Ensuring your power supply
Your Meridian Yacht can provide 110V AC power - the juice that runs your onboard amenities and appliances like air conditioning, hair dryers and coffee makers - in three ways: drawing it from a shore power source, or running either a generator (gensets) or an inverter. Shore power may be your best friend at the dock, but you can't take it with you. Numerous Meridian Yacht owners choose to employ a combination of both a generator and one or more inverters to power their longer trips from shore.
While inverters surely have their benefits and applications on long-range vessels like Meridian Yachts, a generator is more likely to be the power source you turn to for strong, continuous AC - in order to run larger appliances and amenities like air conditioning, fridge, etc., while also charging your yacht's battery. But because a marine generator is an engine, it requires fuel - most marine units run on gas, propane or diesel - and dutiful maintenance. Especially before a long voyage, it's important to performance some pre-trip maintenance on your generator to ensure that your power supply never falters.
Here is a list of recommendations from Cummins Onan, a well-known manufacturer of marine generators:
- At least one week prior to a trip or guest arrival, visit your boat, review your generator's Operators Manual, and perform all necessary services (filters, zincs, belts, etc). Should maintenance be required, local service centers may have a wait of a couple days for technician availability. When a certified technician is necessary, it is recommended to call around to all local authorized service centers to get the best-scheduled appointment.
- Be sure battery is fully charged.
- Inspect and tighten all hose clamps and fittings; especially exhaust connections.
- Check all fluid levels and add as necessary or replace fluid, if necessary, for expected operating temperatures.
- Perform all pre-start checks as outlined in the Operator's Manual. Verify all through-hull valves are open as necessary.
- Start and run generator, inspecting for visual leaks and odd noises.
- Start and stop the generator from all stations.
- Turn on all loads expected to be operated during trip, being sure not to overload generator. Run generator set for at least 30 minutes under load.
- Note current operational hours and add expected hours that will be logged on your trip. Based on the total hours expected, identify the necessary spare parts required for service based on service intervals outlined in Operator's Manual. Purchase the necessary spares or a cruise kit from your local generator Dealer/Distributor.
- Write down phone numbers of service centers located at or near trip destination in the event of unexpected part needs or service is required.
For answers to more frequently asked questions, such as tips on day-to-day generator maintenance, visit http://www.cumminsonan.com/marine/support/faq/.