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Old 25-09-2020, 18:06   #61
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

I have a 2010 Beta Marine 16HP in a 1977 IRWIN 30 Citation. So far normal maintenance has been easy. The best part is the Beta service department will answer your service questions and give you advice. Service parts ship out no later than next day and arrive in the mail in a few days.

Beta Marine engines are a Kabota farm tractor engine with marine boat additions.
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Old 25-09-2020, 18:39   #62
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Are the Westerbeke's raw water cooled? Or perhaps there's a galvanic corrision isue inherent to the generator design? I stripped down my poor old 10yo Mitsubishi S3L2 that had been basting in sea water for years and block and head corrision wasn't an issue. And this was an engine where all internal roller bearings were severely corroded. In fact I'm going to rebuild it as is but with new bearings and seals as a project just to see how it runs once back together (it's really just a parts engine now, but easier to store as one component vs hundreds).
Canít say about the genset but Westerbeke propulsion engines are closed-loop (Heat exchanger) cooled. I imagine their gensets are as well, as are most ( but not all) others.

Incidentally, from looking at their website, it appears that the Westerbeke brand only is used for their genset these days while they market propulsion engines as Universal (Kubota.) Judging by the decline in new boat launchings, Iíve been expecting that for some time. Iíve had Westerbeke in various forms for 30 years. Anybodyís user/customer support could be better.
Why wonít the money go as far as the boat will?
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Old 25-09-2020, 21:31   #63
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

My first choice is Kubota/Universal/Beta. (same blocks, different brand)
Second choice Yanmar
Third choice, several possibilities: Mitsubishi, Perkins, Volvo (only if it's the Perkins block)
Do not buy a boat with a sail drive. Just don't.
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Old 26-09-2020, 00:25   #64
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

Where are you planning to sail?

I have worked with Volvo, Yanmar, Vetus and Perkins engines on sailing yachts in ASIA.


Volvo and Perkins proved the most reliable but Yanmar came close behind.

Perkins was easiest to fix myself.

Parts Availability:

Yanmar benefits when sailing in Asia (I do not know about beyond Asia) because parts are very easy to obtain in most engine parts stores as these engines are used extensively in agriculture.

If you have time on your hands then Perkins parts are easy and generally less expensive to obtain from most engine parts stores but sometimes, for older models, you have to order overseas and wait for the courier pack.

Volvo parts are almost always not available locally but can be ordered (usually the longest wait time) and always the most expensive.

Vetus parts very difficult to obtain except by courier pack from overseas.


Always put some oil treatment in the engine, something with molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) - in the UK "Molyslip", in Germany & Australia "LiquiMoly MoS2", in the US (old brand name) "Moly BlackGold".

Why MoS2?

1) because sailing yacht engines get used very little, they sometimes go months between uses and all the oil thoroughly drains to the sump so, when the engine is started there is a lot of dry-metal on dry-metal friction/wear . . . what MoS2 does is to coat all bearing surfaces with MoS2, which acts as a metal-bonded super-lubricant even when started after months of idleness.

2) if you lose all your oil then the engine probably has enough metal-bonded lubricant to get you out of trouble.

I have had two engines lose all oil while in operation (for different reasons), the first one had no oil additive, quickly seized and was pretty useless without a costly rebuild. The second had Molyslip added to the oil and, although is sounded very hollow, it kept running long enough for us to motor about 10NM into a safe haven and, after we fixed the leak and refilled the engine with oil, the engine was used for another ten years without rebuild and without incident.
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Old 26-09-2020, 15:30   #65
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

I am also looking for a new engine. I have Yanmars now. These have been very reliable except for the seawater pumps which last about 600 hours between overhauls.

My current choice is Lombardini (much better value under 50HP).

Perkins is cheaper than Yanmar/Volvo where I live. How long any engine lasts has as much to do with maintenance and how it is run, as it has to do with brand.

I suggest choosing the engine that has the simplest installation. Installation costs can be as much as the engine if large changes are necessary.
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Old 26-09-2020, 19:24   #66
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

I am familiar with the whole Yanmar water pump">raw water pump rebuild. AND...they are a bi**h to work on! Please consider a Beta (Kabota). Designed for the boat owber to work on.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 27-09-2020, 23:32   #67
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Re: Best diesel for sailboats?

Originally Posted by aweofthesea View Post
Looking at buying something in the 40' range.
I see Yanmar and Volvo are common types of engines aboard?

Any preferences?


Yeah but. I haven't heard the question once: "Where will you be cruising?".

Anywhere in the Pacific or Pacific Rim (including Cali, Washington, Oregon), you can easily get Yanmar parts. There are Yanmar marine engine dealers all over the place (like the Marshall Islands, Yap, Ponape, Tahiti, Samoa, and on and on) and a lot of parts are common with their line of tractor engines, which means that you can get parts from a tractor dealer too.

This doesn't work with Volvo unless you're in Sweden or Norway. I'd make a wild guess that the Med has a bunch of Israeli, French, and Italian marine engine dealers, but not too many Yanmar or Volvo dealers.

Stocking parts dealers are much harder to find, and the engines themselves not quite as reliable.

With Warm Aloha, Tim
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