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  1. #1
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    Default Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    In my rebuild of our 4 Tonner (see 'Probably Not a Deben 4 Tonner' thread), I determined early on that the existing engine had to go:

    20170712_190129.jpg

    Not only did the old Yanmar YSB8 take up half the cockpit footwell but it was also seized solid and - even if I did get it running - I was concerned about the vibration from the single cylinder. So out it came and was sold for 300 for the rebuild fund.

    After much research on power, size, maintenance, etc, I decided that a Beta 14 would suit us best:

    beta14_he_16.jpg

    and after a lot of trawling around was on the point last year of closing a deal for a good second hand one, when a friend pointed out that the local Beta dealer was running a special offer on this model - for only about a third more than I was about to pay second hand. I hadn't even looked at the dealer, as they are part of a setup (I won't name them) which is locally known for never being cheap ! The price they were offering was, at the time, better than anywhere else in the UK and only 10 miles away.

    So, last September I dug deep into the piggy bank and we became the proud owners of this :

    20180913_145918.jpg
    (dunno why the forum software has rotated it and repeated it below ?!)

    Beta are quite happy to offer their standard warranty on engines that are not installed by qualified marine engineers (I'm not - I'm a boat builder), so long as they are inspected after installation by a marine engineer - which must happen within twelve months of the date of sale. If later - no warranty.

    Now I could just about install the engine and have it inspected to meet the deadline next month. However, to do so would divert me from work I would rather prioritise and the installed engine would be a considerable obstacle to some later work.

    I am strongly tempted - taking into account Beta's reputation (at least in UK ?) for reliability and ease of maintenance - to leave the installation until I'm really ready to do it.

    I would be very interested in anybody's actual experience of the reliability (or otherwise) of newly installed, new Beta engines.

    Many thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Whameller; 08-10-2019 at 06:01 AM.
    Nick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Hi Nick,

    We are in the same boat here.... We purchased a new, but great deal Perkins M92B and now it has run out of warranty. We did run it when it arrived, but now it sits in the boat waiting for next spring. On the advice of a diesel mechanic friend he suggested cranking it over every month or two to splash some oil around (get up oil pressure), but not actually start it. We figured the savings we got would pay for any potential work if needed.

    Just another data point !

    Cheers,
    Mark

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Kubota block and valve head. I have never owned one, but they have a good reputation for reliability. Nanni is the other company that uses Kubota short engines I believe.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    I have no experience with the Beta, but my 25 horse Kubota is 20 years old and still running strong after considerable abuse. I'd suggest making sure you stay ahead of the zincs due to the combo of aluminum and iron bits in the engine, but so far I'm impressed enough with them that I'm considering replacing my old Volvo with a Beta when it finally gives up the ghost in my Tupperware boat.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Last year I sold a Kubota tractor that had over 4200 hours on the motor & the tractor had been rode hard & put up wet. While parts are not cheap, the quality is high.

    I agree on turning it over every month. I'd also change the oil & filter before you actually start it up - or maybe even better after an hour or so of running. That'll trap any "stuff" possibly left in the engine from manufacturing.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    We put a new Beta 16 in our H28 "Bright Star" recently. This is a two cylinder Diesel that runs smoother than the old lugger it replaced. I has just come up on fifty hours running time now and I have to say that it is one of the best auxiliary engines we have ever had!
    It arrived well crated and was instaled by a good specialty shop, to keep the Warranty effective. The engine is nearly eighty pounds lighter than the old kicker we had. Its transmission is coupled to a folding Gori two bladed prop. The Beta is very smooth running, we probably have as much as fifty percant less vibration than we had with the old set up. All in all, we are very plased with both the Beta 16 twin diesel and the Gori folding prop. The instruemnt panel that Beta supplied is a good one as well.
    Jay

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Many thanks for all your comments - very reassuring. Also the advice about looking after it before installation.

    I think that I'll probably stick with my original plan and not rush to install to meet a September deadline.
    Nick

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Why not ask the place you bought it from if they can extend the warranty, considering the motor is still in its crate. At worst, they can only say no, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

    Pete
    Don't underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by epoxyboy View Post
    Why not ask the place you bought it from if they can extend the warranty, considering the motor is still in its crate. At worst, they can only say no, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

    Pete
    Already done & they did say 'No', sadly - as did Beta themselves when I approached them direct. But, as you say, it was worth trying ....
    Nick

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Also, in the US, Beta supports DIY installs and will honor warranties.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
    Also, in the US, Beta supports DIY installs and will honor warranties.
    To be clear (see post #1), Beta - a UK domiciled company - supports DIY installs in UK and honours warranties for them but only so long as the install is completed within 12 months of date of purchase. The install must also be inspected and certified by a qualified marine engineer.

    I'm approaching that 12 month point next month, which is the whole reason for my question.
    Nick

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whameller View Post
    To be clear (see post #1), Beta - a UK domiciled company - supports DIY installs in UK and honours warranties for them but only so long as the install is completed within 12 months of date of purchase. The install must also be inspected and certified by a qualified marine engineer.

    I'm approaching that 12 month point next month, which is the whole reason for my question.
    Ah yes. I read yourpost to fast.
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  16. #16
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    Default

    Small Kubota motors run about 100,000,000 small tractors, mowers and diggers around the world. They are tough units.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Beta are very reliable engines and as mentioned based on Kubota engines. If you have the time and drive to do so, you can purchase and engine fairly cheap and get a marinizing kit from https://www.asap-supplies.com/ . This is my plan on my 50hp. I'd rather spend $9000 than $22,000. ASAP also sell gear boxes and some are way cheaper than buying in the US. You're in the UK so things may be priced better there.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    The big question is when do you plan to actually use the vessel. Even if you get the engine installed and inspected by next month the warranty may be of little use to you. If you look closely at the warranty conditions you will find that the full warranty is really only 2 years. Afterwards you get less things exchanged and less labour paid. Some things you have to pay for the labour in the second year even if the parts are covered. The warranty runs from the date of the invoice so if you install now and launch next summer you are left with a few months of full cover.
    The 5 years of cover on the static parts of the engine (and in years 4 and 5 the labour is paid by you) is a longshot, usefull only for a cracked head.

    https://betamarine.co.uk/seagoing-warranty/

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    The big question is when do you plan to actually use the vessel. Even if you get the engine installed and inspected by next month the warranty may be of little use to you. If you look closely at the warranty conditions you will find that the full warranty is really only 2 years. Afterwards you get less things exchanged and less labour paid. Some things you have to pay for the labour in the second year even if the parts are covered. The warranty runs from the date of the invoice so if you install now and launch next summer you are left with a few months of full cover.
    The 5 years of cover on the static parts of the engine (and in years 4 and 5 the labour is paid by you) is a longshot, usefull only for a cracked head.

    https://betamarine.co.uk/seagoing-warranty/
    Very good point; thank you.
    Nick

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    I fitted a Beta 16 to our Sabre 27 eight years ago, it has been utterly reliable.
    However just like Jay Greers new one pictured above it has the high rise exhaust elbow. There is a real fault with this that Beta have not addressed.
    I have found that our Beta 16 eats anodes at the rate of two a season & the heat exchanger blocks with salt crystals very quickly. This means to avoid overheating you have to withdraw the exchanger tube stack twice a season to clean it out.
    There are only two bolts, one on each end cap holding it in so an easy job you might think.
    In practice once you take the end caps off you cannot withdraw the tube stack because the high rise exhaust elbow is too close at the rear.
    At the front you cant withdraw it forwards without completely removing the alternator.
    I cured the problem by cutting the high rise elbow mounting flange off & welding a 4" section of stainless steel pipe in to allow the tube stack to come out easily.
    Apart from this its a good engine!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by keith66 View Post
    I fitted a Beta 16 to our Sabre 27 eight years ago, it has been utterly reliable.
    However just like Jay Greers new one pictured above it has the high rise exhaust elbow. There is a real fault with this that Beta have not addressed.
    I have found that our Beta 16 eats anodes at the rate of two a season & the heat exchanger blocks with salt crystals very quickly. This means to avoid overheating you have to withdraw the exchanger tube stack twice a season to clean it out.
    There are only two bolts, one on each end cap holding it in so an easy job you might think.
    In practice once you take the end caps off you cannot withdraw the tube stack because the high rise exhaust elbow is too close at the rear.
    At the front you cant withdraw it forwards without completely removing the alternator.
    I cured the problem by cutting the high rise elbow mounting flange off & welding a 4" section of stainless steel pipe in to allow the tube stack to come out easily.
    Apart from this its a good engine!
    The Beta 14 is a different block from the 16, but I'll keep a very close eye on the anodes after your comments. I don't have a high rise elbow fitted and will be connecting a high mounted vacuum valve. Hopefully, I won't have your heat exchanger woes !
    Nick

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    "Bright Star's" Original exhaust port was smaller than that of the new Beta we put in. We had to go to the next size up to keep the warranty intact. Bigger is not always louder as the Beta is much less noisy than was the old Universal Atomic twin diesel.
    Jay

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    While i may replace the beta with a Stuart Turner (see earlier post) , it's not due to reliability issues. I have found the Beta 10 to be a brilliant motor, starts on the on the button and runs well, not too noisy and not prone to vibration. I do have a b'spoke mounting cradle however. Their spare parts service is good, albeit pricy for some parts, and they are able to be serviced by a competent DIYer. They are well designed and, when clean and polished, look the business in red or green. My only concern is that on the smaller models at least there is no combination fuel water filter.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID HAMILTON View Post
    While i may replace the beta with a Stuart Turner (see earlier post) , it's not due to reliability issues. I have found the Beta 10 to be a brilliant motor, starts on the on the button and runs well, not too noisy and not prone to vibration. I do have a b'spoke mounting cradle however. Their spare parts service is good, albeit pricy for some parts, and they are able to be serviced by a competent DIYer. They are well designed and, when clean and polished, look the business in red or green. My only concern is that on the smaller models at least there is no combination fuel water filter.
    Wouldn't you add a filter? I have a Yanmar that comes with a basic fuel filter, but it's preceded by a Racor filter/separator. You can't get diesel fuel too clean in my book.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID HAMILTON View Post
    While i may replace the beta with a Stuart Turner (see earlier post) , it's not due to reliability issues. I have found the Beta 10 to be a brilliant motor, starts on the on the button and runs well, not too noisy and not prone to vibration. I do have a b'spoke mounting cradle however. Their spare parts service is good, albeit pricy for some parts, and they are able to be serviced by a competent DIYer. They are well designed and, when clean and polished, look the business in red or green. My only concern is that on the smaller models at least there is no combination fuel water filter.
    I'm going to be fitting a racor type fuel/water filter into the fuel line from the tank. Thanks for all the reassuring comments about Beta !
    Nick

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    When we chose the Beta Sixteen, I was told by the Beta Agent that the sixteen has the same block as the fourteen but is several pounds heavier dure to changes that they make to produce a couple more sea horses.
    Jay

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    I'd imagine larger bearing journals, longer throw on the crank and fatter rods to handle higher compression or something along those lines.
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    The Beta 14 weighs 90 kg/ 198 lbs. and the 16 weighs in at 95 Kg/209 lbs. I figured that 19 lbs more would not make a big difference as the The old Atomic weighed in a 360 lbs! The boat is a lot happier with 151lbs. less weight!
    Jay

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Bigger overbore and heavier flywheel to keep things in balance.
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Installed a Beta 14 on my Morris Yacht Frances 26 about 4 years ago. Runs great, no issues and easy to service. Love it !

    itchen

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Beta Engines - How Reliable ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Giegel View Post
    Installed a Beta 14 on my Morris Yacht Frances 26 about 4 years ago. Runs great, no issues and easy to service. Love it !

    itchen
    Good to hear. Many thanks.
    Nick

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