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Old 29-05-2020, 10:10   #1
cdy
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Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

I am looking at a 34' German built boat from 1982 - it has a seized Sole 33hp diesel in it - lots of salt water intrusion when the exhaust got clogged - most likely toast - what I cant figure out is if its worth buying at a cheap price ($5K) and install a new /used or rebuild if possible - I would not do the work myself - so the cost of a new engine + installation - I figure would bring the cost of the boat to $15K ( figuring $10K for engine + install) it might make sense at that - but if its $13K -a total of $18K - makes less sense - easier to buy something ready - it's an interesting boat and has a lot of equipment - its just very tough to get a handle on how much to replace the engine will be.
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Old 29-05-2020, 16:14   #2
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

All matters where in the world you are located. Prices vary considerably. I doubt you will replace your diesel with a new comparable unit for less than 20 boat units.
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Old 30-05-2020, 04:30   #3
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

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All matters where in the world you are located. Prices vary considerably. I doubt you will replace your diesel with a new comparable unit for less than 20 boat units.
To Jim's point, cdy

As this is an international forum, it's hard to offer relevant advice if we don't know where you are. I would suggest you update your profile so CF members in your area can chime in with information that may be of assistance.

Good luck,
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Old 30-05-2020, 09:14   #4
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

First a 34' boat doesn't need a 33hp diesel. Something in the 25-30hp would be more than adequate. Currently have a 27hp diesel in my 13,000# 35' boat and it's been great.

Look for a used diesel with low hours. A Yanmar 3GM30 or similar engine seems to come up reasonably often around $3,000 asking. A Sole engine like you've got now might be the cheapest swap because everything should just drop in.

Putting a new diesel in an old boat seldom makes economic sense but then owning a boat doesn't either. If you are going to keep the boat for awhile a new engine will recoup itself in peace of mind as it should run for many years with just routine maintenance.

Beware of new engines. Many will have electronic injection and electrons and salt water don't mix well.
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Old 30-05-2020, 10:38   #5
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

I have no familiarity of a Sole Diesel, but why not overhaul it? Small engines in particular are usually pretty easy to overhaul, just know what should be taken to a machine shop to be done properly and do that. You can often come out way cheaper.
If your determined to not do the work yourself then I’d tell you give the boat away and cut your losses, as this is an older boat it’s very likely this is the tip of the iceberg of the work it’s going to need, and paying someone else to do it will break the bank, your better off jettisoning the boat and buying a much newer one.
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Old 30-05-2020, 12:59   #6
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

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I have no familiarity of a Sole Diesel, but why not overhaul it? Small engines in particular are usually pretty easy to overhaul, just know what should be taken to a machine shop to be done properly and do that. You can often come out way cheaper.
If your determined to not do the work yourself then Iíd tell you give the boat away and cut your losses, as this is an older boat itís very likely this is the tip of the iceberg of the work itís going to need, and paying someone else to do it will break the bank, your better off jettisoning the boat and buying a much newer one.


Some of those old engines are remarkably robust and if the water was only submerging the bottom end it might be just a matter of a bottom end overhaul.

Maybe offer the present owner a cash consideration for a conditional purchase option and pull the engine out and drop the sump to see if is salvageable.
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Old 30-05-2020, 16:41   #7
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

You will need a new prop as well, maybe even a shaft if the prop taper does not fit the shaft. Then why not go a PSS seal and have a dry bilge as well. The secret is to use Gumtree or Craigslist and find a cheap low hour or new diesel engine. I found a brand new Yanmar 2GMF still in it's crate here in Australia for $4000. It was from an abandoned boat building project. I know another guy who brought a yacht for almost nothing just so he could salvage the very low hour Vetus diesel. He then sold the yacht on and virtually got the diesel for free.
I would'nt let a repower put you of the yacht. Boats are personal things and if you like her and are going to keep her for a while then why not.
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Old 30-05-2020, 17:20   #8
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

I might suggest de powering rather than re powering. You can still sail to all the same places without using diesel power.

I don't think 5k is a cheap price for 34ft boat.
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Old 30-05-2020, 17:26   #9
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

In most cases no. If it's a great boat and you do the work yourself and you get a good price on the engine it may be OK if you plan on keeping the boat a long time. You will not be able to get a new engine installed for $10k in the US. $20k would be a deal and $ 30k closer to average.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:46   #10
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Re: Does it make $ sense to repower a older sailboat

You have to decide whether the rest of the boat is worth the money and effort of replacing the motor.
I bought an old boat with a bad motor, but I thought it was a good buy as the boat had good canvas, new running rigging, etc.
The old Volvo (MD7) had bad internal corrosion and parts were no longer available. I was able to find a used Yanmar, with good compression, on craigslist for $1500. It's worth paying a mechanic to inspect. Two years later it's still running well.
I would have rebuilt the motor if the parts were available, though.


Note: A different brand motor will need to be adapted to fit. Volvo props spins in the opposite direction to Yanmar, so I had to replace the prop. The motor is a different length, so I also changed the shaft and motor mount. (again used parts) Sounds like a lot, but doable once you get your head around the process.



I made up a jig with the old motor and then made the new motor fit the jig at the same angle / distance. The only build out was to extend the motor mount bracket. I used the opportunity, while the motor was out, to replace the cutlass bearing and stuffing box as well as repaint the engine bay. Man that was rewarding. All good and clean and fresh.
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