SailNet Community banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to purchase a 1973 Islander 36. The boat looks in great shape for it's age. The engine starts, smoke looks good, then ran clear, water was discharging and seemed normal, but I was not able to get it to overheat as I did not run long enough in marina perhaps. It's been 30+ years since I have been on a sailboat and I can't find a mechanic or someone with knowledge to even begin to troubleshoot? If I have to repower, I will can't find an engine. Do captains have to become mechanics on these older boats? Can you even get parts? I believe it is the old Pathfinder engine.

Do I forget about this boat and find another? I am told to look for Yanmar or Volvo equipped sailboats only. Is that the best route to take?

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Kinda lost here. How do you know the engine overheats?

If it does overheat, that's generally not a reason to replace the engine. Diagnose and repair.

How many hours on the engine? If a reliable number is available.

I don't know much about the Volkswagen Pathfinder diesels other than the timing belts can be a problem and should be replaced periodically.

Do captains/boat owners need to be mechanics? In my opinion, it pays to be handy. Maintenance on a boat is constant, and we're talking about a boat made in 1973. Not being a mechanic shouldn't exclude you from sailing, but you are likely to use the skills you have and develop new ones.

Yanmar, yes. But Volvo? From what I've heard, old Volvo's are the stuff of nightmares with regard to the cost of repair parts. Crazy money. I'd be comfy with most Yanmars and Universals, but if I start naming other diesels, I'll just get myself in trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
Do captains have to become mechanics on these older boats?
Siamese put it graciously but the short answer is yes you're going to need to become a mechanic. Of sorts at least. Learning curve is pretty steep if you're like me and have an aversion to wrenching. Alternative is to have a fat wallet that you don't mind having to constantly empty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Siamese put it graciously but the short answer is yes you're going to need to become a mechanic. Of sorts at least. Learning curve is pretty steep if you're like me and have an aversion to wrenching. Alternative is to have a fat wallet that you don't mind having to constantly empty.
Yeah...my skills are minimal, but reasonably appropriate for the boating I do. I can change my oil and filter, service air and fuel filters, drain and fill coolant, adjust/replace belt, service stuffing box, adjust valves, adjust cables, bleed fuel system, change oil in transmission, replace hoses, etc.. I'm not going to rebuild the engine, and my diagnostic skills are minimal, but it's rare that I need professional assistance.

If you're looking at a 1973 sailboat, I'm going to assume you're not made out of money, so a set of tools and some skill will save you large $$$$. Imagine doing your own work before there was an internet (shudder).

I can't say that I'm exactly having fun when I'm working on my engine or doing other maintenance on my boat. But I view sailboat ownership as more than just sailing the boat. For me, it's managing the boat and being personally responsible for it being safe/seaworthy. I get that plenty of owners just write a check to the professionals for all their maintenance, but there's a part of me that says, if you do that, who wipes your butt?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,039 Posts
As has been said, how do you know the engine overheats if you didn't run it long enough to see it for yourself? In general, this is a problem that can be fixed without too much trouble. The engine runs, water comes out the exhaust (so pump works), all good signs. Could be something a simple as a thermostat.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top