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Old 17-03-2010, 09:24   #1
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Buy a Yacht with Unknown Engine Hours? (Yanmar 3GM 30hp)

I am interested in buying 38ft Jeanneau from 1989. It is fitted with the original Yanmar 3GM 30HP and the broker says that they do not know the engine hours because there is no hour meter on the boat.

So far I have only seen the boat in photos and with the exception of the lack of engine hours, everything else tells me that it is worth the two hour flight to England to view the boat.

The price of the boat is at the lower end of the price scale for that boat in Europe, but this may be more a reflection on the value of the pound and the weak economy than the condition of the boat.

Should I be concerned and forget it or is it just something to keep in mind when negotiating the price?, after getting it surveyed of course.
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Old 17-03-2010, 09:29   #2
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Two words of advice - engine survey. That will tell you far more than the hour meter ever could.
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Old 17-03-2010, 09:44   #3
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Agreed. Get an engine survey from a professional who really knows your engine. Also, get an oil analysis...this is mandatory. An oil analysis can indicate premature bearing failure, coolant or fuel in the oil and quite a number of other things. Engine hours are hardly indicative of an engines condition. If an engine has been abused then the engine hours are completely irrelevant.
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Old 17-03-2010, 11:22   #4
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Hoppy:

I purchased a boat far from where I lived and found that rather than flying to look at a boat it was better to try and find a surveyor in the area to do what I would call a pre survey. Someone who know enough about boats to tell you whether it is worth flying out to look at the boat. It saved me flying all over the country. Perhaps you should try and do the same thing. Negotiate a price on the boat and then find someone who can do a pre-survey and then a mechanic who can do an engine survey and finally fly out for the real survey. Unless you want to go to England for a holiday.
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Old 17-03-2010, 11:51   #5
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If the previous owner kept an up-to-date ship's log, you might be able to come up with a ballpark figure on engine hours.

On the bright side, the 3GM is an excellent, durable engine. If work is needed on it, partas and skilled mechanics should be easy to locate.
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Old 17-03-2010, 11:57   #6
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Hoppy, it wouldn't put me off jsut something to think about when making an offer. I do wonder if she was previously a charter yacht hence the slightly lower price you mentioned.? still looks in good condition from the photos.

You could ask the broker to take you around the harbour when you visit, which will give you a good heads up on how easy it starts and runs. If you choose a weekday when it should be slightly quieter it wouldn't be an unreasonable request given the distance you will have travelled. Also you want to spend the day on her, not a 30 minute look and take the camera.

Good luck

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Old 17-03-2010, 14:12   #7
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Thanks for the replies

I had a quick google and see that an engine survey is more detailed than what you probably get as part of a marine survey. Thanks for the suggestion.

Charlie... That seems like a good suggestion. At the moment I guess I am on the fence about whether to buy now or wait another year. Going to see the boat may help me decide which side I want to fall.

The boat is in the brokers yard so I'm not sure how easy it will be to take a "test drive" at this stage when even I don't know if I am a serious buyer yet. Then again if I decide to fly there, then I guess I will be serious then.

Need to think a lot more, but at least the lack of engine hours is not a killer. Thanks

If I decide to take the next step, then I will probably start a new thread about buying in the UK.
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Old 17-03-2010, 21:51   #8
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Cruising with a new engine...

The importance of the condition of the engine could also relate to your intended use.

If you're only going to use the boat for weekend sailing where the engine is only run for short periods then unknown hours could be OK.

However if you're going cruising where the engine is going to be used extensively then a new engine could be very desirable, and could maybe be factored into the purchase decision.
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Old 18-03-2010, 00:38   #9
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Other than the delivery to Sweden, it will be a weekender boat in the Stockholm Archipelago, for the first season at least.
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