Running the generator all night

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 270win, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    I just bought an 01 280 Sundancer with a 5kw Kohler. We also have a motorhome that has a diesel 15kw Onan generator. We run the generator in our Bus when we aren't plugged into 50amp power. On the road, parked sleeping in a rest stop or truck stop etc.

    I was assuming the generator in our boat was designed to use the same way. However, our mechanic said NEVER to run the generator overnight while sleeping. I was thinking that, just like the motorhome, if we kept newer CO sensors (I was planning to have 2 in the cabin and 1 in the cockpit) that we would be safe. Is my mechanic being overly cautious or is this something that I just didn't know.
     
  2. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    I think boaters in general are more cautious. Lots of folks run them all day/night without issue as long as you follow precautions like you mentioned. Only ONE anchor, so the boat can swing in the wind and your bow is always into the wind. That helps carry the exhaust away. Tested and working CO detectors in all quarters.

    I never ran my Kohler overnight because it was loud and we’re in the northeast where AC at night isn’t really necessary. I was confident in the generator and it’s exhaust being solid, and I had 3 new CO detectors, so if I needed to I wouldn’t have hesitated to run it overnight
     
  3. Xplicitlnck

    Xplicitlnck Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Long island ny
    330ec
    Twin 7.4 straight drive
    Not saying that is the safest thing to do because in all actuality its not. But I spent about of time on the hook over the years . Tired up to many other boats with stern anchors out, solo on my single hook or at docks with no power . If I was single hooked I ran it no n matter what. As stated wind turns you and blows exhaust away. If I was in a group with stern anchors out I would always put myself at the far starboard side of the raft up.(my exhaust was on my star side) and as long a the wind wasn't blowing at my stern I ran it. At a dock with no power I made sure there were no boats to my star side a minimum of 2 slips away. And again no wind at my stern. I have never once had any co alarms go off and I had 4 bathroom cabin frwd bert and cockpit. My biggest fear was fire even pre accident. Fiberglass burns very fast but I kept up on my maintenence and made sure it was running good.
     
  4. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    C3B49088-512B-4AB9-94F5-014A419D1003_sRGB.JPG We ran our genny at night for two or three hours on the hook while watching movies. Our CO alarm has gone off on ocassion when it is very still, hot and humid. It has also gone off during a thunderstorm when the boat was swinging all over the place due to high winds. So.....no, we never would think of running it and going to bed.
     
  5. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    Good replies folks. We would always single anchor. With further consideration, maybe 2 in the cabin, one at the V berth and one by the aft berth. One in the cockpit and one in the bilge. I also would ensure the P traps in all sinks have water in them...I read a story once about CO getting into a boat with a dry P trap...resulted in 2 deaths.

    Also, we do try to anchor where we will get a breeze through the hatches. Usually we could run the gen to cool everything down and then sleep with it off and be very comfortable. But we do get some nights in Georgia when it's super hot and VERY humid whick would make overnighting without AC miserable. Of course we could just sleep in the slip on shore power. No danger there.

    I guess I was just excited about sleeping in some secluded cove with AC going and being very comfortable. The noise wouldn't bother us as we all sleep with white noise apps.
     
  6. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    the systems are designed to run safely and with added safety equipment and some understanding of CO you can enjoy it.

    I’d run it during a time where you’ll be awake for 1-2 hours so you can monitor the levels before going to bed. One of the detectors that has a ppm display is nice to have around.
     
    270win likes this.
  7. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    We have that kind of ppm monitor on all three floors on our home. Is there a marine version that does that as well? The CO monitor by the V berth is hard wired. The others would be battery operated. The ones in our home are mounted in wall outlets. But we could use those in the boat if there isn't a marine only reason not to.
     
  8. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    Also, we were planning to run the gen in the heat or cold when we aren't plugged in to shore power just like the motorhome. We're all about glamping and figured we'd do the same in the boat.
     
  9. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    2808670-R1-015-6.jpg
    Boat design plays a role in safety as well. The fresh air intake for our A/C is on the opposite side of the the discharge vent. The exhaust for our genny is on the A/C discharge side of the boat so less chance of exhaust being drawn into the salon. Not sure if this was intentional although I suspect it was.
     
    270win likes this.
  10. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    Catawaba Island,Oh.
    2000 310 sundancer 5.7
    optional electronic package






















    n/a
    twin 5.7 300 Hp.
    My question is why would you feel more safe during the day or at night if in both situations you are relying on the CO monitor alarm to tell you that there is a problem. You always hear about deaths but I've never heard about one happening with functional CO monitors in place. In this day and age of relying on electronics this is no different. Your generator and supporting safety equipment needs to be maintained plain and simple before during and after the season.
     
  11. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Anacortes Washington
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 Charts Timezero radar Furuno
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Our 8KW generator uses 1 GPH. It has never given us any problems but we can not afford 24 gallon of fuel a day for 90 days just to be cool or warm. We run it 1 to 4 hours a day depending on temperature and the need to charge batteries.
     
  12. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2003 420DA, 6CTAs
    NA
    When we first started looking a cruisers, we initially looked at 240DAs. The nights here in North GA can be brutally hot and humid in the summer. After that discussion, we decided on a 260DA as we could have a generator. Along with the 2-built in ones, we added a battery operated one that had a digital readout. After dinner on the hook, we would retire to the cabin for a shower and the AC. It ran all night, every night with never an issue. From there, we went to the 44DB with a diesel gen. The only time my CO detectors have ever gone off was when we were tied up next to a gas boat with his gen discharge next to our boat. Now with we also have diesels in the 420DA and this is one reason why.....

    As is stated above, maintain your safety equipment, be smart, and enjoy your AC in the summertime.

    Bennett
     
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  13. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    Our gen exhaust is also on the same side as the AC discharge.
     
  14. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    I spare no expense on maintenance and agree. All the cases I see where someone died from CO involved inoperative or non-existent detectors.
     
  15. Cocktail Time

    Cocktail Time Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    947
    Jul 9, 2007
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1998 400 Sundancer, Garmin 840xs GPS, Furuno RDP-110, B&G GPS pilot etc.
    Cat 3116's, Westerbeke 7.6kw
    I'm on Lanier here in Atlanta. We run our generator from the time it leaves the dock till we get back 24/7 unless it is a rare day that we don't need ac, heat or tv's running. That was with our 270 and 300 gas boats and our 400 diesel. If you need another mechanics number, I'm happy to recommend a couple that are also boaters.
     
  16. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    Totally understand. Fuel cost isn't
    I get your point, but you don't live down here. I'd have zero issue paying for that much fuel daily for AC here. I think ours burns .75/hour.
     
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  17. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
    Thanks for the feedback! I like the mechanic, he seems to have the best intentions with his advice and he does really good work. I seem to recall seeing most boats with generators on our lake running them all the time.
     
    Cocktail Time likes this.
  18. Cocktail Time

    Cocktail Time Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    947
    Jul 9, 2007
    Lake Lanier, GA
    1998 400 Sundancer, Garmin 840xs GPS, Furuno RDP-110, B&G GPS pilot etc.
    Cat 3116's, Westerbeke 7.6kw
    Great, having one that shows up and does good work are rare these days! If I can help with anything don't hesitate to ask. We are at Holiday Marina, love the 280's, hope you enjoy her.
     
  19. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    We had a 340 gasser and ran generator at night, during the day, whenever needed. NC is humid in the summer and the nights are cold during the winter. Currently we have diesel and no change in procedures. 1)anchor and swing with wind/current. If current is going to be stronger than wind, run the blowers all night. 2) CO detectors with new batteries.
    You read of boats blowing up at dock, but rarely do you hear about the person running the generator at night having issues. If your boat is well maintained you are good to go.
     
  20. 270win

    270win Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    996
    Jul 12, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    2001 Sea Ray 280 Dancer
    6.2 MerCruiser Bravo III
     

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