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Old 05-03-2016, 03:39 PM   #1
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When is buying used just a bit too used?

Goal: Coastal to Blue water passage making
Experience: Many years of San Francisco bay and delta waters, limited ocean time
Current Boat: Carver C34

I've been on the look out for a used Nordhavn 43-47 or Selene 43-47, maybe a new 43. I could use some suggestions from those who have been there and done that. There is a sweet Nordhavn 47- Arcadia II, with about 6600 hours on the engines and about the same on the genset. I have heard that 6000 hours is getting close to rebuild time. Any thoughts?

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Old 05-03-2016, 04:07 PM   #2
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If a well maintained Lugger you are well shy of rebuild time. It is more in the 11-12K hour range, again if well maintained.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:16 PM   #3
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I'm thinking that the rebuild price on such a motor shouldn't be outrageous either - even if JD is pretty proud of their parts so you might be able to build it into the offer too. My bigger worries on an older Nordhavn would be the price of other less long lived components, especially stabilizers and hydraulics.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:50 PM   #4
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First off ask yourself what's your hobby? If it's wrenching on boats you've got your answer. If it's topping off the tanks and heading out the answer becomes a bit more complicated.

And devore nailed it, the engine is probably the "cheapest" part of owning an older Nordy.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:46 PM   #5
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I have little to no concern for that amount of hours on a Lugger. That engine is likely not more than 25% into its service life if properly used. Make a few calls to a couple of Lugger shops - I'm confident they will feel the same way.

I am more concerned with indications of proper, frequent use AND proper maintenance. Review logs, receipts, and records. The dialogue from the seller, the maintenance history, and your observations should all tell the same story.

The boat you refer to is listed with Nordhavn. I have not been a customer yet, but the Nordhavn staff at Dana Point and Seattle have treated us very well. The folks in the Seattle office are very professional and experienced; if you are in the market you should engage with them.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:10 PM   #6
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The 47 Arcadia looks worth a good look. The only obvious thing I note is very dated radar and plotting systems. I'd not trust the radar if you were doing long voyages. But these issues are easily resolved with a bit of research and money.

There are good surveyors and companies in the Seattle area that know Ns very well. Easy enough to find out its shortcomings and costs to fix the same.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:02 PM   #7
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Nordhavns marketing is US based and has done a much better job than Selenes offshore marketing people in presenting their boats. With that said, I know they are both excellent designs. Either one, properly maintained, will take you far. After carefully considering all the usual suspects the Selene had the right balance of what we were looking for, but we surely could do everything we wanted with either one.

You've been getting good advice so far. Between a used Selene and a Used Nordy it really comes down to how the current and previous owners have maintained them. I would be looking for detailed and extensive maintenance records coupled with frequent use. The lack of either, to me, would be an indication that it will cost a bit more to get everything back up and running. In my experience, with unused boats, gaskets dry out, heat exchangers rust from the inside, and these boats also tend to have zincs that may not be replaced as often as need be. Does that mean I'd walk away. Not necessarily. It becomes part of the price discussion if I'm willing to do the work or get it done.

Stabilizers are pretty robust items. Not much to go wrong, and all of it can be fixed without too much hassle. I'd be looking for how old the seals are. 3 years or more (at least for our Naiad's) and they'll need to be replaced. The hydraulic fluid should also be replaced on a schedule. But both are routine maintenance items. If you don't have to do it now you will soon anyway.

If you're looking at an engine that runs well I'm not sure why you think you'd have to rebuild it. One thing I learned, get an IR thermometer and during sea trail get the temp all along the valve cover. If any cylinder is 10 or 15 degrees higher than all the others there's an issue there you will need to address. At minimum it's a top end job, could be a total rebuild. Otherwise if she's running well in all other respects (not burning oil, no unburned fuel in exhaust, oil analysis ok, ect.) then you very likely have an engine that should continue to perform well for the foreseeable future.

Us, we bought a boat that we knew would need a top end job. We ended up rebuilding the whole engine. 19k if you're curious. Should be good to go for a long time now.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck in your hunt!
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Mast View Post
Nordhavns marketing is US based and has done a much better job than Selenes offshore marketing people in presenting their boats. With that said, I know they are both excellent designs. Either one, properly maintained, will take you far. After carefully considering all the usual suspects the Selene had the right balance of what we were looking for, but we surely could do everything we wanted with either one.

You've been getting good advice so far. Between a used Selene and a Used Nordy it really comes down to how the current and previous owners have maintained them. I would be looking for detailed and extensive maintenance records coupled with frequent use. The lack of either, to me, would be an indication that it will cost a bit more to get everything back up and running. In my experience, with unused boats, gaskets dry out, heat exchangers rust from the inside, and these boats also tend to have zincs that may not be replaced as often as need be. Does that mean I'd walk away. Not necessarily. It becomes part of the price discussion if I'm willing to do the work or get it done.

Stabilizers are pretty robust items. Not much to go wrong, and all of it can be fixed without too much hassle. I'd be looking for how old the seals are. 3 years or more (at least for our Naiad's) and they'll need to be replaced. The hydraulic fluid should also be replaced on a schedule. But both are routine maintenance items. If you don't have to do it now you will soon anyway.

If you're looking at an engine that runs well I'm not sure why you think you'd have to rebuild it. One thing I learned, get an IR thermometer and during sea trail get the temp all along the valve cover. If any cylinder is 10 or 15 degrees higher than all the others there's an issue there you will need to address. At minimum it's a top end job, could be a total rebuild. Otherwise if she's running well in all other respects (not burning oil, no unburned fuel in exhaust, oil analysis ok, ect.) then you very likely have an engine that should continue to perform well for the foreseeable future.

Us, we bought a boat that we knew would need a top end job. We ended up rebuilding the whole engine. 19k if you're curious. Should be good to go for a long time now.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck in your hunt!
Hello Nomast,

Little tricks like measuring the temp difference along the top of the valve cover is the kind of stuff that is very useful. What is an IR thermometer? I noticed that you chose not to put a mileage limit on a used diesel motor. I guess I can understand due to all the variables that lead to rebuild time. When I bought my Carver I had no idea that there were boats other than sail that can go long distance and even cross oceans. The Carver has been an expensive learning experience. I didn't even know the correct questions to ask. I'm not going to make the same mistake. Nothing against Carver. The C34 is a great bay and delta boat. Even limited coastal stuff too. But it is not the correct tool for long distance blue water travel.

Thanks for your reply!

Cheers!

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Old 05-04-2016, 03:02 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your input. They have been very helpful. I have a better idea of the life of a diesel engine and know a bit more of what I should be looking for in a used boat. From the replies it sounds like a boat with low hours may not be the best way to go since the lack of use is apparently worse for a boat than use. Looking at maintenance records and how well the boat was maintained along with a thorough survey is the overall suggestion. Great info.

Thank You all!

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Old 05-04-2016, 03:16 PM   #10
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:07 PM   #11
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Any thoughts on a Flemming 55 with it's semi displacement hull vs a Nordy or Selene with their full displacement hulls? Is there anyone that has owned or piloted both in seas? I would love a Flemming 55 but am nervous about how well it would do in heavy seas compared to a full displacement hull.
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Old 05-04-2016, 04:26 PM   #12
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Never got one away from the dock. The exposed running gear, (much) higher fuel consumption and increased maintenance for twins were drawbacks. Ultimately the interior design was not what we were looking for either. So we left it tied to the dock, sorry.
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:12 AM   #13
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"From the replies it sounds like a boat with low hours may not be the best way to go since the lack of use is apparently worse for a boat than use."

Depends , if "Da Book" procedure was used to take the engine out of service sitting for a year or two is no problem.

If the boat was simply walked away from depending on many factors the engine service life would be reduced.

JD has a great factory rebuild program (farm folks not marine $ellers) , so a rebuild need not be done by a local yard "mechanic" .
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Old 05-05-2016, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
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From the replies it sounds like a boat with low hours may not be the best way to go since the lack of use is apparently worse for a boat than use.

I don't think you're hearing "low hours" is bad by definition.

Think: Hours relative to age relative to maintenance relative to usage (flogged? or run responsibly?)...

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Old 05-05-2016, 02:22 PM   #15
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I don't think you're hearing "low hours" is bad by definition.

Think: Hours relative to age relative to maintenance relative to usage (flogged? or run responsibly?)...

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