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Old 22-04-2014, 10:10   #1
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Repower a Nonsuch 26

I am a newbie to this forum living in west central Florida and about to become the owner of a 1986 Nonsuch 26C. Existing boat has a 18 HP diesel of indeterminate hours. Re-powering these boats is an expensive proposition but a reliable power plant is a must and a bit more power than the 18 is desirable. What would be a reasonable upgrade - 25 or 30hp? Should I expect to replace or rebuild all or most of the power train at the same time - propeller shaft, bearings and prop? Advice on used / rebuilt engines vs new? Any recommendations as to brand of engine? Most of the major manufacturers seem to make a good product. Any help, advice or anecdotes will be greatly appreciated

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Old 22-04-2014, 11:09   #2
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

It seems that a 25 or 30 hp would be overkill in your boat. What of simply having your current engine removed and sent out for remanufacturing? That way you can keep all of your bolt ons. Certainly inspect and if necessary replace fuel tanks. Definitely replace fuel lines/filters.
Likely a good time to send the transmission out for a once over as well.
If you are hell bent a new power plant, I would look at ease of maintenance and cost of parts for the various choices. Inspect the shaft. If you go with a new power plant you will probably need to re-prop.

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Old 22-04-2014, 11:29   #3
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

If the existing engine runs, I would NOT replace it or rebuild it. Give it a good, thorough maintenance check. Run it for a season and see how reliable it is. More than likely, it just needs a little TLC to give you several more years of good service.

By then, you might decide to buy another boat where someone else has already replaced the engine!
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Old 22-04-2014, 14:08   #4
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

My dad had a 1985 Nonsuch 26C and it had a 3 cylinder 21 hp Westerbeke, plenty of power. Its quite likely that you have the same engine unless it has already been replaced once before.
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Old 22-04-2014, 14:54   #5
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

Just curious why you think that more than 18 hp is desirable in this boat? Considering that there are heaps of similar sized boats utilizing ~10 hp outboards for auxiliary power, 18 hp diesel inboards provide a generous amount of power.

So, I agree with the others who suggest that if simple maintenance will not get the current engine into reliable operation, then rebuilding or replacing with an identical engine is your best bet.


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s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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Old 22-04-2014, 17:05   #6
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

Many thanks to all for the rapid and insightful responses. Once I have this boat in hand I will follow the advice to run the engine for a season (if it seems to be doing an adequate job, is not leaking oil or anything else, not emitting white or black smoke and is not making any unusual noises) then make up my mind. Meantime, I will do some research re: rebuilding the existing engine vs replacing with a remanufactured, matching unit. Cost and turnaround time will be important factors.

Good to know I have joined a discussion group that is deeply knowledgeable and willing to share.
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Old 22-04-2014, 17:44   #7
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

If you could find out the manufacturer of your prospective diesel then we could probably help more. A well maintained diesel will run a very long time. Some diesels do better than others and some cost more to rebuild.
Good luck in your purchase.
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Old 22-04-2014, 17:52   #8
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Re: Repower a Nonsuch 26

after one season you will know better if the current HP is adequate or if you might want more also. If you motor a lot and ned to buck head waters then you will know. In a a small engine I would go with Kubota/Beta.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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