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Old 15-10-2008, 12:14   #1
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Which diesel for cruising, Yanmar or Kubota?

I am looking at repowering in the not to distant future and am wondering what the best engine for a cruising boat would be.

Yanmar advantages include reliability and worldwide availability of parts.

Kubota (Beta, Nanni, others?) advantages would be that since they are used in non-marine applications I would think that engine parts would be much cheaper and easily available. Disadvantage might be availability and cost of marinization parts.

Problem is, I'm just quessing at all these points. Anybody with actual knowledge?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 15-10-2008, 12:36   #2
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A Yanmar doesn't fit well in a Catalina 30. A Universal M3-20b is the best fit
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Old 15-10-2008, 13:13   #3
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Originally Posted by never monday View Post
A Yanmar doesn't fit well in a Catalina 30. A Universal M3-20b is the best fit
Not to worry, the old Atomic 4 is going strong. I should have mentioned that the diesels are for the catamaran, currently underpowered with 2 x 22hp Vetus', one of which is TU. Looking at Yanmar YM30, Beta 28, Nanni 3.30 etc.
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Old 15-10-2008, 13:43   #4
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Beta

We put a new Beta in our sailboat several years ago and have about 150 hours on the engine. We love it, and so far no problems. Fuel/oil filters (as an example) can be purchased from an automotive store. Their US website lists various brands for parts. Oil changing setup is terrific. We called them a number of times during installation and they were very helpful.
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Old 15-10-2008, 13:54   #5
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I don't know much about what behind the stairs in my boat, but when in a chandlery in Caribbean, or motor parts shop in the pacific, they seem to have a whole section for Yanmar parts. I don't nee nuffin with a Westerbeke or Kabotoa logo.

If you have the luxury to choose now, and you are leaving the USA then I would be looking at a Yanmar.

By the way, our 56hp running at 1,000 or 1,200 rpm charging uses (less than?) about 1 litre per hour. Hows that for economy
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Old 15-10-2008, 15:50   #6
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Considering it's the marinization parts that fail. At least more frequently than the tractor parts (Kubota). I'd look at the big 3. Yanmar, Volvo and Westerbeke/Universal. They each have larger dealer networks than the other mentioned companies.
Yeah, the internet and FedEx/UPS can make any port a parts depot. It would just get old paying 3x the part cost in shipping.
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Old 16-10-2008, 13:59   #7
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Considering it's the marinization parts that fail. At least more frequently than the tractor parts (Kubota). I'd look at the big 3. Yanmar, Volvo and Westerbeke/Universal. They each have larger dealer networks than the other mentioned companies.
Yeah, the internet and FedEx/UPS can make any port a parts depot. It would just get old paying 3x the part cost in shipping.
Hello Mike,

While all of the companies that you mentioned make pretty good engines I suggest that you look at the availability of the service parts (filters, impellers and zincs) and check the pricing of these before you jump in and buy 2 engines. Although Pat (Never Monday) is biased towards engines that he sells, I doubt that he has ever had to purchase any parts outside of the USA. You are likely to find that the listed dealers in places like St. Martin will either be out of what you want or that the prices will be horrendous. I did phone our dealer in St. Martin before writing this. One of the reasons that Beta Marine has gone from strength to strength is that our parts pricing is reasonable and more easily avialable that any of the competition.

If there is no Beta Marine dealer available, we can ship anywhere, as can anyone else, by Fed Ex, UPS or DHL.

Have fun with your research. Check your costs carefully before making your purchase decision. Find out which supplier will help you while you are doing your repower and which company is capable of providing advice. Check the warranty conditions as some companies state that if their dealer does not do the installation, then your warranty is null and void.

Regards,
Stanley
Beta Marine US Ltd.
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Old 16-10-2008, 14:56   #8
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Yanmar World wide Parts availability

Outside of the US parts seem to be available, but I've had a lot of trouble inside the US. Several parts I have needed were going to have to be shipped from Japan with a 3-4 week delay. As pointed out by Never Monday any port can work with the Internet. I had the parts overnighted from the UK. Anyone who thinks that you'll pay more for shipping than the parts has never purchased a Yanmar part. 2 Shaft seals $112, overnight from the UK $36. My option was to be in the yard for 3 weeks at $44 a day. Shipping is cheap! By the way the us price was within $1 of that.
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Old 16-10-2008, 15:13   #9
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If you have the luxury of choosing between a Yanmar and the others.......there's really a question?
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Old 16-10-2008, 16:23   #10
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If you have the luxury of choosing between a Yanmar and the others.......there's really a question?

What he said. You can get Yanmar parts anywhere on the globe.
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Old 17-10-2008, 05:14   #11
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Originally Posted by NCboatrx View Post
...If there is no ... dealer available, we can ship anywhere, as can anyone else, by Fed Ex, UPS or DHL...
Quote:
Originally Posted by never monday View Post
... Yeah, the internet and FedEx/UPS can make any port a parts depot. It would just get old paying 3x the part cost in shipping.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
... Anyone who thinks that you'll pay more for shipping than the parts has never purchased a Yanmar part.
... My option was to be in the yard for 3 weeks at $44 a day. Shipping is cheap!
Shipping may or may not be cheap; but import & stamp duties (and "down" time) may be expensive.

See also: “Shipping Packages & Mail“
Shipping Packages & Mail
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Old 17-10-2008, 12:03   #12
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Thanks for all the replies.

I did an internet search for prices of common replacement parts (filters, belts, impellers, head gaskets, starters etc.) and was not surprised to find that Kubota parts were almost exactly 50% less in all cases ($440 for a Yanmar head gastket!). This alone has me leaning heavily towards a Kubota. I really like the idea that I can buy parts at an auto supply store or a lawnmower shop rather than a chandlery.

When speaking of marinization parts I assume we are talking about heat exchangers, exhast risers/elbows, zincs, water pumps. It seems to me that with regular maintenance one could avoid costly surprises, but maybe I'm missing something?
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Old 17-10-2008, 13:43   #13
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Whe I bid for a boat a year ago, I knew that I probably needed to replace the saildrives on the yanmars.

It was going to be cheaper to lift out the complete units and replace with new betas and drives than just fit new drives!

a real no-brainer.
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Old 17-10-2008, 14:27   #14
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Hello Mike,
You are quite correct. regular maintenance does indeed save lots of surprises and money in the long run. Most small diesels suffer much more from corrosion, lack of use and poor maintenance than they ever will from being used.

I am obviously biased towards Beta Marine and although we keep things like heat exchangers and water pumps (both fresh and raw water) in stock here at our warehouse, we are the distributor and are expected to keep these parts. At the dealer level it will be very unusual to find these parts in stock. Dealers generally keep fast moving service parts (filters, zincs, impellers, belts etc) in stock and rely on their distributor to get the larger items to them when needed. This goes for every brand of engine out there.

Regards, Stanley
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Old 17-10-2008, 15:09   #15
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Mike, Research tells all. I used to think Yanmar was the only game but since they changed the base engines IMHO they are largely the same. Funny story: Whe I worked for "another engine company" I sent something "Overnight" to the Cook Islands. When the guy called the next day to ask where it was I mentioned it was not the next day here yet! Getting parts to the other side of the world is not a big issue anymore but it can be pricey. Most countries will be gentle on the tax if it is a boat in transit and just a few items and no dealer/distributor.
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