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Thread: Ahh... that time of year when diesel is cheaper than regular gasoline...

  1. #1
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    Ahh... that time of year when diesel is cheaper than regular gasoline...

    Diesel is often cheaper in the summer than regular gasoline.

    Modern diesel engines are also ~50% more efficient than gasoline engines. (My one-ton diesel truck gets better mileage than my wife's Toyota minivan, despite weighing twice as much.)

    Given how much fuel wakeboats consume, it sure would be nice to have the option of a diesel engine in a wakeboat. Imagine the fuel savings over the life of the boat, to say nothing of the hole shot from all that torque!

    IMG_20190609_111420.jpg
    Last edited by IDBoating; 06-11-2019 at 01:34 AM.

  2. #2
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    I would not be surprised if we see it as an option on a couple manufacturers within the next few years.
    One of or if not the biggest marine diesel companies, Yanmar is already putting them in G25’s and G23’s with great success over in Japan.
    One of my buddies goes to dealers meetings for his particular boat company and they might put something together for him. Being able to run at 2k rpm would be inane.
    Up here in Canada diesel is always a lot cheaper, it’s crazy how it varies.

  3. #3
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    I got to looking at this a while back. MercCruisers Cummns 6BT puts out around 700 ft/lbs at 1800 RPM. Which would be RAD!! I just worry about a few things
    1) EGT temps are crazy high so fully water jacketed turbo and exhaust (not small components in a small bilge)
    2) Emissions. EGR, DPF, and Urea aftertreatments take up more room in bilges and will be required.
    3) Cost. Pretty much every truck manufacturer tack an additional 10k on top of their gasser option for in some cases the base diesel(RAM). Have to pay more for the HO version(RAM still).

    I still think the 7.3L gasser that Fords coming out with would be a winner and being a pushrod engine I think it may wind up being a bit smaller footprint than the Raptor with its big heads for the OHC.

    If you look around theres a guy that dropped a Duramax into a Malibu 23 LSV

  4. #4
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    I would be surprised if a diesel engine shows up in a wakeboat anytime soon.
    with no gov't push to reduce fuel usage on boats there's no real push for a manufacturer to spend the r&d to make it happen.
    not a lot of marinas on lakes that sell both diesel and gas is an impact as well.

    that and if the economic indicators hold true, we are teetering on an economic slowdown end of this year that will slow boat sales again for a few years. similar to 08-12 but on a smaller scale which will impact new boat designs and innovations.
    2012 22ve.. RIP 4/17
    2014 Z3.. Surf away

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeheel4life View Post
    I got to looking at this a while back. MercCruisers Cummns 6BT puts out around 700 ft/lbs at 1800 RPM. Which would be RAD!! I just worry about a few things
    1) EGT temps are crazy high so fully water jacketed turbo and exhaust (not small components in a small bilge)
    2) Emissions. EGR, DPF, and Urea aftertreatments take up more room in bilges and will be required.
    3) Cost. Pretty much every truck manufacturer tack an additional 10k on top of their gasser option for in some cases the base diesel(RAM). Have to pay more for the HO version(RAM still).
    All true. But there is a HUGE market for marinized diesel engines. A quick search revealed 100+ manufacturers offering them worldwide. The vast majority of boats, not counting fishing boats and cruisers, are not production line units... they are semi-custom, almost one-offs, which means engine sales into that market are spotty with lots of low-volume bookings. Meanwhile, about 10K new wakeboats are being manufactured each year (latest figures from the industry). If you approached a marine diesel engine maker and told them they could sell a few hundred, or even a couple thousand, of their engines into a whole new market I suspect they'd turn handsprings to make it work.

    Regarding the cost... that $10K uptick for diesel vs. gasoline in a road vehicle is because of the enormous volume of gasoline engines that are produced every year. Road diesels just aren't produced in those volumes. But inboard engines don't enjoy such economies of scale... so a marine diesel would be on more equal footing in terms of additional expense. That doesn't mean an inboard manufacturer wouldn't TRY to charge the "usual diesel price increase" but given how many small marine diesels are already shipping, and the relatively small number of inboard gassers that are shipping, I don't think the volume differences are as stark as in the car industry.

    Are you sure urea is required in a marine application? Marine and aircraft get a lot of exemptions. That's worth investigating.

    I agree diesel availability isn't nearly as widespread on lakes as gasoline. But any larger lake is likely to have it, because there will be larger boats and their diesel engines. There are some seriously large boats on Lake Couer d'Alene here locally and I promise they have diesel engines, for example. So too for Lake Pend Orielle a bit north of here. As for the smaller lakes such as the one I live on, we and our neighbors refill using gas cans. The boats stay in the lake all summer long. When we run out, we drive to the gas station with 10-12 gas cans. WAY easier than hauling out the trailer, pulling the boat, driving to the gas station, refilling (once!), driving back, dropping the boat back in the water, putting the trailer back in storage, etc. That would be madness, half a day lost filling up each time?!? On a busy weekend that could be 2-3 trailer operations, eliminating one of the key advantages of living on waterfront. We could do the gas can thing with diesel just as easy as gasoline, except we'd need to refill far less often because of the higher efficiency of turbodiesel engines.

    Just thinking out loud a bit. Someone once described a boat engine as "like a truck driving uphill all the time". A diesel is way more suited for that kind of work than a gasoline engine. And I'd love to be getting 50% better "mileage" too. Say you put 100 hours on your boat in a season. Our measurements suggest an average of 5 GPH for mixed surfing use, so that's 500 gallons in a season. If a diesel is 50% more efficient, you'd buy 167 fewer gallons per season for every 100 hours on the water. That's a few more brewskies no matter what you're drinking!
    Last edited by IDBoating; 06-11-2019 at 01:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    I'll be the devils advocate and all my .02
    speaking from a perspective of living in idaho/wisconsin/utah/nevada over the last 6 years and half of the time being on water that does not allow you to store a boat there without buying a lake house I would steer clear of a diesel just due to trying to find it on the waterway should I move. It's also at this point a tougher resale market. gas availability means a lot and not many boat owners would schlep gas around in cans. you are doing it but it's not the majority.

    now lets take tige's annual production. call it 1500 boats. spreading those builds out over another completely different powertrain has the potential to add costs of production as they will no doubt have different mounts/wiring/etc. stocking another engine costs inventory carrying $$ and potential to lose some of your "discounts" by only having a single powertrain vendor and product. I bet some of those production/carry costs will be passed on to gas customers as well spreading out the "pain".

    that being said I think you are spot on with the diesel facts and figures but wonder how surfing behind it would be without all the added emissions things. they might not be as "clean" as a gas engine with cats. watch the 'bu diesel wakesetter although i'm sure they can clean it up quite a bit.

    intriguing but I bet it doesn't come to fruition as long as I own a wakeboat.
    2012 22ve.. RIP 4/17
    2014 Z3.. Surf away

  7. #7
    A while back there was a Malibu 23LSV that someone put in a Duramax into for sell on ski-it-again. Who ever did the conversion did their homework, they upgraded the trailer axles, talked to ZF and settled on a 1.46:1 high torque trans along with a whole host of other tweaks. The owner posted that soot with the FAE was only a problem on the highest tune and slamming the throttle otherwise he said there was no issue with the emissions.

    Diesel at the lakes is kinda of chicken in the egg scenario, marinas are not going to stock it if there is no demand and boat manufacturers are not going to build it if there is no supply. At some point someone is going to have to bite the bullet.

    freeheel4life, you mentioned the new Ford 7.3, I think that may be the goto gas engine once someone marinizes it. Ford engineers have commented that it will fit in a Mustang as dimensionally it is no bigger than the 5.0

  8. #8
    We put a Yanmar BMW inline 4 (2.9L?) in a 20i back in '08-'09. Cool little project. It would rip your arms off once under full boost. Had a top speed of about 32mph. It was built for a ski school in Japan. Biggest issue it had over its lifetime was snapping prop shafts. About one per season.
    Grumble, Grumble

  9. #9
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    Snapping propshafts? Crap.

    I was just reading an article about the 7.3 (Goliath is the code name?) and they were debating whether that would be the new Ford Raptor engine or the Supercharged 5.2L going into the GT500.

    I'll take both please.

    Anyhow, I agree Diesel would probably be cheaper and provide a better hole shot... There are a few places here on Lake Travis that sell it, but you have to be on a big boy lake to find it where people are running dual inboard cabin cruisers... I would think the big ski-boat manufacturers would have a limited market for a diesel boat. It would almost be cool to see it have a second gear for getting to a top line speed if your going some miles... Is that a thing? Biggest beef with tournament boats is the lack of top end when you need to go 40 miles up stream

    That being said, a lot of us trailer, so less of an issue getting fuel there. And there are a LOT of diesel marine manufacturers..

  10. #10
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    MerCruiser already has the marinized Cummins 6BT. Its spec sheet says it puts out about 700ft lbs at 1800RPM.

    I think when it comes to emissions we just have to look at California. The CARB is setting the standard higher than the EPA for a long time and then the EPA just catches back up. Have yet to see where manufacturers build a California only model and another 49 state-compliant model. So I think the question you'd have to ask yourself is California going to allow diesel without emissions? I highly doubt it.

    The new 7.3 L is I believe code named Godzilla. I am still pretty excited about it. It's going to have multiport injection so easy to work on. It is still going to run variable valve timing cam advance. I wouldn't be shocked at all to Indmar release it as they have been in bed with Ford and released that EcoBoost platform a while back.

  11. #11
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    Koolaid is right, these Yanmar engines are legit. So much power and that 20i most likely did not have a larger shaft on it like the newer surf boats.
    Did I mention that the Yanmar guys are very into surfing and currently working on expanding. They are a huge sponsor for the CWSA and members themselves.
    Personally I would be hesitant of the first years non marine brand diesel in boat but would have zero hesitations on a Yanmar. One of the biggest marine engines out there, tried and proven.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentP View Post
    It would almost be cool to see it have a second gear for getting to a top line speed if your going some miles...
    Pssst... we're working on a solution for that. WAY better than a two speed transmission (think: continuously variable). Applies equally to gas and diesel engines. It'll be a couple of years, but stay tuned.

    a lot of us trailer, so less of an issue getting fuel there.
    Yep, here's how I see it breaking down...

    * Daily trailer boats: Drive right past gas stations on the way to/from the water, so getting diesel isn't a problem

    * Waterfront homeowners: Keep their boats docked all season and refill from portable containers, so getting diesel isn't a problem

    * Weekenders (drive to a lake and stay multiple days): More dependent upon on-lake gas stations, so getting diesel could be an issue on smaller lakes

    Not sure how the percentages of ownership break down, but two of those three groups wouldn't be affected by a decision between diesel and gas. My bet is the first group (daily trailers) is the largest of the three. That and waterfront is probably a big percentage of the market. I'd be happy to "just" have them as my target market....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsreid View Post
    Up here in Canada diesel is always a lot cheaper, it’s crazy how it varies.
    Hmmm... this comment got me wondering. Does Canada demand the same Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) that we do here in the States? Removal of that sulphur drove the refining cost of diesel WAY up several years ago. I wonder if your "always a lot cheaper" is because Canada doesn't insist that all of the useful sulphur be removed.

  14. #14
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    Yes I am pretty sure we follow the same regulations with the low sulphur diesel. After looking on gas buddy across Canada it turns out it is more just BC where diesel is cheaper than gasoline. Everywhere else gas is cheaper so it levels the difference out between diesel.

  15. #15
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    Most of our petroleum gets refined in the US so going to most likely be the same. Alberta sends to Washington state via pipeline at a discount to be refined and then sold back to us at world market prices...So we get F'd there plus our local governments add on more taxes so we get double, triple F'd on our fuel prices. Most expensive in the world currently.

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