Commercial Salmon Trolling Forum

3208 CAT?

Troubleshooting, repair, and how-to's related to marine systems.

3208 CAT?

Postby Master fisher » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:13 pm

Hi, I just purchased a 38 foot Canadian built fiberglass power troller and engine that's in their now seized up. It looks like it just needs to come out, but anyways it came with lots of brand new Cat parts for the 3208. well I'm thinking about going with a newer 3208 with a turbo just of parts reason controls gauges wiring harnesses and most of all important match right up down to the prop. But others are telling me not to and just to re-power it with something more fuel efficient for trolling. So what engine do you guys suggest for this troller? And Would it match up? Or stay with the 3208? Also has a brand new gear box and transmission with 2;1:1 reduction. It also came with a couple spare 3 blade props and a four blade prop thats on their now...thanks for the help! looking forward to hear some input.....
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Salty » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:34 am

Everyone I know who has a John Deere is very happy. Just took a friend fishing who was amazed at how quiet it is.
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Johnnyt707 » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:16 am

keep the cat very reliable not a ton of computer crap and depending on the configuration not that bad fuel wise. my 2 cents. they will have to pry cat 3208 425hp turbo from my cold dead hands!!!!!!!
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Master fisher » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:42 pm

Well I here the 3208 is a disposable engine. I had a diesel mechanic recommend John deer, Cummings, and he thought Isuzu would be best for what I'm going to be doing with the boat most efficient said they get 50k-75k hours out of Timber Haulers. I'm still thinking about going with a 3208 I can get one all re-furbished from cat for 7k plus my engine with a 1 year warranty. Has anyone heard anything about Isuzu? Good/Bad? Is their a mechanics in SE to work on them?
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby paul » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:40 am

Are you talking about the new computerized Isuzu? Any mechanic can work on the older ones.
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Sobie2 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:05 am

Well my father (who is on this forum) has a 6 cylinder Isuzu 130 hp diesel in his 40' troller and that is a sweetheart of an engine.

The 210 hp naturally aspirated 3208 is a forever engine, the Turbo 375hp is the high side of a a good compromise of hp and the turning point of reliability for that motor. It is still a good motor. But maybe not for trolling, the reason being that a turbo engine in a commercial application needs to be running the rpm range where the turbo is spinning and providing boost. Logging most of your time trolling along at idle is a great way to kill a turbo (they need lubrication from the supply oil line, and they use exhaust pressure to spin otherwise you get hot spots on it and fouling). Your 2:1 reduction could get your closer to the operating engine range where a turbo would be spooled up, but I bet that isn't a good troller setup either. Your Canadian 38' most likely isn't a planing hull (though some snowball 38's are). Trolling is all about pinching pennies and your boat (if not a planing hull) should have enough HP to maintain hull speed in sharp steep chop and high seas, yet also be super smooth and quiet at your trolling speeds.

Your money would be well spent to have a marine engineer hear your needs and calculate a hp calculation, transmission ratio, and prop. If you have the clearance you may want to be swinging a larger diameter wheel than an engineer would normally spec out. So it is extra important to find a person who knows about trolling. Then take that information to an equipment dealer. Don't let a suit at an engine dealer sell you what he happens to have in stock. Then when you find a possible candidate try to look up videos on youtube of the motor running to hear it. Also consider your exhaust situation, dry stack, or wet exhaust.

Check out pacificboatbrokers.com and find similar boat setups like yours. There most of their listings have stuff like engines, transmissions, and props. Other boat brokerages often have that stuff as well though sometimes they are hidden in surveys as attachments.

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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Master fisher » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:44 am

Thanks for the reply... The boat is a displacement haul, so it's only going to go 8 knots that's the haul speed you could push 9 knots but now are burning fuel and plowing water... the non turbo 3208 is the original motor that was in their and it lasted 35 years so I'm still thinking about buying a refurbished one from Cat, the 3208 is $7900 but I would get a $2000 core charge back so I'm thinking about going this rout... What do guy's think? Non turbo? Re power?
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Hans2 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:07 am

For that kind of money, I'd go with a non-turbo 3208 all day long. You'd be lucky to get a decent running takeout John Deere with gear for that money, and then you have all of the costs and time that would go along with switching everything over.
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby JKD » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:13 am

The non-turbo Cat 3208 is a tough [liner-less] engine that can basically idle for hours (as in a troller application) without any problems. Without the need for high-speed operation such as racing for sets as may be required for a gillnet or seine boat, a turbo installation is usually a waste of money and fuel for a conventional salmon troller. I would recommend sticking with the same engine footprint so you don't have to modify engine [and reduction gear] mounts. IMHO - Your salmon season is rapidly sneaking up on you and with the option you seem to be leaning toward you won't have additional installation/modification delays between now and then.
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Master fisher » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:42 pm

I agree with the non-turbo 3208 I think it's going to be the best rout all around get the same engine everything will match up I can't seem to find a manufacture re-furbished 3208 that is non-turbo, I guess it's time to make a few phone calls. I spoke with the only cat dealer in SE which is in Juneau so I have them on speed dial if I need anything, their not to far away. I appreciate all the in put. I have a smaller boat ready to go, so I can fish this season... Thanks again for all the help. If I should know anything else on or about the 3208 I would love to hear it?
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby paul » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:58 pm

Are you sure that is a factory rebuild from Cat? It seems way too cheap.
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Master fisher » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:43 pm

Called today their Remanufactured re-furbished for the one I need is 9k with a 2k core charge plus free shipping and 1 year warranty
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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Sobie2 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:28 am

It is what it is. So you gonna pull the trigger or what? There are some youtube videos of 3208 210 hp motors running and they sound nice.

In all honesty, that price isn't to bad a price for a shiny new motor that will give you countless of hours of reliable service. The only thing you are missing is the opportunity to go for some common rail technology that is less smokey, quieter, and possibly better on fuel. I'd for sure spend some money on a new upgraded exhaust/muffler system to go along with your new 3208. I don't know enough about wet vs dry for your application, but if you have the ability to put that stack way up high and really sound proof your engine well, you will be really happy. Lots of folks put rain gear lockers in an exhaust stack so you get nice warm rain gear...

Don't forget to keep some kind of heat on in your engine bay when your boat is not in use. Even a new engine will get crusty in a hurry if left cold. Our super moist air condenses moisture on all cold metal surfaces but keeping a bit of heat on prolongs the life your motor and its accessories.

Some good reading:

https://marine.cat.com/cda/files/101496 ... ulsion.pdf

http://oya.com/service/mechanical/3208_Maintenance.pdf

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Re: 3208 CAT?

Postby Once and Future » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:05 pm

Speaking of keeping the engine room warm in winter, the previous owner of my boat had installed a frost plug heater in the engine (a Jimmy 671). I was dubious that it would burn out quickly, but it has been 4 or 5 winters now with that thing plugged in continuously for 3 months each. Not only does the engine stay toasty, but the engine room gets no condensation either. Pleasantly surprised.

I just asked my wife off the top of her head what the electric bill is to run that and a 500 watt heater in the focsle. She thinks $90 a month. So we can be sure it's somewhere between nine dollars and 300. :)
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