34' CHB with twin Lehmans

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Mar 19, 2011
I'm looking for a liveaboard trawler, and I've come across a 1977 34' CHB with twin 80hp lehmans - this is the only one of this size I've seen with two diesel plants. Is it anything special? I see it as a positive selling point. Any thoughts? There are also only 1600 hrs on the engines.

Thanks in advance.
I don't know the 34. I looked at a 45 that is located in Peoria, Ill. I think it is still on the market. It had two forward cabins and two heads that were side by side with a mini tub and shower that could be used by either one. While it needed work, it would make a good live aboard. I think Midwest Trawler has the boat.

As far as the 34 goes , which Lehmans does the CHB have? What maintenance has been performed on them since 1977. Early trawlers from China had window leak problems and sometimes wood was not correctly covered in fiberglass and was prone to rot. If you are serious of the boat, find a good marine surveyor that knows these boats and have them do a in depth survey. If you supply more information about use and goals, the members of the forum might have better feedback.

Good luck...CHB made nice looking boats. Any boat that is 34 years old need investigation on care and condition.
Wakeybake, I have a 1975 CHB 34', but sedan version with single 120hp Lehman. I love the boat, and the engine's reliability and ease of service, and if genuine, 1600 hrs is nothing on one of these if well maintained/serviced. I would think twin 80 hp engines would definitely make it more manoeuvrable and a bit faster in a hurry if fuel burn was not an issue, but hardly any more than a single at hull speed, ie probably about 2.5 gph, as opposed to my 2 gph.
However, the issues to look out for in a CHB of that vintage (experience talking here), are leaking teak decks with water damage inside, or dripping onto and rusting out the tops of old mild steel fuel tanks, also wet core in deck, and rot in the superstructure because that will be timber, possibly glassed over, as that old they were not fibreglass up top, even tho the hulls were.* Might have osmosis also, although one need not be too concerned about small blisters that have been there a long time without change in size.* That'll do I think....
I have a 1985 CT 35' with Twin Super 90's, a friend has the 80 HP version and has to service his fuel pumps every 50 hours of run time. Call Bob Smith at American Diesel and get the real low down.
I had a 34CHB 1980 for 7 years, from my experience, check out the engine bearers pretty carefully, as well as the engine. Ours gave way and the engine 'settled' in the boat, bending the drive shaft and letting a lot of water in.

Apparently the bearers themselves are wood encased in 'glass' and over the years various holes were drilled through the fibreglass to attach cables etc, this let water into the bearers and they eventually rotted away. Good luck in your search.

As Dave has already advised, get a good survey, especially to check out the teak decks. It's also important to check out the maintenance the engines received and have an engine survey done. This will also involve the surveyor sending in a sample of the engine and trans fluids to a lab for analysis. Excessive metal in the oil will tell you that the engines/trans have some issues you may not want to deal with. On the other hand, a clean bill of health will make you feel more comfortable about the condition of what you're buying. Low hours on a diesel isn't necessarily a good thing. They last longer with use; lots of use.

I'm assuming the boat you're looking at is a tri-cabin model. I lived on our 34' CHB tri-cabin for almost a year; together with my sister-in-law and three dogs. I wouldn't recommend the sister-in-law but these are very comfortable boats for spending time on.*

As Peter said, the twins will make manuvering much easier without adversely affecting fuel consumption too much. Flatsflyer made mention of servicing the fuel pumps every 50 hours. He's referring to the injector pumps, and if the 80hp engines have Simms injector pumps, then yes, they must be changed every 50 hours. As he suggested, you should ask Bob Smith of American Diesel (804.435.3107)*if the 80 had Simms pumps.

Twin diesels are like having a pool at your house. Some people love them and some will not buy a house with one.*

Good luck checking out the boat. As I said, I love the little CHBs and they will take more pounding in the open water than you will want.



Brookings, Oregon
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