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Tartan 40 repower
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As indicated Universal has a replacement engine for the M-40. All comments in this thread point to repowering w a Beta. @ Newport Boat show the Beta rep suggested the Beta 38. Has anyone repowered w the Universal? Want to do this 1x and do it correctly. Beta, I think, offers a larger alternator which i would choose. Thanks

Ron G.

Is your plan to use the stock alternator? I think it is 50 amps. Or non-stock? Balmar estimates 100 amp small case at about 4hp.

I think Tartans are easily driven so 35-38hp is certainly enough.

Without going into the technical details, and research/reasoning behind how I repowered. I deliberately selected a "size up" engine, and detuned slightly via overpropping and installing a pyrometer to monitor engine load.

My design priority was quiet, low RPM cruising speed. My old Yanmar was a 3600 RPM "screamer". I skipped the Beta 38 as it is a 3600 RPM engine. Given that the nature of my cruising involves significant motoring when wind is down, I prioritized "trawler-like" engine performance rather than "auxiliary sailboat" power specs. I imagine I'm in the minority. But, completely agree that people who "overpower" their boats, and then prop size to allow for max RPMs, usually underload the engine chronically since they never need/want to run up in "75% load" RPMs, where they would be wasting fuel and digging a huge hole in the water due to excess HP.

Related/unrelated question for any T40 owners: Anyone relocate their exhaust to stern? Mine is original glassed in tube just aft of berth in aft cabin. Due to splattering of exhaust water at cruising speed when exhaust is immersed, I invariably get some minor soot stain on hull aft of exhaust exit. But, I worry that going through transom may cause more exhaust to be sucked back into cockpit. I was thinking of relocating exhaust exit to stbd aft edge of hull perhaps 4 inches in front of transom, and high enough never to be immersed.


Not exactly the same case but I repowered my T3800 with a Beta 38 two years ago. Couldn't be happier. Plenty of power for this boat.

Beta is a Kuboda, correct. As part of my research, I attended a diesel seminar run by Joe DeMeres (sp?), who was, he said, the biggest Beta seller by volume in the US. I have his article if you want it. His premise is that sailboats are generally overpowered. Mfrs put engines in boats not based on what the boat needs but, rather, based on what deal they get from the engine mfrs. The fact is that hull speed is hull speed, a bigger engine cannot make the boat go faster. I was looking at the Beta forty-something. Joe (who obviously had incentive to sell me a more expensive engine) convinced me that based on the T40’s weight, the Beta 38 would push the boat just fine. He was right. The Beta pushes me along at 7+kts @ 3000 rpm in flat water while sipping diesel. It’s also lighter and cheaper.


I'd also go Beta. I think Universal is also Kubota based. But Beta freely shares cross-reference for parts (eg Kubota OEM filters are available on Amazon), and their own prices for parts are reasonable. They seem to cater to repower market.

FWIW I repowered my T40 with a Beta 50. Same dimensions as 43 so I went bigger though probably didn't need to. My rationale was that we love sailing, and also cruise on Chesapeake and up to NE, sometimes in calm, sometimes need to bash upwind. It's nice to be able to make 6.5+ knots against 20 knot headwinds when we are on a schedule which is a reality for us currently at times with work and kids schedules.

And, with careful over-propping (flexofold) I now motor at 6.8-7 knots at 1850rpm which is fuel efficient and relaxing when we have a 6 hour trip on a calm day.

If all you want is 6 knots in flat calm for harbor in/out then a Beta 35 or 38 is probably plenty. I would imagine resale value could be affected if you went with smaller 25-30 hp. The marginal difference in engine cost is probably not worth it given most of costs/time is in the actual removal/installation.

I recently repowered my Tartan 40; replaced the Universal 44 hp with a Beta 38. Couldn’t be happier. Fit easily, runs like a top, and the boat goes just as fast. Just great all around. The Beta is simple and compact. I recommend it highly.


Haven't owned a universal in many years. Never repowered with one. However, I am in the middle of a repower on my T37 with a Beta marine engine. Did alot of research, talked to alot of people in my area who repowered with a Beta and haven't found any negative feedback. Just throwing it out there as another option for ya. Good luck!

I am repowering my 1986 Tartan 40. The original Universal M40 is 36 + years old and ready to be replaced. Universal is recommending the 25-XPB PRM. Anyone have info on this current model? In advance, thanks.

Ron G.

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