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Old 03-22-2023, 06:23 PM   #1
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Defever 51 POC - Repower / Rebuild

Hello All!

I have somewhat recently purchased a non-running DeFever 51 POC. She is powered by Caterpillar 3208 TA (Turbo / Aftercooled) engines with just under 10k hours. A mechanic has told me that the pumps need to be replaced at a cost of around $10-12k, as they are gone from being left full of seawater and cannot be rebuilt.

My question is whether or not this is the right approach to sink this kind of money into engines with this many hours on it. I know 10k isn't a high number for many diesels, but some research had made me feel like it might be the case for me, particularly with the TA model.

I was hoping for some sensible advice here - I know a repower is going to cost a lot more, but I'm also thinking this is going to be a lifetime boat for me.

Would love to hear some opinions, and I thank you humbly in advance.

KZ
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:34 PM   #2
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I think the key here is "lifetime boat for me". I felt the same way about my boat 11 years ago, and did re-power. No major regrets but if I might have sold and then bought a different boat had I not been kinda locked in so as to get value from the refit. So my suggestion would be to try and buy some running 3208 takeouts, fit them, and operate the boat for a couple of years until you are really sure about that long term ownership. You could buy any used engine of say 150HP and up to do this but by sticking with 3208's they would bolt-in with almost no other work needed.

Back to the existing situation. The 10k for pumps could be just the start of a regular pattern of needing just a bit more money to be put into the engines. Where else was there water? Huge red flag around that water comment....

You did not state HP, but if the high HP versions and they spent much time highly loaded then the 10k hours is a big chunk of life before major overhaul. However, they could also have been run a fairly low rpm & lightly loaded and have a lots of hours left in them. AS I stated initially, I would be inclined to not spend any more than absolutely necessary in the early stages of your life with this boat.
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:54 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. ZK. Seawater as in salt seawater? As Mr. I says "Huge red flag around that water comment...." What's the story on the boat, in general? Which "pumps"? Water? Fuel?

Perhaps you can find used "pumps". I would tend to do a LOT more analysis of the various parts of the engines before I spent any $$, at all. Can you turn the engine over either by starter motor or bar on the crankshaft? So many questions.
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:59 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. ZK. Seawater as in salt seawater? As Mr. I says "Huge red flag around that water comment...." What's the story on the boat, in general? Which "pumps"? Water? Fuel?

Perhaps you can find used "pumps". I would tend to do a LOT more analysis of the various parts of the engines before I spent any $$, at all. Can you turn the engine over either by starter motor or bar on the crankshaft? So many questions.
Hi! I was referring to the fuel pumps, and yes we're talking salt water here

The motors do turn over. The boat was a regular runner back and forth from lake Ontario to the Bahamas, but for the 5 years prior to my ownership was a liveaboard boat that didn't move much, if at all. Thanks so much for the insight!
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Old 03-22-2023, 07:59 PM   #5
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I think the key here is "lifetime boat for me". I felt the same way about my boat 11 years ago, and did re-power. No major regrets but if I might have sold and then bought a different boat had I not been kinda locked in so as to get value from the refit. So my suggestion would be to try and buy some running 3208 takeouts, fit them, and operate the boat for a couple of years until you are really sure about that long term ownership. You could buy any used engine of say 150HP and up to do this but by sticking with 3208's they would bolt-in with almost no other work needed.

Back to the existing situation. The 10k for pumps could be just the start of a regular pattern of needing just a bit more money to be put into the engines. Where else was there water? Huge red flag around that water comment....

You did not state HP, but if the high HP versions and they spent much time highly loaded then the 10k hours is a big chunk of life before major overhaul. However, they could also have been run a fairly low rpm & lightly loaded and have a lots of hours left in them. AS I stated initially, I would be inclined to not spend any more than absolutely necessary in the early stages of your life with this boat.
Very good insight here, and thank you for that. They are 375 HP a side.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:07 PM   #6
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It might be worth a compression and leakdown test on the engines to get a better idea of what condition they're in.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:14 PM   #7
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I actually owned a DeFever 51' POC with Cat 375hp 3208's TA. Really enjoyed the boat....great layout and build. My inclination (knowing the boat so well) would be to re-power. 3208's are not "sleeved" motors, so you have to take the blocks out to rebuild them and with that many hours, you're getting close to end of life for that motor. As you know, the boat is sucks a lot of diesel to get the boat going 12 to 14 knots (semi displacement hull). The question you should ask yourself is "with the cost of diesel, I am going to be running at that speed or at a much more economical speed, say 8 knots?". If you're going to run the boat more at hull speed of 8 knots, why not get smaller motors as replacements? You don't need 375 hp X 2. Go smaller motors, save fuel and be set for years and years to come. Again, it all depends if you're planning on keeping the boat long term. It will be an investment to re-power.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:16 PM   #8
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Hi! I was referring to the fuel pumps, and yes we're talking salt water here !
Welcome aboard! Hope the project goes well.
Not what you are asking, but how did you resolve salt water getting in there?
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:20 PM   #9
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It might be worth a compression and leakdown test on the engines to get a better idea of what condition they're in.
I will do just that and report back - thank you
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:21 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard! Hope the project goes well.
Not what you are asking, but how did you resolve salt water getting in there?
I got it as a floater, haven't run it, so I have no idea. I'm just about to be off work for the summer so I'm planning to start digging in now
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:24 PM   #11
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I actually owned a DeFever 51' POC with Cat 375hp 3208's TA. Really enjoyed the boat....great layout and build. My inclination (knowing the boat so well) would be to re-power. 3208's are not "sleeved" motors, so you have to take the blocks out to rebuild them and with that many hours, you're getting close to end of life for that motor. As you know, the boat is sucks a lot of diesel to get the boat going 12 to 14 knots (semi displacement hull). The question you should ask yourself is "with the cost of diesel, I am going to be running at that speed or at a much more economical speed, say 8 knots?". If you're going to run the boat more at hull speed of 8 knots, why not get smaller motors as replacements? You don't need 375 hp X 2. Go smaller motors, save fuel and be set for years and years to come. Again, it all depends if you're planning on keeping the boat long term. It will be an investment to re-power.
Wow very cool, I don't think there are very many 51's out there! I have to admit, everything you're saying here is where I am initially leaning... if I'm going to go to all the trouble to take them out....

And agreed on the HP. Some research leads me to believe that some modern non-turbos with lower HP might do me well, and give me some better longevity for the re-fit... many things to consider here and thanks for the advice!
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:42 PM   #12
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There is a uTube channel called something like Searching for Cshels, or something like that. They had a 3208TA rebuilt along with some work done on the other engine and spent $66K doing it. Look at the video to get a better idea. Personally these engines in that big heavy boat with 10K hours are probably near end of life unless they have been run at displacement speeds most of the time. Cummins used to sell reman engines with new engine warranties. Some smaller inline engines would free up a lot of engine room and be more economical to run, but would be expensive to buy.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:54 PM   #13
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There is a uTube channel called something like Searching for Cshels, or something like that. They had a 3208TA rebuilt along with some work done on the other engine and spent $66K doing it. Look at the video to get a better idea. Personally these engines in that big heavy boat with 10K hours are probably near end of life unless they have been run at displacement speeds most of the time. Cummins used to sell reman engines with new engine warranties. Some smaller inline engines would free up a lot of engine room and be more economical to run, but would be expensive to buy.
Thanks Commodave I will definitely check that out. That sounds pretty heavy for that work price-wise.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:56 PM   #14
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So did everyone here on TF.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:56 PM   #15
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Wow very cool, I don't think there are very many 51's out there! I have to admit, everything you're saying here is where I am initially leaning... if I'm going to go to all the trouble to take them out....

And agreed on the HP. Some research leads me to believe that some modern non-turbos with lower HP might do me well, and give me some better longevity for the re-fit... many things to consider here and thanks for the advice!
I'm not sure a modern non turbo engine exists. That said, query boatdiesel as to best place to source a pair of 3208s NAs.
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Old 03-22-2023, 08:58 PM   #16
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I'm not sure a modern non turbo engine exists. That said, query boatdiesel as to best place to source a pair of 3208s NAs.
Certainly will do, and my early searching certainly suggests most modern diesels are turbo, yes
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:18 PM   #17
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If looking for a modern replacement engine, I'd lean towards the JD6068. They're turbo, but you can get up to the 330hp version with a coolant loop aftercooler, avoiding the seawater aftercooler maintenance concerns. You might need to add ballast though, as they're lighter than 3208s. The JD6090 would make up the weight difference, but I don't think you'd need the extra power (or heavier duty ratings at the same power).
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:29 PM   #18
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What led to the fuel pumps being left full of seawater? Where did the seawater come from? And are these the injection pumps, or some pre-pump? I'd suggest digging a bit more to scope out what's wrong with the engines. So far it's not a very convincing diagnosis.
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:41 PM   #19
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In the eternal scheme of things fuel pumps are nothing, like chump change compared to engine swap.

Buy a couple electric pumps and get the thing running, other problems may dictate further decisions.

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Old 03-22-2023, 09:42 PM   #20
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He may be referring to the injection pump.
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