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Old 08-22-2018, 09:16 AM   #21
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2nd look took place Sunday as planned. I'll report back with greater detail soon, but will try to keep this reply short for now.
First, thanks for all of the great replies and advice so far.

I have some concerns with the boat, but we'll see how significant they become as I learn more. We were mostly pleased with what we found after poking around on the boat for 3-4 hours Sunday.
One bit of advice I am trying to follow is to have a Cummins expert do the engine survey vs using the "general" surveyor for the entire process. Engines have only been run for 20 hours total in the past 10 years. Both started immediately and whitish smoke at startup (first starts in months from what I understand) began to clear pretty quickly. Seemed to have good water flow from exhaust immediately.



Here is where I could really use advice now. There is a respected Cummins certified service center nearby, with a tech that does a lot of pleasure boat Cummins marine engine work and surveys just 25 miles away. However, they gave me an estimate of $1250 ($136/hour for time, some lab stuff for oil and fuel analysis, some materials, mileage...... it adds up). That seems excessive when added to the general survey + haul out/hull cleaning, etc. I'm going to see if I can get the Cummins guy to agree to something far less than $1250 just to get their initial thoughts on the engines. I would think we can limit his time to an hour per engine sitting in the slip, then maybe an hour or two for sea trial??? I realize $1250 is nothing when it comes to boat ownership, but seems excessive for a pre-purchase opinion on engines only. Am I off base here? Is that estimate what you guys would expect? It did include oil and fuel analysis, too. Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2018, 10:04 AM   #22
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I would ask specifically what he was going to do. I would expect oil analysis for both engines, transmissions, maybe the coolant, and the fuel, to be billed around $300 to $400 through the dealership (maybe $225 +/- if you do it yourself). If they plan to pull valve covers as a point of inspection, there is time and materials there. If he spends 2 hours on the motors and all in a 2 hour sea trial, between lab work and labor, you're pretty much to the estimate.

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Old 08-22-2018, 10:18 AM   #23
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If possible, be there for the engine survey. Let the surveyor work, of course, as interruptions only add to the hourly bill. After he was done I found it incredibly useful to ask the engine guy what his general thoughts were on the rest of the engine room systems. His 'off the record' comments were insightful regarding some electrical concerns (which factored into the negotiating). When you get someone that fixes these things all day they tend to know where the 'pain points' are. That's worth a lot, especially if you can ask things like 'what trouble spots do you typically see coming in the near future' or 'what looks like it hasn't been serviced during typical intervals'?

I would not have spent for the engine survey if I wasn't already pretty convinced of the boat's general condition. I was fortunate to have someone that already manages a boat nearly exactly like mine come with me before the survey/seatrial trip. Someone that has fixed things on that particular model can be invaluable in detecting if similar repairs have already been done, how well, or not at all.
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:28 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ2Loop View Post

Here is where I could really use advice now. There is a respected Cummins certified service center nearby, with a tech that does a lot of pleasure boat Cummins marine engine work and surveys just 25 miles away. However, they gave me an estimate of $1250 ($136/hour for time, some lab stuff for oil and fuel analysis, some materials, mileage...... it adds up). That seems excessive when added to the general survey + haul out/hull cleaning, etc. I'm going to see if I can get the Cummins guy to agree to something far less than $1250 just to get their initial thoughts on the engines. I would think we can limit his time to an hour per engine sitting in the slip, then maybe an hour or two for sea trial??? I realize $1250 is nothing when it comes to boat ownership, but seems excessive for a pre-purchase opinion on engines only. Am I off base here? Is that estimate what you guys would expect? It did include oil and fuel analysis, too. Thanks.
You pay for the best. I find that reasonable for what he's doing. Last thing you want to do is start limiting his time. You want thorough.
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:46 PM   #25
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Half of that for one engine sounds more reasonable?

Pick the one you want to trust and survey the other one.
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Old 08-22-2018, 01:59 PM   #26
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You can also run the serial number on several sites for the engines. I suspect like our 6BTA 250 HP, they are JWA's (Jacket Water Aftercooler) This means the after-cooler for turbo fed air is cooled by the block anti-freeze, not sea water. A very nice feature. You can also quickly pull the exit hose off the top of the water pumps and get a peek at the impellers without pulling the pump apart. Make sure she's pumping water within a few seconds of startup.
Our engines had 4,000 hours on them (1990) when we bought in 2016. Currently deep into 5,000 hours. Oil analysis comes back "like new." Great power plants.
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Old 08-22-2018, 03:16 PM   #27
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Surveyors don't typically do engines. At best, they'll pull oil and send it to a lab for analysis, check belts and hoses. You want a diesel mechanic. I prefer a diesel mechanic certified in that make of engine.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:27 AM   #28
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Thanks again for the advice. After a few calls we will have a Cummins guy present for the sea trial and survey. That is likely to happen next week.

We did just notice oil pressure on starboard engine is just 30PSI (per the boat's installed gauge -- not yet verified by a mechanical gauge). Port engine is more like 50. That is a concern. When we do the survey and sea trial Cummins guy will put a mechanical gauge on to see if we really do have an oil pressure concern or if it is maybe a sending unit, a wire problem, or a gauge problem. I am hoping the mechanical gauge will show we have adequate oil pressure. I'm sure he will know what is normal, but I don't think 30 is adequate at start up.

These engines have not been run much (just 20 hours in past 10 years) so I am hoping no damage has come from the neglect/lack of use.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:57 AM   #29
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:21 PM   #30
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Update: Survey starting in the slip, followed by sea trial and haul out all should take place tomorrow. We did get a mechanical gauge on the engine that was showing low oil pressure. Looks like it is a sender problem (or gauge) because the mechanical gauge is showing 45PSI at start up (helm gauge was showing 30 and not moving above that even with a few RPMs added -- we suspected the gauge was wrong, and per the mechanical gauge, it looks like the pressure is 45. I'd rather see around 60, but it looks like both engines are at 45 at start up. We'll see how they do at various RPMs under load.

Old boat (1990) with little use for the past 10 years so we expect issues, but tomorrow should help us decide whether to stay in or walk away. Thanks for the replies above. One step at a time....
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Old 09-05-2018, 12:53 PM   #31
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Our engine surveyor was on the boat all day. He wasn't working during the haul-out, hull inspection, but I was still paying for his time...we used that time to chat about condition, options, things to think about, etc. Still, it was nowhere near that price but I wasn't paying dealership rates.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:53 PM   #32
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Thank you, Airstream. There is an update in that area as well. We have found another gentleman well trained and knowledgeable in all things Cummins Marine that will be on board most of the day, and he will be doing the engine surveys as well.
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