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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-05-2008
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A more common diesel...

Seems I have been reading about and running into folks with pre-1980 boats (at least) with diesel engines that are original equipment. A common problem is either a) finding parts at all, or b) that the parts are so exorbitantly priced it's ridiculous. For reference, check out bluewateronly's starter post:

Hard to find starter

So the question is, which manufacturer has a good reputation for reliability of the engine and for customer service and who has better availability world-wide for a re-power? I have heard various things... that Volvo is good in Europe and more-so on the East Coast of the US than the West, but not so much elsewhere in the world. Isuzu, though perhaps a great engine, has a pretty abysmal distribution network. From experience, Yanmar parts have to be purchased through a distributor and their customer service leaves something to be desired. So what engine (perhaps in the 20hp range?) would I choose? Any ideas?
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Old 08-05-2008
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I'm looking at Beta Marine for my repower project. Someone around here should have first hand experience with them. Based on the Kubota engine, parts should be widely available.

Beta Marine US Ltd. Distributors for Kubota based marine diesel engines and generators for sailboats, yachts and trawler boats.
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Old 08-05-2008
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I am not sure what difficulty is there with Yanmar. Parts are readily available all over (personally I just order mine off the net) and qualified mechanics that know these engines are easy to find. They are used in probably half the sailboats out there. I would not chose anything else if I ever had to repower. Just my 5 cents.

(And if you don't like Yanmar customer service - wait till you try the others)
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Old 08-05-2008
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I will be watching this post with much intrest. I was wondering the same thing. I also wonder if it's worth buying a used one and having it rebuilt vs new any thouhts on this.
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Old 08-05-2008
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My opinion is go with Yanmar. In the midwest, Torrenson marine in Muskegon Michigan provides good parts service, and tech information on the phone. Here in the St Louis area, it is essential to get a service manual for any marine diesel, because marine diesel mechanics are like hen's teeth. On my 1980 Endeavour I have a Perkins 4-108 engine, but my last boat had a Yanmar. Both are extremely reliable, but since Perkins closed their U S plant and no longer seem to push small diesels, I would opt for Yanmar. They always have a booth and seminars at Strictly Sail Chicago, and anyone who agressivly seeks marine business that way is more likely to take care of their customers. I know they are a Japanese company, and I would prefer American made products, but Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel seem to produce only 300+ HP engines. If my Perkins gives up the ghost, I'll replace it with Yanmar.
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Old 08-05-2008
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Quote:
I also wonder if it's worth buying a used one and having it rebuilt vs new any thouhts on this.
Why would you need to buy a used motor to rebuild ? If you plan on rebuilding, rebuild the one you have.

Early spring I did get a great price on a 29 hp Vetus engine, $5800.00, which I didn't buy as I was just shopping around.
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Old 08-05-2008
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old engine parts

I have found that TAD on the web sells remanufactured Perkins 4-108 engines and maintains nearly all support parts. I use them to maintain my 4-108 in my Gulfstar.
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Old 08-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
I am not sure what difficulty is there with Yanmar. Parts are readily available all over (personally I just order mine off the net) and qualified mechanics that know these engines are easy to find. They are used in probably half the sailboats out there. I would not chose anything else if I ever had to repower. Just my 5 cents.

(And if you don't like Yanmar customer service - wait till you try the others)
I wouldn't be opposed to Yanmar, necessarily, as long as the parts are available. I am mostly going from experience with my friend's boat. Could be that he just isn't looking in the right place. I will say that his manual is pretty good and pretty thorough each time we have needed an exploded view of a given part.

Any good online resources for Yanmar that anybody cares to share? Also, can anyone speak to the John Deere tractor question for parts availability? I may go and talk to a local Yanmar distributor to see what their network is like and what things look like for availability in places outside of the US.

Thanks for all the info!
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Old 08-05-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
Why would you need to buy a used motor to rebuild ? If you plan on rebuilding, rebuild the one you have.

Early spring I did get a great price on a 29 hp Vetus engine, $5800.00, which I didn't buy as I was just shopping around.
The problem with Blu rebuilding his current engine is parts availability and age. His thread about his starter going kaput is what prompted me to start this thread. He located a new one for $1000.00 and finally had to settle for paying $600.00 to have his old one rebuilt. So the cost of rebuilding what he has could add up pretty quickly, and only to have a newly rebuilt engine (if it is even possible to find all the parts) that is still extremely expensive to maintain.

Blu, I am interested too in hearing whether it would be cost effective or prudent to rebuild a newer good, used engine vs. buying new. Best route there (rebuild) seems to be to befriend a good diesel mechanic. Partly, I'm sure, all depends on your intentions for the boat. If it is to be your home and you plan to live on it until you're old and gray, I would probably go with a new one. Then the question would be which one? Well, probably not the latest and greatest with some funky new injector technology that will be scrapped in two years... but rather the tried and true workhorse that has been produced with only slight modification over the years. I plan to seek out this mystery engine at some point too.
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Old 08-05-2008
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I like the way Beta-Marine markets the serviceability of their motors. I also like that they don't keep the engine they use a secret, so you have to buy parts from them.
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