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Old 08-07-2022, 11:58 PM   #1
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1994 Nordic 32

Greetings!
I am a wannabe tugger with Good News (!) a 1994 NT 32 on the line. Heading to survey and sea trial in the next couple of weeks. The boat shows well and the 2 yo survey only had a hand full of deficiencies that "have been taken care of" per the broker. A couple of issues have cropped up for me that I would appreciate getting feed back on from experienced NT32 owners of a similar vintage (and others are welcome to chime in please).

The survey initially mentioned a deficiency with the wet exhaust but then did not list it as an action item. Perhaps this was an oversight. I have contacted the surveyor and may get some help from him. Or better yet, he may be available to do a new survey. I did see a post about weeping elbow and undersized discharge pump but with later models. So is this a common problem with this era of build? My cursory exam did not show any issues but that was before I reviewed the survey.

Next concern has to do with the engine seeming to run rough at idle. We had been on a sister ship just prior and it ran noticeably smoother at idle. The broker mentioned it may be due to different engine mounts?!? Any help in this area would be greatly appreciated.

The current owners have only had the boat for two years and added just about 70 hours on the engine in that time. Part of my concern is issues due to lack of use. But the maintenance seems up to date and the boat otherwise does not show a lack of care.

Does anyone have any experience with replacing the engine mounts? Would it help address a rough idle? How expensive and/or difficult would it be?

Thanks in advance for any comments!

Bill
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Old 08-08-2022, 01:48 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard and good luck with the boat purchase.
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:38 AM   #3
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Nice, one of my favorite boats in the 32' size.

I don't think engine mounts are going to make an engine idle rough. Bad engine mounts can make vibration felt through the boat at idle. I would suspect fuel filters first, but of course this is purely a speculative guess.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:51 AM   #4
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Do yourself a favor and get a mechanical survey. Essentially a diesel mechanic that will inspect all the running gear and put it through its paces, take fluid samples, etcÖ
Schedule for same day as sea trial.
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:44 AM   #5
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Thumbs up 1994 Nordic 32

So awesome to wake up to helpful replies! Yes, Bmarler, I will have a mechanical survey done on all systems and ask the surveyor to pay particular attention to how it operates from idle through WOT and pay particular attention to the engine mounts. And CharlieO, I think you may have it right that the engine isn't necessarily running rough but the vibrations via the mounts are the issue.

I did get great news on Good News that the entire exhaust system was replaced after the prior survey! Whoot! That definitely puts my mind at further ease!
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Old 08-08-2022, 04:21 PM   #6
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What engine make and HP?
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Old 08-09-2022, 12:39 AM   #7
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Good News has the 220 hp Cummins.

I was back on the vessel today for a more thorough inspection. On the plus side, all the electronics, fridge, heaters, wipers, etc work. Engine vibration at idle was greatly diminished once the engine warmed up. The engine mounts are original but appear to be in solid shape.

On the negative side, my handy moisture meter detected high readings around the perimeter of the coach roof (leaky stanchion bases and handrails) and on either side of the anchor roller. Soundings with my specialized instrument (a decent sized rock found on shore) detected voids in several locations. There is no evidence of water intrusion inside the cabin, so that is a break. Prior owners cut port and starboard weep holes in the aft corners of the under side of the roof.

The wet/rotted material is likely the balsa core used by Nordic at the time. I previously researched how to deal with water intrusion in cored decks. I don't think it is a deal breaker but depends on how the Seller responds to my request to lower price to cover the repairs. Cost TBD.

Broker was able to have an experienced repairman stop by to confirm my concerns and he will be working up a bid to 1) drill exploratory holes to determine the extent of damage, 2) cut back the topsides enough to remove the rotted material, 3) rebuild bases in solid fiberglass & resin, 4) otherwise replace rotted core with closed cell material, 5) recover with fiberglass and reapply nonskid.

Please chime in on whether y'all would stick with this boat, or not. Whether the proposed fixes would be appropriate, or not. I am concerned about the structural integrity of the coach roof going forward.

As I mentioned, it shows very well and has many upgrades, including Vaccu-flush, solar panels, watermaker, freezer, high output alternator, etc.

Gracias, amigos!
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Old 08-09-2022, 06:09 PM   #8
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Salish,
For the "potential" exhaust issue, check out sentoa.org under "maintenance tips" for several articles about exhaust issues on older (32 and 37) Tugs. Both concerns MAY apply to this boat?? including the recent "repair"? (and maybe NOT).
The "stock" Cummins exhaust elbow (and installation method) that was used (even on my 2002 NT 37) are what Tony Athens calls "DOOMED TO FAIL". This is common on a lot of boats, not just Nordics. You might want to go to his site (sbmar.com) and look up some info under Tony's Tips and/or on his Cummins forum. Both these sites are full of good info.
Wet decking: You are definitely on the right track. Almost all cases of delamination and wet coring can be repaired, but this is not inexpensive. I had such work done on my former NT 37 in the salon roof (cockpit overhang) area. A lot of boat owners do not understand that stanchions, fasteners, and all other topside penetrations require periodic inspection and "rebedding" or else leaks develop and this type of problem WILL occur. Another area to check is the seam where the salon roof meets the rear Pilothouse wall. Recaulk regularly. Prevention is much "cheaper' than repair. It sounds like you should be asking for a price reduction based on the estimated cost to repair this leakage issue (IMHO).
Ask for opinions regarding the seriousness of the problem from both the Surveyor and from a well recommended fibreglass repair "expert". Also, use a separate mechanic for the engine survey including an analysis of all oils.
Based on what you have described, it sounds like you can be "cautiously optimistic" about this boat, but that will depend on the results of your surveys, estimates, and negotiations!
They are good boats. Good luck.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:53 PM   #9
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I'd strongly suggest you have a Marine Surveyor inspect/survey the boat. You'll probably need it for Insurance purposes anyway. Start there and also have a diesel mechanic check out the engine.
Ira Jones AMS#1001 SAMS
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Old 08-15-2022, 04:32 PM   #10
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I really like the Cummins engines, I have 2 6CTAs in my boat. The wet core can be fixed, just labor intensive. If you like the boat get the price reduced and either fix it yourself or pay to have it done. Marinehowto.com has an excellent article on how to bed things on deck.
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Old 08-17-2022, 10:17 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses and encouragement!

Quick update on our purchase journey. 8/15 was our sea trial, survey & haul out. Results are very promising and I already have the survey in hand. Notably, the engine performed well at idle & WOT. Temp ranged from 160 @ 1700 to cruise 7ish and 190 @ 2550 14+. Diesel mechanic will be on board 8/18 to conduct separate assessment and pull fluids. Finally received maintenance logs from prior 20 yr owner who has been babysitting the vessel (lies Shelter Bay Marina and he resides there). Thanks to Don for being a great steward of Good News and keeping a fabulous log of all upgrades and service!

All nav systems checked out except for second depth sounder. Primary analog Sitex was very difficult to read when backlit by bright sun/water reflection. First up on the project list to go along with new bottom paint this off season!

Delamination @ stbd aft corner of salon roof confirmed and excessive moisture readings taken there and around perimeter of salon roof and either side of anchor roller. None noted to be "structural" so those repairs can wait until next season. But I will definitely be rebedding all stanchions and eventually removing extraneous teak handrails.

Fingers crossed the mechanic doesn't find anything out of order. If all goes well, we'll have our first "cruise" to Deer Harbor beginning 8/23...go Mariners!
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:31 AM   #12
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Killer Dowel Pin

Sooo I shared the extensive maintenance logs with the mechanic ahead of his inspection tomorrow. He raised the specter of the dreaded Killer Dowel Pin on the 1994 Cummins 5.9 6BTA with 2715 hours. As you can imagine, that sent me down a deep dark google hole chasing YouTube videos and truck forums, etc. The pin can and does come loose on marine engines but it is a far more common problem with land yachts.

After doing my "due diligence" I got to thinking its not really something I need to worry about now and can defer to the off season. I even got to the point of calling off the inspection. But then better sense prevailed and he is still slated to do the full inspection, just will be focusing on all the myriad other issues that need to be assessed, rather than digging into the KDP.

Also, he sounds pretty pessimistic about this engine having "high" hours and already making cautionary statements about maybe looking for a newer boat. But the engine fires well and ran well during sea trial. And there are many posts about how trusted this engine is and how it can run above 20,000 hours if properly maintained, propped, etc.

Please chime in on any and all of the above!

I would appreciate thoughts
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:41 AM   #13
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I would find another mechanic. That isnít high hours for that engine.
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:25 AM   #14
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Salish Explorer- are you sure you understood your mechanic correctly about 2715 hours being "high hours?"

Sounds like a normal example of a 28 year old boat. The NT32 is a great little boat that will be a constant source of fun and easy to sell if/when time comes.

Good luck

Peter
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:11 PM   #15
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Salish,
I don't agree with what your mechanic is saying about the expected "life" of this engine!! You may be better served with a different mechanic?

For example, another Nordic Tug owner (a 2001 NT 37) has over 12,000 hours on his Cummins 6BTA 330 hp engine (so it is both turbo charged and aftercooled). Just this year, he is rebuilding the turbo (only the turbo) due to a leaking oil seal. He is meticulous about performing all suggested maintenance, especially regular oil changes. He travels from your area to Alaska every year (but not one year due to Covid), and therefore averages approx. 600 hours per year.

Your engine is the same (basic) engine, except lower horsepower (so in theory easier on the engine), and with regular maintenance should expect similar longevity (in engine hours). So at the rate hours have been accumulated to date (approx. 100 hours per year), you only have 90 years of life left before you may need an engine rebuild??? Even using the much higher annual engine hours that the above described NT 37 experienced (600) you have about 15 years of use to reach his figure of 12,000 hours.
It could be a different story if this engine was run at high rpm (most of the time) and/or overloaded (like might happen in "go fast" fishing style boat), or if maintenance was skipped, but most NT owners run at about 1/2 throttle at hull speed so the work demanded by most NT owners is fairly low.

For all the info you may want about this engine, check out Seaboard Marine's site (Tony Athens) for tons of free info under "Tony's Tips" and on the various site forums. Tony himself often answers questions on the forums. (sbmar.com). Well worth exploring Tony's info IMHO.

Good luck with your purchasing process! These are great boats that tend to hold their value fairly well, and are usually in fairly high demand (historically).
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