next gen UCM1-3.5 marine generator

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
If it doesn't work and you don't plan on making it work, you really should pull it anyway. I personally hate having stuff that doesn't work and is never going to work about the place (so don't look in my workshop as I'm disposing of stuff in this category...)

If the generator head part works, might be able to sell it else sell the whole thing as-is for spares.

FKT
I will definitely remove it. But probably I will wait until I have the boat closer to home.
 

2airishuman

The Loyal Opposition
1,000
466
Minneapolis area
User a64pilot, at Cruiser's Forum, had one of these and posted extensively about it. He disappeared 2-3 years ago but you can look there for his old threads. He had an Island Packet and was cruising Florida and the Caribbean when he got beamed up.

The main complaints are on the raw water pump. It is not uncommon to replace it with a 120v AC wet-rotor pump powered by the generator head, though this is not universally held to be a great idea.

Otherwise, as I posted in the other thread, they're reasonably well regarded as smaller, lighter, cheaper alternative to Northern Lights and their ilk, without being the sort of Chinese throw-away typified by the F-P.

Generators aren't fun. I've had a bunch on land and have watched off-grid friends and people in the RV community with them. They're all about cost, fuel, maintenance, and hassle. My sense regarding the Next-gen is that the Kubota is OK, the Next-gen specific parts are reasonably available, and built quality and design quality are, I guess, above average. I've heard of people replacing the generator head but I suspect that's just shotgunning a problem where they couldn't find local troubleshooting expertise. That happens with the $20k machines too.

If you know you're going to put more than 5,000 hours on it before you sell the boat it might not be the right machine for you, but in today's world with solar and LiFePO4 batteries that's fewer and fewer boats.

My late father bought a Winco pad-mount generator for his remote rural house in the 1990s after a bad storm and during the Y2K era. It never worked quite right and about 10 years ago was working, well, less right. The local small engine guys couldn't figure it out and I was called upon to Do Something, as will happen to the mechnically inclined son from time to time. The thing had a two-cylinder gas engine that had been adapted to propane, and there was an ignition coil on the magneto for each cylinder, and they were different because the polarity had to be reversed between them due to the way they were mounted. The factory had put two identical coils on so one cylinder had never fired reliably. 3 hours of troubleshooting and $96 plus freight or whatever later it worked OK and it ended up running for 4 days straight when a tornado came and took out the local electric utility's substation a few years later. In smaller kw ratings I think this is typical of the build quality you get from any maker.

Based on my experience, and after reviewing all the available products I am in a place where I am willing to make quite a number of compromises to avoid having a generator aboard.
 
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El Borracho

Verified User
6,827
2,788
Pacific Rim
Stainless exhaust elbow. Heh. Famously poor idea.

Doesn’t a 1 cylinder diesel shake and vibrate something fierce?

For the price one might consider simply using the auxiliary engine — wear it out and replace sooner. Simpler, lighter, smaller, quieter, smoother.

It is truly regrettable that our auxiliary engines don’t have a better way to connect a PTO generator. A flywheel generator would be slick. Or simply a PTO shaft from the transmission.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,090
1,465
worldwide
I am exploring options. I hear what you are saying. If I were to install a small generator, I would first remove the defunct fischer panda and install the new generator in the location of the old one. Of course if I shitcan the FP then I can reclaim space and use it for some of the huge pile. The boat is 47 feet long and while not spacious for a 47 footer, it does have some room to store stuff.
Yup …that size boat

as for mandatory stuff that takes up space

4 of these…two for fuel, two for water

this style , called stackable , is best …no goofy spouts or vents to break , get lost

i am constantly adding diesel …via, dingy and a taxi ride

As for the dingy ..gasoline is another problem …these cans that can mount on the stern pulpit are very handy …

1BA3D5CA-317E-448E-A248-367557724616.png


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mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
Stainless exhaust elbow. Heh. Famously poor idea.

Doesn’t a 1 cylinder diesel shake and vibrate something fierce?
Probably. It is on rubber mounts. Don't know how big a problem that would be.
For the price one might consider simply using the auxiliary engine — wear it out and replace sooner. Simpler, lighter, smaller, quieter, smoother.
I mean, that was kind of what my other thread was about. Powering a generator from an auxiliary. But I think most people seemed to suggest that if I wanted power from the auxiliary I should take it off by way of a high output DC alternator, as you say below.
It is truly regrettable that our auxiliary engines don’t have a better way to connect a PTO generator. A flywheel generator would be slick. Or simply a PTO shaft from the transmission.
Some youtuber stuck magnets to his flywheel (on a lister clone or something like that). He wasn't trying to get any substantial power from it. But he lit up a few light-bulbs or something. It would be nice if the marine transmissions had PTO. Like tractors.
 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,382
3,472
Tasmania, Australia
A stainless exhaust elbow can work well and last a long time, but it's got to be decent wall thickness. Sched 40 or Sched 80 pipe, not 1.6mm flimsy tube.

I've got them on the water cooled part aft of the water lift muffler. 250 hours on the engine, I recently inspected all of them, flawless inside. No standing water in that section ever, though.

Agree about the PTO. Some time we discussed doing that with a sail drive, I think the idea is feasible but without a sacrificial sail drive to play with, maybe it isn't.

My friend with the generator head off his auxiliary has a short PTO shaft off of the front of the engine, end supported by a decent bearing pack so as to keep side load off the engine. Then there's a parallel layshaft with the magnetic clutch on it going to the generator head. It's been working for nearly 2 decades and he's on his second engine, swapped the first one out in Chile quite a while back. He only runs the generator when not powering the boat as the engine has to run at ~1900 rpm to spin the generator head at the correct rpm.

We were discussing this yesterday over a drink in fact. As he's just fitted a lithium battery pack he's not sure how much use the generator will get going forward.

FKT
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,986
1,282
San Diego
I installed a small genset like this a long while back, can't remember the name, but large company (for the marine 'industry'). I double mounted (two levels of engine mounts) the unit & it was great. No sound cover, so a bit noisy. Diesel engine, large alternator one side, high pressure pump for watermaker other side.
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,134
6,323
Canada

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
I would have thought that for US$ 135k you would get something better than this. It seems like the person who did the wiring had not much professional experience wiring boats. Also, the raw plywood edges are not very nice. They should have trimmed over the edges or round-over routed them or something. I am not very impressed. It looks like the kind of wiring job I might do myself, except I would have at least zip-tied the loose cable, and I would not attach 4 lugs to one stud like that. I think that is unacceptable, actually.
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mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
You might be interested in this too. 48V alternator / lots of Li batteries / $135K with installation = battery AC at anchor. I think the owner may have paid a premium for the install :)

The article is definitely of interest. But that system is most definitely not for me! And of course I can't afford it anyway. That in the ballpark of what I paid for the boat.
 

purvisgs

New member
12
8
It's getting to be less common (if it's possible at all using a commercial product) but overall on a genset I'd still rather see 1800rpm than 2800. google couldn't track down the kubota engine model # readily but I'd be surprised if it isn't EA300 , EA330, possibly EL300xx . There are surely plenty of other brands of gensets that use the 1/2cyl horizontal kubotas, and if price is #1 consideration there is always the used/surplus option. I've had good luck with a previous generation of these horizontal engines in 2cyl, like the zb400 zb500 & zb600. They were the lightest/smallest 2cyl option at that time, but there are some tradeoffs.

the smallest super mini , z482 ( I think?) , 2cyl, is probably a better choice overall-quieter, perhaps better track record, if you can make it fit. Still very light.
 
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mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
It's getting to be less common but overall on a genset I'd still rather see 1800rpm than 2800, if at all possible. google couldn't track down the kubota engine model # readily but I'd be surprised if it isn't EA300 , EAxxx , or the newer EA330, possibly ELxxx . There are surely plenty of other brands of gensets that use the 1/2cyl horizontal kubotas, and if price is #1 consideration there is always the used/surplus option. I've had good luck with a previous generation of these engines in 2cyl, like the zb400 zb500 zb600. They were the lightest/smallest 2cyl option at that time.
I think you are right. I think it is the EA300. I can understand why you might favor 1800 RPM. But any diesel motor that can put out 7 HP at 1800 RPM will be heavier than the EA300. Any diesel motor that can't put out 7 HP at 1800 RPM will have to spin faster to supply enough power for the generator. All else being equal. Any motor that puts out X HP at 2800 RPM will put out substantially less than X HP at 1800 RPM (unless it is some very unusual or antique motor). The whole point of the product is to use a belt instead of direct coupling and thus run at a compromise speed of 2800 RPM for a little bit less noise. Also, I think 2800 RPM is close to max efficiency for the EA300 (in terms of HP per fuel burned).
 

mckenzie.keith

Aspiring Anarchist
851
284
Santa Cruz
You know another option would be to put in a Beta 14 and run the generator head off of it. You could select pulley ratios such that the Beta 14 runs at 2300 RPM when the generator is at 3600 RPM. The beta can put out 7 HP at that speed and it is close to the maximum efficiency point for fuel burn. Mind you, I have no intention of actually doing this. It is just a way of doing something very similar to what the UCM1-3.5 does. Probably would not come out any cheaper by the time you are done.

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Bryanjb

Super Anarchist
4,462
266
Various
The purchase of a generator is driven by intended usage. For us the use is 1) water maker 2) power generation when passaging 3) topping up the batteries when solar doesn't 4) hot water 5) air conditioner.
The biggie is making water. Not having to worry about docking to take on water or huffing Jerry jugs is huge.
Running the generator on passage twice a day to keep the batteries full is great. We also make water and run the water heater at the same time, which keeps the crew happy.
Very occasionally we run the air conditioner at anchor. When we arrived in Chagaramas at the end of July it was 95 degrees, pouring rain and no breeze. We ran the air conditioner during the day to keep the boat cool.
Generators are expensive but do have a place.
 

Veeger

Super Anarchist
I just put an 1800 rpm Northern Lights genset on my new boat. I find that instead of enduring the high pitch whine of a loud 3600 rpm genset, the quiet rumble in the background is not a problem. In fact, I shut it down when charging is pretty well done instead of because I can no longer endure the noise. Of course, such units are heavy and expensive but since I wasn't on a multihull anymore, the weight factor became essentially non existent and because the boat is big enough to handle it. I did also sacrifice stone stowage and access to a degree. The dollar factor, well, it exists in theory but I'd say the price for hot water and topped off batteries makes all the difference in comfort for the Admiral and for myself.
 

accnick

Super Anarchist
3,514
2,509
I just put an 1800 rpm Northern Lights genset on my new boat. I find that instead of enduring the high pitch whine of a loud 3600 rpm genset, the quiet rumble in the background is not a problem. In fact, I shut it down when charging is pretty well done instead of because I can no longer endure the noise. Of course, such units are heavy and expensive but since I wasn't on a multihull anymore, the weight factor became essentially non existent and because the boat is big enough to handle it. I did also sacrifice stone stowage and access to a degree. The dollar factor, well, it exists in theory but I'd say the price for hot water and topped off batteries makes all the difference in comfort for the Admiral and for myself.
When I worked for a powerboat designer, the generators we specified were always Northern Lights. Unfortunately, their smallest model is still larger and heavier that the Nextgen which came with my boat.

If I had the room, the call would be a no-brainer. But I don't.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,090
1,465
worldwide
I just put an 1800 rpm Northern Lights genset on my new boat. I find that instead of enduring the high pitch whine of a loud 3600 rpm genset, the quiet rumble in the background is not a problem. In fact, I shut it down when charging is pretty well done instead of because I can no longer endure the noise. Of course, such units are heavy and expensive but since I wasn't on a multihull anymore, the weight factor became essentially non existent and because the boat is big enough to handle it. I did also sacrifice stone stowage and access to a degree. The dollar factor, well, it exists in theory but I'd say the price for hot water and topped off batteries makes all the difference in comfort for the Admiral and for myself.
Yah

I replaced a super reliable onan…28,000 hrs… with a northern lights and I was disappointed

sound enclosure, oil fill, noise…..
 




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