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Old 08-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #141
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Somewhere in this thread did anyone mention that adherence to proper maintenance is an issue that spells relief or failure in either case? More than an oil change too is involved. If in doubt talk to guys like RickB, Ski or Celectric
I think it's been mentioned but many semi-adhere. We go completely by the manufacturer's recommendations and use only fluids that they recommend. Is that all necessary? I don't know. All I know is it's always worked for me.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:53 AM   #142
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Not sure if my post # 97 was glossed over? I would interested to know what exactly you guys talk about when mentioning engine hours and longevity: Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Gas vs. Diesel

RT Firefly, you have to admit threads like these can be entertaining Though they tend to stray off into weeds. . .reminds of when someone would ask about a Dana44 vs a Dana60 front axle and off roading (back in my truck forum days). There's a simple general rule, but within 5-6 posts you end up with 6-7 guys arguing over material strengths, shock loading, HP. . .then off into the weeds of cryo treated 60 outers and aftermarket Birfields for the 44. . .then a wise arse will throw Spridertrax axles into the mix and you end up with a 100 page thread of this

But, they are fun
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:17 AM   #143
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Not sure if my post # 97 was glossed over? I would interested to know what exactly you guys talk about when mentioning engine hours and longevity: Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Gas vs. Diesel
When discussing longevity we are discussing the internal components, IE pistons, valves, cylinders, bearings.

Things that bolt to the engine are field replaceable parts.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:52 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by cool beans View Post
Not sure if my post # 97 was glossed over? I would interested to know what exactly you guys talk about when mentioning engine hours and longevity: Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Gas vs. Diesel

RT Firefly, you have to admit threads like these can be entertaining Though they tend to stray off into weeds. . .reminds of when someone would ask about a Dana44 vs a Dana60 front axle and off roading (back in my truck forum days). There's a simple general rule, but within 5-6 posts you end up with 6-7 guys arguing over material strengths, shock loading, HP. . .then off into the weeds of cryo treated 60 outers and aftermarket Birfields for the 44. . .then a wise arse will throw Spridertrax axles into the mix and you end up with a 100 page thread of this

But, they are fun
I think something that also needs to be discussed is age versus usage. There are things that will detoriate over TIME and not necessarily related to hours/usage. Those things need to be maintained properly as well. The simplest example I can think of is oil. You change the oil based on hours of usage OR the age of the oil....likely every year. Oil will detoriate over time. Same goes with many of the components on your engine. Impellors....aftercoolers....belts. The failure of those simple things can cause considerable damage to the engine if not caught in time.

Another thing as it relates to age....most people that have thousands and thousands of hours on their engines use their boats a LOT!!!! SO those hours are accumulated before the age of the engine has caught up to those other things I have mentioned. Commercial fishermen in small boats may put 2000 hours a year on a Cummins and end up with 5000 hours before the detioration of "marine age" has even set in. Whereas the guy that has a 10 year old boat with 500 hours on it has a different fight on his hands as it relates to maintenance.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:30 PM   #145
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Hello RCook

Thank you for your response and for providing some realdetails on a reasonably sized recreational engine run at various speeds andloads.
IMHO - you have done more than a few things that are bothunusual for owners and also were key moves to add life to your diesel and theyinclude:


- Not running the engine near overload since new
- Verifying the tach readings and then correcting forprop loads guaranteeing rated rpms+
- Performing the maintenance as required as opposed towhen failures occur
- And maybe less important but likely a contributor isthe amount of time the boat is out of water making it less likely for a bottomand running gear growth problem leading to the 'sneaky' overloading that mostfolks acquire.
- FWIW - I have also run Stanadyne or Valvtec in dieselsthese past 25 years usually getting a much better deal on it in
5 gallon quantities.

In my experience and observations most boaters of theserecreational diesels do not ensure they can reach WOT rated rpm's with theirboat in an 'as ready to cruise' condition and just about none of them have eververified their tachs.
Most of the boats that we cruise with have no gaugeswhich would normally warn an owner that he/she is not reaching proper rpm'sother than knowing to do a WOT test for rated rpm's.
Once again in my opinion only - based upon manyobservations you have operated your diesel far beyond the normal care that onetypically see's on the most common 35 - 50 recreational boats with twindiesels.
Taking your numbers and making a few "educatedguesses" along the way there are also a few other things going in yourfavor with this engine set up and your use. During your first 1,700 hours ofuse some of this data pops out....

- 300 hrs approximate at 17.5 kts
- 1,100 to 1,200 approx at 6 kts
- 200 to 300 approx at idle or maneuvering rpms
- 300 hrs approx at 65% engine load
- 300 hrs approx at 1.3 cubic inches per hp produced
- 1,100 to 1,200 hrs approx at 10% engine load
- 1,100 to 1,200 hrs approx at 8 cubic inches per hpproduced
- 8.06 knot average speed over the first 1,700 hours

Your overall average speed over the life of the engine isat 6 kts. My observations has been that many of these recreational engines cansee problems in as few as 200 "high cruise speed" hours if they havebeen overloaded during that period of time. If they have been reasonably loadedbut to the engines limits my observation is that they can see real issuesbetween 500-1,000 hrs at "high cruise speeds" if those speeds yieldloads that put these rec engines into an area with less than 2 cubic inches perhp produced. One method to add an insurance to that situation is to unload the
engine(s) by propping below the full power rpms so younever draw the full engine power.
This is what I have seen with various typed dieselengines between 150-450 Hp in most of the more common brand boats but I amalways interested in what others have seen and learned based upon theirexperiences along the way.
Thanks for your post and details - I think you will beboating without significant issues for another 17 years.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:04 PM   #146
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Smithy,
Where is Northport?
I agree w your observations. I've met Richard in Alaska and clearly is an excellent source of advice or/and information. Going 6 knots most of the time I can't see why he dosn't get a FD boat over twice the size of his boat now and have three times the space on board .. w no increase in fuel burn. I may have asked him that and he probably told me it's where he lives and the trailer advantage. Probably work related too. He's not old like me.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:12 PM   #147
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Hello Eric,


Northport in NY on Long Island Sound.
Been here quite a while now - pretty good boating area all in all.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:36 PM   #148
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Just a comment. Our marina has three inboard gas boats. Today two of them were broken down with engine problems. All the diesel boats seem to be fine.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:50 PM   #149
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Just a comment. Our marina has three inboard gas boats. Today two of them were broken down with engine problems. All the diesel boats seem to be fine.
This reminds me of slanted political polls... creating statements form "experts"...
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:55 PM   #150
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Just a comment. Our marina has three inboard gas boats. Today two of them were broken down with engine problems. All the diesel boats seem to be fine.
Just a comment. Last time we had a boat in the yard for service, every boat there being serviced was diesel, so obviously they're the ones with problems.

I agree with you on diesels but a poll of two boats at one marina wouldn't convince me. How do you like my competing poll?

Oh and I'd bet around 98% of the problems reported on this site are diesel.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:12 PM   #151
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Properly used and well maintained quiet/odorless/vibration-free gas engines seldom experience any real big internal problems. Oil pump here, burnt valve there, timng chain maybe... but, mostly items such as those relatively minor ones do not occur. Gas engines can and often do seamlessly last into the 4k hour range, or over. Replacement is relatively low cost (about 1/4th to 1/5th diesel). Easy to work on (do maintenance to) during years of increased-pleasure boating!
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:56 AM   #152
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I've met Richard in Alaska and clearly is an excellent source of advice or/and information. Going 6 knots most of the time I can't see why he dosn't get a FD boat over twice the size of his boat now and have three times the space on board .. w no increase in fuel burn. I may have asked him that and he probably told me it's where he lives and the trailer advantage. Probably work related too. He's not old like me.
Hi Eric,

Can't use work as the excuse - been retired 17 years now (that's how I'm able to spend the summers on the water). I do like being able to keep the boat in dry Utah air when not cruising, however, and occasionally to poke around on Lake Powell.

But after 24 years cruising in trailer boats, I am at last getting serious about switching to a more comfortable cruiser that doesn't cost tremendously more to operate.

Likely candidate is a 37 Nordic Tug - looked at a couple of nice ones in the Anacortes area on the way back home this year. Seems I might be able to cruise for similar $$/nm, since nmpg would be not too much worse, and I wouldn't have to spend a small fortune on truck diesel towing up to Prince Rupert. And I sure could accommodate 1-3 crew members better. I'd have to figure out how to rig her for fishing. Exciting new project?
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:39 PM   #153
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OK good Richard,
I'm GaGa over the NT 32 and if I was familar w them I'd prolly be GaGa over the 37. I think it's mostly the wheelhouse that win's me over on the Nordy's.
Where would you keep the boat then? You always use Rupert to launch .. Yes? I hope some day you'll come through W WA.

A dream boat for me could be a NT 32 w a 4cyl Cummins w Aqua Drive.
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:15 PM   #154
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Hi Eric,

Have launched in PR the last ten years, but have done Bellingham several times for BC cruises, and a full Inside Passage trip from Everett to Glacier Bay and back once.

I do like my buddies' NT32, but there's more to drool over on the 37:

The 37 has a second stateroom. I don't have to go down steep narrow steps from cockpit to salon deck - they're the same level. The salon roof/boat deck is big enough for a nice dinghy. Some even have electric cranes.

It would probably be in Anacortes or thereabouts. Where's Willy?
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:47 PM   #155
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Just to go back to the OP's question - I think the real answer is: It depends.

I have a real outlier - a 76 43' Viking Double Cabin - identical hull to their sportfisherman - just infilled the SF cockpit to make a stateroom. Power is twin 454 Crusaders rated at 350 hb - carbeurated with electronic ignition. The Hobbs show about 1650 hours. I have no objective history on the engines other than knowing through serial numbers that the blocks and heads are time commensurate with the build date for the boat. Original? Repowered with correct vintage remans? Rebuilt in place? Dunno.

Viking produced a couple of hundred over the period of 76 to 83 (?) or so. They were optioned with either the Crusaders or 6-71s. Talking to the Viking guys over the years (including Paul, who project managed the DCs but has since retired) it seems they were about 50/50 diesel/gas. But no hard records.

I do know that the old girl will still make the Viking advertised numbers for speed (27 K) and that the oil analysis results for the past 4 years is good and stable. Compression is good all holes.

Normal operation is either in "trawler" mode at about 8.5 - 9 K (2200 rpm, 8 gph by Floquips) or (if I'm feeling flush that day) a planing sweet spot of 13.5 - 14.0 K (3200rpm).

Am I worried about the safety factor of gas? Yes, to the extent that I take precautions, have systems that help to manage that risk, and conduct preventative maintenance - just like I did/do with aircraft that I flew, other smaller boats, cars that I drive, and the myriad generators, power washers, lawn mowers that I own. I'm by no means a wrench-head, but upkeep is pretty straightforward with basic handtools.

I'm pretty much a day cruiser, with occasional expeditions to the barrier islands off AL and MS or a run to the Florida panhandle. She's good for 150-200 miles with reasonable reserves. Fuel economy? In my experience, and doing maybe 200-250 hours underway per year, the cost of fuel is one of the less expensive items in boat ownership.

When I bought her (yes I had her surveyed by an old established surveyor who knows old boats), everything was sound - but not pretty. I talked to a lot of guys who operate 454 powered work boats (lafitte skiffs, mostly - working small operation fisherman) who swear by the big block Crusaders. last a long time, easy to maintain, relatively inexpensive to replace/rebuild when compared to a lot of diesels. Decided that, net out, for that boat and my intended use - she worked. And never looked back.

If I were one of you guys in the PNW who runs up to Alaska now and then, I'd have never considered her. If I had believed everything I read about the 35' or 40' "cutoff" for gassers I wouldn't have bought her. But for my deal, the gas power works out perfectly. I don't have a shred of diesel envy.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:56 PM   #156
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Normal operation is either in "trawler" mode at about 8.5 - 9 K (2200 rpm, 8 gph by Floquips) or (if I'm feeling flush that day) a planing sweet spot of 13.5 - 14.0 K (3200rpm).
No kidding, 8 gph @ ~10mph? That doesn't sound nearly as bad as I thought. . .especially when I read some gph quotes for the GS 44 I was looking at (~5gph @ 10 mph) and a MainShip 40 DC with twin Detroits (6gph @ ~10mph).

8gph gas vs 5 gph diesel over 100 hrs use is ~$1100 difference in fuel bill (~$2900 vs ~$1800) using local marina prices. . .and this is assuming you'd actually travel a 1000 miles a year total! I'm a working guy with other outdoor interests, so if I even was able to put 1/2 that a season on a boat I'd think I died and went to heaven

Here's a question I'm really interested in: For those of you with gassers vs diesels (both twins). . .what is your average maintenance costs per 100 hrs? ie, how much more expensive is diesels vs the fuel savings?

Here's another I don't think has come up in this thread: Has anyone noticed a steady price difference for the same make of boat gas vs diesel? Me personally, I've seen MS40's have about a $20k price premium for diesel (that buys a lot of gas). I'm not sure if that's because a diesel MS40 is rare, though.

For average expected useage, at least for me (and probably most people), gas wins hands down. So my third question: Why can't I psychologically wrap my head around the idea of buying a boat with a pair of Big Blocks?
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:35 PM   #157
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Maintenance of my diesels after 100 hours is an oil and filter change. I also change the heat exchanger zinc on one engine. The other engine has a monel heat exchanger = no zinc. I just serviced the injectors on one engine after 1,100 hours = $120.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:19 PM   #158
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Just to go back to the OP's question - I think the real answer is: It depends.

I have a real outlier - a 76 43' Viking Double Cabin - identical hull to their sportfisherman - just infilled the SF cockpit to make a stateroom. Power is twin 454 Crusaders rated at 350 hb - carbeurated with electronic ignition. The Hobbs show about 1650 hours. I have no objective history on the engines other than knowing through serial numbers that the blocks and heads are time commensurate with the build date for the boat. Original? Repowered with correct vintage remans? Rebuilt in place? Dunno.

Viking produced a couple of hundred over the period of 76 to 83 (?) or so. They were optioned with either the Crusaders or 6-71s. Talking to the Viking guys over the years (including Paul, who project managed the DCs but has since retired) it seems they were about 50/50 diesel/gas. But no hard records.

I do know that the old girl will still make the Viking advertised numbers for speed (27 K) and that the oil analysis results for the past 4 years is good and stable. Compression is good all holes.

Normal operation is either in "trawler" mode at about 8.5 - 9 K (2200 rpm, 8 gph by Floquips) or (if I'm feeling flush that day) a planing sweet spot of 13.5 - 14.0 K (3200rpm).

Am I worried about the safety factor of gas? Yes, to the extent that I take precautions, have systems that help to manage that risk, and conduct preventative maintenance - just like I did/do with aircraft that I flew, other smaller boats, cars that I drive, and the myriad generators, power washers, lawn mowers that I own. I'm by no means a wrench-head, but upkeep is pretty straightforward with basic handtools.

I'm pretty much a day cruiser, with occasional expeditions to the barrier islands off AL and MS or a run to the Florida panhandle. She's good for 150-200 miles with reasonable reserves. Fuel economy? In my experience, and doing maybe 200-250 hours underway per year, the cost of fuel is one of the less expensive items in boat ownership.

When I bought her (yes I had her surveyed by an old established surveyor who knows old boats), everything was sound - but not pretty. I talked to a lot of guys who operate 454 powered work boats (lafitte skiffs, mostly - working small operation fisherman) who swear by the big block Crusaders. last a long time, easy to maintain, relatively inexpensive to replace/rebuild when compared to a lot of diesels. Decided that, net out, for that boat and my intended use - she worked. And never looked back.

If I were one of you guys in the PNW who runs up to Alaska now and then, I'd have never considered her. If I had believed everything I read about the 35' or 40' "cutoff" for gassers I wouldn't have bought her. But for my deal, the gas power works out perfectly. I don't have a shred of diesel envy.
I saw a few of that engine on the lake, in ski boats. As an interesting point on Crusader engines, Correct Craft, the builder of Nautique, purchased PCM and Crusader engines last fall. Crusader had an excellent reputation on ski boats, although generally smaller than the 454.

I agree with your "it depends."
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:22 PM   #159
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Has anyone noticed a steady price difference for the same make of boat gas vs diesel? Me personally, I've seen MS40's have about a $20k price premium for diesel (that buys a lot of gas). I'm not sure if that's because a diesel MS40 is rare, though.
Yes, I've noticed a price differential as there is new and used. I think it's greater percentage wise on used boats, but that's because of the perception that diesels have a longer life. They do, but that may not come into play, just as it hasn't for you.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:28 PM   #160
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That'd be a Floscan - not sure what a floquip is.

Either gas or diesel fuel consumption is going to increase geometrically with speed. However, I have a hunch the curve is steeper for gas. When I did the 27 knot runs I didn't have the Floscans, but I imagine fuel burn approximated a DC-3's.
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