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To rebuild or replace???

GAS engine, transmission and generator repair and maintenance discussion forum.
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mwest74
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To rebuild or replace???

Postby mwest74 » August 18th, 2019, 7:08 pm

I own a 95 330 Mariner with Crusader 350 XL's. I have dumped probably my purchase price back into the boat at this point. If you want the details see other posts authored by yours truly. This weekend, my wife invited her brother and sister-in-law along with their three kids down for a day of fun, sun, and swimming on the river. In typical fashion, I start the right engine, and with a little reluctance it fired up and idled smoothly. I breathe a sigh of relief, said a prayer to all of the various gods of the marine, Greek, and the New World. To my shock it started. However, it didn't sound right. In a single bound, I leap form the "bridge" to the swim platform and have my head hanging over the side looking at the exhaust. No water coming out of the port exhaust. After shutting down, I checked the seacock and strainers: Open and clean. Did I mention that all this occurred about 15 minutes before our guests arrived? We managed to salvage the day thanks in part to the marina swimming pool and a community grill.
I've had to replace the port transmission, about 6 hours into my maiden voyage. I've replaced the alternator on the stbd. engine along with countless battery cables due to corrosion. I also discovered the first time I went to start the right engine this year all of the oil had leaked out somewhere. I don't know where, it wasn't in the bilge, so who knows? I keep adding oil to it as a bad-aid to get to the end of the season. And so far, I've added about a quart and a half since early June. The engine hatches also leaked, but I've managed to fix that and my bilge is now dry. As a result of that my stbd. engine is a rust bucket. The left engine was as well but with the transmission replacement, a lot of that got fixed. But it just seems to be one thing after another. I won't include money spent on the new barely 24 hours on it generator. I'll chalk that up to moisture and well I don't know what else. I guess that's what I get for buying a 24+ year old boat from a less than... well let's just say he lied.
So finally my question. I think the only way I'm going to get this thing right is either to completely repower it, or have both engines overhauled, rebuilt. I'm looking for some opinions on what the well informed people of this forum think. Repair or replace? The engines have about 360 and 400 hours on them.

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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby tomschauer » August 18th, 2019, 9:47 pm

I believe before I would think about either, I would want to find out what wrong with each engine. Not pumping water could be as simple as a clogged inlet or a bad raw water impeller. Did you replace both impellers?
I would also want to find out where the oil is going. If your not smoking a bunch it could be through the oil cooler.
What's up with the genny?
As you mentioned, the boat is 24 years old. If the previous owner didn't keep up on regular maintenance, all of the issues will present themselves as you have noticed.
Try to be positive and scratch things off your list one at a time.
If you put brand new engines in and you have a bod oil cooler, you will have the same problem but 25k less money to fix it!
Where do you keep the boat?
I'm at Skipjack on the sassafras.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby tomschauer » August 18th, 2019, 10:03 pm

Hey, I thought I remembered your post where the trans failed. If this was an NJ boat it was saltwater. Good chance the oil and trans coolers are gone or on their way (probably what took out your tranny)
Also, you said you touched bottom a couple times. If you did this and didn't change the impellers, that is most likely your water flow problem. Sand will eat them up in minutes. When you replace them make sure you back flush and get all the failed pieces out of the system.
I bet you have a whole bunch of "little problems" that can be very frustrating and expensive if not taken care of in time.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby mwest74 » August 18th, 2019, 10:27 pm

tomschauer wrote:Source of the post I believe before I would think about either, I would want to find out what wrong with each engine. Not pumping water could be as simple as a clogged inlet or a bad raw water impeller. Did you replace both impellers?
I would also want to find out where the oil is going. If your not smoking a bunch it could be through the oil cooler.
What's up with the genny?
As you mentioned, the boat is 24 years old. If the previous owner didn't keep up on regular maintenance, all of the issues will present themselves as you have noticed.
Try to be positive and scratch things off your list one at a time.
If you put brand new engines in and you have a bod oil cooler, you will have the same problem but 25k less money to fix it!
Where do you keep the boat?
I'm at Skipjack on the sassafras.


I'm hoping the lack of water flow is just an impeller or something else simple. I've replaced the ECU (or whatever its called) on the genny as well as rebuilding carb. It's not OEM equipment. But it purrs like a kitten now. In fact its the only thing I don't cringe about when I start it. The right engine is consuming oil somewhere, not very much, but enough to make me worry about it. The compression on a couple of the cylinders in marginal at best. So I'm probably looking at a valve job at the least. It has so much rust on it though, I'm afraid of what I'm gonna find once that gets started. However, it is the right engine that always starts, never stalls or vapor locks and always get me at least back to the fuel dock at my home marina. It's just seems to be one problem after another. I discovered a couple of weeks ago after replacing one of the batteries, the number one battery is not charging on shore power. I just had the windlass replaced two weeks ago because the old one decided it was taking an early retirement. I probably won't completely replace the "better" left engine, but I'll have to do something in the offseason to the right engine.
Speaking of Skipjack on the Sassafras, we had a slip reserved there over the long July 4th weekend :usa: . I had to cancel because at idle my oil pressure on the right engine was above 60psi. I thought it was probably indication but didn't want to take the chance of it not being just an indication issue. I'm on the Bohemia River at Bo. Bay Yacht Harbor so not a super long run but enough to make me hesitant.
I knew I'd have to put some money back into it when I bought it. I just didn't think I would have purchased it twice in the first two years of owning it. I just feel like the week point on this boat are the engines. I've got to deal with it al another 6 years, the length of the loan. Otherwise it would be sold or traded on another boat.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby km1125 » August 19th, 2019, 12:16 pm

You really should do a leakdown test on the engines (or better yet, both engines). That will tell you where the compression is leaking to - either out a valve or past the rings. That would give you a better idea and allow you to plan for future repairs or replacements.

You really do need to figure out where that oil is going. If it's just burning it, you can deal with that, but if it's leaking through a cooler somewhere then it could go from "a pittance" to "bad" at any point and catch you offguard and ruin a weekend or a trip. Oil coolers are not that expensive and you'll need a good one if you end up with new engines anyways.

And it's my opinion that you should ALWAYS replace impellers on a "new to you" boat or engine so you KNOW for sure when they were last replaced and you KNOW what the inside of that water pump looks like (scratches, wear, etc).
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby mjk1040 » August 19th, 2019, 2:47 pm

If your boat came from salt water I would repower. Too many possibilities that things are bad all through out your engine blocks and coolers.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby Viper » August 19th, 2019, 6:36 pm

mjk1040 wrote:Source of the post If your boat came from salt water I would repower. Too many possibilities that things are bad all through out your engine blocks and coolers.

What will make the biggest difference is whether they are fresh water or raw water cooled. It seems likely this is a salt water application and the hope is that it's fresh water cooled. If it is, the block should be salvageable though everything on the raw water side is questionable. Having said that, "rust" has been brought up more than once by the OP so it seems it may be severe. If that's the case, some mating surfaces may be compromised and might present a problem eventually.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby mwest74 » August 19th, 2019, 7:12 pm

Viper wrote:Source of the post
mjk1040 wrote:Source of the post If your boat came from salt water I would repower. Too many possibilities that things are bad all through out your engine blocks and coolers.

What will make the biggest difference is whether they are fresh water or raw water cooled. It seems likely this is a salt water application and the hope is that it's fresh water cooled. If it is, the block should be salvageable though everything on the raw water side is questionable. Having said that, "rust" has been brought up more than once by the OP so it seems it may be severe. If that's the case, some mating surfaces may be compromised and might present a problem eventually.


A little bit more of the back story. I had both impellers replaced and the exhaust riser replaced on the left engine during what I call the great transmission fiasco of 2017-18. The engines are fresh water cooled. The boat came from New York so I'm assuming saltwater use. It is used it what I call mostly freshwater now. I have heard that during extreme tides and bad storms, saltwater does get "pushed" into my area. I haven't experienced it yet. The leaky oil engine doesn't seem to be smoking that I've noticed. It doesn't seem to be a huge leak, but as I mentioned it is enough to make me hyper aware of any new noise or fluctuation on that side. I just feel like it's a time bomb.
I'm leaning towards just doing something with the right side this offseason. I'm just not sure which option is best, hence the post.
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby bud37 » August 20th, 2019, 8:40 am

mwest74 wrote:Source of the post So finally my question. I think the only way I'm going to get this thing right is either to completely repower it, or have both engines overhauled, rebuilt. I'm looking for some opinions on what the well informed people of this forum think. Repair or replace? The engines have about 360 and 400 hours on them.


Having re- read all your troubles so far, I have an opinion....who doesn't right ! But first a question, do you believe this is the right boat for you that you will keep for quite some time ??? if so repower it with new stuff, it will be expensive and I don't believe you will recover any of that value except for relative worry free use.

If you are not sure, then pick away at the issues, which seem to me to be repairable relatively easily and use the boat as it is.......

If you are sure this is not the right boat.....there is only one way out and that would be to sell the boat as it is, take the loss and move on wiser for the adventure.I am not sure where you are, but lay-up time is fast approaching. There is a saying about good money after bad ... :-O

So what do you think about that ??

To add, it has been my experience so far that every boat we have had no matter what condition, new or used seems to have the need to have a fair chunk of money spent on it...mechanical, electrical or navigation stuff... :-D
"There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
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Safe travels with light winds and calm seas.....
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mwest74
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Re: To rebuild or replace???

Postby mwest74 » August 20th, 2019, 10:02 am

bud37 wrote:Source of the post
mwest74 wrote:Source of the post So finally my question. I think the only way I'm going to get this thing right is either to completely repower it, or have both engines overhauled, rebuilt. I'm looking for some opinions on what the well informed people of this forum think. Repair or replace? The engines have about 360 and 400 hours on them.


Having re- read all your troubles so far, I have an opinion....who doesn't right ! But first a question, do you believe this is the right boat for you that you will keep for quite some time ??? if so repower it with new stuff, it will be expensive and I don't believe you will recover any of that value except for relative worry free use.

If you are not sure, then pick away at the issues, which seem to me to be repairable relatively easily and use the boat as it is.......

If you are sure this is not the right boat.....there is only one way out and that would be to sell the boat as it is, take the loss and move on wiser for the adventure.I am not sure where you are, but lay-up time is fast approaching. There is a saying about good money after bad ... :-O

So what do you think about that ??

To add, it has been my experience so far that every boat we have had no matter what condition, new or used seems to have the need to have a fair chunk of money spent on it...mechanical, electrical or navigation stuff... :-D


Is it the boat for me? That's an interesting question. When it's working it's great. The problem is those times seem to be few and far between this season. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I knew I would have to throw some money at it when I bought. I just didn't think it would be this much this fast. That is part of my dilemma, fix the engines and hang on to it for a while or just keep putting band aids on it. I think the right engine is beyond the bandage stage and will need some significant repairs over the winter. As far as selling, I think the loss would be to great if I just sold it as is. We financed it for 8 years and are in year 2 of that loan. If we were to sell, it would mean no boat for a few years. The boss lady and I enjoy the water to much for that to be an option right now. Although, that idea has been raised before, and quickly dismissed. So I guess the answer is is if I want to keep boating, it has to be the boat for me :confused:

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