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Old 09-21-2023, 01:29 AM   #1
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Californian 34 1984

I am looking at one with twin Perkins. Any things I need to watch out for that are not easy to see? One thing I do not like is there are no water tight bulkheads. I guess this was common when it was built?
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Old 09-21-2023, 11:05 AM   #2
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Water tight bulkheads on recreational boats seem to be rare. I think if that is an important design / structural criteria for you that you'll need to consider boats designed / built for open water passages. Californians are not designed to cross oceans.
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I am looking at one with twin Perkins. Any things I need to watch out for that are not easy to see? One thing I do not like is there are no water tight bulkheads. I guess this was common when it was built?
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Old 09-21-2023, 02:41 PM   #3
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I grew up on commercial fishing boats and even those of the same size would hae 2-4 water tight bulkheads so none just hit me as strange.
Do they have any known problems?
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Old 09-21-2023, 04:20 PM   #4
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In that time frame watertight bulkheads were hit or miss. Bad thing is that if you have an oil leak in the engine room it will run all the way up to the bow depending on boats attitude. With a gas boat fumes can run to the bow too but with a diesel boat not really an issue.
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Old 09-22-2023, 12:12 AM   #5
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DNT, I'm familiar with the kind of water tight bulkhead you're talking about. Sealed from the bottom of the bilge to the weather deck. Doors and hatches between compartments water tight. Deck hatches water tight. All wire and piping pass throughs water tight. It's a rare recreational boat built that way.

Some are built such that the bilge isn't open the full length of the boat. This would help with the scenario Comodave is talking about. And if the bulkheads are high enough significantly reduce progressive flooding.

Your Californian is likely built so that the bilge is open stem to stern. A boat not built to take what your commercial fishing boats can take. Pleasure cruising is for the most part a different world unless crossing oceans.
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Old 09-22-2023, 12:41 AM   #6
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FlyWright is the authority on that boat with those engines. A PM might rouse him to contribute his knowledge.
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Old 09-22-2023, 05:39 AM   #7
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In that time frame watertight bulkheads were hit or miss. Bad thing is that if you have an oil leak in the engine room it will run all the way up to the bow depending on boats attitude. With a gas boat fumes can run to the bow too but with a diesel boat not really an issue.
One of the first things I did on our boat was to fiberglass the bilge flow through on our forward bulkhead.
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Old 09-22-2023, 11:27 AM   #8
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What engine model and tranny?
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Old 09-22-2023, 12:46 PM   #9
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The Perkins 6.354 family of engines is a good dependable and easy to work on engine however there are a few items to be aware of regarding parts availability. The T6.354.4 engines with the Manicooler (heat exchanger integrated manifolds) are quite expensive to replace and some perkins are "contra" rotation and require unique starters, coolant pumps and injector pumps. The contra engines have a "X" in the serial number and a "X" or "C" stamped into the block in the area of the injector pump. I would avoid these if possible as aspects limit parts availability.
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Old 09-23-2023, 12:06 AM   #10
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I have not personally seen the boat in 3-4 years but I have spoken with the owner now that I see it is up for sale.Owner is selling because he no longer uses the boat. It has not moved in two years. Stated engines are Saber Perkins rated at 220 hp. I did not know the 6354s were ever rated that high of hp. I do know the engines were the cleanest engines I have ever seen in a boat. I have seen dirtier engines new on show room floors. They have Velvet drive tranies and the counter rotation one has been replaced. It is a down angle trans and the other is straight. I hope to see the boat in person in the next few weeks.
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Old 09-23-2023, 09:19 AM   #11
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Twin engines in a 34 foot boat? Not really enough room, sure they can do it but can they be serviced?

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Old 09-25-2023, 10:51 PM   #12
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I have Detroit 8.2's in my Californian 34, 1984 vintage. There is plenty of room between these V8s in the middle of the engine room; it does, however take a bit of squirming to work around the outside of these engines. Pictures that I have seen of the Perkins installations, look like that is not a problem. Plus side; there are two large hatches in the center of the main salon that allow good access to the engine room.
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Old 09-25-2023, 11:56 PM   #13
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Twin engines in a 34 foot boat? Not really enough room, sure they can do it but can they be serviced?

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We had twins in a 32í Trojan and there was enough room to service them.
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Old 09-26-2023, 10:16 PM   #14
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Going to get another look at the boat tomorrow. This will be the first time I have looked at it with an eye to owning it.
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Old 09-29-2023, 01:58 PM   #15
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I have a 1980 Californian 34 LRC and I love it! It too has twin Perkins 6354s. As noted above, the multicoolers are prone to corroding and I recently had mine cleaned up / rebuilt + new flanges w/ new tube stack, etc...prior to that it was overheating due to lack of flow, etc...now that is no longer an issue.
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:39 PM   #16
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The owner was not available when I went to look at the boat so still a lot of questions and a sea trial needs done. The boats outside looked just like what you would expect of a boat left sitting for two years. Clearly not prepped for selling. But the inside was a different story. All wood work looked good, no sign of leaking I could find. Boat did not smell musty. Fuel tanks looked good with very light rust, more like stains. Dry bilge end to end. And the engines still look like they are right from the show room floor. So for now nothing spotted to keep me from moving forward.
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