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i am about to purchase a 55ft narrow boat and my mooring does not have a hook up i plan to live a board what is the best silent generator to use
would be grateful for any advise.

Asked by: tracie white  | 2.39pm, Saturday 20 October

WW says:

The buzzing of a portable petrol generator is annoying after a short period of time- not least for neighbours! They are also quite expensive to run and need to be stored ashore, or in a locker constructed to the same standards as a gas locker- as must be spare petrol.
Portable open frame diesel generators are reliable, more much noisier that the contained, Honda-style briefcase sized enclosed petrol generators.
An inbuilt diesel generator, in its own sound insulated enclosure, then inside an engine room can be made very quiet- however, at a cost! Models by Fischer Panda, Vetus and others are well-made. Sets that run at 1500RPM are much quieter than the cheaper 3000RPM ones- and the engines in the slower-revving types are more long-lasting.
If you have a built-in generator, most are water cooled (and the alternator is water cooled as well, to prolong its lifetime). If you have a spare keel tank, then it can be keel-cooled, with a dry exhaust- however, adding a second tank to a boat can be expensive.
A better option is to use a fresh-water cooled engine, where antifreeze solution circulates round the engine, then raw water from the canal is drawn through a filter, cools the engine via a heat exchanger, and then is injected into the exhaust to cool and silence it. To prevent the gurgling of water from the exhaust, a gas-water separator can be fitted, which allows the water from the exhuast to exit (at or under the waterline) and the cooled gases to exit via a hull-side exhuast. These can be made almost inaudible, though care needs to be taken in providing a good filter for water supply.
A cheaper alternative is an air-cooled diesel generator, which, if you have a cruiser-style back deck, could be arranged to be partly hidden in a sound-insulated box, but care would be needed. #
#Depending on your mooring, you might be able to fit the generator ashore...
An alternative might be to fit a 3.5 or 7 kVA 230V alternator (like a Dometic Travelpower unit)to your engine in addition (or to replace) one of the current alternators, depending on the engine fitted.
If you let us know what you will be using the generator for, we might be able to give you more specific advice.

Mark Langley  | 7.39PM, Saturday 20 October

Readers say:

HI thank you for your reply I would be using the generator for washing machine hot water tv ect I have also heard of diesel silent generators ???

tracie white  | 9.44AM, Sunday 21 October

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