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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

Julie,

I have done many engine replacements in cars and trucks. Same basic engine swap, fairly simple. I put a Ford V8 into a Willys truck because I was too cheap to buy a new truck. Virtually NOTHING fits, motor and transmission mounts, fuel, exhaust, wiring and everything else. I can't imagine doing it in a boat, unless you had everything done by someone else $$$$. Agree with Main Sail, suggest you find a good boat with a good sound engine already in it, pay the price and enjoy going sailing instead of skinned knuckles, multiple head bumps, and massive amounts of grief.

Paul T
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

I disagree about ruling a boat out if it's going to need an engine at some point while you own it. If the price is right (meaning the total cost of the boat won't be ridiculously high after having a new engine installed) then I like knowing the history of the engine from day one, how it was broken in and run and maintained. We cruise in some very isolated areas and the peace of mind that you get with a new engine is priceless when you are out of VHF/cell range and really, really need the engine to start.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I disagree about ruling a boat out if it's going to need an engine at some point while you own it. If the price is right (meaning the total cost of the boat won't be ridiculously high after having a new engine installed) then I like knowing the history of the engine from day one, how it was broken in and run and maintained. We cruise in some very isolated areas and the peace of mind that you get with a new engine is priceless when you are out of VHF/cell range and really, really need the engine to start.
John,

I fished in BC waters for many years and "remote" it is. Nothing helps peace of mind like a brand new, properly installed engine system. Lots of work to install a different kind of engine if you do it yourself, lots of money if someone else does it for you. No experience with Volvos but am wondering how practical a very thorough re-build of the engine Julie is considering would be? At least most everything should fit?

Paul T
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

Well, here's the skinny: The selling broker said the meter reads 515.4 engine hours. The engine is original, 1978. I asked if the meter turned over and it's really 10,515. He contacted the owner and the owner said some work was done on the engine in 2000 and at that time the engine had about 3000 hours. They also replaced the meter then too. I don't know if the meter wasn't working and for how long or if it broke while the work was being done.

Another broker said "the engine is old" and hinted at major work imminent in the future but didn't say if he had ever been on the boat. But he did offer another boat that was way out of our price range.

This Sabre 34 has a long list of professional maintenance over the years. The engine may be okay for a season or two, maybe more. Immediately it needs chainplate work that doesn't look too bad from the pics but it's what you can't see that makes replacing the chainplates a good idea.

I'm doing a lot more research/investigation work and if everything looks good I'll fly out to see it and ... who knows? I could have a hole in the water into which I'll throw money.
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

The only way to be reasonably sure of any engine's condition is to get an engine survey. If the engine passes, it should have many hours of life in it, regardless of the hours on the meter. Sounds like the engine has about 3500 hours on it, in which case it could last for thousands more. Or not. Get a survey.
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  #26  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
.................Secondly If you are trying to motor into a 3 knot current, 22 hp on a 12,000 displacement boat...you will be moving much slower than hull speed. ...............

dave
Slightly off topic at this point, but I am curious about the above statement, which seems to be a fairly common view. Is this actually an accurate statement? I have always thought that the current speed and direction will just affect the boat speed over ground, but have nothing to do with the speed through the water. Much like flying into a headwind where I believe air speeed stays constant but SOG drops off. Since I sail out of the Piscataqua River in NH, which is one of the fastest tidal estuaries in the US, this is a topic of some interest. Not a current problem, as I have plenty of power in my catboat, but significant for future purchases. Thanks
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  #27  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

If the current is 3 knots in the exact opposite direction that you intend to travel, you start with -3 knots over ground. If your boat can do 7 knots in windless and currentless conditions then it would do 4 knots over ground against a 3 knot current.

That's how I'd do the math in that problem.
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  #28  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsl98 View Post
Slightly off topic at this point, but I am curious about the above statement, which seems to be a fairly common view. Is this actually an accurate statement? I have always thought that the current speed and direction will just affect the boat speed over ground, but have nothing to do with the speed through the water. Much like flying into a headwind where I believe air speeed stays constant but SOG drops off. Since I sail out of the Piscataqua River in NH, which is one of the fastest tidal estuaries in the US, this is a topic of some interest. Not a current problem, as I have plenty of power in my catboat, but significant for future purchases. Thanks
Current alone will not affect your 'speed through water', but of course will affect your VMG or SOG... You have that right.. it's the drag from the headwind and the chop that truly slows you down on raw boatspeed, esp if you're underpowered and have no reserve.
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  #29  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Julie,

Here's some easy boat shopping criteria....

Needs an engine = Rule it out
Has a Volvo = Rule it out
Needs deck work = Rule it out
Needs a keel re-set = Rule it out

I have many more I personally follow but the above four are ones I steer people on when asked. I am dead serious about the Volvo thing too...
As usual, Maine offers good advice. The price of Volvo parts rules them out to me. back in the 90's I spoke to the Volvo dealer at the boat show about parts prices. 0.30 over pistons for a small 4 cyl. were $500 EACH back then, when the whole engine was about $10K new. Outrageous and a clear explanation of why Volvo lost the small boat market that they once "owned".

By way of comparison, a set of 8 high performance 0.30 over pistons for a Chevy engine cost me $175 at about the same time.

Saildrives are also a deal killer. A keel re-set isn't that big a deal although it requires heavy equipment and takes time. I'd do it again if the price was right.

An engine is a far more complex decision. If it's rebuildable and you can do the rebuild yourself over the winter, it can be an extremely satisfying experience. You can get a new engine and better yet - a new engine compartment for not much money. Doing an A4 particularly is a job any mechanically inclined person is capable of. A big 4 cyl. diesel is another matter but still doable, particularly if you know an experienced person who will babysit you through it.

Swapping in like for like is fairly simple but time consuming - I did this with a one lung Yanmar (YSE8 out & YSM8 in for those in the know) and it took 5 weeks of spare time.

Swapping in a different engine can be a nightmare, particularly if you have "typical" sailboat access conditions. For boats with good access, like under the main cabin sole or table, it can be no more trouble than a "like for like" swap but in a boat where the engine was installed under the cockpit before the deck went on? Fugeddabatit.

As an example - My first engine swap was in a car. It was a chevy engine into a Buick wagon. Versions of that model came with both so I was able to use factory parts for most things but it was still a huge PITA. The accessories like starter, fuel pump, alternator etc. were on opposite sides so the wiring, fuel lines and so forth had to be custom made. The flex plate and torque converter used different bolt patterns, luckily the transmission had Chevy and Buick bolt patterns so it bolted up but otherwise? New trans.

It took all my spare time for two weeks in a hoist equipped shop to complete. Doing it or something similar in a typical sailboat doesn't bear thinking about.

Note: all the above is predicated on the owner enjoying serious boat work. If you only want to go sailing, ignore it and listen to Maine.

As to horsepower requirements - Skenes has a very detailed calculation for determining these, but it's old and probably doesn't meet modern requirements. In the G.O.D.'s, two ponies per ton was the rule of thumb. In the 70's that increased to four per ton and now, with big alternators and all the modern electrical req's I think five per ton would be more like it, even though the boats are slipperier and the props are better.

Incidentally, continuous rated shaft horses is the standard for this comparison in my experience, not max output or "at the prop" or any other method. As long as it's like for like, the comparison is valid.
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  #30  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Replacing the Auxiliary

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
As usual, Maine offers good advice. The price of Volvo parts rules them out to me. back in the 90's I spoke to the Volvo dealer at the boat show about parts prices. 0.30 over pistons for a small 4 cyl. were $500 EACH back then, when the whole engine was about $10K new. Outrageous and a clear explanation of why Volvo lost the small boat market that they once "owned".

By way of comparison, a set of 8 high performance 0.30 over pistons for a Chevy engine cost me $175 at about the same time.

Saildrives are also a deal killer. A keel re-set isn't that big a deal although it requires heavy equipment and takes time. I'd do it again if the price was right.

An engine is a far more complex decision. If it's rebuildable and you can do the rebuild yourself over the winter, it can be an extremely satisfying experience. You can get a new engine and better yet - a new engine compartment for not much money. Doing an A4 particularly is a job any mechanically inclined person is capable of. A big 4 cyl. diesel is another matter but still doable, particularly if you know an experienced person who will babysit you through it.

Swapping in like for like is fairly simple but time consuming - I did this with a one lung Yanmar (YSE8 out & YSM8 in for those in the know) and it took 5 weeks of spare time.

Swapping in a different engine can be a nightmare, particularly if you have "typical" sailboat access conditions. For boats with good access, like under the main cabin sole or table, it can be no more trouble than a "like for like" swap but in a boat where the engine was installed under the cockpit before the deck went on? Fugeddabatit.

As an example - My first engine swap was in a car. It was a chevy engine into a Buick wagon. Versions of that model came with both so I was able to use factory parts for most things but it was still a huge PITA. The accessories like starter, fuel pump, alternator etc. were on opposite sides so the wiring, fuel lines and so forth had to be custom made. The flex plate and torque converter used different bolt patterns, luckily the transmission had Chevy and Buick bolt patterns so it bolted up but otherwise? New trans.

It took all my spare time for two weeks in a hoist equipped shop to complete. Doing it or something similar in a typical sailboat doesn't bear thinking about.

Note: all the above is predicated on the owner enjoying serious boat work. If you only want to go sailing, ignore it and listen to Maine.

As to horsepower requirements - Skenes has a very detailed calculation for determining these, but it's old and probably doesn't meet modern requirements. In the G.O.D.'s, two ponies per ton was the rule of thumb. In the 70's that increased to four per ton and now, with big alternators and all the modern electrical req's I think five per ton would be more like it, even though the boats are slipperier and the props are better.

Incidentally, continuous rated shaft horses is the standard for this comparison in my experience, not max output or "at the prop" or any other method. As long as it's like for like, the comparison is valid.
Pretty much what I said at the top of the page, only Sloop said it better with more info. Julie, I don't know what you decided or are thinking about but as Maine and others suggested I think it would be more fun to go sailing than beating yourself to a pulp putting in a different engine. Just my opinion, offered at no cost, and FWIW.

Paul T
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