Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring, many people enjoy spending time aboard boats. From small watercraft to large houseboats, being on the water can be a calm and enjoyable experience for all. At the same time, unless that is the desire, we still have to live life and one fact about modern living is the reliance on electrical power.
From mounted on the boat to staying at the shoreside, portable generators give us the electrical power we need when utility power is too far or otherwise unavailable. In any case, a quality generator that provides clean stable power can be an important tool in our boating arsenal.
How Big Is Your Boat?
Before purchasing a generator, it is a good idea to determine what you are going to use it for. If you just want a generator to handle recharging batteries and maybe a light for your fishing boat, then it is obvious you don’t need a large, wheeled generator. On the other hand, if you are running a freezer, lights, and more, say on a houseboat or barge, then a larger generator will work much better.
For smaller portable generators, such for fishing boats etc, often the smaller inverter style generators are the preferred option. The are lightweight, compact, have a generous run time in eco or idle mode and can be found in the four cycle and two cycle types. They are also quieter than traditional portable generators. For larger boats and barges, there are large inverter generators that can be utilized but also traditional style portable generators can also be useful. They provide a generous amount of power for the price point but they tend to not be as quiet as the inverter style.
For both types, you need to know your power demand. Take the voltage and amperage of your appliance or devices and create a total amperage and voltage and then multiply them together to get the wattage required. Remember to add a little for surge requirements.
Five Great Portable Generators For Boats
Best Rated Portable Generator
A traditional style generator, this model – WEN Model #56180 Generator is great for barges, large boats or onshore use. It is very lightweight, weighing in at only 50 pounds, it can easily be carried. It has a surge capacity of 1800W and a continual supply of 1500W. There are dual, three prong outlets for standard connectivity and a 12V charging port for batteries. It has a low oil shutdown to prevent engine damage and the unit has a seven hour run time on 1.45 gallons of fuel.
It is recoil start and it is fully EPA and CARB compliant and is equipped with a spark arrestor for use in national parks. People who use this generator love how small it is, compact enough to fit in a plastic tub and how quiet this unit is during normal operation.
Top Portable Gas Camping RV
This recoil start generator – XtremePower Portable 2000Watt Series Generator is very compact and comes with an easy to use and grip handle for better portability. Designed to handle medium loads, this unit has a surge capacity of 2000W and a continual supply of 1600W. Producing only slightly more than 65Db, this generator is also quiet and great for use in boats with trolling motors.
It has dual standard three prong plugs for connectivity and a 12V connection DC for charging. It is EPA approved and the engine is four stroke, so there is no need to mix fuel and oil. People who use this generator love how portable this unit is and how well it performs under normal conditions.
Best Rated Gas Portable Inverter Generator
Another WEN generator in this list, this model – WEN Model #56200i Generator is an inverter style generator which produces clean stable sine waves of energy, perfect for sensitive devices. Capable of parallel operation, this generator produces 1600W of continual supply with a surge capacity of 2000W.
It has a 12V DC connection and dual three prong outlets as well as a USB charging port for devices. The engine is four stroke and there is an overload indicator and the unit has dual operating modes for fuel economy. People who have purchased this generator love the quality construction and the clean power delivered by this unit.
Best RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator
This wheeled generator – Champion Power Equipment Model #75537 Generator is great for party boats and house boats. It has a surge capacity of 3100W and it has a wireless remote and electric starting for easy and quick starting. It is an inverter style so it is safe with sensitive electronics and the unit has dual three prong outlets and a twist lock connection in addition to the 12V DC port.
It comes with a two-year warranty and free lifetime technical support. People who use this generator love how quiet it runs and how stable the power curve is.
Best Portable Generator for Boats
Nothing beats a Honda, and this model proves it. This unit – Honda Model #EU2000I Generator produces a surge capacity of 2000W and a continual supply of 1600W of clean stable power due to the inverter. It is very lightweight at 47 pounds and it is easy to carry. Dual three prong outlets and a 12V DC charging station are standard on this model.
In addition, this unit features a quiet muffler that produces less than 60Db of noise in eco mode. People who use this generator love the generous fuel economy and the easy to use nature of this generator.
Never attempt to refuel a hot or running generator and always perform proper maintenance to ensure your generator is in proper working condition.