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post #1 of 2 Old 02-07-2003 Thread Starter
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gas vs diesel

Hello everyone!
I recently found a boat that fits all I need and want in a liveaboard trawler. Plus it is clean with only a few minor personal alterations that I would do. The only thing is, it is gas and not diesel. I have always been set on a diesel engine. This particular gas engine has about 900 hours on it. I am young and new to this, but I have been dreaming of living aboard for several years. Should I go with this trawler and maybe put in a diesel later? Does anyone have suggestions on gas vs diesel engines? Thanks!!!!
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post #2 of 2 Old 02-07-2003
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gas vs diesel

I am biased towards diesel because of the higher energy content of the fuel, hence longer range; and, simpler systems. Note, I didn''t mention the safety of the fuel, because gas has shown to be a safe fuel source with only a slight increase in safety diligence required.

Gas trawlers are rare and their re-sale value gets hammered. But, if you are going to be a liveaboard in one place and few extended cruises planned, you will be a long time recouping the diesel purchase value increase through the operating fuel economy of a diesel over gas.

Just from an aroma standpoint, turbo diesel power units have made great strides in the last 5 years. The old normally aspirated diesels that were the fare for displacement hulled trawlers are pretty smoky anyways. Should you find your needs justify a re-power to diesel, the new units offer a lot in terms of smokeless and vibration reduction. With a new turbo diesel you would zoom the head of the line in resale IMHO.

Another thing - a 900 hour diesel does not equal a 900 hour gas. Assuming good maintenance and light use, check the exhaust manifold carefully. Even with freshwater cooling, the exhaust manifolds are salt water cooled on the gas units. A pricey little maintenance item around this number of hours/time.
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