How To Take a Generator Out of Your Boat- For Dummies Like Me

There’s only two ways to get a generator out of a boat.  Whether you hire a contractor to do this for you or you do it yourself with help, you’ve only got two options for getting a fully installed generator out of your boat.

Start out with a generator that looks like the one below and is totally, definitely dead and you have a NEED to take it out. 

That’s alot of generator huh?  The generator in the picture above is a 1977 Onan MDJE series 7.5 kw A/C Generator.  How do I know all this- I know this cause it was my generator and by now, it’s out of my boat.  Back to my original point in the beginning of my post- how do you get it out?   Option # 1- Your boat has the space via hatches or removable deck spaces to take the generator out whole via hoist or crane or it doesn’t.  If you have a Taiwan built boat from the late 70’s like I do…..you probably don’t have a lot of options for taking this beast out of your boat.  Option # 2- You take the generator out of your boat piece by piece until you can lift the block out of the boat, still a weighty proposition (no pun intended).  This is basically taking one bite of an elephant at a time, you just gotta start taking parts off the beast one at a time.  It helps if you know what you’re doing.  I didn’t and it showed.  How do I know this? a mechanic came by and worked for one single hour on the generator, only to get 60% of the parts off it when I had only taken a very few.  Here’s my first day (remember- one bite at a time)-

Gotta start somewhere-

Here’s that mechanic hard at work, for his one hour (note the tiny amount of room to work in, only one person at a time):

The generator did come apart in lots of pieces, but didn’t really want to come out of the boat.  Even when exterior pieces were mostly taken off, it would not come through the small hatch I have above the engine room.  Here’s us trying to get it through the top hatch, with it weighing at least 300 pounds still (we had attached block and tackle):

Bottom line: On this day, what’s left of this generator wasn’t coming through that hatch and we needed to take a time out and take off more parts.  So we did.  Here’s the hulk and the block and tackle back in the engine room:

Look carefully, it’s pretty dirty-

Here’s parts that we took off the generator that were waiting for me to cleanup, we were pretty done after several tries at getting this beast out of the engine room. 

Another couple of hours of work on Sunday afternoon would do the trick.  More parts came off and we were ready to try to get the last piece of the generator block out of the boat through that small hatch.  With block and tackle and four adult men lifting it once it came through the hatch, we were able to wrestle it to the dock using rope and a 2 X 4 and onto a mechanics cart.  Here’s us doing the lift:

Shortly after this, we helped get this beast off the docks, forever.  Like I said in the beginning, only two ways to get a dead generator off your boat: as a whole motor using a crane or lift through an appropriate sized hole or hatch or in pieces.

That’s it….how to get a generator out of a boat, for dummies.

Wow, it’s been an interesting week so far.  Tulum 5 received her early Christmas present in the form of a new anchor, (6) SIX new solar panels finished getting installed and came online yesterday and we finally got the generator completely out and the space cleaned.  Look below, that’s where the generator used to be:

This post was edited and written by Son of a Sailor and you may repost and read it as many times as you want.  Weather’s getting colder, don’t freeze wherever you are.

Read another one of my Christmas Anchor Posts below: https://livefree2sailfast.com/2016/01/02/shiny-michelle/

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