Tips on Buying a Marine Generator

Electrical Wen you buing an Generator

Boat Accessories - Electrical Products

People said that you never appreciate a good thing until its gone. This is especially true when your Generator fails and your saloon starts getting chilly while the temperature of the food in your refrigerator begins to climb. But fails to start!

How To Choosing a Generator for Your Boat

When you buing an Generator

The first question about Generator

The first question that arose on your journey towards electrical emancipation was: What size model do we need? According to many boaters - Lights, that is the first question boaters should ask in the genset- replacement process, and the one they most often get wrong.

A lot of people make a big mistake when going into a project by oversizing their generators.

If you want to find a replacement, a task that typically requires plenty of careful planning and preparation.

The problem with a regularly under-loaded generator is that a fixed-speed diesel engine, like a NL generator (, is deprived of a full-combustion cycle (meaning the fuel being dumped into the cylinders is not fully burned) causing excess soot, carbon.

They take the electrical demands of all their equipment onboard and then round
up to the next size. They're operating under the assumption that all your switches will be flipped on at all times, which isnt a realistic way to operate a boat. Youre never going to be running with your AQ oven, and washing machine on.

Misconception: Problems and Solutions

Wet stacking, buildup, wet stacking, or smoke, which severely reduces genset lifespan and may eventually cause a total shutdown.

So, what is the best way for you to determine the best generator for your vessel. You need to evaluate your load requirements.

Wet stacking, buildup, wet stacking, or smoke, which severely reduces genset lifespan and may eventually cause a total shutdown.

This is especially important on a modern boats that is having many of its marine electronics upgraded and systems replaced.

Keep in mind: If you plan to buying a new one, bigger Generator is not always better.

A common misconception boaters have is that because they're adding electronics and upgrading systems they're going to need a larger-model generator.

Keep in mind: Today's helm electronics are more energy efficient than their predecessors and that an upgraded vessel may mean lower power requirements, a smaller generator.

Replace the generator myself

If you're have worked on boat engines in the past, you may be thinking, "I could probably replace the generator myself and save a few bucks." its no way - You'd better think again!

You're generating electricity, which is feeding the lifeblood of your boat, like your marine electronics, communications systems, marine nav systems, your air conditioning, and these are sensitive marine electronics that people have grown to become dependent on.

When we're talking electricity so a unique skill set is needed.

Major Signs that You Might Need a new Generator

Keep in mind: A generator's lifespan is measured in hours of operation but it's the quality, not quantity, of those hours that really matters. A trawler marine generator with over 15,000 - 20,000 hours of running under constant, high load will usually outlast a generator with 800 hours of under-loaded operation at a marina.

If your generator falls into the latter category, you might want to consider a new model before heading off for an extended cruise.

If your generator is burning a lot of oil or if you find yourself needing to replace major parts, you might want to consider the value of a new unit.

If you're adding new marine electronics, so, more powerful air-conditioning unit, or a gyrostabilizer to your list of ancillaries, such electrical items require a sustained supply of power that your old generator may not be able to provide.

How to determining the perfect Unit

Main factors that goes into choosing the best

One of the biggest factor in determining the ideal Generator for your boat is the size or the air-conditioning unit it must supply. If you were to walk into booth at a trade show and say "I have a 32-foot boat, what size generator do I need? So, You need to talk about your air conditioning.

marine A/C, boat refrigeration & sanitation system from Marine Air Systems

A big yachts will have a different unit, with a larger compressor than small boats.

Another factor brings us to a major benefit of the modern generator: rubber mounts that reduce the vibration and noise of your system.

The next factor: After power consumption is calculated, the next factor that goes into choosing the best model Generator for your boat is the footprint of your previous generator unit.

Replacing a physically larger model with a smaller, more efficient one could cut down on installation time. To determine exactly how long it will take for a replacement, technicians need to physically crawl around your engine room, examine where your exhaust and water hookups are and sometimes get creative with the types of mounts employed.

13kw 1ph KOHLER Diesel Generator

Tips on Buying a Used/Old Generator

Warning signs!

At First ask the dealer or boat owner if he has spare parts aboard, if he doesn't that is a warning sign that the generator may not have been well maintained.

Ask for a log. Asking for maintenance data is like askingfor a "CARFAX". If the system was maintained and boat winterized properly there should be a record of that.

Inspect gaskets, rubber hoses, and belts. If any are split or cracked this is another warning sign the system wasn't properly cared for.

Where to Buy a Generator


Low CO Gas or Diesel, KOHLER Company offers modern and quiet Units designed to produce up to 180 kW at 60 Hz and 150 kW at 50 Hz.

These marine generators have received certifications from the major maritime associations include: Bureau Vertias, Lloyd's American Bureau of Shipping, and Det Norske Veritas.

Northern Lights Generators

Northern Lights logo

One of the major benefit of having a company like Northern Lights Generators - NL have more than 300 dealers worldwide, tackle our installation is the warranty they offer. On new models, they cover everything for the first year, parts and accessories for year two, and then major components for the following 3 years.


Cummins-Onans Company

Quiet Diesel Series Marine Generators ranges from 4.5 to 99 kW in 50- and 60-hertz Generators. The Diesel Series generators are the first boat engineunits with network communication and self-monitoring capability. All these models also meet E.P.A. Tier 2 Emissions standards and have low noise output and low vibration.

Cummins Power Systems, LLC - (distributor of Cummins products)