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Old 11-11-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default best diesel engines?

Hello,
I'm about to specify engines for a new 54' boat. I welcome some advice on what's best
for performance, noise/vibration, fuel economy, reliability, etc

I have had CAT engines in different boats but apparently they no longer
sell their C15 model which would be about the right size engine.
Need twin diesels, about 800 - 1000 HP
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:03 AM   #2
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Without a doubt I would consider Gardiner diesels.
They are no longer manufactured, but there are shops that reman them to new specs and they are absolutely the most reliable, fuel efficient and best designed engines I have ever worked with in over 50 years as a professional mariner.
I do not know if there are any available in your hp range, but an internet search (or a PM to me; I do not sell them, but I do know a reliable source just in case I need to repower one day) should get you going.
Had my present boat not had 30 hours on the engine when I bought it, I would have repowered w/ a Gardiner.
I'm not sure of your intended use, but IMO I'd stay away from any electronically controlled engines if your intent is to go long distance cruising, especially to the 3rd world.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Default Thank you

Thanks for your input
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:22 AM   #4
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Default Best overall diesels

John Deere Engines have provided outstanding performance in every case where I had oversight of them.
I have had several cases where their quiet, smooth running diesels lasted in excess of 35000 hours without any significant repairs while they received typical oil changes (Delo 15-40 every 1500 hours) and filters at same time.
To put that performance into perspective: If the engines had been in a long haul truck traveling at 60 MPH they would have traveled 2.1 million miles without anything but routine maintenance.
While other engines can no doubt turn in comparable performance the fact that multiple units did was impressive.
Were I to build a new boat I would surely consider them but I really don't know the horsepower ranges that they offer.
Hope this narrow personal experience helps. buzzard
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Do some research and you'll find that the engines with the greatest longevity for marine use are Ford Lehmans...hands down.

However, in the power range you are looking for, probably MTU.
http://www.mtu-online.com/
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #6
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To be honest, there's not a lot that can go wrong with any brand of well-made diesel engine.

Fuel goes in, compression happens, ignition must result, engine turns, boat goes. Provided you don't do anything stupid (let it run out of oil, water, or forget to change filters) basically it's a simple thing with very little that can go wrong with it.

Which is why we use them on boats. Sure there are OK brands and models and better brands and models but nearly all are fairly reliable.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your valuable input. I think I will choose two 800 HP MAN engines.
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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Default Oil change interval for diesel engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard View Post
John Deere Engines have provided outstanding performance in every case where I had oversight of them.
I have had several cases where their quiet, smooth running diesels lasted in excess of 35000 hours without any significant repairs while they received typical oil changes (Delo 15-40 every 1500 hours) and filters at same time.
To put that performance into perspective: If the engines had been in a long haul truck traveling at 60 MPH they would have traveled 2.1 million miles without anything but routine maintenance.
While other engines can no doubt turn in comparable performance the fact that multiple units did was impressive.
Were I to build a new boat I would surely consider them but I really don't know the horsepower ranges that they offer.
Hope this narrow personal experience helps. buzzard
Buzzard

did you say oil change every 1500 hrs or was that a typo? At 5mph that would equal 7500 miles then? The 85hp 4-cyl Perkins 4-236 asks for changes at least every 200 hrs. and 100hrs I think is the interval recommended in the user guide.

Your engines are a lot bigger though.

Ivo on s/v Linnupesa
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linnupesa View Post
Buzzard

did you say oil change every 1500 hrs or was that a typo? At 5mph that would equal 7500 miles then? The 85hp 4-cyl Perkins 4-236 asks for changes at least every 200 hrs. and 100hrs I think is the interval recommended in the user guide.

Your engines are a lot bigger though.

Ivo on s/v Linnupesa
Yes, the hours are right. These engines hold a greater oil capacity per cubic inch than some of the others. Perkins engines
do have a high oil capacity in relation to displacement, however, and if premium oil (eg: RPM DELO, Mobil ! for diesel engines) is used then filter changes during the oil run period extend the oil life significantly.
As you read, the extended change interval did not impact the durability of the engines. Results may vary due to other parameters such as whether the engines are started a lot for short service or run virtually continuously between changes.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Buzzard

Yes, continuous duty is a lot easier on a motor than the frequent on/off as a consequence of battery charging. More frequent changes make sense in terms of reduced acid build-up yet I've wondered if the continuous heat from running will prevent moisture to build up, so that less acid would form.

Even if anecdotal, your data seems to contradict the short intervals the oil changing industry in the USA espouses. Like frequent changes are an absolute must or your dipstick will drop off. European nations like Germany apparently seem to be doing just fine with much longer intervals, per some car diesel blogs. (VW TDI forum)

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #11
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The C15 is a 15ltr engine of around 625 hp.

Take the C13 @ 525hp or Cummins QSM's 610-715hp instead. I don't know if Lehman, Case or Deere engines really go that high.

MTU is now the old Detroit Diesel/Mercedes lineup. Mercedes engines typically are expensive in parts and to work on. DD's not so, but now that they are part in parcel with Mercedes......
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linnupesa View Post
Buzzard

did you say oil change every 1500 hrs or was that a typo? At 5mph that would equal 7500 miles then? The 85hp 4-cyl Perkins 4-236 asks for changes at least every 200 hrs. and 100hrs I think is the interval recommended in the user guide.

Your engines are a lot bigger though.

Ivo on s/v Linnupesa
With the new full synthetic oils I go 500 hrs on a full change out, but change the filters every 100 hrs.
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