Ahoy there, ye old salts...
I am trying to evaluate the options available for a repower
if (as seems likely) I decide not to rebuild
my dear old Bukh
but instead install a new, freshwater cooled engine
. I'm in BC Canada
, so am looking at engines readily available here.
The candidates at present are:
Mitsubishi (Sole MINI-29, Westerbeke
, or equiv)
I eliminated the Isuzu "Suzie 23" because its mounts are too widely spaced (athwartships) and I'd have to modify the beds. Also I had a "lil suzie" in a previous boat and found it far too jumpy. All the remaining engines are physically smaller than the Bukh
-- enough so fore/aft that I will probably have to replace my driveshaft. So packaging should not be a headache.
I have a leaning towards the Beta Marine
just because I have seen them on the chandlery
floor -- so the visual impact of all that shiny cuteness, and the very convenient placement of routine service
items, left me irrationally biased in their favour. I'm trying to find more rational ways to compare apples/apples and see which engine
is the best bet.
Unfortunately it's hard to find out some of the things I'd like to know. For example, I prefer cast iron for head
and block. I can't find out (so far) what Mitsubishi uses. Beta proudly advertises "cast iron". Yanmar
... well, there are so many models of Yanmar! some of the older ones still had cast iron blocks, but the literature doesn't mention the heads.
But in the end, it's experience in the field that really counts. The things that matter most to me are (a) reliability
, (b) smooth/quiet, (c) ease of service
, (d) affordable and available parts
. A slightly lower RPM
range would be a modest selling point, as I don't love the howl of a high-revving motor
I have heard that Betas "eat anodes" and that their heat exchangers rot
out rather quickly. I have heard that modern Yanmars don't last as long as the famous old ones. I know nothing at all about Mitsu's other than that Westerbeke
(marinised Mitsu) are well-loved by a couple of people I know that have one.
So... let the opinion wars begin! if you have one of these, or are contemplating the same choice, please share your thinking!