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Old 01-09-2015, 06:22 AM   #21
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The best answer here is that for recreational non sport fish service, hours will have little if anything to do with it. This is the most frequently asked question of boat purchases and is simply the wrong question. Marine engines die all the time, very very few ever have anything to do with being worn out, meaning worn rings and bearings and maybe valve train. The things you end up spending money in are simply not hours related. This is not a cat thing. All engines require maintenance.

The best used engine is the one that has a documented history of being used and maintained regularly. Emphasis on regularly. I'd happily take a 30 year old cat 3208, 325 hp or less or so, so long as you can show me maintenance history. The family I bought my boat from did not understand boats and would not let me have the maint logs, claiming they were lost. I frowned, but if actually told me what I needed to know. They freaked out when they realized they had a book with a pile of receipts in it. The layman thinks a history of having to spend money is bad. That's plain wrong. I want to see exactly that. The boat I passed up was the one with 500 hours and the salesman bragging about how little work had been done.

Now, I'm biased of course. I have 3208N with about 4500 hours. Later next week, I'll be starting to swap out oil coolers due to a gasket that is starting to weep. Nasty job, but that's what you do. You constantly interrogate and find what is acting up, and you go after it. If you ignore it, you lose an engine. Has nothing to do with hours. There is a lot more to an engine than rings and bearings.

You will spend many times the cost of renewing those just on a boats cooling system, fuel system and electrical than you will ever spend on an overhaul. Yet, because the engine makes a bit more fuss over the overhaul, that's all we pretend is important. Makes no sense. You might think about an overhaul once a decade or three if you are lucky. It's very infrequent. Now, a manifold, or a water pump or a heat exchanger. Heck, your doing something, somewhere all the time. Each and every year. That adds up. That's where your cash will go.

You want to know whether your old diesel is serviceable? Either you will be doing the work yourself, so how much do you need to teach yourself about this particular engine. That, or what is the support like for that particular engine IN YOUR LOCATION. That is the definition of an engines probable life.

We just need to stop asking about hours. It's just that the hours are there to look at. It's a human nature thing. Humans direct their attention at whatever is in front of them. If it's not there they ignore it. I build databases for a living, and it's the same thing there. If there is a measurement on a report, everybody wants to talk about it. Rarely do people stop to ask what isn't there. People make decisions in a vacuum all the time. That's the normal situation. With engines, there is only ever one usage based measure available, hours, so that's all anyone thinks about. Nobody even considers that if all they ever did was to measure the weight of the maintenance papers without even looking what was on them, they would have a higher correlation to lifespan than the engine hours themselves.

Hours are there to schedule maintenance. Nothing more. The hour meter has no knowledge of how those engines were run or how well they were maintained.
You make some very valid points. However in over three thousand surveys I have seen only two current maintenance logs and the vast majority of owners know very little about their boats or their engines. Other than annual (mostly) oil changes things only get fixed when there is no option. There are several knowledgeable owners on this forum with well maintained and impeccably clean engine rooms but they are a very rare breed.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:29 AM   #22
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Sometimes the simple solution is to take a look in the ER to see what is carried .

If you see 5 cans of different style/brand of oil , ita a give away the operator doesnt have a clue.

If you see a couple of 5 gal pails of diesel rated oil , and a box of oil filters , you should have a better chance of avoiding a disaster.

Thank goodness that the clueless do not hire a company to stage the boat as dirt house sellers do.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:00 AM   #23
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Thank goodness that the clueless do not hire a company to stage the boat as dirt house sellers do.
Just a couple of days ago I noticed a boat on YW that was staged. Guess they had to identify it or would be buyers would think the stuff comes with the boat. Maybe boat sellers aren't so clueless after all.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:44 AM   #24
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Sunchaser you need to re-read my post. I said 15 K hours for the 375. I have owned this engine and it is a great engine. What is your experience with is engine? There are boat here with the na version getting 25 K hours with no problems. I have owned the 210 and the 375. Cheers
OD

You do realize that at 200 hours per year 15,000 hours is 75 years and 25,000 hours is 125 years. I am referring to the normal recreational planing vessel user. Does your vessel run at 75% load? I think not. Read my prior posts.

Yes I do have a smattering of 3208 knowledge, totally irrelevant for this HOUR discussion. Whether Cat, Cummins, JD or ??, marine age and regular (or not) PM trumps all colors.

Ghost has said it well so I'll leave it at that.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:04 AM   #25
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You make some very valid points. However in over three thousand surveys I have seen only two current maintenance logs and the vast majority of owners know very little about their boats or their engines. Other than annual (mostly) oil changes things only get fixed when there is no option. There are several knowledgeable owners on this forum with well maintained and impeccably clean engine rooms but they are a very rare breed.
You have just nailed why used boat sales can be slow. Does a spiffy clean and well maintained vessel sell quicker?

During the past 3 years I have looked at a dozen or so vessels for sale. The "vast majority" were very clean, tidy and maintenance pretty well up to date. However, none were older than 9 years. Plus in this internet age, listing pictures can weed out a lot of vessels.


The saddest story was a Selene 53/55 that the owner had abandoned to the elements on the hard, commissioning incomplete, no recent attempts at care and cleaning and no winter covers. It happens.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:01 AM   #26
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> Paint Sells the Boat!<

The saddest story was a Selene 53/55 that the owner had abandoned to the elements on the hard, commissioning incomplete, no recent attempts at care and cleaning and no winter covers. It happens.




This one should be in the bargain bin! A good deal for a bit of scrubbing.

If the boat is not so old that the deck hardware and house penetrations have lost the seal from the factoty bedding , it should be mostly a cosmetic save.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:11 AM   #27
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Taras, unfortunately some here with only a smattering of knowledge on this engine will reply to your post.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:48 AM   #28
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Taras, unfortunately some here with only a smattering of knowledge on this engine will reply to your post.
Just as a word to the wise and a new member, in general, insulting people in general and people you don't know here in particular is frowned upon. When Sunchaser says he has a smattering of knowledge, he means that out of the scores and scores of pieces of heavy equipment he has been responsible for that use CAT engines, some were 3208s.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:15 PM   #29
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Del, no attempt to insult anyone. Just an attempt to correct a record from another person attempting to put words in my mouth.
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