In preparation for our trip we installed a 5KW Northern Lights generator. There were several things we wanted to accomplish in choosing the location where we would put the unit. Since it was heavy, we wanted to keep it as low as possible and centered. In addition, we wanted to keep the garage space open, tuck it in space that was not well used, and still allow for good access for maintenance. The generator was dropped in from the garage and slid into place through the bulkhead. The hole in the bulkhead later becomes the maintenance access door.
The ideal spot turned out to be in the space
behind the main engine in the aft cabin. This worked because the area behind the engine in a 2 cabin 473 was really not usable as a berth anyway and became largely a storage area. In this photo you can see the double berth area and a little of the area behind the engine.
Here you can see the area just behind the engine. One of the complications is that the hot water heater used to live in this spot. We found a cylindrical shaped heater from Isotherm which was installed under the swim platform in the stern. We installed a lee board along the length of the area to define the berth and separate out both the generator and the storage areas from the sleeping area. The generator floor is lifted about 4 inches above the hull to leave space for the vent hoses.
While the berth floor was out we took the opportunity fabricate a new beam that would allow a place to store our gang plank under the berth
Here are the first couple of floor panels under the berth that cover the gang plank. the plank is great for the occasional times we tie up stern to, but it was a real pain to store.
Since we had another engine now, we needed to have a separate fuel filter to protect it. We took the old main engine filter and dedicated it to the generator. For the main engine we installed a dual filter system so the if one engine filter plugs up we can instantly switch to the other.
On the garage side we wanted to leave the area as open as possible but still account for access to the working side of the generator. The solution was to install doors in the floor and wall that were easy to open.