Seeking opinions on best diesel repower for long-haul voyaging - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-18-2009
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The question is if you take a spares KIT with pumps and gaskets how much more are you going to repiar ?

If the motor has a major issue with a bearing or piston your pretty screwed no matter how much stuff you pack

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post #12 of 18 Old 09-18-2009
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I've got a similar sized project going that I'll be looking to power in a few years. I'm looking hard at the Cummins B3.3M, marinized by Trans Atlantic Diesels.

Talking about lower rpm giving lower noise and longer life, it's rated at 65 hp @ 2600 rpm, but also delivers 55 hp @ 1800 rpm. I would prop for 1800 rpm max.

The B3.3 engines are primarily used on generator sets, construction and farm equipment. Gensets run either 1800 rpm (60 Hz) or 1500 rpm (50 Hz) 24/7 at full load. The turbocharged versions of these engines are rated for up to 110 hp, so the 65 hp version isn't stressed very much. These engines are also UL and FM approved for fire pump service.

Cummins has dealers all over the world, so parts are available everywhere. They claim to have built over 200,000 of these engines.

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post #13 of 18 Old 09-18-2009
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I looked at Yanmar, Izuzu, Beta, and Nanni engines in the 50 hp range. Best availability for parts was proabably Izuzu, as Izuzu trucks are everywhere. but I ran into a boat in Cyprus whose Izuzu had broken a timing belt, which opened my eyes to the fact that even some diesels use timing belts. The Yanmar is the only engine designed for marine use, which means that there is not a big spare parts infrastucture for trucks/tractors/compressors/refrigeration/etc. There are more Yamars installed in boats than other brands, but it seems like I have heard too many reports of major Yanmar failures at low hours to be comfortable with that choice.

The Kubota engines are popular in tractors and small equipment (forklifts/bobcats), and one of my friends with a trucking company had his mechanics tear down and rebuild a 30 hp Kubota which had been submerged. The mechanics were very impressed with the engine design--there were roller bearings in places that they did not expect to see them in engines of less than 500 hp. The choice between Beta and Nanni is more a function of what language you can call the factory in.

So I ended up with a Beta 50 (hp at 2800 rpm) in my 30,000 lb boat. Its now 2 years old and has 500 hours on it with the only problem being the built-in oil change pump, and Beta fedexed a replacement to me in Trindidad at no charge.

For extended cruising we put about 350 hours a year on our engine, to supplement the solar/wind battery charging, moving in/out of anchorages, and motoring in areas of very light winds. As a result, we never use more than about 20 hp of the 50hp available, and a turbo would be more of a liability than an asset.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Hey Val

Didn't we do this go-round a year or so ago?
Yes, but the difference now is that the engine is out and I got the estimate for rebuild: $13K using "genuine Westerbeke parts"!

Imagine my reply.

I gave my mechanic some links to Australian diesel rebuild kit sellers, because I can probably get pistons, sleeves, gaskets, cranks and seals for a grand or less from there, which makes a rebuild a better deal, as I understand this engine, and I agree with the "heavy, low-RPM, forget the race boat turbo stuff" concepts.

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post #15 of 18 Old 09-18-2009 Thread Starter
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I've got a similar sized project going that I'll be looking to power in a few years. I'm looking hard at the Cummins B3.3M, marinized by Trans Atlantic Diesels.
I was actually looking at this...it's sort of the dark horse in the running.

I have to be sensitive to dealer networks, so that narrows the field. I like the Kubota-based models (Nanni and Beta), but I think Yanmar and Volvo have the edge here.

I wish I liked the Yanmar engines better...they seem kinda...lightweight. Still, the fact that they have a 50% share in many places is going to have to be considered.

I am in the unusual situation that my "from above and either side" access (the engine is in a bay beneath the pilothouse deck) and the fact it's a heavy steel boat means that the usual aspects of access (a plus of the Beta), weight (a plus of turbos and aluminum blocks) and size aren't a huge concern. Almost all current 50-65HP diesels...even the Cummins...are smaller than the existing Westerbeke W-52, which is 700 lbs., so whatever goes in, even hypothetically, should fit without much alteration.

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post #16 of 18 Old 09-18-2009
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Yes, but the difference now is that the engine is out and I got the estimate for rebuild: $13K using "genuine Westerbeke parts"!
Well... to put this in perspective with our Pathfinder on our last boat we rebuilt the engine (head, bottom end, new rings, brgs, seals/gaskets etc etc, hot tanked and so on) - for under $2500. No labour costs as we did it all ourselves but this was genuine VW parts. We were fortunate not to need new pistons, as they were $1000/set and hard to find.

Even adding labour costs, that's a long way from $13K

PS - at the time Pathfinder offered a "Xmas Special" - we send them our engine and gear, they replace the engine, rebuild the gear, repaint "any colour you want" for $9500 incl shipping. This was about 8 years ago.

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post #17 of 18 Old 09-18-2009 Thread Starter
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So I ended up with a Beta 50 (hp at 2800 rpm) in my 30,000 lb boat. Its now 2 years old and has 500 hours on it with the only problem being the built-in oil change pump, and Beta fedexed a replacement to me in Trindidad at no charge.

For extended cruising we put about 350 hours a year on our engine, to supplement the solar/wind battery charging, moving in/out of anchorages, and motoring in areas of very light winds. As a result, we never use more than about 20 hp of the 50hp available, and a turbo would be more of a liability than an asset.
Thanks for the vote for the Beta. I like it, but I'm in the rare position of actually having "all the access at the front" being a bit of a liability rather than a plus. Beta's still in the running, however, as I hear a lot of positive things from former Atomic 4 owners.

Our boat is 30,000 lbs. with full diesel and no water or gear. It will be about 34,000 lbs. fully loaded as we will add 40 gallons of diesel and 200 gallons of water plus gear and stores.

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post #18 of 18 Old 09-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Well... to put this in perspective with our Pathfinder on our last boat we rebuilt the engine (head, bottom end, new rings, brgs, seals/gaskets etc etc, hot tanked and so on) - for under $2500. No labour costs as we did it all ourselves but this was genuine VW parts. We were fortunate not to need new pistons, as they were $1000/set and hard to find.

Even adding labour costs, that's a long way from $13K
Yes, indeed. Westerbeke is as bad as Volvo for rapacious spares prices. Trust me, labour is not the huge cost here. However, if I can score identical "Mazda Diesel" spares, the cost would be 90% less, with the exception of a couple of things like a heat exchanger and a Sherwood raw water pump ($485 last time I checked!).

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