diy-electrical-diesel-largeWith the trend to larger boats and the continued strong market in Canada, many boat buyers will be cruising the shows this winter, looking at diesel-powered boats.

Diesel power costs more initially. Is diesel worth it to you? Or, should you stay with familiar and less expensive gasoline engines of the same horsepower?

For those with no direct diesel experience – or who remember the old-style diesel bus engines that would belch black smoke, let's talk about some of the changes and the advantages diesel has compared to gasoline engines.

New diesels almost all feature turbo-charging, after-cooling and the dramatic effects of the new electronic engine controls.

Diesel engines are particularly well suited to marine use because they generate higher levels of torque. Torque is desirable because generally speaking, a larger propeller moving more slowly through the water has greater efficiency. But, turning that larger propeller at slow speeds requires torque that is a measure of the engines "twisting" power. Horsepower is another measurement and it is important too, but it is torque that gets the boat up on plane and holds a speed.

The gasoline engine in your car may only need to produce (anywhere near) maximum horsepower when you're accelerating. As soon as you reach highway speeds, you throttle back and cruise. Many cars need only 40 or 50 hp to maintain highway speeds. Boats are different. The engine is under continuous load and if you throttle back, the boat will slow down.

370 hp gas engines produce maximum power high on its rev range as high as 4,800 rpm maximum speed. The "duty cycle" is often 75% or less of maximum speed or in this case, under 3,600 rpm. At that speed, you may only be producing 260 hp and a fairly low level of torque.

That may be OK depending on the boat's design, your load, weather and many other factors but if you are running continuously at more than the duty cycle levels, you are wearing the engine prematurely and probably wasting a lot of fuel too.

Danny Fong at Inmar, the new Ontario distributors for Yanmar diesels explained that the torque a diesel develops, relates to its compression ratio. Gasoline engines, sometimes referred to as a spark ignition engine, "suck" the incoming charge of air and fuel into the combustion chamber as it turns. Typically, this fuel/air mixture is compressed at the ratio of 9:1 while the fuel/air mixture in a diesel is over 20:1 compression.

This results in a bigger explosion driving the piston down with significantly greater force and that translates into higher torque.

The greater force of the explosion however, demands more rugged construction. That costs money. Then, to reach the high compression ratio, the diesel engine has an exhaust gas driven turbocharger. As the engine speed rises, exhaust gas flows past the veins of a small turbine, spinning it up to a high speed where it's used to drive larger volumes of their into the intake side of the diesel to boost the compression ratio.

Computer engine controls manage this whole process, resulting in a cleaner running engine; one that starts easily, runs without smoke and has low emissions.

As an example, a new 370 hp Yanmar diesel may rev to 3,600 rpm maximum but it is designed to run at a continuous 3,200 rpm, producing significantly more torque than the comparable 370 hp gas engine.

We spoke to Tom Watson, at Yanmar's head office in the United States. He stressed that it was the continuous output of the engine that was more important than just the horsepower rating.

The engine's lifespan relates to wear and that relates to the number of times the pistons go up and down as well as how heavily built the engine is. More rpm's equals more wear. The diesel costs more but is made to run harder and is built to last longer. You may get much of the initial investment back if you trade the boat after a few years. If you keep it longer, the diesel's greater fuel economy may make it the better value.

Then again, if you don't pile on the hours and keep your boat a long time, the cost of diesels may never be justified. Gas is still a great choice assuming you can get the right power for the boat and load.

Talk to your dealer – they know best but there may be a diesel in your future!

Destinations

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Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
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The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

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My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Boat Reviews

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I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

Marine Products

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Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
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Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
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Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...