Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: Catigale, Paul S, Heath_Mod, beene, Hamin' X, kmclemore, tangentair

User avatar
Bilgemaster
First Officer
Posts: 419
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:03 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Woodbridge, Virginia--"Breakin' Wind" 2001 26X, Honda BF50A 50hp engine

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:46 pm

kmclemore wrote:
Bilgemaster wrote:Thing is, for a single-earner-household working-stiff schlub like me, being basically a sort of solidly middle class Joe 6-Pack sub-species of librarian-archivist, really needing to bring it all home on the cheap, making do with something about a third of the price of a Honda is the way to go.
Why not buy a used Honda? There's plenty to be had on Craigslist and eBay for way cheaper than new. Given the little buggers last forever it's unlikely you'll get a lemon.
I wanted something rather quickly that could first carry my 1,600 watt pressure washer and then later do shore-power-away-from-shore duty. Truth is, I just sort of stumbled onto the Ramsond, and so far am very glad I did. I'm afraid that just now around here on craigslist you won't be finding any even used EU2000i for less than nearly twice what I paid for the Ramsond...You know, the one with the electric start and the 30 Amp shore power and the 12 volt DC outlet with jumper cables that runs almost as quietly as the Honda. So, I'll just pamper her and see how far she goes. Of course, If I spotted a $400 EU2000i that didn't look like it fell off the roof of a house, I might give it a good looking over. Still, I expect that at this point that money might be better spent on a nice light flexible solar array...maybe just a little 50 watter...to drape up on the bimini, since I already got a little regulator rigged up that can handle up to 100 watts, which is working just great in the lot with a big lumbering ancient unit on a fixed post still pumping out 19 Volts at 3 Amps (57 watts) on a sunny day like today. It's sure keeping my batteries tip-top.

Oh, by the way, today I used that ultra-handy little $88 Harbor Freight 900 watter spare genny I'm breaking in just to run the waxer/buffer over the "foundling" Com-Pac 16. I'm telling you, when you just need to run a power tool and don't need anything fancy or really powerful, it's the little genny that could.

User avatar
RussMT
Admiral
Posts: 5527
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Bozeman, Montana "Luna Azul" 2008 M 70hp Suzi

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by RussMT » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:04 pm

Does that little 2 stroke genny burn a lot of oil and smoke? Noisy?

I've seen them and thought noisy, smokey.

--Russ

User avatar
Bilgemaster
First Officer
Posts: 419
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:03 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Woodbridge, Virginia--"Breakin' Wind" 2001 26X, Honda BF50A 50hp engine

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Bilgemaster » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:33 am

RussMT wrote:Does that little 2 stroke genny burn a lot of oil and smoke? Noisy?

I've seen them and thought noisy, smokey.

--Russ
Yup: they're sputtery loud little fussbuckets compared to any of the 4-strokes discussed here, coming in at 91 dB. Think "idling weedwhacker". They're basically the Mr. Gumby of gennies:

Image

Like I said before, they're definitely something for the boatyard on the hard, not for the slip in the marina or a quiet anchorage first thing in the morning. That said, if you have to run some unsophisticated piece of equipment like a drill, grinder, polisher, saw or whatnot, or just charge the batteries and you're far off the grid, weighing in at less than 40 lbs. and costing less than a Benjamin along with an extension cord to suit, you really can't go wrong. It'll run happiest with a decent spark plug, and just remember to turn off the fuel and let it run out and to fire it up every month or so to keep the carb from clogging on the rotten gas we have nowadays. If you have no generator at all, at least grab one of these for power outages. It won't run the whole house, of course, but that extension cord through a window means you'll have light, and it'll likely power your fridge for a bit if they still haven't sorted it out by morning.
Last edited by Bilgemaster on Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Highlander
Admiral
Posts: 5300
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:25 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Maccutter26M 2008 75HP Merc. 4/S Victoria BC. Can. ' An Hileanto'ir III '
Contact:

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Highlander » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:37 am

I think tats called thumb bashin

J :o
On the other hand maybe he owns a camel !! :)

User avatar
My Mistress
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: LakeHills, TX

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by My Mistress » Sun May 22, 2016 9:27 pm

Where do you guys put your genset? I have a 1800W genset that is too large to fit through the laz hatch, not to mention that I wouldn't want to try to haul it out without a crane.

A few years back, I saw a small genset, about 800W IIRC. It was a nice quiet running compact unit, but I forget the name. I think it was "Whisper-[something]". It seemed to be perfect for recharging batteries or running something that takes a small load. Haven't found it since.

User avatar
Seapup
Captain
Posts: 923
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:05 am
Location: 2002 26x - Virgina Beach, Va

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Seapup » Sun May 22, 2016 10:12 pm

A few years back, I saw a small genset, about 800W IIRC. It was a nice quiet running compact unit, but I forget the name. I think it was "Whisper-[something]". It seemed to be perfect for recharging batteries or running something that takes a small load. Haven't found it since.

Earthquake or IG 800? Its much smaller than the honda 1000 and 2000, weighs about 18lbs, I have one and it runs a 40A battery charger or portable AC.

Image

Image

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Ixneigh » Mon May 23, 2016 7:04 am

Oh do want! The Honda 1000 is still a chore to lug in and out of the boat ergo I just don't do it.
Ix

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5208
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon May 23, 2016 7:28 am

Seapup wrote:
A few years back, I saw a small genset, about 800W IIRC. It was a nice quiet running compact unit, but I forget the name. I think it was "Whisper-[something]". It seemed to be perfect for recharging batteries or running something that takes a small load. Haven't found it since.
Well, there's WhisperWatt from MQ, but I don't think that will fit in the boat. :wink:

Image
Seapup wrote:Earthquake or IG 800? Its much smaller than the honda 1000 and 2000, weighs about 18lbs, I have one and it runs a 40A battery charger or portable AC.
The Hondas weigh 29 and 46 lb for the 1000W (900W rated) and 2000W (1600W rated) respectively. My 6 gallon tanks weigh about 40 lb each. I have a hard enough time putting them up into the boat when full, so I can see not wanting to move a 46 lb (dry) generator. But that little 800W unit only weighs 18 lb, which is pretty puny.

Noise values are low at 58dB, but measured at 7 meters. Honda doesn't say what distance they took sound measurements at. Could be a bit of salemanship in there, but it's still small, light, and relatively quiet. 8)

User avatar
DaveB
Admiral
Posts: 2544
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:34 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Cape Coral, Florida,1997 Mac. X, 2013 Merc.50hp Big Foot, sold 9/10/15

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by DaveB » Mon May 23, 2016 5:59 pm

Powerhorse 2000 watt $599 Northern tools. Same as Honda 2000 .
Less noise and has 30 amp and duel hookup and copper wound.(wire hookup included.)
Had mine for 2 years and love it, 58 lbs.
I cannot hear this 10 ft away from camper and will only give slight vibration on a macx in wheelwell in front of motor to power a ac 5000 btu and all other below deck ac.
I use it now to power my AC 5000 btu air ,65 Quart Goldstar refig. and all other DC and AC in my Camper.
Dave
Ixneigh wrote:Oh do want! The Honda 1000 is still a chore to lug in and out of the boat ergo I just don't do it.
Ix

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Ixneigh » Mon May 23, 2016 6:59 pm

I'm really looking for light. My power set up was designed to have the Honda e1000 on board to charge batteries in cloudy weather. Since I don't have it on board right now I've been using the engine but if I could find a generator easy enough to take in and out of the boat I'd use it at least a few times a week.
Those 800 watt units have four stars on Amazon but if you read the low ratings they put up a few red flags.
Some of the glowing reviews were posted after one of two uses. That's no review. Post a review after you took it to Antarctica, battled aliens, climbed Everest and discovered Atlantis. Or something.
Besides that unit there was a two cycle unit about the same price that looked interesting. It was a "rising"
(Sun? Star? Zombie?) and looked like a backpack blower. Probably as loud. One thing I liked about the Honda was it was very fuel tight. No leaks drips fumes nothing.

Ix

Johnacuda
Engineer
Posts: 190
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:59 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Kingston, NY

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Johnacuda » Mon May 23, 2016 7:04 pm

Ixneigh wrote:I'm really looking for light. My power set up was designed to have the Honda e1000 on board to charge batteries in cloudy weather. Since I don't have it on board right now I've been using the engine but if I could find a generator easy enough to take in and out of the boat I'd use it at least a few times a week.
Those 800 watt units have four stars on Amazon but if you read the low ratings they put up a few red flags.
Some of the glowing reviews were posted after one of two uses. That's no review. Post a review after you took it to Antarctica, battled aliens, climbed Everest and discovered Atlantis. Or something.
Besides that unit there was a two cycle unit about the same price that looked interesting. It was a "rising"
(Sun? Star? Zombie?) and looked like a backpack blower. Probably as loud. One thing I liked about the Honda was it was very fuel tight. No leaks drips fumes nothing.

Ix
Hmmm, if the duty cycle includes Antarctica, Aliens, Everest and Atlantis, you might want to go for the Honda 2000 and a big bunch of helium balloons to offset the weight while carrying it...

User avatar
Catigale
Site Admin
Posts: 10363
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:59 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Admiral .............Catigale 2002X.......Lots of Harpoon Hobie 16 Skiffs....Island 17
Contact:

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Catigale » Tue May 24, 2016 6:01 am

Post a review after you took it to Antarctica, battled aliens, climbed Everest and discovered Atlantis. Or something.
I've done three of these but Mad Mike is the only person I know who has done Everest. Is 3/4 good?

I bought the Honda 2000 for future cruising use, yard work, jumping cars, neighborhood electricity during snow storms.

It's a great unit. Every time I hear the cheap ones I cringe.

User avatar
Seapup
Captain
Posts: 923
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:05 am
Location: 2002 26x - Virgina Beach, Va

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Seapup » Tue May 24, 2016 8:30 am

I'm really looking for light. My power set up was designed to have the Honda e1000 on board to charge batteries in cloudy weather. Since I don't have it on board right now I've been using the engine but if I could find a generator easy enough to take in and out of the boat I'd use it at least a few times a week.
Those 800 watt units have four stars on Amazon but if you read the low ratings they put up a few red flags.
Ill swap you my 800w for your honda now that I have the room :-)

I would not think it necessary or desirable to run one a couple time a week. I only run mine when batteries are down more than 60AH, which takes a good wile if you do any motoring. It is tiny, about the size and bulk of a 12 pack, I kept mine in the bathroom on the X for about a year and a half. Never smelled a whisp of gas, although I know everyone would shun that method. Whenever I ran it for charging I would estimate about an hour of runtime, put in a few oz of gas and it would charge until dry and stop. Eco mode is useless except idle since it has to rev up to produce more than a few watts. Guys claim it sounds about the same as a Honda/Yamaha to the human ear (reviewer from pic has both) its loud and sounds like a lawnmower when revved up to me. If you look at the answers to the negative reviews on amazon, they sound like user error, leaving fuel in the carb, yanking the starter rope off, and wrong oil. I did not want the installation complexity of solar so paired it with a 40A charger with a 14.8V boost voltage setpoint and a batter monitor. The higher charger voltage will cram the full 40A in longer than a traditional charger for less generator run time. It would be silly to run a generator with less than a 40A charger IMO.

User avatar
My Mistress
Chief Steward
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:01 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: LakeHills, TX

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by My Mistress » Thu May 26, 2016 10:05 pm

Seapup wrote:

Earthquake or IG 800? Its much smaller than the honda 1000 and 2000, weighs about 18lbs, I have one and it runs a 40A battery charger or portable AC.

Image

I think that was it! That would stow in the rear Lazarette easily. I only intend to use it to charge batteries.
Amazingly, the current price is what I paid for my 1800W unit several years ago

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Good Cheap Generators: Harbor Freight & Ramsond Sinemate

Post by Ixneigh » Fri May 27, 2016 6:34 am

Now that I have become accustomed to having an actual cooler that works for me, my power needs have gone up slightly :D :D
so in cloudy weather I would run the generator enough to keep the cooler cool. I tend to sit for a few days when I'm cruising, like now I've been at the lorilie area of Islamorada the last three days, and using the motor very little. It's cloudy today but I will probably use the motor to take the boat over to long key later. I may buy one of those over the summer.
I keep the Honda now as a shore side storm backup. It will run a fan light and mini fridge.
Ix

Post Reply