I am looking at a boat that has recently had a Beta Marine Diesel engine installed. I know of Universal, Yanmar etc. But have not heard of Beta. Does anybody have any insight into this engine and are they any good?
They are Kubota-based, and a damn good motor. They cannot, nor do they try to, rip you off for spare parts as the motors are often found in fork-lifts, and other uses. I have checked some of the spare parts prices, and although not cheap, they are not a rip-off.
Yes Beta engines widely regarded are good. Spares are reasonably cheap and I believe they supply part numbers so you can order non marine parts.
If I was looking for a second hand boat my fist choice would be Yanmar second Beta then the rest.
If I ever live long enough to outlast my rebuilt Atomic 4, I would choose the Betamarine "drop in" in a heartbeat. Their design with all "replaceables" within easy access is a big plus, as is their "tractor parts" heritage.
The only parts you would have to buy from Beta are the heat exchanger parts. The end O rings etc. All the other engine parts can be purchased from any Kubota dealer.
Kubota tractor dealers are all over the world. It's really one of the easiest engines to get parts for and at reasonable cost. My injector pump went out in Bocas Del Toro and had it repaired in one day for 75.00 U.S.