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Old 12-18-2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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Small Diesels - fuel

I'm looking at a boat which is MILES away so hands on inspection is a tad problematic...... I'm a little nervous after reading horror stories re. bugs growing in fuel tanks if stored too long --- water in fuel--- water ruining engines ----- need for Primary/Secondary fuel filtration with water separator ---------- yikes!!!!!..... any comments?? AND when assessing a small diesel what would you look for re. indicators of "problems".... ie. difficult to start = __________________ .......... thnx. john.... BTW .. the input from forum members has / is invaluable .. lots of laughs and OMG the Anchoring topic....will it never end????????......... a friend said that a common mistake is not using enough rode .. maybe it is that the majority of anchors would be OK IF the operator sets them properly--I'm becoming a Rocna fan(owned by Canadians eh!! jp
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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I'm looking at a boat which is MILES away so hands on inspection is a tad problematic...... I'm a little nervous after reading horror stories re. bugs growing in fuel tanks if stored too long --- water in fuel--- water ruining engines ----- need for Primary/Secondary fuel filtration with water separator ---------- yikes!!!!!..... any comments?? AND when assessing a small diesel what would you look for re. indicators of "problems".... ie. difficult to start = __________________ .......... thnx. john.... BTW .. the input from forum members has / is invaluable .. lots of laughs and OMG the Anchoring topic....will it never end????????......... a friend said that a common mistake is not using enough rode .. maybe it is that the majority of anchors would be OK IF the operator sets them properly--I'm becoming a Rocna fan(owned by Canadians eh!! jp
Welcome,

Something that comes to mind is your statement "the boat is MILES away". I take that to mean it may not be as close as you may like or hundreds of miles. What ever. The facts are that you are going to spend a boat load of money (pun intended) and it should not matter how far away the boat is. You need to put feet, hands and eyes, all your own, on a lot of boats at first to determine what is going to meet your needs and then when you have that sorted out you need to put feet, hands and eyes on several of that model to pick the best one for you. Anything short of that will cost you way more than a few overnight trips to look at prospective boats in the end. I looked for over two years at various trawlers while still having my sailboat. All types, sizes and brands. Once I decided on the general boat I looked at several models of that boat and brands. Once I settled on the exact model and brand, I looked at and had a spread sheet of the top ten that were for sale I would consider owning. I had been on and through everyone of the ten boats my self the top five , except for the NY boat, I inspected twice. They ranged from South FL to NYC and points in between. I flew to NYC rented a car and spent the day to look at that boat. I spent maybe $4-5K just looking over the two years. But in the scheme of things that was nothing (.025%) compared to what I was about to spend.

As far as filters you can get by with just a Racor that has a water separator. There are as many ideas as to what is good better or best as there are ideas on anchors and your friend seems to have a good grip on them. So filters can be a long subject that has been already hashed here before. Just check the archives for everything you may want to know and then some.

Hope this helps and good luck with your quest.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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If the engine starts from cold quickly, any smoke clears after it warms up, runs up to rated rpm in gear at WOT and doesn't overheat, then 90% of potential problems are behind you. But you are going to ultimately see it yourself and have it surveyed before you buy, aren't you?

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Old 12-18-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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Lucy - unless you can lay your eyes on the boat or have a trusted ally who is near the vessel, I'd steer clear. Between Portland and Vancouver and Tri Cities to the East you have some pretty fertile looking grounds.

Canada and Rocna? I thought Al Gore invented the Rocna, and the Manson too for that matter!
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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Canada and Rocna? I thought Al Gore invented the Rocna, and the Manson too for that matter!
Now we know why they work so well.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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I'm looking at a boat which is MILES away so hands on inspection is a tad problematic...... I'm a little nervous after reading horror stories re. bugs growing in fuel tanks if stored too long --- water in fuel--- water ruining engines ----- need for Primary/Secondary fuel filtration with water separator ---------- yikes!!!!!..... any comments?? AND when assessing a small diesel what would you look for re. indicators of "problems".... ie. difficult to start = __________________ .......... thnx. john.... BTW .. the input from forum members has / is invaluable .. lots of laughs and OMG the Anchoring topic....will it never end????????......... a friend said that a common mistake is not using enough rode .. maybe it is that the majority of anchors would be OK IF the operator sets them properly--I'm becoming a Rocna fan(owned by Canadians eh!! jp
Take a deep breath- most horror stories are just that- stories. Bad stuff does happen, but focusing on all the "facts" (note sarcasm). that the internet offers will only drive you batty, and you'll end up with a safe hobby like underwater basket weaving......

I recommend doing your research on sites like this that cater to they type of vessel you are wanting, locate said vessel, have her surveyed, and either purchase or decline to do so. As part of the purchase negotiation, all is on the table, so concerns such as old fuel, maintenance, etc can be addressed then.

In any case, enjoy the journey of discovery as you travel it....
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:05 AM   #7
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So what size and kind of boat do you THNK you are interest in. that could/might change while looking at boats. We start out looking at 30 to 40 ft, then 40 to 50, and we ended up with a 58 ft.

I agree go on as many boat as you can to get the feel and Idea of the size and design. There is the Seattle Boat and afloat show January 23 thru Feb 3. the afloat show at the South end of Lake Union has about every kind and style of boat to go on which makes comparing easy. Once you know the size/lay out/band then its time to find THE BOAT. After looking at enough boats when you find the boat you will know and feel reasonable comfortable to make an offer. We looked at boat for over a year before my wife found the Eagle as it felt right to her.

As for diesel, in the PNW there is very little chance of bugs/algae. However if the diesel is not used/turn every few years it will start to separate out and tarring. The new newer diesel does not last as long and start to separate out if not used/polished and additives. We try to turn the fuel every two years, and during that time I also clean/polish the fuel, and add additives mainly to absorb water/moisture back into the fuel. We have lived on the boat for 15 years with no sign/problems.

If the engine/engine room and bilge are maintenance well and in good shape the chances are the owner also took care of the engine. So just general observation and asking for maintenance records will give you a good indications at first. When you have found the boat then you will want to get a general and engine survey done before you make an offer.

I heve read enough about anchor to last me for years, and it really has not changed my mind. Anyway the boat will come with an anchor so that is discussion down the road. If you have more question let us know.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:34 PM   #8
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"If the engine starts from cold quickly,"

YES,


So the first thing to do on arrival at the boat is to put your hand on the engine to be sure its STONE COLD.!!!
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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If you buy a boat from "miles away", do not, after paying the $, leap on board and set off for hundreds of miles home. You are almost sure to discover some unwelcome issue, maybe known only to the owner,which survey may not detect, or experience some idiosyncrasy of the boat. Get to know the boat first if you plan a voyage home. If inexperienced, maybe employ a skipper or enlist an experienced friend.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Wise Folk!!

Thanks for the messages of reassurance ....... much appreciate!!!!.. the process continues...jp
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
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Lucy, we live in eastern WA and bought our boat in MI. I made two trips back there to sea trial it and to have two separate surveyors go over the boat. One did the engines and transmissions and the other did the hull and all the equipment.

I had been looking for two years to narrow the search down to a certain size range and come up with a list of "must have" and "we don't want that" kinds of things. Then about another six months searching for the right boat.

I have two rules you might want to consider when looking for a boat.....
1. Buy your second boat first. In other words, do your homework and decide what you want in a boat and what you want it to do for you.
2. The wrong boat, at the best price in the world, is still the wrong boat. That is a very expensive mistake to make.

Sunchaser commented that there are people on here from all over the place that you might want to have take a look at a boat you're interested in if it's in our neighborhood. That might save you a trip to look at it if the boat turns out to be a lemon. We probably can't help you pick the right boat but we might be able to identify a bad boat before you spend your money on a trip.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #12
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Lucy - unless you can lay your eyes on the boat or have a trusted ally who is near the vessel, I'd steer clear. Between Portland and Vancouver and Tri Cities to the East you have some pretty fertile looking grounds.

Canada and Rocna? I thought Al Gore invented the Rocna, and the Manson too for that matter!
You guys have it ALL wrong Al invented water
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Lucy 11;120494]I'm looking at a boat which is MILES away so hands on inspection is a tad problematic...... I'm a little nervous after reading horror stories re. bugs growing in fuel tanks if stored too long --- water in fuel--- water ruining engines ----- need for Primary/Secondary fuel filtration with water separator ---------- yikes!!!!!..... any comments?? AND when assessing a small diesel what would you look for re. indicators of "problems".... ie. difficult to start = __________________ .......... thnx. ]


The first stink pot I looked seriously at was a hard sell, had been on the market a long time, I was suspicious it suffered all of what you fear. I took advice in several places, bought and used some Biobore, made sure there were spare fuel filters aboard and did a long sea trial (Shelter island to coal harbour and back) The boat failed survey, and I moved on. I spent some $ insuring that I wouldn't have a fuel problem, and was very glad I did, even though no fuel problems affected my trial.

Is Pender Island your permanent home, or your summer home?
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:36 PM   #14
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even though no fuel problems affected my trial.

Folks selling boats will frequently have a service polish the fuel.

great short term , but does zero for a contaminated tank.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #15
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even though no fuel problems affected my trial.

Folks selling boats will frequently have a service polish the fuel.

great short term , but does zero for a contaminated tank.
Ha! Had there been a polish going on, I would hardly have needed to add Biobor to the tank, nor would I have needed to check on filters.

My comments were directed at the OP, Lucy II, who I presume is looking at a boat with unknown history of recent attention and extremely unlikely that any polishing has been done.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:47 AM   #16
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Ha! Had there been a polish going on, I would hardly have needed to add Biobor to the tank, nor would I have needed to check on filters.

Biobor only kills some types of "bugs" not all.

It is best to rotate bug killers to hope to get most of the varieties.

Biobor does zero to clean sludge or growth from the tank walls , and nothing to clear any soup below the pickup tube.

Tilt or shake the boat , with or without bug juice and the soup or gunk can easily plug filters.

They are cheaper by the case anyway.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:55 AM   #17
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If you're considering buying a boat and have questions about the engine or fuel system, pay a qualified surveyor near that location to survey the boat. Pay a mechanic who specializes in that brand of engine to do an engine survey.

These people should be able to identify most problems and help you with your purchase decision. I say "most" because some problems cannot be predicted.
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