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Gas vs Diesel

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by TooCoys, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. TooCoys

    TooCoys New Member

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    I know it's been argued time and time again, on forums across the Internet, but I'm looking for specifics.

    We are young, employed full time, but we aren't wealthy by any means. We have a small savings account, and live modestly in our RV. We are wanting to move aboard, but can't afford a brand new boat.

    Unfortunately most of the boats in our price range that are the size we want, are older models, and mostly gas powered.

    We aren't looking to do long range cruising, just something we can live comfortably on, and take weekend trips or coastal cruises to other regional coastal cities on.

    Is a gas powered boat really all THAT bad? Aside from the vapor danger, and limited range, are they really THAT inferior to diesels?
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Generally gas inboards have a much shorter lifespan than diesels, say 1000 hours versus 5000 hours. Gas engines have a lot more components on them to make them not run right. Diesel is quite a bit cheaper per gallon than gas. A diesel boat is quite a bit more to buy than a gas boat. If you aren't using the boat that much, you can buy lots of gasoline to make up the price difference. I personally hate gas inboards. But they're not terrible by any means, just lots of nagging small problems.....Also have to change exhaust manifolds/risers every 5 years on gas motors.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Nothing that wrong with a gas boat. The engines aren't as durable as diesel and typically not as fuel efficient. However, they often get you in at a lower cost and the cost of an engine replacement is less. While diesel is preferred in some size boats and some areas, gas boats dominate.

    As a long term liveaboard my preference would still be diesel but gas isn't an absolute no.
  4. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    In terms of cruising, a gas boat starts to becomes less viable as you get past about 35' and about 17000 lbs. But a lot of boaters are more interested in on-the-water living space than cruising capabilities. Boats like the 39' Silverton Sidewalk are living proof. Very high marks for interior living space and about the last boat you would want to catch some bad weather in. And they couldn't build them fast enough before the 2008 market meltdown.

    Personally I wouldn't touch a gas boat over 30' with a 10' pole as far as ownership is concerned. But different people have different requirements. Many liveaboards and weekenders do very little boating away from the dock. A sunset cruise once in a blue moon maybe. They dream of the great loop or other trips but never go. There are boaters who's only trip away from the dock is to the boat yard for maintenance.

    So, realistically if you're not going anywhere gas is more doable. You'll get more boat for less money (and so will the guy who buys the boat from you someday).

    If you really are going to follow through on weekend and coastal cruising and spend a considerable amount of time underway you will be far far better of with diesel in terms of reliability, fuel cost per mile, safety, cruising range, and engine longevity.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
  5. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Gas can work, as long as you recognize and are comfortable with the limitations...

    Many would say that a Yugo is inferior to a Rolls. OTOH, the Yugo can be better suited to meet the requirements of some users.

    -Chris
  6. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Let me preface........

    One's experiences may affect the rationality of one's opinions. The above indicates, like in any other benefit analysis, that there is a methodical way to evaluate one versus the other, and that the outcomes are perfectly rational.

    All that said..... I have seen "gassers" go BOOM. I will NEVER have a gas engine that is not mounted on the stern.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I prefer NOT to work on gas inboard boats.
    Other than our own 2 outboards, I prefer not to work on them.

    With that said, I make a living working on small boats. Nuf said?
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Someone brought up the Silverton sidewalk 372. I manage one. It has 2- 502 gas engines. At cruise rpms it does like 13.5 knots at about 50 gph. However if you run it 9 knots it's not too bad on fuel.

    It however, is an excellent liveaboard for it's size. It's very spacious with a great layout and 2 nice sized heads and staterooms. It's built well enough and I haven't had any structural issues with it whatsoever. No blisters, no soft decks, nothing. Access to all of your equipment is good enough as well. I really cannot knock silverton on the build of this boat for it's price point. Now, if your boating plans are to use it every other weekend to go 20-30 miles, there would be nothing wrong with it as a choice and it being gas inboard. IF you were planning on using it every other weekend and doing a 150 NM trip, I'd say diesel would be the better option. But for limited use, gas is ok.

    My owner lives on it 3 months out of 6 in the winter, a month on the boat, month off, month on, month off, month on. I run it 5-10 miles each way to a marina, he lives on it, I run it back to a dock behind a house, and that's as far as the boat goes.....the summer 6 months it just sits. It's fine for his needs.
  9. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    For me, gas boats are fine, generally cheap to maintain, cheap to replace and with a low to moderate use, fuel cost are very reasonable.
    I have my first diesel now, very happy with it, but not more ore less then with my gas engines in other (smaller) type of boats.

    So with a second hand boat, put your first money in 'gas safety', and your fine!

    Just my two guilders ;)
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If you re not going to run the boat more than 100 hours a year then gas is fine under 37/40' Over 100 hours usually diesel will be better, as well as on boats that Re over 40' or heavier (18/19k pounds)

    If you do get a gas inboard make you have a working fume detector in the bilge, that you fuel lines are in good condition (life span 8/9 years ) and have two CO detectors. And follow common sense procedure when fueling or working on the boat
  11. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Hoeveel florijnen is een gulden nu?
  12. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    Nederlandse guldens bestaan niet meer helaas!
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    O K kiddies, My Google don't translate on the threads. You talking about that Red Head again????
  14. TooCoys

    TooCoys New Member

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    We are both young and still employed full time, so we couldn't cruise that much, or that often. More than likely it would be weekend trips out into the bay at a reef thats about 7-10nm from our marina.

    I would assume that once or twice a summer we'd like to take a weeks vacation cruise down to Port Aransas or South Padre, and at some point I would like to cruise the ICW and Florida coast down to Key West, but that would be a "special" trip that we'd have to save up for.

    We currently live in our RV, and since we live in it, we never take it anywhere because it's too much trouble to pack your house up every time you want to go somewhere. I would assume it would be nearly the same on a boat.
  15. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Weet ik. Was een grap.

    Sorry about the thread drift folks, just a bit of dry humor..... I'm done. Carry on.
  16. TooCoys

    TooCoys New Member

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    I used google translate.

    What's a guilder and why dont they exist anymore?
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    No necessarily. It depends on how much crap your accumulate. Some liveaboards indeed never live the dock as it s too much of hassle to put everything away but it doesn't have to be that way.
  18. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Speaking of 39' Silvertons... I know there's a well-kept 2000 392 on Lake Texoma that's for sale, I believe by owner (i.e., no broker yet). No clue about asking $$ and so forth, and I guess there'd be some shipping details to get it to the coast. PM for contact info, if interested.

    -Chris
  19. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    They have the Euro now :rolleyes:
  20. P46-Curaçao

    P46-Curaçao Senior Member

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    No problem at all :D