Best Portable Generators for Boat Use 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Are you considering bringing aboard a portable generator on your next boating outing? A portable generator can be a helpful asset on your boat by keeping your phone charged, recharging tablets and laptops, or powering up lights, fans, and other useful small appliances.
With the latest portable generators offering a variety of features and better operation, the possibility for boat use has become more of an option than ever. Still, there’s a wide variety of generators available, and finding the best product may keep you on dry land longer than you’d like.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best portable generators for boat use. We’ve included detailed, helpful reviews, followed by quick-reference pros and cons lists. Also, be sure to check out our informative buyer’s guide, which includes what you need to know before you make a purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Rockpals 250-Watt||
|Best Value||Flashfish Power Station||
|Premium Choice||A-iPower Inverter Generator||
|Aeiusny Solar Portable Generator||
|Soyond Solar Generator||
The 6 Best Portable Generators for Boat Use
1. Rockpals 250-Watt Portable Generator – Best Overall
Our choice for the best overall product on our list goes to the Rockpals 250-watt portable generator. You can easily grab the attached handle and tote this 5.5-pound, lightweight portable unit around to efficiently power up tablets, phones, laptops, fans, lights, and TVs with sine wave AC power.
The built-in 3.7V 60Ah battery has multiple options for recharging, making it a convenient for boat use. You can recharge it using a wall outlet, in your vehicle using the included adapter in a standard cigarette lighter socket for automotive accessories, or outside by hooking up to a compatible solar panel.
With this portable generator, you’ll be able to power up and recharge multiple items at the same time. It comes with four DC 12-volt ports featuring a 5.5mm DC jack, dual AC outputs, and two five-volt USB ports. The Rockpals also features surge and short-circuit protection, temperature control, and overcharge protection.
Keep in mind that some Apple products may not power up well or at all. Also, we learned that you may not be able to run items at the same time that the generator’s battery is recharging.
2. Flashfish Portable Power Station – Best Value
We choose the Flashfish 45000mAh Portable Power Station as the best value portable generator for boat use. You can charge your camera, phones, tablets, lights, fan, and even a mini fridge with this convenient portable generator, which supplies 150 running watts of pure sine wave output. With a built-in handle and compact suitcase design, this 4½-pound generator can easily be stored on your boat without taking up much space.
At a great value, this product provides you with three different types of outputs, including two 110-volt AC outlets, two 12-volt DC ports, and three USB ports. Two of the USB ports are designed for double-speed quick charging. When it’s time to recharge this generator, you’ll have three options: a wall outlet (adapter included), a car socket (charger and adapter included), or solar panel (must purchased separately).
The Flashfish has a helpful LED screen that displays the recharging levels of both your devices and its own internal battery. It also comes with various short-circuit, voltage, and overheat safety precautions and protections.
Be aware that though it is highly durable, if it does malfunction, returning this product may be problematic.
3. A-iPower Portable Inverter Generator – Premium Choice
Our premium choice, the A-iPower portable inverter generator, supplies you with plenty of power while out on your boat. This 2,000 peak watt and 1,600 running watt generator employs lo- idle technology for an amazing nine-hour extended runtime at 50% load and a four-hour run time at 100% load on a full 1.1-gallon fuel tank. This gas-fueled generator runs quietly enough to hold conversations on deck.
With the inverter, you get safer and cleaner electricity from the two 120-volt outlets and the 12-volt multi-function port. The generator comes with a DC adapter plug taht is USB ready. Additionally, the A-iPower is parallel ready and features a start, run, and stop multi-switch, a built-in fuel gauge, and indicator lights for output, overload alarm, and a low-oil alert.
At 50 pounds, this gas-fueled portable generator will require maintenance and is significantly heavier than our first two reviews. However, it has a portable design and includes a built-in handle. We also learned of quality control issues, with certain models not functioning properly. A-iPower does uphold the two-year warranty and offer technical support.
4. Aeiusny Solar Portable Generator
The powerful rechargeable 10.8-volt 25.5Ah lithium battery in the Aeiusny 400-watt solar portable generator can keep a 30-watt laptop charged for 20 hours, recharge your phone over 40 times, or run small appliances. You can access the pure sine wave output through three 110-volt AC outlets, two DC outlets, and four USB charging ports.
This compactly designed generator weighs only 7.49 pounds and is easily portable with its incorporated handle. If you need to recharge this generator while out on the water, you can hook it up to a separately purchased Aeiusny 60-watt solar panel and have a full charge within 10 to 15 hours of full sun. Or you can recharge the battery using the included adapters for an AC wall outlet or a car accessory port.
This generator comes with an LCD display that shows battery-operating status and is easy to read even in bright sunlight. The display can also be used as a SOS alarm light.
Be aware that Aeiunsy specifically explains that this generator cannot power appliances over 400 watts. Also, we learned that this product may lack durability over time and the operating instructions are difficult to read.
5. Soyond Portable Solar Generator
If you’re looking to bring a multi-functioning piece of equipment onto your boat, you may want to consider the Soyond portable solar generator. Beyond its four-in-one USB cable for charging phones, this generator’s compact, vertical design incorporates a light on one side, which we found is rather bright and can be useful for fishing. It has two additional three-watt LED lamps, along with a three-watt output to those lamps.
The Soyond also offers an FM radio, Bluetooth-compatible speakers ,and a TF card slot to play stored music. We discovered that the speakers deliver moderate to good quality sound. Other features on this unique generator include a digital LED display, power switches, and charging and power indicators.
With an incorporated handle, this lightweight 4.4-pound generator can easy come along on your outings on the water. Plus, when you’re far from shore, you can use the included six-watt solar panel kit to recharge the 800mAH capacity backup lithium battery. Otherwise, recharge the battery using the included adapter in a 110-volt wall socket or a car charger.
Be aware that we could not determine if the power output incorporates safe sine wave output.
6. AIPER Portable Power Station
Small enough to balance in the palm of one hand, you’ll be able to easily take the AIPER Portable Power Station on your next outing on the water. This lightweight generator can power any small appliance, such as a fan or a light, that requires less than 150 watts. It can easily recharge your phone or laptop. However, we could not be certain that this product offers clean and safe sine wave output.
This generator offers one 110-volt AC outlet, which supplies a continuous 150 watts with a surge of 200 watts, and two smart USB-A ports and two DC ports. For your convenience, an LCD display shows you the status of each port and outlet. Additionally, this generator has a built-in flashlight which can come in handy on your boat.
The lithium battery can be recharged using three different methods. Before you leave the dock, recharge it from a wall socket using the included AC wall charger or from your vehicle using the included car charger. Once you’re on the water, you have the option of recharging using a compatible solar panel — that is sold separately.
Before you make a purchase, consider a few factors. Using a portable generator on the water may require that you marinize it. Make sure to research all the steps you need to do in order to make sure your portable generator is ready for use on the water.
Also, while many of the portable generators on the list are small and lightweight, if you’re purchasing a larger model, take a moment to consider whether you have adequate space and that the weight isn’t too heavy. While smaller portable generators may not supply a great deal of power, they are convenient for finding a safe place for storage and use on your boat.
Finally, if you choose a gas-fueled portable generator, be sure to follow the same safety procedures that you would on dry land. Make sure you bring enough fuel, and if you purchase a portable generator with a rechargeable battery, fully charge it before leaving the dock. Solar panels, which may or may not be included at purchase, are useful when you’re far from shore, but only if you have ample sunlight and are willing to wait the hours it takes to recharge your generator’s battery.
The Rockpals 250-Watt Portable Generator earned our top pick as the best overall product on our list. This easily portable generator supplies clean and safe sine wave AC power through a variety of outlets and ports. It offers multiple options for recharging its built-in battery and includes a car adapter. Additional features include surge and short-circuit protection, temperature control, and overcharge protection. Its only drawbacks are that Apple products may not recharge properly and it cannot simultaneously recharge and produce output.
The Flashfish 45000mAh Portable Power Station is our choice for the best value product on the market. Most importantly, this easily portable generator supplies sine wave output through its multiple outlets and ports, which include two fast-charging USB ports. The Flashfish gives you three options for recharging its internal battery, and adapters are included. Additionally, it provides a helpful LED display and important safety protections. However, this product is difficult to return if malfunctioning. Also, keep in mind that if you plan to recharge the battery with solar power, a compatible solar panel will need to be purchased separately.
Finally, the A-iPower SUA2000iV Portable Inverter Generator took our third place on our list as our premium choice. With an impressive 2,000 peak watts and lengthy extended running time, this gas-fueled portable generator offers rather quiet operation and an inverter for clean output. It comes with a USB-ready DC adapter, parallel capability, and overload and low-oil alerts. Despite weighing 50 pounds, it’s easy to transport with the built-in handle. Also, A-iPower honors its two-year warranty and offers technical support. Its only cons include the extra maintenance required by being gas fueled and possible quality control issues with malfunctioning.
We hope our reviews, including the itemized pros/cons lists and buyer’s guide, have helped you discover different options for bringing a portable generator on your next boating expedition. With the right portable generator, you don’t have to worry about your phone, tablet, or laptop losing charge when you’re far from the dock. Also, with one of the more powerful products we reviewed, you could also gain lighting and run small appliances. Get ready to make an informed and confident purchase!
Featured Image Credit By: Quintin Gellar, pexels
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Portable Generators for Boat Use
- Buyer’s Guide