The Caterpillar 3116 is a versatile engine with a wide range of applications. It's suitable for everything from planing pleasure boats to oceangoing commercial displacement craft such as freighters or bottom-drag trawlers.

Of course, rated horsepower and top-end rpm vary with the application. In a planing pleasure boat like the Pershing 38, the 3116 is rated at 350 bhp (340 shaft hp) at 2800 rpm. By contrast, in a displacement hull making long runs at one throttle setting, the engine would be rated at 205 bhp (199 to the props) at 2400 rpm. In between service (short runs at top speed interspersed with lower-speed duty) ratings range from 255 to 280 bhp at 2600 rpm.

The 3116 is an inline 6, 4-stroke, turbocharged-aftercooled diesel. With a bore of 4.13 inches and a stroke of 5.0, it has a displacement of 402 cubic inches. Weighing in at about 1,500 pounds (dry), the engine has a moderate weight-to-power ratio of 4.2 pounds per horsepower.

As you can see by the Pershing 38's test results, the Caterpillar 3116 is also an economical engine, burning less than 20 gallons per hour at WOT under full load.

This review/article originally appeared in Power & Motoryacht Magazine, July 1994 and is written by Captain Bob Armstrong. For more great powerboat reviews, visit their website and subscribe at: