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Old 05-01-2016, 18:11   #1
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Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

I will soon have a survey done on a 2011, 400 Lagoon with 3JH5E Yanmar engines. They have about 920 hours on each of them. Would you recommend an oil analysis test on the engines during the survey?


Thanks for any input.

Craig
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Old 05-01-2016, 18:50   #2
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Yes, and the generator. Although there may not be any history on those engines the oil company can at least give you some advice and you will have a base for the future. Do not accept the vessel until the reports are returned. I had mine turned around in three days.
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Old 05-01-2016, 19:12   #3
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Definitely on the yanmars and transmissions. An oil analysis tells you alot about how the engines and transmissions were treated and used. (Abused)

Oil analysis also gives you a baseline going forward. Gr3at bargaining tool too. An overdue oil change gives you a good bargaining tool.

Compressions also if you have any issues with power or smokiness.

But dont forget a good visual inspection. Fuel, oil, coolant.

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Old 05-01-2016, 19:29   #4
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

I imagine you need to know how many hours that oil was in use in order to interpret the results.. (Just a guess - I've never done it.)
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Old 05-01-2016, 19:57   #5
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Thanks for the input. I was leaning that way so thanks for the confirmation.


cb
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Old 05-01-2016, 20:11   #6
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Sir...you are about to spend perhaps $300,000 or maybe more on a boat. Why do you even pose such a question for a test that can be very important and helpful yet cost perhaps only a few hundred dollars--and possibly much less? A complete survey for both engines will likely cost well under $1000 and you have mentioned nothing about an engine survey. A hull survey for pre-purchase usually does not include much in the way of engine examination. And, presumably you are talking about a sailboat (or is it a power cat?) so how about a complete rigging survey? Again, most pre-purchase surveys do only a cursory rigging exam and don't even go up the mast. Sometimes they don't even properly inspect the sails and I'll bet you the surveyor never even pulls out the anchor rode. Therefore, asking for free advice from strangers online about whether to spend a tiny amount of money on an oil exam seems a bit unusual.
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Old 05-01-2016, 20:18   #7
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

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Originally Posted by AZ_Zoner View Post
I will soon have a survey done on a 2011, 400 Lagoon with 3JH5E Yanmar engines. They have about 920 hours on each of them. Would you recommend an oil analysis test on the engines during the survey?
Yes.

I have used Blackstone Labs, Blackstone Labs, for years to do UOA on my truck and tractor engines.

It helps to have a history of UOA with the engine of course, but if the lab has seen samples of the particular engine, they should be able to give you averages on the test results for the engine based on their testing. Blackstone does this on each UOA so I can see how my particular engines are performing over time as well as with the same engines from other owners. They will have a huge number of test results on some engines but I don't know about yours in particular.

It will help if you know the number of hours on the oil but the UOA will show if a variety of parameters are within spec irregardless of the usage.

Blackstone will send you test sample kits for free. The kits have a form to fill out on the engine specs, hours on oil, engine type, engine brand, oil type, oil brand, etc. Just fill up the little sample container with some oil, fill out the form, package everything up and mail it in. Easy Peasy. They will email and/or send the results by snail mail. They actually called me on one sample so we could discuss the results they were seeing.

Later,
Dan
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Old 05-01-2016, 20:28   #8
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Thanks Dan, I appreciate to info.

cb


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Old 05-01-2016, 20:35   #9
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

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Originally Posted by AZ_Zoner View Post
Thanks Dan, I appreciate to info.

cb


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Welcome and good luck on the boat! Hope it works out.

Later,
Dan
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Old 05-01-2016, 22:43   #10
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Boat owners that have engines with problems and unscrupulous boat brokers (not saying a word) will change the oil before showing the boat specifically because of this.

I would not waste your time and instead, and get a sample AFTER the sea trial when the engine has been run for a good while.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:14   #11
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Blackstone Labs are good guys to work with. And even when you send them essentially new engine oil, or transmission fluid, to work with, they can tell you a good deal about the health of things.
Call them & talk to them about any questions that you might have. That way, you're getting your info, first hand. Plus, you can ask them to send you some sample bottles, with mailers, if you don't already have some.

But yeah, get some samples after things have been run for a bit. Especially as, part of your survey/sea trial, should include running the engine @ full power for at least an hour (preferably in both directions). In order to make sure that the cooling system, & everything else is working properly. Like the alternator, various gauges & alarms, the filtration system, etc.
That, plus some other things, on top of what the hired professional does, in terms of engine surveying.

Regarding surveys, & what type you need done. Paul Annapolis, more or less has the right idea(s). Albeit with an over-caffeinated delivery style. But yeah; Standard Survey, Engine Survey, Rig Survey, & Sail(s) Survey/Inspection, are the norm.
As all of those areas represent major fiscal outlays, & components of a boat's value.

Likely it'd be wise to write down what you plan to do/have done during your inspection & surveying of the vessel prior to handing over any $. And if folks balk at X, or Y, with those items being reasonable... walk. That, or negotiate a contract with substantial fiscal riders if problems are later discovered in the uninspected areas.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:38   #12
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
Sir...you are about to spend perhaps $300,000 or maybe more on a boat. Why do you even pose such a question for a test that can be very important and helpful yet cost perhaps only a few hundred dollars--and possibly much less? A complete survey for both engines will likely cost well under $1000 and you have mentioned nothing about an engine survey. A hull survey for pre-purchase usually does not include much in the way of engine examination. And, presumably you are talking about a sailboat (or is it a power cat?) so how about a complete rigging survey? Again, most pre-purchase surveys do only a cursory rigging exam and don't even go up the mast. Sometimes they don't even properly inspect the sails and I'll bet you the surveyor never even pulls out the anchor rode. Therefore, asking for free advice from strangers online about whether to spend a tiny amount of money on an oil exam seems a bit unusual.
I don't consider this question, about having this kind of testing done to be that unusual. As, for example, my Dad, who was something of a tool guy. Hadn't heard of this kind of testing until he went truck shopping with me 4-5yrs back. But once he "discovered" said testing, he LOVED it!
And he had had me changing the oil in the family vehicles, 35yrs ago, as part of my regular chores. Several years before I could legally drive.

But to the man on the street, doing this kind of testing is a relatively new thing. Even though the technology behind it has been around for decades. As has it's use, commonly, in commercial applications.

BTW, I'm thinking that having a multiplicity of various types of surveys done, in addition to sea trials & such, isn't necessarily common knowledge either. Even amongst marine professionals.
I know of such, having worked in the industry, at the highest levels. But... we get lots of folks on here who are complete neophytes to sailing. And who's wallets are WAY bigger than their level of knowledge (if they have any at all).

Quite honestly, I hate said trend, & the fact that it's more & more common. But it's not going to change real soon, knock on wood.
And I may get flamed for such comments. But my reasoning behind them, is that it's now common for folks not to work their way up the ladder, experience & boat size wise. And so everything has to be dumbed down to their level. Including absolute dependency on electronic magic boxes for navigation, & dial up help (from mid ocean), to uber legislated, nannying, "safety".

So, IMO, people wanting to learn about what makes boats tick. And their actively inquring, & learning more about sailing, as well as boat systems, is a good thing. Although, yeah, it does mean that those of us who had to learn things by doing them; the wrong way, as part of the process to learning what the right way was, now have to spoon feed some of the new generation of sailors out there.

But then again, I know that much of that which I learned about sailing, was taught to me by professional mariners... In addition to studying on things (on my dime), plus trial & error.
So, when I get the vibe that people genuinely want to learn, & come right out & ask as much, I (usually) quite gladly teach them. Albeit part of the teaching, involves my letting them make mistakes, break things, & learn for themselves (under supervision), how to problem solve.
With me there, ready to step in, if they're about to break something REALLY expensive, or get someone injured.
It's all part of the natural cycle of things.
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:19   #13
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

I'm on the other side, I have a lot of experience with SOAP, what oil analysis is called from my 20 years of Army aviation, and Army has used ot for at least the last 30 years in their ground fleet as well.
By all means do it, as they said your spending 300+K on a boat, don't take any short cuts, but if oil analysis finds anything that wasn't apparent first by other means, it will be the first time I have ever seen it.
It is useful for spotting trends as in if you have a regular history of it and suddenly silicone spikes, then you know to clean your airfilter, but what sorry mechanic doesn't regularly inspect their airfilter?
In my opinion, you will tell more by cutting open the oil filter and inspecting the filter medium than an oil analysis will tell you.

On Edit, Blackstone is one of the best labs
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:31   #14
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

I understand oil analysis isnt very useful if the oil is relatively new.

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Old 06-01-2016, 08:15   #15
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Re: Oil Analysis Testing During Survey

I am new to buying a boat. I’m new to sailing. I’m from Arizona! I don’t have a lot of exposer to the marine/boat environment. But it is something that my wife and I are doing. I am asking many questions of many people. The CF is one source that has given a lot of great info. I ask this question because when reviewing what the survey would entail I saw that the engine oil analysis as an option. Maybe I didn’t word my original post correctly. But we were going to have the analysis performed on all three engines during the survey. And someone mentioned that 300.00 is a small amount to pay based on the overall cost of buying the boat. I agree!


But with that said. If an engine was well maintained and run properly would this engine with 920 hours of run time show much detail on the condition. Or is it more a catastrophic type test where it shows something is seriously wrong? What kind of details can you tell from the oil analysis that you could possible make corrections to the engine?

Thanks again for your input and suggestions.

Craig
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