Diesel dinghy outboard?

Discussion in 'Outboards' started by BillyDoc, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. BillyDoc
    Joined: May 2005
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Does anyone make a small diesel outboard suitable for a dinghy? Why carry gasoline if there's diesel in the main tanks.

    BillyDoc
     
  2. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I seem to recall Yanmar made diesel outboards up until a few years ago. I think they came in 18 hp, 27 hp and 36 hp. Haven't seen them in a while, though. You might be able to find a used one but they were fairly rare. I'm not aware of any diesel outboard currently in mass production.

    Your argument in favour of getting rid of gasoline is one I can definitely agree with. It would be much more convenient in many cases to carry just one fuel, and feed the dinghy off the boat's main tanks.

    I've been playing with a concept design lately that takes this idea a step further. It's an 18 m (ish) sailing cat, and it carries a big (5-6 m) tender longitudinally under the aft bridgedeck. The cat has a D-E hybrid drive and the tender diesel-jet, using the same model engine. Modular powertrain, only have to carry one brand of spare parts and one type of fuel, and one mechanic can handle everything. And if everything goes to hell in the engine room, you can swap the tender's engine with the boat's engine.

    Back to the outboard question though.... the Torqeedo electric outboard seems to be becoming very popular for smaller dinghies. Charges off your house bank, thus no need to carry gasoline or run the genset. Lithium/manganese batteries, and it's available with thrust ratings corresponding to 1hp-6hp gas outboards. The little one weighs something like 12 kg with a built-in 1 hour battery. http://www.torqeedo.com/en/hn/home.html
     
  3. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

  4. BillyDoc
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Thanks for the link Matt, and the info.

    An old 24 volt trolling motor I already own plus some batteries and a solar panel is my "plan B" approach. I haven't looked for batteries, though, and the one's in the link are very interesting! Most of the deep-discharge lead-acid types are way too big and heavy for my needs. I only need about a three mile range.
     
  5. BillyDoc
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Hi BHOFM,

    Thanks! I found it on the web, model BD-10, for 10 horsepower. The thing weighs 72 Kilos though (158.4 pounds)!

    The same company apparently makes a 4 and a 6 HP version (PX4 and PX6) but I can't find any info on them.

    Bill
     
  6. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    If you were in Canada, I might also suggest swinging by Princess Auto. They have a 10 hp @ 3600 rpm, 4-stroke diesel engine that they've been selling for years under the PowerFist brand name for $900 (not sure where it's actually built though). It's an industrial/agricultural engine, electric or rope start, weighs 110 lb, and could with some creativity form the basis of a dinghy drive. Maybe using a 90deg gear and the mid/lower section of a dead 20hp outboard?
     
  7. BillyDoc
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    Thanks Matt,

    I get to Canada now and then, so I'll check it out next time.

    Bill
     
  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    A South African company makes a small diesel, can't remember the name. I seem to recall 4 hp, air cooled, but the hp might be higher.
    The modern gas 4 stroke 2-3 hp engines are so good though, I can't imagine anyone would be bringing a (very) small diesel outboard to market. Where's the advantage for 99% of the market? An edge in fuel consumption maybe, offset by higher than gas diesel prices, weight penalty measurably slowing a small craft, cost, maintainence, weight to carry, etc.?

    Alan
     
  9. kengrome
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kengrome Senior Member

    Hi BillyDoc,

    The short answer to your question is "no" they do not, and they probably will never make such a product -- not any that are EPA certified for use in the USA anyways.

    You can get small industrial diesel engines like the one shown in that India outboard (which actually uses a Chinese engine) but they are certainly not outboards, and they are also very heavy compared to gas powered outboards.

    I think you're better off using a small gas outboard or an electric trolling motor.
     
  10. Itchy&Scratchy
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    Itchy&Scratchy Senior Member

    Dust off those oars my friend and you'll have none of the above problems:p

    regards
    Justin
     
  11. BillyDoc
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    BillyDoc Senior Member

    I'm getting to your point of view, Itchy, and rowing is excellent exercise as well!

    Bill
     

  12. BHOFM
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    BHOFM Senior Member

    Taught my daughter to row when she was about 10 and
    for several years we couldn't keep her out of the dingy!
    She would be out in the middle of the lake if we didn't
    watch her. Like a mile out!
     
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