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post #1 of 40 Old 12-26-2012 Thread Starter
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What engine do I need?

I am in process of purchasing a first sailboat. I am looking at various makes/models in the 27-30' range. I have seen several Catalinas, Cals, S2, and Tartan boats. My preference would be something with an inboard small diesel for those days when sailing is not possible due to weather or ICW cruising. I know that some do this via an outboard but I would prefer inboard largely to avoid the porpoise effect of waves bringing the outboard out of the water.

The price range I am looking in has me finding boats with either very worn or very dead inboard diesels of the Universal, Volvo, or Yanmar sort. Wanting something reliable I am now thinking of going the repowering route. That way I use the dead engine argument to get the boat price down and use the savings to get something new or newly rebuilt. Now, I know almost nothing about small marine diesel engines for sailboats. Can someone please advise me? What make/model would you recommend? What is the best way to locate such an engine, and what would I be looking at cost-wise (roughly)? Money is an object. I am hoping to pay just around $4k for the boat. So several thousand dollars in a repower is out of the question. I guess in some ways I am looking for a primer in smaller marine diesels for sailboats in the 27' range.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

Where are you looking? If you are in the US, I'm confident that you could find a Catalina 27 in reasonable shape with a running A-4 in the 4-5 thousand dollar range.

A re-power is gonna coast more than you might think. You will have a 10K motor in a 4K boat. Now you have spent 14K on a boat that might be worth 10K on a good day, and the depreciation curve will be steep the first few years. In short time you will have a 6K boat even as you continue to fix and upgrade other stuff.

Save up a little longer and get the vessel you need/want. JMHO/YMMV.
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post #3 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
Where are you looking? If you are in the US, I'm confident that you could find a Catalina 27 in reasonable shape with a running A-4 in the 4-5 thousand dollar range.

A re-power is gonna coast more than you might think. You will have a 10K motor in a 4K boat. Now you have spent 14K on a boat that might be worth 10K on a good day, and the depreciation curve will be steep the first few years. In short time you will have a 6K boat even as you continue to fix and upgrade other stuff.

Save up a little longer and get the vessel you need/want. JMHO/YMMV.
What he said is do not use your hard earned money to buy the engine that you will never able to recover the money you spent. Look harder and be patient, there must be lots of these entry level boats around.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

Much better to pay a little more for a boat in good condition with a solid motor.
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post #5 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

rb,

Either you are having extremely bad luck, or your evaluation of engines is a tad off.

Diesels are workhorses, and they are hard to kill. I've seen some really, REALLY ugly engines that you'd swear (based on appearances) are suitable only as a mooring anchor; many of them ran like champs.

I'm currently tearing down and rebuilding my Perkins 4.108. She looked like death warmed over before I started, but that same engine faithfully took us all the way around on America's Great Loop needing nothing more than regular oil changes.
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post #6 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

At what you want to spend you won't be able to repower, and if you did it wouldn't be worth it unless you keep the boat for a very long time. May want to reconsider an outboard. In a well with a long shaft you may avoid the porposing you refer to. They're a lot easier to pu;l and fix up in your garage and in a reasonable size will have the power for a boat in the size you're looking at. You can always keep the engine if you sell the boat.

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post #7 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbyham View Post
I am in process of purchasing a first sailboat. I am looking at various makes/models in the 27-30' range. I have seen several Catalinas, Cals, S2, and Tartan boats. My preference would be something with an inboard small diesel for those days when sailing is not possible due to weather or ICW cruising. I know that some do this via an outboard but I would prefer inboard largely to avoid the porpoise effect of waves bringing the outboard out of the water.

The price range I am looking in has me finding boats with either very worn or very dead inboard diesels of the Universal, Volvo, or Yanmar sort. Wanting something reliable I am now thinking of going the repowering route. That way I use the dead engine argument to get the boat price down and use the savings to get something new or newly rebuilt. Now, I know almost nothing about small marine diesel engines for sailboats. Can someone please advise me? What make/model would you recommend? What is the best way to locate such an engine, and what would I be looking at cost-wise (roughly)? Money is an object. I am hoping to pay just around $4k for the boat. So several thousand dollars in a repower is out of the question. I guess in some ways I am looking for a primer in smaller marine diesels for sailboats in the 27' range.

Thanks in advance.
I agree with others who have suggested paying a bit more for a boat that has a good engine. If the engine is beat there's probably a good chance that the rest of the boat is too, and then you're looking at even more repair work. A diesel should last a long time if it's well maintained and if you're looking at older boats the engine may already have been rebuilt or replaced. I think your approach is just limiting your own options.
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post #8 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

Watch out for the price [ nosebleed ] and availability [ hens teeth ] of spares on old Volvos.
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post #9 of 40 Old 12-26-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

Hey,

Welcome to Sailnet.

IMHO, for a cheap boat, it doesn't make any financial sense to put a lot of money into a cheap boat. And, if you have to pay someone to do the work, there is no way to do it economically. Either spend a little more upfront and get something with a decent engine (best choice) or put a real cheap outboard on the stern and make the best of it.

Barry

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post #10 of 40 Old 12-27-2012
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Re: What engine do I need?

Do not touch any sailboat with an old Volvo in it.
You will get absolutely savaged for the cost of spare parts.
Indeed I would never touch a Volvo, old or new.
The Volvo sticker price is competitive when you buy a new motor. It has to be or no-one will buy them. Later, you find out that Volvo have got their teeth into you.

In 1998, they wanted £1300 (close to $2000) for an exhaust manifold for what was then a 20 year old motor.
The equivalent part for a Lister-Petter was £180.... yes folks, that's 1/7 of what Volvo wanted.
Volvo argued that 20 years was " old" (so much for longevity of Volvos).
The motors are strong enough, but you cannot build any meaningful relationship with a manufacturer like Volvo, nor would you wish to.
My next motor will be a Kubota.
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