The Volvo Penta saildrive on our PBO Project Boat started life as a Perkins engine

The Volvo Penta engine on our Maxi 84 Maximus is a re-badged version of the Perkins 103-06, itself originally imported from a Japanese company called Ishikawajima Shibaura Machinery.

Perkins marketed a marinised version of the engine as the Perama M20. They sold the engine to Volvo Penta who marketed it as their MD2020.

Perkins also sold the engine to Massey Ferguson, McCormick, Terramite, Textron, Jacobsen, Cushman, Vermeer, Leech Lewis, JCB, Kobelco, and Northern Lights to name just a few. In the US, the engine was distributed through Detroit Diesel – Allison.

By 1996, Perkins had become so successful at marketing these engines that they formed a joint venture with ISM called Perkins Shibaura Engines and began assembling the engines at the Perkins facility in Peterborough, UK from parts shipped from Japan.

Perkins was eventually acquired by Caterpillar and this little engine has gone on to become one of the most popular engines in the world. It’s used in turf equipment, tractors, mini-excavators, brush choppers, compressors, welders, pumps, generators and much more.

Read more about this great engine in our guide to servicing marine engines.