Best 10-20hp Diesel for 24-28 Sailboat?

Discussion in 'Diesel Engines' started by timgoz, May 9, 2019.

  1. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,079
    Likes: 32, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 277
    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    I have been looking at some older pre-owned sailboats in the 24 to 28, possibly up to 30ft range.
    Moderate to heavy displacement, such as Cape Dory, are what I prefer.
    Most seem to have Volvo Pentas, with Universal and some Betas also present.
    What do you all prefer with the following points in mind:
    1. Engineering Quality
    2. Reliability
    3. Serviceability by owner in the normally tight confines of engine
    compartments.
    4. Efficiency
    5. Parts cost & availability on US
    East Coast, elsewhere.
    6. Availability of knowledgeable
    mechanics if and when needed.
    7. Standard features.
    8. Available options.
    9. Vibration & Noise.
    10. Transmission
    I am looking forward to your replies.
    Any links to previous threads would be appreciated.
     
  2. nemier
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 20
    Likes: 4, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: North Vancouver, Canada

    nemier Specialist in long-range Expedition Yachts

    Hi,
    If it were me, I would choose (in order) BETA, Universal, then Volvo.
    However ALL of them are great engines and you cannot go wrong. Beta's are known for the serviceability access, Universal's are usually large blocks (for their size - lower HP per litre = robust), and Volvo's have been around forever, parts will be available but expensive. You may be putting too much thought into this. Just buy either of them and go sailing. Enjoy your sailing.
     
  3. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 238
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    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    Universal and Beta are both based on Kubota blocks. Spare parts from the tractor dealer, only the specific marine ones from the marinizer.
    With Volvo Penta it depends on age and power if you get a real Volvo or a Perkins from Japan, China or India.
    The more important thing is the motors condition. Marine engines corrode in time regardless of actual usage. New engine better than old engine.
     
  4. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,079
    Likes: 32, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 277
    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    Thanks both of you. I knew Beta used Kubota blocks but not that Universal did.
    Did not know some, I presume newer (?) Volvos where Asian made.
    The boats I'm most interested in are primarily Cape Dories and similar ones.
    Most within my price range have the Volvos.
    What years are European vs. Asian?
    Thanks again and have a good night.
    Tim G.
     
  5. Rumars
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 238
    Likes: 46, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 39
    Location: Germany

    Rumars Senior Member

    Boats of that vintage have MD2, MD7, MD11. Those are all old Volvos designed and made in Sweden. Most were raw water cooled their entire life with considerable corrosion on the inside. Consumables are available, some spare parts only as sh. Actual condition is the deciding factor. A pampered fresh water boat with an MD is better then a neglected Florida one with a Kubota.

    Please do not think that "asian made" Volvos are less desirable. They are made there just for cost reasons under good QC. Just think about them as Iphones.
     

  6. timgoz
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,079
    Likes: 32, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 277
    Location: SW PA USA

    timgoz Senior Member

    Thanks. Do they empower the cape dory 28 with Universal or Beta because of the engine mount spacing.
    I would much rather not have to repower ($$$$!), but I have a friend who is a highly accomplished mechanic and machiinist. Thing would be getting to boat to do job. I'm 3-4 hundred miles from prospective boats.
     
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