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Old 10-06-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
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Low Hours on 10 year old engines

Looking at a boat with twin Yanmar 370s. The engine hours are approximately 260. When I expressed concern regarding the low hours I was told that the boat hasn't been used over the past three seasons and that low/no use on an engine this young was not as much of an issue as it would be if the engines had 1000+ hours and put up for a few years. Obviously I would have an engine survey done prior to purchase, but is it even worth it to spend the money to survey ? So I'm calling on the collective wisdom of the TF members to help me sort fact from fiction.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:46 PM   #2
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I was told that the boat hasn't been used over the past three seasons and that low/no use on an engine this young was not as much of an issue as it would be if the engines had 1000+ hours and put up for a few years

Bullcrap. Sales(wo)man saying anything they think you want to hear and will buy. (literally).

First off, 260 hours in seven years is a lot of sitting, let alone the three year layup. Engines don't like sitting, regardless of what it says on the hour meter.

What matters is if the engines were properly maintained during the first 7 years and then properly prepared for layup. Oil change, fogging of the cylinders, tanks full with stabilizer, exhaust plugged etc. etc. DEMAND RECORDS.

That said, with some care during re-lighting, like getting some oil around the engine before starting, changing fuel filters etc etc and THEN a proper survey you may very well be ok.

I would demand that they be serviced by a reputable brand name mechanic before survey, with the explicit instructions to take the long layup into consideration.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:59 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about it too much. close to 40 hours per season is enough to keep things limber.
Raw water impellers being toast would be a concern from sitting 3 years in one position.
Diesel fuel keeps fine on it's own, most people do not fog diesels at layup, maybe look in the engine manual to see if that is required.

Definitely get a Yanmar mechanic/tech to survey it. Twin diesels represent significant dollars.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:06 PM   #4
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most people do not fog diesels at layup
Not for a few winter months, but three whole years? There's a pretty good chance that at least one cylinder in each engine had an open path to outside air for the entire time.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:48 PM   #5
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Not for a few winter months, but three whole years? There's a pretty good chance that at least one cylinder in each engine had an open path to outside air for the entire time.
I'm guessing the owner did not plan on the boat being unused that long, hence probably didn't do anything other than shut it down and block off the exhaust.
I know if my boat stayed out that long it would most likely not be because I planned it. Hence I would not have done anything other than the above.

If it were a planned absence that would be a different story.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscar View Post
Bullcrap. Sales(wo)man saying anything they think you want to hear and will buy. (literally).

First off, 260 hours in seven years is a lot of sitting, let alone the three year layup. Engines don't like sitting, regardless of what it says on the hour meter.

What matters is if the engines were properly maintained during the first 7 years and then properly prepared for layup. Oil change, fogging of the cylinders, tanks full with stabilizer, exhaust plugged etc. etc. DEMAND RECORDS.

That said, with some care during re-lighting, like getting some oil around the engine before starting, changing fuel filters etc etc and THEN a proper survey you may very well be ok.

I would demand that they be serviced by a reputable brand name mechanic before survey, with the explicit instructions to take the long layup into consideration.

I am in agreement, it matters more how the engine was laid up for storage. My boat only had 46 hours on it when I bought it, but had a maintenance log clipped to the engine by the boatyard. The yard was one of Zimmerman's yards in Virginia, and the absentee owner had money and no time so I am sure the yard billed for everything they could :-)

I am now over 2700 hours on the Hobbs and have done nothing but scheduled maintenance and oil changes and everything is perfect. I did have all the hoses replaced preventively, including the injector lines and all coolant lines. I replaced all the raw water hoses myself after delivery.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:42 PM   #7
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If I don't put a hundred hours per year on the engine or exercise (under multi-hour load) the engine at least once a month, consider me a failure.
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:21 PM   #8
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IRENE had about 80 hours on her 9-year-old Volvo Penta D4-260 when we purchased her 18 months ago. We just passed 390 this weekend. There were some service records available when we found her, and I suspect they were complete.

The engine has been problem-free, except for one coolant hose that needed replacement. Upon removal, it was apparent that the hose was manufactured poorly with one "ragged" end, and it should have never been fitted. It had the same color paint (yes, paint) on it that the engine had when it came from the Volvo Penta factory, so I think I know where the hose came from.

I changed all of the fluids, belts, and engine zincs. There were no indications of problems. Fuel was removed before transporting the boat from the point of sale to Port Angeles.

I changed the oil at around 90 hours, and an analysis by Blackstone was without concern. Further analysis at 190 hours and 290 hours were fine as well.

There have been a number of associated items that I have replaced. Some of these items were high-failure items from the manufacturer, such as the steering cylinders and belt idler pullys. Other things were items that were superceded by improved items, such as the raw water strainer.

In our case, the combination of boat condition, available records, and seller interaction made the boat attractive even with an underutilized engine. It has not given me any cause for concern so far, and I expect no issues.
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Old 10-07-2016, 12:00 AM   #9
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Earlier boat had 136 hours of 7 years, maintenance was neglected in the betting was only 3 oil change. Engines twin Volvo Penta KAD44 260hp.


Volvo mechanic examined the machines and was oil test the test with after the long sea trial. All was well in the oil test, and I had the courage to buy. I replaced the oils for 50 hours and the service time schedule with a front-facing normally. I sold my boat in the spring of 1100 hours and 5 yars and engines will work fine all.


Who played before the sea need to do a full service machinery, may be able to change the diesel tank. Drive the long sea trial with yanmar mechanic, let him take the oil sample and send it to the blacstone laboratory. You will receive a response are the engines normal or if there is some elevated.


Try to agree with the seller as to the award of costs or negotiate the price well down, because there is a risk when the appliance is not used for 3 years, please use this as a weapon in the price discussions, good luck hunting.
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Old 10-07-2016, 04:33 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your responses. I get the impression that this was not a planned retreat from the boat, so I'm guessing that the engines were not properly laid up.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
If I don't put a hundred hours per year on the engine or exercise (under multi-hour load) the engine at least once a month, consider me a failure.
I hear you, but around here that's not always so easy, especially for a working man.
I only did about 35 hours this season. Work, windy weekends, rainy weekends, fog etc. keeps boats in port. Lots of destinations are close, an hour or 3 underway, anchor for the weekend, then back. I'm going to say under 50 hours is the norm in my area, not the exception.
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Old 10-07-2016, 08:43 AM   #12
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For those who make dire predictions of doom for a marine diesel layed up for three years with no special preparation, could you please cite one instance of resulting damage that you are aware of.


OTOH, I have read many instances of marine diesels sitting for 5-10 years and with proper prep, started up and ran fine.


There are a few things that can go wrong after several years of layup- cylinder wall rust and fuel injector rack sticking. Definitely check the rack for proper movement. Bar over the engine by hand to make sure rings aren't stuck. Replace impeller and bleed the injectors. Crank with fuel stop pulled to first build oil pressure and then let her rip.


An oil analysis after running for a few hours might show high iron, but if the engine starts easily and doesn't have blow by then the rings/cylinder walls are probably ok.


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Old 10-07-2016, 09:14 AM   #13
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All opinions aside, as the OP is intending, a good sea trial and engine specific survey will tell most if not all.

During the sea trial, run the vessel for at least 5 minutes under load at fully rated RPM verified by a photo tach. Watch temperatures, smoke and any leaks for oil, coolant water and exhaust.

Any maintenance lapses for zincs?
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