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Diesel versus Gas on CC25

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  • Diesel versus Gas on CC25

    Hey guys, you may know by reading this site that I have been looking for a clean CC25 with a Crusader for over a year and have been unable to find one. Since there are quite a few diesels available I would like your opinion on gas vs diesel.
    Reading the book Midsize Power Boats by David Pascoe, He is not that impressed with diesel power for smaller boats. He claims diesel costs more, are moe expensive to repair and do not last longer than gas. Gas engines are easier to repair and cost less to replace and will last as long as diesels. The small savings with in fuel with diesels are negated by higher initial engine cost and higher maintenance costs. What say you?

  • #2
    David Pascoe

    I have read many of David Pascoe's books and articles. He certainly raises compelling points on gas vs. diesel. However, many of his books and articles were drafted back in the late 90's and are not up to date. I think many of his arguments on gas engines being less expensive and easier to maintain than diesels went right out the door when the industry started having trouble with water ingestion issues. Not to mention, most recently there has been a big problem for owners of gas engines because of the new fuel mixture with ethanol. My understanding, is that if you let a boat sit for more than three months with a tank of fuel, the ethanol seperates and sinks to the bottom of the tank. Later, when the straight ethanol is pulled through the engines, it causes damage to the fuel lines, injectors, etc.

    In 1998, I purchased a 28' bertram with twin 285 hp pleasure craft marine gas engines. My decision to purchase the gas boat was based on many of the articles that David Pascoe has written. Since then, I have owned two 28 carolina classics. One with yanmars and one with volvos. I can say without reservation, that I would have diesel engines in all of these boats over gas six days a week and twice on Sunday.

    My opinion of course is based on experience with the 28' class boat. Perhaps, some of Pascoe's arguments are more applicable with the 25.


    • #3
      I agree 100% with what Hey Doc said. Pascoe's articles are written before the ethanol push, and although diesels are more expensive at point of purchase, I don't believe they are any more expensive to maintain. Especially if you do your own maintenance and repair. Also, if you buy your fuel on the water, gasoline is more expensive than off-road diesel where I boat. IMO, this ethanol debate has just started....I believe there is going to be massive fallout(read litigation)due to to avoid involvement in that situation if at all possible.
      Having run gasoline in only outboard applications, I cannot provide a personal accounting. But if given a choice on any inboard, I would choose diesel power over gassers.


      • #4
        Go Diesel

        Wait until the perps of the ethanol farce want to up the cut to 25% ethanol. see how long your gas engine runs then. Ethanol related mechanical problems will only grow as more of the horrible stuff is pumped through your gas engine over its life. We are just beginning to see the results.
        1965 MFG 16'
        1973 Grady White 18'
        205' USCG Cutter Tamaroa - Engineer
        125' FEADSHIP M/Y "Gillian" - Engineer
        50' Gulfstar S/Y - Mate
        2005 Wellcraft 23' center console
        2007 Carolina Classic 25
        2007 Carolina Classic 28


        • #5
          I also think that Pascoe's views are somewhat outdated and a bit overblown. He seems to be more focused on the typical "floating condo" cruiser who might be lucky to see 75-100 hours per year. He also wasn't writing when gas was pushing $4/gallon and wasn't contaminated with ethanol which has lower BTU content and thus hurts fuel economy.

          So you have to step back a bit and think about how you will use the boat. If you expect to put 200+ hours on and take long trips offshore, the edge starts to shift in favor of Diesels. If gas prices keep going up, the advantage will only get bigger. Rising gas prices will also give a bigger resale advantange to Diesels down the road. You can already see this today as used boat prices for Diesel boats have done better than the gas boats.

          When I made a similar decision on my 25 a number of years ago, I went with Diesel in part because there is a real safety advantage. Sure, when the boats leave the factory, the gas boats are totally safe. But components deteriorate over the years. Hoses get brittle, vibration loosens fittings, "sh*t happens." Just at my local fuel dock, over the years I have seen two major explosions and fires in older gas engine boats. In each case, a vent hose fitting had failed at the tank and let fuel spill into the bilge -- you can guess the rest. With careful maintenance, you can avoid this risk almost entirely but the fact is that gasoline vapors are highly explosive. There is some fire risk with Diesel if fuel its a hot exhaust manifold or turbo, but it won't explode like gas fumes. So given the choice, I went with Diesel. You also get a lot more range, by the way.