Diesel Generators vs Petrol – which is better

April 13, 2015 - 9:06 AM by Samantha Pudney

The introduction of technology has improved most of the devices and machines people use all over the world. This revolution has not left the vessel manufacturing industry behind.

Nowadays, you will require some thought before making the right decision when choosing the type of boat to use for your marine needs as the industry has a variety of boats to choose from. In addition, the features that you are looking for in a boat, what you are using it for, and also your budget should guide the choice of the boat that you settle for. Therefore, when deciding on your boat’s power, make sure that you take into consideration the weight and size of the engine.


What power do I need?

As far as power is concerned, it is important that you make a very informed decision on the kind of power your boat’s engine needs. There are those generators that are powered by diesel while others are powered by petrol. As such, you must take great care when choosing the type of generator you require. The main question is between diesel generators vs petrol – which is better? Perhaps you are facing a dilemma about which type of generator to go for. Here is an outline of both diesel and petrol boat generators to help you make the right decision as a far as your boat’s engine is concerned.

Diesel Generators

Diesel generators usually function using a compression mechanism that powers the engine. The design of these diesel generators takes the form of traditional gas engines that use pistons, cylinders and crankshafts. The only difference is the fuel system. When it comes to the diesel engine, the systems are more complex. These types of generators come in different sizes and their horsepower is different as well.

Why diesel generators are good for marine functions

Many people think diesel generators are ideal for marine functions because they do not emit any carbon monoxide. As such you should not worry about carbon monoxide coming out of the back of your boat or inside your cabins. Secondly, diesel generators used in marine situations have excellent torque. This explains why many larger vessels use diesel generators. Diesel generators generally come with low costs as compared to traditional gas generators so if you’re looking at your budget carefully, diesel may be the better option for you.

A look at petrol generators

Petrol generators on the other hand, are also designed for maritime use. These types of generators have horsepower that ranges between 90 to 1000 hp, which is great to use in several types of boats such as large cruisers and towing sports. Such generators have a pretty low cost of running and are extremely quiet.

For slower speeds, on larger vessels, diesel generators are mostly the best if you compare them directly to gas powered generators. There are many advantages but the important ones include a low fuel consumption rate – This can be a godsend for those taking longer journeys. Not only can you take longer journeys, but also you can take less fuel with you, having a positive effect on the weight of your vessel. The cost for diesel is also low, considering how much you can get out of it.

A question of range

Many people feel diesel engines have a greater range. However, the range advantage is only possible depending on how fast you move. For a speed that equals that of a petrol-powered engine, the advantage of great range does not hold. Most people tend to think that the total cost of operating a diesel engine is less with respect to that incurred when operating petrol powered engines. However, considering the low cost of fuel, one finds that they sometimes, in some applications much better. This also explains why it is not advisable to run small boats on diesel generators that are small and light in weight.


In addition, the regular maintenance of diesel generators makes them costly. For your boat to run effectively on a diesel engine, you are required to make sure that the oil, air and oil filters, are changed on a regular basis.

In conclusion, it is important to define the purpose for your boat before deciding which engine is best for you. Whether it is a diesel or petrol engine, the most important thing still remains where you intend to use it. Choosing the right engine for your boat is not always. As a result, it’s very important that you do you some before making your decision. This will significantly help you to avoid any unnecessary costs in future. In addition, always remember that proper maintenance is important for a long-lasting engine.