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Old 15-05-2013, 07:49   #31
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

The boat in on the hard, so can the engine be started on the hard using a hose led to the intake? I just saw this done with an outboard but didn't know if you could do it with a diesel.
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Old 15-05-2013, 08:01   #32
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
The boat in on the hard, so can the engine be started on the hard using a hose led to the intake? I just saw this done with an outboard but didn't know if you could do it with a diesel.
There are devices that allow this. I suppose connecting a water hose to the inlet would work but you have to be careful pressurizing the intake without the engine running.
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Old 15-05-2013, 08:13   #33
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

rwidman - don't think your outlook on boats is that different than other forum members. Seems like your instincts are sound. My forum picture shows two boats "careened" (please not the ""). Both boats were bought in the manner you described. However, the blue hulled boat was our last and, while it was in excellent structural shape and the engine was sound, it was the first boat we ever bought that we felt needed additional work before launching. We spent three months living on the smaller Shannon while working on the blue Benford.

It was a major undertaking, a lot of work, great fun and very rewarding. And we knew ever inch of the boat and were capable of fixing it even in serious weather conditions. And when we sold it it was worth well more than we paid for it (including all the repair work.)

However, it took us 4 boats and 40 plus years of sailing to get up the nerve to take on such a project.

But you're right about getting on the water ASAP.
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Old 15-05-2013, 08:17   #34
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
The boat in on the hard, so can the engine be started on the hard using a hose led to the intake? I just saw this done with an outboard but didn't know if you could do it with a diesel.
My boat is sitting on a trailer. While in the process of replacing a seacock/thru-hull, I took the hose that was attached to the old one and put it in a bucket of water to test the engine. Worked out fine, just had to keep filling the bucket.
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Old 15-05-2013, 08:38   #35
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

Zboss - Yes. But first see check the oil level. Then see if you can turn over the engine without any throttle. The fuel can be bad, the filters can be clogged. If there's water in the fuel and enough of it it gets in the engine you can destroy the engine.

There should be a water strainer for the engine water intake. Simply disconnect the cover and remove the screen. Get a water hose with a shut off at the end and insert it into the strainer make sure there's water coming in. You can try starting the engine w/o the water running. If it starts and is running turn the water on enough so that the
water is not overflowing the strainer. Make sure you know where the exhaust exits the hull and make sure water is spitting out. It may take a minute or so for the water to flow through the muffler. A pro can do this alone, I'd get a friend to help. If no water is pumping through at either end. shut the engine down.

It's best if you take some time and do some reading first, there are several books and websites that you should read. Calder is a good book start and the web is full of good info. Here's one article,
http://www.seasidemarinesurveyors.co...l%20Engine.pdf

Turning the engine over is a step in the right direction. If it were me I'd make an offer assuming the engine was a right off.

What kind of boat?

Good luck.
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Old 15-05-2013, 08:50   #36
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

Just a thought - Are you focusing too much on the engine and not enough on the rest of the boat. The engine is a "finite" component of the boat. It's all the other stuff that can really make a project boat a nightmare. There are a lot of boats sitting in boat yards or backyards that have working engines that will never see water again. It's the hull, deck, metal fittings etc. that can really kill a potential boater's dream.
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Old 15-05-2013, 09:08   #37
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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If the owner or agent refuses to let the engine be run, one has to assume that it is a total loss, at least in offering to buy the boat.
This can be played to advantage. If the broker won't let the engine be started as part of a pre-purchase, then you'd expect the price to reflect that the engine is likely NFG.
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Old 15-05-2013, 10:51   #38
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

+1 on regard the engine as 100% stuffed unless proven otherwise for negotiation purposes and even if then started by the Vendor, armed with knowledge of non-use / non-care for 3 years means it stays in the category of dodgy / likely requiring a major rebuild (when talking purchase price).

Whether you then take a punt on that not being the case, is a gut call - my gut says 60:40 in favour of ok, but figure in a major service / replacement of plenty of ancilliaries. and a fair chance of some work sooner rather than later........but that pretty much the same for any older boat / engine with an unknown past - a cr#p shoot!
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Old 15-05-2013, 11:10   #39
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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Originally Posted by Watercolor View Post
Zboss - Yes. But first see check the oil level. Then see if you can turn over the engine without any throttle. The fuel can be bad, the filters can be clogged. If there's water in the fuel and enough of it it gets in the engine you can destroy the engine.

There should be a water strainer for the engine water intake. Simply disconnect the cover and remove the screen. Get a water hose with a shut off at the end and insert it into the strainer make sure there's water coming in. You can try starting the engine w/o the water running. If it starts and is running turn the water on enough so that the
water is not overflowing the strainer. Make sure you know where the exhaust exits the hull and make sure water is spitting out. It may take a minute or so for the water to flow through the muffler. A pro can do this alone, I'd get a friend to help. If no water is pumping through at either end. shut the engine down.

It's best if you take some time and do some reading first, there are several books and websites that you should read. Calder is a good book start and the web is full of good info. Here's one article,
http://www.seasidemarinesurveyors.co...l%20Engine.pdf

Turning the engine over is a step in the right direction. If it were me I'd make an offer assuming the engine was a right off.

What kind of boat?

Good luck.
I'm a little reluctant to mention the boat here . It has teak decks which would have to be removed and replaced with fiberglass... So, 15-18K for a new engine and 20K for the new decks. Otherwise, it looks sound. The PO did extensive refit work on it including all new throughhulls, seacocks, new sails, new water and diesel tanks, all new hoses, new water heater, new chartplotter, radar, everything..., right before putting it to bed due to a "major illness".

What it does not have is decent davits, any bimini/enclosure whatsoever, no SSB, so solar, no windgen, etc... but in my books that is OK because I want to select all that myself.

There is actually one other area I am concerned about. The mast is deck stepped and the compression post if glassed in. Unless that has been replaced already (which I am pretty sure it has not) there is a good chance the steel that was glasses in has rusted away. So, that will need to be removed and rebuilt.
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Old 16-05-2013, 01:35   #40
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

dont forget that at a certain point a boat will have negative value - ie even spending quite a bit of money on it will still leave it worth nothing - I am always amazed to see boats that someone has hauled out and wrecked for sale for 30K when it would cost 50k to get them back into the water in usable condition at which point they would probably be worth about 30k
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Old 16-05-2013, 03:55   #41
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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dont forget that at a certain point a boat will have negative value - ie even spending quite a bit of money on it will still leave it worth nothing - I am always amazed to see boats that someone has hauled out and wrecked for sale for 30K when it would cost 50k to get them back into the water in usable condition at which point they would probably be worth about 30k
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Old 16-05-2013, 04:32   #42
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

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dont forget that at a certain point a boat will have negative value - ie even spending quite a bit of money on it will still leave it worth nothing - I am always amazed to see boats that someone has hauled out and wrecked for sale for 30K when it would cost 50k to get them back into the water in usable condition at which point they would probably be worth about 30k
Some boatyards are full of derelict boats up on blocks or in the water. Boats whose owners once had big plans for them. Unlike old cars, they have no value or as you put it, negative value. A junk car has some value as scrap metal. A fiberglass boat must be cut up and hauled to a landfill. Or illegally abandoned on the water somewhere.
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Old 16-05-2013, 09:46   #43
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

I checked with a mechanic I trust... he said it is very possible that the diaphragms in the pumps are dried out and will tear when started. Its also possible that the old fuel will cause various pump components to stick and seize.
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Old 16-05-2013, 09:58   #44
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Lots of things can be or go wrong. That doesn't mean they have or will go wrong. A diesel sitting for a period may have stuck valve seats, rusted valves the diaphragms in the pumps could be dry the intake water pump may be compromised but hey if it like there is no outward corrosion no back pressure to the coolant tank you could be good. Carefully start it as many before me instructed and check her out
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Old 26-05-2013, 19:27   #45
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Re: Engine has not been run in three years

There is only one diaphragm in one pump...the fuel lift pump. It is likely full of diesel fuel and is NOT dried out.

Having dealt with old small Yanmars a good bit over the past twelve years (including one sitting idle for three years) I am near certain that if that engine was running when the boat was laid up it will start right now if given clean fuel and the fuel system primed. All you need is a good battery to turn it over and clean air and water for cooling.

I bought a small Yanmar from a boat owner who had replaced his engine a few years ago. The engine had overheated and he wanted reliability so he took it out since it was 30 years old and parts were getting hard to find. It sat in his garage for over three years. I bought it and brought it to my house. I piped up a hose to the water pump intake from a bucket in the manner Dan discussed above. I piped up a portable fuel tank to the fuel lift pump and primed the fuel system using a bulb. I used jumper cables from a battery to the starter and to ground and turned the engine over and it started on the second revolution.
The exhaust manifold was plugged so I soaked and cleaned it. The head was a bit warped and I had it milled. It is now the auxiliary engine in one of my boats and is running superbly.

When I was in the Navy I had to lay my boat up for ten years while I was on sea duty and duty overseas. I made it home at 1 to 2 year intervals to check on the boat. On every visit the engine started on the first or second revolution. Thirteen years later that 38 year old Yanmar is still in my boat running reliably and starting within a couple of revolutions after beginning to turn.

Get the owner's permission and run the engine. It's easy to do. The 3GM30 is a great engine.
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