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Old 09-12-2016, 03:03 PM   #1
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The Value of 2nd (and 3rd) Opinions

So, we are in love with this 43 foot Gulf Star with opposite rotation old Perkins engines with just a little over 2000 hours on them. The FW pump for the contra-rotating engine is out for rebuild. We won't buy the boat until it is back in and passes machinery survey and sea trail.

Someone here with the same boat nicely sent me a PM warning that water pumps and starters for the contra engine are unavailable. Well, the pump will be essentially new. I talked to the shop and they don't think it will be a problem.

I called the great electrical shop in Wilmington DE that saved my bacon when my sailboat starter died. (Can't recommend Ploener's highly enough. I watched the rebuild and it was like watching an artist at work.) They said rebuilding a contra rotating starter would be no problem.

That got me thinking though. What other evil lurks in engines of this age? I called Foley Engines and he asked if it was a twin with counter rotating props. I said it was and the rep said to run, not walk, away from the boat. Parts for the starboard engine simply no longer exist anywhere on the planet. It will break our heart if the deal falls through because I know we'll never find another boat with interior and topside this pristine and anywhere close to a price we can afford.

I sat in black despair.

I then decided to get a second opinion from Trans Atlantic Diesel and spoke to a woman who looked up the serial number and started going through an amazing amount of detail about old Perkins engines. She said that, yes, if it were the newer version of the 6-354, she would agree that we should just walk away. However, the older ones are very reliable. There are a lot of simple maintenance parts such as seals that are listed as "port" and "starboard" but she doesn't know why because they have many customers who have simply used port components for starboard and never had a problem. However, when someone looks up what seems like the required part number, it shows as being unobtainable. The water pump and the starter are the big issues. The waterpump will be shortly rebuilt and the starter can be.

She said she and her husband are looking for the very same kind of boat and, if we don't buy it for some reason, to please let her know because they'll want to look at it.

So, I guess we proceed with haul out and machinery survey.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:40 PM   #2
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I don't think that would stop me either. One accepts that a boat that age with those motors may have bad luck and have to rebuild or replace one down the road. If for some reason that happens, get a 6-354 and switch the transmission to one that can run in either rotation as forward. That's how it's done now.

Now, I'm OCD, so I would likely send the starter out to your favorite rebuild shop during your off season and have it rebuilt. That way, nothing gets torn up when it goes bad and you will likely never have to do anything to it again during your ownership.

Ted
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Now, I'm OCD, so I would likely send the starter out to your favorite rebuild shop during your off season and have it rebuilt.
Great minds think alike. During the first month that we tie the boat up to go
do other things, I'll send both starters off to Ploener's and the other FW pump off to Trans Atlantic.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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You might also research the alternator. Don't know if that is also special. Some alternators can run in either direction the only difference is changing the fan on the front for proper cooling.

The other point would be to have TAD explain any difference on the transmission. If it turns CC is there a different oil pump or are the transmissions identical.

Ted
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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I think all opinions until you get full answers that you trust. I've often gotten initial answers that just didn't really seem to me to be complete. So, mark me down as strongly in favor of second and third opinions on purchases.

Not on life though and your choices there and how to live. That's where the only opinions that matter are you and those close to you. Do it all your way.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:40 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. RL. As I have mentioned in another thread, one should NOT allow emotions to come into play when making an offer on any vessel BUT you seem to be practicing your due diligence. I would ask to see maintenance records. IF the engines have been well maintained and it passes a comprehensive good survey, I say...sure, go ahead and buy her.

As far as unobtainable parts...Money can find you pretty well anything. Maybe LOTS of money...

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Old 09-12-2016, 06:29 PM   #7
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The crank and cam are probably the only truly different parts. And they can be fixed. There are many pumps made that can stand in for the stock water pumps. Almost all seals, bearings, gaskets, rings, etc., don't care what direction the engine turns.
Newer twin installations use same rotation engines and change direction in the transmission.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:23 AM   #8
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"Newer twin installations use same rotation engines and change direction in the transmission."

So if the unthinkable should happen a rebuilt engine & tranny will get you another few decades.

Good boats , are much rarer than rebuilt engines , have fun.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:44 AM   #9
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Back when I had a pair of Perkins 4-236 Trans Atlantic was my go to source. I think they are the Perkins expert in the Eastern US.

I've heard good things about Foley as weel, but usually associated with Lehmans. Though I could be wrong about that.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:27 AM   #10
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First of all, Foley is not to be trusted. I won't go into details but I had some dealings with them when I had my "anti-clockwise" T6.354.

That said, I ditched mine and repowered because of parts not being available. That was in 1999.

I have a parts manual, supposedly for a backwards engine, a workshop manual and a operator manual if you want them electronically.
E mail me at:

jleonard@globalsteering.com

and I can send them.


Edit: The issue with the water pump is the impeller blades will be facing the wrong way on a backwards running engine (if you use a normal rotation pump) and you won't get the circulation you need. If you can solve that you can use a standard rotation pump kit to rebuild with.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:15 AM   #11
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Yes, 2nd and 3rd opinions certainly have some value, but you have to somehow qualify the sender. So often on forums people make comments or statement that just are not true. They've had one bad experience with a good company and they'll blast that company to the end of the earth.

I could argue to verify what you hear and thats where the 3rd and more opinions come in. If everyone says that the XYZ products doesn't work, it probably doesn't. That's were a lot of reviews are nice.

When buying an expensive toy, I could argue to call the manufacture AND the manufacturer of the accessories, engines, electronics, etc., and talk to their tech support. One can learn a lot just with these phone calls. There are some companies that are honest and give good info, and some that you can't talk to. A good example is Sea Ray. You can always call them on the phone and get a straight answer... easy to talk to. They won't always tell you what you want to hear, and they don't do a good job of supporting older boats, even as new as 10 years old... a lot of the parts are unatainium. But they don't lie to you and they'll tell you if there's aftermarket support, like a third party.

And speaking of unatainium, there are parts that are just not made anymore, and the company is no longer there. So, we take this into account as to what replacement parts are available and what they cost.

A 43 foot Gulf Star with Perkins sounds neat, and seems like Perkins has a good reputation (no personal experience, but my friends with them, like them). The other components need research, and that's what we need to do when buying older boats.

Good luck and hope it works out.
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