on the inside. The engines have been recently serviced, ran solid, started without hitch, looked as clean as I have seen on a Carver. At this point the gen is a secondary issue. The inverter will most likely do the trick but from what I read the generator is a must for several days at anchor. While I know I will be a away from the marina for more than a day, I doubt it would more than 2 days and I will motoring around during the day so that charge the batteries. I guess it will come down to going out and seeing what happens.

    I really appreciate all the input from everyone,
    Zack
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Is this a prank? Gas generator mounted above? Air cooled?
  9. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    Don't think its a prank just someone that's probably new to boating and not knowing any different. To the OP- you really need to mount the generator in the engine room or lazarette if room is available. Put a muffler on it and run the exhaust properly. The last thing you want to do is be pouring gas in a hot generator on a boat. The wiring is not difficult. You have to add a transfer switch or two master breakers with a lock-out as previously stated. If you can find one get a generator that turns 1800 rpm vs 3600. I don't know what part of Texas you are in but air conditioning will be next on your list. Onan should have installation manuals on their website.
  10. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    I once saw an older 34-36 Hatteras SF with a big cooler sized box on the bow in front of the salon window.

    I asked the owner what it was and he said he mounted his generator on the bow and made a box for it.

    I am not recommending this for a bunch of reasons, but I thought I would just bring it up.

    I have also seen small gas generators on swim platforms and on bow pulpits running in anchorages on boats.
  11. seldomdry

    seldomdry Member

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    A small Honda gen will run every thing but AC. Set it on the swim platform plug her in and let it run. Very efficient 1gal=10hrs. I know many that have gone that route and saved big$$. Cost about 1000.00
  12. babyc34

    babyc34 Member

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    That's a bit harsh for a mistake, don't you think? Why can't a Carver owner post to the tech forum? It seems like a logical place for his question. How big of a boat does one have to have to be able to post there? I'm new too so I would like to know.

    Never mind, I went out to the main board and saw all of your warnings to posters "Please post to brand specific". So I can understand how you might be a bit touchy regarding the issue. I'm still wondering where the tech forum is. I couldn't find it. I want to see how the big boys and girls live.
  13. babyc34

    babyc34 Member

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    You may want to consider moving the inverter out of the engine room. They do not suggest putting them there due to explosion. I am having an inverter/charger installed and while doing some research found that installing an inverter in the engine room is not recommended. The boat yard that is installing it for me also said the same thing. He told me that he once mounted an inverter in the engine room because that's where the client wanted it. After some time the new owner of the boat complained about the inverter being installed there and the boatyard had to move it for free. You may also want to have it professionally installed since there are several safety issues to consider.

    Good luck!

    babyc34
  14. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    When inverters fail, AND THEY DO, Pops, sparks and smoke are common. Not good in a gas fuel environment.
  15. keepsthabeat

    keepsthabeat New Member

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    This is great info. I am a newbie to boating if that isn't obvious. I thought the admin was a bit overboard(no pun intended) with the threat to kick me off the board. I figure my question was 'technical' so that's where it landed. For all the people who like Carvers, I run into twice as many who think Carver is a four letter word for some reason; I guess that goes for admins here also....
    I had no idea the inverter was such volatile piece of equipment. The inverter in Carver I am looking at IS mounted in the engine compartment. It appears to be a pretty solid mount, so I am fairly sure it was professionally installed; that leads to ask, why would a pro marine mechanic install an inverter in a dangerous position? Does anyone know what the boat, 1981 Carver aft cabin 30ft, would have had originally? Gen or inverter? Everywhere I look the Honda Gen seems to be the favorite. In Texas the A/C and icebox will be very important come summer, so I have to find a away to keep that running while away from shore power.
  16. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    I have a complete solar powered 110volt system on my 46ft Post for about $5k, I think you're good for a smaller system and less money!

    On my boat it even runs a small 12K BTU aircon for many hours :D

    If interested, talk to eMarine in Ft Lauderdale (I'm in no way affiliated with them, just a happy customer).
  17. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The simplest way to get a genset running on a boat like that is to have it as previously suggested mounted on the bowsprit or swim platform where the gas can't get into the boat and plug your shore cord into it.
  18. crashgtr

    crashgtr New Member

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    Honda portable generator will do the trick

    we used our portable generator at the dock almost all summer until they got electrical rebuilt after "SANDY".

    It worked great, the only thing is you can't run the AC.

    I agree with the fact that installing a generator on the flybridge is a really bad idea and very dangerous since gas fumes sink, not rise. Typically they are installed in the engine compartment approximately in between the motors.
  19. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    I am sure that was just because the genset in question was to small, a bigger one would have coped with the load of the AC better.
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've never seen an inverter in any location on a small boat other than in the engine room. The reason is simple. That's where the automatic fire extinguisher system is. You have all sorts of things there that can spark or even explode; battery charger and batteries, fuel tanks, motors and gens, at a minimum. All the stuff that's likely to go on fire needs to be where an automatic system is. Another thing to consider with an inverter is that it's converting DC to AC. On this boat there's a good chance that the OP has 2 batteries, with one of them doing double duty as the house bank as well as starting. The inverter will drain the batteries. With a gen (and charger) you never have to worry about dead batteries.

    I don't like the idea of using a generator mounted temporarily on a boat except for an occassional evening, maybe for christmas boat parade lights. Otherwise I suggest going for the real deal. Solar is ok, but a shady day will leave you with no a/c on that hot, muggy night, and the price is close to the same for a built-in gen. A gen is also the type of investment that comes back to you at resale. Besides, who wants to lug a generator on and off a boat or pour gasoline into a hot gen on a rocking boat?