Hello!

Welcome to our mid-life crisis! These are the chronicles of Laura and Patrick, their young son Jack, and their goofball Labrador Retriever named Evinrude (Rudy), as they travelled the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico in their catamaran. We went cruising in search of a change of pace, a closer knit family, and peace of mind. We found all three and more. The fun all started in October, 2008 and nearly four years later the Mexican adventure came to an end August 3rd, 2012. With our mid-life crisis cured in Mexico, we are excited to start a new adventure - life back in America.

Patrick has since joined the Sales Team of Marine Servicenter as a boat broker. Whether you are looking to make your dream of sailing away come true, or ready to sell your boat he can help. He can be reached at http://marinesc.com/about/crew/patrick-harrigan

Candeleros Chico

Candeleros Chico
Just another beautiful day at anchor on the Baja. 2010

Dolphins at play in the bow wake 2011

Dolphins at play in the bow wake  2011

Friday, March 16, 2012

In Heartfelt Appreciation of my Honda Generator

Every cruiser has their own list of "Must-Have" items that they are happy to share with all the people out there who are researching and planning their own adventures. Generally, I think people's lists should stop with the word "Boat". After that, it is just too dependent on where they are cruising, what they like to do, how long they will stay off a dock and how much money they have.

I've met cruisers in Mexico perfectly happy and loving life without a watermaker, an SSB, a dinghy motor, a refrigerator, or a freezer - all items I have on my "Must Have" List. They aren't missing them, but I sure would. Of course I am traveling without a Kindle, washing machine, air-conditioning, a boat-wide inverter, or a built in genset - all items that others have on their "Must Have" List.

With that said, I will now tell you about something that you should consider having - a Honda generator. It has changed our cruising life in many positive ways. In the beginning, we never even considered having a generator, and our boat did not have a genset. It started to be a problem as we spent longer and longer off the dock. We would find a great anchorage, be loving life, and then be forced to leave since our batteries were very low and we needed to charge them - which meant that we had to fire up the engines and move to another anchorage. We couldn't sail even if there was the perfect wind because we needed to have our engines on and under a load to pour as much power as possible back into the battery banks.

During our first hurricane season in the LA Bay area, we had to motor between anchorages at least 8 hours away every three to five days just to charge our 660 AH battery bank. We had solar power, but it wasn't enough to keep up with the power drain of our refrigerator in such a hot environment. We realized we needed to change something. We decided to swap out the stock 55 amp alternators on our engines with higher input alternators (two 110 amp alternators that run in tandem to deliver 220 amps). This was an expensive and complicated improvement. It helped, but not enough. We still had to fire up the engines and move around to charge the batteries, we just didn't have to move as far.

Then we bought a Honda 2000 generator about a year ago and all our old annoyances are gone. On our last hurricane season, we spent weeks floating around in our favorite anchorages and never had to move. When the batteries got low, we just fired up the Honda and let it run for 8 hours. A chief benefit of this was that we no longer were putting hours on the boat's engines - a plus for resale value. We also saved on fuel costs since the Honda takes 1 gallon of gas per 8 hours use, which tops off our battery bank. Yeah! Movie night? No worries. Blender party? Come on over. And best of all - that generator is ours and we are free to sell it or take it with us when we sell the boat. No more money sunk into the bottomless pit of a boat. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!

13 comments:

  1. Just yesterday we were looking at the specs on the Honda website, and thinking if we really needed one. Thanks for this post and insight. I think we will go for it.

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  2. Well, I am certainly glad you found the post helpful. We bought ours from Mayberry.com tax free and free shipping for under $900. My husband wants you to know that everyone down here with a Honda 1000 is trying to sell it so they can upgrade to the Honda 2000.
    Laura

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  3. Our Honda 2000 is running on our stern right this minute. We also purchased it from Mayberry's.

    Mike

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  4. Thanks for your input Mike. I really couldn't imagine going without one now.
    Laura

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  5. We finally decided this season to get a Honda 2000 and it has proven itself to be money well spent. We, too, we're tired of using the diesel every 72 hours (not many of the "must haves" on our boat, including solar panels) to recharge the house batteries. The Yanmar is seeing far few hours of use and we have a reliable back-up to generate power for other projects.

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  6. Hi Pete,
    Great minds think alike. I just wish that we had gotten our generator sooner so we would have fewer hours on our Yanmars. I think we would have saved at least a couple hundred hours.
    Laura

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  7. In fact...I was just over at JAM moments ago to drop Jack off from a quick Barra sand bar dingy rescue, and what did my eyes see? Their Honda quietly purring away on their port swim step. Take my 8KW genset away and life would go on. Take my Honda, however, and life as I know it would end!

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  8. Laura and Patrick,
    Can you give us some idea of the level of noise the generator produces, in particular the Honda 1000? I'm trying to convince my other half that we should really consider this option...! :) Thanks so much!

    Katie and Mark
    www.ControlledJibe.com

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  9. I don't know for sure since I only am familiar with the Honda2000. I can tell you that the Honda 2000 is not that loud when it is operating. We have an open cockpit that flows straight into the main salon so there is no noise protection. If you had a generator running on the deck of a monohull, I don't think you would even hear it if you were inside. It is certainly quieter than the engines running.
    Laura

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  10. Really a very nice post! It’s something I have never thought about, really, but it makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks for sharing the valuable information about Honda Eu2000i Inverter Generator

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    1. You're welcome. You must be a dealer, but I am happy to give a testimonial about your product because it really was extremely helpful and reliable.
      Laura

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