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  #1  
Old 10-26-2008
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Diesel to die for

So you look at a boat and like it. The owner/broker says the diesel works. What it the prudent mariner to do next?

In the water:
Start it, look for smoke? Good enough?

On Land:
Check yep one-engine?

Do a compression test. No chance of the owner letting you do one yourself as you have to replace banjo washers etc.
Call for a mechanic?

It's a $20,000 problem if the engine is toast.
What do you do?
How accurate is an engine survey?
Can it be done on land?

If it is a broker boat you have the broker holding the final paper work.
What do you do if it is a private sale?
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Old 10-26-2008
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First, look at the condition of the engine. Is it really clean, or just clean where it's easy? Does the owner have maintenance logs? Check the oil. Check under the engine and around it for oil splatter. Look for corrosion around fittings and the condition of hoses and belts. Check the wiring, if there are splices are they cleanly made and properly sealed?

That's some basic things along with engine hours, age and size to boat, that are preliminary to actually going forward.
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Old 10-26-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What do you do?
How accurate is an engine survey?
Can it be done on land?

If it is a broker boat you have the broker holding the final paper work.
What do you do if it is a private sale?
You are not going to purchase a boat without a proper sea trial, right?

So, as part of the seatrial it is customary to give the engine a good workout. If your regular surveyor has any doubts, he will likely recommend a separate engine survey.

In any sale, broker or private, you can arrange an escrow for the engine (or anything else) if for some reason you're not able to launch the boat for seatrial.
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Old 10-26-2008
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If a diesel starts easily when it's cold, it's probably in decent shape. Other than that, checking for regular and routine maintenance like Ontario 32 John suggested is a good indication that the motor has been cared for and running it hard on the sea trial to see if it overheats like Pacific Seacraft John recommended would let me sleep okay at night if it passed all three.
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Old 10-26-2008
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some mechanics will be able to start it onland i on our last purchase he had a water tank in the back of his truck and ran if on the hard for like 5 min just to make sure it runs

diesels can be finicky if you dont change the filters and water seperator and what not
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Old 10-26-2008
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One word it's mentioned above. ESCROW highest you can negotiate. PEACE
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Old 10-26-2008
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Originally Posted by tonic View Post
One word it's mentioned above. ESCROW highest you can negotiate. PEACE

Worth a try but getting a 20,000 escrow to cover a new engine will be unlikely on a 40,000 boat.

I'm a little gun shy as the boat I'm sailing starts pretty good but has 200 compression.
Does overheat though so that would be detectable.
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Well you do all of the above of course. Certainly take it out if it's in water run it hard for a minimium of an hour against a foul current smell the oil at the dock it may have just been changed. If it's not ancient and all the above seams to be in good working order it's probably in good working order. Than pray to the diesels Gods. Which one depends on the Manufacture.
Bottom line is if it was maintained reasonable well it will run and well. Why is you engine overheating. Get that fixxed the last thing you want to do is baby a diesel the gods don't like that. PEACE Are you selling your boat what's up?
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Last edited by tonic; 10-26-2008 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 10-26-2008
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Only on a new boat. Buying a used engine you're entitled to expect to be made right if it isn't currently. The escrow amount is the most you'll recieve towards repairing the engine. And, with a sea trial, there is usually no escrow - the escrow is if the engine can't be run for whatever reason at time of sale. If the fates are against you and it is some horrible problem that escaped a sea trial (gypsy curse or something) you're in for the difference.

The good news is a diesel is fairly straight forward. Your best bet is a sea trial and an oil analysis. They're such high compression that cracked blocks don't sneak past. White smoke indicates water getting into the combustion chamber (either in the fuel or through a crack of gasket), poor compression. Blue incicates she's burning oil, worn valve guides, excessive oil pressure (clogs, overfull ('cause she burns so much?)). Black can be an overload (high exaust pressure, friction in the propshaft/tranny or something as simple as a plugged air filter.

Run the engine under load for 10 minutes. The temperature should rise and then level out, maybe even drop slightly. Smoke is common at start-up but should be hard to see after 10 or 20 seconds. Starting the engine causes a lot of condensation to be blown out so a white puff is expected. Blue is never good.

One I walked away from this season ran thick and black for 30 seconds and then went to LOTS of billowy white and kept it up for two minutes until I said "enough". That was actually the last straw on that particular boat - it had some other problems and lots of evidence of poor maintenance by a hack.
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Last edited by Delirious; 10-26-2008 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 10-27-2008
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When I brought my boat a careful inspection of the engine bay highlighted a stain under the water pump & black soot on one of the walls. This was fairly easily traced to the leaking water pump and a failed weld repair on the exhaust manifold. So a good detailed inspection around the engine can highlight a few issues.

Ilenart
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