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Old 02-28-2016, 02:29 AM   #1
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7 34s, 7 different (maybe) engines

Hello, I have been looking at getting a boat for a while now, and we narrowed it down to probably either a Californian 34 or Byliner 32xx. After walking the docks today for the ten thousandth time, I saw the first Californian 34 I've seen in person and both my wife and I loved how it looked compared to the Bayliners. Within 1000 miles, I have found 7 boats in our price range, and they all seem to have different motors.

1- Unnamed twin inboard diesels
2- Perkins 6.3574
3- Perkins 6-354
4- 4 cyl Perkins
5- Volvo diesel
6- Isuzu 6 cylinder
7- Crusader 454 GAS

I am guessing that there isn't much difference between the Perkins, but are they all 4 cyl or are some of #s 2 and 3 6-cylinder? Are the rest after-market? I have only seen one gas model and I'm afraid I'd never be able to afford to leave the harbor in that. Can anyone offer any insight to any of these? Things like reliability, power, efficiency, speed, and anything else. We are looking at these because we want something we can cruise in when we "have time" but also want to do day trips for salmon, halibut, hunting, etc and don't want to be limited to 7 knots on the single day trips since they will happen a lot more frequently (We have two young kids and work full time). Also since the weather can change its mind, it would be nice to have a little more speed to get back home or somewhere safe if we're caught in it. Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:53 AM   #2
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1. ?
2. This is a misprint
3 6 cylinder, very common, can get parts at any local tractor/farm equipment place.
4. yes there are 4 cylinder Perkins
5. Volvo, don't buy parts are rare on older engines and prices are extreme.
6. Common under different Brand names (Westerbeke etc.)
7. Sorry, not a gas engine guy, wouldn't do it.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:58 PM   #3
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thanks, I realize #1 isn't helpful, I just figured I'd include it as it's advertised in case there's another common diesel engine in these boats other than the ones listed. I appreciate the help
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:07 PM   #4
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For reliability, Perkins, Volvo and Isuzu will all be reliable, if they have been properly looked after for their lifetime to date.
For parts availability in Sitka, you should ask your local diesel guy. If he has a sign out front that, for example, says Volvo Penta, you won't have any trouble getting parts if you need them. If he has no sign you will need to ask him where would source his parts. There are TF members here who have had troubles getting parts for some engines, and there are those of us who have the opposite experience on the same brand names.

The major difference you should be looking at is the total available hp, as your proposed use of the boat will require more than what is offered in some of those choices
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:04 AM   #5
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I have a pair of Perkins 6.3544MM engines, I think option 2 is probably that. The other fairly common varieties are powered by 3208 Cats and Detroits of an unknown flavor. I wonder how accessible the outsides of the Cats would be as they are quite large V8's but the Perkins, being inlines are not bad. I have also seen a probably repowered 34 with twin Deere. I would love to own one of those.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:24 AM   #6
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1- Unnamed twin inboard diesels
2- Perkins 6.3574
3- Perkins 6-354
4- 4 cyl Perkins
5- Volvo diesel
6- Isuzu 6 cylinder
7- Crusader 454 GAS

2. Would be a 6.354-4 (Range 4) six cyl horsepower depends on turbo or not
3. 6-354 (Can be either NA or turbo) six cyl either 130 HP or 185 - 220 HP
4. twin 4 cyl Perkins were an option but they won't plane the boat. Flywright can fill you in on them.
5. 6. and 7. would be after market
And as Capn C mentioned the 3208 Cats were an option, HP varied.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:31 AM   #7
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As to the Volvo's, it makes a difference which model Volvo, and from what year. Ours is a 260hp KAD44P built in 1997 with 6,500 hours so far, and parts have never been a problem. The somewhat less powerful model 41's, installed in Camano's for instance for several years after that, have a good reputation. Model 40's (older) might not be a good idea.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:44 AM   #8
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#1 - Ford Lehman?
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:47 AM   #9
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#1 - Ford Lehman?
I wouldn't think so.
I'd say #1 would be Isuzu.
But we all have our pref's.

And Perkins would clearly top Lehman IMO.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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I have a pair of the 4.236 85HP Perkins. My WOT speed is 10 Kts, I cruise at 7.5 kts. My total fuel burn is 3.2 gph.

Big difference between those two boat choices.

I've been on CHC's late model 34 LRC with the 250 Detroits. We cruised at about 15-17, IIRC, and his WOT was 23 Kts. The ER was tight but workable but the cruise fuel burn was higher than I'd enjoy.

The Cat 3208s would make for a very tight ER, but at 210 HP for the naturals (similar HP to the turbo 6.354 Perkins at 220), you'd probably get 13-15 cruise speeds with reasonable fuel burn.

I've never heard of a 34 Californian with Lehman engines. That doesn't mean they don't exist, but I'd suspect a retrofit if there are some out there.

No problem getting the few Perkins parts I've needed over the past 9 years.

When speaking with the builder and his son, Jule and Gil Marshall, Gil mentioned that he thought the perfect engines for that boat are the Cat 3208 naturals. They had the power to move right along at a respectable cruise speed, but could be run at lower speeds as needed for long periods of time. The only negative to him was the cramped quarters in the ER with a pair of Cats.
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Old 03-01-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
I have a pair of the 4.236 85HP Perkins. My WOT speed is 10 Kts, I cruise at 7.5 kts. My total fuel burn is 3.2 gph.
Do you have trim tabs? The owner of the boat with the Perkins 4cyl for sale says he has debated adding trim tabs but never did. In his opinion it could make a difference in speed, but I don't know how much or at what cost in both fuel efficiency and the actual parts.

Also, is there much of an advantage to being able to go 10 knots WOT compared to 7.5 cruising? One of the reasons we were really leaning towards these boats, aside from really liking how they look, is so that we could go faster if we wanted/needed to as compared to a slower trawler. At this point, the biggest difference between a 7knot GB and a 7.5 knot Californian would be hull design, right? What are the biggest differences in the hull design and what practical applications do they have (for example, more or less sea worthy for one than another, I assume less rocking w/ the Californian, etc).

Thank you all for your responses, and patience!
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:33 PM   #12
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were the Crusader 454s standard on these at some point? The listing I know of that has them is a 1984 boat with 1984 engines, suggesting they were stock. A couple of google searches and I can't find anything though. I have found a little bit that makes me think if I kept her under 10 knots, the fuel burn wouldn't be too much more than some of the diesels available. I definitely prefer diesel, but as I read more about these Crusaders, I'm starting to have more of an open mind to gasoline.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:52 PM   #13
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or I guess it could have just been repowered and the motors happen to be the same years. Looking through the info on this site from old articles, everything looks to have been diesel off the line
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robs523 View Post
Do you have trim tabs? The owner of the boat with the Perkins 4cyl for sale says he has debated adding trim tabs but never did. In his opinion it could make a difference in speed, but I don't know how much or at what cost in both fuel efficiency and the actual parts.

Also, is there much of an advantage to being able to go 10 knots WOT compared to 7.5 cruising? One of the reasons we were really leaning towards these boats, aside from really liking how they look, is so that we could go faster if we wanted/needed to as compared to a slower trawler. At this point, the biggest difference between a 7knot GB and a 7.5 knot Californian would be hull design, right? What are the biggest differences in the hull design and what practical applications do they have (for example, more or less sea worthy for one than another, I assume less rocking w/ the Californian, etc).

Thank you all for your responses, and patience!
Yes, I have trim tabs and they make little to no difference in my slow boat. I never use them...they remain fully up.

The benefit of this hull form really comes in with larger engines. Getting on plane probably takes twin 200hp engines. Anything less than that will just plow water at displacement speeds.

The GB hull is less planing and more displacement until you get to the late models with huge engines. If you have twin 200HP engines in a GB, you can cruise at 9-10 kts. In a Californian, you can cruise in the mid-teens. The GB ride will be wetter than the Californian due to the Carolina flare on the Californian. Both hulls are just as seaworthy. The roll on a Californian will probably be snappy compared to the GD which you may find has a more gentle roll motion. At rest, the Californian is relatively stable in roll compared to a displacement hull. For a given length, I think the GB will be heavier than the Californian.


Quote:
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were the Crusader 454s standard on these at some point? The listing I know of that has them is a 1984 boat with 1984 engines, suggesting they were stock. A couple of google searches and I can't find anything though. I have found a little bit that makes me think if I kept her under 10 knots, the fuel burn wouldn't be too much more than some of the diesels available. I definitely prefer diesel, but as I read more about these Crusaders, I'm starting to have more of an open mind to gasoline.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robs523 View Post
or I guess it could have just been repowered and the motors happen to be the same years. Looking through the info on this site from old articles, everything looks to have been diesel off the line
Over the years, the Californian was built by 3 companies: Marshall, Wellcraft and Carver. I've seen ads for a few 34s with gassers...maybe from the later years under the Wellcraft banner? I'm not sure when, where or how many gassers were built. I love this boat but wouldn't touch one with gas engines. Just my opinion.

If I bought one again, I'd probably look for a pair of Perkins 6.354 engines with turbos for a 14-17 kt cruise speed but even the naturals might provide a cruise of 9-10 kts.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:55 PM   #15
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were the Crusader 454s standard on these at some point? The listing I know of that has them is a 1984 boat with 1984 engines, suggesting they were stock. I'm starting to have more of an open mind to gasoline.
I agree with Al on this.
I've never seen a "Marshall" Californian with gas, but anything after Wellcraft/Carver took over is unknown. That said, I did see an original 38', Marshall Cali sedan, single diesel, which was a commercial gillnet fishing boat. It appeared to be original, but don't know how much of it was built by the Marshall yard.

For many reasons, resale at the top of the list, I would stick with a twin diesel powered 34'. The 6.354T's or similar will get you the performance you're looking for.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:21 PM   #16
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The Californian needs lots of power to plane. And it's a planing hull. If you don't plane a lot more than twice a year you've got the wrong boat.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:27 AM   #17
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The Californian needs lots of power to plane. And it's a planing hull. If you don't plane a lot more than twice a year you've got the wrong boat.
Well, that settles it. I've owned my Californian for 9 years and have never planed in it. Until now, I didn't know I've got the wrong boat. I guess I have no choice now but to put her up for sale...since she's the wrong boat and all.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:33 AM   #18
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Well, that settles it. I've owned my Californian for 9 years and have never planed in it. Until now, I didn't know I've got the wrong boat. I guess I have no choice now but to put her up for sale...since she's the wrong boat and all.
Wow, i guess it really is a trawler
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:43 AM   #19
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Well, that settles it. I've owned my Californian for 9 years and have never planed in it. Until now, I didn't know I've got the wrong boat. I guess I have no choice now but to put her up for sale...since she's the wrong boat and all.
Oh sure Al. . . You're probably doing 19 knots and it is so smooth riding you just don't realize it.

For this moment of humor
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