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Hans Christian 39 Pilothouse; Rebuild oldd engine versus repower with new

9661 Views 46 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Rockter
Hans Christian 39 Pilothouse; Rebuild/Replace old engine versus Repower with New

First off let me preface this by saying this not your ordinary boat buy, well perhaps it was. We fell in love with what she could be, not what she was.

Her hull is gorgeous, and one of four still water worthy of the 9 made.

When we got her however she was someone else's project vessel they had thrown in the towel on. She is now our dream manifested.

Our old engine is a Yanmar 3qm30H with the Kanzaki KH18.

It is dead. Doornail dead. Needs to be rebuilt or replace dead. On top of that we are already going to be redoing the following due to her condition.


Our options are as follows.

1. Buy a rebuilt engine from Schooner Bay Imported Motors in WI, have it shipped out and installed or install it. The Rebuilt is $4200+core (fee or engine our call).

Pros- This engine requires no new stringers.

Fits existing mounts. Was what the boat was built with.

Much less $$$

Cons- Very hard to get parts for if something does fail.

Leave the very large boat still slightly under modern power safety
suggestions (though we care not for motor sailing and would rather
become better sailors).

No solid review information about Schooner Bay to be found. What
can be found is mixed, at best.

1a. Have Mack Boring rebuild our current block and get a rebuild Kanzaki from a guy known to be the best in the business.

Pros/Cons- The same, excepting we may spend a little more.

2. Repower with a Yanmar 75hp. This engine will cost us about $11-12,000. In addition this will not fit the current stringers. We tried that last year and it was a 6 month debacle costing us more than stringer work would have to have the repower marine specialists try and fail for 6 months to do so with every configuration they could muster. Stringers are a must.

Pros- Brand New

Easy to source parts for

No longer slightly underpowered

Cons- Engine is easily twice as much (that is kitty money or money for
other systems it is eating)

Stringer work is another 6,000 to 10,000 dollars based on our
current estimates

Possibly more power than we truly need, since modern suggestions
assume motor sailing

Some other things about this boat.

She is heavy. About 30k with all her original gear on her but without people or food or water.

She is large. 38 feet LOA, 33 feet LWL, with bowsprit/pulpit and pushpit on her we come in just a hair under 50' (49'11") with a 6 foot draft.

The repower specialist we are using in Everett Washington considers her underpowered to the point they are afraid for our safety under 33hp should we encounter adverse conditions.

I need some help on this one as I am not knowledgeable enough to make this call without professional advise.

I could theoretically afford the repower. It would put my kitty back a good chunk and that money could do many of the other systems I need to do.

I know, falling in love with a hull is a lot of work. And she is an odd one.

But We love her to death and she is the most beautiful thing in the work yard. People come over form their boats just to ask us about her and most realize ho rare she is.

We could not be happier with the choice, we just want to do right by her and ourselves. We are not wealthy by any means but are at least able to do what needs to be done.

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Since you make no mention of sails or sailing. I'd say go for the new engine..

I will also say something doesn't "add" up; How much for "stringers"?? Yikes!

The old Yanmar. "dead"? What does that mean? It's a Yanmar! even the old ones are highly desirable.

I'm far from a HP expert but a 30 HP diesel pushing a 39ft doublender Is probably NOT terribly "you will die" under powered.

Do you actually own this boat and has it been surveyed?

Photos would do allot for answering the questions you need answered. Or is it so bad you don't want it seen?
Callie I don't mean to sound insensitive. But reading your other posts it seems you are easy to get big bucks from. Are you in a partnership on this project? (going by the names and posts)

I'm shocked what it cost you to ship this boat also!

Sincerely.. find a contractor type and pay them a fee to manage this project, it's costing you allot and I'm guessing way more then then it should.

Stringers for engines are not usually a big problem, But again, without photos no one here will be able to help very much.
too much mystery .. good luck.
Callie, you probably don't realize the collective expertise that's available here on Sailnet.

There are some very well known and respected naval architects, boat design specialists, Builders, Mechanical systems experts, HVAC :) Electricial. Rigging, Experts in just about anything pertaining to any boat. laying a tape measure out and taking photos of things can get you lots of expert help and possibly save you many thousands. I just went through 6 mails to a tractor parts co. in MI. but a photo of the engine water pump turned the key. got the new one.. perfect fit!

Plus we all love looking at pictures! My projects are full of photos here on SN and I've received lots of help too.

Engine beds and repower projects are not rocket science. It's all quite DIY friendly actually. One gentleman here replaced the shaft log to match the new engine angle rather then change the "stringers"

I've studied boat design all my life. Mostly wooden boats. Only built small boats with my son. but My dreams were larger then yours. :) Funds and dreams have a way of limiting each other...
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I'm still looking for the layout and dimensioned drawings from the owners site. Hans Christian Owners Association (HCOA)
It's a rare bird. but I'm guessing it's hull isn't.

The old engine can be made as new. question is, what about it is bad? locked up, rusted from immersion? "it's bad" is not a very professional answer if that is all you were told.

Stringers are just the fiberglass equivalent to old white oak timbers used for ages.. even when boats had steam engines. I'd be surprised if your stringers are not built up plywood with glass covering it.
Raw horsepower does not mean a faster boat in the case of displacement hulls. Determine theoretical hull speed, then consider the type of motoring to be done. Should give you a more realistic number. "Someone" felt 30ish HP was right for the boat. 30 to 75? That's allot!

The engine bed is too high for the monster engine someone has convinced you into needing. There is, a very good chance the old engine bed is rotted inside the glass anyway.
I don't see a big problem. I see the tops of the rails being cut down and new glass laid on with epoxy Yielding stronger then the original again.. not rocket science.
maybe Charlie could chime in here he's saved many boats and very comfortable with the things pertaining your restoration.

I found a post of yours on this HC39 blog site

Someone has done the Yanmar 75 install and offered help!

Heather Doriy


So I'm looking at this re-power thing again, but I need help.

I want to put in the 75 hp Yanmar, but can't find a way to make the 13in-18in drop to the shaft. I've looked at EVERY transmission I can find.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE could someone through me line on this?

June 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

Joe Semon

I repowered using a 75 hp Yanmar. I used a 3:1 ZF gearbox. I reused the existing prop and shaft, only had to narrow the engine bed 2″ and lengthen it back. I have photos if you wish to see.

June 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

Shame you aren't local to me I'd be in there with a sawzall myself! LOL I love this kind of stuff!
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some really good reading here.

And this is a photo journal of a repower. smaller boat but the work is about the same. Replacing the Diesel Engine. | Cruising Under
Just a by the way.. Bob Perry
is also on Sailnet and he's designed a few of the Hans Christian models.
It's not like we can help you by driving down to see you, which is why photos with measurements can work to solve problems online.
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Good luck!
I''d still get in touch with someone like Bob Perry about that horsepower. But I guess you already have the engine..

And someone has offered to help you and send photos of his 75 hp Yanmar in his HC39 that he did himself.
to post photos set up an online account like photo bucket. then it's easy to copy and paste the direct link to the forum by using the insert photo link on the page
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Looks pretty typical of an engine bed but Stepped? interesting. Nice and clean! how did you manage that? :)
Callie those stringers are not anything special. Hand laid up glass on wood. they also don't look like you need a rocket designer to cut them down or even make new and glass them in. I'd use epoxy for the lay up. the new paint though pretty will be a problem and need to be ground off. The hull is what, about 1.5-2 " thick in the turn of the bilges? Heavy boat. Pretty too! I found her photo but didn't want to post it.

Not sure about Yammar's transmissions but ZF has some like this. which is what you may need, due the drop of the shaft from the engine height. Looks the old was the same type.

the Yanmar engine is about 20" wide at the mounts

There is a method to get the alignment perfect for a new engine by using laser pointers and a mock up frame that has the engine dimension rather then drop and fit, pull and drop and fit and pull and dro.... well that's tedious.
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someone took it apart and left it... happens all the time. the cylinders are pressed in liners lest I'm mistaken Minn
Maybe Callie is "locked in" with the re power outfit. hope not!
Sounds like a plan Callie! Please do keep us posted? I know when I try to help online it often looks like "another heavy hitter" trying to tell someone what to do, even though it's really not meant that way.

Project boats and the people reviving them deserve all the praise we can muster because; they are usually saving a vessel worth saving!

Good luck on the paint!
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