I tried to reply to your post last week, but for some reason I couldn't. Maybe this one will work.
We bought our Pearson in 2004 and didn't repower as it was out of the question at the time due to cost. My boat is #102, a 1978 issue, and it was 4 years before having to face it - the fuel tank first and then the engine 6 months later.
I did a lot of research on available diesel engines, but the only one that made sense to me was the Beta 28. Our engines are installed backwards with a V-drive, and it was the only one that gave reasonable access to the raw water pump and impeller. This is the reason we selected the Beta 28 engine.
I budgeted $16.5K for the entire repower job, and we came in pretty close. My budget included hauling the boat, yard fees for lifting out the old engine and lifting in the new one, and two weeks in the yard to do the job. To the cost of the basic engine and V-drive I added exhaust elbow, overflow tank, waterlift, hoses, instrument panel, transom exhaust port, other water hoses, new shaft and propeller, and two large aluminum angles to mount the engine to the bed. I also included $1500 for a mechanic to help with actual installation and alignment.
I ordered my engine directly from Beta Marine in NC, and worked with Stanley Feigenbaum for the whole job. He is very knowledgeable and was a great help. I also talked a lot with John Viera. John designed an alignment fixture to help determine the position of the engine and V-drive. I made one up and it was a big help for initial positioning the aluminum angles.
The cost of a Pearson 323 will depend a lot on what shape it is in. A really great boat which is well founded will probably sell for around $30-35K, maybe more. I have seen 323's for as low as $16.5K. I would value mine around $30K, knowing I would never be able to recover the cost of the repower. You have to decide what you are willing to pay considering you have to put in a new engine and whatever else you have to do (sails, etc.).
I hope this helps.
Last edited by kb7c; 12-05-2010 at 02:33 PM.