** This post is one of those that could get varying opinions. We’re eager to hear them all, and we’re giving away a $100 REI gift card to one lucky person who comments… you must leave a comment to have a chance to win, so be sure to read through to the end and comment for a chance to win!
So here’s a quick scenario that I’d like some input on. Our CAL is a 1984 model. She’s in fabulous shape and we work to keep her that way. We’ve updated the rigging, wiring, refrigeration, lighting, and many more systems to make sure, as best we can, she seaworthy, reliable and comfortable. We are almost ready to go cruising. The one thing we haven’t done is rebuild the engine.
Our Universal diesel 5432 is a work horse. She’s a four-cylinder, 32 hp chunk of heaven. She purrs like a kitten and we’ve never had a lick of trouble with the engine itself. So why the concern, you may ask? Well, because she’s thirty two years old and spending that much time in a harsh environment like the ocean takes its toll on any piece of gear. It’s only a matter of time before the elements win out.
I know new crate motors from Yanmar and Beta Marine would be upwards of ten thousand dollars once you take into consideration the installation, wiring and modifications to the engine bay. I just wonder how much that cost would actually balloon to once you factor in removing the old engine, painting and reconditioning the engine bay. Then, there the “while we’re at it, we might as well do X, Y, and Z” costs.
We have friends who just bought a brand new tug, and I must say, when I saw their shiny, green Volvo Penta outdrive, I turned a little green with envy. All new hose clamps, spiffy wiring harnesses and no previous owner’s “creativity” to undo. I can seriously see myself getting gaga over something like that.
A friend had is 5432 rebuilt for around $5k. Now, I would love to have a sparkling new 30 hp Beta, but a rebuild seems the more reasonable option for us. And truthfully, we may not even need that (yet).
Our old girl takes 11 1/2 quarts of oil. We’ve had the lift pump rebuilt, new fresh water and raw water pumps installed, new injector lines, new 100 amp alternator, new heat exchanger, and a few other new parts since we’ve owned her. She’s shiny gold and gets praise from any mechanic that sees her, but I’m wondering if we’re living on borrowed time. Should we have Eunice pulled and reconditioned before there’s an issue, or should we just wait ’til she gives up the ghost? Like I said, she’s not given us any issues.
So, readers, friends, and fellow boat nuts, what say you? Would you rebuild your engine (knowing it would delay your cruising plans), or would you go cruising, and keep taking care of your existing engine (that’s given you little to no problems)?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and on November 30th, we’ll draw a name at random to win a $100 REI Gift Card to spend as you please (and let you know what we decide)! You have to leave a comment for a chance to win, so no matter what your thoughts are, we want to hear them!