Advertisement

Best Diesel Marine Engines

A roundup of the best marine diesel engines that keep sport-fishing boats on the run

Updated:

May 31, 2022

It’s difficult to even quantify the importance of a reliable marine diesel engine. Sport-fishing boats around the world simply wouldn’t have the legs to do what they do without these expertly and carefully crafted diesel machines. Evolving technologies continue to produce highly efficient and advanced engines for marine applications, whether starting new or repowering. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best in the business.

Caterpillar C18 Marine Diesel Engine

Caterpillar C18 Marine Diesel Engine
Caterpillar C18 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Caterpillar

The Cat C18 is a popular in-line, six cylinder, and 4-stroke marine diesel engine for various sport-fishing applications. With a range of 1,015 mhp to 1,150 mhp, this engine offers maximum benefits in power density emissions, performance, and fuel efficiency. Expect an advanced aftercooler system and turbocharger, along with compatibility with Cat display and vessel control systems. The Cat C18 is EPA Tier III compliant and runs at 2,300 rpm.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1015-1150 MHP
  • RPM: 2300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 4000-4299
  • Displacement: 1106 cubic inches

Caterpillar C32B 2025 Marine Diesel Engine

Caterpillar C32B 2025 Marine Diesel Engine
Caterpillar C32B 2025 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Caterpillar

The Cat C32 engine lineup has a longstanding history of excellence among sport fishing enthusiasts. The C32B 2025 engine boasts a laundry list of updates from previous models, resulting in greater speed and power. EPA Tier III compliant, the C32B 2025 engine weighs in at 6,780 pounds dry, just slightly heavier than older models in the lineup, all while ensuring 5 percent more power. Compared to previous engines in the C32 series, this model offers a 25 percent noise reduction with an advanced unit injection system when operating at low speeds. The size and shape of the engine has changed so little that a drop-in replacement is possible when repowering and replacing an older C32 model.

Advertisement

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 2,025 MHP
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 6,780
  • Displacement: 1,959 cubic inches

Caterpillar C32B 2433 Marine Diesel Engine

Caterpillar C32B 2433 Marine Diesel Engine
Caterpillar C32B 2433 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Caterpillar

Much like other engines in the Cat C32 lineup, the C32B 2433 is a cutting-edge machine that promises speed and power. This model has all the upgrades seen in the C32B 2025 engine, along with some special features. Expect even better performance with an updated cooling system and a sequential air system. In addition, this model offers 20 percent more power output within the same reliable package.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 2,433 MHP
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 6,780
  • Displacement: 1,959 cubic inches

Cox CXO300 Marine Diesel Outboard Engine

Cox CXO300 Marine Diesel Outboard Engine
Cox CXO300 Marine Diesel Outboard Engine Courtesy Cox

Designed with various uses in mind, the CXO300 stands alone in this list as the only diesel outboard engine. The CXO300 produces 30 percent less CO2 emissions thanks to its 30 percent fuel savings. These metrics certainly bode well for the eco-friendly. Operating at 479 foot-pounds of torque, boaters can expect to reduce emissions without giving up speed. Running at 300 hp and 3,700 to 4,000 rpm, this world-class diesel outboard engine has a dry weight of 866 pounds.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 300 HP
  • RPM: 3,700-4,000
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 866
  • Displacement: 266 cubic inches

Cummins B4.5L Marine Diesel Engine

Cummins B4.5L Marine Diesel Engine
Cummins B4.5L Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Cummins

The Cummins diesel B4.5L engine for marine applications was developed based on the B4.5L industrial version. Compliant with EPA Tier III standards, the B4.5 is an inline, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, and 4-stroke marine diesel engine. Running at 230 bhp and 2,600 rpm, this turbocharged model has a dry weight of 1,202 pounds and a displacement of 272 cubic inches.

Advertisement

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 230-250 BHP
  • RPM: 2600
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 1202
  • Displacement: 272 cubic inches

Cummins QSB6.7 Marine Diesel Engine

Cummins QSB6.7 Marine Diesel Engine
Cummins QSB6.7 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Cummins

The Cummins QSB6.7, an in-line, 6-cylinder, and 4 stroke marine diesel engine, offers an 80 percent reduction in noise when idling thanks to its common-rail fuel system. EPA Tier III compliant, this engine helps to improve the boating experience by eliminating smoke. The QSB6.7 weighs in at 1,450 pounds and boasts up to 3,300 rpm.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 247-542 BHP
  • RPM: 2,600-3,300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 1,450
  • Displacement: 408 cubic inches

Cummins QSC8.3 Marine Diesel Engine

Cummins QSC8.3 Marine Diesel Engine
Cummins QSC8.3 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Cummins

An in-line, 6-cylinder, 4-stroke diesel marine engine, the Cummins QSC8.3 offers impressive power density. The common rail fuel system improves fuel economy and reduces smoke. The engine meets EPA Tier III standards. With an impressive rpm range of 2,600 to 3,000, the QSC8.3 delivers 493 to 592 bhp.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 493-592 BHP
  • RPM: 2,600-3,000
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 1,975
  • Displacement: 505 cubic inches

Cummins QSL9 Marine Diesel Engine

Cummins QSL9 Marine Diesel Engine
Cummins QSL9 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Cummins

The QSL9 is another in-line six-cylinder, four-stroke marine diesel engine from Cummins. This model is known for its longevity, having been used in commercial trawling fleets. Like other models in the Cummins marine diesel engine lineup, the QSL9 virtually eliminates smoke when starting up and reduces noise. Expect great fuel economy when traveling long distances at cruising speeds. EPA Tier III compliant, the QSL9 offers 405 bhp and 2,100 rpm.

Advertisement

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 405 BHP
  • RPM: 2,100
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 2,153
  • Displacement: 542 cubic inches

Cummins QSM11 Marine Diesel Engine

Cummins QSM11 Marine Diesel Engine
Cummins QSM11 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Cummins

The Cummins QSM11 offers proven acceleration and torque performance with a horsepower range of 295 to 705 bhp. Its innovative four-cycle design enables fuel efficiency and reduces noise. As expected in Cummins’ industry-leading engines, the QSM11 puts off little to no smoke and meets EPA Tier III standards. The QSM11 weighs in at 2,620 pounds with a displacement of 661 cubic inches.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 295-705 BHP
  • RPM: 1,800-2,500
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 2,620
  • Displacement: 661 cubic inches

Cummins 6BT/6BTA ReCon Marine Diesel Engines

ReCon engines offer buyers a great way to both save money and benefit the environment. When choosing to purchase a ReCon engine, Cummins doesn’t simply repair or rebuild it for you. Instead, Cummins ensures it meets remanufacturing standards by having it reconstructed and replacing old parts with new (as necessary) at specially authorized factories. The 6BT and 6BTA ReCon marine diesel engines from Cummins are built to at least meet or exceed the performance specifications of the original engine. These models can be used to replace and repower older Cummins engines or those from other manufacturers. The 6BT and 6BTA are both in-line, 6 cylinder, 4-stroke diesel marine engines. The 6BT model meets EPA Tier III standards at certain speed ratings.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 220-370 MHP
  • RPM: 2,600-3,000
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 1,025
  • Displacement: 359 cubic inches

MAN V-2000 hp Marine Diesel Engine with e-Motion Hybrid Parallel Propulsion System

e-Motion Hybrid Parallel Propulsion System
e-Motion Hybrid Parallel Propulsion System Courtesy e-Motion

The e-Motion diesel hybrid system is unlike any other listed here. The Hybrid Parallel Propulsion system allows boaters to run in various modes such as full diesel traditional propulsion mode, diesel-electric navigation mode, and zero-emissions mode. Under the dedicated sport fishing hybrid package, the system enables unparalleled fuel savings and sound reduction, allowing for four hours of run-time in zero-emissions trolling mode. Once those four hours are up, the operator can restart the diesel engine and fast recharge the lithium battery packs within just 20 minutes. Preassembled and ready for installation, the Hybrid Parallel Propulsion System can be combined with variable speed generators to increase acceleration.

Advertisement

Specifications

  • Horsepower: Full range from 850 to 2,000 HP + 325 HP
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 5,950 (as shown)
  • Displacement: 1,476 cubic inches (as shown)

MAN i6 Marine Diesel Engine

MAN i6 Marine Diesel Engine
MAN i6 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy MAN

Available in three variants (i6-730/800/850), the in-line six-cylinder i6 upholds MAN’s standards for high power density, as well as smooth and quiet operation. The i6 features an advanced plate heat exchanger, which also reduces maintenance requirements. The marine diesel engine’s common-rail fuel injection system, which can be controlled electronically, optimizes combustion, resulting in lower vibrations, less noise, and decreased fuel consumption. Weighing in at 1,251 kilograms, this engine meets the EPA Tier III requirements and offers an impressive horsepower-to-weight ratio.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 730-850 HP
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lb): 2,752
  • Displacement: 12.42 liters

MAN V8 and V12-1900 and V12-2000 Marine Diesel Engine

MAN V8 Marine Diesel Engine
MAN V8 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy MAN

Although the power rating of MAN’s V lineup has increased, folks can still expect these engines to be lightweight with a small overall footprint. Given the limited space available on sport-fishing boats, a thoughtfully designed and streamlined package is a must, and MAN delivers.

MAN V12-1900 and V12-2000 Marine Diesel Engine
MAN V12-1900 and V12-2000 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy MAN

The V12-2000 is the earliest engine of its kind: a 12-cylinder V-engine with 2,000 hp. With a displacement of a mere 24 liters, this engine generates an enormous amount of power. The V8 and V12 engines offer many power ratings from 1,000 to 2,000 hp and are all EPA Tier III compliant.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1,000-1,200 HP
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lb): 3,916-5,324
  • Displacement: 16.16/24.24 liters

MTU Series 2000 Marine Diesel Engine

MTU 2000 Series Marine Diesel Engine
MTU 2000 Series Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Rolls-Royce

Performance is the first thing that comes to mind with the range of MTU 2000 series, which feature the 10V, 12V, and 16V versions. These diesel engines offer 1,360 to 2,600 hp and are designed specifically for high-speed marine use, and are ideal for both new builds and repowers. Each engine in this family boasts precise responsiveness, impressive acceleration, quiet operation and the great benefit of no smoke. MTU Series 2000 engines boast an unprecedented power-to-weight ratio. All of the models in the Series 2000 marine diesel range meet the EPA Tier III standards.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1,360-2,600 BHP
  • RPM: 2450
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 5,082-7,606
  • Displacement: 1,362-2,179 cubic inches

Scania DI13 Marine Diesel Engine

Scania DI13 Marine Diesel Engine
Scania DI13 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Scania

Designed to withstand some of the toughest conditions, Scania’s compact and lightweight engines are built to last. The DI13 is built on a compacted graphite iron engine block with a simple wastegate turbocharger, allowing for top performance. The engine offers optimal fuel delivery via its common-rail extra high-pressure injection system and Scania’s Engine Management System. Expect greater torque, less noise, and improved fuel efficiency. The DI13 is EPA Tier III compliant at certain ratings and weighs in at 2,832 pounds, offering an impressive power-to-weight ratio.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 700-900 HP
  • RPM: 2300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 2832
  • Displacement: 12.7 liters

Scania DI16 Marine Diesel Engine

Scania DI16 Marine Diesel Engine
Scania DI16 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Scania

The Scania DI16 model is a 16-liter V8 which delivers up to 1,150 hp. This engine offers all of the great features available in the DI13, but with greater power. Scania ensures that its engines, including the DI16, are easy to install and repair, with separate cylinder heads so that a technician can change a head on site. Buyers can expect greater torque, less noise, and improved fuel efficiency. The DI16 model has a dry weight of 3,659 pounds and a displacement of 16.4 liters.

Specifications

  • Horsepower:1,000-1,150
  • RPM: 2,300
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 3,659
  • Displacement: 16.4 liters

Volvo Penta D4 DPI and D6 DPI Marine Diesel Engines

Volvo Penta D4 DPI and D6 DPI Marine Diesel Engines
Volvo Penta D4 DPI and D6 DPI Marine Diesel Engines Courtesy Volvo-Penta

Ranging in horsepower of 150 to 440, the Volvo Penta D4 DPI and the Volvo D6 DPI feature a robust block with ladder-frame construction. The D4 and D6 are both equipped with common-rail fuel injection systems, superchargers, turbochargers, and charge-air coolers. Volvo Penta’s advanced electronic control system allows for low fuel consumption and emissions. Exceeding EPA Tier III standards, the D4 and D6 allow for a more enjoyable day on the water with reduced vibration and noise.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 150-440 HP
  • RPM: 3,400-3,700
  • Dry Weight(lb): 1,444-1,742
  • Displacement: 224-336 cubic inches/3.7-5.5 liters

Volvo Penta D11-725 Marine Diesel Engine

Volvo Penta D11 Marine Diesel Engine
Volvo Penta D11 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Volvo-Penta

Volvo Penta’s D11-725 is an in-line six-cylinder diesel marine engine that gets up to 725 hp. Like other marine diesel engines in Volvo Penta’s lineup, expect low emissions and excellent performance thanks to the D11’s camshaft, twin-entry turbo, and common-rail fuel injection system. EPA Tier III Compliant, this engine runs at 2,500 rpm with a dry weight of 2,524 pounds.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 725 HP
  • RPM: 2,500
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 2,524
  • Displacement: 661 cubic inches/10.8 liters

Volvo Penta D13-IPS1350 Marine Diesel Engine

Volvo Penta D13-IPS Marine Diesel Engine
Volvo Penta D13-IPS Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Volvo-Penta

Volvo Penta’s D13-IPS1350 is the big sister to the D13, offering longer range at a lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Buyers can expect powerful performance as well as maneuverability. One of the greatest features that sets the D13-IPS apart from other engines in the Volvo Penta marine diesel engine lineup is its twin counter-rotating propellers. Made from a cast-iron cylinder block, this model boasts greater longevity and durability. The D13-IPS1350 is EPA Tier III compliant and comes with a fully integrated system courtesy of Volvo Penta’s Electronic Vessel Control.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1000 HP
  • RPM: 2,400
  • Dry Weight (lbs): 5,419
  • Displacement: 780 cubic inches

Volvo Penta D13-1000 Marine Diesel Engine

Volvo Penta D13 Marine Diesel Engine
Volvo Penta D13 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Volvo-Penta

Another in-line six-cylinder engine from Volvo Penta, the D13-1000 features many of the same benefits offered in the D11, but with additional power. With 1,000 hp at 2,400 rpm, this marine diesel engine offers impressive performance with low emissions. In addition, the D13-1000 has a high-pressure unit injector system, another contributor to the world-class fuel efficiency expected of Volvo Penta products. The D13 also meets the standards for EPA Tier III compliance.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 1,000 HP
  • RPM: 2,400
  • Dry Weight(lbs): 3,605
  • Displacement: 780 cubic inches

Yanmar 6LF550 Marine Diesel Engine

Yanmar 6LF550 Marine Diesel Engine
Yanmar 6LF550 Marine Diesel Engine Courtesy Yanmar

Complementing the largest common-rail marine diesel engine lineup available, the 6LF range from Yanmar offers compact, lightweight and high-performance  solutions ideal for the sport-fishing sector. The global emission-certified inline 6-cylinder, 4-stroke, vertical water-cooled diesel engines offer leading fuel economy and feature Yanmar’s proprietary fuel mapping and a larger mixing elbow for reliable and consistent output performance. The three output models from 485 to 550 mhp are controlled by the next-generation Yanmar VC20 system, for three engines with up to four stations. The 3,000-rpm engines are custom engineered to offer direct connectivity to NMEA and J1939 CAN-bus networks. Suitable for boats up to 55 feet, the 6LF550 model creates a high-power density of 82 mhp/l.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 550 mhp
  • RPM: 3,000
  • Dry Weight (lbs): 1,720
  • Displacement: 411 cubic inches
Advertisement

More Boats

Advertisement
Advertisement