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Old 01-12-2019, 15:46   #16
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
For my current boat which had similar engine hours, the "subject to survey" in the sale agreement specifically included oil and compression testing.
do you still have the sale agreement ? is it possible to send it to me so that I can use it as template?
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:19   #17
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

When we bought our Athena it had 6500 hours on each engine (Yanmar 2GM20). We kept it in charter and eventually replaced both engines and saildrives (Yanmar 3YM30) 2 years later using the charter profits even though both sets were still going strong with no smoke or oil burning, as we had an eye on taking the boat out charter.
I personally would not worry about buying a boat out of charter with high engine hours. It is like buying a high mileage car which spends the majority of its miles on motorways rather than the comparitively more damaging stop start short journeys from cold. As others have said, any half decent charter company will have very regularly checked coolant, oil levels and serviced engines oil and filters, changed impellers, saildrive shaft seals and lifted the boat yearly.

The reason I and others buy an ex charter boat (and ex lease cars with high mileage) is the discounted price compared to a 'carefully maintained to a high standard, private owner' example. For the former, I will be delighted if it carries on working fine but will be resigned if something fails, for the latter I will be bitterly disapointed and out of pocket should a failure occur not long after purchase.

Provided the price reflects a sizeable discount to cover a major failure in things where condition is not immediately obvious from inspection e.g. engines, saildrives, electronics, batteries as well as reflecting the general condition, then buying an ex charter boat is to me no more risky than buying most privately owned boats.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:25   #18
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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However even if it passes all of these tests, the boat should be priced as if they are worn out, because they are likely towards the end of their lives. Maybe not dead yet, but they are old men, not teenagers.
I have to disagree here. A Diesel engine with 4000 hours is not (or at least should not be!) even close to “worn out.”

A diesel that is well cared for should be running at least 10,000 to 12,000 hours before needing rebuild or replacement. In this case well cared for means a good oil change program, properly adjusted valve lash, and not overheating.

I have never owned a boat with less than 6000 hours on its diesel, and have run them up to 10000 and never had a problem and never replaced an engine.

I think the mistake being made here is that for most sailboats an engine with 4K hours is 20 or 30 years old—at least—and is dying from corrosion and the bad effects of just sitting idle. A charter boat, or one in full time cruising can accumulate hours a lot faster, and survive those hours a lot better.

My current boat is 25 years old, has done 2 circumnavigations, and we put about 400 hours a year on the engine which is now pushing 10k hours and has no symptoms of “old age”.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:30   #19
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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When we bought our Athena it had 6500 hours on each engine (Yanmar 2GM20). We kept it in charter and eventually replaced both engines and saildrives (Yanmar 3YM30) 2 years later using the charter profits even though both sets were still going strong with no smoke or oil burning, as we had an eye on taking the boat out charter.
Do you remember how much it costed changing the engines?
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:33   #20
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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I have to disagree here. A Diesel engine with 4000 hours is not (or at least should not be!) even close to “worn out.”
I think the important part here is engine might not be used by professionals who would care more with engine rpms and other important stuff while they were chartering the boat
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:28   #21
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

Replacing both engines and saildrives cost about 20,000 Euros for 2 off Yanmar 3YM30.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:51   #22
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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Priced how much % less for example ? I checked online and 45hp marine motors are around 7000$ not much expensive compared to the catamarans price ? are there other costs involved which I should be worried as well ? .

what if it doesn't pass the oil and compression tests ? should I stay away from the boat ? or if still can be bought , what should I ask from the seller to do to fix it ? is it even fixable or needs to be new now ?
If the engine does not pass, stay away. There are plenty of boats on the market. No need to purchase a boat that needs engine repairs on the purchase day.
I have surveyed a boat that had problematic engine, however, the client fell in love with the vessel and bought it. After about a year he had to replace the engine that died on him.
Find similar boat that passes. Charter boats are not unique specimens.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:08   #23
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how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I have to disagree here. A Diesel engine with 4000 hours is not (or at least should not be!) even close to “worn out.”



A diesel that is well cared for should be running at least 10,000 to 12,000 hours before needing rebuild or replacement. In this case well cared for means a good oil change program, properly adjusted valve lash, and not overheating.



I have never owned a boat with less than 6000 hours on its diesel, and have run them up to 10000 and never had a problem and never replaced an engine.



I think the mistake being made here is that for most sailboats an engine with 4K hours is 20 or 30 years old—at least—and is dying from corrosion and the bad effects of just sitting idle. A charter boat, or one in full time cruising can accumulate hours a lot faster, and survive those hours a lot better.



My current boat is 25 years old, has done 2 circumnavigations, and we put about 400 hours a year on the engine which is now pushing 10k hours and has no symptoms of “old age”.


There are far more little high speed Diesels that don’t make it to 10,000 hours than there are that do.
Our little lightweight high speed Diesels don’t have the life expectancy of lower RPM heavy industrial types of Diesels.
I get 300,000 or more miles out of a car myself but most don’t, majority don’t.
Only engine I have ever worn out was a Poulan 360 bow saw in the 70’s, but I don’t maintain engines like the average person does.

But I’m an outlier, you May be too, you have to go on averages, not the outliers.

Age doesn’t kill a fresh water cooled engine, lack of proper maintenance does, and when parts are no longer available also sort of ends an engines useful life too.
My Father in law had several Model-T’s and A’s with original engines, and those weren’t actually built well enough to accumulate thousands of hours, yet being I guess 100 yrs old didn’t seem to bother them.
I regularly fly behind or used to anyway a 1946 engine, yes it’s been overhauled due to being worn out from hours but the case, crankshaft, camshaft etc is 1946
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:37   #24
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

Total engine hours depend on the manufacturer.
There is night and day between companies.
Most Cats come with sail drives instead of being an inboard.
The inboards tend to have HD motors which will go many more hours. My last rebuild was at 20,000 hours and no problems were found. I have over 7000 hours on this rebuild.
Sail drive and it’s motor are light duty only lasting many less.
Find yourself a reputable diesel mechanic.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:07   #25
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

That is the one thing I wanted to say also....beware of the Saildrives….they can be the first to go....sometimes long before the diesel.

I don't know why but I have a strong dislike of them. I know that due to how the catamaran is designed that the Saildrive is the appropriate design for the engine sitting so far aft. But corrosion and strikes on the unit seem to really make things ugly for the boatowner.

I have a trimaran with an outboard motor. Not as efficient as diesel or as good of a motor. But it is plenty of motor for me. I only use it in mooring and when wind is less than 5 knots...or when wind is on the nose and I have time constraints or weather issues. But I can throw a new one on the stern for under 2500 dollars and get another 10 plus years out of it.

Local fella who charters his cat out for weddings, whale sightings, and harbor tours paid over 15k just to replace his sterndrives due to corrosion recently. He was not happy camper...ate up any chance of profits for the year. San Francisco Bay area is his stomping grounds for business. Thought I should share that with you. His diesels are fine...it was the saildrives that ate him up.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:10   #26
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

In buying my current boat which was on a mooring, i scheduled oil analysis and compression test during the survey, performed by diesel mechanic not the surveyor. Paid for having the boat short-hauled (i think about $300) for inspection of the keel/centerboard function, but assuming catamarans dont require such. My 4 cylinder, westerbeke 30hp, is vintage 1978...been rebuilt once in late 1990's, with total estimated 6000 hrs. So 4000 hrs on diesels could mean many more to go. Unknown hours post-re-build as I've owned her x 3.5 yrs. As noted earlier oil survey was point in time w/ no other reference, so questionable usefulness. Compression test was excellent/almost equal across all 4 cylinders. Engine started up promptly, no diagnostic smoke and powered boat at 5-5.5k at 2000 rpms during survey. I made the purchase contingent upon a few items; engine passes compression test, estimate for port side deck repair secondary to stanchion penetration, "favorable" survey. I didnt have the rigging surveyed - the general surveyor and me did a quick/cursory inspection but neither of us went aloft. good luck with your purchase.
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Old 02-12-2019, 16:26   #27
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

Hey sorry but i think you guys are ignoring the elephant. Engines are replaceable and easily. Sails are replaceable but cost more, Delaminated cored structure decks, and yes hulls, cost more than a new boat to fix.
get a really experienced surveyor offer him a bonus for any soft spots he finds then get a price estimate to fix from someone with the experience and backup to fix it. And do not miss the bottom of bulkheads. and metal parts like chain plates and rudder stocks. Good luck This is not a car where you can pickup the phone and order a new fender even if the thing is ten years old
good luck guys! Mike Pope
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Old 02-12-2019, 17:22   #28
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

I don't see how it is so black and white that you walk away because the engine does not give a perfect compression test or any other test. It all comes down to price, if there is sufficient margin in the price to put right the issue so that the overall cost is still attractive, it is only sense to continue the purchase. (Unless of course you foolishly intend to set sail to the Marquesas the day after completion). In fact, what would be better than a nice new engine etc that has not been subject to any owner abuse, yet!

Survey evidence of a problem is of course a great bargaining lever on price, on every boat we have bought we have gained a reduction from our offer subject to survey due to problem detected at survey. What I would not accept in lieu of a reduction is the vendor 'fixing' the problem unless it was possible to verify with certainty that it had been fixed properly.
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Old 02-12-2019, 17:34   #29
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

Cost of engine rebuild or replacement depends greatly on location.
A $20,000 replacement in Florida may well cost $40k or more in the Bahamas and take six times longer to accomplish.
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Old 02-12-2019, 17:59   #30
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Re: how to safely buying a charter catamaran with high engine hours

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Originally Posted by MAJICDAN View Post
Total engine hours depend on the manufacturer.
There is night and day between companies.
Most Cats come with sail drives instead of being an inboard.
The inboards tend to have HD motors which will go many more hours. My last rebuild was at 20,000 hours and no problems were found. I have over 7000 hours on this rebuild.
Sail drive and it’s motor are light duty only lasting many less.
Find yourself a reputable diesel mechanic.

Please explain the difference between say Yanmar 4JH3E ("inboard") and the Yanmar 4JH3CE (saildrive) and why the latter is "light duty only lasting many hours less"
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