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Catalina 275 Inboard Diesel

Apr 15, 2018
8
Catalina 22 Inland Lake
Hello,

I'm considering purchasing a new Catalina 275. I recently got a quote back from the local dealer which had all of the pricing on it with available options. Everything they priced was close to my expectations except the standard diesel engine. That was a price adder of $17,633?! :yikes:

I told the dealer that I was stunned by that price and they said they were too. I could buy a new economy car for that price or a nice used car. Could someone help educate me on why this is so expensive?

I checked and I can get a 10 hp outboard for around for around $3500. I would mainly sail on a lake so unless there is something I don't know I would just use an outboard motor and save myself about $14,000.

Thanks for your help. This is the only active Catalina 275 community I know of so I may ask some more questions as my wife and I consider this.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,530
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
1. it's a boat;
2. the market is incredibly small compared to virtually any other consumer article, including cars. Boats are essentially hand made, crafted;
3. price out a new diesel with gear (transmission) and controls, motor mounts, prop shaft, prop, plus all of the plumbing and electrical items associated with it, fuel tank, etc., and then compare that to what Catalina wants to charge you for those plus installing it all and taking responsibility for it (warranty/support);
4. check comparable prices; for example, Marshall Catboats gets $16,900 to add a diesel to the Sanderling.
 
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Likes: FastOlson
Jan 18, 2016
528
Catalina 30 Dana Point
Ummm..... My standard advice to folks that say "I wanna buy as sailboat and learn to sail" is a aged Catalina 27 with an outboard. Why? Cause the C-27 is/was a great boat, and an outboard is way cheaper/more reliable than an inboard, and you can get one every day of the week for ~3K. (disposable boat)

New 275?

Can you even get a 275 without an engine? With an outboard well? If so, it's a no-brainer. For a 27 ft boat not in massive swells, the outboard wins every time (cost/reliability/maintenance/access). 275 sport looks like an inboard with a saildrive, and it doesn't look like an option.
 
Jun 6, 2016
149
Catalina 275 Wilmette, IL
This is the first I have heard that the engine is now an option. Back in 2013, it was initially proposed that there was going to be four different configurations: fin keel/inboard, fin keel/outboard, wing keel/inboard, & wing keel/outboard. When Catalina finalized the C275, there was only the fin keel/inboard. It was my understanding this was to develop a one design fleet which was being pushed by the Toronto dealership. Having Lake Michigan approach record lows in the fall of 2013 (we now are at record highs), I convinced Catalina to sell me a wing keel. As far as I know, I became the first one off.

You may want to check on how many C275's have been sold w/o an engine. You too could become a one off which could make resale more difficult. Personally, I wanted my new boat to have two things: a flushing toilet and a diesel. For starting, I feel the diesel is much more reliable. I haven't owned a small outboard that hasn't been fickle at some point. Plus I feel the location of the prop is better than hanging off the stern, especially on Lake Michigan. As for the price of the engine, everything costs more when its for a boat. But if $14k is make/break to ownership of a C275, then skip the engine. And you'll save a little weight, but lets keep this in perspective, it is still a Catalina. If I was buying a 27' with an outboard, I would seriously look at the Seascape/Beneteau First 27. But I didn't want an outboard and my wife wouldn't have appreciated the spray. But it would be fun to be scooting along.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,530
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
an outboard is way...more reliable than an inboard
I wholeheartedly disagree, and I think many others will, too.

An inboard diesel in a sailboat is far more desirable than an outboard, for many reasons.
 
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Likes: FastOlson
Apr 15, 2018
8
Catalina 22 Inland Lake
I want to address some of the comments. This is not my first sailboat. I have had a Catalina 22 for a few years and wanted to move up to something more comfortable that would allow us spend longer on the lake. I envision this being a boat I would use 25-30 years before I retire.

When I received the pricing from the dealer it appears the Catalina 275 website is significantly outdated. The wing keel is still an option. A marine toilet is now an option and not standard. They now have an in mast furling mainsail now which I am interested in learning more about.

Going back to my original question, I was very interested in the inboard diesel but after seeing the price I have hard time justifying it. Yes it would be much nicer than an outboard but the price difference is very significant.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,530
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Going back to my original question, I was very interested in the inboard diesel but after seeing the price I have hard time justifying it. Yes it would be much nicer than an outboard but the price difference is very significant.
Your original question was:
Could someone help educate me on why this is so expensive?
I think I answered that in my first reply, reply #2 to this thread. But let me be more clear, if you don't mind. It's so expensive because the sailboat market is very small, and therefore the economies of scale one is accustomed to for most consumer goods don't apply.

First, there's the engine manufacturer. In this case it's Yanmar. Their biggest market is for tractor engines, as far as I'm aware, and their marine engines are adapted from tractor engines, "marine-zed," as the expression goes. To do so requires engineering, manufacturing, and support, and for a small market the fixed costs are spread across far fewer customers than for tractors. So, the engine price has to include that. Yes, you can buy a very good used car, maybe even a cheap econo-car, for what a new Yanmar 15HP engine costs.

Second, Catalina has to supply all of the infrastructure that this requires, including electrical, plumbing, control, fuel tank, etc. And, they have to install it all, and take responsibility for it - support it. This warranty and support cost must be accounted for according to the estimated response requirement for the life of the warranty.

That's the best I can do at the moment, but I hope it helps to understand why these things cost so much.
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,352
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
Just to provide some perspective, in 2018 we re-powered our boat with a new Betamarine25, and the (in a crate) cost of the engine, trans, panel and a couple of options was about $10K. I did all of the "semi-skilled" part of the labor and hired out the building of the bed-log mods, plus some overdue electrical upgrades... which added about 5K to the total.
Worth every penny, and we plan to amortize it out. :)
As others have noted, there are a lot of ancillary parts and engineering that goes into a diesel installation. It adds a LOT to the usefulness of a mid-size boat like the one cited by the OP. In that size boat having a 40 amp (or more) alternator is worth gold. Manuevering in choppy seas is a LOT better and safer.

BTW, before buying a new Cat 275, you otter at least consider a well-maintained Cat 28, which came with a 3 cylinder diesel.
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,391
Catalina 320 Dana Point
BTW, before buying a new Cat 275, you otter at least consider a well-maintained Cat 28, which came with a 3 cylinder diesel
Or a 270 or Capri 26, Capri 26 with outboard preferred if racing but inboards were also made.
 
Apr 15, 2018
8
Catalina 22 Inland Lake
I don't think you understand my question so I will explain in more clarity.


The exact same motor Catalina is selling is being sold online at that website with a manufacturer's warranty. It looks like it is inclusive of the saildrive but I am not 100% sure. The price is $3,170 and I am sure Catalina would be buying it for less. I believe this point addresses your comment that the sailboat is small because the economies of scale would be inclusive of this online price. A few different online retailers are selling the motor online in the low $3,000's and all appear inclusive of manufacturer's warranty and saildrive.

The difference between the price of the motor online and the price adder for it is about $14,500. Yes there is a lot more involved than just buying a motor but the difference feels disproportional when considering the base price of the boat is $64,302. I don't believe the cockpit controls and running the control wire to the cockpit would be more than $1,000 in material. I can't see thousands of dollars in added labor costs being necessary to install this at the factory.

The point you make about warranty is valid but most manufacturer's include a fixed estimated warranty cost of 1-5% of the historical warranty cost in their cost estimate which they take from gross margin. This is how I have seen other manufacturer's do this in my professional career.

My best estimate of this is that Catalina's direct material cost for this would be about $5,000 but maybe it could be as high as $6,000.

Now let's address labor cost. Assuming typical manufacturing rates the internal labor rate may be $60 per hour. This is a good value for estimating that I have seen in manufacturing industries. It would be inclusive of employee benefits, training and tools. It is a good average to estimate and a forklift operator would be less than $60 per hour and a licensed electrician would be greater than this. My professional experience with large manufacturer's is that they have an internal labor rate they try to control their cost to with wages, benefits, training, and tool expenditures. I was told this boat may ship in 1 to 3 months depending on backlog. I think assuming 40 manhours to install this is reasonable. That would be a labor cost of $2,400.

Let's assume my labor cost and manhours for this adder are low. A new estimate of $75 per hour and 60 manhours is $4,500.

Unless I am off base I am seeing an estimated cost of this ranging from $7,400 to 10,500 and personally I think I would be closer to the low end than the high end.

Now adding in a healthy 25% gross margin would bring a cost range of $9866 to $14,000.
 
Apr 15, 2018
8
Catalina 22 Inland Lake
Just to provide some perspective, in 2018 we re-powered our boat with a new Betamarine25, and the (in a crate) cost of the engine, trans, panel and a couple of options was about $10K. I did all of the "semi-skilled" part of the labor and hired out the building of the bed-log mods, plus some overdue electrical upgrades... which added about 5K to the total.
Worth every penny, and we plan to amortize it out. :)
As others have noted, there are a lot of ancillary parts and engineering that goes into a diesel installation. It adds a LOT to the usefulness of a mid-size boat like the one cited by the OP. In that size boat having a 40 amp (or more) alternator is worth gold. Manuevering in choppy seas is a LOT better and safer.

BTW, before buying a new Cat 275, you otter at least consider a well-maintained Cat 28, which came with a 3 cylinder diesel.
Thanks for the explanation. My comment above was directed toward another poster. Can you tell me some more about what all was involved when you added this? This was a retrofit on an existing boat right?
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,391
Catalina 320 Dana Point
Have you tried calling the factory in Florida to see if they actually charge extra for the standard equipment engine ?
 
Apr 8, 2010
1,352
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 Portland OR
Thanks for the explanation. My comment above was directed toward another poster. Can you tell me some more about what all was involved when you added this? This was a retrofit on an existing boat right?
Yes. Our '88 boat was and is fully maintained, but the original Universal diesel (23 hp) had developed increasing blow-by, and was at 2300 hours. Knowing that the original Hurth trans is failure-prone and also has a checkered history of longevity after a rebuild, I was loath to spend 4 or 5K on an engine rebuild, new trans, new torque plate, and also a new panel since the original panel was "fixin' to die"... :)

Everyone has a different rationalization for how they budget for their boat, but mine is, whether a little water pump for the galley or a whole engine, anytime the repair approaches 50% of replacement cost I seriously consider a new product. With a new part, you get a (nowadays longer) warranty, and in the case of an engine you get to renew all of the parts near it that are normally inaccessible due to being crowded into a small compartment.

I replaced the original 1988 diesel. The new one is quieter and smoother, as well.
Here is a link to one of five or so blog entries about the project. (You can browse the Ericson owners' site, but cannot post without joining.)

You did not ask, but my unsolicited advice is not to be afraid of buying a boat over 20 years old; just do your Due Diligence and find that rare one with all of its maintenance truly up to date. There are not many like that but they are out there. I know of several actual "turn key" boats sold in the last year at our club.
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,530
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
The exact same motor Catalina is selling is being sold online at that website with a manufacturer's warranty. It looks like it is inclusive of the saildrive but I am not 100% sure. The price is $3,170 and I am sure Catalina would be buying it for less.
Unless I am off base
Yes, you are off base. That website you cite is a dealer in Indonesia, as are all of the sites you will find on the internet offering Yanmar engines at those prices. Try getting one in the U.S. And, if you do, try getting any kind of warranty support.

Call some US distributors and get quotes for that engine, and then let us know how much.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: FastOlson
Jun 6, 2016
149
Catalina 275 Wilmette, IL
Unless you plan to spend most of your time below, you'll be happier with a C275 than a C270. Just in case you were thinking of going in that direction. In your situation, being on a small lake and planning on keeping it for a long time, an outboard may not be a bad decision. As to your first post, your comparison should have been against an electric start 15hp, which will add a bit (less than $1000), but you will still be way ahead. Being on a small lake, you may be able to get away with the 10hp, but remember this is roughly a 5700-5800 lb. boat (don't believe the listed numbers).

I too would be interested in the true available cost for a Yanmar, because at that price, I doubt you could even find a SD20 saildrive by itself. And if you are going to analyze the cost of material and labor, you shouldn't just stop at the motor but should also consider the $64,302 boat. Once you add everything up (fiberglass, resin, spars, etc.), you'll realize just how much Catalina is ripping you off. And while your cost of labor at $60 is explained, I do not know of any local boatyard that is charging that rate. At mine, it's $125 just to motor from the lift to your slip. I'm not trying to be confrontational here, boating is not cheap.

Back to the DIY, if you can get a Yanmar, saildrive and installation for a reasonable price, you may want to check if Catalina will put in all the components, including cutting the hole, minus the engine and saildrive. It's really not comparable, but I had Catalina add the few components for the toilet minus the toilet and the holding tank. Basically, they installed the tank platform, pumpout hose, breathing hose and fittings. And they cut the hole for the supply water, which I did not want them to. I also had them hold the electrical panel, but install all of the wires.

Probably after everything is added up, financially, you'll probably be way ahead with the outboard. And good chance that will be a good fit for you being on a small inland lake (as compared to my inland lake which is 300 by 60 miles). Definitely get electric start and one that is very reliable. Keep us informed of your progress and hopefully you'll be posting a picture of your new boat in "Calling."
 

jviss

.
Feb 5, 2004
4,530
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
Back to the DIY, if you can get a Yanmar, saildrive and installation for a reasonable price, you may want to check if Catalina will put in all the components, including cutting the hole, minus the engine and saildrive.
If I was Catalina I would refuse to do that. But that's really beside the point, it would indeed be kooky to try to shave a few bucks off with such a DIY scheme to end up with an expensive new boat with ZERO factory support for your inboard. Plus, I sincerely doubt you could do it cheaper than just buying it complete from Catalina.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,055
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I'd get another quote from another dealer. I doubt you can even buy one without a motor. The factory brochure shows Standard Equipment includes:
ENGINE
  • Yanmar 2Y1M5 2 Cyl - 4 Stroke 14.6hp Diesel Sail Drive with Two Blade Propeller
  • Electronic Central Panel with Large Tachometer
  • Remote Fuel Filter and Water Separator
  • Cooling Water Seawater Filter
  • Remote Coolant Reservoir
  • Aqualift Muffler System
  • Stainless Steel Single Lever Engine Control]/quote]
 
Apr 15, 2018
8
Catalina 22 Inland Lake
Unless you plan to spend most of your time below, you'll be happier with a C275 than a C270. Just in case you were thinking of going in that direction. In your situation, being on a small lake and planning on keeping it for a long time, an outboard may not be a bad decision. As to your first post, your comparison should have been against an electric start 15hp, which will add a bit (less than $1000), but you will still be way ahead. Being on a small lake, you may be able to get away with the 10hp, but remember this is roughly a 5700-5800 lb. boat (don't believe the listed numbers).

I too would be interested in the true available cost for a Yanmar, because at that price, I doubt you could even find a SD20 saildrive by itself. And if you are going to analyze the cost of material and labor, you shouldn't just stop at the motor but should also consider the $64,302 boat. Once you add everything up (fiberglass, resin, spars, etc.), you'll realize just how much Catalina is ripping you off. And while your cost of labor at $60 is explained, I do not know of any local boatyard that is charging that rate. At mine, it's $125 just to motor from the lift to your slip. I'm not trying to be confrontational here, boating is not cheap.

Back to the DIY, if you can get a Yanmar, saildrive and installation for a reasonable price, you may want to check if Catalina will put in all the components, including cutting the hole, minus the engine and saildrive. It's really not comparable, but I had Catalina add the few components for the toilet minus the toilet and the holding tank. Basically, they installed the tank platform, pumpout hose, breathing hose and fittings. And they cut the hole for the supply water, which I did not want them to. I also had them hold the electrical panel, but install all of the wires.

Probably after everything is added up, financially, you'll probably be way ahead with the outboard. And good chance that will be a good fit for you being on a small inland lake (as compared to my inland lake which is 300 by 60 miles). Definitely get electric start and one that is very reliable. Keep us informed of your progress and hopefully you'll be posting a picture of your new boat in "Calling."
I agree with most of what you say. The large cockpit is a big selling point on the 275 for me.

As far as $125 verse $60 remember I am thinking of their internal cost rate. Your dealer will sell labor to you at a higher price than their cost and likely a higher margin than Catalina on a new boat.