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Old 07-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #1
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Californians vs Marine Traders

Hi all, Just starting to look for a trawler to cruise ICW, Bahamas for a year or so and would like to get some thoughts on various boats and engines. Like what I read about Lehmans, but haven't see much on Cat 3208's, also wonder about fuel consumption on MT 47 vs Califorian 45-48'. Looking at mid 1980 to 1990 models. Any comments will be greatly appreciated, Bill
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

While the Cat 3208 seems to have some detractors, for the most part owners report very favorably on them. If it was me, I would MUCH prefer a boat with Cats over a boat with Lehmans, and I have a boat with Lehmans.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:25 PM   #3
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

Wow! Thanks, Guru, I was thinking of going to the Trawler Fest in BWI this Sept and taking the diesel class with Bob Smith of Lehman fame.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

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Marin wrote:
While the Cat 3208 seems to have some detractors, for the most part owners report very favorably on them. If it was me, I would MUCH prefer a boat with Cats over a boat with Lehmans, and I have a boat with Lehmans.
I've had 2 boats with cat 3208s and had no trouble with either one. Were they able to pass the new ( ? years old) emission standards, they might still be making them. I haven't had any experience with the dinos...(excuse me, Lehmans.)*

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Old 07-14-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Californians vs Marine Traders

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modifier wrote:

Wow! Thanks, Guru, I was thinking of going to the Trawler Fest in BWI this Sept and taking the diesel class with Bob Smith of Lehman fame.
All Guru means is that you've sent more than x-number of posts to the forum.* It has nothing to do with whether or not any of them were worth anything.

I have not taken Bob Smith's class--- everything I need to know about our engines I either get from our diesel shop or by calling Bob or Brian Smith directly--- but I understand Bob's class is very good with regards to the old generation diesels like the Lehman.* So if you have the opportunity to take it I would do so as you'll learn a lot.

We've had this discussion before on the forum, but my dislike of Lehman engines, the FL120 in particular, does not stem from unreliability but from their ancient, almost prehistoric design and performance.* In a nutshell (and in my opinion*only) they are too heavy, too noisy, too inefficient, too maintenance-intense,*and too polluting.** And they are way too underpowered for their size and weight.

The FL120 is based on a 1950's Ford of England truck engine that was unsuccessful in trucks but was good (in its day) for industrial and agricutural applications.* Which is why it was popular for marine applications, too, at that time.* And at that time--- 1960s--- it was one of the better marine diesels around.* But its time has long since disappeared over the horizon.

If you find the perfect boat for you and it has one or two Ford Lehmans in it, by all means buy the boat if everything including the engine(s) surveys well.* But if you end up finding a great boat for you with Lehmans and a great boat for you with Cats, John Deeres, Cummins, Luggers, Volvos, MANs, etc, all else being equal I would recommend*that you*buy the boat without the Lehman(s).


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 14th of July 2010 07:01:35 PM
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:09 PM   #6
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

Quote:
Marin wrote:" But if you end up finding a great boat for you with Lehmans and a great boat for you with Cats, John Deeres, Cummins, Luggers, Volvos, MANs, etc, all else being equal I would recommend*that you*buy the boat without the Lehman(s)."
Good advice!

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Old 07-14-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

volvos, etc.. what? That seems a little bit over the top.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:07 PM   #8
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

If looking at MT47 or Cali 45 -48, Lehmans will not be an option. Those boats usually came with more hp than the old dinos put out. I have looked at a few such boats, with Cats, Volvos, Perkins, but few Lehmans. Fuel consumption will be from 4gph at a non-planing 8 knots, up to a wave making 11 or maybe at a real stretch, 12 knots, still not planing, where you will burn 12 gph or more. The age of the engines will determine whether you get high injection pressure and less smoke. If a late 70s or early 80s boat, chances are they will be smoky, especially at startup. Late 80s the injection pressures were rising, so less smoky, to modern ultra high injection pressures that produce no smoke.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:09 AM   #9
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

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Daddyo wrote:

volvos, etc.. what? That seems a little bit over the top.
Maybe but, Tony Athen a respected person on Boat Diesel on both Yanmar and Cummins gave the Yanmar 6LYA-STP a very high rating.* He said his brother has a pair in his boat with 6,500 hours and they run like new.* He also said that was not unusual for that engine.*

I was surprised.

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Old 07-19-2010, 10:31 AM   #10
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

And you need to weigh Marin's comments on Lehmans properly. He is likely the most staunch opponent of Lehmans I have ever come across. Marin is a techie of sorts and likes technology...the Lehmans aren't associated with anything technologically advanced in Marin's eyes so they are somehow flawed simply because they are old technology. THEY WORK AND THEY WORK QUITE WELL in a trawler/displacement speed application. Personally, I would seek a boat WITH Lehmans versus a boat with any other type of engine in the older boats(70s and 80s). The Cat 3208 is also a fairly highly regarded engine as well. Their biggest disadvantage is apce in the engine room as a V8 is quite wide....although you could argue they are not as long. But 3208s are generally good engines. FF will argue that they are "throw away" engines as they are not sleeved and if one cylinder goes bad, then you have to replace the whole lot...

If the question also included a discussion of MT vs Californian, I would own both with no problem but given the choice all things being equal, I would go with the Californian. Their build seems to be more consistent(ie American made)....they just seem to be built better...and usually the price reflects that. The Californians usually have less exterior wood. Californians usually have a better layout as well...maybe it is just because they usually have more beam...dunno. But it always seems that Calis are a LOT bigger than their size suggests whereas the MTs are right in line with their size.

Don't forget the Jeffersons. While they are Asian built, I do believe they had some of the best quality control of all of the Asian builders(Again, a little more in price) and they usually use Cummins or Perkins...FWIW.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:20 AM   #11
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

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And you need to weigh Marin's comments on Lehmans properly.....* THEY WORK AND THEY WORK QUITE WELL in a trawler/displacement speed application.
They do, particularly if you like very maintenance-intensive engines (injector pump oil MUST be changed every 50 hours, main oil every 200 hours or less) and if you like really noisy engines, like to boat with lots of vibration, like having your engine room filled with engines that are twice as big for the power you get than they need to be, and like spewing unburned fuel out your exhaust every time you start them up until they come up to temperature.* Considering all the quieter, smoother, more efficient, less maintenance-intense engines there are out there, life is too short to waste it on operating Lehmans.

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:36 AM   #12
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

I will agree with you reference changing the oil in the injector pump. My advice to the OP would be to look for boats with the 135hp version of the Lehmans in them...which do not require this. They came out around 1983???

And please tell me where I can find a mid 80s vintage boat with these quieter, smoother, more efficient engines in them??? Unless they have been repowered, you point is moot. I have just as much love for a modern Deere or Lugger as you do. But I am likely unable to afford a boat that came with them OEM!
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:10 PM   #13
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RE: Californians vs Marine Traders

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I have just as much love for a modern Deere or Lugger as you do. But I am likely unable to afford a boat that came with them OEM!
No argument there.* We have a boat with two Lehmans in them because we don't want to spend the money to change them out for proper engines.* In fact our boat is old enough to not warrant repowering it with anything--- the cost of the repower wouldn't come close to being reflected in the value of the re-engined boat.* So we operate the Lehmans properly (which means having a 1950s mindset) and we take care of them properly, and they have given us very good service and we expect them to continue to do so.

So yes, it is a moot point from a practical consideration, but the fact that it is doesn't change a crappy engine into a great engine, it just means we elect to live with the crappy engine.

I'm not advocating that someone with a Lehman-powered boat change the engine(s).* What I'm saying is that* a) it's a crummy engine by today's standards and b) if one has a choice between two boats that will suit them and are in comparable condition, and one is powered with one or two Lehmans and the other with one or two more modern, efficient engines, don't buy the boat with the Lehmans.

I met some guys in the early 80s who were running a FedEx feeder line to Memphis with* some C-47s.* What they really wanted were 727s (we were still making them then) but they couldn't justify the cost.* This didn't change the fact that the C-47 was an ancient, inefficient, maintenance-intensive airplane, it just meant they couldn't justify the cost of replacing them.* Same deal with Lehmans.* Crap is crap--- it's just that sometimes we have to live with it

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