Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Betas and Yanmars

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Betas and Yanmars

    What are the pros and cons of each? I'm looking to repower. Yanmar, for me, is a known commodity to a degree, but I have no personal experience with Beta. They have a good reputation, and I just quite like the idea of a marinized Kubota. It seems robust.
    Chuck Hancock

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St. Helens, Oregon
    Posts
    3,882

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Watching with interest. I had a Yanmar in my old boat and it seemed really reliable, but heavy. I've been looking at the Beta option for a repower on my new (old) boat (frozen snot) and I like the weight improvement and some of the service features, like the built in oil pump for oil changes. That's about all I know about 'em.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Yes, and at a glance, the Beta on my list is ever so slightly larger in a couple of relevant dimensions, tho not so that I think it will be a problem.
    Chuck Hancock

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    29,512

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    I'd like to repower, looked at Yanmar but they've become enormous width wise. Simply won't fit.
    Most of them are common rail now too which may or may not be an issue for you. Beta is older and simpler, normal size for hp, injector pump..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Yes, and at a glance, the Beta on my list is ever so slightly larger in a couple of relevant dimensions, tho not so that I think it will be a problem.
    Chuck Hancock

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Sorry John, I'm a sailor ��, what's "common rail"?
    Chuck Hancock

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Kailua, HI
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    A modern fuel injection system aimed at cleaner emissions compared to the old mechanically injected systems. Electronics figure large in most common rail engines. Can be fussy in the way that electronics/sensors/etc are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    32,877

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Modern common rail injection requires an onboard computer (ecu) and a healthy battery. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_rail
    There are/were variations of common rail that do not rely on electronics, not really available today. Electronic devices are so much less expensive to manufacture and tune to federal compliance than the the fussy "class fit" components of mechanical injection that it was an easy decision in the end for manufacturers.
    (In my own vessel I would probably invest the time and money to rebuild a mechanical injection engine. But I can perform the lions share of the work myself)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    12,512

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    A Beta replacing the Volvo-Penta in my Albin would require a new shaft and a new prop turning the opposite way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Guerilla Bay, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    409

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    I'd suggest its also worth looking at the Vetus diesel motors - here 2 of us have Nanni's which are very good & reliable, 2 have Vetus engines which re also good & possibly a bit quieter.

    Regards Neil

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    29,512

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Yes common rail is a more efficient way of delivering fuel but also less tolerant of variation. Fuel quality for example. So a common rail yanmar might need additional filters, day tank or other methods to preserve quality. I'm not sure that's ideal for Pacific island fuel when usually sighting it in the Jerry can or baja filter is enough.
    Beta is an English marinisation of the Kubota, Nanni is a French marinisation of the same.
    Last edited by John B; 10-30-2021 at 10:52 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    1,965

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Last ear I swopped the old Yanmar 2GM20 for a Beta 16 in a GRP boat. Same shaft and prop, no particular problems and goes very well. Being used to cranking the Yan a bit, was slightly startled when the Beta fired as soon as I turned the key first time. Smoother too. The power sounds lower, but the 2GM20 is more like 18hp so no real difference in practice.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,519

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    I own a boat with a Beta 60 hp that replaced an old Peugeot Indenor, the engine is robust, smooth and relatively quiet.
    Fuel consumption is according spec's, I'm satisfied with it's performance.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    1,012

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    I appreciate the input. Thanks for the link Canoeyawl, I get the picture now. I'm doing a bit more investigation, but I'm leaning toward the Beta. All other things being equal, it's less expensive in the bargain. Common rail injection may be one of those unavoidable bits of technology that we're forced to accept by dint of it's being all that's ultimately available. I had to take fuel injection over carbs, water cooling over air cooling, throttle by wire over cable,....sigh. Life's ultimately none the worse for it all though.
    Chuck Hancock

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Norwich,United Kingdom
    Posts
    8,803

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    A Beta replacing the Volvo-Penta in my Albin would require a new shaft and a new prop turning the opposite way.

    You don't suppose there is a gearbox out there with opposite rotation? Its pretty common in twin engined motor boats for the same engine to rotate the shafts in opposite directions according to which side of the boat it might be installed and the difference is only in the gearbox.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
    Posts
    16,684

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Rock View Post
    What are the pros and cons of each? I'm looking to repower. Yanmar, for me, is a known commodity to a degree, but I have no personal experience with Beta. They have a good reputation, and I just quite like the idea of a marinized Kubota. It seems robust.
    I spent a long time procrastinating over this same question and personally I think it can’t be properly answered without knowing the size of the engine that you’re looking at, the vessel that it’s going on, intended use and so on.......

    You can’t really compare the engines and cost until you pin down what HP engine you need so that you can compare weight, physical size, standard inclusions (alternator, controls etc), warranty, support and so on. This could include local availability and the potential additional cost of delivery if one or the other isn’t locally available. Is space an issue?

    If you’re only planning on local sailing as opposed to going offshore and exploring international waters you may perhaps be more interested in what quality and access to local service and support is available to you and less concerned about things like inferior fuel (these days fuel quality seems to be just as big an issue locally as it is in remote areas), parts availability in remote areas and so on.

    For what it’s worth I went with a Yanmar 3YM20 because, although the Yanmar is slightly larger physically I found them otherwise quite comparable. However I’m fitting my 28’ yacht for coastal cruising rather than offshore cruising and I have found that the local sales, advice and ongoing support for Yanmar is beyond comparison. So it really ended up being quite an easy choice for me in that respect.

    I had also had the opportunity to see both operating and I felt that the Yanmar ran slightly smoother and quieter - though that’s really more of a subjective opinion.

    To clarify some of what was said above - Yanmar engines are indirect fuel injection via in-line pump up to about 30hp ,the same as the Beta. Yanmar only introduce Common Rail direct injection from 40hp upwards.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Aquitaine
    Posts
    1,965

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    One thing about comparisons, is that Yanmar spares are quite pricey compared with Kubota. In the swop, the Beta was freshwater cooled as opposed to the Yanmar raw water. Also the exhaust is on the other side, but Beta supplied a cross over pipe that more or less lined up with the existing water lift trap. But, because the Beta sits further back on the bearers, I had to put a bulge in the rear wooden paneling to accommodate the pipe.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Spare part prices and availability are a ruse. All modern first world engines are very reliable anyway, but let's look at what costs they have. First you have the consumables, and those all have alternatives to OEM, just ask for them. Then you have the marinisation specific parts, and those are not found at the tractor dealer anyway. The ideea that one is more likely to find a Beta heat exchanger on a remote island and not a Yanmar or a Volvo is ridiculous.
    Then there are the engine parts themselfs, but actually needing them is rare and using them involves specialized equipment and know how. What actually determines the feasibility of rebuilding an engine are the labour costs, not the parts.

    The only difference I can see that sets Beta apart is that they specialized from the start on conversions. You can order a lot of different mounts and exhaust configurations, and don't have to figure it out and weld them up yourself.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    29,512

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    I spent a long time procrastinating over this same question and personally I think it can’t be properly answered without knowing the size of the engine that you’re looking at, the vessel that it’s going on, intended use and so on.......

    You can’t really compare the engines and cost until you pin down what HP engine you need so that you can compare weight, physical size, standard inclusions (alternator, controls etc), warranty, support and so on. This could include local availability and the potential additional cost of delivery if one or the other isn’t locally available. Is space an issue?

    If you’re only planning on local sailing as opposed to going offshore and exploring international waters you may perhaps be more interested in what quality and access to local service and support is available to you and less concerned about things like inferior fuel (these days fuel quality seems to be just as big an issue locally as it is in remote areas), parts availability in remote areas and so on.

    For what it’s worth I went with a Yanmar 3YM20 because, although the Yanmar is slightly larger physically I found them otherwise quite comparable. However I’m fitting my 28’ yacht for coastal cruising rather than offshore cruising and I have found that the local sales, advice and ongoing support for Yanmar is beyond comparison. So it really ended up being quite an easy choice for me in that respect.

    I had also had the opportunity to see both operating and I felt that the Yanmar ran slightly smoother and quieter - though that’s really more of a subjective opinion.

    To clarify some of what was said above - Yanmar engines are indirect fuel injection via in-line pump up to about 30hp ,the same as the Beta. Yanmar only introduce Common Rail direct injection from 40hp upwards.
    Good point, I've been looking at 55 to 70.
    Had an opportunity to buy a Yanmar at a great price and was shocked to find the thing was 5 or 6 inches wider than my existing perkins. Damn near small block v8 width, maybe it is.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
    Posts
    16,684

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    Spare part prices and availability are a ruse. All modern first world engines are very reliable anyway, but let's look at what costs they have. First you have the consumables, and those all have alternatives to OEM, just ask for them. Then you have the marinisation specific parts, and those are not found at the tractor dealer anyway. The ideea that one is more likely to find a Beta heat exchanger on a remote island and not a Yanmar or a Volvo is ridiculous.
    Then there are the engine parts themselfs, but actually needing them is rare and using them involves specialized equipment and know how. What actually determines the feasibility of rebuilding an engine are the labour costs, not the parts.

    The only difference I can see that sets Beta apart is that they specialized from the start on conversions. You can order a lot of different mounts and exhaust configurations, and don't have to figure it out and weld them up yourself.
    Not sure what welding Rumars is referring to for mounts and exhausts but, again, it may depend on the engine size and situation and our comments here are likely relating to our own experiences with different engine sizes for these two brands.

    As an example, both the Yanamar 3YM20 and the Beta 20 have a wet exhaust (both sea water cooled) that run directly to 50mm ID flexible exhaust hose - no welding required anywhere - and both come with engine mounts fitted and replacement engine mounts are readily available for both - OEM and otherwise.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    42,622

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Good point, I've been looking at 55 to 70.
    Had an opportunity to buy a Yanmar at a great price and was shocked to find the thing was 5 or 6 inches wider than my existing perkins. Damn near small block v8 width, maybe it is.
    My Yanmar 4JH3 (53HP) replaced a 4-108 Perkins. I had to extend the motor mounts inwards about 3/4" on each side. My big issue was that it's taller & I had to get fancy with the exhaust elbow: custom made + a small hollow in the hatch over it. So, so much smoother & quieter that the Perkins. The 4JH3 is nice because it's direct injection, but with a normal pump - no common rail/confuser.

    To a previous post: As the owner of a Yanmar in my boat & a Kubota tractor, Kubota prices have blown me away - and not in a "that's inexpensive" manner. I realize it's not an engine, but $70 for a front wheel bearing seal?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Larks View Post
    Not sure what welding Rumars is referring to for mounts and exhausts but, again, it may depend on the engine size and situation and our comments here are likely relating to our own experiences with different engine sizes for these two brands.

    As an example, both the Yanamar 3YM20 and the Beta 20 have a wet exhaust (both sea water cooled) that run directly to 50mm ID flexible exhaust hose - no welding required anywhere - and both come with engine mounts fitted and replacement engine mounts are readily available for both - OEM and otherwise.
    From the beginning Beta cornered the replacement market. If you have an older series production boat it's very likely that they have the installation already figured out and can supply the correct engine mounts so you don't have to alter the engine bearers to fit the new engine. Similarly for the exhaust, they know how the OEM installation was done and supply you with fitting parts (they have a range of mixing elbow angles and lenghts, but more importantly they know wich one you need).
    It avoids running into situations like Garret described, and can be good value for some owners.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I realize it's not an engine, but $70 for a front wheel bearing seal?
    That is a common situation and has standard solutions:
    1. Take out the old one, go to a industrial bearings and seals shop, hand it to the man behind the counter and ask for a new one. Only works if you live somewhere with such a shop.
    2. Ask your friendly mechanic or parts seller to cross reference the OEM part number to the manufacturer part number, then cross reference across manufacturers. Only works if you find someone willing to do it, in a shop big enough to have access to several suppliers databases.
    3. Do the work yourself with the help of internet catalogs and databases. Not always guaranteed to succeed, but it's not unheard of.

    This same strategies work for a lot of things related to engines, it's surprising how much prices differ between brands, and in how many things the same piece is installed.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    42,622

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    That is a common situation and has standard solutions:
    1. Take out the old one, go to a industrial bearings and seals shop, hand it to the man behind the counter and ask for a new one. Only works if you live somewhere with such a shop.
    2. Ask your friendly mechanic or parts seller to cross reference the OEM part number to the manufacturer part number, then cross reference across manufacturers. Only works if you find someone willing to do it, in a shop big enough to have access to several suppliers databases.
    3. Do the work yourself with the help of internet catalogs and databases. Not always guaranteed to succeed, but it's not unheard of.

    This same strategies work for a lot of things related to engines, it's surprising how much prices differ between brands, and in how many things the same piece is installed.
    Yes - I know & tried that. Closest seal available was off by 2mm.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    If the seal has a single application or source they can charge as much as they want, and they will. This is true regardless of what the company name is, it's just the game, parts and service have higher margins then the product they are for.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    42,622

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    If the seal has a single application or source they can charge as much as they want, and they will. This is true regardless of what the company name is, it's just the game, parts and service have higher margins then the product they are for.
    I spent many years in auto/truck repair & parts, I understand how it works. All I was trying to point out was that Kubota parts are not cheap. That was in response to someone saying they are cheaper than Yanmar. My experience is that they are not.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    1,058

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    Just yesterday some dude posted his invoice from refurbishing a 3gm30f on youtube. The only thing he bought himself was alternator and starter, everything else was supplied by the shop wich charged him 72€ for the service (wich I find odd). Looking at the invoice the only thing that stood out was the price for the gasket kit, 486€, from wich I derive it's genuine Yanmar. Oversize piston kit was 204€/hole, waterpump 295€, thermostat 95€, most expensive other thing was one of the main bearings at 38,5€ (interestingly, each of the 4 main bearings had a different price, and all standard size, the cheapest beeing 28,5€).

    This was a standard job of check and replace if needed, not a full rebuild, and it is interesting. Labour and parts ended up almost at a 50:50 split, 2000€ and change each. Add VAT, a new alternator and starter, and it cost him 5k. A new 3ym30 is around 9k regular price, and maybe 7.5k discounted (VAT included). If this particular engine had needed more work and parts it would have reached 7k no problem. The logical thing to do in that case would have been to wait for a boatshow discount and buy the new engine.

    If anyone has prices for Kubotas, Volvo/Perkins/Shibaura, Mitsubishi of the same class (1l engine) we can compare, but I don't expect significant differences.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Wongawallan Oz
    Posts
    16,684

    Default Re: Betas and Yanmars

    A couple of thoughts on using non OEM parts: they’ll void any warranty on the engine; you really need to know what you’re doing and have some sound mechanical knowledge and understanding of what parts you are using; if they fail and cause damage to the engine you have absolutely no recourse on the parts supplier.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •