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WhisperPower vs Onan

Discussion in 'Generators' started by etang789, May 7, 2020.

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  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Absolutely. That's why I'd recommend the better unit if his use were heavy, but why spend $10,000 if he's going to spend another $2,000 in a couple of years due to low use when he could spend $3,000 now and replace it with new in a few years for still half the price. I also agree about the quality of Chinese parts, but same reasoning. As for availability of service and parts, again I point to the fact that he's in Hong Kong. He may have more trouble (and will certainly pay a premium) for U.S. parts. I don't agree however about the resale valuation. For the buyer who plans to really use the boat he'd be just as happy to save a few bucks on the buy and throw in a new, quality gen when this one dies. A non-functioning gen would put off a buyer cause it indicates lack of maintenance, but I've never seen a deal fall through because a boat had an Onan (or some other brand) instead of a NL. although the better unit might help a sale. As for your last sentence, very possible or maybe he owns stock in the company and is promoting it, but my crystal ball broke down last week. So we'll just give him things to consider in his decision.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Again his market is Hong Kong not Ft. Lauderdale, and he's not fixing up for resale but to use. As for how noisy it is I refer you back to his OP: "The old Onan ... was very noisy and basically shakes up the whole boat." How much worse could this be?
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    NYCAP, He's doing a repower. The generator is very easy to replace at this point. Down the road, after the engines are installed. A LOT of labor.....$$$$.......and yes, I've told owners to not buy a boat or discount their offer for reasons like that......one idiot installed a really noisy fisher panda in some sportfish once.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Again remember where he is, and also think about what effect the trade wars are having and may have on American products there. Would I want a brand gen I've never heard of here? Hell no! But we're here not there. Also, if it gets too light use it may be getting changed out again in 5 or 10 years no matter what he gets.
  5. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I'd venture that most buyers don't look to purchase a project. I'm a rarity in that field. But the very fact stands, as you also admit while denying, that the owner's sale price will be impacted by the generator, and the potential buyer who "would be saving a few bucks" still has to decide whether he wants this project versus the vessel down the dock with a Northern Lights. I once owned a boat that I HAD TO REPOWER in order to sell. Small trawler with a no-name diesel single engine. No one wanted it. Pulled it out, dropped in a 3208, sold it the next month.

    Owner will take a hit on the sale. Buyer may walk away and choose an alternative over the knock-off trouble maker.
  6. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    Good point about location. I'm surprised at the difficulties the OP is having in just selecting a yard in the home of Cheoy Lee.
    The availability of spares for Northern lights could be an issue, as well. I had a relay for the starter stick on for a NL genset while in Canada. That incident burned up the starter. I learned that there is no parts distributor for NL in Canada. The starter had to come from Seattle and go through the Customs routine, so it took a week and a half to get a couple hundred miles into Canada. The chandler in the town we were in is/was a NL dealer.
    On another yacht, I tried to find another source of NL engine parts (20kw) outside of the dealer network. I know; too much time on my hands, then :) Researching the manufacturer of the engine on the NL 20kw genset, I found that the only other export use of that engine brand was garden tractors in Canada. The engine is made in Japan.
    Finding parts in foreign ports has always been an adventure, and usually surprisingly difficult. I never thought it would be impossible to find 4" reinforced hose in Panama.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Every buyer of a pre-owned yacht is buying a project whether it be changing furniture or electronics or a full-blown refit, and of course everything is a negotiating point. Would you be more inclined to buy a boat with a new, good running OUMA gen or an Onan that is "very noisy and basically shakes up the whole boat" (especially when you're where you can drive to the OUMA factory)? Of course it all affects price. Everything does. Would you prefer buying a boat with a 4 year old top of the line electronics package (and paying a premium for it) or pay nothing for a 10 year old package and put the latest package in yourself? It's all negotiating points. But btw, WHAT BUYER? Did I miss where the OP said he's refitting the boat for resale?
    This discussion reminds me of when I bought my first house. I paid extra because it was in "move in" condition. The first thing to happen was I had to replace the kitchen, then the bath, then........ My current home had good bones, but I didn't pay for the previous owner's tastes cause I knew what I was going to change to make it mine.
  8. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    You've got a penchant for arguing points with certain individuals. I see that, get that, and whatever. Point is that you're diligently enhancing my point as opposed to negating it as you seem to believe you are succeeding to do. The generator being made by Company X in China as opposed to Northern Lights or Westerbeke or Onan or whatever...that Company X generator while cheap and while it might hold up will be both a requirement of discount when the owner goes to sell, and it might be the reason why a potential buyer went down the dock and bought another boat in spite of an otherwise even comparison.

    Not everyone likes a project, and replacing a generator is a significant project for most people, most boats. For the rest of us, it's merely an eye roll and a discount when I buy, while it also encourages me to look more deeply because if this guy is willing to make that installation, where else did he cheap out and cut a corner?

    So argue on. This is moot as the guy has likely already placed his order.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    It's not your point nor mine that matters. It's not our boat nor our money. I just want the OP to make an informed decision....his decision.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    One of my customers has his 19th yacht on order. I picked him up because he bought a 4 year old yacht I was managing and he was buying because it was over a year wait for a new one. The boat had 13 survey items, half I knew about and the owner didn't want to fix. A few were very easy a few half and half........davit cylinder was rusty and it needed service.......One exhaust riser had a tiny pinhole leak that needed to be welded........the rest were minimal stuff. As part of his acceptance all items had to be repaired by the seller and surveyed by his surveyor in order to close, he didn't want money. I asked him why, he said "after having 17 yachts, I don't want to deal with finding, organizing, and babysitting people coming to my house to fix my new yacht." That's the trend now.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    But who's selling? The OP is simply trying to figure out what gen will serve his needs best, given his circumstances which we don't know. The circumstances we do know are that he wants a new gen, price is a consideration and he's in Hong Kong.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    And, how good is a generator that's a Chinese copy of a good generator for 1/3 the price going to be? Chances are it will blow up within 300 hours, be noisy as hell, and whatever else. The guy is repowering the entire boat, then going to skimp to save $6k on a generator. With this logic, why not just put a portable gas yamaha generator in the cockpit, THAT's even cheaper.
  13. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    So you're informing him how, exactly? Most posts here are pointing out the issues as to why to not do this. You aren't really providing anything pro or con. You're just arguing, and often doing so in contradiction to the beginnings of your rants.
  14. Bigsalmonfish

    Bigsalmonfish New Member

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    I need to add that the Gem enclosure we had needed some "field" adjustments for it to fit and work properly. NL took their enclosure build in house recently and it needs a little QC.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    When a deal is too good to be true...

    a few weeks ago the voltage regulator on my 15 kw Norpro started acting up after about 15 years of service. Wouldn’t maintain voltage regardless of adjustment. So I ordered a replacement which was a little too cheap and proudly marked Made in china...

    Should have known better. Woke up early this morning to a beep Coming from the electrical panel... sure enough the pos regulator had failed after about 30 hours of use and the Blue Sea meters where beeping on low voltage

    I still had an old original spare, the real deal from Marathon Electric... 10 minutes to swap, back in business and time for a good cup of coffee

    there is a reason chinese knock offs are cheap... never again and I think one has to be nuts to install a chinese generator on a boat.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    And yet you, who is totally bigoted against the Chinese, did.
  17. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    You are now a bigot if you think much of the manufactured goods from China is junk? Definition of bigot is to be intolerant of another based upon opinion or DNA (shorthand).
  18. f3504x4ps

    f3504x4ps Member

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    I agree with Capt J on his comment of Where else did they skimp. I see it all the time. Spend the money once and do it right or don't do it at all. Go cheap and your spending more money in the end, most of the time double what you would have spent doing it right in the first place. Material and Labor wise and the aggravation of not doing it right the first time.

    I would walk away from a boat that had cheap major items installed ( Where else did they skimp ) I don't want to find out 100miles out!!

    Your getting great advise here of why not to install the China made unit. Buy a used NL at least your dealing with quality to begin with. I'm sure the generator wire for the winding is low quality and not sized properly for a full constant load.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I guess you missed his other 400 posts denigrating the Chinese. The Chinese are delivering what the American market is demanding, cheap products. Those who want better products are free and able to buy them if they're willing to pay the price. and if demand switches to better quality and higher prices I'm sure the Chinese will change their business model.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Sometimes you're stuck with what you've got to work with and now Chinese parts. A perfect example is RULE float switches. The super switch was the gold standard, then they move production to Costa Rica around 15 years ago, in the first year of production they failed within 3-6 months. After that year they got better and then would last a year/two/three (nothing like the previous U.S. mercury based ones). NOW, they recently switched production to China......well guess what, the ON height is much lower, so if you mount the **** things in the factory location the old one was, the pump now sucks air and air locks, instead of water. So now everyone is shimming the switches with with nuts underneath the switch and longer screws or whatever to raise them. As you well know, many bilge pumps are located in areas where it's not easy to retrofit a different switch. AND, all of the float switches are garbage besides the Ultra safety systems cylinder type one, but that can't be used if the jerkoff builder (like San Lorenzo) switches the negative instead of the positive, or there just isn't room for it. Also now their 3700 GPH bilge pumps air lock, if you just look at them funny. I don't think ANYONE wants cheap quality bilge pumps and float switches, and why would a company skimp on the #1 item that keeps boats from sinking.

    As for people demanding it, the demand has and is shifting and people are realizing you get what you pay for in everything. Precisely why you see companies such as Craftsman building factories in the U.S. now, and many companies who still want to manufacture on the cheap moving production to other Asian countries such as Taiwan. Then there's the Saleen deal where the Chinese stole ALL of his $500 million in intellectual property and the entire company from him. The Chinese don't care about anyone else, but making the most profit, even if their goods (food items especially such as baby formula) kill people.