Friday, February 19, 2016
Marina Jack II Generator
When the Marina Jack II was delivered from the shipyard in April 2006, she was fitted with two Westerbeke generators with a capacity of 32 Kw and 60 kw. Several years ago, we had replaced the 60 Kw unit with an identical model, as the first one had completely failed at 10,000 hours. Our experience with these Westerbeke generators proved them to be very high maintenance and not very reliable. Customer service was also not what we would expect for units that were in commercial service. At one point we had to wait weeks for a shipment of fuel filters. With the Westerbeke generators approaching 10,000 hours, we felt that it was time to be proactive and replace them with a different make and model, before these unexpectedly failed.
We looked at a variety of makes and models, and put a priority on reliability, availability of service and parts. After a thorough review, we decided to go with Phasor Generators. They are produced in Pompano Beach, Florida and use Kubota and John Deere industrial diesel engines coupled with Stamford/ Newage generators. They maintain an extensive parts inventory, and offer a very liberal warranty even it used commercially. Jon Lynch of Bayfront Yacht Works is the local dealer, so any warranty work needed would be handled locally. Once the decision was made, the units were ordered and delivered to Bayfront Yacht Works. We decided to go with the Phasor 34.0 Kw and Phasor 65.0 Kw models.
After deciding on the make and model of generators, we had to contact the naval architect who designed the Marina Jack II. He was given the technical specifications of the Phasors and performed the required stability calculations. Once the calculations were completed, they were submitted to the USCG MSC in Washington, D.C. for approval. They reviewed the work done by the naval architect and gave their approval of the project and forwarded the paperwork to USCG MSO St. Petersburg. Once there the project was assigned to a supervisor in the MSO office.
Now the real work began! We brought the Marina Jack II into Bayfront Yacht Works on a high tide and secured her to the dock. This was not a simple feat, given that we draw 5’ of water and are 96’ long and 20’ wide. There were some tense moments as we kicked up mud and silt on the approach!
The Marina Jack II has 3 “soft patches” in the deck just forward of the buffet and galley. The carpet and laminate floor were removed or cut back so that the center “patch” or hatch could be accessed. The hatch was unbolted which gave direct access to the engine room. Jon Lynch and his team had to first remove the old generators from the engine room and then take them through the aft door onto the aft deck and then lift them off of the vessel using a fork lift. Then the process was reversed and the new generators brought onto and into the main cabin. Before they could be lowered and slid into place, the old engine mounts had to be removed and new ones fabricated. Exhausts and water lines had to be modified. New control cables had to be run from the engine room to the pilothouse and the old cables and instruments removed. The new controls (instruments) were designed to be surface mounted. A decision was made to have them flush mounted and the boxes were modified and a new bezel fabricated to accomplish this. The new 65 kw generator weighed over a ton and had to be lowered into the engine room and then slid aft onto the new mounts. This was done using a plank, cribbing and a chain come along. Then the new 34 kw was lowered into the engine room. This unit had to mate up to the existing hydraulic pump for the bow thruster. Jon and his team were able to get it lined up so it was within 1 degree vertical and horizontal.
Once everything was connected and checked the new generators were started. They ran flawlessly on the first try. Everything worked as expected. Our fire suppression system requires an automatic shutdown of all engines and generators when the CO2 system is activated. We did a dry test and the new generators shut down when the pressure switch was activated and started back up when reset.
All of the work performed had to comply with all applicable USCG rules and regulations, and a USCG inspection was required before the vessel could return to passenger vessel service. Two USCG inspectors conducted the tests and reviewed the work and signed off on it. No changes were needed in order to comply. It was done right the first time.
The new gensets run very clean with virtually no soot and little diesel smell. This is a vast improvement over Westerbekes which smoked badly from day one. The old 60 Kw Westerbeke burned 7.2 gal per hour at 100% load. The new 65 kw Phasor burns 4.8 gal per hour at 100% load. We are seeing under 2.5 gallons per hour at 50% load. Needless to say we are very happy with the new gensets and the work done by Bayfront Yacht Service.