Our new (to us) boat has the original Universal 16hp diesel, by all accounts in great shape. However, it's a 16hp engine on a 33 1/2' boat with a 9500lb displacement... At the time the boat was built, that was the 2nd lowest of the 4 engine options. My husband would like to upgrade to at least a mid-20s hp engine.
Now, before you say "you're supposed to be SAILING"... The boat will be berthed in Beaufort, NC, and the ICW both north and south for a fair distance is not sailing water, and we will be doing weekends in these areas. We have sailboats go by our house by the dozens every day, obvious live-aboards, boats from Oriental, etc., and I have never once seen one with a sail up. So to GET somewhere to sail, we will have to motor a pretty good way, and we'd obviously rather not add one day for every 3 in the process!
So, with that said, two questions:
1. Advice on brands (I know Yanmar is "it", but others?)?
2. How do you figure out the optimum hp without going past the point of diminishing returns? Since Newports aren't made anymore, we can't ask them!