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Old 05-01-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
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Anything I can "legally" do about this?

Greetings,
My wife and I recently purchased a 1982 36' vessel with Twin Perkins diesels from a broker. The engine hours were each individually listed on the brokers ad. We did the usual survey and sea trial and ultimately completed the purchase. Long story short, we just completed a 350 mile journey bringing the boat to our home marina and I noticed within the first 20 miles that neither of the engine hour gages was changing. After 350 miles and 39 hours of run time the engine hours remain exactly the same as was originally listed by the broker. Naturally we were happy that each engine had relatively low hours (1756 & 1538 respectively) which was a substantial part of our purchase decision. Now we have to wonder what the actual engine hours really are?

So much of our purchase decision was based on the engines having relatively low hours. Neither the owner/seller nor the broker ever made any disclosure that the engine hour meters were not working. Any suggestion on what we can do?
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:29 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. BR. Welcome aboard in case I missed you. My opinion only is unless you specifically asked if the hours were accurate and can prove that you got an answer in the affirmative, I think you're out of luck. The broker can plead ignorance and the seller can say "You never asked". I defer to legal opinions which, I'm sure, will follow.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:36 AM   #3
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I'd have thought the sea trial would have picked that up.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:37 AM   #4
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I do not see how it is possible to trust any engine hours base solely on an hour meter in a boat dashboard as it is very easy to replace it by another if the wish is to hide real hours...
So back to your story, engine hours may or may not be accurate, meters could have been disconnected but engine not ran since, or the opposite.
If your cruise went well and you have no issue on your engine I won't bother too much with engine hours.
Did you get any mechanical inspection for the engines health?

L.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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If the engines were well tended by the POs, a 35 year old diesel base block is not a problem. The marinization side is usually the real culprit for engine problems. The survey as noted by others should have picked up any material engine issues. Your surveyor is to be told about this and bitched at as to why hour meters are not jiving with reality. A good cradle to grave log book should note engine hours.

What Perkins engines?
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:47 AM   #6
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No one may have noticed: surveyor, broker. Lots to pay attention to during your sea trial before purchase.

Our hourmeters said under 1000 hours each on our twin Perkins before we bought the boat last winter. Hmmm, 1000 hrs on the engine hourmeters since 1984 and 400+ hrs on the 1993 genset hourmeter? How did the various POs use the boat? No way to ever know.

Plenty of stuff can be problematical on lightly used boat engines (and everything else) after three decades. Our 24-year-old genset's exhaust elbow is cracked and has been dribbling water for a long time. Our surveyor said, "That generator is covered in rust and may be at the end of its life". I never saw any water and it worked fine last summer; I'll be putting a new elbow on it and crossing my fingers.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:04 PM   #7
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"Anything I can "legally" do about this? "


Legal advice you get from a boating forum is worth exactly what you pay for it. You want legal advice, contact a lawyer.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:07 PM   #8
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The hourmeter for our Perkins on our 38' Fu Hwa actually worked and the engine had 3000 hours or about 100 per year which I thought was a lot for an always Great Lakes boat only used 5 months per year. The engine ran fine. I would expect most trawler engines average 100-200 hours per year on them unless they did the loop or are a passagemaker where the hours would be much higher.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:08 PM   #9
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For better or worse, you are probably on your own.

Assuming there was as purchase agreement, it would have been between you and the seller, and the broker not a party to the agreement other than an acknowledgement that they get paid. So you probably bought the boat from the seller, not from the broker.

In contracts I've seen, the broker always exempts themselves from any liability or misrepresentation. And the seller is usually protected too. It's really up to you to determine what the boat is and isn't, and make your decision on your own gathered info. So it's buyer-beware, which seems to be uniquely American in the civilized world.

And it's a clear oversight on the survey to have not noticed the hour meter not working, but as has been said, there is a lot to pay attention to, and it's easy to miss things. As a result, your contract with your surveyor likely exempts them from anything that they miss.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #10
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On the engine surveys I do, I check hour meter before and after sea trial. Many many boats have one or more meter not working. It gets noted. These meters are some of the least reliable items on a boat.

But engine condition rarely is related to engine hours. Does not really matter if it has 1800hrs or 5000hrs.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:34 PM   #11
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The engines are Range 4 Perkins T6.3544m (200hp inline 6 cyl's, Turbo) They both started up and ran great the entire trip, only the expected light blue/gray at start up. Good consistent oil pressures and temps. Replaced a quart of oil after 16 hours but about 1.5 qts of coolant over all. There's coolant collecting in the overflow reservoir on the port engine so guessing thats a plugged return line or a failing pressure cap?

No Wesk, Not expecting for a professional legal consult here, Just asking to know if anyone here might be able to offer any legitimate reason to suggest if I should consider consulting with an attorney.

We got a great deal on the boat, it check's off several of our wish list item's and best of all, (being 6'4" tall) I can actually stand up in the salon.

Thank you to everyone for the advice and comments, I'll keep the oil and fluids right and treat my "Blues Brothers" like they're up in they're years and see just how far they'll take us.

I'll continue to monitor this thread as I do have a few "systems" related questions that I'll post separately.

Thanks Again!
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:01 PM   #12
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Hind Sight being 20/20 If a boat has no maintenance records or log entries red flags are flying for me.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:49 PM   #13
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Ha! I'd like to relate my recent purchase (Bayliner 3870) and survey performed end of February

The last item the surveyor checked was the water pressure system. Everything worked, all faucets, no leaks. He then proceeded to take oil samples. We talked then for about 15 minutes and the survey was over. He went to wash his hands in the sink. . .and no water. Checked the switch, the leads, ground, etc. Pump had failed. In the ~60 minutes from testing and calling it good to the surveyor cleaning up, it quit working. The PO bought and installed a new one that weekend.

2 days later, the engine start battery shorted out. The PO also replaced that for me.

During the survey, the hour meters were noted as not working (no change during sea trial). During my return trip, they decided to work again and recorded ~8 hours run time

Since returning home (a month), the forward AC now doesn't work and my generator turns over but won't start (worked great before)

A "good" survey does not equal a guarantee. . .though if you read through enough boating forums, the prevailing wisdom does seem to push for that kind of idea.

My point is, crap always happens. . .you just never know when. And it is possible, as my water pump issue shows, that it will happen just after someone thought it was OK
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:07 PM   #14
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My opinion is to forget about it and move on. An engine with 1500 hours isn't necessarily in better condition than an engine with 3000 hours. Age and lack of maintenance are more detrimental than hours.
If they passed the sea trial and ran well for the 350 miles coming home, I'd say they are probably in decent condition for 35 year old engines.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:28 PM   #15
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I'd by trying to figure out where the coolant is going. It shouldn't go missing.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:39 PM   #16
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It's not missing,

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I'd by trying to figure out where the coolant is going. It shouldn't go missing.
The coolant is collecting in the over flow reservoir.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:45 PM   #17
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Yep...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cool beans View Post
During the survey, the hour meters were noted as not working (no change during sea trial). During my return trip, they decided to work again and recorded ~8 hours run time
Lol, maybe mine will to!
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:18 PM   #18
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Okay, here is my experience, (not legal advice) personal experience only.

I have a single screw. It is a 168 hp Mercedes. Engine hours unknown. Same deal, gauge not working. It read 1908, which I do believe is fairly accurate judging from the shape the engine is in which is excellent.

I wouldn't get to hung up on the hours. I do MOST of my own work, ie: filters, fluids, belts, impeller, etc. I did have a slight fuel leak from a hose. To make a long story short, I make sure I keep the engine clean and do regular maintenance whether it needs it or not. It is for sure my hobby. Just keep a maintenance log whether you do it yourself or not. Your diesel engines will last a very long time as long as they are maintained. Remember it's a boat. (Break Out Another Thousand)

I have since replaced the gauge and put the original 1908 hours as a start on it.

And I agree with the above poster, if you still need legal advise, contact an attorney. Otherwise, enjoy her.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:47 PM   #19
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Donna has absolutely the right attitude to her engine.
That Merc engine properly maintained will last the life of the boat, we'd a couple with over a million miles without major overhaul.
Like any make of engine YOU MUST maintain it correctly and it'll never let you down.
The Perkins T6354 is an absolute cracker of an engine and will certainly see your day out provided you adopt Donna's attitude towards care and maintenance.


The loss of coolant could be down to simple heat expansion because the header tank is not that large, or, sticking thermostat, keep an eye on the temperature gauge during warm up, if it rises to 90c quickly, then drops back to 70c and then begins to rise slowly to working temp, change the thermostats.
Happy Cruising.
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:59 PM   #20
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Have to 2nd, 3rd, 4th et al what most have already said.
I would have a chat with the surveyor and see what all he said he checked and how without being specific. If he says he checked the hours, then I'd ask how.

then I would tell him what you found and see what he says.
Not much that can or probably should be done unless you want to tie up a lot if legal $$ on some sort of false representation claim that will probably not go anywhere.

Just keep the information in case something happens sooner rather than later.

All that aside, I wouldn't worry too much as long as the mechanical checks came back good. Keep them maintained properly from here forward and carry on.

Just my buck fifty on the issue.
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