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Old 11-16-2021, 07:08 PM   #1
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Daunting Engine Inspection... proceed or bail?

I managed to get (for the price of a 1/2case of beer) the recent engine inspection on the boat we're trying to buy... I'm a bit concerned about the number of issues.
1. Exhaust risers corroded and port has exhaust leak - replace risers ASAP
2. Starboard heat exchanger has corrosion at lower seals - removal/clean and reseal
3. Transmission coolers - both cooler appear to be seeping corrosion from solder joints end caps. - Remove and replace coolers
4. Port sea water pump is corroded at seal area - removal and replacement.
Oil samples not taken as the previous potential buyer passed on the boat prior to the work being done.

All told I'm looking at $9800.

Engines are Lehman SP225 with about 2500 hrs on each.
Boat and engine are '86.
I believe the previous owner owned the boat for 5 years and did very minimal power up time.

Big question... does the above repair list indicate poor maintenance and I'm looking at a nice cycle of repairs.. or does this seem 'normal'?
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:34 PM   #2
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Request a review of the boats log book to determine the amount of use in the last 5 years. Also request a review of the PO’s purchase survey from 5 years ago. It obviously won’t shed any light on today’s condition but will maybe let you know the condition of the engine coolers/risers from 5 years ago. Then you can make up your mind as to when the deterioration and corrosion started.
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:43 PM   #3
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When I bought my boat the engine had 900 hours and the generator had 600. Boat was 13 years old. There was about $3,700 in deferred maintenance between the one engine and generator. The seller reduced the price by that amount.

It's not uncommon for boats to have deferred maintenance. The question is whether the price can be adjusted accordingly. I would want to do oil analysis of the engines, transmissions, generator and maybe all 3 antifreezes. Probably want the mechanic with you for the seatrial.

You have to decide if you're getting enough of a deal to take on the deferred maintenance.

Ted
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:49 PM   #4
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These are wear items. They come due every 15 to 20 years. This seller is trying to get out of the bill. Actually, he is trying to not sink any more money into the boat. The good news is if you negotiate a lower price by $10,000 and then do the work you will be even and you won’t need to worry about coolers and risers for the next 15 years. Seller probably will be happy to take less knowing he is done spending money on the boat.

I would hold out for an oil sample to see if any of the coolers have leaked internally.
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Old 11-16-2021, 09:51 PM   #5
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Our last boat had SP225s in it. They were very good for us. The items listed wouldnít be a big concern to me except for the cost. The one big possible problem is the aftercoolers. The parts are no longer available. However if you donít need all the 225 HP, then you can very easily bypass the aftercooler and then you have a 180HP engine. Just bypass the aftercooler with a hose and you are good to go, no other changes needed. I bypassed the aftercoolers on my engines just to save them for any future owner. The buyer wanted them hooked up so I reconnected them in less than a half hour. As to the parts needed to bring the engines in question up to par, contact Brian at American Diesel. He is the guru on these engines. Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2021, 07:29 AM   #6
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"Transmission coolers - both cooler appear to be seeping corrosion from solder joints end caps. - Remove and replace coolers"


A few bucks at a radiator repair shop can fix this, no reason to purchase new.
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Old 11-17-2021, 07:58 AM   #7
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Granted I have a Cummins but Mr Cool had both in stock at a very fair price.
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Old 11-17-2021, 12:34 PM   #8
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Good advice from Comodave, a former owner of this exact engine!
However, I disagree with some of the others. Replacement of "some" of the raw water cooling system components may be at the 15-20 year mark for a well maintained system, but full off engine servicing of these components for a saltwater run boat is much, much more often. These items (on average) should be serviced every 3-5 years (aftercoolers at the 3 year mark). Overheating can cause major damage if not quickly detected and as such is best avoided. All of these components can develop internal, invisible leaks (besides becoming obstructed from salt deposits), and cause major problems and expenses. Regular pressure testing and full servicing is the only way to greatly lessen those odds in your favour.
Depending on a lot of factors, deferred maintenance in this area can mean all or most of these components need replacement, but for sure a full service. If neglected enough, it could lead to saltwater intrusion where you don't want it, like into the engine intake or exhaust, into the turbo, into the antifreeze side, or maybe the tranny. Could be big problems, so ensure you get it fully checked out.
Also, many exhaust systems are poorly designed or poorly installed. Don't just replace what's there with like, without investigating this to avoid installing another "doomed to fail" exhaust system. Check out sbmar.com (Tony's Tips) for info on boat exhausts.
Regular freshwater flushing can almost double the time between the servicing of these components, so in my opinion, is very worthwhile. Tiltrider may moor in freshwater, being SYC, and if so, his system is flushed fairly regularly, but I still don't suggest not worrying about this system for 15 years. Regular maintenance is very important to prevent unnecessary breakdowns and possibly developing additional sometimes serious issues.
Good luck with your boat shopping.
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Old 11-17-2021, 02:15 PM   #9
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I agree with a lot of this and particularly with Firehoser's comments.
Neglect in a seawater environment is far harder on systems than lake water.

QUOTE: Oil samples not taken as the previous potential buyer passed on the boat prior to the work being done. END QUOTE:

Were the last oil samples available to you? If so get them and post here in PDF for some inexpert but knowledgeable opinions. A GOOD photograph also works to be posted if the actuals cannot be had but at least examined. But clarity is important.

If they are not available then have them done.

Single shot tests are not as good as a history but those single shots can sometimes show a brewing problem beyond what an inspection can uncover.
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Old 11-18-2021, 07:17 AM   #10
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"Overheating can cause major damage if not quickly detected and as such is best avoided."

Yes , Murphy Switch gauges have adjustable set points to ring an alarm , or if you wish shutdown the engine.

The gauge setup is mechanical so not bothered by an electrical failure
.https://www.fwmurphy.com/

*******
"1. Exhaust risers corroded and port has exhaust leak - replace risers ASAP

Perhaps its simply the gasket or a single bolt ?

2. Starboard heat exchanger has corrosion at lower seals - removal/clean and reseal,

Again perhaps a gasket set,

3. Transmission coolers - both cooler appear to be seeping corrosion from solder joints end caps. - Remove and replace coolers,

Inexpensive repair, at radiator shop.

4. Port sea water pump is corroded at seal area - removal and replacement.

Again perhaps a simple gasket , or just pump cover plate spun 180 deg.

Oil samples not taken as the previous potential buyer passed on the boat prior to the work being done.

All told I'm looking at $9800.

Could be just $200 if parts are in stock and you can do the wrenching.
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Old 11-18-2021, 07:53 AM   #11
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Agree with FF. Looking at some of these comments will have you never buying a boat. The survey (you get what you pay for) pointed out things that are present on a lot of boats. Sea trial will show you what's what with the cooling system and exhaust. Many of us would fix that stuff ourselves as it pops up. There's always something. 10,000 off would be nice regardless.
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Old 11-21-2021, 10:15 PM   #12
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It depends if you want to fix it right or just good enough to get whatever hours are left in the boat. If you don’t plan on putting a lot of hours on the boat then patch it together and cross your fingers .There’s an outfit in Alabama that can provide you with all the parts necessary ,however I would not invest that kind of money in those engines
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Old 11-21-2021, 10:26 PM   #13
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I certainly agree with some of the previous posts… its leverage to reduce the cost and get the maintenance work done, and then feel good about it being new. The boat I just bought this year didn’t have a generator, so I got the cost down $5K just for that. If they don’t appreciate what you need to do to make it right, not worth it… my $0.02
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Old 11-22-2021, 01:47 PM   #14
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The report you received may be worth what you paid for it, which depending on your taste in beer could be about $18.

Seriously, heat exchanger gaskets are notorious for some weeping, which then causes the area around them to turn green. That's not corrosion, it's verdigris, harmless and common, the gaskets need to be replaced. Fairly easy job.

Same for the raw water pumps, they are bronze, so if they were just green around the seals, it means they are leaking and need to be rebuilt. Also fairly easy.

Ultimately, as others have said, this sounds like deferred maintenance, if it isn't performed annually it simply accumulates, so this could be a few years worth. If you are genuinely interested, have the engines surveyed by a squared away engine surveyor/mechanic (preferably not someone who has been working on them). These items alone, in the absence of a real survey, would not cause me to walk away. Lehmans are known for their longevity, even when not well-maintained.
https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/t...engine-survey/
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Old 11-22-2021, 04:15 PM   #15
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Steve D'Antonio beat me to it, although I don't pay that much for my beer. If your $10 engine survey (when? by whom?) revealed ~$10K worth of issues, just imagine what a current, market-priced survey(s) will reveal. But current general and mechanical surveys are worth every penny spent.

And by the way, given the current state of your proposed boat, how in the heck do you propose a sea trial? It seems unlikely to me the boat is even operable beyond a putt-putt around the harbor, much less a significant sea trial. Leaky exhaust riser? Bad news for sure, and an issue likely to cause a competent mechanical surveyor to refuse a sea trial.

Regards,

Pete
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Old 12-02-2021, 01:47 PM   #16
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Partial success

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle Pursuit View Post
Request a review of the boats log book to determine the amount of use in the last 5 years. Also request a review of the POís purchase survey from 5 years ago. It obviously wonít shed any light on todayís condition but will maybe let you know the condition of the engine coolers/risers from 5 years ago. Then you can make up your mind as to when the deterioration and corrosion started.
THANKS!!

We managed to get the PO service logs and there was quite a bit of preventative maintenance done, as well as some larger service issues (transmission replace and turbo replace)

Feeling better about this... but still nervous as a long tail cat in a rocking chair factory.
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Old 12-02-2021, 01:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
Our last boat had SP225s in it. They were very good for us. The items listed wouldnít be a big concern to me except for the cost. The one big possible problem is the aftercoolers. The parts are no longer available. However if you donít need all the 225 HP, then you can very easily bypass the aftercooler and then you have a 180HP engine. Just bypass the aftercooler with a hose and you are good to go, no other changes needed. I bypassed the aftercoolers on my engines just to save them for any future owner. The buyer wanted them hooked up so I reconnected them in less than a half hour. As to the parts needed to bring the engines in question up to par, contact Brian at American Diesel. He is the guru on these engines. Good luck.
Great help!

We're in a unique position with this boat. We made an offer 10k less than asking and the boat was already 25k or so under our budget.

If we need to drop 10k into the engines now, to start with a solid set up, I think we're going to do that.

The Survey, (set for Dec 8) will include the surveyors 'light' survey of the engines though he does not provide a full engine survey.

I'm of the mindset to not share the mechanical survey that I do have, and compare notes.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jungpeter View Post
Steve D'Antonio beat me to it, although I don't pay that much for my beer. If your $10 engine survey (when? by whom?) revealed ~$10K worth of issues, just imagine what a current, market-priced survey(s) will reveal. But current general and mechanical surveys are worth every penny spent.

And by the way, given the current state of your proposed boat, how in the heck do you propose a sea trial? It seems unlikely to me the boat is even operable beyond a putt-putt around the harbor, much less a significant sea trial. Leaky exhaust riser? Bad news for sure, and an issue likely to cause a competent mechanical surveyor to refuse a sea trial.

Regards,

Pete
I was calling around to find a mechanic to do the inspection, and found the guy that did the inspection in October.
Talked him into giving me the inspection reports (such that it is) and when I asked what I could pay him, he said "I like IPAs".
The report, I believe, is written for a buddy of his, and thus the lack of details and specificity.
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Old 12-02-2021, 02:44 PM   #19
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I assume the $9.8K price tag for that maintenance is for a well-paid mechanic to do it. When I was caring for Ford-Lehman engines, I think I could have gotten the parts for around 1,500 per engine and had it done in two days including a long lunch each day.
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Old 12-02-2021, 03:18 PM   #20
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Yeah, he's a diesel marine mechanic with good reviews.
I'm not a diesel mechanic (yet) though I'm a wizard with air cooled VW engines.
Exactly the same, right?
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