Jul , 2014
by Bell and Orders
The Definitive Guide to Buying a Marine Generator
Are you a boat lover? Personally, I love the ocean and the sense of excitement and adventure it brings. There is nothing more enthralling than taking my boat out into the Caribbean waters for some recreational fishing. However, I know that going out into the ocean can be very dangerous, and it is essential that you have top notch equipment on board to ensure your journey is safe and successful.
In particular, one of the most important components of a boat is the marine generator. This makes everything on board functional: minor electronics, air conditioners, refrigerators, hydraulic systems, communication systems etc.
In this article, we will look at some of the important factors and features to look for in a marine generator before buying.
The first factor is the size of the marine generator. This needs to be in line with the size of your boat, whether it is a luxury yacht, tug boat or small fishing vessel. If you purchase a generator that is too small for your boat’s needs then it can cause electrical problems, wear out easily and generally be a pain in your rear. However, this doesn’t mean you should buy a huge generator since this can be equally damaging as well.
Instead, make sure that the generator is sized so that it runs between a 35 and 75% load which is optimal. In order to estimate your load, you will need to have your generator dealer analyse your boat’s requirements to determine which size generator is best for your boat’s specific needs.
Another feature to consider is whether to purchase an AC or DC generator. Thankfully, this is an easy choice since most boats nowadays use AC current. However, if you have an older boat, then you might have to purchase a DC generator. Unfortunately, DC generators have become difficult to find and are quite expensive to maintain.
One pressing question many boat owners have is whether to even buy a generator at all. There is the option of using an inverter instead of a generator. However, this only applies in certain conditions if the boat has a relatively small power requirement i.e. between 1,000 and 3500 watts. However, if you have a boat with more power demands and an electric motor, then you will definitely need to buy a marine generator and in some cases, both a generator and inverter.
Next, you will have to consider the fuel that the engine of your boat uses. Why does this matter when choosing a generator? Well, there are both gas and diesel generators available and you should always purchase a generator that uses the same fuel as your boat’s engine. However, always remember to look for generators that are spark free, as you certainly don’t want any explosions occurring when you’re out at sea!
Keeping your generator cool is another major factor that has to be closely considered. The main options you will have are generators that are cooled via sea water, keel cooled or use a heat exchanger system. Similar to my point above, your generator should also use the same cooling system that the engine of your boat uses which makes it quite easy to determine which cooling system to use.
Another major factor is the marine generator’s engine. This is the heart of your generator and it is best to choose a generator that has an engine that is easy to repair, install and service. Also, the power generated will either be single or three phase. Small generators usually have single phase. However, these are surprisingly much more expensive than three phase engines. The three phase powered engines are cheaper and well suited for running and motor starting which makes it the preferred choice.
As you can see, there are numerous factors that need to be considered when purchasing a marine generator that takes time, effort and specialist knowledge. However, you don’t have to learn all of this on your own as marine generator providers such as Bell & Orders at http://www.bellandorders.com.au/ have qualified experts to help you choose the best generator for your needs. Bell & Orders also offers repair and servicing, so be sure to check them out today!