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Costs of diesel powered ownership

Old 12-08-2019, 02:06 PM
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Default Costs of diesel powered ownership

Hey, could some one provide me some details on the costs of diesel powered boat ownership? I have boated for years with gas inboards and twin outboard powered boats but never a diesel powered boat. Help please. Thanks!
Old 12-08-2019, 02:13 PM
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That’s a vague question. My single Cummins last 400 hours cost me 2 filter change, 10gal. Oil, 1- impeller , 9 zincs. About $500.00 total.
7gal/ hour $7,800 in fuel.
Old 12-08-2019, 02:27 PM
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A pair of 4 cyl. diesels, not too much. A pair of MAN 850 hp, BIG money. Your question is too broad. Can you be more specific?
Old 12-08-2019, 02:34 PM
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Too vague but I recently bought my first diesel boat......and it's made in a gas version as well (Formula 400ss)

Formula states the gas versions get .85 mpg at 38 mph best cruise while the diesel boat gets 1.65 mpg at 35 mpg best cruise (I run a little harder doing 40 mpg at 1.4 mpg). The big thing I found was that this is a heavy outdrive boat and the gas version blow outdrives often......sometimes one every 2 years. The VP diesel/outdrives to not suffer that problem but of course cost ALOT more.

The diesel engine runs longer between oil changes by 1/2 (once a year in the fall vs twice a year based on my usage). Even still they use more oil and the filters do cost a bit more too.
Old 12-08-2019, 03:29 PM
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My yamaha 4 strokes cost me about $500 each for an annual service. My volvo d4 300's just had their first annual service and the total bill was slightly less at about $980. I was pleasantly surprised. The previous commentor was correct - it really depends on which diesel engine.
Old 12-08-2019, 03:47 PM
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Are you a do it your selfer or do you pay someone ? What engines ? As far as the engines go I am 100% doing it all my self . Most years years its a few hundred bucks oil, filters zincs a few hundred for impellers every 2-3 years . in 15 years I had had a 3k year . a 20k year (engine went boom) this year about 2k Plus a turbo I had on hand . This is on twin Cummins 6BTAs .
Old 12-08-2019, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by prowlersfish View Post
Are you a do it your selfer or do you pay someone ? What engines ? As far as the engines go I am 100% doing it all my self . Most years years its a few hundred bucks oil, filters zincs a few hundred for impellers every 2-3 years . in 15 years I had had a 3k year . a 20k year (engine went boom) this year about 2k Plus a turbo I had on hand . This is on twin Cummins 6BTAs .
why the BOOM? Not typical of that engine
Old 12-08-2019, 04:52 PM
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Here was a thread that covered a lot of the bases. You likely know a lot of it already but for a newbie like me, it was full of good insights.
Cost of ownership: Express w/Outboards VS Convertible w/Diesels
Old 12-08-2019, 05:03 PM
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I run s 265 John Deere, maintain it myself in a downeast hull. This season, I lost a alternator and a belt. $500. Fuel filters a little over 100 bucks for a set of 3. Oil change and 10 gallons of oil $300. Engine zincs were cheap, cant remember the price. Impeller under a hundred. Going from the gas jobs I had in the past, I have traded speed for fuel saving. I burn a 1/4 of what I once burned in gas. I don't have to pick my days, I'm headed out when most guys are coming in. In 4000 hours, other than basic maintenance and that includes cleaning heat exchanger, aftercooler, gear and hydraulic cooler. (can add up quick, if you pay someone to do it) I have replaced a lift / transfer pump and alternator. Like others have said, it depends on what your looking at. I would make sure that what every road you go down, make sure parts are ready available for what every you choose. Some engines are a lot simpler and easier to work on than others.
Old 12-08-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post
why the BOOM? Not typical of that engine
Loss of the rear freeze plug = instant over heat , piston seized and rod thru the size . Coolant alarms/gauges don't work to well with no coolant . Later B engines have a water outlet where the rear freeze plug was part of a up grade Cummins did . I saw this on the " new" engine , so I changed over the other older engines pluming to match the "new" one . A few hundred bucks and a lot of piece of mind. ( not that its a common issue but....)
Old 12-08-2019, 09:13 PM
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I will be looking at a diesel powered boat when I retire in a few years. Doing the research now and have found quite a bit of good information about diesel engines on this website: https://boatdiesel.com/Forums/index....-7&SC=1440.900
The cost of ownership is certainly more expensive vs gas power on larger boats (36-42 range for me) but at anything above 17,000 lbs, gas just doesn't make sense. Too much torque needed to move a boat that large.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:25 PM
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Doing it myself I average about $1k per year. Twin 5.9s, 15 years and 4500hrs. I tend to baby them though so haven't seen any big bills yet.
Old 12-09-2019, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by prowlersfish View Post
Loss of the rear freeze plug = instant over heat , piston seized and rod thru the size . Coolant alarms/gauges don't work to well with no coolant . Later B engines have a water outlet where the rear freeze plug was part of a up grade Cummins did . I saw this on the " new" engine , so I changed over the other older engines pluming to match the "new" one . A few hundred bucks and a lot of piece of mind. ( not that its a common issue but....)
The water outlet change was not necessarily to eliminate the freeze plug, it totally re-routed and improved the coolant flow path to eliminate hot spots in the head and block.
It is one of the most worthwhile upgrades for an older B.
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Old 12-09-2019, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kapnD View Post
The water outlet change was not necessarily to eliminate the freeze plug, it totally re-routed and improved the coolant flow path to eliminate hot spots in the head and block.
It is one of the most worthwhile upgrades for an older B.
One improvement recommended by some was to go to a larger hose from the head , I went with the better Cummins fix and moved the outlet to the freeze plug location . while the fixes is for improve flow as you said . I sure feel better with the plug gone LOL .
Old 12-09-2019, 06:25 AM
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Diesel engines themselves don't cost much more to maintain than gas engines as long as it is routine annual maintenance--maybe a bit more oil needed for the oil changes, but as long as they are running well, it's not a big difference. Likely better fuel economy will offset any added costs. You do need to pay more attention to coolant chemistry, and fuel cleanliness, but most modern diesels are pretty reliable.

The second question, and perhaps the more important question for someone considering a move to a diesel boat, concerns cost of ownership of the larger boat, usually the reason for upgrading to diesels. Larger boats have more systems, more things to go wrong, so cost more to own and maintain. It's not a linear cost/boat length curve. You will hear a wide range of costs of ownership but many estimates fail to reflect the cost of long term maintenance to keep the boat in excellent condition--good canvas, current electronics, maintained hardware and finishes, nice upholstery--items that can cost thousands and need to be budgeted and amortized. For example, canvas for my boat cost $14k seven years ago. Still in good shape but need to consider replacement in perhaps 5 more years, so need to budget $1500/yr for that. Same for electronics. Annual haul outs, bottom paint, slip fees, detailing (if you hire that out), insurance etc, all add up.

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Old 12-09-2019, 06:56 AM
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Single Cummins 450 here. I do all my own work. Oil change (5gal) with oil filter and fuel filters (I tend to do all the same time) at 300hrs, about $150-200. Impeller about every other oil change at 600-odd hours about $70. About every five years I pull the coolers to service and clean, and put in new coolant, probably a few hundred $. Did have to replace leaky sea water pump at about 3000hrs, that was about $600. Gear oil change every 1000 hrs or so, about $30 (two gal). Genny oil and filter change under $100, also in the 200-odd hour range.

I've put 2800 hrs on it myself (used engine bought at 1200hrs), so its right about 4000hrs on it now. Only failure has been the sea water pump. It is not an expensive engine to own. The big cost is fuel, and compared to a gasser I am way ahead.

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