Diesel Duck 382

Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.

The Engine

The trawler concept is built on endurance and sea worthiness.  The Diesel Duck family is designed to cross oceans while remaining safe and comfortable. These boats are full displacement vessels so they ride through the water, not on top of it.  In this regard it is firmly understood that slow and steady wins the race!  Ducks, with their narrow beam, have the ability to be quite fuel efficient.  

At the heart of this concept is the engine.  With only modest horsepower and a low RPM engine, Ducks are capable of covering vast distances. While sipping fuel at the rate of about a gallon per hour, our Duck can expect to cover around 5000 miles in good conditions.

Our dream engine is the Beta 85 based on the Kubota Model V3307T.  Kubota diesel engines are highly regarded with world wide support.  In fact, This Beta engine is built off a diesel tractor engine. That fact can save thousands in repair costs since we'll be able to buy from a tractor supplier instead of a marine one.  Beta has a great reputation for supporting their engines and each owner is provided a cross referenced list between their marine engine and the tractor engine it is based off of.  That way you can easily identify parts from tractor part supplier anywhere in the world.  

Additional features like an intergrated oil change pump, included transmission and excellent reliability have made this engine our top choice.  The fact that it's very difficult to find used Beta engines adds to their reputation for reliability.  As expected, this quality does not come cheap.  With options, taxes and shipping, the cost of the engine will be close to $30,000.  

A used engine is still a possibility, particularly the Perkins M92B, the a new Beta will remain our top choice.


  1. Worked with Perkins engines for 33 years in mobile equipment, found them to be rugged and dependable Wich ever engine finds it's way into your life, cleanliness is everything, clean air, clean fuel, clean oil, clean coolant. The reliability and durability centers on cleanliness it can't be over stressed.

  2. I haven't worked with betas, but Perkins does make a great engine, and parts availability and access to repair manuals is also so critical. If I could suggest anything, it would be to choose an engine with plenty of torque at low and high RPM more than at cruising speed. I've owned a half-dozen commercial fishing boats, and a little Detroit 453 on the smallest, at 85hp, was the best (but too noisy for what you're doing). Being able to muscle through a fouled prop and having extra ass on demand when needed at sea is such a comfort.

  3. If you are on a realy tight budget buy a old Johndeer combine the 404 deisels out of these have low hours and are easily adapted for marine use you would have to find a heat exchanger and a raw water pump it would take a little ingenuity to make it work but from watching your videos you seame to have a lot of that if you ever need any machining or metal fabricating done send me an email rstaber@me.com
    Keep the videos coming realy cool project

  4. Nice project.
    I love the rugged Japan Isuzu marine engines.