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 gas or diesel 4270?

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Audrey II Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 00:10:06
I'm currently on the market for a 4270. I have my eyes on a 98 with merc.8.2s I'm not sure what the Cruising speed or GPH is and I can't find this info, but I like the boat. I also just found a Diesel 2003 for about about $10,000 more which seems too good to be true but then it is down south To far for a drive to check out. Any thoughts would be helpful.
18   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
abalmuth Posted - Jan 03 2009 : 17:38:10
Great choice on the Uniesse -Tim Allen made a 'Binford' version of his ;-)
abalmuth Posted - Jan 03 2009 : 16:53:13
As a long time Cruisers owner and someone who thinks the 4270 is a great boat (diesel) I would have taken the Trojan 44 over it as well.. Your boat is very high up on my list if I were to go back to an express
Audrey II Posted - Jan 03 2009 : 14:25:27
This was an old post I was surprised to see it resurface. I did go with a diesel boat however I didn't buy the 4270. I was out looking at several 4270s when I came across a Trojan 44' Express and fell in love both the wife and I know this was the boat the moment we stepped on board. A bit more than we wanted to spend but well worth it. I'm not sure what she burns yet but it just doesn't matter. Some times in life you just have to say what the F---!
notimetosail Posted - Jan 02 2009 : 15:08:20
My friend had a 1999 4270 with cat 3116's. He burned 12-14 gph at 21k cruise. I had a 2001 3870 with 420 cats and burned 18gph at 24k cruise. This is a heavy boat and gas just doesn't heave the torque to maneuver it. It takes forever to get up on plane or get the boat moving with gas. Go with Diesel.

There's a 2000 4270 with gas at Red Eye YC on Middle river, MD if your interested.
Audrey II Posted - Oct 03 2008 : 19:55:05
Thank you all for your input I must agree for the $10K it's a no brainer however both boats turned out to be rats. I did however buy a Trojan 44 express with diesels I'm very happy with my choice. unfortunately it's so late in the season, but I've had a few weeks to enjoy and I'm already looking forward to next year.
RWS Posted - Aug 15 2008 : 21:29:26
It's true that major repairs and parts are more expensive for diesels, and clean fuel and a good filtration system are critical.

Diesel engines generally have a larger oil capacity than gas engines.

Here's the executive summary...

As far as maintenance, diesels have
no apark plugs to change
no ignition wires to replace
no distributor
no distributor cap to replace
no coil to fail
no points, condenser or magnetic hall effect solid state ignoition to fail
non-common rail diesels have no electronic modules (ECM) to fail
non-common rail diesels have no electronic fuel injectors to fail
no mass air flow sensors
no carbueretors
less explosion risk nearly twice the range
less fire/explosion risk
no odorless carbon monoxide posioning potential

SLW Posted - Aug 13 2008 : 09:50:19
RWS, without knowing if the diesel is under-underpriced or in poor condition, or if the gasser is OVER-priced, wouldn't you agree that a depreciation formula cannot be applied?

While better than replacing or rebuilding diesel engines, I wouldn't necessarily say that paying for full boat and engine surveys and then walking away is being unscathed. The most-respected boat surveyor in this area will charge about $1,000 to inspect ONLY the boat. Anything more than pulling the engine and tranny dipsticks will drastically increase that number.

I think the first step is to determine how one plans to use the boat. Don't buy a gasser if you want low-speed handling and cruising range. Don't buy a complicated, high-performance diesel if you're going to let it sit at the dock and/or not step up to the maintenance requirements, or if you're stretching your budget to get into it in the first place.

Don't buy abused or neglected diesels. I can't be the only guy who knows several people who bought a "great low-hour boat with diesels", only to essentially buy it AGAIN with maintenance costs...

Next determine the fair market value of each boat. There should be a wide delta between those two numbers. Once armed with the data, investigate the reason behind the discrepancy.

Use common knowledge to do your pre-survey inspection (read: FREE - use a friend if necessary). If a diesel boat is cheap and looks beaten, why pay thousands to confirm that? This is a buyers market.
RWS Posted - Aug 13 2008 : 07:01:31
5 years and $10,000 = $2,000/year depreciation cost

Make an offer and GET A SURVEY with a FULL ENGINE SURVEY included.

Worst case - you walk away unscathed.

Best case, you got a great deal.

walterv Posted - Aug 12 2008 : 10:13:55
Crusader recommends the optimum cruise should be 3/4 of WOT (extended period of running). If other manufactures follow suit, then this boat would be best run at 3750 rpm which would give it a fuel burn of 35GPH.

Take the above Cruiser numbers as a guideline, more than likely your fuel burn will be more. With my boat, in the beginning of the season (boat is not loaded with gear, food, water and full tanks of fuel) my speed at cruise rpm is faster and my GPH is less by a few GPH. Wind and current will also affect fuel burn.

SLW has some good points in his post, I agree with his thinking.

As others have said, gas vs diesel all depends on your intended use. If you plan on putting some serious hours on the boat I would consider diesel your best option.

If the diesel boat is in good shape, then being that it is newer and has diesel, 10k more is a steal. Maybe this seller is in over his head and needs to dump the boat, lots of that going on these days.


abalmuth Posted - Aug 12 2008 : 04:28:50
As others have said how you use the boat would have a major impact on the value of diesels for you, both in Fun to drive, cost & resale
A full survey is a must on either boat
It looks like a good 20GPH difference between the two, which is a $70-$100 per hour saving for the diesel- it doesn’t take long to makeup purchase $$ here.
Running a diesel boat has been more ‘fun’ for me
As Kenny said 5 years newer and with diesels- with a good full survey, it would be my choice
RamSport47 Posted - Aug 11 2008 : 10:59:32
SLW...we have a new name for him...I'll tell you next weekend, if I see you. You'll like it.
SLW Posted - Aug 11 2008 : 10:48:34
It's not worth $10,000 more if the diesels are in crappy condition.

Perhaps Hogan, you should've put THAT IN BOLD!!!

Five years newer, with diesels and it's only $10K more? Which boat is atypically priced? If it's the diesel, then alarms should be going off. Big, loud alarms - louder than the ones Cruisers installed that will be telling you that something bad happened below the cockpit and you'll need a home equity loan, a downgrade to basic cable and will have to start brown-bagging your lunches.

There's no guarantee of greater resale, as the seller of the '03 boat may be experiencing. If you abuse the boat and or the engines, a diesel boat can punish the owner as much, if not more than a gasser.

As far as gas vs. diesel in big boats go, I'll throw in my 2 cents, as I have lots of experience in a similar gas boat, and I've driven my neighbors diesel 4270.

I take most of the "too big for gas" discussions you hear around the dock and in forums with a grain of salt. Many of those comments come from regurgitating someone elses opinions, which in-turn are based on broad generalizations instead of case-by-case data.

The gas data above is interesting however. You'll notice that the optimum efficiency of .67 isn't achieved until the engines are turning 4000 RPM. That's a respectable cruise speed, and all in all not bad "efficiency" for a big gasser, but the engines have to work hard to get that big boat up and out of the water. Anyone who wants to do much cruising should look at that carefully.

My neighbor probably should've bought a gas 4270. He's at his budgetary limit for boat expenses and on top of that, logs less than 5 hours per year. His fuel is getting stale and mechanics qualified to work on his electronic beasts are scarce and expensive.

I can say however, that it handles like a dream. She JUMPS at slow speed and responds to rudder input at idle like my boat does at 24 knots. Relatively quiet, and smooth and the Volvos are almost smoke-free. She takes longer to get on plane than my gasser does, but cruise speed is higher, she's more efficient and did I mention slow-speed handling??? :) There's a lot to be said for that!

Most of this comes down to how you plan to use the boat, but please don't take the purchase of neglected or abused diesels lightly.
HOGAN Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 10:05:05
It's not worth $10,000 more if the diesels are in crappy condition.
van lafermine Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 09:57:47
I just took delivery of a IPS diesel 4460 regal with flow scans. It is a similar size boat as the 4270 Cruisers. I can tell you by looking at the chart that is posted that I get almost twice the mileage that the gas engins get. At low RPM. Under 8mph I get 4mpg. At that rate I dont care if the diesels are 50k more. You will make out in the long run on both fuel costs and resale. Just my .02 cents.
RamSport47 Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 08:07:48
I would definately go with the 5 year newer diesel powered boat for only $10,000 more....5 years newer PLUS diesel!!!
CurrentSea Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 07:54:21
If it was just $10K, its worth it.
You will get that back in a heartbeat ins savings and resale.
Boats I am looking at, the differnce between the cheapest gas and the cheapest diesel is $55K.
That is not justified in my eyes considering I do about 50 hours a season.
My diesel days will come when when I relocate to Florida and boat all year round, but by then
my boat style may change as well!
Woodsong Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 07:35:06
for only $10k more diesels are a no brianer, no matter how you boat, in my opinion. Your resale will be so much easier with the diesels as well.
Back when I was shopping when I bought my silverton I also looked hard at a gas powered 4270 (great layout!). I tried to get fuel burn data from Cruisers but they didn't have it at their fingertips since production on the 4270 stopped. Their engineers came back saying the fuel burn data on the 460 express would be very similar. I've scanned it and attached below:

mbroman Posted - Aug 07 2008 : 05:24:45
Depends on how you're going to use the boat. If you plan to hang around the marina or cruise on a lake then gas is fine. I would guess that at cruise, with gas you would burn 35-40 gph. I burn 20 gph at 21kts with 350 CATS.

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