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Old 10-06-2017, 12:47 AM   #1
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Over Propping Questions

Im considering purchasing a Carver 530 with 475 hp Volvo TAMD 74 engines. Their max unloaded RPM is 2650 but both engines only reach 2200 under power

Hull is clean, props not damaged and Volvo engine surveyor says engines are in very good condition so i surmise the props have too much pitch.

I will only be travelling at 10 knots and about 1500 rpm for 95% of the time.

Question

1-Will the current props cause undue strain to the engine if I ran it at 2100 rpm for an hour a few times in the future?

2- Would fuel economy at 10 knots be better the way it is, or better with the props repitched to achieve 2650 rpm under power?
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:21 AM   #2
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You have a planing hull, and since you are already talking about running it up for an hour or so, you will be far better off to go ahead and reprop to your top speed, and not worry about a few rpms at off plane cruising speeds.
10 knots is likely getting into hump speed, not a great scenario for an overpropped vessel.
You have a big investment here, best to talk to a professional about such a critical issue.
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:04 AM   #3
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Before running off to get your prop's re pitched have you checked the actual RPM with a laser tach or similar (Depending on tach model and how it's driven 10% error is not out of the question) couple of following items to note as well,

1) Do you notice any black smoke when at full RPM?

2) Have you checked your no load RPM ?

3) Have you checked your throttle linkage is going to full throttle on the injector pumps?

4) As a general guide dropping the pitch by an inch usually increases engine RPM by around 200 RPM.(plus or minus)

5) If running at your present 100 RPM below max throttle and no sign of over loading (black smoke) then no real harm should ensue, your temperature gauge will be a prime item to watch in these cases as any real increase in temp will mean possible over loading as does the possible black smoke,so then yes look at a reduction in pitch,

Cheers Steve
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:43 AM   #4
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To add to Capt Steve.
Exhaust temp gauges would be a good addition. Find out what temp range Volvo wants to see
Find out what max RPM Volvo wants you to obtain when the boat is fully loaded and in gear.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:33 AM   #5
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A simple rule of thumb is to pull back 10% from observed WOT .

For most that would be 200RPM , an EGT is not expensive and is the only way you can fully load the engine without harm

Any operation at almost WOT is usually very expensive in fuel burn.

For a displacement boat matching the prop to the intended cruise speed is not over proping , it is good engine management.

All boats up on the plane are a compromise , so the prop decision should be chosen by where the boat operates most of the time.

Sport fish operate on the pin much of the time and accept short engine life as normal.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:54 PM   #6
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When I bought my boat the manufacturer suggested we run at WOT for 10 minutes during the survey. This will show if the boat is over- or under-propped.


If it reaches its WOT speed but doesn't reach the WOT rpm it likely is over propped.


If it reaches the WOT rpm but doesn't reach the WOT speed it's under propped.


People have been known to over prop their boats thinking it will improve their fuel efficiency/economy. It might but the difference might not even be noticeable.


Find out from Carver what the WOT speed is for that boat with those engines. That likely will give you more clues about the current propping.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:38 PM   #7
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If those engines are that seriously over propped on a planning hull I would walk. I bought a boat some years back with 250 hours on engine there was a few hundred rpm of over propping. Less than 50 hours latter the engine blew. Maybe you want to be a big time gambler? Some over propped engines are damaged some not why gamble when you can buy a boat without this potential problem. There is a reason a sea trial with WOT full load testing is done and it is not to entertain the surveyor. It is easy for others to tell you not to worry it will not be their money or inconvenience it engine blows. I speak from experience.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:28 PM   #8
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You'll get better mileage with the current props and the lower rpm will wear the engine less. The turbo won't be running flat out so your exhaust gas temperatures won't be eroding your cylinder parts.
The paperwork I have on that engine (maybe a slightly different model) says max hp may be used 4 hours in 12. Remember Volvo is only interested in the engine lasting thru warranty.
Most boats I've owned were over propped. Better mileage, lower rpms in the hands of a careful operator.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanfromhell View Post

Question

1-Will the current props cause undue strain to the engine if I ran it at 2100 rpm for an hour a few times in the future?

2- Would fuel economy at 10 knots be better the way it is, or better with the props repitched to achieve 2650 rpm under power?
1 The usual evidence of overpropping is black smoke at the top end of rpm that you can reach. Keep yours below the point of putting out black smoke for peace of mind.

2 Yours are likely set up to run 10 knots at lower rpm, so don't waste the effort put in by a PO to set up for better economy at that speed.

My mechanic, when suggesting a more powerful pair of engines, recommended overpropping to bring operational rpm down. I have an extra 4" pitch added, cruise at 8 knots, 2000 rpm, and am very happy with the reduction in engine wear, improved economy, less noise, in engines that could be run at 2700 rpm for the same 8 knots.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:03 AM   #10
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Here is advice to me from a marine engineer with a few pics that he shared about overpropping and reducing engine wear.....

"Half truth at best ... and it appears a poor understanding of turbocharger operation.

Look at the attached pics. They show what reduced turbocharger output does to an engine running at the load needed to obtain a certain speed through the water..... (snip)

A turbocharged engine uses valve overlap to scavenge exhaust gas from the cylinder, both intake and exhaust valves are open for a short period and the flow of relatively cool scavenge air cools the valves and seats. If there is not enough scavenge air flow - as would be the case when turbo is not delivering the mass of air required for a given load - what you see in the photos is the result."
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:29 AM   #11
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Egt

The pics above are a great reason to monitor exhaust gas temp. Probably the most important gauge on a turbo Diesel engine.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:35 AM   #12
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All too often Carvers of that era left the factory propped to achieve full RPM lightly loaded. I personally know of several. Then reality hit with added people, water, fuel, frying pans, enclosures, dinghy and kayaks.

As PSN and Ed note there is no upside especially on a planing vessel for over propping. Urban myths about the advantages of over propping should not be believed for one second on this vessel. And this vessel is SEVERELY over propped if it truly can only reach 2200 RPM.

If the boat owner is (1) willing to prop the vessel correctly so it can archieve full rated+ 50 RPM during sea trial (verified by photo tach), (2) discount the price for major rebuilds and (3) you're willing to gamble - then you may have a deal.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:22 AM   #13
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I'd call Carver and ask them for the standard prop specs for those engines in that hull. I know that as of ten years ago they spent a great deal of time dialing in new models. I stored our boat at the marina where it was done and spoke with the test crews. Also ask them what sort of loading was used during that evolution (per the comment above). They had a great engineering staff prior to the late-2000's down turn and virtual shutdown of the production line. I'd bet the core of that brain trust is still around.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:07 AM   #14
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Yes on #1

No on #2

!0 knots will be a considerable load so best to be propped t 2700.
I wouldn't call Carver. I'd call Volvo.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:59 AM   #15
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I would not buy the boat unless you are getting it at a serious discount. Overpropping is never good on a planing hull. ANd like someone said, 10 knots is a very poor speed for efficiency and engine wear.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:00 AM   #16
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Just passing along what a marine engineer passed to me.

Engines arent my strong point, just operating them.
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:14 AM   #17
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Just passing along what a marine engineer passed to me.

Engines arent my strong point, just operating them.
If you notice, I edited my statement. You were correct. There is valve overlap, The reason a diesel can get away with it is the timing of the fuel charge. The overlap occurs when there is no fuel charge being introduced. When the fuel is injected, the overlap is gone so the unburned fuel does not go through. It is done for better efficiency. The 2 strokes cannot get away with it since the fuel charge has to be introduced earlier while the exhaust valves are still open...and some fuel does escape unburned.

I am still reading and trying to get a better understanding....
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:00 AM   #18
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If you notice, I edited my statement. You were correct. There is valve overlap, The reason a diesel can get away with it is the timing of the fuel charge. The overlap occurs when there is no fuel charge being introduced. When the fuel is injected, the overlap is gone so the unburned fuel does not go through. It is done for better efficiency. The 2 strokes cannot get away with it since the fuel charge has to be introduced earlier while the exhaust valves are still open...and some fuel does escape unburned.

I am still reading and trying to get a better understanding....
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #19
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I think anybody who tells OP to over-prop a planning boat is blowing smoke and cares not about your exhaust valves. Since 10K is well above hull speed of the boat in question their would be considerable load on engine. The engine would be overloaded at all speeds the damage greatest at higher RPM but still cumulative. Because a few people have crossed oceans on a raft and got away with it does not mean it is safe or the best way to go. Over propping increases the risk of engine disaster and is a good reason to pass on a boat for sale. Also consider there are future buyers who will not consider your boat if you keep it over-propped. If you buy a boat that has been over-propped for some time you really have no way of knowing how it was used and how much latent damage there is. If you buy and correct you are still making an unnecessary gamble since you have the option of buying a different boat that has been properly set up run and maintained. A boat so poorly propped would raise all kinds of questions about the previous owners knowledge and care.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:39 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
I think anybody who tells OP to over-prop a planning boat is blowing smoke and cares not about your exhaust valves. Since 10K is well above hull speed of the boat in question their would be considerable load on engine. The engine would be overloaded at all speeds the damage greatest at higher RPM but still cumulative. Because a few people have crossed oceans on a raft and got away with it does not mean it is safe or the best way to go. Over propping increases the risk of engine disaster and is a good reason to pass on a boat for sale. Also consider there are future buyers who will not consider your boat if you keep it over-propped.
Fully agree!!!
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