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Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Old 06-24-2008, 06:17 PM
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Default Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

I am purchasing a 1999 albemarle 305 express with 300 Cat 3116's.
We sea trialed the boat yesterday and today.
The engines reach there WOT of 2800rpm's. She runs 28.5 knots
But at the recommended cruise of 2400 rpm's she only hits 22.9 knots.
If any one has some solid numbers on the WOT and cruise speed of this boat it would be greatly appreciated.
If the cruise speed is 22.9 knots then I need to look for another boat..
All of the posting for sale n the Internet state that it should have around a 27 knot cruise at 2400 rpm's and run over 30 knots at WOT..
We think that the boat may be under propped.. Is there a govenor on the 3116's?

Thanks
Old 06-24-2008, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

jbonnet.

Sorry I can't offer any input to answer your questions, but my only experience is with my 248XF which is gas powered and much smaller than the Albe your considering. I might suggest that you also post this question on the Albemarle boat owners site (http://www.albemarleboatowners.com/index.html), or e-mail Ted who is the head of service for Albemarle (Ted Haigler = thaigler@albemarleboats.com). I'm sure someone will weigh in on this site in a day or two. Good luck. -TomT
Old 06-25-2008, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Don't have much experience with the exact combo you are looking at, but I have a lot of experience with 3116 CAT's and 31/32 Blackfins with that power combination. You don't say whether your boat has a tower, which will knock 2 kts off the top end and cruise speed. There is a governor on the 3116 - it is at 3000 rpm, which if you ran it in neutral at full throttle is what it should reach. 31 Blackfin's with twin 300 hp 3116's and Marlin towers are 21-21.5 kt cruise and 27 kt top end. The Blackfin has a 21 degree hull, which is the same as the Albemarle; the BF weighs 16,500 lbs and the Alby 15,000 lbs; the BF is 30'11"L and 11'11"W, the Alby 30'4"L and 11'6"W; both hold about 300 gallons of fuel and 40 gallons of water, so I would not expect the Alby to be much faster than the similar sized BF. 600 hp is just not going to get a 27 kt cruise on a boat that size - it is just advertising hype. Repowered 31 BF's with twin 380 hp Cummins are 27-28 kt cruise, 31 kt top end boats - part of that is Cummins allows a higher cruise rpm - 2800, which is just 200 rpm off top (3000 rpm) and having 760 hp on tap. If you really want more speed, assuming the CAT's have the upsized turbo's, you can have them recalibrated at 325 or 350 hp (which are the other two versions made which are identical except for fuel flow and boost pressure) if you really need a knot or two more.
Old 06-25-2008, 07:40 AM
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Default RE: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

I had a 1999 32 Albemarle express with 300 hp 3116's. The rule of thumb for 32's, whether with the 300 or 350 Cats was a cruise of 24 knots at 2400 rpm (with tower on boat). I had my wheels prop-scanned so that both motors turned about 2850 rpm wot (turned about 2800 before I had them scanned). At that rate, I gained about a knot for every 100 rpm, and my top end was about 29 knots. FWIW - the 32 ran a lot better (faster) with the tabs all the way down.

In any case, there was always some variation between 32's. My fishing buddy also had a 1999 32 Albe, and we had sequential serial numbers (his was built right before mine). Equipped the same way (he didn't scan his wheels though), he only got about 23 knots at cruise.

When I had my wheels done, the pitches were different, and there was a significant weight difference between the two. I felt that it made a big difference having them done.

Bottom line is that, by playing with the wheels, you should see 24-24.5 knots at cruise out of that boat, with a wot of about 29 knots. You're not that far off now . . .
Old 06-25-2008, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Thanks Guys.

I was going by the numbers that are printed on Yachtworld and other boat selling forums.
They all state that the 305 with the 300 cat's should cruise at 27 knots and 30 at WOT.
I called Albemarle and found out that it should cruise right around 23 to 24 knots....
I guess the 27 knots was wishful thinking...

Old 06-25-2008, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Not sure why 3 kts in cruise speed should make that much difference to you. On a 55 mile trip, it will save you exactly 9 minutes. If you are doing offshore fishing, I will tell you from many years of experience in the Northeast, that more than 50% of the time you will be in 3-4' seas, and won't be able to run more than 19 or 20 kts in a 31' boat. Those 3116's in the Alby will get you 1.2 nmpg at 24 kts, which at $5.50/gal for diesel is a nice savings over a similar sized and built boat running 750+ hp and 1.0 nmpg. If you really want 30 kts cruise in real world offshore conditions, buy a 52' Viking or Cabo, because anything much smaller isn't going to do it.
Old 06-25-2008, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

I was mainly concerned about the boat having the correct props.
I am still going to proceed with the purchase.
Just didn't want to buy a boat that wasn't performinng properly.

Old 06-26-2008, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

As far as props are concerned, I would check with Albemarle to see exactly what they put on when new - that will give you a base line. From there it is a question of how much you want to spend to fine tune it. Cheap is taking the props and having scans and computer balancing done (about $400 a pair); expensive is trying several slighlty different, but equivalent in load designs - more or less cup, 3 blade v. 4 blade. A perfect prop is probably worth 1 to 1-1/2 kts over something just close. Whe you sea trialed the boat, with photo-tachs (you didn't just rely on the dash units), did both engines turn the same exact rpm, and if so did you check the boost pressure to see if the load was the same on both engines? You will need to do both of those to get the props done right, as with diesels proper loading is the key to longevity.
Old 06-26-2008, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

JBonnet: Hold on here! Before you make a significant purchase of that boat, there's a little more to do. #1) copy the serial numbers down and contact Cat to find out the history of the motors. #2) Verify with a photo-tach the exact max RPMs of each engine. Rarely do you ever see an electrical tach read properly and I have a thousands of hours with 3208 Cats. #3) I have seen newly scanned, newly designed props give an extra 1 knot or so of speed vs. older wheels and designs. When I read your first post, 300 HP 3116 Cats and a 23 knot cruise sounded about right in that particular deep V boat. I think you have to figure on a 23 knot cruise.

Adding "more prop" means adding pitch to the prop that further loads the engine which will reduce the engine's RPMs below a maximum of 2800. This would mean the engines are operating outside the design limitations in an overloaded situation causing huge increases in internal heat causing failure. If anything, I would "pitch down", decrease pitch by 1", which decreases stress on the engine and yes, there would be a slight loss of speed.

The 3116 Cat is not a great engine, but it is OK at 300 HP. At 350 HP, there were issues and it then evolved into the 3126 Cat then onto today's C7 Cat. Additionally, the 3116 Cats had some French built "soft blocks" that were nightmares but I am pretty sure the issue was fixed before those engines were made. The Cummins 6BTA at 300 HP is a much simpler engine with better torque and speed throughout the RPM range if you continue to shop boats, there are great deals out there! Good luck!
Old 06-26-2008, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

There is a super clean 305 Alby for sale in my marina in Baltimore at a real fair price.........speaking with the owner, the performance sounds exactly like what you have been quoted.........I was on one two years ago and it was a true tank offshore........an excellent boat!
Old 06-26-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Thanks for all the great info guys.
I contacted Albemarle and verified that the boat should cruise at 23 knots.
I was going off the numbers that are printed on Yachtworld from other used 305's with the same power. (Numbers where not accurate) They where all stating a 27 knot cruise which made us think that maybe we had a problem with the tachs or props.
I had engines surveyed by Rich from Inlet diesel and he used a photo-tach to get the rpm's which where right on the money. The gauges on the dash where within range also.
I was pretty pumped when I started looking at this particular model becaues of the high cruise of 27 knots. We fish the canyon quite a lot and 27 knots sounded better than 23.
I am going ahead with the purchase anyway. The boat is in great shape and both the engine and hull survey's went great.

Old 06-26-2008, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Good luck with the purchase. Make sure you use CAT SAEO 30w oil - it really cuts down on the smoking/soot, and is the only oil approved for the 3116's - last time I bought some it was $18.50/gal at Ransome CAT in Tom's River; and you need 12-13 gallons to do both motors, depending on how much you get out (they hold 6.6 each). Also, since the aftercoolers on 3116 are fresh water cooled, if you are thinking about changing the coolant, you should do the aftercooler cleaning at the same time. CAT ELC coolant is $14.00/gal and you need 14 gallons to do both motors.
Old 06-26-2008, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

jbonnet - 6/26/2008 5:38 AM

They where all stating a 27 knot cruise . . .
If you consider "cruise" to be 200 rpm off the top, 26-27 knots would be about right . . .

P.S. I'm pretty sure the "French block" issue with 3116's was well before 1999 . . . and I agree with LI32 on using Cat oil and Cat coolant . . .
Old 06-26-2008, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

LI32 - You are right on about the oil. When I had the engines surveyed the mechanic saw that the last oil change had 15 -40 and he highly recommended that we switch to 30w with ( C4?) I think that was the additive. He also stated that the engines where not the ones with the bad blocks. (Thank god)
The boat did have a surge tub added to the port exhaust because of the way the boat was designed it could get water into the engine will the motors where off if it pitched the wrong way.
I am going to have the props done to see if it puts the cruise speed at 24 knots.

Can you cruise the 300 hp 3116's at 2600 rpm's? The mechanic told me 2400... Maybe that is on the safe side..
Old 06-29-2008, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Quotes from "Diesel Boat" on 3116 Oil and Cruise RPMs

Multi-viscosity oil should not be used in 3116/3126 MUI engines. Your owners manual is out-dated as the oil specifications have changed. Use any single grade oil with an API service rating of CF-4 or better. This includes Shell Rotella T 30W and Cat SAEO.



I believe that one key to troublefree longevity with these engines is to be sure that they are propped to 2850rpm WOT and not to cruise them over 2250rpm.

Larry

GL with your new Albie
Nick
Old 06-30-2008, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

CAT rates all its smaller engines - 3116, 3126, 3208, C-7 & C-9 at continuous cruise of 2400. That being said, I've been told by more than one CAT dealer, that 2500 rpm cruise is okay, and won't reduce engine life much if done for no more than an 90 minutes at a time. I usually run mine right at 2400 rpm, which is 21.5 kts. I do run them at wot for 2 minutes on the way in just to make sure it is turning up to full power as with mechanical diesels, there is no other way to tell what the load factor is. CAT rates its engines based upon the total amount of fuel consumed (30,000 gallons for 3116, 3126, 3208 & C-7); the 300 hp 3116's burn 9.7 gallons at 2400 rpm, which means if cruised continuously, they would be good for 3,100 hrs - since the average consumption will be lower, if properly cared for, the should be good for 4,000-6,000 hours. The key to diesel engine life is clean fuel and good cooling - change the impellers yearly, every three years clean the heat exchanger core and every 1,000 hours or five years clean the aftercoolers and replace the coolant. I also have my oil analysed by a lab (Blackstone) at 75 hours and again when I change it at the end of the season (typical usage for me is 150-180 hrs/yr). I also change the 10 micron Rcaors and the 2 micron on engine filters every 50 hours. I also tend to buy all my parts, including filters & fluids from CAT - it doesn't cost much more.
Old 07-08-2008, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Albemarle 305 owners - I need some help

Thanks guys for all the great info.
I closed on the boat last week and she is being hauled to have the props done this week.
Can't wait for the first canyon run of the season

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