Best Portable Generators for Boats


The best portable generators for boats include generators of different brands, such as Yamaha, Champion Power Equipment, DuroStar, DuroMax, and so on. These portable generators put on board 120-volt power in packages as compact as a small suitcase and weighing as little as fifty pounds for some units. These portable units produce from as low as 700 watts to as high as 12,000 watts. They have both recoil starter and electric starter for their small 4-stroke engines, and they sell fairly. They are relatively whisper-quiet, a characteristic that is primarily promoted by their super-quiet mufflers.

Best Portable Generators for Boats Comparison Table 2017

NameRatingPriceRunning WattageSurge/Starting WattageVoltageFuel Tank Capacity Run Time at Half Load CARB Compliant Low Oil Shutdown
Champion Power 465964.5$3,500 watts4,000 watts120 volts4 gallons12 hoursNoYes
Yamaha EF2000iS4.5$$$$1,600 watts2,000 watts120 volts1.11 gallons12 hoursYes Yes
Briggs & Stratton 304704$$$$7,000 watts8,750 watts120 volts7.5 gallons9 hoursYes Yes
Powerhouse PH2100PRi4$$$2,000 watts2,100 watts120 volts1.3 gallons7.5 hoursYes Yes
Champion Power No. 75531i4.5$$$$2,800 watts3,100 watts120 volts1.59 gallons8 hoursYes Yes

Choosing the Best Portable Generators for Boats

The choice of the best portable generators for boats you make should take into consideration a number of things, including the fuel type, ultra-portability, whisper-quiet operation, startup methods, fuel tank capacity, runtime at half load, and low-oil shutoff among other features. Before you explore the various capabilities of the best cruising portable generators, you would want to lay out how you are going to use your portable generator onboard.

Using Portable Generator Onboard

Certainly, these portable generators are not that powerful enough to run washers, dryers, and trash compactors. However, they have the ability to provide the genuinely practical value of power to make your boat expedition a considerable step up from the wilderness camping experience.

You do not have to heat up your entire cabin with an alcohol or propane stove in order to make breakfast when you can take along your electric toaster, frying pan, as well as coffee maker from home and run them with a portable generator. In addition, the best portable generators can help you to keep your food and beverages cool without having to make port every now and then to restock your ice supply.

Features of the Best Portable Generators for Boats You Should Look For

You should look for energy efficient portable generators that provide power for your cruising requirements. The best choices should consist of compact gas powered portable generators. The gen-sets should feature engine designs with exceptional specs, including an effective engine displacement, and a convenient horsepower. Furthermore, the engine should conveniently be air-cooled OHV. The generator you select should be able to power a few of your appliances at once, such as a TV set, coffee maker, and a toaster. The best portable generators for cruising should have a convenient number of power receptacles.

The best portable generators for boats you engage need to provide relatively whisper-quiet operation, and the unit (s) should be lightweight as well as portable. The starting wattage and running wattage of the generator you settle for your boating activities need to be sufficient, and capable of meeting your power requirements, both at startup and continuous operation. The generator (s) needs to have a long lasting frame, low-oil shutoff and overload protection. Low-oil shut down and overload protection will ensure that your generator engine is protected against frying up when it runs out of oil, and in the event that there is an overload.

Additional Features to Consider

It is necessary that you choose a portable generator that has a fuel gauge to help you monitor the fuel level at a glance. This will ensure that your lights never go off at night while cruising since you will know when exactly to refuel. It is advisable to engage models that have a multi-purpose control panel, including outlets for powering your boating activities.

The outlets should be made of rubber outlet covers in addition to circuit breaker protection, along with quick reset buttons. Ultimately, generators for boats need to feature easy transportation as well as effortless startup. The fuel tank capacity needs to be sufficient enough, in order for the generator to operate for a considerable number of hours in a single fill.


Having one of the best portable generators onboard will not only guarantee you the availability of power, but also provide your family with the means of using low power appliances whenever possible, including a hairdryer for your daughter, a computer game for your son, and a soothing moving for your wife. In short, these portable generators are not going to allow you to turn your boat into a floating palace with icemakers and air conditioning, but they do provide a new dimension of comfort to voyaging in a small boat.

Further Reading on Best Portable Generators