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From the Bilge

Re-powering your boat.

Category: General


In current economic times, some boaties that were looking to upgrade to something new, have had to reconsider this exercise and instead, are looking to repower their existing vessel.


Now this is all well and good, and in most cases quite achievable, but let's look at the big picture. The reasons for re-powering are usually 1. more speed, 2. better reliability, or a combination of both.


Let's do a rough break down of the costs of re-powering a single diesel shaft drive boat with a different ( usually higher horsepower ) motor. The main items to consider are:


Boat out of water and hard stood for at least 2 weeks


Bulkheads,flooring etc. removed.


Old motor removed and disposed of.


Engine beds removed and adjusted, or replaced.


Shaft, shaft bearings, I brackets etc. upgraded or replaced.


Propellor replaced or re-pitched.


Fuel system re-aligned and re-calibrated.


Exhaust system replaced.


Electrical system upgraded - new loom and switch panel fitted.


New motor fitted.


Shaft aligned with gear box coupling.


Bulkheads, flooring etc. replaced.


Launch vessel.


Run up new motor and make necessary adjustments.


Have a beer ! ( or 2 )


As you can see, at nearly every step of this process, you are going to need professional help - expensive professional help.


So, for example, if your current 38' flybridge cabin cruiser had a serviceable but tired 320 hp diesel motor fitted, it's market value might be around $ 130,000. If you were to re-power this boat with a new 450 hp diesel motor, thecost for this re-power could range from $ 75,000 to $ 100,000( approx.) This boat now owes you in the vicinity of $ 205,000 to $ 230,000. But the market value of this vessel has only increased by a small percentage of the money invested in the new motor.


If you really love your boat, and intend to keep it for many years, then the exercise could well be justified, with the costs written off against the extra performance and pleasure derived.


We regularly say to clients that if you are considering re-powering your boat, have a good look at the market first. There-may be that boat you've been looking for with the features the family have always wanted, and the cost mightn't be a whole lot more than the value of your current boat, plus your intended outlay for the re-power, and you haven't lost out on resale value.


Now, if only there was a nice Randell 41 with twin Cummins..........

We welcome readers own experiences with anything boating, so drop us a line !