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Old 17-09-2009, 14:15   #1
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Seeking Opinions on Best Diesel Repower for Long-Haul Voyaging

My mechanic has just informed me that due to the paucity of parts, rebuilding my 22 year old Westerbeke W-52 diesel could cost nearly as much as a new one. I told him I'd send him some rebuild kit links from Australia at a tenth of the price of Westerbeke's, but this has me thinking of the upside of repowering with a new, warranted diesel.

So I will throw it out there to the esteemed readers: If you were to purchase a new diesel in the 50-60 HP range to power a steel 41 foot pilothouse motorsailer (the sailing qualities are strong enough that we will sail more than motor), what would you purchase and why?

Some particular considerations:

1) This hypothetical repower would be going into a long-distance cruiser. We are looking to circumnavigate.

2) This will be turning a 19 x 15 VariProp four-blade feathering prop on a 1.25-inch shaft.

3) The engine will be on soft mounts and attached to an Aquadrive universal coupler/thrust bearing installation.

4) The engine would rarely be used to make power without pushing the boat. Extensive solar and wind generation are the primary amp-makers, not an alternator. The engine, however, once on, would be run at load until fully warmed up...like a "poop pump" run every four or five days a few miles out of an anchorage. At that time, I would be happy to make amps from a 90-100 amp alternator.

5) The engine would probably be run 800-1000 hours per year. Ease of maintenance, ease of acquiring spares and sheer robustness are prime considerations. Weight is not, nor are complications like intercoolers, turbos, etc. If I need to service the thing, I want to have it as simple as possible.

I am leaning toward Beta Marine's Kubota-based engine, but I would love to hear contending opinions. I am cross-posting this to Anything-Sailing.com and Sailnet to gather as wide a response as possible.

Thanks!
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Old 17-09-2009, 14:39   #2
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cummins

I replaced a perkins 4-154 with a Cummins 4b3.3 64 hp naturally aspirated.
I did it for the reasons you are thinking and maybe some more.
First I had to rebuild the cockpit sole. That meant removing a ton of wiring the steering pedestal and some engine controls. After that the engine was sitting there yelling to be pulled. Also the fuel tank a 30 year steel tank was easier to pull once the engine was out so out it came .Below the engine was years of yuck that was near impossable to get to. The engine needed a rebuild ... So pulling the engine was a no brainer. For me the cost of rebuild and then having a rebuilt engine compared to brand new didn't hold value. I think the estimates for rebuild were around $4000 US
considering all this I spent about 12000 dollars for a new engine and tranny, hoses exhaust etc. I did all the work myself although in the equation I don't think it matters. In my case there was a lot that had to be done to get to the engine and I wanted it right.
The cummins has been great parts are available anywhere. so far it does what it needs to and I have only bought filters and maintenance pieces. It fit on the existing beds without modification another consideration when looking at a repower. I sold the old motor for $800.
It was the right choice for me and the conditions that were present on the boat.
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Old 17-09-2009, 14:50   #3
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I faced a similar decision, with much the same criteria, 12 months ago. I went with a Yanmar 54hp. Beta was my second choice.
Worldwide their are a lot of Yanmar dealers.Owners, universaly seem to love them and I have found it has been a major improvement from the Kubota based Nanni engine it replaced.
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Old 17-09-2009, 14:58   #4
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I would tend to lean towards a kubota based marinization. There are a lot more kubota powered tractors that I'm aware of than yanmar. parts are more readily available
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Old 17-09-2009, 15:04   #5
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Volkswagen marine engine. Quiet. Low on diesel. Parts available anywhere. Comes with a Hurth transmission. German engineering. Caterpillar is the dealer in the US.
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Old 17-09-2009, 15:34   #6
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I would tend to lean towards a kubota based marinization. There are a lot more kubota powered tractors that I'm aware of than yanmar. parts are more readily available
The parts that tend to most often meed to be replaced are the marinised parts, rather than the base engine parts.
I had a Kubota powered main engine and still have a kubota based generator getting parts is more difficult than for my Yanmar main engine.

For example my Kunota based Nanni 15 Hp generator has a small right angle bend water hose that leads from the heat exchanger and needs replacing. I have not seen a Nanni / Beta marine dealer in all my travels in the last 2 years. Their are 5 or 6 Yanmar dealers, witin 30nm of my current remote location.
To repace this Nanni hose I have to ask Yanmar/ volvo/ and car dealears if I can hunt through their spare parts to find a sulable hose. The old hose will probably be destroyed removing it so I have to hope my selecion fits.
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Old 17-09-2009, 15:45   #7
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Perkins Volvo Yanmar depending on availability parts/service where you are located./Harry
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Old 17-09-2009, 16:26   #8
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Deere overpower?

I put a John Deere 4045 into Boracay (15 tonne, 44' steel cutter) with a ZF63 2:1 transmission. Spares from any John Deere dealer.

It's a big heavy engine, rated at 85 hp continuous at 2500rpm. Strangely I found myself to be seriously overproped. I've reduced the pitch once already and may have to do it again or reduce the diameter of the prop. Those stories about overpitching damaging an engine may be true as the old engine
(3.7 litre Ford) was damaged beyond repair. I don't normally run past 1800rpm (gets me 7.5 knots).

I don't know if your very nice sounding feathering propeller would take all the power. My experience suggests there's a chance.

A 1.25" shaft may be light, even for 50hp. The table on p89 of Dave Gerr's Propeller handbook puts it on the edge on my reading.
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Old 17-09-2009, 17:44   #9
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a VP MD2-55,
a VW Marine,
a Vetus,

My pick (if service / parts available) would be a Bukh.

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Old 17-09-2009, 19:38   #10
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Yanmar is the only thingo that I have seen parts for world wide.
Every anchorage has cruisers who know more about Yanmars than any other engine - and cruisers are normally free! (OK well they cost dinner and beer)

I would neva eva go with anything else if I had the choice.



One other thought..... in any reasonable size anchorage betwen the crusing boats there would be enough Yanmar spares to get a fellow cruiser out of trouble. And the wonderful thing about cruising is that everyone woould help!

Mark
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Old 17-09-2009, 23:00   #11
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Simple answer... Yanmar. The best engines, great parts availability, quite, smooth, no glow plugs,and very dependable. Volvo has parts problems and dependability issues. Perkins are obsolete and parts unavailable.

It was interesting to me several years ago on some short handed round the world race I saw an equipment list. Every boat had a Yanmar engine. They knew!
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Old 17-09-2009, 23:23   #12
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First choice if you can afford it is Yanmar - basically best reputation and they know it, so the prices are not low. For the 50hp max range look at BetaMarinaNC for the marinized Kubota engines. index Beta Marine US Ltd. Distributors for Kubota based marine The chap that runs the operation is very good. I worked with some of their engines and liked them so much I bought one of their genset versions. Love it.
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Old 17-09-2009, 23:40   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
I replaced a perkins 4-154 with a Cummins 4b3.3 64 hp naturally aspirated.
Snap

I have 2 in my build as yet haven't used them but my research showed them to be bulletproof having read plenty of stories about them just running forever.

They are actually a Komatsu (Japanese) engine and used in a lot of small excavators and mining equipment.
They spin slow and don't work hard.

They were a bit heavier than Yanmars, but also a lot cheaper but the robustness, longevity and parts availability was what I was after.
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Old 17-09-2009, 23:41   #14
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First choice if you can afford it is Yanmar - basically best reputation and they know it, so the prices are not low.
What are you basing that on?
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Old 18-09-2009, 02:47   #15
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slow and don't work hard.
An engine just like me
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