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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have the opportunity to purchase a decent 1984 C27 at a "give-away" price. I know that even a free boat can be expensive and have a clear understanding about that. This would be my first big boat that I would only expect to use a few season before passing it along.

The boat itself has been part of my boat club though at least two owners. The recent owner is NOT a sailor, nor is he handy with repair so when the diesel motor started running hot (possibly by excessive motoring - remember "not a sailor") he lost interest in the boat and now he wants out. I need to inspect the boat but it comes with three sails and is ready to sail. It's on the hard now, but just for the winter.

Of additional interest to me is the fact that this boat comes with the club mooring, something that there is a waiting list for normally.

Now my question. Where can I find diagrams on the cooling system of this boat and what are some common causes of running hot? It’s a diesel. Worth noting, I am very mechanical and build hot rods as a hobby. Engines don’t scare me.

Thanks,
Carl
 

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As someone who purports to be "very mechanical" I find it odd that you failed to include the engine make and model and whether it is fresh water cooled or salt.
There are so many generic possibilities from something as simple as the cooling water impeller to something less evident like the riser that the more info we have the better we can help you.
Without the boat actually being in the water, you are going to have a much more difficult time assessing the problem. And no, you cannot just stick a garden hose in the water intake for the engine when the boat is on the hard.
However, if the boat is cheap enough, it might be worth the price just to get the mooring, for your next boat. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As someone who purports to be "very mechanical" I find it odd that you failed to include the engine make and model and whether it is fresh water cooled or salt.
Well, when you don't own the boat it's hard to have the answers to these questions. The current owner doesn't know. Part of my question are what are some of these options.
 

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You need to find out what engine it has and if it has raw water cooled or not. A number of Catalinas of that vintage had raw water cooled Univeral 5411 diesels. If so and it's overheating, it could be heavily scaled in the cooling passages. That could mean a major repair or replacement. If freshwater cooled, it may be something as simple as a pump impeller, thermostat, or plugged exhaust elbow.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Helpful - thank you!



You need to find out what engine it has and if it has raw water cooled or not. A number of Catalinas of that vintage had raw water cooled Univeral 5411 diesels. If so and it's overheating, it could be heavily scaled in the cooling passages. That could mean a major repair or replacement. If freshwater cooled, it may be something as simple as a pump impeller, thermostat, or plugged exhaust elbow.
 

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The previous owner doesn’t know which engine he has.......that’s unbelievable. So that means you are buying a boat with zero maintainence. it shows a pattern of potential neglect.
He should be able to answer questions concerning the boat.
Do you have access to look at it.

The engine can become one of the most expensive system on the boat to repair. You questions are too general

I suggest you find out the make and model of the engine. On line manuals will exist
The engine must run in order to realistically diagnose the shortfalls.

You have some homework to do. I’d be careful purchasing this on other peoples say so

Cat 27 are good boats to learn on or have.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, the boat has been neglected, but only for a year. And yes I will take a look at it this weekend hopefully. I've asked him to reach out to the past previous owner for answer to these questions. It also occurs to me that he mentioned antifreeze being okay. I just remembered that. That would indicate a fresh-water system, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...and I should make clear, that I'm not asking the board for a diagnosis as I know this is impossible with the little info I have. Instead I'm hoping for direction on what systems I should be looking for so I can study how they work, which you guys have been providing. Thanks again!

~ Carl
 

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Yes, if there is antifreeze it is fresh water cooled. That is a good thing, because that likely eliminates the worst case scenario of clogged and corroded engine passages that you will find on an old raw water cooled engine.

There are still a number of things that will cause overheating, most of them easily fixable. My concern would be how many times and how long the engine has run in an overheated condition. That can do a lot of permanent damage.

Get more information on the engine and I'm sure we can help.



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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks SchockT, I agree about prolonged overheating.

~ Carl

There are still a number of things that will cause overheating, most of them easily fixable. My concern would be how many times and how long the engine has run in an overheated condition. That can do a lot of permanent damage.

Get more information on the engine and I'm sure we can help.



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If it turns out the engine is too expensive to fix, factor in the price of a used outboard (with a long shaft), and a mounting bracket. Compared to an inboard diesel, a gas outboard can be less reliable, become useless in a severe choppy sea, and have less range. But, it will be all you need 95% of the time if the inboard isn't worth repairing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very interesting, thanks for the idea. The boat would be used in Long Island sounds for day sails so I'm sure it's all I would need.

When researching, how to I determine my needs? Based on the boat size?

Thanks,
Carl

If it turns out the engine is too expensive to fix, factor in the price of a used outboard (with a long shaft), and a mounting bracket. Compared to an inboard diesel, a gas outboard can be less reliable, become useless in a severe choppy sea, and have less range. But, it will be all you need 95% of the time if the inboard isn't worth repairing.
 

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Most of the outboard powered C27s around here have around 8hp, which is more than enough.


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If I were going to repower a Cat 27 with an outboard it would be with a Yamaha 9.9 extra long shaft High Thrust with inboard throttle control. Figure about $3500.00 or so minimum. You will appreciate the extra HP and appreciate the extra thrust even more. Just a thought. Hopefully the diesel will be O.K. and you won't have to worry about the repower.
 

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So I read that you deduced that the engine is fresh water cooled and now girding your loins for a bolt on outboard. Some information seems to be lacking.
 

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So I read that you deduced that the engine is fresh water cooled and now girding your loins for a bolt on outboard. Some information seems to be lacking.
I think he is just looking at all possibilities. No need to get snarky.

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay, it seem like I haven't been very clear with my post. Let me try again.

About a year ago a club member sold his sailboat to a non-sailing neighbor - I think there was beer involved. The non-sailor joined the club, kept the club mooring that the boat always sat on and used the boat for one season. My understanding of his sailing season consisted of one sail with use of the main only. And I think some motoring around. I do not know the original owner as I'm new to the club but others know the boat and all have said it's a decent 27 Catalina. No known issues. The second owner whom I DO know just wants to walk away. He states the boat is running hot but I need more details about what that means, it's kinda vague. The boat is currently on the hard and is pre-payed to be put back in the water. The boat comes with the original mooring and tackle. There is a wait list at the club for moorings, but this boat is grandfathered and this to me is appealing.

To me, his asking price is negligible and if I can get a season of two out of the boat with minimal additional expense this could be a good first "big" boat. Currently I'm a sunfish owner.

I plan to see the boat this weekend, but before I do I wanted some basic info on the cooling systems of diesel engines for sailboats. I've just finished rebuilding a 1952 Ford flathead motor for the 1930 Hot Rod I'm building, so I know how to turn a wrench, what I didn't know, until stated above, were the two types of cooling systems. I also didn't know that should this motor be to costly to repair there is still another option.

All this info is helpful and appreciated. Snarky comments are a little less helpful but also appreciated. :grin

~ Carl

So I read that you deduced that the engine is fresh water cooled and now girding your loins for a bolt on outboard. Some information seems to be lacking.
 

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Okay, it seem like I haven't been very clear with my post. Let me try again.



About a year ago a club member sold his sailboat to a non-sailing neighbor - I think there was beer involved. The non-sailor joined the club, kept the club mooring that the boat always sat on and used the boat for one season. My understanding of his sailing season consisted of one sail with use of the main only. And I think some motoring around. I do not know the original owner as I'm new to the club but others know the boat and all have said it's a decent 27 Catalina. No known issues. The second owner whom I DO know just wants to walk away. He states the boat is running hot but I need more details about what that means, it's kinda vague. The boat is currently on the hard and is pre-payed to be put back in the water. The boat comes with the original mooring and tackle. There is a wait list at the club for moorings, but this boat is grandfathered and this to me is appealing.



To me, his asking price is negligible and if I can get a season of two out of the boat with minimal additional expense this could be a good first "big" boat. Currently I'm a sunfish owner.



I plan to see the boat this weekend, but before I do I wanted some basic info on the cooling systems of diesel engines for sailboats. I've just finished rebuilding a 1952 Ford flathead motor for the 1930 Hot Rod I'm building, so I know how to turn a wrench, what I didn't know, until stated above, were the two types of cooling systems. I also didn't know that should this motor be to costly to repair there is still another option.



All this info is helpful and appreciated. Snarky comments are a little less helpful but also appreciated. :grin



~ Carl
Marine diesel engines are quite simple. If the engine starts easily then the compression is probably ok. If it is fresh water cooled then the cooling passages in the block are probably ok, and you are left with the raw water pump, the raw water heat exchanger, the fresh water pump impeller, and the thermostat. All pretty easy to fix.

If you have the skills to rebuild a car engine then pulling a small marine diesel out and overhauling it would be simple for you.

Assuming the rest of the boat is sound, just grab it. Just understand that there is guaranteed to be lots of little repairs and projects needed.

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Yes, if there is antifreeze it is fresh water cooled. That is a good thing, because that likely eliminates the worst case scenario of clogged and corroded engine passages that you will find on an old raw water cooled engine.
Get more information on the engine and I'm sure we can help.
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Just to throw another wrench into the works - we've put antifreeze into our raw water cooled engine every winter for the past 20-some years. Cedar needs to look at the thing and see for himself what the deal is. On the other hand, our raw-water-cooled engine is from 1982, so... they can still run a long time.
 

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Good to know and I will check. He did say there "antifreeze was full" when he was using it.

Just to throw another wrench into the works - we've put antifreeze into our raw water cooled engine every winter for the past 20-some years. Cedar needs to look at the thing and see for himself what the deal is. On the other hand, our raw-water-cooled engine is from 1982, so... they can still run a long time.
 
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