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Old 09-17-2022, 02:38 PM   #1
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1 vs 2 diesels, insights please..

First post and thanks in advance to community.
Attending boat shows with wife as we prepare for cruising life in next 2-4 years. Identified trawlers as our preferred platform (liveability, no rushing around, shallow draft, etc) with East Coast, Bahamas and perhaps into Caribbean (USVI, BVI) as cruising grounds. Great loop an interest too. Looking at a range of brands (Kadey Krogen, Krogen Express, Norhavn, Helmsman, etc).

QUESTION: I'm leaning towards twin diesels for redundancy, safety - all the talking points from the twin engine crowd - that is comforting to me. That said, i really lean in and listen to the single engine trawlers group that say it's no necessary due to sea tows, cell /satellite services and so on. "The only thing that stops these diesels is bad fuel."

Am i wrong in thinking twin diesels is the way to go and the liklihood of failures across two engines is near impossible? I know this is a common question, thanks in advance.
Thanks!!
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Old 09-17-2022, 02:49 PM   #2
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My sig line explains it. I prefer redundancy, easier to maneuver in close quarters, except I hear you can get thrusters for that.
It really is a personal choice. You already heard the pros and cons. Either way can be made to work. Good luck
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Old 09-17-2022, 02:50 PM   #3
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My rule of thumb, singles for well populated cruising, twins fo areas that are remote from help and service.

May not be critical, but I love convenience.
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Old 09-17-2022, 02:53 PM   #4
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Welcome aboard. It all depends on your preference. There is no right or wrong. I would guess that the individual boat will determine which way you will go. Either one is great, but the real difference is the particular boat, condition would weigh heavily with me unless you absolutely love working on boats, which I do. I would figure out what your must haves are and nice to haves and must not haves. Then buy the best condition boat that meets most of them and is in your budget. Then if it has one or two engines so what…
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Old 09-17-2022, 03:41 PM   #5
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I'm a single guy. I like the accessibility of a single engine (though some twins have decent outboard access, but not many - if you won't be doing most of your own maintenance not a big deal i suppse). Singles usually have better protected props .

All my cars and trucks have one engine. I've been towed twice in the past 30 years and 300k miles: once when I hit a massive pothole that took out two tires. Once when a fan belt shredded.

I won't deny that having a twin provides redundancy. Personal decision on how much risk a single exposes you too given your cruising plans, and how comfortable you are.

Good luck with your decision.

Peter
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:26 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.


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Old 09-17-2022, 04:33 PM   #7
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Single vs twins is almost as contentious as which anchor is best…
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:40 PM   #8
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I'm a single guy. I like the accessibility of a single engine (though some twins have decent outboard access, but not many - if you won't be doing most of your own maintenance not a big deal i suppse). Singles usually have better protected props .

All my cars and trucks have one engine. I've been towed twice in the past 30 years and 300k miles: once when I hit a massive pothole that took out two tires. Once when a fan belt shredded.

I won't deny that having a twin provides redundancy. Personal decision on how much risk a single exposes you too given your cruising plans, and how comfortable you are.

Good luck with your decision.

Peter
I am on this camp and this is as simple as an explanation You'll get.

add Trusters and or get home option would contribute to redundancy.
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Old 09-17-2022, 04:46 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. TG. Post #7 says it all. For me, ease of maintenance is foremost.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:05 PM   #10
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Two always. There are two choices:



Two main diesels

One diesel and some kind of "get home" rig
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:11 PM   #11
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Access to outboard side of twins is difficult unless beam is >15'. Replaced a starter in 1 engine. Shredded a fan belt once. Recently wrapped a line around a prop several miles offshore in not very comfortable conditions. Came back on single engine. Seatow dock is 10 miles away, if they are available at the time. Could be a long wait if they are all busy towing other boats in.

I am solidly in the twin corner. Maintenance is not a significant factor for me. Getting back is.
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:23 PM   #12
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As a good friend with a single engine KK 48 said when getting towed for 70 miles, "I sure wish I had twins".
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Old 09-17-2022, 05:29 PM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. TG. Post #7 says it all. For me, ease of maintenance is foremost.
You can have your cake and eat it too....
I prefer twins, each in a stand-up engine room of their own....

I can stand on either end and either side of the JDs on DOMINO.
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Old 09-17-2022, 06:17 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TrawlerGreg View Post
First post and thanks in advance to community.

Attending boat shows with wife as we prepare for cruising life in next 2-4 years. Identified trawlers as our preferred platform (liveability, no rushing around, shallow draft, etc) with East Coast, Bahamas and perhaps into Caribbean (USVI, BVI) as cruising grounds. Great loop an interest too. Looking at a range of brands (Kadey Krogen, Krogen Express, Norhavn, Helmsman, etc).



QUESTION: I'm leaning towards twin diesels for redundancy, safety - all the talking points from the twin engine crowd - that is comforting to me. That said, i really lean in and listen to the single engine trawlers group that say it's no necessary due to sea tows, cell /satellite services and so on. "The only thing that stops these diesels is bad fuel."



Am i wrong in thinking twin diesels is the way to go and the liklihood of failures across two engines is near impossible? I know this is a common question, thanks in advance.

Thanks!!
We have twin Lehman 120s. We have had propulsion stoppages twice, NEITHER from an engine failure. There are plenty of failures that can stop any diesel, not just bad fuel or a plugged fuel filter.
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Old 09-17-2022, 06:33 PM   #15
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We have twin Lehman 120s. We have had propulsion stoppages twice, NEITHER from an engine failure. There are plenty of failures that can stop any diesel, not just bad fuel or a plugged fuel filter.
I seem to recall that at least one of those failures was a blown drive saver, which you removed as it was essentially a self inflicted vulnerability, though it worked as advertised. Not sure if I have that right.

Twin engines is one way to solve a vulnerability. I have had exactly two engines stop or alarm. One was I forgot to turn on a fuel valve. The other was on a client's older trawler with twin Lehmans. The impellor was shredded due to lack of maintenance.

If redundancy is the concern, solve that. Get-home engine or hydraulic motor off generator PTO, even a sail plan might get you somewhere (mid ocean). I wouldn't cross an ocean with a single, but there are many ways to reduce what is already a low risk. Including closing the engine wisely, carrying spares, and maintenance.

Thoughts?

Peter
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Old 09-17-2022, 07:40 PM   #16
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Greg,
Welcome aboard the TF!!!!
And thanks for restarting this potentially "contentious" issue
Olthers here have it right. It is a personal preference. No right or wrong (although in the future, under certain circumstances you may think you should have gone the other way)
I prefer singles, especially in "smaller" boats (below 45 feet but can vary). Engine access for repairs and maintenance can be difficult in what can be a very cramped engine room. Not so bad if you hire out all the work (slight cost increase due to access maybe), but can be very frustrating for a DIYer in some boats. Also, costs are higher with twins for maintenance (double the labour, parts etc.). As previously stated by another, generally the running gear is better protected when there is a single engine reducing some of the other reasons for problems besides fuel.
If you do decide on a single, make sure you do the recommended maintenance and don't let it lapse. This will help with reliability. Many boaters (meaning quite a few) tend to take some short cuts on their recommended or best practises maintenance. EG. on their raw water cooling system or impeller changes. With a single, (for best results ), keep up on all engine maintenance. In my opinion, a well maintained single diesel, operated by a "prudent" boater is pretty darn reliable. Having at least a bow thruster will make close quarters movement very safe and easy (with practise).
Twins offer redundancy (get home if both engines are not affected by the issue and fouling and fuel might affect both), and they offer increased maneuverability over a single without a thruster. Pros and cons to both.

Good luck on your choice!
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Old 09-17-2022, 07:53 PM   #17
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My rule of thumb, singles for well populated cruising, twins fo areas that are remote from help and service.

May not be critical, but I love convenience.
Good advise. A strong case can be made for a single if you're within the range of a towing service. If not available, you're on your own.
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Old 09-17-2022, 08:22 PM   #18
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I have a single Cat on my Mainship 35/39. The previous owner installed a series of two oil filters. If one got clogged with some goop he turned it off and turned the other one on. Saved him from two bad loads of fuel. The gunked up one can be replaced. I have never had a problem and with the bow thruster and prop walk to starboard, it is easy to dock. My twin Bertram was a cinch to dock but .7 mpg wasn’t that easy on the wallet! On a cruise yesterday upstream in the St. Lawrence we did 8.5 mph sog at 1900 RPM and going downstream 12 mph sog at 1900. We got 7.1 mpg. A tad better than the Bertram at 30 mph at 3,000 rpm. Unfortunately our diesel is $5.99/gal. Too bad they won’t sell #3 fuel oil with no road tax for less than $3.00!
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Old 09-17-2022, 10:57 PM   #19
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Lots more boat choices if looking for two engines. Still, one is enough for me.
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Old 09-17-2022, 11:05 PM   #20
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Greetings,
Mr. mp. You loosing weight?
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