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need a generator

The marina I am at has had its electric cut off and is unlikely to be reinstated. I will need a generator but don't know was size/output/fuel etc. I will need for my narrowboat. I have a 1800w Sterling inverter and a battery charger. Any advice would be appreciated. I am unable to move as mooring is pre-paid and I doubt if I would get my money back (winters coming).

Asked by: Paul Jones  | 11.05am, Sunday 16 September


WW says:

I presume that you are living aboard your boat; otherwise a solar panel might be a better investment to keep the batteries in tip top condition.
The size of generator required is dependent on the size of the biggest appliance; if you want to run a washing machine 3kw will be needed, but if it is just to charge the batteries whilst watching television, a smaller unit of around 1kw will suffice.
If your boat is self sufficient regarding the electrical demands, it might be worth considering the Supercharger which has a small petrol engine driving an alternator which was featured in the August issue. This will charge the batteries directly and quicker than a 230V generator with a battery charger, any mains required can be provided by the inverter.
With any generator on a boat it is important to consider safe use and storage of petrol. The generator should ideally be used on the bank so that fumes do not enter the cabin. When not in use it must be stored (with spare petrol) in the open away from openings into the cabin, or in a vented locker (the BSS storage requirements for petrol are the same as for gas).

Rupert Smedley  | 12.47PM, Sunday 16 September

In the £700-£800 range, you are probably looking at second-hand generators- Ebay is a good place to look for these.
However, a search online does reveal open-frame (so not really quiet) new diesel generators in the £1200 or so range- so there may be cheaper elsewhere. Sorry that I can't be more help there.

Mark Langley  | 2.10PM, Friday 21 September


Readers say:

Thanks, a great help. One question, can you buy a 3KW diesel generator at a reasonable price £700-800? that would be suitable.

Paul Jones  | 1.04PM, Monday 17 September

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