New D3 instead of outboard: Same boating pleasure, half the cost

The new D3 diesel engine is a financially attractive alternative compared with outboard engines, according to Volvo Penta’s internal tests. The major difference between the engine types is noticeable in the fuel account and the ears. In tests, the D3 has been operated, in principle, for half the cost compared with an outboard engine and at a significantly lower noise level. Volvo Penta has tested two Ryds boats with identical hulls. One was equipped with the new Volvo Penta 130-hp D3 engine, and the other with a modern 135-hp two-stroke, fuel-injected outboard engine. The conditions during the tests were the same and all data were measured using Volvo Penta’s advanced measuring equipment.
Same speed and acceleration
The acceleration test was conducted from stationary, with full acceleration until the boat reached its maximum speed. The acceleration for a two-stroke outboard engine is extremely high, which means it is the toughest possible opposition for the D3.

The result of the test was a narrow victory for the outboard engine, which was a second faster than the D3 in reaching 20 knots. At maximum speed, the result was even more narrow. The boat with the D3 achieved 34 knots, while the boat with the outboard engine reached 35 knots.

Major difference in fuel and noise
The engines’ fuel consumption was registered using high-quality measuring equipment. This was where major differences were noted. At a speed of 30 knots, the D3 had a consumption of 24 liters per hour – the outboard engine consumed all of 36 liters. Taking into consideration the price difference between diesel and gas, the fuel cost in the test of the D3 was, in principle, half.
Also in terms of the noise on board, the differences were substantially in favor of the D3. Persons who sat on the aft seat with the outboard engine had to withstand 90 dBA at 20 knots. On board the boat with the D3, the noise level was only 79 dBA, which on a decibel scale corresponds to about half the noise level compared with the outboard engine.

All the benefits of diesel
The D3 has all the benefits of a diesel engine – such as life expectancy, extremely high reliability and a high level of safety, as a result of the less fire-hazardous diesel fuel. The long anticipated life expectancy also gives a boat with a diesel engine a high second-hand value. Other advantages, such as power steering and a powerful 140-amp generator, make the D3 a highly attractive engine alternative in the outboard-engine segment.

Technical data


Power: 130 hp
Fuel system: Electronically controlled diesel common rail
Cooling: Freshwater 
Weight: 310 kg  (incl. drive)

Data from test using Ryds 20-foot
Acceleration, 0-20 knots: 5.9 seconds 
Top speed: 34 knots
Fuel consumption At 30 knots: 24 l/h 
Noise, aft seat, 20 knots: 79 dBA 

Two-stroke outboard engine, 135 hp

Power: 137 hp
Fuel system:  Electronic direct injection gasoline
Cooling: Seawater
Weight:195 kg

Data from test using Ryds 20-foot
Acceleration, 0-20 knots:  5.0 seconds
Top speed: 35 knots
Fuel consumption At 30 knots: 36 l/h
Noise, aft seat, 20 knots: 90 dBA