Re: Westerbeke vs Yanmar
Well, I've had all the big 3 over the years:
2 cylinder cast iron (yes the V word) circa 1976, running strong when I sold the boat and running well for the present owner. I had found a source for aftermarket maintenance parts which helped. Loved that motor, however I would not have replaced it with one of the new Volvos-not the same engines at all.
3 cylinder 26 HP WesterB/Universal which vibrated a lot in the lower RPMs and somewhat noisy compared to the old Volvo and my new Yanmar, but very reliable.
A fairly new 3 cylinder 29 HP Yanmar in my current boat which is too new to talk much about reliability, but boy is it smooth; starts effortlessly, purrs at all RPMs. Hope this testimonial doesn't jinx me when I de-winterize this coming weekend.
Don't think you can go wrong with either the WB or Y. Most of what's been said seems to substantiate that, anecdotally at least. Good luck which ever way you go.
Cranes Creek, VA