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Old 09-28-2021, 04:46 AM   #1
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Gas or Diesel

Good day and thanks in advance for your time.

My wife and I are going to be purchasing our first vessel of this size to spend weekends on with my family. I am a 50 ton CPT with many years working as a mate on many different fishing vessels. My wife only has experience on the boats weve owned over our marriage. A 17 Mako, 25 Parker and a 21 Key West DC. All gas outboards.

My question is, we are finding a lot of boats in our price range with Gas as the fuel source and I wanted diesel. Should we hold out for diesel or consider gas?

We see a few diesels pop up here and there but quickly get sold. With diesel prices higher nowadays, besides safety, is there an actual benefit?.

We plan to retire in ten years and eventually attempt the great loop with possibly some Caribbean excursions.

Boats we are considering are Carver, Silverton and Cruisers.
Im aware of the Balsa core on these brands. Id like an old Viking or Hatt with diesels but most in our price range are extremely old and or projects. Shell be a dock queen with occasional local journeys here and over the summer till we retire, then more of live aboard.

Respectfully,,

Keoki
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Old 09-28-2021, 04:58 AM   #2
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I think you should hold out for diesel. Although diesel fuel is priced higher at the road based gas station, that is usually not the case at marine fuel docks. Check waterway guide fuel price website for your cruising area, some marinas offer diesel at much lower prices than others. Good luck hope you find the right boat for your family!
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:19 AM   #3
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"My wife and I are going to be purchasing our first vessel of this size to spend weekends on with my family."

For weekends stick with gas.

Diesels are worth the added expense if you operate many hours a year, 500 minimum to amortize the higher costs.Some folks believe it requires 2000 hours a year.

Sure the gas fuel bill will be a bit lower , but the added expenses of diesel Maint. will easily eat any difference.

Spark plug $ 3.00 vs injector R&R and rebuild $100 each for old style $500+ each for electronic.

New better distributor $300, rebuild and time injection pump, $1000 minimum.

5 Quarts of CD oil, vs 10-12 of more modern oil.Diesel antifreeze

The list goes on,,,,
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:28 AM   #4
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FF-- Your right--Weekend boat gas is okay!
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:32 AM   #5
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We plan to retire in ten years and eventually attempt the great loop with possibly some Caribbean excursions.

For these plans diesel is a better option
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Old 09-28-2021, 05:37 AM   #6
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Really a trade-off. Resale on gas is slower and any upfront savings could be easily devoured by extending the resale period. Best I can tell, there are more gas-powered larger boats in the midwest than on either coast so might be more market-acceptable if those are your home waters (no idea where Garnet Valley might be).

If it's just going to be a dock-queen, you might want to consider AirBNB - much cheaper route. Also non-explosive.

Peter
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Old 09-28-2021, 07:18 AM   #7
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My biggest concern would be the condition of the fuel tanks on a gas boat, especially as your search for value tends to lead towards older vessels. Tanks fail with age due to leaking decks, being secured with expanding foam that gets soaked in salt water, chafing straps and even ethanol degrading the resin of fiberglass tanks (common in bertrams). On many of these boats the tank replacement is a big job requiring pulling the engines or cutting up the deck. Most every older boat I have ever been aboard had some questionable wiring installed at some point in its life, if someone installed a device that is not ignition protected and you have a bilge of trapped fumes, you could lose your family, that possibility would kill the joy of boating for me.

Fuel lines are relatively easy to replace and carburetor s are cheap to rebuild but if I had to go with a gas boat, I need to be confident in the condition of the tanks.

There are some decent old sportfish boats with diesels for pretty good value if you are handy and willing to put some time and money into them. Getting insurance on older boats can be a challenge but at least you have a track record of ownership and credentials, this helps with finding insurance when you are jumping up in size versus the first time owner who was inspired by youtube.

Best of luck.
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