Kohler Diesel Generator Broken - New Boater Painful Lesson

MiamiAGMiamiAG Member Posts: 210 ✭✭
So purchased my first boat in 2013 and, as we all know, it doesn't come with a manual. Most lessons I've learned the hard way. This is one of those times.

My 290ec came with a bullet-proof Kohler diesel generator. As I rarely need power offshore, I only turned it on a few times and never with load. In fact, the repair technician was shocked that a 7 year old boat can have a generator with 0 hours on it.

Unfortunately, my bilge sat with water in it during the last hurricane that hit the Florida Keys. I've been experiencing rust issues since then. This is apparently the reason I need to now replace a generator with zero hours on it.

The generator is showing an error 1000 where the in-cabin controller can't communicate with the unit. It also has a rotor locked up error and an engine speed low error. All of these point to damage to the rotor and electronics behind the generator likely due to rust or water damage. It needs to come out off the boat for full repair or replacement.

As the 290ec is so small, I either need to remove the hatch and the engine to remove the generator OR dismantle the old one for removal and then re-install in pieces with either a repaired one or new one. Either way, it's an expensive laborious process.

Estimates for repair are around $6,000. A new one can be had for about $8,000.

So now I know how to maintain a generator and the importance of constantly checking for water in the bilges. I do love boating and my boat but the amount of money that is involved is painful.

Anyway, just summarizing in case it helps any new boaters out there.


2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP


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