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Old 07-07-2020, 01:53 AM   #1
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Help with purchase - Engine report

Hello there!


I'm just starting my trawler/cruiser journey and I'm needing some help making some choices. I'm looking to live aboard full time and do some coastal island hopping in the Canadian west coast. I've come across a Tri-Cabin Trawler that is in my price range - asking 10k CAD https://www.usedvictoria.com/classif...awler_35979758. It does have engine issues and I'm wondering if it is something someone new to engines can handle. Here is the report https://imgur.com/XhPmrXk


Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:26 AM   #2
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Looks like the engine has been under-maintained for a while.

Fuel valve leak. Assuming it's only the lower fuel valve, it's a nuisance to replace as the tank needs to be emptied. Biggest expense will be time and absorbent diapers.

Coolers and aftercoolers - R&R them isn't more than a few hours, but the actual remediation for Volvo, especially if replacement is needed, could get to several thousand dollars USD (maybe someone with more Volvo knowledge can respond).

Injection lines - odd these need replacement. These tend to be binary - they either work or they don't. When they don't, the engine won't run. Will take a while to source from Volvo.

Raw Water Pump - under 2-hours to do, rebuilld kit is likely fairly reasonably priced. A replacement pump if needed is probably over $500 for a Volvo, perhaps a fair amount over.

Water intake - depends on whether thru-hull is operable and in good shape. If just the hose, well, that's pretty simple. Otherwise will require a haul-out.

Steering hose - curious notation. If it works, I wouldn't worry. If it's leaking, then on the list for repair. Replacing hose isn't usually awful, but takes a while.

Fuel polishing. Tends to vary by location. In San Francisco when I checked a couple years ago, it was pretty dang expensive so I took a chance and didn't do it (worked out fine). A friend recently had 700g tanks polished in Florida and it was $2500, but may have included installing an access plate. A lot of his fuel had to be placed in barrels on the dock. If your fuel is really old and doesn't smell like diesel anymore, getting rid of it is a big pain and involves hazardous waste fees unless you can find someone who wants it - unlikely. I had trouble giving away old diesel in Mexico, a land famous for re-using everything.

If I had to guess at having a decent marine diesel mechanic @ $125/hr-$150/hr attend to this list, I would say $5000 USD minimum, and could easily go to $10k if the coolers need more than basic cleaning.

Best guess only. Good luck!

Peter
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:23 AM   #3
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Hello there!


I'm just starting my trawler/cruiser journey and I'm needing some help making some choices. I'm looking to live aboard full time and do some coastal island hopping in the Canadian west coast. I've come across a Tri-Cabin Trawler that is in my price range - asking 10k CAD https://www.usedvictoria.com/classif...awler_35979758. It does have engine issues and I'm wondering if it is something someone new to engines can handle. Here is the report https://imgur.com/XhPmrXk


Any advice would be appreciated!
Have you thought about what it will cost you to own the boat? Before I bought it I would at least make sure I could insure it.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:23 AM   #4
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From the report it appears that there is really nothing wrong with the engine. Weebles hit it right. Fix the ancillary things and the engine should be good. With bad fuel, bad injector lines and assorted leaks the engine will NOT run well.

Double check the valve at the bottom of the fuel tank. It could be the deal breaker if it is the tank leaking and not a loose or faulty valve. A tank repair could run you as much as they are asking for the boat.

Do some research on the Volvo engine. They have a terrible reputation for being hard to source parts and expensive parts and labor. KEY WORD "reputation" it may or may not be true but I suspect that in Canada you will have parts issues.

The boat itself looks good.

Go For It !!

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Old 07-07-2020, 09:21 AM   #5
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I don't see where injection lines are mentioned in the report.
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Old 07-07-2020, 09:51 AM   #6
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#3 Fuel lines at injection pump. Guess I misread, but could be taken either way.

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Old 07-07-2020, 10:28 AM   #7
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#3 Fuel lines at injection pump. Guess I misread, but could be taken either way.

pete
I mis-read too. Explains why the engine runs - pressure line and it wouldn't run. Must mean the hose from filter/lift-pump

To the OP - engine surveyor has noted at least two hoses that are deteriorated. I would assume they ALL need to be replaced. I know it seems pretty straightforward to replace hoses, but sometimes there are several of them, and there is always one that is impossible to get off without removing something else. By the time the old ones come off, new ones are sourced, new thermostat, coolant etc, it will approach a full day for a decent mechanic, two days for me (including nap time).

From the engine report, engine doesn't sound bad, but there is a ton of deferred maintenance. Time/effort to bring back to speed is not trivial. Mostly DIY level stuff, but it takes a while. A decent mechanic will also set valves while doing an engine service.

Peter
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:58 AM   #8
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I hate to rain on anybody's boat-buying parade, but for a person inexperienced in boating and especially with that expensive to maintain engine, I would recommend walking away.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:46 AM   #9
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There is going to be a lot of work to get the boat operational. An engine that runs but needs a lot of maintenance after a long period of non use will need a ton of work. (from my own experience). I would also be concerned about shaft seals, shafts, props, it's likely they haven't been maintained either. There may be work that requires extensive time out of the water. All that being said, it is also possible to just continue to use it as a liveaboard with only minimal maintenance, if you can get it insured that way.
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Old 07-07-2020, 12:48 PM   #10
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There is going to be a lot of work to get the boat operational. An engine that runs but needs a lot of maintenance after a long period of non use will need a ton of work. (from my own experience). I would also be concerned about shaft seals, shafts, props, it's likely they haven't been maintained either. There may be work that requires extensive time out of the water. All that being said, it is also possible to just continue to use it as a liveaboard with only minimal maintenance, if you can get it insured that way.
I totally agree. 1-1/2 years ago I made the decision to get my Willard 36 from San Francisco to Ensenada MX, a 500 nms trek. She had set unloved for 10-years (life got in the way). For all intents, I did what the OP has in front of them, including the Exhaust Elbow which is listed on the Engine Survey but I forgot to mention. I had a very competent and trusted mechanic go through the engine and replace every hose, every clamp, every pump, and the heat exchanger. For a Perkins 4.236, parts were pretty reasonable. All three pumps (lift pump, raw water pump, and fresh water pump) were around $750. I wouldn't be surprised if these are double or more for the Volvo. I spent around $9k with the mechanic and trusted the work 100% - she ran without a blip for 74-hours straight to Ensenada (plus some sea-trial prior to departure).

I don't disagree with rgano to walk away, though stopped short of saying so as it's the OPs decision on whether he does it via a mechanic as I did, or does it himself and save over half. I probably would have done it myself except I don't trust my abilities as much as I do my mechanic's ability and with my wife and best friend aboard, I felt it was a good place to have a mechanic's special touch.

It does sound like false economy to buy an inexpensive boat and throw money at it. Yet another example of cheap isn't the least expensive.

Peter
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:29 PM   #11
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I hate to rain on anybody's boat-buying parade, but for a person inexperienced in boating and especially with that expensive to maintain engine, I would recommend walking away.
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Old 07-07-2020, 02:47 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone! Thank you Peter for giving such an in-depth answer to the report and also the very helpful anecdote. The information and advice you have provided will really help me as a first time buyer. I will continue to read the forum to be more informed as this is all new to me. I have lots to take away from this thread and definitely learning to manage my expectations is a big one. Feeling very lucky to have found this forum so early in my search. Cheers!
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:56 PM   #13
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Great advice so far on the engine. I'm not a mechanic but most things will eventually succumb to perseverance, research, and time. Lots and lots of time. Not to mention aggravation and money...


2 red flags to your first post and while I don't want to rain on your dreams, you mentioned a budget of 10k CAD and live aboard. If your price range for your new home is 10k CAD, then I'm not sure you can afford living on a boat. $10k is nothing. Your ongoing expenses just with insurance, moorage, and fixing things are the items to look at.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:17 PM   #14
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Great advice so far on the engine. I'm not a mechanic but most things will eventually succumb to perseverance, research, and time. Lots and lots of time. Not to mention aggravation and money...


2 red flags to your first post and while I don't want to rain on your dreams, you mentioned a budget of 10k CAD and live aboard. If your price range for your new home is 10k CAD, then I'm not sure you can afford living on a boat. $10k is nothing. Your ongoing expenses just with insurance, moorage, and fixing things are the items to look at.

Absolutely considering this as well. I have the time due to Covid but also not as much funds because of Covid. As far as budgeting goes, I totally understand and that is a big factor. The same could be said about apartment rental prices here which is why I'm considering a boat which under the right conditions might actually be less than a rental lease. I'll make sure to consider and ask about insurance and marina fees on the boats I look at but if the marina+insurance+maintenance is lower than my current rent and rental prospects, I'd go with a boat!
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:49 PM   #15
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Absolutely considering this as well. I have the time due to Covid but also not as much funds because of Covid. As far as budgeting goes, I totally understand and that is a big factor. The same could be said about apartment rental prices here which is why I'm considering a boat which under the right conditions might actually be less than a rental lease. I'll make sure to consider and ask about insurance and marina fees on the boats I look at but if the marina+insurance+maintenance is lower than my current rent and rental prospects, I'd go with a boat!
Living on a boat that doesn't run may cost less than living on land. Just make sure you can find a marina that will let you do it and what it will cost besides dockage rates. Most marinas will have an additional charge for living aboard. Some even charge for parking. You need to get all of that straightened out before you buy the boat. Just because the owner has insurance doesn't mean you can get it. Same with the slip. Take everything the owner says with a grain of salt. He may be telling the truth but his situation may not convey to you. Don't forget about the little things like a toilet that works, hot water, heat and cable. It starts to look a lot like camping without those things. Camping might also be an option less expensive than an apartment. Probably not as sexy as living on a boat but tents cost a lot less than boats.
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Old 07-07-2020, 05:58 PM   #16
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Definitely! Living on a boat is sounds romantic and nice at a first glance but after looking into the nitty gritty is a world full of compromises and work. It does offer new experiences that greatly appeal to me but I am more and more aware of the fine print as I go along! Thank you for bringing more for me to learn.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:03 PM   #17
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You are still going to need a "dirt" home. When the weather turns cold you will be paying double rent. Storage rates on the hard are a minimum a couple hundred a month maybe somewhat less if you shop for a cheap marina.

Paying to store your boat will come close to eating up the savings you made by living aboard in the summer.

I almost never tell people not to buy a particular boat . This purchase, coupled with the boat problems, the location, your budget and ability to do repairs yourself adds up to a "Proceed with Utmost Caution"

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Old 07-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #18
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You are still going to need a "dirt" home. When the weather turns cold you will be paying double rent. Storage rates on the hard are a minimum a couple hundred a month maybe somewhat less if you shop for a cheap marina.

Paying to store your boat will come close to eating up the savings you made by living aboard in the summer.

I almost never tell people not to buy a particular boat . This purchase, coupled with the boat problems, the location, your budget and ability to do repairs yourself adds up to a "Proceed with Utmost Caution"

pete

The OP is in BC. Boats and boaters stay on the water year round. Heating costs are higher in the winter, risk of electrical fires are greater, but there is no reason not to live on board during the winter if he chooses.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:17 PM   #19
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You are still going to need a "dirt" home. When the weather turns cold you will be paying double rent. Storage rates on the hard are a minimum a couple hundred a month maybe somewhat less if you shop for a cheap marina.

Paying to store your boat will come close to eating up the savings you made by living aboard in the summer.

I almost never tell people not to buy a particular boat . This purchase, coupled with the boat problems, the location, your budget and ability to do repairs yourself adds up to a "Proceed with Utmost Caution"

pete

Here in the PNW you don't really need a dirt home in winter. We lived on ours year around this year in a covered slip. Never cost us more than $100 US to electric heat to 70 degrees F when home. That said, it gets awfully claustrophobic in the winter!
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Old 07-07-2020, 07:07 PM   #20
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If you are just looking for lodging and not mobility, perhaps you could rent the boat from the current owner ?

I've never seen a combination cockpit/aft cabin set up like that. That was very interesting !!
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