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Old 05-09-2012, 08:40   #1
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How Can I Make Sure the Engine is OK?

We're looking at a boat and we quite like it. During the survey, we discovered all the engine gauges had been disconnected. It started up and ran well although it did overheat during the sea trial - no alarm sounded since it was disconnected too.

What can we do to make sure this engine is in good working order? Obviously just reconnecting the gauges is not going to cut it since we don't know how many hours are on the engine (disconnected too) and we don't know if it's been running in a overheated state for a extended period of time or if this was the first time.

Any input is appreciated!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:42   #2
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

I'd make an offer based on the overhaul cost of the engine. If an overhaul is not needed, well then you're ahead, but if it is you didn't pay full price for a boat that needs an engine rebuild.

If the engine is old, maybe make an offer based on a repower.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:11   #3
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

Hire a marine mechanic familiar with this type of engine to do an Engine Survey.

If you are working through Yacht Broker they should be able to provide some names and references.

If the engine overheated during the Sea Trail you should not move forward without a survey!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:19   #4
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

Get an engine oil analysis. This is one of the most effective ways to non-invasively determine a lot about the engine state. Good idea to do periodically too.

And, of course, repair all those alarms first thing if you buy the boat. Good way to cook a perfectly good engine.

Also, if the alarms are disconnected I would bet it is far from the first time this engine has had issues.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:25   #5
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

If you find one thing like this there will likely be more. I would eather walk away or SUPER low ball (take away all risk) an offer. There has never been more of a buyers market.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:04   #6
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

Thanks for all the feedback ... and so quickly!

The boat is in overall good condition, we had one of the best marine surveyors in the business check it out. A few repairs here and there but nothing too shocking or unexpected that can't be dealt with - except that engine.

The seller is actually very conscientious but has not been using the boat for some time - they'd hired people to regularly clean and maintain the boat. I really think they're just as shocked as everyone else that the gauges were disconnected and that there were engine issues. Someone is getting a earful right about now I suspect.

We're going to move forward with the seller repairing everything we can find wrong with the engine then have a engine survey done complete with oil analysis to see what, if anything, we missed. If the survey comes back good, do you guys think it's OK?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:19   #7
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

You are dealing with an overheating engine. That could or could not be a major problem. Hire a competent professional and by all means insist on the oil analysis. Then make your offer based on facts not guesses. Fair to both you and the seller.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:40   #8
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

hmmmm..... how can you be "shocked" that the gauges are disconnected? Unless teh wiring loom to the engine just came apart at the multi pin connection.... someone had to disconnect the gauges right? Something smells fishy here.... How do you know it overheated if the gauges arent working? it could be a s simple as the heat exchanger needing cleaned, or it could be a creacked head. What type of engine is it?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:52   #9
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

Major problem or not, if an engine overheats during the sea trial, I'd probably walk away unless it is just absolutely the dream boat for you.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:53   #10
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driftwoods View Post
The boat is in overall good condition, we had one of the best marine surveyors in the business check it out.

We're going to move forward with the seller repairing everything we can find wrong with the engine then have a engine survey done complete with oil analysis to see what, if anything, we missed.

If the survey comes back good, do you guys think it's OK?
You are paying professionals to survey the vessel and determine its condition... TAKE THEIR ADVICE
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:29   #11
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Most surveyors don't know jack about engines other than the common sense answers. How do you know it overheated if gauges were disconnected? Also make sure during the post repair seatrial youbrun the engines WOT for at least 5-10. Minutes to ensure proper operation. Oil analysis are ok but really useless. if the oil was just changed or changed recently.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:36   #12
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Re: How can I make sure the engine is OK?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
hmmmm..... how can you be "shocked" that the gauges are disconnected? Unless teh wiring loom to the engine just came apart at the multi pin connection.... someone had to disconnect the gauges right? Something smells fishy here.... How do you know it overheated if the gauges arent working? it could be a s simple as the heat exchanger needing cleaned, or it could be a creacked head. What type of engine is it?
I believe they're shocked because they paid someone to do some work a couple of years ago on the engine instrument panel and did not know it had been disconnected and never been reconnected. Based on what I know of the seller, I'd be very surprised if there was anything fishy going on. It's just one of those things that happens when you don't go to your boat for long periods of time and someone you hired during that time didn't quite deliver like they should have; Hanlon's razor at work.

I know it overheated because we put one of those infrared heat guns on it while it was running. It's a Yanmar diesel which I understand is pretty good.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:38   #13
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Re: How Can I Make Sure the Engine is OK?

An engine survey is usually done by a certified technician familiar with that brand/model of engine, NOT a standard marine surveyor. It would likely include compression checks, temp analysis (with an IR sensor), checks on raw water and coolant systems, etc. Pay the man, take his advice.

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:07   #14
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Re: How Can I Make Sure the Engine is OK?

I had an engine survey done by a professional mechanic when I purchased my boat. He could not see anything major. However, the engine leaked oil and the heat exchanger had to be replaced shortly after I purchased it. I had mechanics trying to locate the oil leaks without success and I finally decided to get the engine and tranny out for rebuild, since I did not want to consider long cruises without an engine in order.
So if you have any doubt, just reduce the purchase cost by $10-12K since this is what is will cost you to have the engine and tranny remanufactured in a professional shop. Machanic surveys are like boat surveys, fast food for the hungry buyer, but no real nutrient in the information they give you, IMHO.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:53   #15
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Re: How Can I Make Sure the Engine is OK?

I second Roland's comment. You can't be sure of the engine.

I paid a diesel guy $350 and had exactly the same experience as Roland. Build some cushion into the price and have someone go through the fuel, raw and freshwater systems and inspect and replace things if you are really going cruising. Better yet, do the work yourself to familiarize yourself with your engine before you end up somewhere exotic with a break down.
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