1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years?? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-14-2013 Thread Starter
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1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

Ok, here is a strange question (or not). I am looking to buy a boat here in the PacNW that is 23 years old (built in 1990). The boat has had four owners and was in a timeshare yacht club for two years. The boat is listed as having approx. 1300 hrs. on the motor meter. What to you folks think? Sound about right... low? Thoughts?

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post #2 of 32 Old 04-14-2013
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I don't know, my 35 yo 4-108 has 2750hrs, so, I'd say plausible

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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I've heard that the average is around 100 hours per year so it's low. Also, that ownership history kind of implies heavier than normal usage.

Definitely in the realm of possibility though - lots of boats sit at the dock.

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post #4 of 32 Old 04-14-2013
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I would say as long as you have no smoke and the oil smells good I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think I have about 15k on mine getting a bit smokey but ok for another 5 years I think LOL
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post #5 of 32 Old 04-14-2013
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I have a 35 year old Perkins 4.108 with 2097 hrs. I put 544 hrs on her since 2008.

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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

Prior to the purchase of our vessel we not only had a boat survey but also had a separate engine survey conducted as the total number of engine hours didn't add up..
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

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Originally Posted by aa3jy View Post
Prior to the purchase of our vessel we not only had a boat survey but also had a separate engine survey conducted as the total number of engine hours didn't add up..
This is a very good idea, as nearly all primary surveys disclaim the engine. They look for leaks, make sure it starts, goes in gear, etc. Pretty much only the stuff you could do yourself.


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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I had a 30 year old boat that had just under 1,200 hours on the original engine (Westerbeke 21). The boat was not a dock queen. Believe it or not, some foks actually sail their boats. I know I do. When the wind dies down, I just go....slower.

Seriously, if the motor was mostly used to get in and out of the marina and the boat was used for day sailing and fairly short cruises, then the engine hours are certainly plausible.

But, I'm not sure that low hours for an old diesel is necessarily a good thing. Experts will have to chime in, but I understand they like to run..

I second the advice you've gotten on having a separate engine survey. In my mind, it's worth every cent you'll pay for it.


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post #9 of 32 Old 04-14-2013
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

If the boat was used for coastal cruising, the hours sound low. Most coastal cruisers use their engine way more than they'd like to admit, and even if you are willing to sail no matter what and sail no matter how slow, if you are anchoring out you need some engine time to keep the batteries up. Believe me the wind always blows from wherever you are headed, and then shifts to do the same on your way back

If the boat was mostly used for day sails, then it's possible, but I'd bet it was a dock queen for a number of its years.
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-14-2013
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Re: 1300 hrs. on sailboat engine in 23 years??

I know up here in the northeast the average weekend boater will put 50 hours a season on the motor. So the math is close to what you're seeing for hours on the boat in question.

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