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Old 04-09-2020, 06:45 PM   #1
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90hp in a 35'?

I came across an ad for a 34' CHB trawler equipped with a single 90hp Mercedes diesel. I haven't been able to find any manufacturer's information concerning the original equipment. So I'm left to ponder two questions:

Is it likely that this was the OEM engine?

Does 90hp sound like a reasonable size engine for this much boat?
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Old 04-09-2020, 06:59 PM   #2
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Have an 80-horsepower diesel which readily moves a 14-ton, 35-foot, fat boat up to hull speed, with some power to spare.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:05 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm still trying to get my mind around just how little power (and fuel) it takes to move these things!
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:09 PM   #4
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Thanks. I'm still trying to get my mind around just how little power (and fuel) it takes to move these things!

It doesn't take much to move a boat slowly. It's when you want it to go fast that it starts to require a ton of power (and correspondingly fuel).
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:09 PM   #5
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Takes about 1.7 gph at one knot (6.3) below hull speed (7.3 at 4 gph).
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:24 PM   #6
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I am sure you have researched, I did a short search and all the ones I saw advertised had Lehman's 120 hp. I have noted a number of references to a Mercedes 190, I'm wondering if the lister got the specs wrong. I can't find any references to a Mercedes 90.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:45 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. PP. I think a TF member (Ms. Donna) has a Taiwanese boat with Mercedes power. You might want to get in touch with her.
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Old 04-09-2020, 07:48 PM   #8
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Greetings,
Mr. PP. I think a TF member (Ms. Donna) has a Taiwanese boat with Mercedes power. You might want to get in touch with her.
Thanks! I will.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:05 PM   #9
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I highly doubt that it is the original engine. Probably came from Taiwan with a F.L. 120. IMHO 90 hp will do the job but might come up short if you are fighting a headwind or a following sea or get recruited into doing some towing.

Water skiing and tubing are out of the question.

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Old 04-09-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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Benford 38 Fantail. Westerbeke 55hp.

0.75gph at 7kts.
1.5gph at 8.3kts.

I've never understood the need for massive amounts of horsepower in these types of vessels.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:56 PM   #11
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As others have said a 90hp diesel is enough for a 35 foot trawler, you'll probably cruise 7-8 kn easily.

What I'd recommend doing research on is parts availability for the Mercedes. Almost every old CHB I've seen had the Ford Lehmans. I know that there are few old Mercedes out there but I think they're rare, at least in North America. On an older boat you should expect to need to replace parts. Also, if you have a mechanical issue away from your home port, the more common the engine the easier it will be to repair.
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Old 04-09-2020, 09:04 PM   #12
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Mine is a 45' boat (50' LOA) with 135 HP engine. 7 knot cruise is 2 GPH (40 HP). Pretty easy to push a boat at 6 to 7 knots.

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Old 04-09-2020, 09:29 PM   #13
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OCD ( or boat poker ) Do you have any trouble climbing big head seas or going upwind ??
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:58 PM   #14
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My Manatee is a fat, windy 36 that came with a Volvo 90. The first dozen or so Manatees built were offered with a 55 Perkins which did cruise at hull speed. My boat has been repowered with a Yanmar 140, but anything over 100 HP is a waste IMO.
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:01 AM   #15
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90 hp is plenty for that boat. But the bigger issue is that you won't find much support for a Mercedes diesel in the US.

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Old 04-10-2020, 05:45 AM   #16
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Mercedes support is a concern. I plan to check with some automotive suppliers as well as marine. There seems to be quite a few cars of that vintage running around.

I’m shopping in the under $50,000 market now. If I don’t find something suitable there, I’ll bump it up. Also trying to find something East of the Rockies.

Thanks all.
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Old 04-10-2020, 06:22 AM   #17
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OCD ( or boat poker ) Do you have any trouble climbing big head seas or going upwind ??
At the RPM the engine is running, it can produce about 80 HP. This gives the engine the capacity to easily maintain the RPM when driving into seas. If less HP were available at that RPM, it might have more trouble maintaining RPM when hitting waves.

The propeller diameter and shaft were from the old engine which was 450 HP and could push the boat at 14 knots. The 28" diameter propeller was chosen to utilize all the 450 HP. Simply, when you're only using 40 HP through that propeller, there is almost no slippage regardless of headwind or seas. In 3 to 4' seas, I loose a few tenths of a knot. A slight increase in RPM would generally overcome that, but I usually don't bother.

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Old 04-10-2020, 06:25 AM   #18
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Parts and parts price The usual ROT , rule of thumb is 3 HP per ton (2240LBS) to cruise at a rational speed.

Ton is displacement weight , not the volume ton on the boats hull plate.

THe engine mfg love to claim 20HP from a gallon of diesel, but that's with a perfect match of engine tranny gears and prop. Figure 15 HP as a ROT.

ROT for Non industrial diesels, the engine usually can produce 1 HP from each 3 cubic inches of displacement for very long service lives..

Simply hearing the fuel burn and knowing these 3 ROT will give a good idea about the choice of engine.


Parts and parts pricing , more popular engines are easier.
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Old 04-10-2020, 07:52 AM   #19
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Water skiing and tubing are out of the question.

pete
Water skiing at six knots sounds a lot like trolling for sharks.
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:01 AM   #20
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Hi all! Mercedes engine owner here!

1986 marine trader, original Mercedes 166 hp engine documented and registered historic.

Parts? Yea a bit difficult but not impossible. It’s really an old Mercedes tractor engine if you want to get technical. Sometime I need to get creative.

Sips fuel! Extremely efficient even with the turbo.
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