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Old 28-03-2014, 19:09   #1
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General Repower Questions

Hello all,

I've been planning a repower for a while and I've finally located an engine and will be a doing it somewhere in a couple of months. In trying to get an idea of what the costs are I've talked to a few yards in my area and received some estimates that I find ABSOLUTELY INSANE. I've also found that you can explain "exactly" what you're interested in doing to with your boat to a boat yard person and they will totally disregard that info and provide the most generic responses possible. Two examples:

To repower my 36' boat with an engine I have already obtained, one yard's estimate was "any where from $15000 - $20000 plus the cost of an engine". WTF is what came to mind when I heard this.
Another yard told me they usually bill about 150 hours of work on a repower. How does it take 4 people a week to remove and replace an engine?

What am I missing here about the difficulty of a repower?

Me and one other person already pulled the "new" engine in all of 1 short day. It wasn't complicated. I know that I'll need to work on the stringers a little bit. Not replacing them just making them a little higher. Doesn't seem complicated. The only thing I feel that will be complicated is aligning the new engine.

I plan to do most of the work myself. I figure I can get this done in less than a week by myself for the most part. What am I missing here?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 28-03-2014, 19:27   #2
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Re: General Repower Questions

Yeti, if you and a friend already pulled an engine, then go ahead and make the change yourself (assuming the boat is out of the water). I would expect much of the time is finding the correct hoses and routing them, maybe fabricating some brackets. When I changed out diesels, a friend and I did everything except to have the yard lift the old engine out and to the ground and lift the new one into the cockpit. I thoroughly cleaned and then painted the engine bay before putting in the new one. Highly suggest doing this. Also take the time and do any new wiring without the engine in the way. Manhandling the engine into position was the most difficult part. Hire someone to do the final alignment if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself. And you wil probably do a neater job yourself and your boat will likely be cleaner when the job is done.
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Old 28-03-2014, 19:30   #3
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Re: General Repower Questions

Not a big job if access is reasonably good through the deck. If you need to remove a couple of beams to get at the old engine for removal, you are halfway home. Things to ensure are correct mounting angle, alignment, adjusting motor mount bedding on stringers carefully and robustly, assume your replacement motor is marinized, if not, complete that before installation, also set up wiring harnesses prior to dropping in the engine as you will have more room to work and do all the painting of bilges and bulkheads surrounding the engine room. The secret in my mind is patience, patience, patience. You will have a great sense of accomplishment by doing the work yourself. A yard will quote the outside higher figure, add 15% and pad it all to make sure they don't get stuck with a labor intensive job. DIY you are assuming all the risk and saving their profit and insurance padding. Good Luck! Phil
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Old 28-03-2014, 19:32   #4
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Re: General Repower Questions

Sailorman Ed typing at the same time I was... +1! Phil
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Old 28-03-2014, 20:09   #5
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Re: General Repower Questions

I just had my engine guys re powered my boat. The main labour cost for me was getting the boat builders to construct new engine beds. The time to actually fit off the engine was a lot quicker. I am happy that I did get the beds fibreglassed by the professionals as I didn't have much room for misalignment. The engine guys gave the fibreglassers the exact positions and then did the coupling alignment after the engine was bolted down.

The actual fitting of hoses, wiring loom exhaust etc was not complicated but I preferred the engine guys to set up the exhaust system. They commented that the main call for help from DIY engine installs was getting the exhaust set up wrong and having water back into the engine (hydrolock).

For me the cost was worth it as I wanted the boat up and running quicker than I could do it only working on it after hours.

The dollars you quoted seem reasonable for me in Australia but we may have higher hourly rate here than you.

While I'm sure cost can be reduced by doing it yourself I am satisfied that I have a professionally set engine under warranty and less worries that it's not quite right. The prop and shaft were matched up to the engine, I had quality parts fitted off, any other noticeable problems were identified prior to install. For me I am more than happy that I can confidently use the engine and enjoy my sailing than it still be on the hard stand trying to fix something or waiting for the weekend so I can spend the day covered in oil and diesel.
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Old 28-03-2014, 20:26   #6
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Re: General Repower Questions

Really sound advice, scubscooter... the exhaust system on a repower in mucho importante! I had missed that in my suggestions. Phil
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Old 02-06-2014, 19:55   #7
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Re: General Repower Questions

Well I've been hard at it for the past 3 weeks and the repower is basically wrapped up!

Working around my day job I was probaly able to put about 5 hours a day 4 (sometimes 5) days a week into this project. I hired one guy to help with setting the new engine in and alignment he did about 5 hours total. Also hired a diver to take off the max prop and help remove/replace the shaft. Other than that it was all me.

Cost breakdown

$2600 Universal M25XPB, Used under 400 hours
$ 400 Heat Exchanger Service and new Water Pump
$ 500 New Exhaust System
$ 100 Misc small engine parts (temp sender, exhaust gasket etc.)
$ 630 New 1" Shaft under 48", Coupling, Face Fitting etc.
$ 300 Diver fee, remove, replace Max Prop, help remove replace shaft
$ 420 Slip Fee for a months use. (I'm normally on a mooring)
$ 500 new stuffing box, misc hardware, tools etc.
$5450 Approximate cost for my repower.

While I had the engine out I also changed over the wiring from the batteries to the DC Panel. Oringial 12V system was set up for 3 banks and had some other "weirdness" that I couldn't ever wrap my head around that involved two "1,2,B " switches and another "On/Off" switch. The new setup is just one "1,2,B" switch setup as a "Use Switch" as described by one of the Maine Sail postings. Common ground buss bar added, as well as buss bars for both the main battery and the aux battery.
I reused quite a bit of the large guage cable I already had. But still put about $500 into that project. 3 large amp buss bars, a couple of new cables and several lug sizes had to be changed.

All in all it has been quite a bit of a challenge but I can defienitly say I learned a bit form it. Can't really say how happy I was when everything was basically done and I was able to fire off the engine for the first time.

The rest of the week will be spent finishing up installing a fuel return line and getting the boat picked up and ready to go back to the mooring.

Good Times!
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