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Old 29-12-2014, 07:34   #16
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Re: How many hours should be expected from a diesel used in a coastal cruising sailbo

I'm a firm believer, 95% of boat engines die of abuse not old age.

Engines like to be run regularly and they like to get up to full operating temperature. With sailboats, it's very common to run them for a 10 minutes to get in or out to open water at low speed or sitting at anchor lightly loaded charging the batteries, then for the weekend boats, it's common for them to sit for weeks at a time.
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Old 30-12-2014, 18:35   #17
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Re: How many hours should be expected from a diesel used in a coastal cruising sailbo

TanzerTom, it all comes down to care and use. When buying an older boat, the engine is pretty much a black box unless you can have a high level of confidence, for one reason or another, in how well it has been maintained and run.

So you can basically forget the hour meter. I've seen engines destroyed in under 1,000 hours due to poor maintenance and neglect, and others at 10,000 hours that run and operate as new.

Any "average" is only that, and it's worthless with respect to evaluating the lifespan of the engine in a prospective purchase.
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Old 30-12-2014, 19:55   #18
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Re: How many hours should be expected from a diesel used in a coastal cruising sailbo

Thanks for all the input. Most are indicating the key thing to look for is simple neglect, not hard or long hours. So, what are the telltale signs to look for? Seems it is more often the various pumps, exhausts, etc. that fail rather than the internal parts. Cars and motorcycles speak to you when they have problems, I'm sure boats have a similar way to communicate.
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