Electricity on board from Coen van Wyk on 29 Oct '21

Hi Janice, good to hear abou your system. I will try to copy yours as bets I can, although I am not, of course, living on board. At least, not yet. I would suggest you do look at that alternator in the Kubota. It should do away with the need for a gas generator, although as you point out redundancy is a good thing. Can you have someone look at your alternator mounting again? I fitted a 65 amp alternator on my Jeep with just one bolt, but you should be able to get an alternator with two mounting holes. Fair winds!

Power! from Pam on 29 Oct '21

When all is said and done, you pieced together an impressive energy generating and storage system for SeaWeed. All it took was a dream, the patience of Job, the persistence to keep at it over the years, with a little help from friends every so often. 😎👍

Cap'n Coen from Janice aboard Seaweed on 31 Oct '21

Your idea makes sense. Indeed I did have a 55amp alternator installed when first commissioning the Kubota. Alas, the bottom pivot point bolt was NOT installed, because there was no place on the 18hp engine for it to be bolted to the engine. The original one was small, about the size of an apple. I've gone back to the 15amp one.

Frankly though Cap'n, the 55 did do okay for all that time though I suspect that it would have been pulling off-kilter after a time, especially with the vibration that happens when an engine is underway. The "breaking point" was going from 55 to 100 amps. That is what caused the main bolt to break.

Mine is odd, if memory serves me. The current one puts out dc power, and it seems to work well. The thing I like is that the engine does not bog down. With the 100amp, she bogged. I had to shut down the alternator power when underway or the Kubota would stall. Even the 55 took a bit of the horsepower away.

Raising the size (output) of the alternator for an 18hp engine was not one of my smarter moves. I bought into the "bigger" yet "same size frame" would work, even on a small 3-cylinder engine like mine it doesn't. This started due to me wanting the 55amp installed initially. I was sure that was a good idea, and mounting was not great. This comes down to me. You get what you inspect, not what you expect...

Anyway, thanks Cap'n for your comments. They are appreciated. Do consider a multi-faceted solution for power generation. I'm certain Calder has a lot to say about how it all integrates. Folks with larger vessels and more space in the bilge have options to automate some portions. For instance, a friend has his generator programmed to come on and recharge the batteries when the voltage gets down to a certain level. The owner is way smart when it comes to power.

I'll look again re the larger alternator... perhaps there is a way to safely mount something larger. I'm not sure I want something bigger. At this point I'm exploring a larger portable generator, specifically the 2200EUi by Honda, IF I can figure out a way to start it. There has to be a way to install an electric start. I saw one company that offered that, however their pages have been deleted so I'm not certain what is wrong with that particular system. Right now I'm debating about purchasing the 2200 Honda. I'm leaning towards "yes" and soon, as I believe prices will be going up. However I'm not certain what I'll do. Advice?

Happy Halloween Pam! from Janice aboard Seaweed on 31 Oct '21

Thanks Pam. It has been a journey... I'm nearing self-sufficiency. And enjoying it. And thank you again for the perfect card. I'll confess that I didn't get out Halloween out, except I did buy a cut-out of a haunted house from Dollar Tree. And then, didn't decorate or paint it. I did hang it from the back door today. Tomorrow I'll tuck it under my bunk for next year.

I have yet to begin making any Christmas ornaments. Heck, I haven't even decided what ornaments I'm going to make. Argh. That's on my list too.

In any event, thank you again for the comments, and my favorite and only Halloween card. That was so thoughtful. J.

BTW from Pam on 31 Oct '21

Received your Halloween card this week. It was lovely and a nice surprise! Thanks! 😊

Power - Edition 6 from Sid on 3 Nov '21

I must be asleep at the switch - two of your readers got in comments before me. Must not let that happen too often. So, First I love reading your articles because they just make me happy. You have such a positive, grateful outlook on life that I am always smiling when I read what you have to say. Second, you did just a fabulous job explaining how to go from NO power systems to having more than enough power to create a great lifestyle for you...and for us. And you did it all on a budget and you took your time doing it. Patience!!! Great article. Love your stuff! Keep writing. We love it.

Thanks Cap'n Sid. from Janice aboard Seaweed on 3 Nov '21

Your note made me smile Sir. Thank you. Over the past few days I've been swapping netbooks. The one I was using no longer ho,ds a charge. Specifically the charging port appears finicky. Fortunately I have another, this time a WINX which has its own difficulties. But it's working so that's good.

Anyway Cap'n I do thank you for your compliment, and comment. I love comments! J.

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