Posts Tagged ‘diesel’

Boat Diesel vs. Gas Controversy

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
Boat Diesel and Gas

The Diesel vs. Gas Controversy

According to, a typical marine gasoline engine will have a life span of approximately 1,500 hours before requiring any major repairs while a boat diesel engine will last 5,000 hours.

Typically one gallon of diesel will take 25% more crude oil to produce and will emit approximately 15% more greenhouse gas as compared to one gallon of gasoline.  But because it is a much denser fuel than gasoline, it can produce up to 40% more mileage over gasoline which can add up to significant cost savings over time.

So, which  boat fuel?  It’s been commonly stated that diesel burns cleaner than gas – but is it true?  According to several sources, it is and it isn’t.  Here’s a quick look at information substantiating both of these claims.

Sulfur and CO² Emissions

Sulfur is a commonly produced emission from both boat diesel and gasoline which can be measured in parts per million or ppm.  Since 2007, all diesel vehicles available for sale in the U.S. are required by law to run on a type of diesel fuel known as ultra low sulfur (ULSD).  
Recognized sulfur emissions in fuel are as follows:
15 ppm – ULSD
80 ppm – standard gasoline
500 ppm – standard diesel fuel
CO² emissions:
Diesel – 73.25 g/MJ
Gasoline – 73.38 g/MJ

Soot Particles

Another by-product of burning diesel fuel is soot particles, also referred to as black carbon, that pollute the air and are widely considered to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) agents.  A report issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) states that soot from this fuel is the cause of 70% of California’s cancer risk due to toxic particles in the air.  Other research has shown that residents living in cities with soot pollution display a 26% mortality increase.  Newer built diesel automobiles are equipped with the latest in technology, such as BlueTec Emissions, which is designed to treat and reduce the toxic nature of exhaust fumes.


It’s possible to improve your fuel economy even more while at the same time reducing emissions by using a boat fuel additive such as Guard Supreme by ValvTect.  Designed to extend the life of your engine which can lessen any maintenance costs over time, Diesel Guard Supreme test results shows a 30% reduction of black smoke, a 39% reduction of particulates, plus a improved fuel economy of up to 7.5% for heavy duty vehicles and up to 13.6% for light duty.

When it comes down to boat diesel or gas, diesel does offer a few nice advantages:

  1. Diesel doesn’t pose the potential CO² poisoning risk that gasoline boat engines produce
  2. A diesel engine is able to use eco-friendly bio-fuel which offers reduced emissions and better engine performance
  3. Due to its higher torque, a diesel engine is able to carry a larger load
  4. generally marine diesel costs less than marine gasoline – click to learn more about marine fuel prices

National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
Grinning Planet – Gas/Diesel Engines – Diesel Boats Photo Credit: Diesel by DanDeChiaro


MTU Marine Engines

Monday, June 14th, 2010

MTU stands for Motoren- und Turbinen-Union and is a German diesel manufacturer that provides diesel power for luxury yachts. The company does manufacture a wide range of diesel engines for marine use.

MTU is 100 years old in 2009. In 1909 the company started by producing engines for lighter-than-air airships, the Zeppelins. MTU built the world’s first large, turbocharged, high-speed diesel in 1934. In the 1950′s MTU moved into marine propulsion. The company’s history is broadly diversified in large diesel power applications including ferries, workboats and yachts as well as heavy agriculture, rail, military and oil and gas. MTU also provides complete propulsion systems for many of the industries it serves. For recreational marine MTU declares the following benefits to their diesel engines:

  • Years of experience and excellent references in demanding naval applications as well as in yachting
  • System expertise for maximum performance and maximum comfort
  • State-of-the-art technologies
  • Best power-to-weight ratio

MTU’s range of engine offering for recreational marine use is very broad, ranging from a 2.8L 4-cylinder model producing 207 hp. up to 35L V-16s putting out over 2,400 hp. Some of MTU’s featured engines are the Series 60 with 12L displacement and up to 600 hp., the Series 2000 which comes in V-8, V-10 and V-12 configurations and power from 960 to 2,000 hp. and the Series 4000 with V-8, v-12, V-16 and V-20 setups providing up to 5,700 hp. The company also offers diesel-electric and gas turbine propulsions systems for mega-yachts looking for the most efficient and powerful engine systems. MTU focuses their yacht offerings into three categories:

  • Performance yachts: fast vessels with low load factors
  • Displacement yachts: larger yachts that spend a significant amount of time at sea
  • Megayachts: vessels that may require different propulsion systems than the typical high speed diesels

MTU provides German engineered marine propulsion systems for the most advanced yachting applications. If you are interested in this type of marine diesel application, download the company’s Yacht brochure. It is worth taking a look at the brochure just for the outstanding yacht pictures and the amount of detailed information the company provides about their products.



MAN Marine Diesel Engines

Monday, May 17th, 2010

MAN Marine Diesel Engines are produced by MAN engines is business unit of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group of Germany. MAN marine diesel engines has a history that goes back to Rudolph Diesel himself, who developed the first serviceable diesel engines at MAN from 1893 until 1897. 85% of the engines produced by MAN go into the groups own lines of MAN trucks and buses and NEOPLAN buses. MAN marine diesel engines are marketed to the fast motor yacht boating segment. Besides yacht engines MAN also has marine engines targeted at workboats and auxiliary and emergency generators.

Here is the lineup of MAN marine diesel engines for yachting applications:

  • R6-730 and R6-800 are 12.8 liter displacement I-6 engines weighing 1,305 kg (2,870 lb.) rated at 730 hp. and 800 hp. respectively. Fuel consumption is 145 liters/hr (38.3 gal/hr) for the 730 and 158 liters/hr (41.7 gal/hr) for the 800.
  • V8-900 is 14.6 liters of V-8 power rated at 900 hp. This engine weighs 1565 kg (3,440 lb.) and burns 179 liter/hr (47.2 of diesel fuel.
  • V8-1200 is another V-8 displacing 16.2 liters with a 1,200 hp. rating. Engine weight is 1,875 kg (4,125 lb.) and fuel consumption is 226 liters/hr (59.7 gal/hr).
  • V10-1100 is a V-10 block, displacement of 18.3 liters rated at 1,100 hp. The engine weighs 1,855 kg (4,080 lb.) and fuel consumption is 217 liters/hr (57.3 gal/hr).
  • V12-1224 and V12-1360 and V12-1550 displace 21.9 liters with power ratings of 1,224 hp and 1,360 hp. The engines weigh 1,965 kg (4,320 lb) and have respective fuel consumption rates of 233 liters/hr (61.5 and 264 liters/hr (69.7 gal/hr).
  • V12-1550 als0 displace 21.9 liters and is rated at 1,550 hp. This engine weighs 2,165 kg (4,760 lb.) and the fuel consumption rate is 307 liters/hr (81.0 gal/hr).
  • V12-1800 is a 24.2 liter V-12 putting out up to 1,800. The MAN website does not provide any additional data on this engine.

A not too recent press release announced a new engine the R6-550 with 6.9 liters of displacement and 550 hp. The regular marine listing page on the website does not currently list this engine.

All of the MAN marine diesel engines are turbocharged, intercooled 4-stroke diesels with 4 valves per cylinder. The V-8s are all 90° blocks. Fuel is provided through electronically controlled, common rail direct injection. MAN provides what they call their Gold Standard certificate for engine installation in private yachts. The certificate is provided when the installation meets the company’s standards of installation and engine tuning. The Gold Standard certificate comes with a 2-year comprehensive engine warranty and an additional 3 years of warranty coverage on specific engine parts.

MAN has representatives worldwide, from Algeria to Vietnam. MAN marine diesel engines are designed for yachts in the 50 ft. to 90 ft. range. The German quality, compact V-block sizes and responsive power should put MAN marine diesel engines on any prospective yacht owners prospective powerplant list.



Marine Engine Manufacturers – Diesel

Monday, April 12th, 2010

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Sources: CaterpillarCummins Mercruiser Diesel, John Deere, Volvo Penta, Yanmar


Go Boat Engine Shopping Armed With These Tips!

Monday, December 21st, 2009
When it’s time to go fishing for a new boat engine, choosing the right engine for your boat may be more important that you think - and using the right marine fuel is equally important .  To make the most of your search when you go boat engine shopping, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the tips offered by Discover Boating.

Discover Boating offers advice on ‘Choosing the Right Engine Package.’  It’s best to do your homework and evaluate options according to the size of engine you require in accordance with your fuel delivery system.

Time to Go Fishing for a new Boat Engine?  Read these Tips!

Go Boat Engine Shopping with Online Research

Choosing the proper engine for your boat is important.  If your engine doesn’t generate enough propulsion power, it will continuously provide a weak performance; however, if your engine generates too much power, you could be in danger of exceeding safe speed limits as outlined by the boat manufacturer.

According to Discover Boating, boat engines fall into these five categories:

1)  2-stroke or 4-stroke outboard motor – ranges from 1 to 350 horsepower (HP); designed for use in all water types; provides good fuel economy; runs approximately 1,500 hours before requiring servicing; available brands for purchase include Nissan, Yamaha, Mercury, and Evinrude.

2)  Diesel inboard motor – ranges from 25 to 715 HP; does not produce carbon monoxide gas; inexpensive to run with a life span of approximately 40 years; available brands for purchase include Yanmar, Cummins, Mercruiser, Westerbeke, and Volvo Penta.

3)  Gasoline inboard motor – ranges from 90 to 1,000 HP; quiet with low maintenance required; has minimal running cost; available brands for purchase include Marine Power, Mercury Racing, and Indmar.

4)  Jet Boat & Propulsion engines – water powered with no propeller; not able to steer when power is not applied; cannot be operated in shallow water; available brands for sale include Honda, Yamaha, Mercury, and Mercruiser.

5)  Stern Drive – (also known as inboard/outboard) the engine remains inside the boat while the propulsion drive is located outside; easy to steer in forward or reverse; low maintenance; available brands include Mercruiser, Ilmor, and Volvo Penta.

The appropriate engine for your boat should be determined in part by the size and weight of your boat, which includes fuel capacity, the number of passengers to be carried, along with the weight of any gear stored onboard.  According to Discover Boating, when determining your required horsepower, “a good rule of thumb is to come as close as possible to the maximum horsepower that your boat is rated for.”

The last choice to make before you go find a boat engine involves the fuel delivery systems.  According to Discover Boating, marine fuel systems consist of three types:

1)  Direct Fuel Injection – provides great fuel economy; has low emissions with smooth idling

2)  Electronic Fuel Injection – allows for great fuel economy; low emissions, plus quick throttle response and power

3)  Carbureted Fuel system – low cost, not as good fuel economy as electronic or direct fuel injection; higher emissions

When you go shopping for a new boat engine, evaluating your options for both price and performance may help get your choice a little closer to the net.

Discover Boating
Boat Safe


Reducing Marine Diesel Fuel Cost for Consumers

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

How to Reduce Marine Diesel Fuel Costs

The cost of marine diesel fuel is a significant portion of the operating expense of a diesel powered yacht, cruiser or boat. Diesel engines tend to use less fuel than their gasoline counterparts, but extended cruising with a pair of high horsepower diesel beasts in the stern can burn through a lot of fuel. Understanding what goes into the cost of marine diesel fuel will not reduce the pain in the pocketbook, but may make it all easier to swallow. Below are a a few tips to help reduce your marine fuel expenses.  Start by using’s Fuel Dock Prices™ information database – you could save up to 50% on your next fuel purchase by finding the best marine diesel fuel prices in your area.

Difference between Marine Diesel Fuel and Other Diesel Blends

Marine diesel fuel is not necessarily the same stuff that truckers and diesel pickup owners use to fill their tanks. Depending on the marina location and the output of the nearest refinery, marine diesel can be fuel specifically distilled for marine use or re-purposed on-highway, off-highway or heating oil. This EPA report also made notice of the significant differences in fuel obtained for commercial boating and shipping purposes and recreational marine use. Commercial use fuel consists of distillate blends aimed at reducing the cost and often includes a significant portion of unrefined oils. Recreational diesel fuels are more likely to be re-purposed land diesel with additives added for marine use.

Marine Diesel Production Cost Drivers

According to the Energy Information Administration, the cost of a gallon of diesel fuel breaks down this way: 62% is the value of the crude oil used to make the fuel, taxes are 18%, 5% is the refining cost and the remaining 15% is called distribution and marketing (profit to somebody). Diesel for marine use is not required to include highway taxes so the tax bite on diesel from you local marina is significantly less than at the truck stop. On the other hand, marinas can sometimes charge higher prices for ”distribution and marketing”.

How to Find the Best Marine Gasoline & Diesel Fuel Prices

Click here to search current marine fuel prices

Using the database I checked gasoline and diesel prices at marinas in Florida and northern California. There was a big spread between different marinas, up to a $1.00 in some cases. The cost of marine diesel fuel was typically 30¢ to 60¢ less per gallon than gasoline. Some of the difference can be attributed to lower diesel fuel taxes. My research revealed that in many states the highway tax is still included in marina gasoline but is not charged on diesel fuel sold.

Three Great Tools to save money on Marine Diesel Fuel Prices provides several tools to help you reduce your cost of marine diesel fuel (gasoline too!).  The Fuel Dock Prices™ page allows you to compare prices at different marinas in your area, and nationally. A premium membership at will provide text notices of fuel price changes at your favorite marinas, and if you purchase fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or more, the Fuel Bid Desk™ will facilitate bids at wholesale prices (even deliver to you!)  Finally, the best way to beat the cost of marine diesel is simply to use less.

Here is an article with 20 Tips to Reduce Fuel Consumption.

Please consider using some of those saving for carbon offsetts.  Its a low cost way to offsett the polution of burning marine diesel and gasoline.

Sources: EPA, EIA,


What is Bio-Fuel?

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

In a nutshell, the term bio-fuel refers to an organically based fuel as opposed to a fossil based fuel.  Derived from renewable resources such as plants, animals, or their by-products, bio-fuel can be produced from commonly known substances including corn, vegetable oil, yard and garden waste, and even manure.  Through processing, bio-fuel is an alternative source for producing heat, steam, and power.

What is Bio Fuel?

What is Bio Fuel?

Also known as biomass, bio-fuel can be in the form of a solid, gas, or liquid state.  Examples of solid bio-fuel derivatives include sawdust, wood, agricultural waste, along with charcoal, and non-food crops such as clover, grass, and millet.  Syngas is the gaseous form of bio-fuel, while the most popular forms of liquid bio-fuel are ethanol and biodiesel, Europe’s most commonly used bio-fuel.  

Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel originating from corn, vegetable oils (even recycled waste oil from fast food restaurants), or animal fat (such as that from chickens or cows).  In 2005, Europe produced almost one billion gallons of biodiesel fuel; it is estimated that the production of ethanol within the United States would create approximately 2,000 jobs per every 100 million gallons generated.

Bio-fuels can be divided into three categories:

  1. First generation bio-fuels consisting of those made from starch, sugar, vegetable oil, animal fats; concerns have been raised over the growing of crops for fuel instead of for human consumption
  2. Second generation bio-fuels are those derived from non food crops such as bamboo, hemp, and switchgrass; still under development are biohydrogen and DMF which is derived from cellulose
  3. Third generation bio-fuels are those based on algae fuel, also known as oilgae; an algae crop production is low maintenance, and when compared to a soybean crop of the same size, algae can generate up to 30 times more energy than the crop of soybeans

According to the Energy Future Coalition, the benefits of using of bio-fuel are:

  1. It helps to prevent global warming, as it recycles, not produces, carbon dioxide
  2. reduced omission particulates
  3. in a blended form, bio-fuel can reduce toxic compounds found in gasoline
  4. reduced costs, for example, a crop of native switchgrass is hardy, drought-resistant, and requires less water & care than food crops

A study cited by the Energy Future Coalition states that “by 2050, bio-fuel theoretically could supply 65% of the world’s current energy consumption.”  

In relation to boating, biodiesel is biodegradable, fish friendly and user friendly.  The exhaust fumes emitted are not as strong and the flash point temperature of biodiesel is higher than that of regular diesel.  In the majority of cases, biodiesel can be used instead of regular diesel fuel with no engine modifications.

The cost of bio-diesel is relatively the same as that of petroleum based diesel fuel; during the summer of 2009, bio-diesel prices rose approximately .15¢ over regular diesel but in many countries bio-diesel remains consistently less expensive.

Based in the UK, Biofuel Review is an online publication providing daily international information on the bio-fuel industry.  The website features a ‘book shop’ section where reviews are offered on a variety of books pertaining to field of bio-fuel.

Energy Future Coalition


Mid Range Marine Diesel Engines

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
There are at least half a dozen players offering a wide range of marine diesel engines for yachting applications. Some companies offer a broad range of diesel engines for everything from sailboats to power cruisers. Other have found specialized niches for their offerings.

First, here are some marine diesel engine manufacturers with current engine offerings:

MAN Marine Diesel Engines

The MAN Diesel Group is a German company that has been producing diesel engines for over 100 years. The MAN marine diesel products offered in the U.S. range from 6.9 liter displacement I-6 engines up to 24 liter V-12 models. Horsepower rating range from 450 hp up to 1800 hp for the big V-12. You can see a listing of MAN marine engine offerings here.

Yanmar Marine Diesel Engines

Yanmar is a Japanese company producing diesel engines and agricultural machinery. Yanmar Marine Diesel Engine product range from the tiny 0.4 liter 1GM10 making 9 horsepower up to the 15.6 liter SY series making up to 900 hp. Plus, Yanmar also offers a complete stern-drive package and sail-drive setups.

Volvo Marine Diesel Engines

Volvo Penta Marine engines cover a range of applications including diesel inboard, diesel and gas stern drive and the Volvo Penta IPS with pod-mounted, forward facing, counter-rotating propellers. The inboard diesel engines range from 0.5 liter, 12 hp. models up to 12 liter engines making up to 775 horsepower.

Farymann Marine Diesel Engines

Farymann Diesel is a German company that produces small diesel engines. The company was taken over in 1979 by Briggs & Stratton but now is an independent company. Farymans marine diesel offering is a 290 cubic centimeter, single cylinder motor producing 7 horsepower.

Manufacturers that no longer produce new marine diesel engines

Ford Lehman Marine Diesel Engines

Ford Lehman marine diesel engines are a defunct line of power plants that were popular in the 1970′s. Typical power was in the 85 hp to 120 hp range. American Diesel Corp continues to produce a marine diesel engine similar to the Lehman Ford 120 and is a good source for information concerning older Ford Lehman Diesel engines.

Hino Marine Diesel Engines

Hino is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. They primarily build medium and heavy duty trucks and buses. Although they currently do not have a marine power division, several models of Hino diesel engines were offered in Bayliner Motoryachts from 1985 until 1995. The Hino marine diesels produced between 110 and 150 horsepower.

It is usually the boat manufacturer that decides what marine diesel engines will be offered in their different models. Some manufacturers offer a choice of engine manufacturers while others have agreements with the engine producers that they believe provide the best performance and value for their boats. The marine diesel engine business is in a constant state of change. Manufacturers of diesel boats are constantly working towards more power with less noise and less emissions.



Official PayPal Seal
Go Daddy Donations