As you begin your search for the right marine engine, take some time to explore all the options. It is important to find the best fit for your vessel. When purchasing a Caterpillar marine engine, determine your needs and circumstances before you begin your search. Some points to consider:
What is the purpose of your vessel?
Understanding what you will need your engine to do makes up a large part of your purchasing decision. Is your boat being used for leisure or commercial use? What type of water will it be used in – saltwater or freshwater, deep or shallow water? Each of these factors has an impact on engine choice.
What are your operational needs?
Determine whether you are looking for an auxiliary engine or a propulsion engine. Auxiliary engines provide power to the electrical devices of the ship, while propulsion engines provide the power to move the vessel.
It is essential to know how much horsepower your ship and its load will require when assessing your needs. The power-to-weight ratio is key, and even a 50 HP difference between engines could be very noticeable. Always buy a bit more horsepower than needed. When there is enough horsepower and RPMs can be held lower, engines don’t have to work as hard to produce your desired speed. Lower maintenance and fuel costs over the engine’s life are the benefit of more HP.
What are the conditions of use?
How and where your commercial engine will operate factors into finding the best marine engine. Using a boat for pleasure means its engine won’t need to work as hard as a commercial vessel that will most likely be hauling extra equipment. Saltwater boats require engines with closed cooling systems to prevent corrosion, unlike freshwater vessels with open systems for cooling. Shallow water vs. deep water operation will change the type of engine you need. The type of fuel you can access is also an important consideration.
What is your budget?
Know your budget and how it affects your choices. Consider used or rebuilt engines for more options within your budget. If you decide to find a used commercial engine, consider the low hour usage/high hour usage along with how often the engine was in operation. A well-maintained commercial engine with high hour usage may be a better running engine in the long run compared to an engine with low hour usage that was operated inconsistently. Make sure you know any additional parts you need to ensure the engine performs to your specific needs and standards. Confirm and adjust for delivery and installation costs.
Ready to find a marine engine?
At Depco, we have a wide variety of new and used marine engines. With over 30 years of experience reliably servicing the engine market, our sales team will find the marine engine you need. Reach out to our sales team to schedule a tour of our yard, check out available inventory and witness our testing and certification process.