In the Spring of 2012, I forked over $1k for 8 new AGM batteries. I conserve juice as much as possible at night, but the dumb things go from full charge at bed time (~10PM) to dead by around 6:30AM. Now the batteries seem to be doing worse and I'm wondering what I should do this year. Most of the folks on my dock remedy this problem instead by installing a portable generator / inverter, like a Honda 3K watt. Instead of 1.25 gallons of gas per hour with my 12.5KW Westerbeke, the Honda can run for 4 hours on a single gallon! I only aim to keep my 110V going and know that I won't be able to run the AC / Stove / etc b/c they're 220.

Let's all assume I'm not completely ignorant about the emissions hazards of the portable generator. It will be placed on my swim platform on the back of my pontoon houseboat with lots of air movement around it. In fact, all my neighbors have large fans blowing the emissions further off boat as well.

How could I go about hooking this thing up to my electrical system, if I should decide to get one? The guy across from me tells me I just get a male-to-male plug and simply plug the portable generator into an outlet on the back porch. Another option would be to hard wire into the control panel, but this would be much more difficult.

How would either of these methods affect my house Xantrex inverter, which automatically begins charging the batteries once it senses current?

Thanks for the feedback.