SailNet Community - View Single Post - Diesel vs 4 stroke outboard???
View Single Post
post #14 of Old 11-18-2008
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Diesel Inboard vs Petrol Outboard

Originally Posted by bugged View Post
Hi again, need to pick the brains from those who have been there, done that.
I have a 26'' Chrysler sailboat w/ swing keel.I plan on taking it from Kenosha Wi.(Lake Michigan)through the great lakes, out the canal system (or St Lawrence??) to the I.C.W. & then to the Bahamas & points south.
My question is, I have on my boat now a 9.9 hp Yamaha 4 stroke outboard. I have the opportunity to purchase a used 9 hp yanmar diesel w/ trans. for about $1500. From what I can see it will cost me another $1000 in parts to install the diesel.
My S/O seems to think that the outboard will "wear out" getting to the Bahamas & that I should fork over the $$$ to do the diesel. What I am looking for is experienced honest opinions on the matter.
I''m not trying to prove anyone wrong or right, I would just like ideas before I make a decision that I can''t undo.
Thanks in advance!!!!

Larry C
OK I don't know your boat but I do have experience of your problems (even if slightly secondhand). A close friend purchased a Westerly 28 fin keel sloop with a view to long distance cruising. (UK to the Antipodes). He did not want to pay for a watermaker and decided that removing the 36HP Volvo MD3B diesel would save a lot of weight. He reasoned that the weight saved would allow more drinking water to be carried and the plan was to use an outboard motor just for entering and leaving harbours. Unfortunately this was a bad mistake. OK the boat is principally a sailing boat but sometimes there is no wind! At other times the wind is coming head on which is a big problem in narrow channels. The new Honda 7.5HP outboard was OK up to a point but in heavy weather the prop leaves the water. The economy is not brilliant either. In the end he sold the outboard and re-installed a diesel in order to motor through the Panama canal. The new diesel was a 10HP Japanese single cylinder model with no balancer shaft. This would not have been my first choice to put it mildly but there were probably financial reasons. IMHO the flywheel is too small hence the motor is impossible for most people to hand-start and even the makers engineer cannot hand-start it. There was no balancer shaft and at certain revs the entire boat would vibrate, mast,rigging and all. It was important to run the engine either below or above the resonance band.

Jims next boat was a Hurley 27 (AKA Dockrell 27). Less grand than the Westerly but IMHO its Betamarine BZ13 (a twin) was impeccable, SMOOTH RUNNING, of course the previous owner paid a lot of money for that engine. I sailed (motored actually) round The Lizard on that boat doing Plymouth, Falmouth, Penzance. At times did hear the Beta race as the prop lost its grip whilst punching against wind and tide so I doubt whether an outboard could have done it. Even with diesel economy several imperial gallons were consumed and an outboard would have used double the amount. Two mishaps occurred on that trip. Firstly the pitching of the boat frayed through the cord supporting the radar reflector. It fell from the crosstrees and was blown backwards into the cockpit where it felled the skipper. The next mishap was a broken battery terminal. Cheap zinc alloy plated to look like brass! Luckily we had Mole grips (vise grip pliers) on board, but those fake brass battery terminals ought to be banned as they are a safety hazard.

Good Luck! but as always its horses for courses.
Davey1000 is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome