Join Date: Apr 2006
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Tim, the diesel will usually be a more expensive engine (because they are built to withstand higher compression, typically 3x more than gasoline engines) and that usually means the diesel boat can be a fast $5-10,000 higher in price. Gasoline may be enough for your needs, the engines traditionally are smaller, lighter, and quieter.
Yes, gasoline can explode. Well, duh, that's how a combustion engine operates, by exploding the fuel. You can make a nice bomb out of aerosolized diesel fuel, spraying out of the high pressure fuel injection system, too. Or, it can literally jet through your skin, not a good thing.
Gasoline engines may be vulnerable to their ignition systems but ignition system maintenance ain't rocket science. Gasoline engines typically had carburetors, which need adjustment every couple of years. Again, not rocket science. And in the US gasoline is easily obtained.
Yes, gasoline goes stale, "pump gas" is designed to be used within 60-90 days and it is a witches brew of about 60 ingredients, some very volatile and unstable, some that break down into varnish, some that evaporate. If you want to keep it longer, you add some fuel stabilizer--just like you do in a diesel system!
But in the diesel system, you also have problems with things growing in the fuel tank, so you need stabilizers AND biocides. And, around 40F the diesel turns to gel in the fuel lines unless you bought "winter fuel" or added more boosters to it. Ooopise. And, in most old diesels the fuel systems don't bleed themselves, so you need to learn the messy operation of bleeding air from any air leaks, and replacing crush washers when you do, and...
A DIFFERENT set of problems, but still potential problems.
The only real difference between a well-maintained diesel angine and a well-maintained gasoline engine, is that if you're planning to motor a thousand miles, the diesel tank will weigh and fill less than half the space the gasoline tank would have needed. That can be a big difference!
An owner who has no idea how to maintain either system, will eventually get stuck. Someone who knows how to operate both...can live happily with either.
Vapors, leaks, explosions? No, that's simply unacceptable, for any engine, for any fuel.