Generator Tweaks for a Mainship 400
By Bob Ackley
MS 400 #197
Gulf Breeze, FL
We have 1400 hours on our Kohler 8EOZD generator. We have 12 month a year boating here in Florida but most of the year we can only survive with air conditioning; hence the high generator usage.
Strainer and weed fixes:
When we anchor out we have to contend with weed in the water. Sometimes I think we are boating in a salad bowl. Strainer clogs are not infrequent and sometimes the weed clogs the through hull and the line from the through hull to the strainer. My simple fix for this was to replace the elbow in the line with a tee, nipple, and plug.
When I have a serious clog I remove the plug and use a piece of stiff plastic 3/8 tubing. ramrod style, to clean out the weed. Simple, easy, and effective.
Fuel filter monitoring.
I wanted an indication of the need to change the spin-on Racor fuel filter. These are about $20 each from West Marine and I did not think a change to a 500 or 900 series was cost effective. I installed a suction gauge and a fuel shut off directly on the existing ports of the spin-on filter.
Both the gauge and the shutoff are from Designated Engineer. As you can see, I am pulling about 4 pounds of suction. This setup allows me to check the state of the filter and change it without leaving the lazarette space. The piece of copper wire and the plastic tubing behind the filter are my cleanout tools for through hull clogs.
I also installed one of these suction gauges at my lower helm station connected to the Racor on the port firewall. This allows me to monitor the suction while the Cummins is at cruise speed (and load).