Saturday, 28 January 2012


Many boats have a built in generator, ours does not, and I for one, have no intentions of buying an insanely overpriced marine unit. I have 400watts of solar panels which when fitted should provide about 90 percent of our energy needs.

Solar panels are much cheaper than they used to be and are ideal for boats sailing in tropical regions, up here in Scotland they are useless for much of the year and wind is a far superior proposition, but since we are heading south, Solar it is!

Now for the times when the sun doesn't shine, you have the option of running the engine to charge the batteries, but running a large diesel engine to turn a small alternator does not make much sense to me, wasting a lot of fuel (money), engine hours and wear, no thank you!

So after my research I bought a small Honda EU20i generator, this came highly recommended from other cruisers, I did look at the kipour /hyundai and other cheaper makes of generators, being the cheapskate that I am , I always try and buy the no name brands of things or cheap named brands.

Google and the like are wonderful things, after much searching and talking to other owners of the bargain priced generators , I came to the conclusion that they are fine for the odd camping trip or a small amount of use here and there, but don't stand up to regular use and in the end would cost more than buying the known to be bulletproof but expensive unit, one place not to penny pinch!

If you are buying a generator solely for battery charging then a lower power unit would make more sense, should consume less fuel and less space, but a slightly larger unit offers you the chance to use it for more than just battery charging. I bought a small portable aircon unit, which can run on the generator. The aircon unit is for emergency use only, the days where you get invaded by insects or it rains all day and you are stuck in 100 percent humidity sweat box.

The honda Eu20i can also be linked to another unit to boost the power and has an amp 12v outlet as well, which could come in handy.

Lets see how bulletproof they really are!


  1. FYI - You can purchase external tank connections for these units that will connect to a regular outboard (6 gallon) tank (sans oil). WIth the rate they burn fuel, this combination should last a very long time!

  2. I am looking at the honda, but my boat is set up for 220. Do you have a water maker, or AC?

  3. Oh and yes on the water maker, a little katadyne unit,though a high power ac unit would have been a better choice.


Thanks for your interest!

Nic n Steve.