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Old 15-10-2018, 11:45   #1
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gas/diesel Huge selling diff

Hi
New to the power side of the forum, just left the sail side, now in the market for a 42 to 44' aft cabin, yup a floating condo for me. But has to be ocean capable, (Atlantic) Have seen a couple of Vikings; Hatteras and Tollycraft, 1980's vintage, not interested in Cravers; Bayliner; Silverton, etc. like the older style. Want the ability to run to Boston or run to the Bahamas from the Chesapeake.

Past couple of weeks have looked at 4 boats, 2 Tollycraft and 2 Vikings both all 44'; condition without survey appear to be similar, interior appointments roughly the same. so here the question - both makes looked at 1 with Crusaders 454; and other with diesel, 1 with Cats other with Detroit.

Looked up specs for all and in general the
Crusaders at 8 to 9 knots gets about 5.6gph or 1.5 Naut. mile per gallon.
Diesels at 8 to 9 knots get about 3.1 gph or 2.3 Naut. miles per gallon
But the price difference between gas and diesel is significant over $55,000. in asking price if I assume I pay asking (?) and compute the math based on current fuel prices it would take me over 40,000 Nautical Miles to be even close to being even up. Not discussing the following: safely issue gas vs. diesel, engine life, maint., resell value just raw cost purchase and operating gas vs diesel.

am I that crazy for even looking at gas?
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Old 15-10-2018, 11:59   #2
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

If you chose to not discuss or consider safely issue gas vs. diesel, engine life, maintenance, resell value and really only consider fuel cost vs. purchase cost, then of course you'd be crazy for even considering diesel power.

But if you ignore all those things, of course you'd be crazy too.

But, if you consider all the pros and cons and make a rational decision based on how you are going to use the boat, then you are not crazy, no matter what final decision you come to.
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Old 15-10-2018, 13:14   #3
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

I suspect the big difference in asking price will change when negotiating a contract. If it were me I would go for the Detroits first assuming condition of boats are same. They are very simple engines with lots of knowledgeable mechanics in every port. Negotiate as hard as you can and be willing to walk away if you don’t think the price is right. In other words, don’t get married too early in the process.

I would never take the Crusaders far off shore. But that’s maybe my prejudice based on limited experience. Real ocean going vessels use diesel for many reasons. But gas inboard engines and salt water are just not compatible in my experience. Some will disagree but it isn’t worth it in my view. Fuel price should be irrelevant in cruising. It’s nearly your least expense.

If these boats have not cruised open water in the last few months you should assume the fuel storage system is full of crud and inspect that carefully. Even 2 ft waves for hours on end can knock gunk loose and plug up the filters.
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Old 16-10-2018, 06:01   #4
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

Like billknny said, there are a lot of different pros and cons in the gas vs diesel decision. Narrowing your decision to only one, single criterion doesn't really make much sense.The reason that these kinds of motor yachts, when equipped with gas engines, sell for so much less than equivalent diesel models, is because of all those other criteria.


That said, it is absolutely NOT crazy to consider a gas-engined motor yacht. If you look at all of the pros and cons in a logical way, and come to the conclusion that a gas engine works for you, then more power to you. That's your choice and you don't have to explain it to anyone (though you probably WILL run into a lot of people who want you to explain).


Good luck.
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Old 16-10-2018, 06:12   #5
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHO827 View Post
Hi
New to the power side of the forum, just left the sail side, now in the market for a 42 to 44' aft cabin, yup a floating condo for me. But has to be ocean capable, (Atlantic) ... Want the ability to run to Boston or run to the Bahamas from the Chesapeake.

Looked up specs for all and in general the
Crusaders at 8 to 9 knots gets about 5.6gph or 1.5 Naut. mile per gallon.
Diesels at 8 to 9 knots get about 3.1 gph or 2.3 Naut. miles per gallon
But the price difference between gas and diesel is significant over $55,000. in asking price

Not discussing the following: safely issue gas vs. diesel, engine life, maint., resell value just raw cost purchase and operating gas vs diesel.

am I that crazy for even looking at gas?
There's a legitimate place in the market for gas engines, usually for boats doing more condo work than actual long-distance travel.

But you're right, it's a question pay me now, or pay me later. A dock neighbor and I went south last year, him in a gas boat smaller than ours. Over the same distance, he spend 1/3x more in gas $$$ than we spent in diesel.

Depends on what you can afford, when. Owning a gas boat and using it now could well be preferable to not owning a boat at all while you save up to buy a diesel model.

Don't think you should consider a boat without taking into account all of it's factors (safety, engine maintenance, etc). Deciding on fuel -- in a vacuum -- probably won't get you the boat you really want.

-Chris
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Old 16-10-2018, 06:46   #6
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

I think the previous replies have all been right on the money. Aside from mpg you have to consider diesel advantages in:

- reliability
- less maintenance
- engine life
- better resale value (get a lot of the difference back when you sell or you get a sale when the gas engine boat sits)
- safety (although there's millions of gas boats around the world and how to manage gas fuel safely isn't rocket science).

One point I didn't see mentioned is range. With better mileage also comes longer range before you have to fuel up. Not a problem in most places but could dictate how you plan your trips and stops. If you go the the outer islands of the Bahamas the additional range could be a bigger factor.
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Old 16-10-2018, 10:28   #7
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

+1 on reliability and engine life.

Gas engines have a shorter life expectancy than diesel. Consider the cost of repowering.

Buying used engine condition is a serious concern. Don't buy without an engine survey.
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Old 16-10-2018, 11:09   #8
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

I have had both, but one of the main things you might consider in a long distance cruise (or liveaboard) is the power of the generator. Gas emits far more toxic fumes (so I have heard) and really shouldn’t be run through the night...where diesel is safer, again...as I understand. Someone please correct me if I misspoke!
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Old 16-10-2018, 13:30   #9
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

Gasoline, like propane is explosive. I'm 70 and have been near several boat explosions caused by both fuels. I don't use either inside a hull. My bbq is outside. If you're going to use one fuel, you might as well use the other. One careless moment and it goes boom.
Diesel has more power within the fuel than gasoline but requires an engine that is heaver and can operate at higher temperatures. Diesel also has lubricating qualities. That and the better engine materials is why diesels last longer.
Most diesels are made to be rebuilt - replaceable sleeves, etc. The blocks, head, crank and other parts can last a lifetime.
I like Detroits because of their reliability, ease of getting parts, and lifespan. My current boat engines were made in 1947 or 1948 (same as me). They still have standard cranks. 71 and 53 series are probably the most reliable, least problems. The 2 cycle engines are simple. No injector pump, the injector is manually operated and has a plunger inside that makes the needed pressure. No bleeding issues. I've been running Detroits (and other engines) since before I could have a drivers license. They're my favorite and I am biased. Next would be much older Cats. They can run #3 diesel. Newer Cats are like most other engines just more expensive. Cat dropped out of the big truck market. I assume because they had too many problems with reliability. After that I would pick an all mechanical Cummins.
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Old 16-10-2018, 13:47   #10
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

I would not consider petrol engines at all. I think you may discover that insurance companies do not like them much either--and for excellent reasons. Petrol, in the right mix with oxygen, has about eight times the explosive power of the same weight of nitroglycerine.

I would not want that aboard--I am cautious enough with the small amount of petrol I have for the outboards, which always remains in a deck locker outside.

Modern turbocharged diesel engines are almost as powerful and far more fuel efficient.
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Old 16-10-2018, 14:11   #11
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

Check the size of the fuel tanks on the gas model. Gas models are often not expected to go as far, and have smaller gas tanks. On the other hand, maintenance in gas models and rebuilding them is cheaper than diesel..
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Old 16-10-2018, 14:53   #12
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

I agree with most of the above. Diesel fuel treated properly can last in the tank much longer then gas without going bad.
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Old 16-10-2018, 15:09   #13
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

The difference in the price between the same boat with a gas engine and one that already has diesel should be the cost of a replacement engine. It would be like selling a sailboat with 20yr old rigging, you may find a buyer prepared to risk it but only if you offer a significant discount. Personally I would insit on the doors being opened and engine room fans running for at least 30min before I even when on board to look round. I definitely would never go to sea in one even for a trial. But then I don't use LPG either for the same reasons!
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Old 16-10-2018, 16:07   #14
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
The difference in the price between the same boat with a gas engine and one that already has diesel should be the cost of a replacement engine. It would be like selling a sailboat with 20yr old rigging, you may find a buyer prepared to risk it but only if you offer a significant discount. Personally I would insit on the doors being opened and engine room fans running for at least 30min before I even when on board to look round. I definitely would never go to sea in one even for a trial. But then I don't use LPG either for the same reasons!
It seems you want an express cruiser, which is what I have - a 1998 Sealine 420 Statesman. It's light and has a bathtub-like hull, so it bounces around alot and horses very strongly in a wind at anchor. Consider a trawler if you want range and seaworthiness.

I have twin cummins 6BTA-370hp. They are good engines if set up well and maintained. Being 1998 engines, they are mechanical, which avoids electronic headaches but have slightly less efficiency.

My opinion is never go for gasoline for a long range boat, mostly for explosion safety. I've heard similar opinions from other experienced boaters. Also, fuel volume costs more and goes less.

I rebuilt both engines after realizing they were set up poorly and maintenance was ignored. Watch the exhaust riser set up; mine leaked back into the cylinders - ruined cylinders.

When ready to buy - insist on a WOT power run for at least an hour. If the engines survive, you are pretty good. If the owner refuses, assume you will soon be replacing them - price accordingly. I might rather get a boat with known bad engines and repower, so you know you are good. Get a good engine survey - open the riser at the turbo and look for water evidence. I wouldn't bother with a full survey; you can see how everything else is.

Get the manufacturer's specs so you know what is WOT. My engines are CPL 2208, which Cummins has WOT at 3,000 rpm.

I hear Detroits are good (wet sleves are easy to fix cylinder problems), but I hear they are less efficient (2 cycle).
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Old 16-10-2018, 16:17   #15
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Re: gas/diesel Huge selling diff

everyone
thanks for the info so far, I am not immune to all the other issues gas/diesel just wanted to get the issue down to bare bones. If I have a choice, which I do, I'd diffidently go with diesel, cost of operate on a daily basis, safety, and range. but when I see 2 almost identical boats that are $55,000 apart it does prompt my nerdy spreadsheet cost comparison. of course any boat that I would put an offer on would have to have complete surveys done.
At some point in all this after x number of mile the diesel would have to be rebuilt and the gas replaced - and from what I have seen the 2 are about the same cost - so its even up. but again it all comes down to the condition at the time of purchase.
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