Why play with toys? Use the engine rated for abuse.

Marinediesel’s VGT Series of engines is the most powerful, most compact series of engines in its class. Unlike the engines made by our competitors, the VGT Series is designed to withstand the abuse government and commercial operations demand.

These are no mere “toys” designed for powering recreational boats.

Our engines are engineered for long life, low weight, and continuous operations. Engines for pleasure boats may be used 50, or 100, hours per year. The average Marinediesel customer uses their engines over 1,000 hours per year.


In extreme conditions.

In situations where every second standing still COSTS MONEY.

In situations where engine failure COSTS LIVES.

How much can it cost? What is an hour of vessel downtime worth to you? €100? €1,000?

So, why trust your business, or your mission, to power that was designed for light use? You should not. Any savings realized through small differences in purchase price can be quickly lost from a single incident or a single failure.

Only Marinediesel can meet your requirements for performance, reliability, ease of maintenance, and long life. Only Marinediesel is rated to your mission on a bespoke basis. Only Marinediesel can deliver success.



Some MarineDiesel Projects – Military Vessels



Today’s post continues the series of reference photos we have been posting this week. The photos below are of MarineDiesel projects related to military and government vessels.

Indeed, MarineDiesel’s specialization in high performance power is ideally suited to military vessels. Long life cycles and unmatched torque curves make MarineDiesel the best choice, and sometimes the only choice, for powering military vessels. Engines developed for recreational use simply cannot withstand the harsh operating conditions and power demands that military missions require.

If you have an upcoming project, contact us directly or your MarineDiesel distributor for a custom quote or proposal.




















Engines so tough, you can drop them from aircraft





MarineDiesel engines are often sold for highly specialized military applications. One frequent use is to equip small vessels used by commandos, like RHIBS or other small high speed craft.

These vessels experience operating environments and conditions that few other vessels will ever experience. This type of stress will easily destroy engines made by our competitors that were designed for recreational or pleasure use (Yet are often installed on these types of vessels anyway). Recreational engines are simply not designed to withstand the heavy use, extreme vertical acceleration and harsh climates that military or police boats experience even during “routine” missions.

All MarineDiesel engines are designed to be in compliance with both MILSPEC and NATO requirements. A quick glance at our engines will prove it. Notice small visual differences like better shielded wiring,  and metal, rather than plastic, connectors, along with more robust seals and gaskets.

MILSPEC and NATO require extensive testing and verification. Of course, certification can get expensive (Unlike type approval, certificates are issued on a project by project basis.), but an engine that is in compliance is crucial to even obtaining these certificates. It is also critical that engine manufacturers are familiar with the process and know the steps to certification.

This brings us to the title of this short article. Yes, our engines can be (and HAVE BEEN) dropped successfully from aircraft, as the photos above show. One critical part of NATO and MILSPEC testing that often demolishes our competitors’  products is the ability to withstand the 30 g vertical acceleration experienced by an engine after being dropped by parachute. The boat pictured above is essentially useless if the engine will not start when it lands or, if the engines is started before dropping and it stalls. Both scenarios can easily spell mission failure if proven engines are not installed.

Of course, there are many other aspects to MILSPEC and NATO compliance besides vertical acceleration: You can read some of the NATO rules HERE.

However, since MarineDiesel has been engineered for this type of use, all MD customers benefit from this R&D, whether a water taxi, military boat, fishing boat, or ski boat.


Celebrate Industrial Engine Week! Re-power Projects



It is day four of industrial engine week, and this makes an ideal time to discuss re-powering projects.

MDPT’s re-power projects take many forms, but are usually associated with military vehicles. Indeed, the 6.5L GM block we use on our 170 hp – 300 hp range is one of the same blocks that were originally used to power the AM General Humvee, so the legacy is there when you start discussing the need to re-power these types of vehicles.

In the past, we have provided not only engines, but service, testing, development, and technical assistance (technology transfer) to numerous organizations when the time arrives to change power methods or equipment.

An example could be a project where we provided engines for light tanks. The engine compartment was small and highly compact, in addition to tanks generally operating in extremely harsh conditions. The engine chosen must be able to operate in wide temperature extremes, dirty conditions, and, most importantly, reliably. The engine must be easy to install, remove, and service, with easy accessibility to major components. Since we can move the location of oil filters, for example, to remote or different locations, this engineering capability makes for a major selling point on MDPT engines.

Politics, for example, can also have an impact. We have one customer whose vehicles were all manufactured in a country now in a state of war. The manufacturer was able to provide service when the political situation was stable, but now that it isn’t, our customer is having severe service and spare parts issues, necessitating a change of engines, since these issues are now impacting their own operations.

This is where companies like MDPT come into the mix. We were asked not only to re-power the vehicles, but also to effectively restructure the service network and the spares supply chain: A massive project, indeed.

For all your re-powering projects, consider MDPT as a “one stop source” for difficult or complex power solutions.



Was this a warranty claim? No!



We will occasionally receive a strange warranty claim every now and then. They are usually ending up relating to maintenance or minor configuration issues. Take a close look at the above picture. Warranty? No.

This is the result of pirate attack in Africa. Though MarineDiesel engines are built to withstand the toughest conditions, an explosion by a RPG is not covered (Though we did quickly expedite a replacement engine in this case) under warranty. Our engines are used in some of the most difficult regions in the world. Quite a few of our customers are involved in the combat of piracy, and as manufacturers, it is our responsibility to provide them with the most reliable equipment possible. This responsibility extends way beyond a simple discussion of cheapest price.

For those curious as to what the rest of the boat looked like… It really sends a strong message.






Only from MarineDiesel: Battle Mode System (BMS)



MarineDiesel prides itself in developing engines that exactly meet our customers’ expectations and needs. Indeed, one of the main benefits of using MarineDiesel to power your fleet is that we can provide performance levels of which large manufacturers, such as Volvo Penta or Yanmar, can only dream.

One such product is the MarineDiesel Battle Mode System (BMS) that we offer optionally for our VGT Series of engines. BMS was developed specifically as a response to customer demand. Since a large portion of our production is military in nature, we offer this option to customers who need the specific type of performance required by military users.

Military vessels are often used for boarding moving ships. They require extremely rapid acceleration and crash stop capability, all without damaging the engine. MarineDiesel engines are all rated for heavy commercial or military use. They perform when some other engines, engineered for recreational use, will fail. MarineDiesel understands these needs and can engineer our engines to perform under the harshest conditions and use.

MarineDiesel VGT series – Battle Mode

The optional battle mode system BMS for VGT engines can either be manually activated or connected to a timer to get a timed actuation for boarding and other related operational requirements. BMS removes all safety functions in the ECU apart from audio and visual warning alarms. The standard safety systems implemented on all VGT engines are listed below, this include both de-rate and limp modes. The option requires a pin change in the ECU and must be pre-ordered; the wire is included in the extension harness to helm station.

                                                                                                    VGT450/VGT500             VGT300/350/400

Derate At:

* Coolant temperature                                                                     < 50 degC                                                 50 degC

> 85 degC                                                  80 degC

* Intake manifold temperature                                                      > 70/60 degC                                          85 degC

* Atmospheric pressure                                                                    < 85 kPa                                                      85 kPa

* Ambient Temperature                                                                   < 10 degC                                                   10 degC

                                                                                                      > 48 degC                                                  48 degC

Faults that cause limp mode:

* Electrical faults (sensor open circuit or shorted to ground/12V):

o RPM limitation and torque limitation

* Boost control fault (>70 kPa @10sec):

o Torque limitation

* Boost pressure high fault (>310 kPa):

o Torque limitation

* Coolant temperature high fault (>100 degC):

o Torque limitation

* Fuel rail pressure high fault (>200MPa):

o Torque limitation

* Oil pressure high fault (>500kPa):

o Torque limitation

Torque limitation set to: 60%

RPM limitation is set to: 2250rpm

To request BMS on your engines, simply request from your local dealer or distributor.

Price matters, but here are five other, more important, considerations



When choosing between two engine types, there is much more to consider other than acquisition cost. MarineDiesel charges what we believe is a fair price for our engines… We are not the most expensive in our category, but we are also not the cheapest. If you are choosing an engine based purely on price, you will normally find cheaper products on the market. Indeed, as a company, we never make the cheapest price claim.

So what makes our engines worth a slightly higher price than some of our competitors?

Firstly, our marine line of engines are all V-8 engines, whereas nearly all competing products are normally inline 6-cylinder engines. The reason this is important is that V-8 engines produce far less torsional vibration than an inline four or six cylinder engine. Vibration impacts not only passenger comfort in a vessel, but also noise, and especially life cycle and Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF). The torsional forces produced by an inline engine greatly reduce the life cycle of that engine, and greatly increase the likelihood of catastrophic crankshaft failure. In a military or police vessel, this type of failure is highly problematic, and, for this reason alone, anything other than a V-configured engine should not even be considered. For more technical details of this issue, please download our brief white paper about Torsional Vibration.

Next, MarineDiesel engines are rated for heavy government, or commercial, use. Our competitors generally produce engines rated for recreational use. There is nothing wrong with that, but this means that such engines are generally not suited for operation under heavy use, exceeding 3,000 hours per year in some locations, and in the extreme climate conditions often found in such regions.

Derating. Though discussed previously on this site, most competing engine models are rated based on the climate where they are manufactured (normally in cooler, temperate zones). When operated in extreme conditions, these engines typically experience a power loss due to less efficient cooling from hot air and warm water. On some competitor engine models, this loss can be quite severe, sometimes approaching 50 bhp on a 500 bhp engine. For intermittent, recreational use, this may not present too much of a problem. With heavy commercial use, or mission-critical military use, the impact of this condition can be quite noticeable. Therefore, in order to obtain the engine performance and life cycle that government use requires, a customer may need to purchase higher horsepower engines to compensate for this power loss. Paying for a 50 bhp differential can easily erase any minor cost savings received. With MarineDiesel engines, all are rated for extreme conditions: In other words, under most conditions, when you pay for 500 hp, you receive 500 hp.

Programmable ECU. MarineDiesel is unique among engine maker in that we allow user programming of the engine’s ECU. Though several other manufacturers use this access to allow their dealers to make detailed diagnostic service in the field (as do we… The software is easily installed on a laptop and connected to the engine via a cable), none offer customization of the ECU. Why would we do this? The answer is simple. Many engines are used in vessels with unique missions and requirements. For example, most commando boats require very quick acceleration and rapid crash stop performance. By programming the ECU, we can “shift” the torque curve to a custom level, giving the vessel unique performance characteristics necessary to complete its’ mission.

MarineDiesel engines are built by hand, and extensively tested before they ever leave the factory. Engines are our ONLY business. Not construction equipment. Not trucks. Engines only. This level of quality control is impossible at larger manufacturers for whom engine sales may only represent a tiny fraction of their business.

Reference: Hägglund Tracked Vehicle

Though the word “Marine” is in our name, MarineDiesel also produces a substantial number of industrial engines used in a wide variety of applications, one of which is powering military tracked vehicles.

Here are the details of one such project back in 2010:


Re-Powering of the Hägglund BV206, from petrol to diesel

The old engine and transmission in the petrol version of Bv206 were due for replacement. This driveline had been in service for almost 30 years. The use of leaded petrol is a logistic problem for the user.

By replacing the driveline with a modern diesel engine and transmission this vehicle can be kept in service for many years to come.

GM A20DTH diesel engine
Hydra-Matic 4L80E transmission







New drive line will fit  inside existing engine covers



New air filtration system using Donaldson Air filter. Cold air is ducted from a ventilation louver mounted between doors on the right side of the vehicle.

New cooling system using combined water cooler and charge air cooler. Fan speed is adjusted to suite the lower speed of the diesel engine.




Bild 114

Practical maximum draw bar pull is normally limited by friction to approx. 40kN depending on vehicle weight and surface

Practical maximum draw bar pull is normally limited by friction to approx. 40kN depending on vehicle weight and surface

Maximum speed can be electronically limited to desired top speed. Normally 55km/h is used as limit

Maximum speed can be electronically limited to desired top speed. Normally 55km/h is used as limit

chart 3