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Old 17-10-2016, 07:54   #1
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Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

I have a 40ft Piver trimaran, displacement of 20tons and deadweight of 14,000lbs. I formerly had a volvo 2003T engine which was 43hp turbo. That engine is no longer part of the boat and I am looking to replace it.
My options are:
Volvo D2-40 which is a 40hp engine
Yanmar 38hp engine
Beta Marine 35hp engine
All of these engines are 4 cylinder.
My criteria are size, weight, reliability and ease of maintenance and parts.
Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

Many thanks
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Old 17-10-2016, 08:13   #2
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

I'd go for the Yanmar or Beta.

I am repowering with a Beta now. I hear lots of good things about Yanmars from their owners too.

I picked the Beta for cost/value and longevity of getting parts and support worldwide over two decades and I have heard the same of Yanmars. I also like of the the Beta features; The oil pump, weight savings and how relatively quiet they are.

Beta support over the long haul gets constant positive reviews. You will be hard pressed to find such for Volvo.

I would have also picked a Yanmar but got a better price from my local Beta dealer.
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Old 17-10-2016, 15:49   #3
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

What about Lombardini as option? Does anyone have experience with them? I've seen them on a performance Cat here in Aus and haven't heard anyone's experience with them.
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Old 17-10-2016, 15:52   #4
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

be careful when considering turbocharged engines--seems they burn down your boat. have fun deciding--i have a perkins tractor w=-engine and i am most happy with it. runs coool and does not burn down boats .
yet
and parts are available readily world wide
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Old 17-10-2016, 16:00   #5
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

I went with two of the beta 35, very happy with the weight savings and who else publishes spare part prices on their website. They will even gladly supply you with cross references part numbers for other oil filter brands for example.


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Old 17-10-2016, 20:29   #6
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

If you are cruising the Caribbean or the Pacific then Yanmar parts are generally easier to find. At least that is very much what I found in the Caribbean and have been told it is also true in the Pacific
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:41   #7
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Beta is based on Kubota tractor diesels. As such many (most?) of the parts are fully interchangeable and can be found at Kubota worldwide tractor dealers. Plus new Betas are mostly old school while new Yanmars are too computerized to function well long term in the marine environment. This is according to my marine pro friend who maintains and repairs boat engines for a living. Given a choice between brand new engines his preference is always to go with the old school, reliable versions as opposed to fancy, "latest technology" which according to him is a PITA and expensive to maintain and fix.
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Old 17-10-2016, 23:46   #8
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Beta is based on Kubota tractor diesels. As such many (most?) of the parts are fully interchangeable and can be found at Kubota worldwide tractor dealers. Plus new Betas are mostly old school while new Yanmars are too computerized to function well long term in the marine environment. This is according to my marine pro friend who maintains and repairs boat engines for a living. Given a choice between brand new engines his preference is always to go with the old school, reliable versions as opposed to fancy, "latest technology" which according to him is a PITA and expensive to maintain and fix.
Agreed!

You might ask the vendor one simple question: "Is there any electric/electronic device on this engine whose failure will prevent the engine running?". I believe that the Kubota based engines pass this test. The volvo fails, and I believe that many (all?) of the current crop of Yanmars do as well, but they have such a bewildering array of engines that some may still be ok.

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Old 18-10-2016, 00:02   #9
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Looking at Volvo, Yanmar & Beta, Id choose Beta, mainly because they have the least amount of electronic control.

But I'd look closely at the footprint and engine mount placement in your boat. Making changes to your engine bed can be very time consuming and costly if it is significantly different from your original engine. Make sure you will have good access to filters, water pump">raw water pump, etc.

Also have a look at the Vetus/Nanni engine range. Both are Mitsibishi based diesels with maximum torque at relatively low rpm compared to the others. They also don't have the electronic package like the Volvo has.
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Old 18-10-2016, 00:20   #10
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Also a not insignificant consideration should be the cost of the replacement parts. Volvo is way up there, gouging to the max. Yanmar is close behind and Beta/Universal are also rans. Probably due to the fact that there are Kubota tractors dealers' parts departments which dampens the high pricing structure of "marine parts".
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Old 18-10-2016, 00:41   #11
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Also a not insignificant consideration should be the cost of the replacement parts. Volvo is way up there, gouging to the max. Yanmar is close behind and Beta/Universal are also rans. Probably due to the fact that there are Kubota tractors dealers' parts departments which dampens the high pricing structure of "marine parts".
This is certainly true, but it isn't as good a thing as it sounds! I've owned a Kubota based Nanni 43 for 13 years now (engine is 26 y.o.). I have only needed one Kubota part (an injector o-ring)... the Kubota stuff is very long lived by yottie standards. All the other parts that I have needed were things related to the marinization of the engine, things supplied by Nanni (who is typically proud of their bits). I suspect the same to be true of Beta and others who start with the basic Kubota hardware (which is incredibly durable).

Should I ever get enough hours on t he engine to require rebuilding, the tractor guys would be my new best friends. I've found them to be very helpful when I had questions, and even offering to send me a used injector pipe in order to save me waiting about for delivery of a new one (turns out it wasn't the problem, but the service was great).

On the other hand, we've seen a number of folks in third world environments, standing under the "genuine Yanmar parts" sign, frustrated because the "dealer" had almost no stock of parts in house and not being very interested in expediting a quick delivery of what they did not stock. To paraphrase an old Texan joke, " big sign, no parts". I think that the guys who spout about world wide Yanmar parts availability haven't been to many remote cruising destinations.

Well, enough babbling. My prejudice towards Kubota based engines is pretty well established, and I have no reservations about recommending same.

Jim
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Old 18-10-2016, 03:55   #12
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

I'd go for the Beta. We replaced our Volvo 2003T with a Beta 38 on our previous boat and it was fabulous - good economy and easy to maintain with all the bits you need to service regularly at the front. Our new boat has a Yanmar 56, which is a great engine, but not as nearly easy to work on as the Beta. Provided the price is not prohibitive, go with Beta, you should get a good deal if you are in the US because of the falling pound. Good luck. Martin
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Old 18-10-2016, 04:58   #13
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
If you are cruising the Caribbean or the Pacific then Yanmar parts are generally easier to find. At least that is very much what I found in the Caribbean and have been told it is also true in the Pacific
You may have been told a lie with respect to Yanmar parts in the Pacific.

I recently broke a part in a Yanmar SD50 sail drive, not an unusual occurance with this particular piece of machinery. On our particular Pacific island, Australia, not one of dozens of Yanmar "dealers" stocked the new part. It had to be ordered from another group of Pacific islands; Japan. Three week wait.
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Old 18-10-2016, 07:55   #14
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

Thanks for the amazing input on this topic. I am leaning towards the Beta 38 which is the same as the 35. My Kiwi feathering prop is 18in diameter so the 38 is better matched.
I have used a Johnson 2stroke 28hp outboard strapped to the transom in the interim so I can get around. Affectionately referred to as the Johnson strap on.
Looking forward to getting an inboard back into the boat.
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Old 18-10-2016, 08:14   #15
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Re: Volvo, Yanmar or Beta Engine Choice?

You can't beat the Beta. Kubota parts availability and their marinization is excellent. Universal is also Kubota but not as well done, and they'll try to sell you their parts at prices even worse than Volvo. They will not give you the Kubota part numbers, Beta will.
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