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Old 10-11-2014, 11:03 PM   #1
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Implications of extended storage

My wife and I are looking at making an offer on a trawler that has not been in the water since 2009. The boat is very clean and been kept in heated indoor storage the the whole time.

I am concerned with the Yanmar diesel and Kohler generator that has not been run in this entire time. What issues am I likely to encounter and what steps are best to mitigate them?
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:14 AM   #2
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Pre-oil the engines before starting them.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:42 AM   #3
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You've a right to be concerned.

As a suggestion - As part of your offer stipulate the engines must:
  • Be started and prepared prior to by a licensed mechanic following an acceptable procedure
  • In good working order when operable
  • Subject to a mechanical survey inspection.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:16 AM   #4
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The biggest hassles are rust in the cylinders which may not seize but the pitting will cause lower compression and higher blow by and oil consumption Forever. Of course oil IS cheap.

A spray of fogging oil would have prevented this.

Second is on some engines the injection system gets very unhappy.

If a test run seems OK, its fine.

Most engine mfg have an Out of Service section in their literature , see what else becomes a weak point for that engine..

I would change the sea water impeller rubber before turning engine over.the oil, antifreez when operating ,
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:16 AM   #5
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If the boat is in heated inside storage on the Great Lakes, I wouldn't worry about it too much. You'd still want to put some contingencies on the sale to include start/run testing and definitely an oil analysis before and after to check for crude in the sumps. I just disassembled an old Jaguar engine (DFW area) after 20 years in storage and found the cylinder walls in great shape. Now, if it's in a salt air environment, I'd be more concerned...even inside.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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First time I ever heard of fogging oil in a diesel.
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Old 10-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #7
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Heated indoor storage is as good as it gets.

Personally I would close off fuel and air inlets then spin the engines on the starter until oil pressure is well up. Spin with cool down intervals and get the oil flowing everywhere.
Do not spin genny with sea cock open or you may flood the engine.

The impellers should be changed (and all pieces found) so all this pre oiling spinning can be done while they are out.


Old fuel will be an issue with many but probably not a big deal if you keep checking the filters and don't push the engines until all the old stuff is gone.


Of course if it were a truck stored the same way some dude would just start it up.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:12 PM   #8
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Five years no run time, get the wallet ready! Personally, I would run the other way. I have had friends buy similar type boats with very low hours and have been sitting for years and have regretted it.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:16 PM   #9
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Before starting the engine let the cylinders and valves checked by a professional.

An example from a dutch diesel specialist...

Link: Hoogendijk en zonen

Specialist equipment

The report that we deliver an opinion is based on facts. These facts can only be collected if the engine control specialist equipment is performed. For example, we have an endoscope that a full 360 degrees of the inside of the running surface of the cylinder liner wall digital photographs. We also use an endoscope up the valves and the valve seat inspects. This allows us to analyze the engine internally as well as possible.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:25 PM   #10
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Engines are not the only money pit to consider. Think about all the systems that have not been operated/lubricated for that time. AC, heads, holding tanks, water, electronics, generator and etc. These systems are made to be operated regularly and not sitting idle and can be very costly to get in operating order. You may fire them up initially during a survey and they appear fine, but trust me you are going to have problems and failures soon. The only bright spot is you know the hull is dry.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:53 PM   #11
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In addition to the foregoing, most of which is good (well the borescoping is a little over the top), be sure to check that the injector rack is free before starting. Sometimes these seize and if the rack is open the engine will speed up uncontrollably. Make sure that the stop solenoid works before starting ;-).

After it is running and all temps, pressures and fluids are ok then shut it down, go home and start it from cold the next day. If it starts up in a few seconds, then no problem with cylinder walls and rings.

David
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
In addition to the foregoing, most of which is good (well the borescoping is a little over the top), be sure to check that the injector rack is free before starting. Sometimes these seize and if the rack is open the engine will speed up uncontrollably. Make sure that the stop solenoid works before starting ;-).

After it is running and all temps, pressures and fluids are ok then shut it down, go home and start it from cold the next day. If it starts up in a few seconds, then no problem with cylinder walls and rings.

David
And if not you created several thousands of dollars overhaul costs. Let a specialist do an endoscope test and you KNOW the status. Costs little dollars.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:21 PM   #13
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My guess is that you are buying the boat at a discounted rate due to it's storage time. Our boat sat in fresh water in the Kentucky lakes for several years before we bought her.

Had it been in salt water I would never have followed up on it, however the price was right and the engines performed very well at sea trial. An oil analysis was not performed due to the fact the oil had just been changed.

Nervous, yes a little but after a year on the Great Loop the mechanicals worked awesome and in just over 6000 miles I had one item not related to regular maintenance go out which cost me $120

The oil samples are sent off every 200 to 225 hours and the three from this past year have been excellent, now could something go wrong tomorrow, maybe but hopefully not.

My suggestion is you need to look at the current value of the vessels similar to the one you are looking at that are in excellent condition and value those against yours, see if the pros out weigh the cons and if they do get a very good surveyor.

An other option is to buy new and get warranties but for the vast majority of us that's just not feasible hence the risks we take.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:38 PM   #14
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when an engine has not run for a severe period the biggest enemy is corrosion. You want to know if the injectors are not stuck, so they have to be pulled and pressure tested, then when they are pulled you have access to the cylinders to do an endoscope view. The cost are relatively small and you know the status of the engines. Everything okay then a little lubrication oil on the pistons and turn the crackshaft a view time by hand to get an oil film on the cylinders. Then start and you know your engines are okay.....
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:44 PM   #15
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Everyone has covered engines.What about rubber parts and plastic parts?They degrade rather quickly.Mounts,hoses,interior parts,fixtures,the list goes on.It would be a nightmare to buy a boat to go cruise in and end up repairing more than cruising,unless that's your thing.I only like doing repair work when I can't get time to really get away.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:11 PM   #16
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How do you do this work on a boat you do not own yet? Are you planning to buy as-is without even a seatrial? If so, in my mind the offer price would have to consider the potential for bad news.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
How do you do this work on a boat you do not own yet? Are you planning to buy as-is without even a seatrial? If so, in my mind the offer price would have to consider the potential for bad news.
Great Point!
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #18
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Be sure to treat the fuel with a cleaner and octane booster ( I like Diesel Kleen). Do a complete engine service (all filters and impellers new oil and antifreeze and then go run the engines). If oil control is an issue try Marvel Mystery Oil (really, it is great at cleaning sludge) and will help clean internal parts and unstick stuck oil control rings.




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Old 10-14-2014, 09:39 AM   #19
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Very interesting theories...

I actually bought a generator once at a discount. It had been sitting for several years, brand new, test run at the factory, then nothing more.

It was crated up for shipment, then the company went out of business, and years later I bought it in that exact condition at a salvage sale, still in the crate.

I looked the engine over and thought well...

Changed the oil, Put some diesel fuel to it, and hit the starter. It didn't start.

What to do... Took out the injectors, soaked them in a tub of diesel overnight, put them back in the engine and tried it again. Viola, it ran perfect!

That generator is now one of our test generators for my business. We use it for backup, and we also use it for testing out new control systems, and stuff like that. The engine has thousands of hours on it now and runs like a top.

If it were me, with the boat, I'd do just that again. I like the idea of getting some oil moving around by the starter prior to starting. I like the idea of a new impeller in the raw water system, but any thing else is not really going to get you anywhere I believe.

Remember diesel fuel is a oil. It is a lubricant.

I think that the engines will be the least of the issues. There will be other things that have problems, but they are not all that big of a deal for a boater. Things like pumps and the like.
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #20
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All these suggestions are great but it seems like it is something the seller needs to do as a condition of sale. In fact, the seller may need to do them even for a survey and sea trial which at this time of year in northern Michigan isn't too likely. If this boat has been on the hard since 2009, it probably has been for sale most of that time. I would wait until the spring to make an offer with the suggested stipulations and a required sea trial but wonder why the boat hasn't sold before.
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