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Old 02-10-2014, 05:02 PM   #1
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New to large boats

Awaiting a boat survey - set for tomorrow- understand the broker ordered an oil change done two days ago. Is this unusual?
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:06 PM   #2
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Welcome sky. Yes that does seem quite odd. I'd be cautious! Tells us more about the boat.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #3
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1989, 61 ft Defever... Extended POC. Have a buyer agreement signed. Boat was supposed to be as is pending survey. Mechanical surveyor on the boat today said no use for an oil sample, oil changed two days ago by the seller's broker....makes me wonder why, is agreement void...
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:17 PM   #4
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I guess it can be if your not confident about the survey. Depending on how it's worded, most surveys are "upon satisfactory". So if your not satisfied then you can make the argument. What did the mechanic have to say about the engine otherwise?
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:20 PM   #5
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Still going over it...wanted to do preliminary survey with cold engines. Sea trial tomorrow
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:27 PM   #6
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This is one of the reasons I don't hold a lot of weight to having oil samples done when purchasing. The very fact that a broker would have it done to boot, does at first raise some eyebrows. Ya never know though, so I wouldnt be to quick to walk. Could still be a good deal. I'd wait and see what the Mech has to say first. And the results of the sea trial too. Maybe the broker was just having it done because it was way over due. Ya just never know.

Good luck and keep us posted on the progress. Sounds like it could be a real nice boat if it works out.

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Old 02-10-2014, 05:33 PM   #7
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Take the engine oil samples anyway, after a vigorous test run. If anything bad is happening in engine, there will be hints of it in the sample even after a few hours run. Run the boat as hard as they let you.

When changing diesel engine oil, usually 10-20% of the old oil remains. Enough to flag a problem even if recently changed.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:37 PM   #8
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Possibly. But you don't know if this is the first oil change or the tenth one that week. If someone suspect a problem with the engine. They will go to great lengths to hide it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:54 PM   #9
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Why not ask the broker why the oil was changed? 95% of what you need to know mechanically will come out in the sea trial, out of the water survey and the general appearance and cleanliness of the ER and related systems.

What engines?
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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Why not ask the broker why the oil was changed? 95% of what you need to know mechanically will come out in the sea trial, out of the water survey and the general appearance and cleanliness of the ER and related systems.

What engines?
The broker might not be totally honest in his answer to that question. It seems a bit shady to me.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:08 PM   #11
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I guess the sage advice is never buy a boat where the owner doesn't have a decent set of logs to show you and a file of receipts....

If the guy has a log...the answer might lie there.

It could also be the opposite what some are saying...maybe the broker has had his share of newbies to diesels and they panic when they see black oil.

As long as the boat price is in the ballpark and on the low side...wait a minute...what kind of engines and how many hrs? Maybe they are throwaways anyhow. Run them till they break whether a decade or 15 minutes...

If you aren't comfortable with a repower/rebuild in the next few years anyway....then you should be lowballing and crying foul if you don't get a good answer on the oil change. For a boat that big it's hard to imagine there isn't a nice set of documentation...if not..I'd be skeptical of buying it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:12 PM   #12
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Are the maintenance logs available? They could be fudged so have to be taken with a grain of salt but might give you a clue as to the care taken, or not, of the boat.
Was the boat owner maintained or by a shop or mechanic who could be contacted for info.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:16 PM   #13
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Like it says in the Torah," beware of brokers who change oil, (without a reason?)run from them as you would the plague." The broker has some 'splainin' to do.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:42 PM   #14
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Oil analysis is best used to trend parameters. It has little value as a snapshot.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #15
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Oil analysis is best used to trend parameters. It has little value as a snapshot.
Not entirely true. High Na or K or fuel tells a story without needing a trend. True that wear metal concentrations don't make much sense without a trend.

If a sample has 500ppm sodium, engine has a problem regardless what it might have been previously.

Oil samples are not a perfect tool at all, but useful anyway. 95% of "snapshot" samples tell you very little. But that other 5% could save you $40k (or more!!).

In the OP's case, it is worth it to pull samples after a good test run. The cost is low.
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:59 PM   #16
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Awaiting a boat survey - set for tomorrow- understand the broker ordered an oil change done two days ago. Is this unusual?
Considering the size of the boat, I'm thinking those aren't little engines, therefore a oil change was quite expensive if he brought in professionals on HIS dime, so WHY did he do it? I'd really be concerned he was hiding something if he knew a survey was coming up. It's an extremely unusual action, as oil samples will be virtually worthless in showing engine wear.
Is he licensed and reputable? It would make me think "what else is being hidden?" You definitely should bring in an engine surveyor to do a thorough inspection- NOT just the hull surveyor doing a quick look-over.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:29 PM   #17
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Thanks to everyone who has replied these were 3208TA 1989 vintage. I am aware that one oil sample does not tell the story but it does give you a baseline or a place to begin and was surprised to see that owner or broker would do that after we had the purchase agreement and knew we were moving to a mechanical and sea trial. Just a red flag we were concerned with and wondered if anyone else that had any experience such as this. Once again thanks for all responses will let you know how it goes.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:06 PM   #18
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Several things come to mind, one do you know indeed the oil sample came from the offered vessel? Also if the sample was indeed then taken to say Caterpillar to do the analysis I'd take it at face value. In addition, nothig stops you from taking your own samples after sea trial and waiting for your own analysis. Than if there are any differences between yours and theirs that might be a good give a way!!
When I completed my survey the mechanic did the sampling when I wasn't in the boat. I question as to whether he did a sampling of my boat in the first place. As well as the compression. I'd make sure to witness everything for yourself so you indeed know it was from your boat!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:05 AM   #19
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So how did the sea trial go and the rest of the survey?
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:48 PM   #20
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juesky;
though I've not received written reports, and summation, bout 2/3ds of the way through the hull survey we kinda figured enough was enough. Though the boat is only 26 yrs old there are enough things that I'm not sure I want to deal with. Cost of rebuilding or replacing so many of house systems.. structure questions...leaks, sure you get the picture.Looks nice and really like the layout and design when we get a chance to read over a actual list of repairs and can compare costs associated might be better able to make a decision as to our plans. However oil samples are the least of our concerns. Ha Ha . thanks again to all, and Good things for ya.
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