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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 03-08-2013
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Buying a boat with a non running diesel

How bad of an idea is this? I have heard great things about diesel engines, but there seem to be alot of boats with engines not running in my price range.

That's probably why they're in my price range, no?

Anyways, how bad are they to fix. There are currently two boats I want to see this week and one says they don't know whats wrong, but it was working last year, and the other says it runs, but only on one cylindar.

I know without seeing the engine, there's really no way to know how much it would cost to fix, but I asume unless it's really just an old neglected rustbucket it's fixable right?

Do you usually have someone fix it in the water or pull it?

About how much does it cost to pull and reinstall an engine on 27 foot boats?

Once they are working are they reliable? Say I got a boat, got the engine working and took good care of it like I treat my truck are they good reliable engines that won't strand me in the channel or are older boat diesel's notorious for trouble.

Both these are Yanmar if that helps. Thanks for any advice you may have. I really want a boat ready to go, and there are other's besides these, but they all have outboards and these both look like alot of boat for the money. But I did buy a Cascade 29 with a really terrible neglected inboard and regretted that one time.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

My experience is that "commercial" diesel repair can be quite expensive by the hour. If you can locate a good diesel mechanic who free lances and charges about half of what the commercial shops charge, that is the way to go. He will take a little longer and will have to shag parts, but will take a personal interest in your engine. Try to find someone with a local history of good work. Try to anticipate your parts needs and be time flexible so that you are not at the mercy of the local parts supply houses, who frequently charge top dollar. I recently had to purchase a new Perkins heat exchanger in the British Virgin Islands for $1300 that I could have purchased refurbished up here in the states for $450. Nuf said!!
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

here is what is wrong with the one boat's engine that I like.


I know exactly what is wrong with the Yanmar. It needs a new head. It cracked. I found one eventually in florida. I don't konw if they still have it. but it was 1,000. The exhaust manifold needs to be replaced. . . .The motor and transmission work perfectly and the piston and rings have good compression. I took sanded and polished the motor and painted it all pretty with a brite blue paint. Looks really nice. The alternator and starter were expensive . .they are a couple of years old. There is a new fresh water strainer. And the the raw water / coolant water heat ex changer is from something else but is way over built and very good. I just put in a new fuel filter. . . . It has a lot of potential and probably is the most economical way to re power is just to fix the motor. . .Oh yea I have the manual / parts / assemble / book. According to the Yanmar dealer the book is gold. . .
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Which Yanmar is it?
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

that i'll have to find out. it's on a San Juan 28
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Cracked head, but they know the compressions are good? Heat exchanger is not the correct part, but thinks its better? Full painted but not correct color.

While many owners are fully competent, I assume the worst in these scenarios.

Sometimes, in boats of that size, to R&R the motor requires surgery to the hatch or decking. Be sure you're well prepared for what you are getting in to.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Why settle for an inoperable inboard in this market? There appear to be plenty of nice older bargains with working engines.

If the owner is not willing to fix the engine in order to sell the boat, there are probably numerous other problems awaiting you.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Like James says above, if the motor isn't up to speed, what else has suffered a lack of proper care.

If you can do the work yourself, and are confident that it'll be right - good deal, else wise, walk away.
Boats don't have to be holes in the water that owners throw money into, it's usually the owner that causes the hole to get deep (er) than it needs to be.
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Old 03-08-2013
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Anyways, how bad are they to fix. There are currently two boats I want to see this week and one says they don't know whats wrong, but it was working last year, and the other says it runs, but only on one cylindar.
Marine diesel engines are pretty simple. That said, working on them can be difficult because most are crammed into the boat without good access. Most are rusted, old, difficult to see, touch, and get at. Then there are the parts: expensive, rare, and not easy to obtain. There are the mechanics: again, expensive, rare, and not easy to obtain .

Quote:
Do you usually have someone fix it in the water or pull it?

About how much does it cost to pull and reinstall an engine on 27 foot boats?

Once they are working are they reliable? Say I got a boat, got the engine working and took good care of it like I treat my truck are they good reliable engines that won't strand me in the channel or are older boat diesel's notorious for trouble.
Typical maintenance can be done with the engine installed. This includes things like water pump changes, fuel injector changes, exhaust, etc. If you need to remove the head, or change the transmission, or something like, it will completely depend on the particular installation.

IMHO, and engine that has been maintained and is in decent running condition will last a very long time and be very reliable. Provide clean fuel, run it at proper RPM and temperature, and it will go and go and go.

Quote:
But I did buy a Cascade 29 with a really terrible neglected inboard and regretted that one time.
This is the real thing. Who is going to work on the engine? Again, IMHO, if you have to pay to get the engine going, you are probably going to end up unhappy. If you have the skills, time, and patience to work on the engine yourself, you can come out way ahead. But, without knowing a whole lot more, you are looking at a real crapshoot.

Good luck,
Barry
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Re: Buying a boat with a non running diesel

Ok, thanks for the advice. I just always find these boats whenever I'm looking for a sailboat and get tempted.

I think hmm, I could get this perfect catalina 25 or US 25, or wait, here's a newport 28 and a San Juan 28 and they look so pretty, why, if I could get that engine running I'd have a much nicer boat

When in reality I am good at maintenance and sailing, and not good at repairs, so it would probably not get done, and I'd be the guy with an outboard tied to the back of the boat with lifelines, trying to motor 6 nm up the channel and against the tide and not making any headway. And then I'd probably end up not going out as mucvh because my engine is broken and it's a pain in the ass.

The boats are probably a good deal, for someone that knows more than me and is wiling to put in the work. You guys' are right.

And it's true. I think in one of the boats, it's like a single mom getting divorced and needs the money, but who knows, if the engine doesn't work, how good did they take care of anything else. It's funny, I promised myself no boats with broken engines, and here I am wanting boats with broken engines. Just so you can see the deal and why I would want it though, here is one link.

Newport 28' Sailboat
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