Credit where credit is due.
Before we came to Mexico in 2010 we re-powered Pacifico with a new, Beta 25 HP diesel engine to replace the Universal M25XP that was original equipment on this boat. We had issues with the new Beta the entire time we were in Mexico and were resolved to fix it when we got back. The engine preformed well, but ran hotter than it should and could not be run to its potential RPM. We always thought the culprit was the new, three blade prop I'd installed before leaving. I had it re-pitched once, but thought it to be still over pitched.
After returning home in 2011 I contacted Phil Jones, "The Marine Man" from whom I had purchased this engine and he helped me, or rather I helped him install it. With Phil's assistance and dealing with the factory warranty representatives in England we ran multiples of tests, made several modifications to the raw water cooling system and replaced the "tube stack" or heat exchanger with a factory provided part. I pulled the boat and changed the intake system, and re-pitched the prop four more times. I know that Phil put in well over 70 hours of his time on my behalf, and I know this because I was there too and more, all to no avail. In the end I made a warranty claim for a defective engine with Beta, directly to the CEO. He approved the replacement, it was shipped and in 2013 Phil and I made the swap, no charge.
The new engine has also performed well and no overheating issues, so we know it was a latent defect in the original engine, which was shipped back to England for inspection. Why do I bring this up? There are quite a few qualified diesel mechanics in Oceanside through whom I could have purchased and installed the new engine in 2010. I chose "Marine Man" because in addition to being an all around trained diesel mechanic he is also the San Diego area Beta dealer and representative. I thought that if there should ever have been a serious problem I'd rather be dealing with the factory's guy than not. That has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made on this boat.
This is not an advertisement for Phil or Beta, but credit is due here. Phil put in an exorbitant number of hours, mostly non-reimbursed by the factory to resolve these issues and he never charged me a dime. He walked the fine line of being a company man, yet representing me, his customer. I paid for additional, non-warranty parts or conversions to the vessel itself. That was enough I can assure you, but in the end, I got a brand new engine, replacing one which by then had over 1,300 hours on it. I felt that to be a fair exchange. On Beta's behalf, I understand why they put us through the paces on the warranty. I learned a lot from these issues and that while it is their engine, they don't oversee the actual installation in the myriad of hulls these engines will be installed into. Once they were satisfied it wasn't external, they did the right thing. And because Beta is not a part of a larger conglomerate I was able to appeal the CEO directly. I would have never been able to do that with the other popular brands out there.
So, tip one to Phil, San Diego's Marine Man,
thanks a lot Phil!