Caterpillar (CAT), Cummins, Volvo. There is no shortage of marine engine manufacturers out there from which to choose from. They all make good products, but who’s at the top? While there is some level of subjectivity here the best marine engine for you will depend on your personal needs. There are some objective markers of quality that can be compared between these various manufacturers. CAT is definitely a major player in the marine engine industry and they are who we want to focus on here today. Here’s how CAT marine engines stack up against the rest.
CAT is well known for manufacturing high-quality engines. Using only the best parts from the finest vendors all over the world, they ensure that each engine is manufactured to strict quality standards. Each engine is then thoroughly tested and only those that live up to the Caterpillar name are given the green light.
Caterpillar has spent over 80 years developing and refining their engineering processes, and it has led to some of the finest quality marine engines around. Few other manufacturers can claim to have as rich a history as Caterpillar.
CAT manufactures a number of marine engines with models that range in performance from 280 to 22529 bhp. None of CAT’s marine engines hold the title of “most powerful,” strictly speaking, but they are more than suitable for their targeted applications. Of course, horsepower is just one measure of performance. CAT also knocks it out of the park in many other metrics including longevity which we’ll discuss more later.
CAT offers a wide variety of marine engines that find use in such applications as:
- Commercial fishing
In fact, CAT claims to have the industry’s largest range of marine engines. A cursory glance at their extensive product line all but confirms this.
You can find countless stories of people who have had CAT engines for years — decades in some cases — that are still reliably running. No engine is immortal, but some of CAT’s models come pretty close. This is mostly due to their strict quality control standards. Other manufacturers make fine engines but few, if any, can approach the same level of longevity as a CAT.
As an example of this longevity, you need to look no further than the Norman, an 80-year-old barge still running strong on a 43-year-old CAT engine. To put that in perspective, this barge has been running since before World War II.
Unfortunately, the marine industry is a large contributor to global emissions levels. CAT offers a variety of marine engines that comply with strict global emissions standards. They also offer a number of engines that run on alternative fuel sources like liquefied natural gas. LNG based engines still have some hurdles to overcome, but CAT is hard at work developing this technology, which they see as the way of the future. This is all a part of their commitment to sustainable development methods.
Used Or New?
So it’s established that you can’t go wrong with a CAT marine engine, but should you buy used or new? The quality and longevity of your average CAT engine lead to them having a pretty big presence on the used market. As we said earlier, these engines can last for years. There is nothing wrong with buying a used engine so long as it’s been well maintained. As long as you stay vigilant you can buy used and save quite a bit of money.
If you’re looking for a marine engine that balances performance, sustainability, and longevity then CAT is a fantastic choice. There are many fine manufacturers out there, like Cummins for example, but it’s hard to go wrong with a CAT engine.
Picking the right marine engine out of a sea of thousands isn’t easy. At Depco Power Systems we stock new and used marine engines from industry-leading manufacturers like CAT. Please, contact us today so we can help you find the right marine engine for your job.