What to choose for a yacht: gasoline or diesel engine
Denis Korablev
  • 23.09.2021
  • 329

What to choose for a yacht: gasoline or diesel engine

The development of yachting, its prevalence and availability, made this once highly specialized sport popular and widespread. Endless sea spaces and clean, healing air attract hundreds of thousands of residents of gas-polluted megacities on sea voyages. With this in mind, the comfort and safety of yachts, especially those rented in yacht charter, has come to the fore.

Accordingly, the issue of the technical equipment of the yacht, too, could not be ignored. Installing an engine on a yacht, more recently, was considered exotic or eccentricity of the owner. It seemed that sail and engine were incompatible concepts. But time and practical use have shown that the comfort, safety and economy of sailing on a yacht with an engine have increased significantly. The question of whether an engine is needed disappeared, but the question of choosing the type of engine remained a discussed topic today.

The times when noisy, huge engines, leaving behind a thick plume of smoke, slowly pushed the yacht towards the intended goal, are in the past. Modern petrol and diesel engines, small and powerful, with the latest technical and environmental solutions, have become the standard equipment of modern boats. The drive to the ship's propeller is carried out through the shaft coming out of the gearbox reverse. As a rule, this shaft is connected to the shaft of the used internal combustion engine. It is also practiced to transfer torque from the engine through the "sail-drave" bevel gearbox.

Which engine to choose: gasoline or diesel?

Most yachtsmen determine their choice based on the opinions of others, without delving into the essence of the issue. You must yourself know the essence of the engines proposed for installation, and only after that, knowing the principle of their operation and device, evaluate the pros and cons of this or that engine.

Diesel engine

Reliability and safety, efficiency, high torque are the main characteristics of a diesel engine. The reliability of the engine is determined by their operation for a long time, without major repairs. Working almost non-stop, the yacht's diesel engines are capable of operating up to 1,500 thousand operating hours. If this seems small, let us clarify that such a resource is enough for 7-10 years (150-200 hours per year). For the pleasure fleet, which includes yachts, more than enough.

The exhaust of a diesel engine contains less CO than gasoline, but sour gas is produced, this should be noted. From a fire safety point of view, you need to know that diesel vapors do not explode spontaneously. The efficiency of a diesel engine, in the light of the general rise in the price of fuel, has a very shaky position, because the difference in price with gasoline today is only 10%. Although the "return" system, returning excess fuel back to the tank, gives significant savings in fuel consumption. The advantages of using a diesel engine include the ability to almost accurately calculate fuel consumption. The chip of a diesel engine is considered to be the ratio of practically worked hours to the actual "age" of the engine.

The technical features of a diesel engine are such that the more it works, the better its condition. In simple words - during idle time, due to an aggressive external environment (sea water, high humidity), internal metal parts are corroded. Starting the engine leads to the ingress of small metal particles into the engine lubrication system, which in turn further contributes to the wear of the parts. But, be that as it may, a hard worker - a diesel, heavy, with a massive block of cylinders, can provide high torque. This is a guarantee that even a large yacht will be able to withstand the raging elements with the help of a relatively small, but powerful and reliable diesel engine.

Gasoline engine

The use of a diesel engine on yachts up to 36 feet in length has been deemed impractical. A small and relatively light gasoline engine, does not occupy a large area, it is initially cheaper than a diesel analogue. For small boats, installation of a gasoline engine is recognized as the most optimal solution. In addition, anyone who uses a car can fix minor malfunctions and knows how to repair its engine.

As noted by specialists 2yachts, with proper care, it means timely maintenance and constant monitoring of the oil and coolant level , the gasoline engine will surely serve for years. With regard to savings, a major overhaul of an engine will cost several times less than a diesel engine. Opponents of gasoline engines on yachts put forward the argument of the danger of spontaneous combustion of gasoline, or rather its vapors. But with observance of elementary safety rules, such a minus is rapidly advancing to zero. Both diesel and gasoline engines have their pros and cons. Diesel is reliable and economical, but heavy and expensive to repair. The gasoline engine is lighter and cheaper, but it is gluttonous and can fail in a critical situation, plus it is afraid of water splashes. The pattern is obvious - the more massive the motor, the more reliable it is.

Technologies do not stand still. Diesel and gasoline engines are likely to be history in the next decade. Electric motors of various capacities will come to the watercraft. But the last word, in any case, belongs to the yachtsman.