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Reliability and simplicity in the 40-55ft range?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by zen, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Another common issue is air conditioning. That is usually a trip ender in south fl and in the bahamas especially on modern euro styled boat with no natural ventilation.

    But in addition to regular maintenance there are steps you can take to maximize reliability, something unfortunately many builders don't. For instance many marine AC issues are caused by reduced flow in the sea water circuit. Often because the hose sizes are too small especially in manifolds. Or builders will use one pump for multiple units with no back ups. Upsizing hoses and manifolds is often easy and cheap. Adding an extra pump you can switch to by flipping a switch and a couple of valves is also an easy solution.

    Smaller boats have either self contained or splits. Loose one compressor and that room is done, if that's the main saloon chances are that summer trip to the Bahamas isn't happening... larger boats, above 50/55 these days usually are set up with chillers. If loose one chiller in the typical twin chiller system you will still have some cooling so the trip doesn't have to end.
  2. Fletcher500

    Fletcher500 Member

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    Good thread. Should be required reading for people considering their first boat.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    This. In all of the years and all of the trips I've done, 100's of thousands of nautical miles, I can count actual trip stopping issues on one hand. Yes, I've had lots of systems break or fail and have been able to fix them within 24 hours without any stoppages or even inconveniences. Yes, I also carry an assortment of spare parts, including a/c pumps on a lot of the boats I manage/maintain.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Problem is that you can diagnose an AC issue pretty quickly and change the pump. Many if not most owners operators can't.
  5. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    I like the idea of a back-up sea water pump. Do you tee it off the same raw water pick-up if you do not have a sea chest system? Do you alternate between the two regularly to share the wear and tear or leave it stationary as a stand-by system? Is it already primed and does this have a corrosive effect if it is not used?

    The plant general managers at the large volume yacht builders are caught in a corporate trap, in my opinion. No matter how much preaching (advertising) you see about the customer is first, the truer measure is what goes on internally. My experience has seen the following:

    The financial controllers pressure the purchasing leads to annually reduce costs. They put out goals for them to reduce material costs by 5-10% annually. these goals are then part of the Purchasing Managers own performance metrics. So they bring in industry and start the "squeeze". They get the A/C companies in and go over their bill of materials looking for ways to cut costs. Hey, if we can replace 1/2" piping with 3/8" we can save x amount, the same with smaller manifolds. They pressure the A/C reps with the typical "we will go elsewhere if your equipment can't do it". So they tend to cave-in to keep their own revenue stream alive, not always though. The factory A/C rep usually has to certify the first installation at the plant, sometimes this may happen in winter or relatively benign environmental conditions. But they get it to work, everyone acknowledges the sign-off, and they start production. Then the dealer and eventual owner and his maintainer are left to deal with the system in various geographical locations. But remember the advertising mantra, the customer is our focus, blah, blah, blah.......A smart system with a back-up raw water circulating pump is not even up for conversation as it will add to the dreadful material costs and controlling will have nothing to do with it, and they have the support of the CEO.

    The boat buyers goal is to find the right product for them that has the right leadership within the boat company of his choice. The plant general manager's only recourse for the above case is to log his warranty claims, usually create a top 10 most urgent list, then go back to purchasing and drop his hammer down on them in order to make the system robust enough to get off of his monthly warranty alert. The customers recourse is to get the ear of the plant general manager (going beyond your dealer) or the boat builders' executives and give them an earful and things will magically happen and correct themselves.

    If you buy a new yacht anywhere, visit the production plant and start a relationship with them before you take delivery, you may be surprised at how well you get responses from those on the "frontlines". If your dealer won't give you a tour of the plant, he is not doing his job correctly or doesn't even have the right relationship with the product.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You can do it in various way. The most convenient and reliable woudl be to add a sea cock and strainer for th second pump and have a Y valve on the output side of the pumps. If that's not viable the tee before and after the pumps with valves. Having two thru hulls gives you a back up for when something like plastic bag gets caught outside and you don't want to go for a swim at midnight...
  7. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Great idea.
    I sense you have some experience here.
  8. 30West

    30West Member

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    I wish my strainers had a fitting I could use to hook a hose onto and back-flush my basket strainer and scoop strainer.

    As an engineer, I prefer simple solutions. Adding another thru-hull, seacock, strainer, hoses and valves, pump with mounting and wiring, switches, etc., does not seem simple. I can swap pumps out pretty quickly with a few tools if I have a pump available. If that pump is generally readily available, you might be delayed until the stores open if it goes out late in the day. If not, bummer, maybe carry a spare pump. Ideally your more vital equipment is standard stuff.
  9. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    I have made & installed a few valved manifolds (after the pump) in a few customer boats..
    You can use dock water pressure to blow out each A/C unit or back flush the pump and strainers.
  10. g collis

    g collis Member

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    Ha, the only brand that doesn't require work is the one you don't own. From the day they first touch the water till the day they sink or are placed on the hard forever. They require a lot of WORK and money.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, but if they're off the beaten path. A service technician can come in, diagnose it, and change it immediately instead of waiting for one to be flown in, clear customs, and make it's way to the boat.
  12. 30West

    30West Member

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    I suspect it would be cheaper to change or rebuild the pump every three years and carry a spare, than set up dual pumps, dual thru-hull intakes and strainers, and valve manifold.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, most a/c pumps can be changed in about an hour.
  14. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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    Maybe something a little smaller like a Grady White 370. That said, I too believe that continuous maintenance and regular use is the key. I'm still waiting for my Bertram 54 to become reliable once I finish replacing this engine for the third time in 500 hours.
  15. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    I'm confused; How does a 1/2 Meg dollor (used) outboard boat offer reliability? Built slightly better than a SleRay or Babeliner and uses the same components.
  16. rcrapps

    rcrapps Senior Member

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    Your engine engine is not an issue with design or mfg. I'm sorry my friend if I'm the first to offer you this news; Your getting screwed by somebody.
  17. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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  18. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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    It's likely that a boat with outboards has fewer systems to worry about.

    Regarding the engine ... got screwed by Saunders Marine - Orange Beach Alabama ... $65k overhaul failed immediately and they told me to pound sand. Fitzgerald at Saunders is a bottom feeder. That is not a secret. As a matter of fact, I will tell anybody who will listen and will provide photos and evidence as well.

    Second overhaul ... just bad luck or a bad block ... two of the liners failed.

    Third Overhaul is happening now and I purchased a good used but serviceable .10 over block. Now, I'll have two fresh overhauls by the same company that services my engines where I live. Things should be better now.
  19. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Wow, that is some tough luck there, I have seen worse but am trying to erase it from my memory!
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Actually I would argue that a outboard boat no matter how nice will be less reliable because of increased exposure to elements. Sure outboards have become very reliable especially yamahas but you still have a bunch of systems including generator (and gas gensets are not as reliable as diesel), air cons, bilge pumps, electronics, helm etc.

    The worries about finding a reputable engine rebuilder is why I m yanking my ole 8V71Ns and putting factory reman c series with warranties

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