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Old 08-07-2012, 12:55   #1
dfw
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Grand Banks Express 38

Hi
We are looking at purchasing a Grand Banks East Bay 38. It has the Cat 3208 375 HP diesels. Does anyone have experience with this boat who could give us some feedback on the good/bad/ugly aspects of them?
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Old 08-07-2012, 16:05   #2
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Check on boatdiesel.com. Just search for that engine and you get a wealth of info.
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Old 11-07-2012, 21:22   #3
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That's a lot of hp to get out of a 3208, most of the 3208s I worked on we're 175 to 250 hp. Call a Cat dealer & get a mechanical survey before you buy. They were also what we referred to as "throw a way" engines because they were a parent bore block. Cat used to sell factory remanned complete engines for $5000.00 that was 15 - 20 years ago. Good Luck
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:27   #4
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, dfw.
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Old 28-07-2012, 08:53   #5
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Thanks for feedback on the diesel engines; we have learned a lot about issues/copncerns about both CAT 3116 and 3208's. What we are finding is that, the cockpit soles on these boats is an issue. The teak is screwed into the fibreglass/core and once worn can allow moisture to penetrate. This apparently is especially true with the hatch covers. Does anyone have experience with removal and replacement of the teak in the cockpit sole?
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Old 29-07-2012, 06:16   #6
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How old is the boat? The newer models have the teak decking installed with adhesive to overcome that exact problem which plagued many older boats regardless of make.
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Old 29-07-2012, 06:31   #7
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

The 3208 was good for that much power late in its life, in turbocharged and aftercooled format even up to 425/450 HP depending on the application/rating. It was introduced at 150 and 210 HP ratings in the early 70's but was developed significantly to get reasonable power density. You should get the full service records plus have oil analysis done that includes a particle count. Your local Cat dealer could evaluate the condition with some simple procedures.
Good luck !!
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Old 04-08-2012, 20:42   #8
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Having paid top notch diesel guys to survey four CAT 3208 375hps in two different Eastbay 38s earlier this year, I will share my experiences for what's its worth.

The CAT 3208 is a great, older technology, loud, gas guzzling diesel that fits the EB 38 very well IF properly maintained. They make the boat perform.

The boats I had surveyed ended up with several raw water leaks (causing significant corrosion), after coolers in need of cleaning, suspect turbo cartridges, missing zincs, factory settings tampered with, flange issues, oil leaks, failing to meet RPMs, excessive heat at exhaust, etc.

Unless you have a moonlighter who works cheap, plan to drop $5k per engine post-survey to bring them up to snuff for ones that were pretty well maintained. Because they run so well and owners either don't open the engine room hatch to see what is actually going on or they don't care what is going on in the engine room, issues pop up. The entire EB 38 fleet is aging so plan accordingly. They are great boats, but in the this economy some folks stopped doing the regular and preventive maintenance.
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Old 04-08-2012, 20:49   #9
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Thanks bwo for your personal experience. You seem to be feeling the same frustration we are concerning the deferred maintenance.
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Old 04-08-2012, 21:12   #10
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

Frustration? You called it.

Being out of pocket close to $10k in multiple airfares, hotels, car rentals, engine surveyors, hull surveyors, fluid samples analyses but still no boat to show for it, yes my wife and I are frustrated with the EB 38 market. It was shocking to us that such high end boats, owned by folks with very deep pockets, would be in such a state of decay/disrepair.

Surveyors tell us that is boat industry-wide: 4 or 5 years into a bad economy the deferred maintenance and failure to perform preventive maintenance really begins to add up dollar-wise. Have you seen any EB 38's with updated electronics?

Our best guess ended up being plan to spend at least - post closing - $35k-$45k on an EB 38 (engine room, dripless seals, decks, couplings, cutlass bearings, accessories) BEFORE you get to the costs for the wish list of what you want to do to the boat to make it your boat (i.e cushions, soft top, electronics, etc.).

If you are willing to to throw $60k - $75k at her post closing, you will have a very sweet, beast of an older technology boat.
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Old 11-08-2012, 15:39   #11
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Re: Grand Banks Express 38

I can't comment on the GB38, but I do have a couple of thousand hours on my 3208 TA Cat engines. Fuel consumption is actually good and getting better as they are just 'broken in'. These are not 'throw away' engines as the misinformed will say. That comment comes from the fact that these engines have cast in block cylinders rather than liners that other engines may have. Speaking as one involved with the service end of the medium and heavy duty engine business, I have a fair amount of experience with diesels. Our shop is certifies in: Caterpillar, Detroit Desiel, Cummins, Volvo, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and more. While the engines that use liners will commonly have the liners (along with the pistons, etc.) replaced during an 'inframe' overhaul this is due to the design of the liners which are softer that the piston rings (this makes for a quick break-in time and lets the engine go into service at full operating parameters relatively quickly) so again, the liners are a wear item and replacement is common and expected.
The cast blocks however are harder than the piston rings and must be 'broken in' according to a schedule (x rpm for xx minutes, then y rpm for yy minutes and so forth) which means that the motors cannot be operated at rated rpm until this process is completed which the truckers don't like. However, when the major service is due (a couple of hundred thousand miles or more) the blocks typically do not need reboring and many times the pistons are re-useable with just a ring change). So broken in properly and operated properly, the service costs should be less on the 3208 type engines.
All that said, no diesel engine likes dirty oil or dirty air and will wear quicker without regular scheduled maintenance. The air filter on any diesel should be cleaned or repaced at every oil change, but many 'do it yourself' boat operators neglect this. There is a reason that the airflilters have the indicators on them on them on the 3208's, just pay attention.
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