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Old 02-27-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

I am just wondering a few things. I am in the process of buying my first liveaboard/cruiser and notice that in my price range under 30k most boats are pretty old. Are motor problems a big issue in older boats 1980 - 1984 or older. What can be done with motors with problems? I have heard of rebuilding motors or motor replacement. Does anyone know some idea of cost for a motor rebuilding or motor replacement of diesel''s for 30-34'' sailboats? Also does anyone know other remedies for bad motors in a potential sailboats? Thank you for your responses.
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Old 02-27-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

You will find that you can spend a few bucks for a rebuild say 1000-3000 or a replacement for 5000-7000 thousand for a new motor it all depends on what motor you are talking about.How many hours are really on that motor and a compression test and does it puff allot of smoke.
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Old 02-28-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

I think Sailaway''s estimates reflect an assumption that you do the work of removing and re-installing the motor yourself.

From personal experience, the factory charge to rebuild a Westerbeke W35 is about $7,500. Having a competent yard remove, pack, and ship, the worn motor and then re-install the rebuilt brings the total job closer to $12-14K. Doing it yourself ain''t for the faint of heart or for people who don''t have a lot of spare time. While the engine is going back in becomes a natural time to to replace all hoses and belts, new engine mounts, rebuild/replace alternator and heat exchanger, and any other lose ends easier to do while the block is out, all of which serve to jack up the cost. If done by a good yard, the end result is an instalation that is probably better than new.
My personal advice buying a considering an experienced boat (anything over a couple of hundred hours) is to look for one that already has an engine rebuild (like mine, which is not for sale...)and happily pay the premium the owner would expect. These premium prices always significantly discount the cost of the work. Otherwise, absolutely have an engine survey done by a desiel engineer, including a compression test. A "sea-trial", even performed by a mechanic doens''t cut it, and our $13,000 engine job is the proof.

Good luck.
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Old 02-28-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

Also, I might add that if you replace your engine with anything but the same model you are looking at additional labor to reconfigure the motor mounts and such. I spend about $7200 on my engine and another $5k or so for all the labor to put it in. Yes, its high but I keep my boat in Newport.
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Old 02-28-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

I''m a little taken a-back with considering a naturally aspirated diesel being ''old'' or near needing a rebuild with only a couple hundred hours on it. The biggest thing that will kill a 80''s diesel is the owner(s). With proper maintenance & clean fuel you should get service into the thousands of hours rather than hundreds. Naturally, if the engine has received poor maintenance then it may die very early. Take a look at the maintenance of the entire boat...it may well reflect the care the engine''s been given.

slimqs,
Make sure the engine oil has some hours on it & then get an oil analysis..it''ll run you 25-30 bucks. I''d look at the analysis as a first pass check on the engines condition as it can tell many things about the engine''s health. You might also pick up a copy of Nigel Calder''s book "Marine Diesels".
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Old 03-03-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

If I may add a bit here. On an older vessel you have to consider if parts are available as well as the condition. Mine for instance (50 hp Pathfinder - VW) which has 7000 hours and was maintenenced well over the past 22 years. It looks and runs well. The problem I may get into is when I need parts. They are rare. I keep in contact with the manufacture and there is some stuff that''s not available anymore. Fortunately, I''m a Machinist/ Toolmaker.
Contact the manufacture of the engine in question and ask them how many hours one could expect to get fro their engine. Then look at the condition of the motor. If it''s all dirty and rusty, chances are that it didn''t get much attention. Bad motors are one reason some sell their perfectly good looking vessel. Some vessels, the motors are almost impossible to get out. Another reason to sell!
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Old 03-05-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

Yammar says ten thousand hours on a well maintained engine. Thats a lot of motoring about 1 year two months if you never turned the thing off, how''s that for perspective.
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Boats with motor problems???

What''s possible and what''s practical or likely are two very different things. I doubt there are a lot of marine desiels used in small pleasure boats that make it to 10,000 hours, 3,000 is probably the sweet spot, in fact it was for ours...
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Old 03-05-2004
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Boats with motor problems???

The key is maintenance, clean fuel, & don''t run them full throttle(about 80% of max rpm is an upper limit for longer term running). Yachtworld has 4 Whitby 42''s having 3500, 5000, 4000, & 2800 hours respectively. A few months back there were two more, one with 6000 hours & the other with 9000 hours.

There is lots of commercial Cape Island powerboats(Downeast-like) in the link below with 5,000-12,000 hours. They are commercials, but many of them have fairly low power (160hp or less).

http://www.boatsandrealty.com/boats/CINDEX.HTM

All the diesels discussed here are naturally aspirated. Sportfishers running turbocharged, aftercooled, intercooled..... diesels have a short life...maybe 1000-1500 hours, then rebuilds run BIG bucks.

I wouldn''t eliminate a sailboat/diesel just due to a few hundred hours, but I would check it out well....as I would an older engine with 100 hours(less hours can be more problematic than high hours).
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