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Old 07-27-2015, 09:52 AM   #1
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We are new to the Group. We are longtime inland sailors who have gotten old. Need to be on the water, but not as spry as we once were. Looking into power boats and trawlers in particular. Question, how many engine hours are too much. I know there is more to the condition of engines that hours, but looking at ads they are all over the place. Any rule of thumb?
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:58 AM   #2
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That is a tough one I think most would say it is about the maintenance and not as much the hours

Some of the diesels are built like tanks

For example our dock neighbor has detroits in a viking with 11k hours and they do not smoke compression is great ,,,,, Then we have another dock neighbor with the same engines different boat he just rebuilt them at 6k hours

My Volvos are at 4k hours and are probably not far from needing rebuilt
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #3
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I too am a sailor that is transitioning to power. I can tell you that powerboat engine hours are very different from sailboat engine hours. On a powerboat there will be more hours, but most of them will have been accumulated with the engine fully warmed up and operating at near optimum conditions. In contrast, as you know, sailboat engines get used for 15 minutes, shut down then used again for 15-30 minutes. The result is that I am much more comfortable with a powerboat engine with 4,000-5,000 hours than I am with a sailboat engine with 1,000-1,500 hours.

That said, I would look for things like the engine being clean with no rust. I would also want to see a nice record of regular oil changes, etc. It also depends on the type of engine. Personally I am leery of turbocharged engines with lots of hours. I prefer a naturally aspirated engine.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:31 AM   #4
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You're asking a question with answers totally depending upon your comfort, available money and stomach.


If money were no object, then get any boat you like and have it rebuilt, or repowered. If money is tight, then go for a boat with a recently rebuilt engine.
If money is scarce, then if you can find a boat and hope it keeps running.


Some people can't stomach the thought of running an old(er) engine. I guess it would depend also if you had a boat with single or twin. It's really up to you. Being the previous proud owner of a 1979 atomic4 in a Ranger 30, that always was a cantankerous thing to keep running, gasketed and no exhaust leaks, an old diesel is a wonder to behold! IMHO.
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:29 AM   #5
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Any rule of thumb? __________________

It is claimed that the usual boat does 200 hours a year. With a 10 year old boat 2,000 would not be uncommon .

A dock Queen might have 1/4 that time , so would be very suspect that the REQUIRED maint was done on time.

A well maintained engine of course will last its full service life easier than a "Run it till it Dies" program.

A good look in the engine space might show the level of maint.Proper oil, antifreez and filters.

Diesels can run extreme hours , but seldom do in a boat.

Figure 5000- hours or so on a small diesel (taxi or farm equipment origin) and double that with a more industrial engine source.

Old Gas engines will usually last 2000 hours IF fresh water cooled , 7 years or so if seawater cooled.

As maint and use pattern is more important than hours its hard to guess how much life is left in the old bucket.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Any rule of thumb? __________________

It is claimed that the usual boat does 200 hours a year. With a 10 year old boat 2,000 would not be uncommon .

A dock Queen might have 1/4 that time , so would be very suspect that the REQUIRED maint was done on time.

A well maintained engine of course will last its full service life easier than a "Run it till it Dies" program.

A good look in the engine space might show the level of maint.Proper oil, antifreez and filters.

Diesels can run extreme hours , but seldom do in a boat.

Figure 5000- hours or so on a small diesel (taxi or farm equipment origin) and double that with a more industrial engine source.

Old Gas engines will usually last 2000 hours IF fresh water cooled , 7 years or so if seawater cooled.

As maint and use pattern is more important than hours its hard to guess how much life is left in the old bucket.

Good information mate!


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