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Old 08-10-2019, 04:24 AM   #1
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2nd attempt at Trawler purchase, this one 1990 48' Carver Californian

Got my offer accepted on a 1990 48' Carver Californian sitting in Tennessee, now for the fun part. Surveys

I will be the 5th owner. I'm working on the owner history track and maintenance history.

The biggest thing I've seen when doing an initial walk over, is it's a fresh water boat. Having run boats for 25 years on saltwater you know what they look like, and this doesn't show any of those signs. Rust in the engine room is nonexistent, and the paint is old, chipped in places and still no rust, so no one is hiding anything. All around the exhaust fittings and water pumps things are clean.
The general appearance of non mechanical stuff is very good, way above average. It's appears to have been taken care of, updated along the way, very few water leaks. The interior has be professional decorated.

Has a pair of 3208, 375HP, with 2000 hours. So 66 hours per year on avg.
pro's and con's on those numbers. I like low hours but maybe too low, maybe too much sitting. What kinds of issues show up with sitting?

The generator, a Kohler 16kw has 5700 hours on it. A more reasonable number for a 30 year old boat. I picture the 30 year use as running on the Tennessee river, dropping the hook and staying there a few days before returning to dock.

From my research on 30 year old 3208s I should expect some head gasket issues and possible replacement just based on years.

What happens when 30 year old fresh water boats and their engines hit sail water, besides rust? Planning on running this boat on the east coast ICW.

All of this seems too good to be true, what am I missing.

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Old 08-10-2019, 05:27 AM   #2
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Any idea on recent history? I would be happier with the boat getting 100+ hours of use for the last three years than almost no use in the last three years.

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Old 08-10-2019, 07:14 AM   #3
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Don’t over think this too much. You may have found the best Carver around. There may be no reason to expect engine problems. I just replaced a customers 3 year old diesel generator. Why? Because it was installed right under a hatch that leaked seawater. It looked 50 years old and the field shorted. So a clean well maintained boat may just carry on with normal life. When you take possession, just treat it like it needs full service. Fluids, filters, coolers, belts, hoses batteries. I would change out everything that may be 30 years old . Now you have a fresh start with records. Enjoy the boat. I have services 3208’s in construction equipment with 30K+hours still running strong
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Old 08-10-2019, 09:30 AM   #4
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On a fresh water only boat, assuming a good survey, I'd be less concerned with the major systems such as main engines, and a bit more with the minor systems like the fresh water pumps and fixtures, and the waste system, A/C units, etc...

Our 35 year old Trojan 44 Flybridge is a fresh water only boat, with 671 Detroits and a 15KW Onan generator (3 cyl. Cummins). The mains have been great as these old girls are practically bulletproof in the naturally aspirated state (no turbos)... but I've been chasing minor stuff down like leaking faucets, replacing fresh water pump (twice), replacing VHF on the bridge, new impeller and raw water intake hose for generator, and a windlass repair, and some electrical items like switches and GFCI outlets.

Our Trojan was used maximum 10 hours per year over the last 11 years, so I had concerns like you. Seems anything with critical rubber parts began failing due to inactivity after putting them back into normal repeated service... things that may not show on the survey.

I think that a very clean fresh water boat puts you way ahead of the game though on some of the major, big ticket, items.
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Old 08-10-2019, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc View Post
Don’t over think this too much. You may have found the best Carver around. There may be no reason to expect engine problems. I just replaced a customers 3 year old diesel generator. Why? Because it was installed right under a hatch that leaked seawater. It looked 50 years old and the field shorted. So a clean well maintained boat may just carry on with normal life. When you take possession, just treat it like it needs full service. Fluids, filters, coolers, belts, hoses batteries. I would change out everything that may be 30 years old . Now you have a fresh start with records. Enjoy the boat. I have services 3208’s in construction equipment with 30K+hours still running strong
(extreme emphasis mine)

The above in bold is the BEST advice offered.

The wonder of the internet is instant information...which is exactly the problem. A bit of information can be useful- too much info is paralyzing.

Research a subject, and soon you're tugged in every direction based on opinions vice fact- and the more research you do, the further down the rabbit hole you go.

Have the engines surveyed and get the professional's viewpoint.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:25 PM   #6
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm curious what you guys consider to be a freshwater boat?

Is a freshwater boat one that has never touched saltwater? Or is it one that has always been permanently moored in freshwater but may have had annual excursions to saltwater destinations? Put another way, is the issue ANY exposure to saltwater? Or is it CONSTANT exposure to saltwater?

I'm looking at boats in the Portland OR area that are moored on the Columbia. They are all, of course, in fresh water. But some have taken the occasional excursion to Puget Sound and beyond. Similarly, there are Seattle area boats that are kept in Lake Union or Lake Washington but do the occasional trip out the locks to the Sound. Are these still considered "freshwater" boats?
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:32 PM   #7
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I'm not sure there is an actual definition, but for me, a freshwater boat is one that is normally moored/and or operated in fresh water. The annual trip down the ICW and across to the Bahamas wouldn't negate a "fresh water boat" in my opinion, but spending 4 months in the river, then 8 months in Florida does not a "fresh water boat" make...

A boat that has NEVER been in salt water would be a "salt water virgin".
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Camasonian View Post
I don't want to hijack this thread, but I'm curious what you guys consider to be a freshwater boat?

Is a freshwater boat one that has never touched saltwater? Or is it one that has always been permanently moored in freshwater but may have had annual excursions to saltwater destinations? Put another way, is the issue ANY exposure to saltwater? Or is it CONSTANT exposure to saltwater?

I'm looking at boats in the Portland OR area that are moored on the Columbia. They are all, of course, in fresh water. But some have taken the occasional excursion to Puget Sound and beyond. Similarly, there are Seattle area boats that are kept in Lake Union or Lake Washington but do the occasional trip out the locks to the Sound. Are these still considered "freshwater" boats?
Constant exposure to saltwater.

Boats that excursion into the salt for short periods generally don't have the opportunity for organisms to take root on the hull, and when the vessel returns to the fresh, anything that may have attached to the hull dies.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:58 PM   #9
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Constant exposure to saltwater.

Boats that excursion into the salt for short periods generally don't have the opportunity for organisms to take root on the hull, and when the vessel returns to the fresh, anything that may have attached to the hull dies.
I wasn't sure if it was like cars where if you spend one winter driving in the salted roads of Michigan you car is basically going to eventually rust out even if it spends the rest of its life in Arizona.
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Old Today, 12:50 AM   #10
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Another one bites the dust.

- I could not get a price concession on the poor blister job
- I could not get a price concession on the antifreeze in the port engine oil
- I could not get a price concession on the last oil/filter change in August 2015
and my insurance carrier had another list
and the boat probably could not operate legally anywhere

Still looking.....

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