October 12, 2020 at 10:33 am #225727Eduardo AcostaParticipant
Buying hull #144 next week going to sea trial. First time on a boat this size and a bit terrified that the boat while in great condition is basically all original. Original Westerbeke58 (estimated 3000 hours), Original Vdrive, original shafts, original fuel tanks…literally a time capsule circa 1981. Single owner well taken care of moved out of the water every winter here in New England. Reading the forums here I noticed just about everyone has repowered at least once if not more, replaced the fuel tank, redone the fridge insulation, etc… This boat has been very lightly used clearly.
Is there any other owner here still having the original W58 and Vdrive by any chance ?. I know I will need to repower but hoping to do that in 2-3 years when I am retiring and living the live-aboard dream…
Tnx much in advance
October 12, 2020 at 10:57 am #225728Ryan DoyleParticipant
We are still on our original engine and V-drive (our W58 was rebuilt in the late 1990’s). If these diesels are well maintained, kept clean, and checked regularly for issues (and those issues are fixed when they pop up), it’s entirely possible to have a well-running original diesel well past 5000 hrs. Our motor is approaching 6000 hrs.
We purchased our boat in 2016 and put about 2000 miles a summer on the boat cruising from New York to Maine.
Our W58 and v-drive runs very well, but we keep it painted, we don’t abuse it by running it without loads or good water flow, we check for issues regularly, and stay on top of maintenance (oil and filter changes at the end of every season, impellers, etc.). We noticed we were losing coolant this summer and replaced our heat exchanger after discovering that had rusted through and started to leak. I did the job myself and now she doesn’t lose coolant.
My suggestion is to clean and paint the motor. It will get you acquainted with the motor and it makes the engine compartment less frightening. It also makes issues like leaking oil or coolant easier to spot.
Another excellent upgrade is an exhaust temperature alarm such as the Aqualarm. It’s only $50 and it just clamps around your exhaust and warns you if the motor is getting hot.
Best of luck.
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by Ryan Doyle.
October 12, 2020 at 11:54 am #225731dhjppnParticipant
We have hull number 178 built in 1981. We have owned her since 1997. We have the original W58. We put ~ 100hrs on the engine each year. We just changed the oil yesterday – EH 3884. We have love our engine. She is reliable and strong. Last year we had to pull a BaBa 35 across 350nm of Lake Superior – and she worked like a champ.
In 2012, we had the injectors reworked by an injector specialist, the valve timing checked and reset, entire engine repainted, replaced the exhaust heat exchanger because we couldn’t get the exhaust elbow off the exhaust manifold (due to a leak in the water injection elbow). At about the same time we removed the water cooling from the v-drive as it was leaking water into the casing of the v-drive. We’ve changed the oil several times and have seen no overheating issues and no longer have water in the oil. Several others have done the same to their v-drives with no adverse issues.
In short – if the engine looks good, and checks out it should last for a long time. One caveat to our story – our boat/engine has been fresh water boat for its entire existence.
October 12, 2020 at 2:37 pm #225739RichCarterParticipant
I have a 1979 424 and repowered about 10 years ago. The original engine was a W60. Parts for that are unobtanium so I had no choice. For the price of a used 424, there are few boats out there that provide as good a value. Almost any boat in this price range will require some work and may have old equipment. 3000 hours isn’t a lot for a properly maintained diesel. My yacht club runs Yanmar 75’s in the club launches. They usually run about 8000 hours before a rebuild is needed. I don’t know what the expected life span of a Westerbeke 58 is, but it should be similar. Age is the issue with these older engines. Parts can become hard to find and expensive. Maybe another member who has the same engine can comment on that. I think the W58 is a Perkins 4-154 and was adapted from a Mazda pickup.
October 12, 2020 at 2:40 pm #225740Ben FrothinghamParticipant
I live in Falmouth, MA and have hull #81. I’m not sure when or where you are looking at the boat, but if you want an extra set of eyes we can talk. Of course you have found an excellent resource right here on this site.
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