Generator Installation Project
The installation of the generator has been in the planning stages for over ten years. As with most boat projects, you can not just install the generator. They need to have fuel to run, water to cool the engine, exhaust, and a way to get the exhaust out of the boat. And, oh by the way, the whole point of a generator is to have 110 VAC away from the dock, so there must be a way to get the electricity from the unit to the electrical panel. The unit I chose (because I was able to get the generator at an incredible price, thanks to my good friend Dale) was a Northern Lights 5KW unit. This unit offers the best compromise between size and power generation. Number one, it fit in the space available, and, number two, it powered everything that I needed it to, although not all at the same time.
I decided to put the generator in the aft portion of the engine room. In this position, the generator is mounted athwart ship. This means that the front of the generator is facing the starboard side of the boat, and the back of the generator is facing the port side of the boat. I also decided that the generator needed to be able to slide in and out of the engine room. Without being able to move the generator in and out, servicing the unit would have been very difficult, and it would have been impossible to work on the main engine transmission and the prop shaft stuffing box.
The mount for the generator is made of stainless steel, and is made in two parts and bolted together once it is installed inside the engine room. This is due to space considerations. The engine room has two large frames running fore and aft on which the main engine motor mounts are bolted. I was able to use these frames to bolt the bottom portion of the generator mount. The top portion of the mount was lined with a plastic material so that the generator pan would slide out to the port or starboard side of the engine room. As part of the generator lubrication system, I installed a second AMSOIL by-pass filtration system. It is the same model as used on the main engine, so I can carry the same lubrication spares for both engines on the boat.
The following pictures show the installation of the generator mount in the engine room, and the installation of the seacock and strainer for the generator cooling water.
The following group of pictures show the installed generator from various angles and views. I am happy to report that the installation went very well, although it was time consuming, and that the generator supplies the electricity for which we had hoped!!
I decided to move the Generator Controls from the cockpit to down below. It seemed like a lot of the times when I wanted to run the generator it was raining or some other kind of bad weather. I was able to find a complete Northern Lights Control Panel on Ebay for less than half the price, so I bought it. We decided to install the Control Panel in the aft cabin above the vanity and below the mirror. It was pretty much out of the way, and there was easy access to the wiring for the run to the generator. The installation turned out pretty well. Since I had used the same instruments as the main engine for the generator instruments in the cockpit, I now had a complete set of spares for the main engine instruments.
I noticed that there were no pictures of the orginal generator controls and instruments in the cockpit, I have included those pictures, plus the pictures of the new Control Panel Installation.