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LadyJessie
11-03-07, 20:07
I have a Fischer Panda 4 kW onboard generator that has been trouble from day one. It was factory installed by FP but it has still been a nightmare piece of equipment. After having spent a fortune trying to fix it I have now given up and would have thrown it overboard, would not my environmental mind have stopped me. In short: if you ever think about buying a Fischer Panda: think again!

Needless to say; I am in the market for a new genset and I understand that my choices are Mastervolt or Onan. Anybody have any experience with any of these that you would like to share with me, I would be forever thankful.

david_bagshaw
11-03-07, 20:39
had a zeise set, similar setup, a pile of dog exc! imho. the engine was the problem, over heats , low oil pressure , poor staarts, etc wires fell off . We did inheret the set , so we miight have been unlucky.

replaced with 7.5kva onan, exactly the opposite of the z set.

quiet to the extent wwe were told , you must not start a generator later, in zierikzee one day, so replied aka rolls royce...it is running already!

done over 2000 hrs now, standard normal services, a truly excellent bit of kit. warranty excellent had problem with a voltmeter, replaced by return.

ccscott49
12-03-07, 10:58
OK, I too have a fisher panda generator, in fact this is my second! The first one waqs raw water cooled engine and genny, that is to say no heat exchanger just sea water going through the unit, in case you dont understand. I had nothing but trouble with it from day one, it had only 50 hours on it in four years?? because it was forever breaking down, in the end it ingested its own cooling water and died completely! During the time I had mine, fisher panda modified the engine to run on fresh water and heat exchanger, problems were halfed with these units, but still not good. Then they fresh water cooled the entire unit including the genny. This is the unit I have now. It needed a new alternator coils at 1000 hours, some kind of internal short. It has now doen 2500 hours and is fine, I havent had any real problems with it, save a relay packing up. It seems now to be a good unit.

Onan have an excellent reputation, but are quite big and very expensive.
Mastervolt are very similar to fisher panda, same engine I believe, (faryman).

Everybody I have talked to, say to get a 1500 rpm genny, rather than the 3000 rpm faryman engined ones, much less stressed they say. If this genny packs in, I may consider somebody elses, but we'll have to see.

tcm
12-03-07, 11:00
i've got onan. Not gone wrong. Other stuff went wrong but not the actual genset.

SeaVenture
13-03-07, 00:59
My husband raves over our Northern Lights--the installation and service reps have been stellar. He (mechanical engineer) also thinks going 1500 rpm as opposed to 3000 a much better idea.

waterboy
14-03-07, 14:34
Oh Heck. I too have a FP 4.5 Kw raw water coooled unit. One season completed without any problems but now, having read these posts, waiting for the worst. I'm a bit concerned about galvanic corrosion possibilities as manual recomends further bonding than the single anode on the unit. Will check with FP as they installed it.

ccscott49
14-03-07, 14:47
How old is your unit??

SVSirius
18-03-07, 14:28
[ QUOTE ]
OK, I too have a fisher panda generator, in fact this is my second! Then they fresh water cooled the entire unit including the genny. This is the unit I have now. It needed a new alternator coils at 1000 hours, some kind of internal short. It has now doen 2500 hours and is fine, I havent had any real problems with it, save a relay packing up. It seems now to be a good unit.

Onan have an excellent reputation, but are quite big and very expensive.
Mastervolt are very similar to fisher panda, same engine I believe, (faryman).

Everybody I have talked to, say to get a 1500 rpm genny, rather than the 3000 rpm faryman engined ones, much less stressed they say. If this genny packs in, I may consider somebody elses, but we'll have to see.

[/ QUOTE ]

Same experience except I had the FWC from the beginning. Engine packed it in at 140 hrs or so, Panda replaced with a new unit, it ran great till the generating coil packed it in with 100 hrs or so on the new unit, I am really glad to hear your experience with the new coil, hope I get the same. Have not put any hours on it since the change out to speak of.

If you have the room a low RPM unit is the way to go. Unfortunatly for my install the Panda is the best choice, anything else would be really hard to fit in the available space.

Also both Panda and mastervolt do use the same engines Farryman for the real little one and Kubota's a beleive as they get larger.

LadyJessie
18-03-07, 14:45
Thanks for all the input. One more question for you then: I don't really think the engine (Fairyman or however it is spelt) is the problem and would not worry if other makes have the same engine. I believe there is a fundamental problem with the FP design (the cooling system being just one of them) and the problems I have had with the engine has IMHO been secondary and been generated by other problems in the FP design; corrosion, vibration, air intake, etc. I can make that list very long.

Anybody agrees with me, or is the engine also a problem (apart from the RPM issue which I understand) ?

ccscott49
18-03-07, 14:49
Engines dont seem to be a problem, it's used by lots of genny makers and in small boats a propulsion. I still think the FW fisher panda version is OK, now.

Anonymous
18-03-07, 15:03
I have the 6.5kVA FP 3000RPM wet, 1999 model. It had run about 700 hours with the previous owner on a circumnavigation apparently without problems - he had a full spares set and full document ion of all work done and services for the unit. I bought the boat in Sept. 2004 and have since run it for just over 300 hours so we have around 1000 hours on the clock.

I had one problem that I finally traced to a faulty earthing contactor - an oddity of the design that allows the chassis to float wrt ship's neutral except during starting, when the Kuboto engine requires the starter to return via chassis so to make this happen, a contactor closes shorting chassis to ship's neutral during cranking. Failure of the contactor results in no cranking despite everything else appearing normal - like a dead starter motor which is what I feared until I found it three days later (in 40 degree heat!). I don't think that this was FP's fault. The contactor had had oil dripping on it due to poor filling by someone in the past and this cause the failure, I think.

Touching everything wood in sight (and there is a lot of wood on a Nauticat) the generator has worked impeccably other than that one problem. We are very happy with it and would by FP again. I would just add that when I had this problem I was in Cadiz (Santa Maria) the local service man would not come round from Port Sherry and wanted us to go there - ridiculous idea as there were no berths there and had I left the YC I would have lost our space. Anyway, I had some advice from FP UK via fax - another occasion when email was not useful but fax worked well. That seems to be a tendency - i.e. email is becoming a junk service.