Outboards are common on small, high speed craft. Indeed, on some vessel types, they are often though of as the “default” propulsion method.
- They are cheap.
- They are easy to maintain.
- They provide “pretty good” speed.
- They do not take up much space.
- They are lightweight.
- A row of them, side-by-side “looks” fast and impressive.
However, outboard engines have some serious disadvantages and limitations:
- Outboard engines are usually gasoline automobile engines that are mounted vertically to a gearbox and drive system as a single unit. The forces generated by these engines are vertical, rather than horizontal, resulting in a substantial loss of power and a drastic increase in wear.
- Gasoline (petrol) is an explosion and fire risk, especially with government vessels or those used in the offshore industry. (Diesel is a much safer fuel)
- Gasoline is usually more expensive than diesel. Additionally, gasoline engines always consume fuel at a higher rate than diesel engines. (In some markets, the differential is as much as 50%).
- Outboard engines have a life cycle that is usually no more than a few hundred hours, at best. (You can easily replace an outboard five times before needing to rebuild a VGT engine… Not so cheap now, eh?)
- Outboard engines are, by their design, limited in the number of propulsion options (You get what you get. With a VGT engine, you can use jets, surface drives, a variety of stern drives, or traditional shafts.)
- Diesel engines provide far more torque than outboard engines (Outboards cannot even come close).
- The vessel will always perform better with a VGT engine and proper propulsion system. ALWAYS.
The Marinediesel VGT Series of engines was designed to be the lightest, most powerful engines in their class. Our compact size and high power output make them an ideal alternative to the use of outboard engines. The VGT will, quite simply, fit where other engines may not.
Vessels can be equipped with Marinediesel inboard VGT engines at only a slightly higher cost than equipping the same vessel with large outboard engines, and that slightly higher cost is recouped very quickly in a much longer service life and the substantial fuel savings received. In fact, on larger outboard vessels, the use of outboards for propulsion is often equated by simply flushing money down the drain. They always cost more in the long term. In fact, many of our customers refer to outboards as “throwaway” engines. They run them full throttle until they simply break, and replace them with a new engine.
This “ease of replacement” and “ease of repair” is very much an illusion. The Marinediesel VGT Series will last up to five times longer than the average outboard before requiring an overhaul. Additionally, our remote mounting options give the VGT Series an ease of maintenance that approaches even the best designed outboard.
Additionally, the higher power and torque give a much better level of performance and control than an outboard-equipped vessel. Outboards, by design, are limited in the amount of operational control that they can provide, particularly regarding trim. A well-designed propulsion package with inboard engines will give a higher level of control and speed than even the best outboards on the market.
Finally, outboard engines are external, and thus, noisy by design. They are very difficult to control noise, and are often impossible for effective noise control.
If you want to look into the feasibility of using our VGT engines instead of outboards, and experiencing the meaning of true performance, Contact Us or your local Marinediesel Distributor for a quote today.