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Old 02-09-2016, 19:24   #1
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Question Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

My wife and I recently bought a slip and are looking for a good boat with a great price that needs a little work to eventually live aboard in about 4 years when our kids graduate college. We found a nice looking 44 Viking that was used as a liveaboard for the past 6-7 years with only the basic maintenance done - twin Detroit 671's 485hp turbos (2300 hours) were run monthly while in port, doesn't look like she was taken out much if any. She did okay at sea trial but didn't come to plane - most likely the barnacles on the hull and props. The boat is 5 hours from home so I'm limited in time to go down and check it out myself - I've scheduled a mechanic to come look at the engines, an insurance survey, fuel polishing & tank cleaning, and cleaning of the hull when she's pulled out for the survey. Also having the generator looked at since I couldn't get it running on my last visit - that's a big concern. I have until 9/10 to decide if we go ahead and buy it for $35K. Great price for a good boat, I know we'll need to put money into it but am not sure if it's as good a deal as I thought - wife loves the interior for living aboard which is a big plus!
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Old 02-09-2016, 19:31   #2
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

Good boats
I've worked on many and am looking out my porthole at one next slip
Glad to share any info

S


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Old 02-09-2016, 19:36   #3
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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Originally Posted by Scott Berg View Post
Good boats
I've worked on many and am looking out my porthole at one next slip
Glad to share any info

S


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Thanks! Seems like a sturdy boat. What's your opinion on the engines with 2300 hours amped up to 485 hp - how many more hours are they likely to go before needing rebuilt?
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Old 02-09-2016, 21:37   #4
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

If you Google search it, you'll find a lot of people saying g 2000 hours is about life expectancy of the higher HP turbo 671s with good maintenance and 10000 hours on non turbo versions. I wonder what an major overhaul costs per eng?

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Old 03-09-2016, 05:43   #5
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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wife loves the interior for living aboard which is a big plus!

Hard to say much about the boat without seeing it, but sounds like you're doing all the right things. And you've obviously checked the key box on the list.


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Thanks! Seems like a sturdy boat. What's your opinion on the engines with 2300 hours amped up to 485 hp - how many more hours are they likely to go before needing rebuilt?
Depends on previous maintenance and how those hours were accumulated. 2300 maybe isn't a lot, in the grand scheme of things. Your mechanical surveyor (ideally a DD specialist) and oil samples may give you some insight (and a baseline for future oil sampling). You might post that query on boatdiesel.com, see what consensus there might be...

-Chris
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:27   #6
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

Your surveyor should be able to provide specific info on the engines for you.

How long will any particular component last? Remember it is a used boat and used equipment. Unless the previous owner kept meticulous records of preventative and repair maintenance, it's anybodies guess as to how long something should last. That is where having your surveyor be a competent one is very important for you.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:10   #7
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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If you Google search it, you'll find a lot of people saying g 2000 hours is about life expectancy of the higher HP turbo 671s with good maintenance and 10000 hours on non turbo versions. I wonder what an major overhaul costs per eng?
===

The cost is in the ballpark of $15,000 USD per engine - full cylinder kits and top end re-build. For best longevity they should not be cruised at higher than 1500 RPM. My non-turbo starboard 6-71 just needed a cylinder head rebuild at 5,500 hours. The copper injector sleeve sprung a leak on the #5 cylinder. It makes sense to overhaul the entire head while it's off the engine.

Another issue with older Vikings is fuel tanks. Ideally they should be pressure tested as part of the survey process.
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Old 03-09-2016, 15:20   #8
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

I would certainly have the oil analyzed. And are there boost gauges? Are those turbos making pressure? Not planing would be huge red flag to me. I had a friend with one with normally aspirated Detroits. It ran well but was no speedster.
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Old 03-09-2016, 19:54   #9
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

Thank you for all the advice - we appreciate the help! We have the engine survey scheduled for Wednesday and are using the suggestions to help us make our final decisions!
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Old 03-09-2016, 23:15   #10
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

Not trying to sound negative but engine surveyors like any survey can be very disappointing. The mechanic may only say they sound OK, fluid samples are weak to identify problems as the owner could have just changed it and still say it has 100 hours on it and it shows no trace minerals or coolant etc. It would be good to have the surveyor use thermal on the engines under wot. This would show any potential concerns better than NY other method. But your main surveyor should have done this for you, But most don't. Honestly at 15k a pop for a major I'd be factoring that Into my decision making / final offer if you plan to use her much.

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Old 04-09-2016, 00:52   #11
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

I am not an engine expert. However, if turbo Detroits only manage 2000 hours before requiring a rebuild, it is astonishing that anybody bought them. Surely you should be looking at a lot more hours with normal service. Or are they a throw-away motor. In which case refer to my first premise.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:40   #12
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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I am not an engine expert. However, if turbo Detroits only manage 2000 hours before requiring a rebuild, it is astonishing that anybody bought them. Surely you should be looking at a lot more hours with normal service. Or are they a throw-away motor. In which case refer to my first premise.
===

Turbo DD 6-71s are highly stressed because they have higher boost pressure compared to many other DDs. They are not throw-away engines however since they can be rebuilt in-place more or less indefinitely by installing new cylinder kits (cylinder liners, pistons, rings and connecting rods) and doing a top end overhaul (turbo bearings, valves, injectors, cylinder head, etc).
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:47   #13
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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Not trying to sound negative but engine surveyors like any survey can be very disappointing. The mechanic may only say they sound OK, fluid samples are weak to identify problems as the owner could have just changed it and still say it has 100 hours on it and it shows no trace minerals or coolant etc. It would be good to have the surveyor use thermal on the engines under wot. This would show any potential concerns better than NY other method. But your main surveyor should have done this for you, But most don't.

Our marine surveyor is very good, but doesn't do extensive engine surveys.

Our engine survey also included compression tests, injector tests, valve measurements, etc. This not by the marine surveyor, and not by just some generic mechanic off the street, but an actual specialist in our engine brand.

-Chris
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:57   #14
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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Our marine surveyor is very good, but doesn't do extensive engine surveys.

Our engine survey also included compression tests, injector tests, valve measurements, etc. This not by the marine surveyor, and not by just some generic mechanic off the street, but an actual specialist in our engine brand.

-Chris
Sounds like a great plan Just curious what's hes charge to do all that?

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Old 04-09-2016, 07:12   #15
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Re: Need advice on buying an '83 Viking 44

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Sounds like a great plan Just curious what's hes charge to do all that?
Don't remember, off-hand. Not home just now, can't look it up -- but might do later in the week.

Wasn't inexpensive, but OTOH conceptually similar to mechanical (engine) surveys on previous boats. And given the potential costs of buying a boat with hosed-up big diesels... I didn't exactly care about quibbling when it came to engine survey costs.

That surveyor wasn't hard to find. Called the local distributor for our target brand of engine (Cummins), turns out the do surveys. solved. Did pretty much the same with a previous boat; the company who marinized that (DD) engine trotted out a surveyor in a heartbeat.

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