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Old 02-09-2017, 03:07 PM   #1
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Sea Trial-Trials and tribulations

I'm going to apologize in advance in what I expect to be a rather long post.

Yesterday we had our sea trial on the Albin 40 that we're to take delivery of around March 16th in Brunswick, Georgia, a five and a half hour drive from home, and at least a two week meander down the ICW to our home on the West Coast of Florida.

The trial went smashingly, by which I mean we didn't smash into anything. My hired Captain, Trevor Holland was a most impressive young man who has grown up around boats, and his level of expertise would amaze even old salts.

Anyway, the sea trial was under almost perfect conditions, the breeze was out of the West at around 12-15kts, it was sunny, and the only problem encountered during the trial was that the 'Instrumentation package', a Raytheon MFD, had a huge 'burn' in the center of both master and slave readouts, rendering them unusable.

Prior to the sea trial, Trevor went below to the engine room and performed a thorough inspection of the twin Lehman diesels. The engines were started from cold, and ran well. During the trial, the boat was run up from 1800 RPMs to WOT, and the temps and oil pressures held well. We returned to the dock, the first time I've been on the flybridge during a docking, and Captain Trevor demonstrated how to dock with the wind blowing you away from the finger pier with a rather large sailboat tied up next to our empty slip with twin diesels. He made it look so easy, I wanted to try it myself (but the seller and my wife thought better of it till our insurance covered damage).

Captain Trevor and I walked around the entire boat, as he pointed out items that he would want corrected (all minor). He said 'lets take one more look in the engine room'. I'm glad he did! We found a previously very dry area that was now VERY wet. We searched for the source of the leak, and wouldn't you know, the starboard Lehman had developed a pinhole leak in the oil heat exchanger. The pinhole was the size of this period (.) and yet when the motor was started, it produced a prodigious amount of spray.

So, what to do. A worthless instrument package, a compromised oil cooler leak (of course, not on the easily accessible port side of the starboard engine), and a list of minor 'weekend' repairs. Well, we still want the boat, and we're waiting to agree on an allowance for repairs. What would you do? (It's rhetorical!) We've already started to prioritize the repairs when we take delivery and when we take her to her new home.

I'd love to hear of other sea trials, as I expect ours was about par for a Taiwanese Trawler that's approaching her 29th birthday.
Jim
M/V Encore
Albin 40 Sundeck
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:23 PM   #2
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Mr. VJ. A replacement oil cooler is <$100 and takes about 15 minutes to change. IF that's the only problem, buy the boat. Electronics are pretty well out of date by the time they leave the store. So, other than the expense, no big deal.
We sea trialed a sister ship of the vessel we eventually bought and the transmission shifts failed on the way back to the slip. A relay was established with the captain on the bridge, the broker in the saloon and the mechanic in the ER. Captain..."Port forward, starboard neutral" Broker..."Port forward, starboard neutral" Mechanic put the port engine in forward and the starboard into neutral. Took about 15 minutes and 20 or 30 commands to get the boat back into the slip. Needless to say, one of many reasons she stayed where she was. Her sister (now 38 years old) though, is a GREAT boat.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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Sea Trials

Sounds like nothing major. We bought the boat we have now about three years ago. Right from the git-go we changed oil cooler, transmission cooler, disassembled cleaned and inspected heat exchanger, changed water pump impeller and changed alternator belt. That way we new the zero time on these critical components. Hoses had been changed. Did other things like fuel filters and cleaned water strainers on gen, engine and HVAC. Since then it has been all normal maintenance and run the boat.

Have fun!
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:34 PM   #4
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JIM,
you mention a sea trial, but I don't see any mention of a survey. CAPT Trevor might be a great sailor, but a detailed survey on a 40-foot boat should take the better part of an entire day, if not longer. I also think a separate mechanical inspection is a must have. Both of these surveyors saved me thousands of dollars on a boat we bought last year.

So far, other than an air conditioner crapping out three months later, we have found nothing the survey did not find.

Don't pinch pennies on this important step.

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Old 02-09-2017, 03:34 PM   #5
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Did you use a qualified marine surveyor along with a competent engine guy to assess the vessel? A good boat operator like Trevor no matter how much you like him is neither, unless I misread your post.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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Not to trash Trevor too badly, but he didn't check the engine room while underway? You always check the engine room after getting underway and then again during full power trials.

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Old 02-09-2017, 04:44 PM   #7
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Did you use a qualified marine surveyor along with a competent engine guy to assess the vessel? A good boat operator like Trevor no matter how much you like him is neither, unless I misread your post.
I'm equally confused. What was done and in what order? Normally the engine surveyor would have been on the sea trial. Was the trip you speak of just to determine if you liked the ride? Or did you decide to forego a survey altogether?

If those are the only things found in your surveys and sea trials then I'd say you're very fortunate and it should be easily resolved.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:53 PM   #8
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I was prepared to spend lots more for the heat exchanger, what a pleasant surprise, however, it's going to take me at least 15 minutes just to contort my body around the big Lehman, then I'm sure that I'll need a tool that I don't have, which will take another 15 minutes to extricate from the Lehman. So far 30 minutes, and I haven't even taken off the "O" clamps and rubber hose. All tolled, maybe a two hour job. LOL
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:12 PM   #9
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Gordon,
We did have a survey, and it turned up a few minor issues that the owner already had informed us about. (This post was just about the sea trial) Capt. Trevor did a thorough inspection of the boat before we ever turned the key. In his defense, at one point he did check the engine room, however, short of crawling around and contorting himself (see previous post), it would have been difficult for him to spot the spray. I have to give him high marks for the extra effort he made to find the leak.

To answer the questions posed by Sunchaser, David and B and B, a mechanical inspection was performed, but there was no disassembly of systems. A laser thermometer was used to verify that the temp instruments were accurate, and that the each of the 12 cylinders (twin diesels) were within a few degrees of each other. After the WOT run, there were no oil leaks, and the engines with only 4,000 hours literally hummed. When we get the oil analysis, if there's no indication of metal in the sample, I'd think we've done all we can reasonably do short of employing my X-Ray vision, which I've stopped using, because I kept forgetting to take off my glasses. We'll cross our fingers, before the Aleve wears off, and take our chances.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:18 PM   #10
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Gordon,
We did have a survey, and it turned up a few minor issues that the owner already had informed us about. (This post was just about the sea trial) Capt. Trevor did a thorough inspection of the boat before we ever turned the key. In his defense, at one point he did check the engine room, however, short of crawling around and contorting himself (see previous post), it would have been difficult for him to spot the spray. I have to give him high marks for the extra effort he made to find the leak.

To answer the questions posed by Sunchaser, David and B and B, a mechanical inspection was performed, but there was no disassembly of systems. A laser thermometer was used to verify that the temp instruments were accurate, and that the each of the 12 cylinders (twin diesels) were within a few degrees of each other. After the WOT run, there were no oil leaks, and the engines with only 4,000 hours literally hummed. When we get the oil analysis, if there's no indication of metal in the sample, I'd think we've done all we can reasonably do short of employing my X-Ray vision, which I've stopped using, because I kept forgetting to take off my glasses. We'll cross our fingers, before the Aleve wears off, and take our chances.
So was Trevor Holland your surveyor? Boat? Engine? Both? Or had all the survey work including a sea trial been previously done?
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:21 PM   #11
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Mr. VJ. Just checked. Depending on model (spring for the CuNi-cupro nickel), runs around $140. So they've gone up a bit AND my memory sucks. While you're in there, replace the water pump impeller as well.
Tools for oil cooler(from memory): 1/2" or 9/16" wrench or socket for cooler mount, Slot screwdriver or nut driver(s) for gear clamps. Buy new gear clamps just in case.
Tools for water pump: Smallish slot screwdriver, putty knife for carefully scraping pump housing if any gasket is stuck to it. Impeller puller if available.
Safety glasses, good lighting, a bit of SuperLube grease to help the hoses back on and to give a light coat to the new water pump gasket.
Have plenty of adult beverages standing by IF you're so inclined but WARNING after the job is done please.
As far as forgetting tools...That's what the Admiral is for. Oh, that and asking questions.

Just had an afterthought...Can you not access the oil cooler over the top of the engine to some extent with the floor hatches up? Lay a blanket or pillow on top of the valve cover to pad your chest. It would be a lot easier than slithering into a tight spot...
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:30 PM   #12
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BandB,
Sorry I wasn't more clear on all this, but in my defense, this is all new to me, as we've never bought an older boat before, our last boat was bought new and was in our family for almost 30 years.

Trevor was the Captain doing the Sea Trial. The other work (survey, etc) was performed prior to sea trial, which along with the oil analysis are conditions of sale. Trevor was just being thorough. I've already given him high marks for his work.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:37 PM   #13
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BandB,
Sorry I wasn't more clear on all this, but in my defense, this is all new to me, as we've never bought an older boat before, our last boat was bought new and was in our family for almost 30 years.

Trevor was the Captain doing the Sea Trial. The other work (survey, etc) was performed prior to sea trial, which along with the oil analysis are conditions of sale. Trevor was just being thorough. I've already given him high marks for his work.
No problem.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:49 PM   #14
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Check your seacocks before disassembling any of that stuff. No need for big leaks the second a hose comes off.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:06 PM   #15
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+1 ^
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:07 PM   #16
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BandB,
Sorry I wasn't more clear on all this, but in my defense, this is all new to me, as we've never bought an older boat before, our last boat was bought new and was in our family for almost 30 years.
Don't be sorry. We have a tendency to jump all over everything. We liked the sea trial story and are excited for you that you have found good boat to buy. I look forward to hearing more as it moves forward.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:20 PM   #17
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Woohoo, new Lehmans!

I would recommend that you change all of the coolers, on both engines. If the oil cooler fails and puts seawater in the engine...if the transmission cooler fails and puts seawater in the transmission... inspect all the old coolers for serviceability and keep the good ones for spares.

Change all the engine zincs, change the oil, the filters and the oil in the Simms pumps and check the coolant for age and effectiveness. Carefully burp the coolant jacket.

Change the on-engine fuel filters and any other fuel filters and check the logs for when the last valve adjust and injector servicing was done.

Check the transmission oil and change it if the maintenance logs indicate it.

As others have said, raw water impellers should be changed, keep the old ones for spares and carefully look at the belts.

Tighten the bolts for the lift pumps (known area for oil leaks) and tighten the outside bolts that hold the injector pipes.

Find out how long it's been since the transmission damper plate(s) was changed (nice quiet shifting with no "clanks?").

Air filter or screen? Change or clean out.

Look carefully for signs of water leakage around the exhaust cooling injector and carefully test it all around with an ir thermometer.

Another thing about Simms pumps - if you have the drain pipes in the side of the injector pump, read up on the mod. It's easy and stops the mess you will get in the bilge or the puke bottle. Basically you remove the drainpipe and cap the hole, with the existing bolt, then you drill a small breather hole in the filler cap.

Many Lehmans have never had their dipsticks calibrated properly from when the engine migrated from a combine to a boat. In the boat they are tipped back so frequently the crankcase is over filled with the dipstick. Carefully measure the correct amount of oil when you replace it, with a full oil filter, then after it has settled for a while, check that the dipstick is properly calibrated. Too much oil allows the rear crankshaft to foam up the oil and you can get too much oil consumption and blow by. It's also hard on the main seals.

I can't think of anything else right now except if there is a good maintenance log and any of these things have been done in a timely way, ignore them until they're due, except, of course, the coolers.

Oh right, get a Lehman book and follow the instructions. There's probably one on this site or get one from the GB owner's site.

Congratulations on the new boat, you would have two engines, eh?
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:15 PM   #18
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Sounds like you found a good one. Adjust the price to compensate for the leak and U/S electronics, or better still, ask the seller to fix the leak.

Now for my horror story. I once made an offer on an older Monk 36. The single Perkins engine ran well -- at idle. Once we were out of the harbour, my surveyor (who was in the engine room) asked the helmsman to increase to WOT. A minute later the surveyor made a hasty exit. Water and oil were spewing everywhere. Of course the broker said that the repairs were simple and not very expensive, so I told him to call me when the repairs were completed. Instead he returned my deposit.

The survey and haulout cost me $1000 which was the best grand I ever spent.

Enjoy your new boat.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:49 PM   #19
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Check your tool size selection on the port engine cooler that's easier to access. Usually the other side has the same hardware. It might help to check out the hoses, too. Replacing hose is cheap and easy when it's already apart. It helps to have a tool-passing assistant available but if you plan ahead, it ain't so bad.

You might as well buy 2 of those oil coolers while you're at it. The other one is probably just as old. I just finished replacing both coolers on my twin Perkins 4.236's. Once I had everything together, it was close to 30 minutes out and 45 mins back in. After I installed the stbd side and knew it was a good fit, I ordered the port side and had it in a week later.

I call that workout Yacht Yoga. I try not to do it too often but I've come to enjoy it. I especially enjoy that first cold IPA after the job is done and cleaned up. Cheers!
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