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Old 12-13-2018, 12:17 PM   #1
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Prairie 36 pre-view questions.

This is my first trip to the Trawler Forum, though I have been a sponge reader for a while.

A Prairie 36 has been brought to my attention and hopefully I will be travelling to the area near it, over the holidays. I would greatly appreciate being fed some questions to ask the broker prior to seeing it. You know, make it look like I know what Iím talking about.

Some cursory Perkins reading suggests I be aware of contra-rotation, manifold and cooler issues but, I would like advice on any specific things to look at and query. Do they all have suspect mani-coolers? What are common gears with the 6.354?

Iíve noticed some P36 owners here (CaptTom, tallswede, Fog, et al.) and would appreciate their feedback (structural & mechanical) plus any hands on experience with rough seas, as the primary cruising area would be the central BC coast where small craft advisories are not infrequent. Any Prairie history is also welcome.

This is the listed boat so please, anything catch your attention other than the asking price being perhaps 20k (Canadian) high?
https://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...ageyachtsales&

Thank you for any and all comments.
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Old 12-13-2018, 08:26 PM   #2
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I saw that on Yachtworld almost two months ago now. I was pretty impressed.

I have the same engines, but with turbos and with the problematic multi-cooolers. The NA motors look like they have more "normal" heat exchangers, but maybe someone who owns one will chime in. I'd much rather have those; I find the turbo 200HP motors are really more than I need, and I'd be happier with simpler stuff.

It's a pretty rugged hull, as long as you don't let water pool in the keel and freeze over the winter. With soft chines and a flybridge, and not a very deep keel, she rolls a bit in a beam sea or wake.

The flybridge enclosure is really nice to have, assuming it's in good shape. That extra "hanging around" space up there is a big plus. The lay-out of the flybridge on the '81 is even better than on my '80. I'm not a huge fan of the "bunk" style berthing in the vee; mine has a traditional one-level V-berth, but that's a personal preference. The one you're looking at has the galley-up layout, which I do prefer.

We couldn't find anything with as much usable interior space in anything under 37 feet. The layout just can't be beat. But as with any boat that age, condition of the hull, electrical systems, mechanical systems and overall finish is going to be the deciding factor. With only the pictures in the ads, it's hard to say for sure, but I don't seen any red flags at first glance. The pictures APPEAR to show a very well-maintained boat.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thank you very much CaptTom.

After posting I spent a good piece of the day with Google and your prior posts kept popping up. I guess not a lot were built so information is not in abundance but I collected a lot of good information here.

I like the NA engines, centre aft, v-birth and galley up so systems will be the focus, if I get a chance to look. I would be mostly single handed but do like the spare head.

Was unaware it has been for sale for a couple of months or more but it is out of season, for most buyers here.

I’ve emailed the broker a couple of questions but have not heard back; time of year on that too.

Do you know what hull speed is on these and what do you run at? Also, do you know if the typical window leaks show up on these?

Thanks again.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soin2la View Post
Do you know what hull speed is on these and what do you run at? Also, do you know if the typical window leaks show up on these?
By the traditional rule of thumb, hull speed is around 7.5 knots. I've found this to be pretty accurate. Best fuel mileage is probably somewhere between 6.5 and 7 knots, but I usually run around 7.5 just because I'm impatient, and it handles nicely there.

The port lights are all pretty standard, and of course they can get old, brittle, hazy and leaky, like any boat. Mine have all been replaced, the last four by me, although I never really had any leaks. Getting the old 5200 (or whatever) bedding out was the hardest part of that job. Likewise, the stanchions for the railings on any boat will need re-bedding every few years, or they'll leak. Since the cabin has a double-shell exterior, leaks can migrate a bit before you actually see them.

The big sliding windows in the saloon could be a source of leaks, again, like any boat. Keep the weep hole clear. Any leaks would be visible inside at the low end of the window frame. I found some evidence of water there, on the galley side, but I suspect it was because some PO left the slider open, since it's never leaked while I owned it. I never had a problem with the front windows (they don't open) but on other makes those sometimes need to be re-bedded after a few decades.

The worst place for a leak would be above and outboard of the fuel tanks, which are aluminum, bedded in foam. Get the foam wet, especially with salt water, and you'd be looking at a big job to replace the tanks.
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Old 12-14-2018, 02:30 PM   #5
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I would agree with all of Tomís comments.

I started the ďGreat LoopĒ in my Prairie 36 from Wilmington NC and it is now at Aqua Yacht Harbor in Mississippi where she is up for sale, but that is another story. Here our some observations from my time spent with her.

Perkins engines are very reliable and there are parts available for them. I wouldnít worry about the counter rotating starboard engine as they were designed to run either direction. The only difference that Iím aware of is the water pump on the engine for coolant. It runs about $100 more than the standard rotating one from TAD.

I have the Perkins 6.354 6 cylinder 135hp NA engines and think theyíre the perfect engines for the cruising Prairie 36. The turbocharged versions would be overkill. I would reach over 10 knots at WOT and with a hull speed around of 7.5 going much faster is just a waste of fuel.

I also think the 4 cylinder versions might not have enough power in certain situations. If you get into a narrow channel with opposing current or go up rivers like the Mississippi or Ohio you may find yourself wanting more power.

If I wanted to save on fuel I would shut down one engine. I have the Borg/Warner Velvet Drive transmissions which can be free wheeled. This also saves on maintenance hours, oil changes, etc.

I encountered some seas where we were getting spray up over the fly bridge windshield, Lake Michigan and the Cheasapeak. I thought it was refreshing but the Admiral didnít. You can always go below if things get rough. The Prairie 36 is a well founded boat and can take a lot, more than most people.

Leaks, itís a 37 year old boat. Youíll get good at fixing them, I did. But fix one today and you may find a different one tomorrow, or next week, or ......

The layout worked great for us on the Loop, but I also think ití based on personal preference. However, when the broker came aboard and asked, ďare you sure this is a 36 foot boat?Ē it was no surprise. The Prairie 36 has exceptional space and storage.

Another plus is the walk around decks. I found them as a real benefit when locking and docking.

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to send me a pm.

God luck.
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Old 12-15-2018, 04:20 PM   #6
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Thank you both for the help. I'll see how it goes.
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:22 PM   #7
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Nice looking boat, sounds like they're well made. Found some history...
Prairie History
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:30 AM   #8
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Nice looking boat, sounds like they're well made. Found some history...
Prairie History
Thank you BCK; sorry for the delay acknowledging you, I got no notice you had posted.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:16 PM   #9
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I finally got to take a look at this boat which was a big disappointment. I knew as soon as I approached, it was a waste of time.

I spent a few minutes on the phone with the broker before I went then about 20 minutes in their office before looking at the boat. I was shocked at how little the broker knew about the Prairie 36 in general and this boat in particular.

The P36 owners on this forum and some Googling made me more knowledgeable, by far, than the broker. They pretty much knew nothing about the boat and there was zero paperwork to go with it. I could go on at length about what they did not know, the fiction they dispensed and discrepancies on the listing.

I could also go on about what a sorry state the boat was in but what’s the point. Neither a survey nor mechanical will be kind to it.

“Illness forces sale” and true or not I feel sorry for the owner, believing it is worth anything close to list and how it is being marketed.

Thanks CaptTom, FOG and BCK for the contributions to my knowledge of these boats
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:17 PM   #10
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Too bad. It really pisses me off when brokers lie to you. Hope you have better luck with future boats.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:42 PM   #11
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I really don't believe these people "lied" in the sense they were deliberately dishonest.

For example they said there were only 3 of these built and they are all here in BC. I believe that comment was built on a lazy lack of knowledge from someone and they just went it. That could have been easily corrected with a ten minute Google search.

Yachtworld tankage is different from their own brokerage listing and they could not confirm which was correct. Pictures that did not accurately portray the boat as viewed. Just stuff like that.

Sloppy.
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