Although is seems like there are hundreds of companies that have manufacture marine engines, past and present, I wanted to provide some information about the top marine engine manufacturers of Diesel powerplants. Diesel engine use in recreational boating ranges from single cylinder, less than 10 hp. units to power sailboats to 2000 hp. monsters that live in pairs in the engine rooms of luxury yachts. Diesel engines have the advantages of high torque, sustainable power and relative fuel efficiency. Here is a list of what many consider to be the top providers of marine diesel engines for recreational boating and the range of their current offerings:
- Caterpillar Marine: The marine power division of mighty Caterpillar manufacturers a wide range of diesel engines for commercial and recreational marine use. The current listing of Caterpillar marine engines start with the 6 cylinder, C7, C9, C12, C15 and C18. Displacement is the number (7, 9 etc.) in liters and the horsepower ranges from 250 hp. to 1,000 hp. Larger Cats are designated 3508, 3512, 3516, with 8, 12 and 16 cylinders respectively. Horse power for these big V-diesels reaches 2,500 hp. Cat also has marine generator sets and auxiliary power engines.
- Cummins Mercruiser Diesel: This joint partnership of Cummins Inc. and Mercury Marine provides Diesel power for inboard, pod and stern drive applications. The venture has three series of engines: Quantum engines have displacements from 2 to 9 liters and up to 715 hp. Mercruiser series are 1.7 to 4.2 liters up to 250 hp. Diamond series come in 3.9 to 8.3 liters and up to 480 hp. That is a lot of engine choices! Mercruiser Inboard Engines
- John Deere: John Deere Marine engines are offered in 4 and 6 cylinder versions with displacements from 4.5 to 13.5 liters. Horsepower rating range from 80 to 750 hp.
- Volvo Penta: In Diesel power Volvo Penta offers sailboat, inboard and stern drive applications. Sailboat Diesels range from 0.5 liter/12 hp up to 3.7 liters/174 hp. Inboard models expand on the sailboat offerings with the 3.7 liter engines reaching 288 hp. and 5.5 liter to 12.1 liter 6-cylinder models with 330 to 775 hp. Stern drive has 4, 5 and 6 cylinder models up to 5.5 liters and 355 hp.
- Yanmar Marine: Yanmar also offers sail drive, stern drive, pod drive and inboard Diesel engine applications. Besides having a totally unusable website to find information and specifications, Yanmar offers a wide range of marine Diesel engines.The eight different series of engines offered by Yanmar have horsepower rating that range from 9 to 900. The sail drive series has power rating from 9 to 75 hp. and the stern drive program offers power from 150 to 315 hp.
All of these marine engine manufacturers are working to provide recreational boaters with engines that are quiet, efficient and clean running. This listing of five manufacturers offers a range of Diesel products to provide power from sailboats that just need 10 hp. to super yachts that need an pair of 2,000 hp. monsters.
Please consider the Environmental Impact of your Boating Adventures.
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