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Old 11-09-2016, 12:07   #16
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Aclmck,

Go to yachtworld.com and do some searches and see what the engine hours are on older boats (10+ years). When I did this I found it hard to find engines with more than 5,000 hours on them. And I found many boats that had engine replacements. This may give you some indication of how long engines will reasonably last.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:08   #17
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Jimbo View Post
One of the problems with even or maybe especially with otherwise well-intended forums such as this is not getting enough opinions, but perhaps too many.

Thus, I won't add my own, but having faced this very question, I defer to the well-respected sailor and author Don Casey ("This Old Boat", etc.) and I quote:

"A well-maintained diesel engine should deliver 5,000 or more hours between overhauls... (but) that 5,000-hour number does not apply to engines with salt water rather than corrosion-inhibiting coolant running through them.

You will do yourself a real service by assuming that any engine has been neglected and abused until a thorough mechanical survey determines otherwise.

If parts are even available for a small diesel built 25 years ago, they will be shockingly expensive. Add to that the substantial labor cost of a rebuild and you are approaching or exceeding the cost of a new engine. Then remember that most of that engine is still 25 years old, and the workmanship of the rebuild is of unpredicatable quality.

In most cases a new engine will turn out to be cheaper, and will deliver a better result. And bolting in a complete engine is easily within the capabilities of most determined boatowners.
"

Carry on...
Charter boats generally are sold after 5 years.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:55   #18
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

I look for late-model boats with 3,000 or less engine hours. If buying a used charter boat, buy one out of the Moorings, Sunsail & Footloose fleets in Tortola, one that has been based in Tortola for its whole life. Maintenance is very good there as is there willingness to do a great job on the phase-out work. Pay for a good survey and Moorings will honor that and do just about everything the surveyor comes up with in addition to their own phase-out specs.
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Old 11-09-2016, 15:13   #19
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Hello,
Since you mention that some of the engines you have been considering are Volvo.
I write to mention that IF they are 2000 series. with a MS2B transmission or similar. the connection between them is prone to failure. but this is easily fixed by contacting Nextwave Marine systems on Vancouver's Island, Canada. Who have designed a bolt on modification that should extend the life of the system

You can download the video using this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/eixuwb7c85...drive.mp4?dl=0
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Old 11-09-2016, 15:25   #20
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Often it is corrosion due to poor maintenance that fails a marine engine before the block itself. Ad in a couple sail drives you have a much greater potential for failure.

It will likely be cheaper to repower than to rebuild a saildrive; for example. Or maybe you can buy a new engine for 2x the cost of a replacement heat exchanger.
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Old 11-09-2016, 16:05   #21
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Jimbo View Post
One of the problems with even or maybe especially with otherwise well-intended forums such as this is not getting enough opinions, but perhaps too many.

Thus, I won't add my own, but having faced this very question, I defer to the well-respected sailor and author Don Casey ("This Old Boat", etc.) and I quote: ......................................
................................. If parts are even available for a small diesel built 25 years ago, they will be shockingly expensive. Add to that the substantial labor cost of a rebuild and you are approaching or exceeding the cost of a new engine. Then remember that most of that engine is still 25 years old, and the workmanship of the rebuild is of unpredicatable quality.

In most cases a new engine will turn out to be cheaper, and will deliver a better result. And bolting in a complete engine is easily within the capabilities of most determined boatowners.[/I]"

Carry on...
Now, I am one to respect Don Casey, but wasn't this published in 1991? Therefore, he's talking about engines that are over 50 ears old at this time. As others have said, there has been a great increase in the reliability and longevity of diesel engines. Bottomline,- I don't know, but I tend to speculate with being miserly with my money and accept some risk. I think today's 25 year old engines are far better than 1991's 25 year old engines.
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Old 11-09-2016, 16:11   #22
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Yep. I stand corrected.

My post simplified what is actually a more complex subject.

b.
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Old 11-09-2016, 17:35   #23
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

My boats original Westerbeake suffered through Charter service. I got it with 6500 hours on the broken hour meter. I put 3800 more hours on it before # 1 cyl had no compression. New Beta 38 (Kabota based) I have 3400 hours on it in 5 years and the oil does not get black between oil changes.. really!.

Frequent oil/filter changes and system maintenance will make up for heavy slow turning massive "Luggers".
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Old 11-09-2016, 17:44   #24
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

A fluids analysis will tell you most of what you need to know. And an expert mechanic's input is also worth the price. Otherwise, I'd be more concerned about the saildrive part of the equation than the engine. It's just too common to read about problems with them. Which usually means hauling the boat out of the water in order to get them sorted, due to their design. So pain in the butt & pain in the wallet both.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:25   #25
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

My dear Russian grandfather smoked heavily his whole life, loved his dark pumpernickel bread laden with thick smears of bacon lard every day.

He lived to 99-1/2. This of course is the problem with surveys of one.

Quote:
Now, I am one to respect Don Casey, but wasn't this published in 1991? Therefore, he's talking about engines that are over 50 ears old at this time.
Re Don Casey:

Yes the original book was in 1991. The second edition from which I quoted was "Completely Revised and Expanded" in 2009. RIP.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:01   #26
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Light duty, most yacht type diesels, last longest by proper care and lower rpms. Engines run for battery charging at high rpm can glaze cylinders causing loss of compression, smoke and oil burning.
However, an engine with no smoke and having a compression and leak down test with good to fair condition could have several thousand hours of life left. Most yacht owners put less than 100 hours a year on their engines. 2000 hours/100 hrs a year = 20 years.
I would pick almost any diesel engine over a Volvo for many reasons.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:49   #27
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Jimbo View Post
My dear Russian grandfather smoked heavily his whole life, loved his dark pumpernickel bread laden with thick smears of bacon lard every day.

He lived to 99-1/2. This of course is the problem with surveys of one.



Re Don Casey:

Yes the original book was in 1991. The second edition from which I quoted was "Completely Revised and Expanded" in 2009. RIP.
Surprise!! Fats are now back on the recommended list for healthy bodies. Carbs are out however. Sounds like granddad had some excellent dna.
Personally I always thought Don Casey was full of hogwash. Still do.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:53   #28
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
I would pick almost any diesel engine over a Volvo for many reasons.

Me too, but I hear their saildrives are less problematic?
Course I don't want one of those either
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Old 12-09-2016, 13:03   #29
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

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Me too, but I hear their saildrives are less problematic?
Course I don't want one of those either
Volvos suck royally, and right behind them are the BMW engines. For small engines Perkins and Yanmar are the best money can buy and have parts available throughout the world.
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Old 12-09-2016, 13:37   #30
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Re: How many Engine Hours is Too many?

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I have been looking around at used Catamarans with 30 -57Hp SailDrive engines both Volvo and Yanmar (mainly) most of the used cats have 2000- 5000 hours on them, now i assume a large part of these hours are for battery top ups, but i was not sure how long these small engines were designed to last can anyone tell me what is an average life for these motors.
Age does matter. The point of another reply about the sail-drive often being the first to go is true. Unlike the engine, it's in the saltwater and and corrosion will get it. That said, the best thing you can do as a condition of approval on buying your boat (along side your test sail) is an engine oil analysis. In an oil analysis, a few table-spoons of oil are chemically checked for the metals that are in the engine bearings, bearing journals, valve stems, blow-by, etc. These tests are very cheap (under $100) and very accurate. I know from experience as a service manager for a fleet of diesels. I would not buy a boat without a satisfactory engine oil analysis as a cond ition of sale. You used to be able to get a test kit from Caterpillar tractor dealers to draw the oil sample yourself - its been a while (15+years) since I've done a test so I am not sure any longer about the availability of the kits for the do-it-your-selfers.
I also agree about the 5K hours maximum life for the lighter weight diesels used in a sailboat environment. Sure there are exceptions, but the environment is harsh. Short run times or stop-start running is the worst-- think starting up to getting into the marina or anchor- maybe 20 minutes run time. A very different situation than running continuously 8+ hours / startup.
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