Engines, engines, engines, and more engines…

So you have a sailboat.

You have decided that the time has come to remove the old “bag of hammers” as my cousin puts it, and put in a new “bag of hammers!”

Easy right?

Sure it is. If you whip out the chequebook and just sign away. If you want a little more input, it tends to get a little more complicated.

There are hundreds of different factors at play, I mean if you give it enough time, even colour plays a role. I mean the engine room has to look right doesn’t it?

We had narrowed it down to a couple of final decisions. Namely, Yanmar, Beta, Solé and Westerbeke. Westerbeke didn’t have anything in the size we needed so it was quickly removed from the list. so down to Yanmar, Beta and Solé. Should be easy.

Well, in the end we went with Solé. What the hell is that you ask? Well, it is a Mitsubishi engine that has been marinized in Spain. Everyone and there dog is probably jumping up and down reading this and saying OMG, you should have went with Yanmar, they are the most well known, bestest thing since slice bread. Perhaps they are, but then again perhaps it is nothing more than a really good marketing campaign! But what about Beta? They are good engines, surely it is better than a Sun, I mean Solé. Good question, maybe it is, but isn’t a Beta nothing more than a marinized Kubota? So let’s look at some stats between our 3 contestants.

Make / Model/ # Cyl / Max HP @ RPM / Total Wgt / Alternator(stnd)

Yanmar  4JH80      4       80hp @ 3200           253kgs/558lbs     125A

Beta       75              4       75hp @ 2600            414kg/910 lbs      70A

Solé     Mini-74       4       63.9hp @ 2500         357kg/785.4lbs    95A

Distance between engine mounts, Yanmar 470mm/18.5inches, Beta 634mm/24.96inches, Solé 675mm/26.57. Original Ford Lehman 565./22.25

So there is no clear winner here if I do not want to have to modify the existing engine mounts. However, the Solé is 4 inches different and it is easier to expand the mounts than to have to make them narrower in my mind.

Horsepower is important for sure and the Solé is on the lighter side.

Overall weight puts the Solé in the middle.

So after all of the number crunching and tossing and turning there is one major reason we went the way we did and let’s see if you start feeling the same way.

Boat show Prices:

Yanmar came in at $20080 plus tax for a total of $22489.60

Beta came in at $16382.00 plus tax for a total of $18347.84

Solé came in at $14645 plus tax for a total of $16402.40

Sorry all you Yanmar diehards but at a difference of $6087.20, I know where my priorities are, and the Admiral keeps reminding me.

In the end I may eat my words of course, but a brand new engine looked after and cared for should last a long long time in any case regardless of the name on the side of it. Fingers crossed!

Just a side note – we did look at the Yanmar 4JH4-TE, there 75hp engine, however we ruled it out immediately when we were told it was $19681 NOT INCLUDING a transmission which would be $1-2000. And that was on sale by the way…and just to add insult to injury, not impressed when an engine goes up in price from $18500 last year to $19700 this year for no apparent reason.

No insult intended to any owners/fans or otherwise of any engine type I may have mentioned or may have not mentioned. 🙂



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