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Old 07-18-2017, 09:58 AM   #1
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City: Hampton Bays, N.Y.
Vessel Name: Grand Yankee
Vessel Model: 1981 49' Grand Banks Classic
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 328
Cat 3208 TA 375 HP

I am looking at a very clean Grand Banks with Cat power. No rust on engines. Very clean well kept vessel and engine room. Engines have 7500 hours logged. Always maintain by Cat dealer. What longevity can I look at with engines if I stay with Cat dealer, clean fuel, clean air, clean oil? I am not a fast cruiser, but nice to have power if needed. Thank you.

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Old 07-18-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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City: Litchfield, Ct
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 5,859
It is impossible to say without knowing how the PO ran those engines. If he ran them near the pins, then they are probably at the end of their life. If he ran them at about 200 hp each then they probably have significant life left.

The 375 hp Cat 3208TA has a good reputation, but it all depends on how they were run and taken care of.


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Old 07-18-2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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City: Sitka
Vessel Model: Transpacific Marine Eagle 32
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 519
I like this engine. I owned one in a Duffy lobster Yatch and never had a problem. I suggest you ask the Cat dealer that maintained the engine about the engine. There may be a history of oil samples that will be helpful. Good luck with your project.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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City: Wilmington, NC
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,176
As those engines get older (like 25-30yrs old) head gaskets get weak and may need to be changed. Make sure you have good access to top and sides of engines or this job would be a major PITA. Some of the GB's have them shoehorned in.

Great engines, they do have a few weak spots but all can be addressed.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
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City: PNW
Vessel Model: American Tug 435
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 258
We once looked at a boat with a CAT 3116 and had it surveyed. I know its a different model engine but for comparison we were told by the mechanic it was designed as a 6,000 hour engine, but of course that can be extended with proper care. I think what the limit really means is to expect to do a major overhaul at roughly the expected lifespan of the engine.
High hours also impact resale value, so you can consider this when making your offer because you know if you ever go to resell the boat yourself, potential buyers could be concerned about hours.
Lastly, we found the 3116 to put out noise levels (under way) a bit more than we were looking for, and we ended up not buying.
Again the 3208 could be a different situation and noise is much dependent upon installation, hull design, ER hatch/doors, etc.
(If you haven't done it, i would highly recommend a proper sea trial including a run at WOT)
For what its worth, the mechanic spoke highly of CATs and said he "bleeds yellow".... Best of luck!
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Old 07-20-2017, 01:26 AM   #6
City: New Orleans
Vessel Name: Scot Free
Vessel Model: Cheoy Lee 53' Efficient
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 742
The 3116 is a very different and not as good engine as a 3208.
I once looked a commercial boat with 28,000 hours on the Cat engine that was still going strong.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:05 AM   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 258
With that many hours, you should get a large price adjustment.
The 3208's are not "wet sleeve" motors. You have to pull the entire motor out of the boat and rebuild it.
You might get 10,000 hours life for those motors if you're lucky.
I've had them and they are great motors but get a large price concession to pay for rebuild down the road.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:53 AM   #8
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"The 3208's are not "wet sleeve" motors. You have to pull the entire motor out of the boat and rebuild it."

In the bus /truck industry they are referred to as " throw away" motors as they must be removed and can not be inframed .

The Cat 1160 the daddy of the 3208 had wet liners , like an industrial engine ,
but cost too much to Mfg for skool bus co and trash haulers to purchase .

This service equipment was replaced too often , so rebuilding ability was not a selling point.

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