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Old 08-23-2012, 10:46 PM   #21
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Fords

Local Westerbeke guy came to survey my sailboat engine for my sale and while he was here I asked him if he had any engine recommendations for me while I am looking at Trawlers. He told me to stay away from Ford Lehmans for expensive and hard to get parts. I have not heard of this yet so I thought I would ask the forum for engine opinions as well. Given equal hours and maintenance, are there some engines that have a particularly bad reputation and why?
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:55 PM   #22
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I'd go along with the advice to stay away from Lehmans but not because parts are expensive or hard to get. Considering the age of these engines parts are actually very easy to get and the prices of the stuff we've had to buy for our FL120s over the years seem quite reasonable to me.

An engine to stay away from because of parts price and availability are Volvos although they are very good engines.

Most of the diesels in the kinds of boats those of us on this forum have are marinzed vehicular, industrial, or agricultural engines. As such, the base engines were very well proven by the time someone got around to marinzing them. John Deere, Cummins, Cat, Lugger (some of which are based on John Deere engines), Perkins, and Ford (of England) are all engines with a good track record on land. So assuming proper operation, servicing, and maintenance threre's no reason to expect the engines to be any less effective on water.

An engine I would be leery of just because it was not used by very many builders and so may have a parts and service issue at least in the US, is BMW. They were used in one of our favorite boats, the Lord Nelson Victory Tug. We were seriously considering one of these at one point but the turn-off for me was its BMW engine. Later Victory Tugs have Cummins engines but at the time these boats were still pretty new and so werel considerably more than we wanted to spend on a boat.

A lot of Baylners have Hino engines, which is a marinzed version of a Japanese diesel, I think perhaps Nissan but I could be wrong on that. I don't know of any other production boats in the US that used them but Bayliner used a LOT of them and so far as I have heard they are good engines. Don't know about parts availability or prices these days but it must be okay considering the number of Bayliners out and about with these engines..

Yanmars are popular around the world and parts and service are both readily available pretty much everywhere one would be boating on the planet.

The two-cycle Detroit engines, particularly the 6-71 and 8V-71, were used in a lot of cruisers from the 1940s on through the 1970s and maybe even into the 80s. First number is the number of cylinders, second number is the displacement of each cylinder. They are relative simple engines which translates into very high reliability. More so even than recreational boats Detroits have been used in landing craft, Navy launches, tugs, commercial fishing boats--- the list goes on. With at least a reasonable level of service and maintenance Detroits are kind of like the Energizer Bunny.

The downside of a Detroit is the noise and the fuel consumption, both of which are tied to the two-cycle nature of the engine. There are ways to reduce the noise. The fuel consumption is what it is.

I can only think of one marine diesel that is considered by pretty much everyone who comes in contact with it to be a piece of crap and that is a marinized version of a GM V-8. I don't remember the displacement but the land version was bad, too. It was an existing gas engine design that was adapted for diesel use in cars in (I think) the 1980s when diesel enjoyed a brief surge of interest in the US due to rising gas prices. GM put the engine in Cadillacs and some other models where it quickly earned a reputation of being rubbish in terms of reliability. The marinized version is no better. So stay away from that one.

With the rest of the makes, the way the engine has been operated and cared for by previous owners is WAY more important than the name on the builder's plate or even the number of hours on the Hobbs meter. In my opinion, I would rather buy a boat with engines with 6,000 hours on them and a history of being properly run and maintained than a boat with 2000 hours on the engines but a history of hard or abusive running and poor service and maintenance.

With the possible exception of the BMW and GM diesels, I suspect all the other makes I've mentioned are owned by at least some members of this forum. So they can chime in with specific opinions or experiences with them. The only engine of the bunch I have had direct experience with is the Ford Lehman 120 but I've always been interested in engines so have tried to learn at least something about many of them.
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:45 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I'd go along with the advice to stay away from Lehmans but not because parts are expensive or hard to get. Considering the age of these engines parts are actually very easy to get and the prices of the stuff we've had to buy for our FL120s over the years seem quite reasonable to me.

An engine to stay away from because of parts price and availability are Volvos although they are very good engines.

Most of the diesels in the kinds of boats those of us on this forum have are marinzed vehicular, industrial, or agricultural engines. As such, the base engines were very well proven by the time someone got around to marinzing them. John Deere, Cummins, Cat, Lugger (some of which are based on John Deere engines), Perkins, and Ford (of England) are all engines with a good track record on land. So assuming proper operation, servicing, and maintenance threre's no reason to expect the engines to be any less effective on water.

An engine I would be leery of just because it was not used by very many builders and so may have a parts and service issue at least in the US, is BMW. They were used in one of our favorite boats, the Lord Nelson Victory Tug. We were seriously considering one of these at one point but the turn-off for me was its BMW engine. Later Victory Tugs have Cummins engines but at the time these boats were still pretty new and so werel considerably more than we wanted to spend on a boat.

A lot of Baylners have Hino engines, which is a marinzed version of a Japanese diesel, I think perhaps Nissan but I could be wrong on that. I don't know of any other production boats in the US that used them but Bayliner used a LOT of them and so far as I have heard they are good engines. Don't know about parts availability or prices these days but it must be okay considering the number of Bayliners out and about with these engines..

Yanmars are popular around the world and parts and service are both readily available pretty much everywhere one would be boating on the planet.

The two-cycle Detroit engines, particularly the 6-71 and 8V-71, were used in a lot of cruisers from the 1940s on through the 1970s and maybe even into the 80s. First number is the number of cylinders, second number is the displacement of each cylinder. They are relative simple engines which translates into very high reliability. More so even than recreational boats Detroits have been used in landing craft, Navy launches, tugs, commercial fishing boats--- the list goes on. With at least a reasonable level of service and maintenance Detroits are kind of like the Energizer Bunny.

The downside of a Detroit is the noise and the fuel consumption, both of which are tied to the two-cycle nature of the engine. There are ways to reduce the noise. The fuel consumption is what it is.

I can only think of one marine diesel that is considered by pretty much everyone who comes in contact with it to be a piece of crap and that is a marinized version of a GM V-8. I don't remember the displacement but the land version was bad, too. It was an existing gas engine design that was adapted for diesel use in cars in (I think) the 1980s when diesel enjoyed a brief surge of interest in the US due to rising gas prices. GM put the engine in Cadillacs and some other models where it quickly earned a reputation of being rubbish in terms of reliability. The marinized version is no better. So stay away from that one.

With the rest of the makes, the way the engine has been operated and cared for by previous owners is WAY more important than the name on the builder's plate or even the number of hours on the Hobbs meter. In my opinion, I would rather buy a boat with engines with 6,000 hours on them and a history of being properly run and maintained than a boat with 2000 hours on the engines but a history of hard or abusive running and poor service and maintenance.

With the possible exception of the BMW and GM diesels, I suspect all the other makes I've mentioned are owned by at least some members of this forum. So they can chime in with specific opinions or experiences with them. The only engine of the bunch I have had direct experience with is the Ford Lehman 120 but I've always been interested in engines so have tried to learn at least something about many of them.

Thank you for a good instructional review. When he mentioned that it would probably be around 25K to Remove and replace my 30 hp sailboat auxiliarry these days, he got my attention! I was always thinking in the 10-12K area. I didn't know about the new clean burning regulations and effects on our marine engines, but apparently complying replacements have increased in cost tremendously. He was high on Cummings, Said the Fords did have good transmissions for reliability.

Are there any engines out there that were not marinezed industrial commercial bases? Engines, designed for the marine environment only?
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:25 PM   #24
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Engine and transmission sold separately. So a Ford can have any of several transmissions bolted to it. A typical transmission for a Ford in an older boat is the Borg Warner Velvet Drive. It's not the greatest transmission in the world but it's okay. It's what we have in our boat.

So far as I know--- which isn't very far---- the engines used in boats like ours are all marinized versions of automotive, industrial, or agricultural engines. An exception might be Volvo. When you get up into the more powerful engines used in larger yachts and sportfishermen you might find engines made specifically for marine use. MAN and the like. Someone like Rick B of this forum could provide an accurate answer for you.

I personally think your mechanic's estimate of $25k to repower your 30hp sailboat is way over the mark. We have friends who repowered their sailboat with a Yanmar and it was a whole lot less than that. So get a second or third opinion before acting on that advice.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #25
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25K for a 30 hp repower? Someone is on drugs.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #26
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A friend of ours just re-powered his Sabre 425 Sailboat with a new Yanmar. He's in Panama where labor is cheaper. Here are the numbers:

Engine Install Costs

Cost of being in marina
$498---------Marina charges
$10,004.50---Engine, Controller cables and tax
$200---------Shipping to get engine to Bocas del Toro
$380---------New C/V joint to connect shaft, $275 plus $105 shipping
$97----------Oil & coolant for transmission & heat exchanger plus 2 changes
$150---------Welding new engine mount beds
$400---------Labor mechanic 10 hours to consult and help move engines
$68----------Miscellaneous parts

New exhaust
$641---------28 feet of 3 inch exhaust hose plus hose clamps
$423---------New Muffler $278, plus shipping from Seattle $145
$150---------Welding custom exhaust riser and 3" threw hull part
$25----------Miscellaneous parts

$13,036.50---Total
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:55 PM   #27
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Well I am glad I don't need a new engine. I thought he was very high also but Marblehead is the high rent district around here. He gave my engine a good clean bill of health for a 1974 Westerbeke 30.
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Old 08-25-2012, 02:54 PM   #28
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You wouldn't be required to put in one of the new whiz-bang electronic diesels anyway. You can go back with the same level your sailboat was built with. For that one of the old tiny Volvos would be hard to beat for durability. My trawler still has the 1 lung MD5a CrossPower genset. She is loud, shakey, and runs perfectly (even has handle and compression release to crank by hand). It is so thrifty that I can't measure its overnite usage in my tanks!
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:13 AM   #29
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I've found a little understanding and practice makes handling a single-screw trawler very manageable. Here's a couple of helpful articles:

http://www.his.com/~vann/KrgStuff/manuvrng.htm

http://www.his.com/~vann/KrgStuff/parallel.htm
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