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Old 14-07-2016, 14:21   #1
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Repower or not????

I am looking at a 2000 38 Leopard. She is powered by 40hp westerbekes with 7000 hours. The seller says they burn a little oil when you push them. The motors have been well maintained. Should I maintain them and wait till they need to be replaced or repower now? Transmissions are 2 years new.. What would you do and why?
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Old 14-07-2016, 14:47   #2
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Re: Repower or not????

It's usually cheaper to rebuild than replace. Especially if you go to a different engine - alignment, engine mounts, plumbing, wiring differences.
It would depend on who built the base engine. From what I see Westerbekes just marinizes various engines. Kabota, Perkins and others make tractor and industrial engines that are the same except for the marine stuff. Westerbekes is known for high prices.
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Old 14-07-2016, 17:56   #3
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Re: Repower or not????

I would use the useful life of those engines as a bargaining chip on the price you offer. You are a heartbeat away from major rebuilds or replacements. Make sure you have the funds available and budget accordingly. If luck is with you they may last for years, if not, they may need your attention on the day you take possession of your dream vessel.
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Old 14-07-2016, 18:45   #4
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Re: Repower or not????

Have Westerbeke in my current boat, have owned boats with Westerbekes in the past and have some strong opinions on the brand, good and bad.

First Westerbeke rips you for the parts. I figured out my W58 is identical to the Perkins 4.154 with red paint instead of blue. Perkins water pump I bought for under $100. The red version almost $300 and they are identical!

That's the bad news. The good news generally uses heavy duty, commercial grade blocks from Mitsubishi and similar sources for their engines. These engines could be good for 10,000 - 20,000 hours with good care and a little luck.

To repower or not I would base on a few things. First and foremost when, where and how long are going to cruise? If you plan to take off for 1000 miles south of Nowhere and hang out for a few years then repower might sound more attractive. Also how deep are your pockets? If you have endless money then why not grab a couple of new engines.

Regardless, I would maybe play it by ear. If you get the boat use the engines for a while and see how they do.
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Old 14-07-2016, 19:21   #5
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Re: Repower or not????

If its not broke don't fix it? Spent 3 hours on the boat this evening. The seller is a master mechanic for yamaha and honda outboards. He has taken very good care of the boat. We are not planning on anything more than the Bahamas or Caribbean at this point. The engines fired right up this evening with no smoke.

Thanks for your input guys. Now, I just need to get the new owners of the restaurant trained so I can pull the trigger!
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Old 14-07-2016, 19:43   #6
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Re: Repower or not????

Oil analysis of both engines' oil...?? If it does nothing more than make you more confident of their reliability, it'd be worth it.
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Old 14-07-2016, 21:30   #7
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Re: Repower or not????

Before you went to the expense of replacing the engines I would take them out and drop the sump, check the mains and big ends for wear and if within tolerances put it back together then pull the heads, check the bores for wear and indications of ring problems, probably do a valve job then put the heads back and put the engines back in the boat. It's what used to be called an overhaul.


I looked at re-powering my boat a few years ago and was put off by the amount of flimsy looking complications mounted on the marine engines so ended up marinizing a very simple industrial diesel. I'd say that with only 7,000 hours those engines are less than half way through their life.
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