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Old 12-08-2013, 06:54   #1
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Alberg 30 engine choice

Ahoy Mates! I am closing in on hopefully purchasing one of several Alberg 30's under consideration, which of course vary in age, condition and inventory. The two strongest contenders vary considerably in their diesel inboard capability - one, a 13hp Volvo Penta, the other a Beta Marine 20 hp. I would like to tap into the wisdom of the tribal elders here as to whether there is a strong argument for or against either. For the moment let's assume they are basically equal in age and condition. Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:22   #2
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Even the smallest Yanmar (I think it is a 1 cylinder. 9.6 hp donkey) will be adequate for regular use UNLESS where you sail there are some dramatic tidal currents or else if you plan to motor extensively upwave and upwind (if so, get the strongest motor).

There is a nice small 2 cylinder form Vetus, it is Mitsubishi based. I looked it up recently and shortlisted (our ship 3.0t light, now VP 13 hp).

There is nothing special about a VP and I would consider an equivalent Beta / Kubota / Nanni / Vetus / Mitsubishi diesel an equivalent.

The only engine I found better than others is a BUKH, they are still built to old school scantlings, they weigh and cost accordingly too.


Well my EUR 0.02.
b.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:31   #3
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

I'm just guessing from your post that the Beta Marine is a lot newer engine than the Volvo. In that case, I would go with the newer engine. Beta Marine (a marinised Kubota) has a good rep.

I had an old 13 hp Volvo, an MD7A, on an older boat. It was a good engine, but I had to spend a LOT of time with it.

Take a bit closer look. You may also find the Beta Marine is fresh-water cooled and the Volvo is raw-water cooled (depending on the model). Raw water cooling will eventually corrode the interior cooling passages of an old diesel, which can be a real headache.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:36   #4
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

I have not followed Yanma's diesel marine engine progress. I do remember a single cylinder 12HP RAW WATER COOLED PIG that Hunter installed in their early 30' sailboats. Mine had one of those PIGS when I purchased the boat new back in 1979...yeah, a looong time ago!

The PIG engine rotted out after 10 years and I replaced it with 15HP Kabota (Universal) which was the largest I could fit into the boat without major changes inside the boat.

The Yanma engine was better suited for use in a rice patty with its horizontal stroke. Almost impossible to control vibrations. If the engine had a vertical stroke, the vibrations would have been less severe. But be aware, single cylinder engines have greater vibrations than two cylinders and of course, it follows that a 3 cylinder engine will have less vibrations than a two.

My suggestion, purchase a boat with biggest FRESH WATER COOLED engine possible.
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Old 16-01-2014, 21:10   #5
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Did you go ahead with your purchase of an A30? If so you might want to join the A30 email list associated with alberg30.org web site. It's a great resource with lots of active A30 owners all over US and canada.

BTW I have a universal marine 25 hp diesel in my A30 and love it. The modern iteration is a Kubota block. Great engines and cheap parts if you buy at the Kubota tractor dealership near you.
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Old 17-01-2014, 01:15   #6
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Im no expert but a moter that big seems overkill for a boat that size. Afterall it is a sailboat not a motor boat!
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Old 17-01-2014, 14:04   #7
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Yes actually the 25 horse engine is probably on the upper end for an A
30. however for my cruising area - Puget Sound to Alaska it is well suited for the conditions. It has the same size footprint has the old atomic 4 for which it replaced and doesn't struggle at all with the 3 to 6 not currents we face locally and will take the boat anywhere in 35 kts of wind - fairly regular occurance. Also I can not stand to listen to the smaller modern high speed diesels. Mostly they run around 3800 RPM and a screech so badly it physically hurts my ears. So the lower speed Buddha Buddha Buddha hour after after is like music. Nevertheless many A 30 owners opt for something around 12 to 15 hp when they repower and several are quite happy with 7 hp outboards. Certainly for lightly built weekenders a smaller engine would work fine for getting in and out of harbors. If you are going cruising in an A 30 I still like the bigger engines say
20 - 25 hp. BTW my M25 only burns one pint of fuel per hour at 5kts. Infill up my fuel tank regularly - every two years.
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Old 17-01-2014, 14:20   #8
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Hands down I'd choose a Beta Marine engine. The support will be outstanding and maint and replacement parts if needed cheaper by far. Very satified owner of a Beta engine. Tim
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Old 17-01-2014, 14:23   #9
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

The Beta but then I'm a Volvo hater.
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Old 18-01-2014, 00:40   #10
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

The beta seems very popular. Probably an excellent choice. If I recall correctly the Beta is the marineized version of the modern Kubota itself the old universal Diesel engine, which my A 30 has installed, by a previous owner. Any event, an idea choice.

PS. Make sure you get the right prop for the engine...the dealer will know which is best.
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Old 18-01-2014, 09:53   #11
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
The Beta but then I'm a Volvo hater.
Me too.
The engines are ok, but Volvo parts prices have historically been absurd.
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Old 18-01-2014, 10:11   #12
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

As it happens I bought neither boat I was looking at when I first asked the question, but I did buy another, Hull #69, and the original Atomic 4 had been replaced with a 20 hp Westerbeke with 400 hours. I never had a chance for a proper seatrial before she was hauled out for the Winter but it seems to run well. I am looking to change up to the proper, well, prop, for this engine and transmission as she still has the two-blade original and I have been advised that it is not ideal. Thanks all for your responses! See you on the water!
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Old 19-01-2014, 13:56   #13
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Congratulations Abel,

Iam sure you will enjoy your Alberg. I certainly do. What part of the country are you in? There are very active cruising and racing groups around Toronto and along the Chesapeake. Only a few of us lonely soles along the west coast, although a great Alberg/Pearson group that has a weekend meetup in late June each year on Salt Spring island, along lower Vancouver island.

Also we have a great A30 owners email list which you can join by going to alberg30.org. Lots of great advice and good stories from the various membership.

Cheers
Glenn Brooks
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Old 20-01-2014, 08:47   #14
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
The Beta but then I'm a Volvo hater.
That drove my choices, too. Volvos are excellent until they break, and then you get to support Swedish pension plans via the inflated cost of Volvo spares.
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Old 20-01-2014, 08:50   #15
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Re: Alberg 30 engine choice

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Originally Posted by AbelCMann View Post
As it happens I bought neither boat I was looking at when I first asked the question, but I did buy another, Hull #69, and the original Atomic 4 had been replaced with a 20 hp Westerbeke with 400 hours. I never had a chance for a proper seatrial before she was hauled out for the Winter but it seems to run well. I am looking to change up to the proper, well, prop, for this engine and transmission as she still has the two-blade original and I have been advised that it is not ideal. Thanks all for your responses! See you on the water!
Even on an Alberg 30, you may find significant advantages in going to a feathering three-bladed prop, but much will depend on your willingness to cut back a bigger prop aperture.
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