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Closer to buying 38xx...but...-gctid822168

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    Closer to buying 38xx...but...-gctid822168

    I've looked at local area 3870's and 3888's...all seem to be in about the same shape or close enough to ignore some minor differences.

    I've developed an opinion that most anything else doesn't really matter (except for the offer) but the Hino engines are a real big issue. The boats I have looked at (and have read listings on others) seem to have the 175HP engines with around 1300-1700 hours. Given their age of 25-30 years old, that doesn't seem like a lot at around 50hrs per season.

    My concern is the maintenance items that might hit me big time after purchase...specifically, elbows and manifolds (manicoolers?).

    One of the boats the current owner has only had it for a year and does not have any information on what maintenance had been performed on the engines. Another had the elbows boiled a couple of years ago (owner has had the boat 10 years). Another boat was in the family from new purchase passed on from father to son and it seems nothing has been done to manifolds or elbows. And yet another where the original owner (1988, I think) has done nothing to the engines since he bought the boat new...

    I've also read some negative press regarding Hino' availability, cheap quality knock-off's, price, underpowered for the boat they're in, too much load for their size, etc...

    So, either the engines are indestructible or I'm walking into a disaster after purchase. I saw one price listing where the manifold price is upwards of $8,000 ( I must be walking into a bit of "sticker shock"

    Since there must be a bunch of you out there with 38xx's and running Hino's, can you give me some advice and comments...? What am I getting myself into in buying a boat with the Hino's...?

    Thanks in advance for your responses...
    1988 3888
    Twin Cummins 6BT's 210hp
    Onan 8KW


    You are on the right track. The Hinos are significant area you need to pay attention. I would suggest the tanks are another big item to investigate since at 30+ years old, tank issues are becoming more commonplace. The third big ticket item of course is the hull, deck and radar arch condition. The sum of the three areas can consume large amounts of boat $ and time to repair and they really differentiate the good boats from the bad boats of this vintage. Based upon the experiences of my dock neighbors, these same issues are true on all brands of 30+ year old boats. That is why they are selling at such a discount versus new. ...buyer beware...

    If I were looking for a boat.. I would buy one that is as clean well cared for as you can find. A meticulous owner will have maintained things much better than others. First the boat really clean throughout and free of obvious rust, mold, discoloration, stains, odors, corrosion., scratches, scuffs, ..etc. This is a good indicator of how well the boat was maintained mechanically as well. Also, all the little stuff really adds up and takes away from boating fun time.

    With respect to the Hinos...if in doubt due to lack of records or no real history or admitted neglect (done nothing in decades!)..offer a low enough price that you are OK paying for significant engine repairs / upgrades. I did this and then did the upgrades regardless. I wanted nice clean engines with new ss elbows, etc. for peace of mind. In total it cost close to $20k to really clean up the engines (pretty major including new injectors, new elbows, new hoses, 1 new manicooler),. In the end, they look and run like new and parts are all ceramic coated etc. to be even more corrosion resistant than new. The boat runs identical to original factory spec as a result. Other than routine maintenance, they should be good for another 30 years. But it is a big expense if not factored into the purchase price.

    I asked for all service docs. Had a mechanical survey done. Then wrote a letter with all known and suspected mechanical issues. I offered a price adjustment according to these factors. The seller, upon reviewing the details...and after consulting with his broker who reminded him that any knowledgeable buyer will factor in the same issues...he agreed to the price reduction.
    G W Jackson
    '86 Bayliner 3870
    NC Coast - Cape Lookout to Cape Fear


      I bought my 1988 3818 a year ago with 3400 hours on the engines. The title search for documentation showed the complete ownership history and, it appears that it was in charter service from 88 to 2000 when a couple bought it and the widower sold it in a disused condition in 2015. That buyer brought in Earl, the Baylinerguru, to do what was needed to the engines which wasn't really all that much. The manicoolers and bundles were changed out for a "fresh water" set of used ones, risers were replaced, valves adjusted and timing set. I replaced the belts, changed to the coolant Earl recommended and changed the oil. We've put 100 plus hours on the engines and they run very smoothly at whatever speed we want. So far our average fuel burn per meter hour, running at everything from a dead idle to 16kn @ 2800, is about five gallons an hour including the generator.

      As to being scared of parts pricing, again Earl is your go to guy. He has the patterns for the manicoolers and sells them at a more reasonable price. There is a shop in Auburn, WA that media blasts, repairs as required and powder coats the manicoolers for around $550 I think. Seattle Radiator is your go to for bundle maintenance and repair. The engines themselves are industrial diesels that power generators and all sorts of equipment all over the world. They are modular meaning an entire cylinder sleeve, piston and rod are replaced as a unit. The raw water pump impeller cost will get your attention but there is a Jabsco alternative that has a good reputation for about $70 at Fisheries Supply in Seattle.

      I suggest at least a virtual engine survey from Earl since you aren't in the Puget Sound region. I'll admit to being nervous about the Hinos and the major cost items, but am much more comfortable now. They transmissions are going to sound like they have rocks in them at idle and that's perfectly normal for Hurth. Brand new ones do it too, even in $100k ski boats. Smitty477 here on the BOC is an excellent resource in your area.

      If I can help advise in any way, feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to share.
      P/C Pete
      Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
      1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
      Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
      MMSI 367770440


        WOW...! ! ! Thank you so much...the help you give in your responses is enough to make one buy a Bayliner just to stay on the forum !

        At work now but will respond better later...
        1988 3888
        Twin Cummins 6BT's 210hp
        Onan 8KW


          Thank you gjackson...couldn't ask for better advice...will be back on later...
          1988 3888
          Twin Cummins 6BT's 210hp
          Onan 8KW


            Just FWIW, I have put around of $5K worth of maintenance into my 1987 Hinos ~2000hrs in the last 8 months (mainly deferred stuff from PO, belts, hoses, injectors, gaskets, valve adjustments, fluids, pumps, impellers and so forth) and I've not had any trouble locating parts or information on them. Its an industrial Toyota diesel. They are rock solid if maintained well.


              I've had my 1987 38 since early spring of 2010. The Hino's have been as dependable as a heartbeat, I've put near 800 hours on it in that time. With normal maintenance they'll outlast me, oil and filter changes happen between 100 to 120 hours. This is the same schedule for transmission oil and primary fuel filters. I have had the water tank replaced and the radar arch rebuilt, I change antifreeze every 2 years. I also rebuilt the Swimgrid and mounted it higher on the transom. The guest berth and galley windows and all the flocking on solon sliding windows were replaced the 1st year. With almost 2000 hours it's time for injector clean and test and new tips if needed. The westerbeke is being re-ringed now, other than normal wear from living aboard to water pumps, windlass maintenance that is pretty much the extent of repairs. The othe significant item were upgrading electronics - AIS,radar vhf radios and displays at both helms, battery charger and the NorCold fridge. It has been a great boat, fuel burn including generator is running 3.1 gph during my ownership
              Capt. Ron.
              "I will not tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death"
              "Never Trade Luck For Skill"
              1987 3870 - Northern Lights ll
              Hino EH700
              Westerbeke 8.0
              1999 Logic Marine 17' CC/50 Merc.
              on Louisiana pool Mississippi River.



                I like your idea of adding up all the cost items and subtracting from offer price. I made that point clear to the broker showing one of the boats and I think he got set back a bit. To your pointany knowledgeable person would do the sameand I am not yet knowledgeable enough to challenge anybody but even I could pick out some items of concern. I am surprised at some of the "un-neatness" and lack of preparation in showing their boats. When I get serious with one of the boats I will get some serious expertise and help identifying problem areas

                Thank you for pointing out additional areas to look at. I would never have thought of checking the radar arch unless there was something glaring. No doubt I'd rather be out on the water than spending time taking care of the ankle biters. I thought I could look past the owner not keeping the inside neat but I later thought betteryour point exactly.


                Thank you for the recommendation to seek Earl's guidancesounds like you've had a good experience by putting all your efforts into the pre-purchase items. Exactly what I am doing now. I seriously doubt I will be in a 38xx before the winter (Northeast) but I will be much better prepared by the time one lands on my doorstep. This weekend I am looking at a 38 that has been in fresh water for the past ten yearsI'm thinking this has slowed the "aging" process. I am hopeful the owner has cared for her with the same level of detail that I would. He tells me he's had the risers boiled out and engines are pristinewe'll see

                Hours on the ones I've looked are low compared to yours at time of purchaseI hope their performance and upkeep is in line with that.

                Parts pricing is important but I normally shop around for availability and pricing before entering into major purchases. Many years ago I joined a couple of woodworking forums for the same reason I joined BOCto get as much of a heads up so that I make the right decisions. I'm sure the 38 will be my last boat purchase so I need to make it a learned decision.


                Thank you for sharing your experienceshelped to ease my anxiety...I'll admit to a certain amount of "cold-feet" but it's easing with more research and advice from you guys on BOC

                Capt. Ron

                Thanks for sharingI'm sure I'll have some things to take care of to make the boat mineI did the same type of work when I bought my Ericson 38. Once done, it felt like I had owned it foreverthat's important to me so I'm sure I'll do the same with the 38

                Thank you all for the advice and your willingness to help. This is truly the place to be. I'm sure I will have good news to report in the next few months. In the meantime I appreciate your help and it will make me a better Bayliner owner.
                1988 3888
                Twin Cummins 6BT's 210hp
                Onan 8KW



                  When you're bored, I suggest you search 38XX and spend a weekend reading. You'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the 38 and then some.

                  I have the 175's and they have been solid. I did ceramic coat the manicoolers. Stainless steel exhaust risers see are available at a reasonable cost. The 210 HP engines do give you a little additional speed, are lighter and are a bit easier to access due to their smaller footprint. The trade off is the extra complexity and maintenance of the turbo and after cooler system.

                  These boats are definately not speed demons so If you want a boat capable of more than 16-17 kts Max, (cruise 6-12 kts. ) you may want to look elsewhere.
                  Jim Gandee
                  1989 3888
                  Hino 175's
                  Fire Escape
                  [email protected]
                  Alamitos Bay, SoCal


                    "Jim Gandee" post=822324 wrote:

                    When you're bored, I suggest you search 38XX and spend a weekend reading. You'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the 38 and then some.

                    I have the 175's and they have been solid. I did ceramic coat the manicoolers. Stainless steel exhaust risers see are available at a reasonable cost. The 210 HP engines do give you a little additional speed, are lighter and are a bit easier to access due to their smaller footprint. The trade off is the extra complexity and maintenance of the turbo and after cooler system.

                    These boats are definately not speed demons so If you want a boat capable of more than 16-17 kts Max, (cruise 6-12 kts. ) you may want to look elsewhere.
                    I have no problem cruising mine at 15kn (so long as I don't have the 16' CC on a string behind me)
                    1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
                    1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
                    Nobody gets out alive.


            're absolutely right about searching 38xx...there's a treasure here. Did some lurking before joining BOC but this is much better. BOC is definitely the reason for my education and what questions to ask the owners/brokers. My preference would be not to deal with turbo's...I'd rather do some of the work myself.

                      Thanks for pointing that out...I'm not at all a speed whole life on the water has been on sailboats. I don't even hate road traffic :lol: I had spent some time looking at trawlers and then decided it made no sense to go from one 7 1/2 knot boat into another. Then I looked at swift trawlers but didn't like the layout. Targeting the 38xx as my next boat came from a combination of the layout, creature comforts, cruising speed right where I wanted and a member of a former club I belonged to has one and I always admired it. I drove and docked that 38 regularly and am comfortable with how it reacts backing into a slip. My current slip is 60 ft opposite the next dock (nose to nose) and am comfortable with the distance based on 38's maneuverability. Right now I'm backing my 38 sailboat in with single screw, prop walk and, of course, "point and hope" maneuvers. It's a scream when wind, current and prop walk gang up on me. hmy: especially when dock-mates pull on the lifelines. (They haven't quite grasped the concept that sailboats have curved hulls...teehee...) Anxious to get away from all that...
                      1988 3888
                      Twin Cummins 6BT's 210hp
                      Onan 8KW


                        We love our 175 Hinos as well.

                        Ours have close to 3000 hours, no issues. We run light and have extended trim tabs, and can easily cruise at 16 knots, and top out at 18.
                        1987 3818 Hino 175
                        "Knotty Girl"
                        Prince Rupert B.C.


                          I've had my 3888 since 2002 and have loved it every minute. Cruised the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau/ Hoonah/Sitka in 2003 without a hitch! In 15 years, other than normal maintenance, the only major work I have done is replace the risers with stainless steel, replace the tips on the injectors, and replace the fuel tanks. Great boat for the buck!
                          Two C's 1990 3888 MY, 175 Hinos, Hurth 630 Trannys
                          Past Commodore Emerald Rose Yacht Club
                          Member International Order of the Blue Gavel
                          MMSI: 338030604


                            I just bought my 1989 3818 (175hp Hino EH-700's with 2600 hours) a little over a year ago. We've traveled two long trips (one bringing it about 200 miles up the east coast to home port immediately after purchase, and a vacation this year that was a 200 mile trip north on the ICW for a week, plus quite a few weekend trips 15 miles away to various areas near us), and haven't had any significant problems. Any issues I've had so far have turned out to be something simple (like a coolant hose leaking, a loose cap on one of the transmissions leaking, etc.) I've replaced the stock cast iron exhaust risers with stainless steel exhaust risers from Greenwater Marine (about $1200/each plus around 16 hours of install time...the stern lost around 100lbs going from the cast iron risers to the stainless risers). I've replaced all the seawater hoses and belts, and engine coolant hoses are next on the list. The seawater pump impellers are a real pain to replace (engine mounts in the way), but still do-able. Smitty will surely pop up and tell you that these large Hino's are setup to only extract about 30hp/liter, which is a pretty low horsepower per liter number, and if maintained at least reasonably well will probably outlive all of us. The only crazy expensive part (vs any other similar boat) are the manicoolers, which at best are around $5000 or so each. Local diesel mechanics won't have Hino parts in stock (like they would Cummins, Yanmar, Volvo Penta or other more widespread marine diesels), so assume parts will have to be ordered. However, Bayliner made around 2000 of these boats, most of them with Hino EH-700's, so although parts might not be available in the local store, I kinda doubt that you won't be able to find most parts somewhere via mail or web order.

                            I've also replaced the GPS chartplotter, Radar, and Sonar on mine, plus some flooring, downstairs stereo, added an upstairs stereo, and quite a few other things that are (for the most part) fairly minor/mostly cosmetic stuff. If you've had an older sailboat (I did too), then you're probably used to fixing various stuff as it breaks. When I was replacing the radar, I noticed that the radar arch itself has some spots with rotten wood that I'll have to address sometime in the future, and the vinyl/thin plywood cover for the inside of the radar arch is mostly water-logged. (There's another 100 lbs up high that I can probably get rid of...20 - 30 square feet of waterlogged plywood and vinyl...I'll replace the inside cover with some lightweight waterproof plastic material) Eventually, I might replace the radar arch with an aluminum one (depending on how much rotten wood there actually is...I haven't actually found that much yet)...lighter weight and should never have to touch it again.

                            My significant other and I LOVE this boat. To be 28 years old, it has held up very well, and still runs within 90% or better of it's spec'd performance. (By comparison, most 28 year old cars would already be junk by now...quite a few 28 year old boats are also junk by now). It's comfortable, very well laid-out and roomy, it's been quite reliable, and it was a reasonable price. It's not all that fast (mine's loaded pretty heavily, so I usually run 8-14 knots or something like that...she will run up to 18 knots at wide open throttle/clean bottom/trim tabs ~90% down/etc briefly). Smitty will surely tell you to make sure the engines can throttle-up to 3050 - 3100 rpm's (tachometer accuracy verified) without overheating or blowing clouds of smoke during a sea-trial. I looked at 3 before I bought this one...the first one was in shambles (flybridge so rotten you couldn't stand on one side without risk of it falling through, oil dripping from the filters of both engines, coolant spewing from hoses, rainwater pouring in like a faucet from one corner of the windshield above the galley, no maintenance for 5 years, generator seized, etc...pretty rough shape) and it still ran 18 knots in 2-3 foot seas without anything blowing up, once the bottom was cleaned (although it was very lightly loaded). Any boat that is 20-30 years old is going to take some far, I've been pretty pleased with what I've had to do though.

                            HTH and welcome!



                              You've certainly come to the right place. The collective wisdom, knowledge and willingness to help exhibited by this group is remarkable and, as suggested, scouring the contents of the Forum for answers is well worth the effort.

                              I am a relatively new owner of a 1986 3870 with 2,100 hours and was also shocked by how little effort was put into presenting the available boats at that time, whether by the broker or the owner. It was rare to come across one that didn't look 3 months away from being a derelict. I was fortunate enough to find mine in the Vancouver BC area, nicely protected in a boat house with decent, although sporadic, maintenance documentation. The vessel and mechanical survey is critical, especially by someone who has some experience with Bayliners and Hinos. I had both surveys done at the same time, by two different groups, which made for a bit of a tornado of activity but it did help me to better understand what I was getting into.

                              As has been stated repeatedly, the 175 naturally aspirated Hinos are bullet proof as long as you perform regular maintenance and address the items that keep being mentioned (manicoolers, exhaust risers, etc.). Before we started really using it, even though the survey indicated sound equipment, we had the injectors serviced with them sent out for repair/replacement to a diesel shop that specialized, added dripless shaft seals and fully serviced (oil, filters, impellers, etc.) both mains, genset and transmissions. I still need to evaluate the risers, manicoolers and take appropriate action - sooner than later. The engines start easily, run smoothly and we travel all day at 8-10 knots at about 1,750 rpm, just sipping fuel. We like the slow lane as well.

                              However, some of my attention had to be diverted to non-mechanical aspects of boat ownership since this vessel is 30 years old and much of the equipment and appliances were original. The microwave was first and we are now working on replacing the refer. The waste system needed some serious attention and, while manageable now, is headed for a bigger project this winter. The light fixtures needed to be upgraded or at least the bulbs replaced with LED alternates (no heat, cheap to operate, etc.) so we could see and much of the navigational and safety equipment has been replaced or is in line for replacement.

                              That being said, we love this boat and spend time on it whenever we can, even if it's to work on a project and spend the night in the slip. I highly recommend a covered slip. This boat spent the last half of its years under cover and the gelcoat, canvas and general condition show that.

                              Best wishes with your decision making process. Pound for pound, these boats are everything an active cruiser needs without being mired in debt - they look great as well with that long sloping bow.
                              David and Beth
                              Seattle Area - Berthed in La Conner

                              1986 Bayliner 3870 "Hokey Pokey"

                              1995 SeaRay 20 Signature "Flapdoodle"
                              1993 Bayliner 3058 "SeaYa"