Repairs and Engine Hours relationship to Boat Prices? - SailNet Community

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Old 01-29-2010
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Repairs and Engine Hours relationship to Boat Prices?

Looking for some advice... I am currently looking at purchasing a 1985 era boat (Island Packet). I have a few questions on how people feel the price of the boat could be affected by a couple of issues. The owner stated that the boat has had a significant blister problem that was fixed at Osprey Marine Composite several years ago. He also told me the engine has an estimate 1200 hrs on it (hour meter is malfunctioned).

I am looking for some advice before I get a survey completed.

Would a previous blister problem that has been repaired affect the value of the boat? I am thinking that as long as it was repaired correctly and the survey comes out clean this would not affect the value of the boat.

At what hr meter (or estimate) should I budget for an engine replacement or rebuilt? The engine in this boat is a 18 HP diesel. My thoughts are that if the engine works well it is getting close to rebuild/refresh to help ensure some durability. I feel this should be something to budget when I purchase the boat.

Just looking to see other peoples thoughts.... Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2010
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A good blister repair job if done properly is better than new. When new it may blister, but if the repair was well done it is unlikely to blister, at least for a long time.
As far as engine hours 1200 is not many. A marine diesel should last 10,000 hours if properly maintained. Maintenance is a bigger factor than hours and that is something to look into. Maintenance records? Best to pay a mechanic to check the engine out if you're not sure but if it runs fine it's nowhere near rebuild time, maybe 4000 to 5000 hours for a rebuild. And if not cruising full time you probably won't put more than 100 - 150 hours per year on it, probably less.
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Old 01-29-2010
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I would worry more about the age than the hours. A newer motor with 1200 hours is probably in better shape than an older one with 1200 hours. Marine motors have more issues from a lack of use than too much.

With that being said 1985 is not that old for a diesel motor so the motor is probably in good shape.
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Old 01-29-2010
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Thanks for the comments.

Has anyone heard of Osprey Marine Composite? Can expect they would have done a quality job?

Engine age, broken hour meter, and unknown maintenance is why I am thinking I need to budget for a refresh (not replace). This engine should have a life of 5,000 hrs in my mind before any rebuild. I have never had to survey a boat with an inboard engine (as this is my largest potential boat) but I doubt the surveyor will take an oil sample (and get it analyzed), cut oil filters or any other condition monitoring routines to help establish any potential issues. Plus if the engine just had maintenance, any signs short of an visual inspection would be gone.

Keep the post coming and I appreciate the experienced opinions.
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Old 01-29-2010
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I would be a little suspicious about this. First, 1,200 hours on a twenty five year old boat is “only” 48 hours per year. Not much hours at all if the boat is cruised at all. But more importantly is how critical the hour meter really is. When does he know when to change oil and transmission fluid without a clock? Does he show this maintenance in a logbook? (He should be showing an oil change at least once a year for these hours). How does he know his fuel consumption rate and how can he tell how well his engine is performing? I would get a really good marine diesel mechanic that you trust to do an inspection and have him get an oil analysis done. Repowering or rebuilding is a deal breaker for most people. I would budget $5,000 to $10,000 to cover the potential costs.
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Old 01-30-2010
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Take this for what it's worth from a boat/diesel newbie, but a one-off oil analysis on a gasoline engine wouldn't tell you much.

Oil analysis is valuable for spotting trends, and you don't get that with one sample. Also, the lab will want to know the kind of oil in order to identify additives, and many times you won't know that on a new vehicle. On a pre-owned car, I change all fluids and filters when I first buy it, then take the oil sample right before I change it the next time and all subsequent changes.
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Old 01-30-2010
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1200 hours is not much in my opinion...though you are taking his word for it. He is no doubt guessing as well.

Have a reputable mechanic start it up and listen to it and do what they think should be done. You can hear a bad engine.

I wouldn't put too much stock in an oil analysis. I'm more interested in how it sounds and how it runs.
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Old 01-30-2010
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Any blister repair including the best done ones, should be accepted as a decrease in the value of the boat.
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Old 01-30-2010
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I would question any repairs and hire the best surveyor you can find and use a moisture meter on the hull to make sure it's dry. I'm not familiar with IP, did they have problems with the hulls, do some research. Our boat had a "barrier coat" bottom job done at a shop a few years before we bought it. It all had to be peeled off and redone because they used the wrong material and moisture was behind the barrier ($$$). The engine on that boat is old, unknown hours, unknown maintenance. If you are going to use the boat a lot, or go cruising to places where repairs would be difficult you will probably decide to replace the engine just for peace of mind. Double the cost of a new engine to cover installation. Good luck, hope it turns out to be a great boat.
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