Houseboat Engines - the pros cons of replace swap gas motors for diesels?
(North Fort Myers, Florida)
Houseboat Engines - swap replace gas motors for diesels?
My dilemma is whether to swap my gas motors in my houseboat for some fuel efficient diesel engines? My 57 ft Carrie Craft houseboat has a great running pair of 427's. I would like some input on the idea of replacing my 427 gas engines with small diesels. I want to downsize to a pair of small Perkins.
I travel from the Chesapeake Bay to Mexico and Belize and would rather have the economy than have the high horsepower gas guzzlers. Most of our travel is on the ICW and we have a 6 knot/no wake limit anyhow. Why have nearly 700 horsepower and not have any use for it? I would even consider a trade.
These gas engines are in top condition with stainless heat risers and aluminum manifolds. Everything is in top condition and the engines are running great. The carburators were both rebuilt this year and should be good for several years. I have boxes of new and rebuilt parts and tools for these engines.
There are valve covers cut out for adjusting the valves without losing oil in the bilge. I have many extra belts and hoses. The engines are very clean and have been professionally maintained.
I have many mechanic's reports and evaluations from over the many years the previous owner had the boat. The manifolds are in top shape. I took them off and had them checked and tested.
The mechanic told me they were like new and did not need any work. I re-installed them with new gaskets and replaced the plugs while the manifolds were off. The engines were updated to electronic ignition and also have new exhaust hoses and stainless steel heat risors.
I am looking for a pair of small Perkins Diesels that are in good shape. My transmissions are 1 to 1 Velvet-Drives. It would be an advantage to have bellhousings already on the Perkins. I am open to offers or suggestions.
We are leaving North Fort Myers soon and are heading down to the Florida Keys for the winter. In the spring, around Mid-March, we will head north to the Chesapeake Bay for the summer and return south sometime in the Fall. Our schedule is very flexible.
I have had an offer of a pair of Yanmar's but one is not running and the other one is questionable. I am not interested in non-running engines. Mine are running and will not be replaced with non-running engines.
I have enough work to do and do not feel like rebuilding any engines. Mine do not
need any work or rebuilding and I can just leave them where they are rather than replace them with questionable replacements.
I would consider another brand of Diesel engine in a straight 6 or 4 cylinder configuration. The 427's take up the whole bilge making changing some parts very close. I have a Catamaran Hull and the width is very close for these big blocks.
I'll try to put a picture in here. If you want more pictures or to come by and check out the running engines for yourself you can do so at any time.
Thanks for any comments, Russell, Florida Reply - Answer
Well Russell, I can see your dilemma about whether to swap the gas motors for diesel engines.
The diesels will definitely provide you with some good reliability, and excellent fuel economy, yet there are some drawbacks also.
Some of the things to think about, you would have to source some reasonable priced, suitable replacement diesel engines, and calculate what the time and costs are involved to transform your present setup.
I don't have any precise figures, however the fuel efficiency, consumption, range or mileage per tank will rise greatly, so the initial cost will be viable considering the break-even point, or ROI (return on investment).
As you can see, there is some homework, and some searching to do first before selling your gas engines, especially if you're not equipped to do most of the work or installation yourself.
So, if you intend to do the long distance cruising that you mentioned, I think it would be a viable project. Either way, keep us posted with your endeavor.
You may also want to keep an eye on the following discussion on the pros and cons of diesel or gas engines on a similar sized houseboat.Lastly
, hopefully some of our readers and visitors will share and post comments and experiences about their gas or diesel engine swaps on their houseboats. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.
Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats
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