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Old 15-08-2016, 15:35   #1
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Location: Ft Lauderdale, FL
Boat: 38ft Irwin center cockpit sloop MERIDIAN
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Hours before rebuild

Looking at a boat with 3800 hours on a 100hp Westerbeke diesel. Is there any idea of when I could expect to require a rebuild? Engine runs fine, and no smoke, but no maintenance records.

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go instead where there is no path........
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Old 15-08-2016, 15:52   #2
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Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
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Re: Hours before rebuild

Possibly sometime in the next 6000 hours?

Couldn't pin it down much closer than that with the given information

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Old 15-08-2016, 15:52   #3
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Re: Hours before rebuild

Well cared for 10,000+ hours before major rebuild. At 3800 hours, its broken in, but has tons of live left.
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Old 15-08-2016, 16:17   #4
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Re: Hours before rebuild

You'll know after you've paid a professional to do an engine survey.
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"whatever spare parts you bring, you'll never need"--goboatingnow
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Old 15-08-2016, 16:27   #5
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Boat: Compass 790 , 7.9 metres or 26 ft
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Re: Hours before rebuild

It's all about the maintenance as to the lifespan. best if you can find out if the P.O. was the type that looked after it. Maybe talk to his neighbours if he was in a marina. Look at the general state of the engine, if it's real messy it's not a good sign. Give it a hard out run for at least 1/2 an hour but 1 hr would be better as some problems wont show up without a good caning. Agree with previous posts about common lifespan but they can be destroyed a lot faster if they've been starved of clean oil or had water in fuel. Have heard of 20,000 hrs before rebuild by a fastidious owner but I bet it smoked a bit
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Old 15-08-2016, 17:33   #6
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Location: VA, boat: Deale, MD
Boat: 1981 Nor'sea 27
Posts: 1,340
Re: Hours before rebuild

I inherited an engine with my boat that was messy. I was able to get it running and seemed to work "ok" but at times it seemed sluggish. I pulled my little 2-cyl engine off the boat while I worked on another project. At first, I decided to just clean off some bad spots and a repaint would be all that was needed. Once I started removing parts, I really got to see the condition this engine was in. Some of the cooling passages were clogged, the exhaust valves were almost clogged with carbon build up, exhaust had built up with carbon and rust, and one of the pistons had a crack.

Some of this, I would not have known if I just left it alone. I did a rebuild over a few months this past winter and now runs wonderfully.

Sad thing is, the hour meter read 716hrs, but I found out the positive side was disconnected, so I can only guess at the actual hours. My guess is 730. This engine was almost DEAD because the PO didn't take care of this engine. Way too low of hours to be this far gone, and luckily I saved it from a horrible death. Now, it sits in my garage waiting to be put back into service.

So, don't go off hours alone. Best to get someone who can thoroughly inspect the engine. If it checks out, you'll be good for many hundreds of hours. Don't skimp on maintenance intervals for changing impellers, oil, belts, gaskets, filters, etc.... if you see a leak anywhere, find out where it's coming from then decide on course of action to fix it.

It's likely that engine has plenty of life in it as is. Couldn't hurt to get it checked out by a professional.

Daniel - Rhapsody Blog,
ďA sailorís joys are as simple as a childís.Ē ó Bernard Moitessier
"I don't need therapy, I just need my boat"
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