Small Petrol Inboard Engines

There are still quite a number of small petrol inboard engines installed in small boats. Most of these boats are yachts. Lots of yachts in the 1960s and 1970s had small petrol inboard engines installed by the manufacturer. Yachts up to 27 feet had 6 hp Vire petrol engines. Some had Briggs and Stratton petrol engines driving the propeller without a gearbox!

Other small petrol inboard engines were for example, the Watermota 6hp 2 cylinder marine engine. A Twin cylinder 3.5″ x 4.75″ poppet valve paraffin/petrol engine by the Bergius Launch and Engine Co. found in a lot of small open launches. As previously mentioned the Vire 6 hp later to become the Vire 7hp. The company also produced a larger 12 hp. These Petrol Inboard engines were manufactured from 1960s till 2003 and new parts still being made. Also a RCA Dolphin 12 hp inboard petrol engine was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. This drives a two-bladed prop via a centrifugal clutch. These engines are still made in small numbers, and are chosen for light weight, quiet and smooth running compared to a small diesel. Although a petrol inboard engine is unpopular nowdays, it is a revelation how smooth and quiet these engines are compared to small diesels!

However, bad publicity surrounding petrol on board boats led to the demise of small petrol inboard marine engines. It is a pity because as mentioned above, they tend to be more lightweight, smoother running and quieter than equivalent diesels. Overseas in the USA they still have plenty of petrol engines in their boats. One reason of course is their cheap cost of petrol. In this country petrol costs are hampering not only day to day living but the chances of any new petrol inboard marine engine being produced for small boats.

So keep a look out for these small marine engines becoming available for sale. There are still several enthusiasts out there able to provide spares for these engines.




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