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Old 12-01-2019, 11:45   #1
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Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

I'm in the market for a 30-32' sailboat. Two recently came up in the search.

Both are 2008, same brand, same model, each with 3 cylinder Yanmars.

Boat A is a freshwater boat, has 250 hours on the engine.
Boat B is a saltwater boat, has 2,400 hours on the engine.

Is an average of 25 hours a year enough to keep it from rusting out?
Is 2,400 hours getting close to end of life / nearing major maintenance?
Price considerations if I make an offer?

Obviously there is some data missing, for example the 250 hours could be in 2008 and it hasn't ran since. But can anything else be said of the engines? Are there specific questions to ask / things to check in each case?

Thanks,

RR
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:49   #2
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Hire a marine diesel mechanic to evaluate both engines. The higher hour engine may have been maintained better.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:51   #3
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

It's very hard to say without intimate knowledge of the engines use and maintenance. I've never had a Yanmar but I have a Universal Kubota with 3000 that runs great and a Lister with over 15,000 that runs great as well.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:19   #4
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Are the engines 3YM30's ?, if so beware those with serial no.s up to 6000 had too small heat exchangers & were prone to overheating. No personal knowledge but read article online on a rival forum frm memory. Suggest google it
If you have no mechanical knowledge better to get them checked. I look for things like ease of starting, clean exhaust, evidence of maintenance & no strange noises. You want to make sure you are there for a cold start.
I would lean towards the 250 hr one BUT as fish53 says, it's hard to say.
If the low hrs engine hadnt run for a long while I'd be inclined to pull an injector & have a look with a borescope for evidence of rusting. But that would have to be done before it was started.
The 2400 hr one could well be 1/2 worn ( think about that re price) & the thing with wear it's rate accelerates as it wears. Compression check & oil pressure check are good tests. All things being equal go for the engine that has the higher figures on those tests
If you cant do those tests run engine full throttle for 1 hr & see what happens.
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:43   #5
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Salt water corrosion photo album
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Old 12-01-2019, 12:59   #6
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Bought my boat with a Yanmar 4JH with 6,700 engine hours and repowered at ~9,000. It was still running fine, but my calculus of some repairs, damaged heat exchanger, dying starter, etc changed and I proactively replaced it.

The life is really limitless if it's well maintained, and I am sure some fail quickly that aren't maintained.

I will say, I am a Yanmar fan.
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Old 12-01-2019, 14:00   #7
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PamlicoTraveler View Post
Bought my boat with a Yanmar 4JH with 6,700 engine hours and repowered at ~9,000. It was still running fine, but my calculus of some repairs, damaged heat exchanger, dying starter, etc changed and I proactively replaced it.

The life is really limitless if it's well maintained, and I am sure some fail quickly that aren't maintained.

I will say, I am a Yanmar fan.
I prefer Kubota over Yanmar as you can chose a wide variety of gears for them and the tractor dealer is a tenth of what marine places charge for parts as well as there being a huge store of used parts available. I marinized one of my current engines from a new industrial engine to marine for about five thousand including the engine.
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Old 12-01-2019, 16:02   #8
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

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Originally Posted by jmorrison146 View Post
Hire a marine diesel mechanic to evaluate both engines. The higher hour engine may have been maintained better.
I was thinking that would be the prudent option, but was hoping to eliminate non-viable candidates before doing the offer / survey / oh #$%^ processes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
Are the engines 3YM30's ?, if so beware those with serial no.s up to 6000 had too small heat exchangers & were prone to overheating. No personal knowledge but read article online on a rival forum frm memory. Suggest google it
Oooh. Thanks for the heads up.

I checked with our friend google, it appears to have been a pretty big issue, but the problem child serial numbers were installed about 2004 +/- so a 2008 model should be OK. I will check out serial numbers and exact model numbers on the candidate boats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
If you have no mechanical knowledge better to get them checked. I look for things like ease of starting, clean exhaust, evidence of maintenance & no strange noises. You want to make sure you are there for a cold start.
I'm pretty good with a wrench, but never worked on a diesel, much less a marine one. (Upgrading from a trailerable day sailer with an outboard.)

I don't mind working on engines, I find it somewhat cathartic. And I am impressed by the engine accessibility (most of the time) that I am seeing on boats. I was recently faced with replacing a water pump on an automobile and it involved jacking up the car, removing the right front wheel and tire, removing a plastic access panel between the wheel well and engine compartment, putting a board and jack under the oil pan, raising the engine 1/2 inch, removing an engine mount bolt. NOW you can get to the water pump. That kind of thing pisses me off.

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Yeah, that was weighing on me, too. Just the salt air is a female dog. Back in the midwest I kept tools in an unheated / un-air conditioned garage for 20 years without a speck of rust. When I first moved to Florida I had too much stuff for my living arrangements for the first 6 months. Stored tools in Dad's garage on the gulf coast of Fl in sight of - but not on - the water . Rust rust rust. I almost cried.
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Old 12-01-2019, 16:08   #9
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Any 3YM30 with serial number above E 05566 would have the newer heat exchanger bundle.
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Old 12-01-2019, 16:10   #10
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fish53 View Post
I prefer Kubota over Yanmar as you can chose a wide variety of gears for them and the tractor dealer is a tenth of what marine places charge for parts as well as there being a huge store of used parts available. I marinized one of my current engines from a new industrial engine to marine for about five thousand including the engine.
I do believe that Yanmar tractors are available in Asia, and Yanmar does, or did, make engines for some John Deere tractors.

It may be time for someone to put together a nice spreadsheet listing marine engines and their dry land counterparts and just plain swappable parts.
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Old 12-01-2019, 22:49   #11
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Don't THINK but don't KNOW that the 3ym30 is in that basket of marinised tractor engines. Agree with fish53 that kubota based engines easier to find parts much cheaper. Yanmar are onto owners that search for crossover parts & like changing the part no.s to make it mission very difficult.
No doubt the Yanmar P.R. goes something like " our mission is to bring you the cleanest most reliable engines on the planet"
When it should say "our mission is to sell you a good engine for a reasonable price & then REAM you on the parts in anyway possible"
Not that it only applies to Yanmar, Bukh & Volvo spring to mind as well
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Old 12-01-2019, 23:56   #12
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
Don't THINK but don't KNOW that the 3ym30 is in that basket of marinised tractor engines. Agree with fish53 that kubota based engines easier to find parts much cheaper. Yanmar are onto owners that search for crossover parts & like changing the part no.s to make it mission very difficult.
No doubt the Yanmar P.R. goes something like " our mission is to bring you the cleanest most reliable engines on the planet"
When it should say "our mission is to sell you a good engine for a reasonable price & then REAM you on the parts in anyway possible"
Not that it only applies to Yanmar, Bukh & Volvo spring to mind as well
Their biz model does seem that way, but sadly, at least Nanni, of the Kubota marinizers, is a bit nasty with replacement of their proprietary bits... and for the most part, those are the things that give us trouble (the basic engine is very long lived and reliable).

Case in point: just as we finished our medical delays in the Sydney area the heat exchanger on our Nanni/Kubota developed some pinholes in the tube bundle. Bad timing! But we were in a mecca of marine services, and soon tried to order a replacement part... only to find out that Nanni didn't sell just the tube bundle (the part that most commonly fails). Noooo, you had to buy the whole exchanger, which includes a big aluminium casting that comprises the exhaust manifold and the thermostat housing (all of which were in good shape). Bottom line? just at 3000 AUD. Owwww!

I could have tried to get the bundle repaired, or found someone who could make a new one, and that would have doubtless been cheaper. But we were ready to start towards Tassie, it was almost Christmas (and ya know what that does to getting anything done in Oz), so we bit the bullet... but not happy campers are we!

But we have been able to get the few engine parts we've needed from Kubota (even a used hi-pressure injector line for 10 bucks), dealing directly rather than through Nanni.

Oh... they included in the shipment (un-ordered)a tiny spray can of official Nanni blue paint... how thoughtful... but then billed for 43 bucks. It was returned... and the 25 dollar o-ring seals for the end caps kinda hurt, too.

Enough whinging from me! I'm sure that many of you have similar stories to tell, but it feels good to get it off my chest!

Jim
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Old 13-01-2019, 06:07   #13
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Compass790 View Post
Don't THINK but don't KNOW that the 3ym30 is in that basket of marinised tractor engines. Agree with fish53 that kubota based engines easier to find parts much cheaper. Yanmar are onto owners that search for crossover parts & like changing the part no.s to make it mission very difficult.
No doubt the Yanmar P.R. goes something like " our mission is to bring you the cleanest most reliable engines on the planet"
When it should say "our mission is to sell you a good engine for a reasonable price & then REAM you on the parts in anyway possible"
Not that it only applies to Yanmar, Bukh & Volvo spring to mind as well
A good example that I recall is when I got a small leak at the seawater pump which sprayed a little saltwater on the speed control bolt of the fuel injection pump, rusting it. I looked online and found a Universal part at Torrenson marine that they wanted eighty dollars for. I went down the road a few miles to the local Kubota dealer and bought the kit off the shelf for $6.00. I go to Messick's tractor parts online, they have all the parts books for Kubota tractors and if you go to tractordata you can find what engine was used in what tractor. Somewhere I have crossover for what Kubota engine is used as what Universal/Beta marine engine but all Kubotas have the engine model stamped on the block right by the injection pump. I had a Bukh once and their parts must be made of platinum.
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Old 13-01-2019, 13:19   #14
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Their biz model does seem that way, but sadly, at least Nanni, of the Kubota marinizers, is a bit nasty with replacement of their proprietary bits... and for the most part, those are the things that give us trouble (the basic engine is very long lived and reliable).

Case in point: just as we finished our medical delays in the Sydney area the heat exchanger on our Nanni/Kubota developed some pinholes in the tube bundle. Bad timing! But we were in a mecca of marine services, and soon tried to order a replacement part... only to find out that Nanni didn't sell just the tube bundle (the part that most commonly fails). Noooo, you had to buy the whole exchanger, which includes a big aluminium casting that comprises the exhaust manifold and the thermostat housing (all of which were in good shape). Bottom line? just at 3000 AUD. Owwww!

I could have tried to get the bundle repaired, or found someone who could make a new one, and that would have doubtless been cheaper. But we were ready to start towards Tassie, it was almost Christmas (and ya know what that does to getting anything done in Oz), so we bit the bullet... but not happy campers are we!

But we have been able to get the few engine parts we've needed from Kubota (even a used hi-pressure injector line for 10 bucks), dealing directly rather than through Nanni.

Oh... they included in the shipment (un-ordered)a tiny spray can of official Nanni blue paint... how thoughtful... but then billed for 43 bucks. It was returned... and the 25 dollar o-ring seals for the end caps kinda hurt, too.

Enough whinging from me! I'm sure that many of you have similar stories to tell, but it feels good to get it off my chest!

Jim
I wouldn't describe it as whinging.you are just relaying your experience & I for one am grateful that you did as I'm sure others on CF are.
It all is helpful to the hive :-)
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Old 13-01-2019, 13:35   #15
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Re: Engine hours: Too many? Too few?

As a grand, overarching statement, a freshwater boat is likely to be in better shape, given similar ages. Did the owner just not need his engine on the 250 hour boat? Sail on/off mooring? Or did he reengine? Or have a significant period of non-use (which could be a worry, and you'd want a mechanic to go over it)?

You need the whole story. But other than rain leaks to the interior, everything else being equal, I'd buy the freshwater boat.

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