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Old 01-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #34
Nomad Willy
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City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,909
How many engines are w/o a marinization. Engines where they make their own everything. Many are in-between w their own line of engines and then to compete better in the marketplace in a certian HP range or spot they buy base engines from Toyota, Mitsubishi, Kabota, John Deere and many others. I think Yanmar and Volvo qualify in this way. Does Cummins Make all their own stuff? Probably not.

I was very drawn to a 47hp engine (Mitsu) (rated w a fan) tractor/industrial engine that was rated at 2500rpm. At first glance it seemed the best engine ever but it was too much power and it had a quite to very low mounted starter. The excessive power and the starter location moved me to choose a smaller engine rated at 3000rpm and a high mounted starter.

Of course issues like that starter aren't black and white. They come in degrees. How many "marine" engines have elements or lots of elements like the starter motor example I give above? NONE of our modern engines, that is the basic engine as designed .. is a marine engine. They are ALL designed and built for some other purpose and then converted to "marine" engines. I'm sure there is something lost in the "conversion" process. For example most all marine engines of the 50s had their flywheel mounted on the front of the engine. The engine could then be mounted as low as possible in the hull for best shaft angle and best CG.

What other things are lost in the conversion of truck to boat engine that is not obvious to most people (like us). There may be 30 or 40 things, mostly small that effect the performance of the engines in a boat. The location of the seawater pump on one of the old Perkins engines may be an example of this. The oil filter on my engine was not in a user friendly place (it would have been if the engine was on a tractor) and all these little things added up could make a fairly good marine engine that had a much better than fair basic block. Perhaps there was more to it like cooling or safety?

Obviously the ideal engine would be one that had an extremely long lasting and high performing BB (basic block) with it's details leaning toward the marine version in desirability. Then the ideal engine marinizer would cut a minimum of corners and minimize building to a price to build the best engine for a boat possible and still be price competitive. Utopia? Perhaps .... but they did it in the 50s.

So what say you gear heads? What are the features of a marine engine make it the best. What marine engines are the best and what makes them that way.

North Western Washington State USA
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