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Old 07-23-2020, 01:47 PM   #1
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Post Hello all New guy that needs help

Hello all, my wife and I are new to this site and would like to thank everyone in advance for all the information posted and sharing that takes place.

A bit about us. We are currently living in Wisconsin searching for a trawler to begin our retirement in 2 years. We figured it would be best to buy a trawler now, learn as much as we can about proper navigation, piloting, equipment, etc as opposed to just buying one and going to Florida.

We have been searching for a trawler for six month now and even sea trialed/surveyed what we thought was the one. Not!

We are now looking for advice on 5 trawlers that are in our sights and would love to hear back from y'all on which engine set would be the best and last the longest if all 5 types were maintained properly. They are all pushing 45' semi displacement vessels

1.Engine Make Ford Lehman/ Engine Model SP225/ Engine Year 1988/ Total Power 225hp/ Engine Hours 1700

2.Engine Make GM/ Engine Model 6-71MTC/ Engine Year 1988/ Total Power 485hp/ Engine hours 1000 after new cylinders and pistons, original hours are 4000

3. Engine Make Caterpillar/ Engine Model T-3208/ Engine Year 1986/ Total Power 302hp/ Engine Hours 1790

4. Engine Make Cummins/ Engine Model VTM555/ Engine Year 1989/ Total Power 270hp/ Engine Hours 4000

5.Engine Make CATERPILLAR/ Engine Model T-375/ Engine Year 1987/ Total Power 375hp/ Engine Hours 2100

Please let us know what number you would pick 1-5.

Thanks in advance folks and have a great day and weekend!!!!

The Baxters
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:57 PM   #2
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Why was the one you had surveyed not chosen?

I don't know that engine choice is going to be the highest on a selection list. There's a ton of other things to consider about a boat, the engine is pretty far down the list. Sure, there's going to be condition/hours to consider, and some engines are regarded as better/worse than others... but that's quite often influenced by how they were designed into a given boat. Not always on just the engine alone.

Likewise you're not mentioning how and where you're expecting to take the boat. What works for one area might be quite different for others (parts availability in remote situations comes to mind).
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Old 07-23-2020, 02:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ranger46 View Post
Hello all, my wife and I are new to this site and would like to thank everyone in advance for all the information posted and sharing that takes place.

A bit about us. We are currently living in Wisconsin searching for a trawler to begin our retirement in 2 years. We figured it would be best to buy a trawler now, learn as much as we can about proper navigation, piloting, equipment, etc as opposed to just buying one and going to Florida.

We have been searching for a trawler for six month now and even sea trialed/surveyed what we thought was the one. Not!

We are now looking for advice on 5 trawlers that are in our sights and would love to hear back from y'all on which engine set would be the best and last the longest if all 5 types were maintained properly. They are all pushing 45' semi displacement vessels

1.Engine Make Ford Lehman/ Engine Model SP225/ Engine Year 1988/ Total Power 225hp/ Engine Hours 1700

2.Engine Make GM/ Engine Model 6-71MTC/ Engine Year 1988/ Total Power 485hp/ Engine hours 1000 after new cylinders and pistons, original hours are 4000

3. Engine Make Caterpillar/ Engine Model T-3208/ Engine Year 1986/ Total Power 302hp/ Engine Hours 1790

4. Engine Make Cummins/ Engine Model VTM555/ Engine Year 1989/ Total Power 270hp/ Engine Hours 4000

5.Engine Make CATERPILLAR/ Engine Model T-375/ Engine Year 1987/ Total Power 375hp/ Engine Hours 2100

Please let us know what number you would pick 1-5.

Thanks in advance folks and have a great day and weekend!!!!

The Baxters
Welcome aboard. I have SP225s in our boat. they are very long lived engines and have great support from American Diesel. The only issue is the aftercooler. They are no longer available. If the aftercooler does go bad it is simple to bypass it. It takes about a half hour, some 1 1/8” hose and 4 hose clamps. Now you have a 180 hp engine and nothing else need to be done, no changing injector pump settings or anything else. I just bypassed mine just in case they were to go bad I didn’t want any engine damage. Besides I have never needed the 225 hp or even come close.

The Detroit Diesel engines will run forever also. The great thing is that they have been around forever so almost any diesel mechanic can work on them. Parts are available and cheap, relatively. The downside is that they are somewhat noisy, but it is a throaty exhaust not a high pitched whiny noise. They also tend to leak and burn some oil. Just keep oil absorption pads under the engine. The Detroits can usually be rebuilt in place unless there was catastrophic damage.

The Cat 3208 natural engines last well also but they don’t have replaceable cylinder liners. Usually they are rated at 210 ho if I remember correctly.

The Cummins triple nickel is an engine that I would not own. A friend had one about 10 years ago and had a hard time getting parts. And they are simply huge.

The Cat 375 hp is most likely a turboed 3208. I am guessing but from that vintage it is probably a 3208. This engine is going to be more problematic than a natural 3208 since more HP can be drawn from the engine. Depending on how it has been run it can be fine or it could have been ridden hard and put up wet and therefore nearing the end of life. Hard to tell without knowing how the PO ran it. Maybe a mechanic can tell, but I couldn’t.

It all depends on how the engines were run and maintained. A really great engine can be destroyed by running it on the pins and not maintaining it. So it comes down to the individual engine. Of the ones you listed, personally I would not consider the triple nickel. I would think about the 375 Cat and depending on history maybe get it. The others would not give me pause.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:02 PM   #4
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Thank you for your quick and thorough response!!! it will help make our decision a bit easier. We will post our choice when we get one. Thanks again!
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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You really can't just buy an engine. (Well you could but it would sink like a rock.) An engine which may be ideally suited for one application would be a disaster in another application.

My F.L. 120 is ideal for my 36 foot Albin. I wouldn't change a thing. But if you put that engine into a Cigarette or a Scarab you would be sorely disappointed. Likewise if you took the two blown 454 gassers out of the Cigarette and dropped them into my trawler you disappointment would be severe and expensive.

Don't shop "engines" alone. It is a partnership. Tell us a little about each engine and boat combination. Also tell us what you want in a boat. BIG difference between my Albin and the aforementioned Cigarette or Scarab.

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Old 07-23-2020, 04:42 PM   #6
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You really can't just buy an engine. (Well you could but it would sink like a rock.) An engine which may be ideally suited for one application would be a disaster in another application.

Don't shop "engines" alone. It is a partnership. Tell us a little about each engine and boat combination. Also tell us what you want in a boat. BIG difference between my Albin and the aforementioned Cigarette or Scarab.

I agree with Pete. First identify how you anticipate what you want to do with the boat. Then identify boat designs that will accomplish those. Then look at available boats to decide which available boat appeal to you. Finally, make sure the power plant is appropriate to the boat and is in good condition.


Only in the very rare situation where two boats would equally meet your needs and you like them both equally, would I suggest looking at engine as a tie breaker.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:55 PM   #7
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Buy a nice Carver with a pair of Cummins for less money....
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:08 PM   #8
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Agree with above dont worry about engines at bgg this point.
Decide and write down what your style of cruising will be.
List must, wants and dont wants
Have DW, SO.1st Mate. Admiral etc do the same... yes really.
Then compare notes, combine , compromise (just do it her way), etc you may be surprised and learn something.
Then start looking and ranking what you see vs the combined list.
Involve your mate in the search and ratings. Make it fun not a chore.
You will find one that speaks to you if you have been honest with the list.
Good luck
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:25 PM   #9
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Talking you are all correct!!!

First off, you guys are great!!!! the advice is awesome. Let me answer the questions you all have posed.

We believe we want a trawler for its stability and ability to tackle the eastern portion of the loop from Michigan down the Erie and east coast. We have done the Mississippi from MN to the gulf already years back. Are sights are on the Bahamas and Caribbean as daytime piloting and looking for economical fuel burn. All around champ.

We are considering mid 80 Taiwanese trawlers for their affordability, large selection, and mostly thicker hulls.

We are planning to relocate to Florida in two years for retirement and live aboard the vessel, we may love it or hate it. 6 month trial then take it from there. So the wife is in charge of the interior specs.

We are looking at big belly CHB's, slimmer Jefferson's, and carvers. We like the covered aft decks and do not know the difference between these models and their ability in open ocean sea worthiness, god forbid we ever get caught in weather because my wife didn't check the weather report ahead of time .

We think we need a draft of 4.5 or less to gain access to most marinas and anchorage points in the Bahamas and the Islands.

We believe we can do what we want conservatively in the vessels mentioned. We truly love the GB, Alexanders, and Albins and would prefer these vessels but they are hard to find with fresh water history and affordability is not their for us. Thoughts?
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:59 PM   #10
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The way we start looking for a boat is by making a list of must haves and must not haves. Some of our list is no fixed furniture due to 2 bad backs so we want comfortable recliners. We also must not have vertical ladders since we always have a big dog, currently a 85 pound Lab and he is 40 pounds smaller than our last Lab. We need covered outside areas due to my countless bouts of skin cancer. A must is that the boat doesn’t look like a Clorox bottle which some do. It must have at least pleasing lines to our eyes. Then we start looking at Yachtworld and sometimes BoatTrader. The UK version of Yachtworld has an advanced search feature that used to be available in the US version but no longer. With the advanced search you can find whet you are looking for much easier. You might get Powerboat Guide as it has hundreds of brief reviews and drawings of boats but it is a bit pricey. Then start looking at all the boat porn and see what catches your eye. When you are looking at 80s boats it is usual to look at the individual boat and how it has been maintained rather than the initial quality of a particular boat brand, just because it was a good boat when it was new doesn’t mean that it is a good boat 40 years later.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:27 PM   #11
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In light of the additional information you provided, stay under 200 to 250 hp, 120 would actually be plenty. Why have power you will not need. Go with the Ford Lehman if you can find a well cared for unit.

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Old 07-23-2020, 07:52 PM   #12
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R46,
The Isuzu DA120 in my boat will still be running after the next asteroid hit.

The motor-thing is down the list. Top of list is what keeps your honey happy.

80's boat/budget can be done, do you have maintenance and repair/upgrade skills?
You have to keep after it and get to know all systems/wiring/plumbing/etc and when its not happy. If retired like me, you got all day to do that, and get the satisfaction of knowing things got done to your liking (or who to blame if not!)

Go do it, find that boat and live the dream. I have no regrets here, its a lot of fun to make the boat yours, get a compliment on the varnish job now and then. And the thing still goes places that are never the same twice.
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Old 07-23-2020, 07:58 PM   #13
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I have no commercial interest in this though as moderator of Willard Boat Owners, I have known the owner for over 20 years. She's located in Wisconsin. At 40 feet, she may be smaller than the other boats you're looking at, but these are incredible boats for a couple.

One of the last Willard 40s built. She's stabilized and I believe has been kept in a heated storage during winters. A gem of a fresh water trawler offered by a knowledgeable owner who has owned her since almost new in 1999.

If you pursue, tell Richard (owner) that Peter from WBO referred you. He's a great guy - he owned a W30 before Adria.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...ne-40-3617588/
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:00 PM   #14
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Every engine is over 30 years old. Sorry but I just don’t feel that’s a good way to start. Think about it. You probably worked 30 years and you’re retiring. The engine just might be thinking the same.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:25 PM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. A. engine may be 30 years old but has only done 2 years (@2000hrs/yr) work.
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