Blackfin 38 combi ??

Old 10-26-2012, 11:13 PM
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Default Blackfin 38 combi ??

I'm looking at a Blackfin 38' Combi. Anyone with experiance with these boats? I need some advice. How do these boats compare to other boats in the size range? 35 cabo, 37 Bertram.
This company is no longer in business. Is this going to be a problem?
The engines are 550hp Detroit 6V92 DDEC's. Any good or bad reviews on them? Any idea of fuel burn?
I know it's a lot of questions but don't want to make a big mistake. I'm running a 30' Grady Marlin now and am undecided about the move up.
Thanks for any advice
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:07 AM
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Comparing your Grady to the Blackfin is like comparing a matchbox car to a Sherman tank!!!!! Read up on these 2 links below......
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:17 AM
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38' Blackfin is a great ride for our choppy short spaced waves here in Texas. Better ride than the 35' Cabo, and probably a close call between the Bertram and Blackfin. I've looked at several 37 Bertrams and was really impressed with the size of the bridge and cockpit.

I've looked at the Blackfin you're talking about. Everything I've read indicates that the DDEC Detroits are expensive to work on and tend to have more issues than their mechanical counterparts. Additionally, a lot of people will tell you that at 550 hp the detroits are more prone to failure. Just too much horsepower out of the block. Mix the DDEC into the equation and you have the possibility of an expensive hand grenade.

I've spent the last 10 months looking at diesel boats in the 30 to 40' range. I thought I knew something about these sized boats until I started getting serious about purchasing one. is a great place to read up on different engines.

I see you're in Portland, I'm over on the otherside of Corpus, North Padre Island.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:29 AM
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The ride in a head sea and following sea on the Blackfin is legendary. With a deep vee in a folowing sea, you just give her more throttle and she runs straight.
The 550 HP 92's are good engines as they don't exceed the 1 HP per cu. in. As far as the DDEC's go, the 565 HP are also good engines as long as you don't run them too hard or overprop them. I just remanned mine at 2700 hours. In this trim they are good for about 2-3 K hours.
The DDEC's in 625 HP trim are hand grenades and good for about 1K hours. As far as fuel burn goes, at 1980 RPM's I burn about 40 per hour and cruise at 23 knts. I would think the Combi might have better numbers? Best of luck on whatever you decide.


If you are interested in what's involved in a reman of 6v92's:

Last edited by SeasonTicket; 04-10-2014 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:32 PM
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Mine was a 1997, one of the last built by the original company, I believe. Built like a tank, largely easy to access every thing, not too tough to work on. Electrical systems reasonably well engineered, plenty of capacity, but not nearly as neat as it could have been-

Volvo TAMD122P's 600hp- 30 kts WOT, easy 20-26 kt cruise with a full tower and medium load. I planned .7 mpg, worked out pretty good- I could squeeze her up near 1.0 mpg with a light load.

I loved that damn boat, and of all the toys I've had, she is the one I wish I'd kept-

good luck!

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SeasonTicket View Post

The 550 HP 92's are good engines as they don't exceed the 1 HP per cu. in.

The DDEC's in 625 HP trim are hand grenades and good for about 1K hours.

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Old 10-28-2012, 06:42 AM
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A few interesting things about Blackfin, which should ease any concerns about them being out of business since 1998. First, most everything that was used on the boat came from a first rate supplier (perko, groco, hynautic, blue-seas, etc), so getting parts and things likely to break isn't hard. Second, most of the late 80's and newer (38 Combi first built in 1989) evolved to the point where there are no real flaws in design or materials. lastly, the systems are well engineered, so the boat's systems are easy to work on and maintain.
It is not really fair to compare it to a 35 Cabo which is a lot smaller - the BF 38 cockpit is 50% bigger than the 35 Cabo's or the Bertram 37, which is a Flybridge boat; the Bertram competition is the 38 Special, which although a nice boat, is based on a 70's hull design to run on 320 or 375 hp per side - it is not the wave punder the Blackfin is.
On fuel burn, with DD's, you are looking at 0.65 nmpg at 2,000 rpm running at 25 kts; the 4 stroke engined boats Volvo 122P or CAT 3196 do a little better at cruise and a lot better at trolling speeds, jut because of the difference in engine efficiency.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:58 AM
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I have looked at both the Cabo and the Blackfin. I can tell you from walking around on both that you could set the Cabo inside of the Blackfin and still have room to fish. If you are referring to the one in PortA. I looked at that boat and it is a fine machine. Well taken care of. I have looked at 5 38 Combi's all over the country. That one was one of the better I saw. If you want to know about any of the ones listed feel free to email. I also have a Grady. It is a 263 and I as well am looking to move up. Going to look at a few different boats next week before my wife and I make the final call. Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:50 AM
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Default hey 38 any chance this is your boat?

I'm looking to move up from my 87 29 combi with 454 crusdaders. Thought I wanted a go fast outboard like a fountain lx but that sort 9f went out window when I test drove one and did not love the ride. Any one know about this boat?
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:47 PM
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Only experience on a Blackfin was a smaller 31 Combi. Rode very well from coastal NJ to Tom's Canyon, and didn't roll too badly on the drift. Fishboxes in the cockpit deck had zero insulation, and were just above the engines. The owner added insulation inside the boxes, so held ice a bit better but no real room for any fish.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Send your Marlin this way.
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Old 08-19-2017, 05:23 PM
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I had a 38' Flybridge as well as a 32' Flybridge. The 38' was hands down, a far better boat than the 32', and I really liked my 32.

Good luck. They are great boats.
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