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

9663 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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Now we are talking choice of engine. I really like a 60hp isuzie for your situation. no blower and parts redly available anywhere.(small truck ) I installed a 100 hp with a hurth 630 for the needed step down. Cheaper and way more rugged than a Yami. I would hang the engine on a chain block and 4x4s or whatever underneath. and make up arms to reach out or up for the rubber mounts. The rears are simply bent J's to make the width(5/8 x 3) If they bolt to the block rather than the tranny, better. The fronts can be a bit more complex as they can have larger pads for mounting alt or hydraulics .Drill some likely bolt holes before installation for use later.Make sure you move everything forw'd far enough to clear things like oil filter, fuel pump re/re .A new shaft is cheap compared to unhappy every time you look at it.If you run out of stringer length, just grind and glass on an extension.Nothing you can't do yourself with all of us looking over your shoulder.
Maybe Callie is "locked in" with the re power outfit. hope not!
I am not locked in.

However, I am veritably locked in (by my own choosing) for a few reasons.

1) I want this done in a reasonable time frame and both teaching myself how to and doing it will eat up time I can spend on project parts I am more comfortable with (electric systems, wiring, head systems, tiling in the head, water systems, teak/brightwork, etc). I can then learn about engines through servicing first and build my knowledge.

2) I want the warranty on my engine that comes with using an authorized dealer. Since I plan to start in the Sound for a while it is good to have a warranty in my home port.

3) My marina is not cheap for things like boom truck/fork lifting. $150 an hour and a minimum of 1.5 hours. This can add up really fast. Though the framework method would alleviate some of it.

4) I do not have to pay work yard fees for the entire time my boat is in the repower shop, AND, the guys there will let us work on her when they are not. Free work yard hours is a big bonus when it costs $2500/month to be in the work yard! That is a month or so for free, before we work from the slip.

5) My knowledge of marine diesel engines and systems is limited, by working with these chaps on this I am able to pickle their brain on other systems. Similar to what I can do here but face to face.

6) They have proven time and again to not be greedy, telling me if I do not need to add something, or pointing out cheaper ways to do something. They are also quick to point me to thing I can do solo and have generally been very helpful.

7) They are going to be spraying her for us as well, we will have sanded, washed, and taped her off by the time they get her so it is going to be a less expensive paint job. But seeing as how they are doing two major jobs for us. One of which we are not allowed to do in out Marina, working with them on both makes a good deal of sense. We are not allowed to erect a tent and spray her ourselves in the work yard, it is roll on and brush back, or let them spray her. Spray looks better and is much less labor if we do all the prep.

Now I know that with the combined knowledge of everyone here I could likely do this myself. I intend to utilize this forum to build on my knowledge simultaneously anyways. But I am also younger, and still work full time. After Tuesday, when my vacation is over I am able to work on the boat from about 6am-11am then I have to run to work for a full day; after which the yard is closed. I cannot afford to keep her for months in the work yard with so little time to work on her. Moving it over to their shop alleviates that part of the financial burden. Allowing me to do work on her this month and then not having to pay yard fees next (though still being able to do some work), after which we can work in slip ($500/mo as opposed to $2500/mo).

On a final note, one side is sanded and evened out to be washed with cleaner today. Teak gunwale on the port side is almost sanded of its white aging and should be done today. Starboard side paint should be sanded and ready by tomorrow, with me getting to the gunwhale starboard tomorrow to begin it if I can finish the port side today. Cockpit's ancient teak caulking is almost removed so we can begin up there. Moving along.

Engine decision should be made tomorrow once I talk to the distributor and get some actual measurements. It is looking like the 54 hp naturally aspirated is going to be smaller. But considering the similarities between the 4jh5e, 4jh4te, and 4jh4hte I have to be careful to make sure.

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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!
I almost bought one of the 9 about 10 years ago. It's name was (is?) Jolly Mon. The owner had repowered with an Izuzu 50 or 60hp I think, and he was very happy with it as it was underpowered with the original engine. It was sold to someone in Washington and had been resold a few years later I believe. I would try Googleing it and maybe you can get some insight and contact with a current owner. Good Luck!
Hi Callie, I have sold 3 44HC pilothouses in the last 18 months. Two are getting total refits. I may be able to answer some questions. Sincerely Shane uwhuskies00 at
Callie :

That's a big ship. Similar in hull form to my own USC Polaris 36. That 38 probably displaces about 27,000 lb (or so).
My old 36 weighs in at about 23,000 (laden) and a Volvo 35 hp with a twin blade prop moves her well in all but a forward swell.
You might be a bit underpowered with a 30 hp, but not too often.
The pilot house form of that ship will have a higher frontal area but not much more than you would have with a spray hood.

Don't pay anyone $10,000 for stringers for a new engine (or $6,000). Tell them to get lost.

Contact Beta Marine for another motor. They claim to be able to drop a new motor in to existing mounts, and they may be able to take you up to nearer 40 hp (possibly more) without too much of a problem. You may be able to find a used Beta Marine motor that will fit, with new mounting legs.

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