Just like cars, boats also come with diesel- or petrol- powered engines. If you are thinking about getting your first boat, this is one of the first decisions you need to make. Let these tips help you decide which option is right for you.
Generally, you only get a choice between different types of engines if you are investing in a mid size boat. With small boats, they are almost always petrol powered, and large boats almost always use diesel. If you want a choice, you need to look for a boat with a size in the mid range.
Large boats tend to use diesel because diesel gives them more power. That also tends to be true with mid-range boats that come with a choice of a diesel and petrol powered engine. Namely, if you opt for diesel, you may notice more "get up and go" with your boat than you would if you chose a petrol powered boat.
Generally, in exchange for their extra power, diesel engines are also noisier than petrol engines. If you want a quieter experience, you may want to opt for an engine that uses petrol. Alternatively, if you want the power of diesel, you may need to be prepared to pay for extra soundproofing around your engine.
In the past, diesel engines require less maintenance than petrol engines, as a general rule of thumb. However, that is not necessarily true anymore. In most cases, these engines require about the same amount of maintenance.
However, there is one key discrepancy. If you buy a boat with a petrol powered engine that has a carburetor or a distributor, that may need more maintenance than a diesel engine. Be sure to think about those lifetime maintenance costs when making your final decision.
You also have to consider what type of fuel is available in your area. Some marinas may only sell petrol or fuel. Consider contacting the marinas near the places where you plan to use your boat and make sure they offer what you need. If they only offer diesel or petrol, that may drive your decision in that direction.
On top of that, you may also want to look at the cost of these types of fuel in your area. Then, you may want to go with the least expensive option. Remember, however, that fuel prices fluctuate over time so you may want to look at the average price over a few year period. And don't forget that you'll need marine engine repowering periodically regardless of which one you choose, as well as repairs.