The 375 CAT was one of the best motors they made. I had the 320 HP version & got 6200 hours out of the motor before the head gasket blew & damaged the block.
4000 hours on a 375 CAT is mostly 50% of it life before a rebuild. Things such as prior overheats & over wheeling which you may not be aware could lower that number by a lot.
The key is not the amount of hours to determine the motors life. The key is to find out just how many gallons of fuel was burned
during those 4000 hours. With the amount of fuel + the hours, you can figure out average fuel burn & get a real good handle on the motors work life.
Most captains keep log books & in that book things like fuel ups & oil changes should be listed.
Good luck pretty boat.
I had the same engine put 6500 hrs on, and blew head gasket stbd side.
had the head planed&new head gasket ran it till she hit 8000 hrs then blew port side same thing planed head new gasket changed engine at 12000 hrs and put the same back in from HO PENN.
GOT 3000.OO for old RUNNING engine take out.
Similar story for me with my 3208TA...head gasket at around 4000....no major damage...repaired and took that time to check the heads, pop injectors, clean up the cylinders...ran great for another 1000 or so before sold. I would not be affraid of 4000 hrs...if all checks out. They don't love to sit...I put a block heater in mine to keep moisture out etc. Some believe it is one of the best trolling motors for giants, if that matters to you. Love the sound of the V8!
Those boats are a higher end pleasure boat. Well worth it if shows in person as it does in pics if it suits your needs. Cat 3208 has a great reputation. As you can see, some have had off luck at low hours and it duplicates later . I prefer no breakdowns for at least 15000 hrs. starters or alternators. water pump stuff not included
3000hrs on this engine if not abused is at the just broken in point in my opinion. I have the 3208t(320) just broke 3000hrs and have had not a hick up with the motor.
Personally I wanted the 3208ta but was not in the boat when i purchased my current one.
If the engine checks out well, oil, sample, etc. Make sure the oil pan isnt rusting away(one common problem). I would not shy away from the boat.
Simple engines to work on, parts are easy to come by and they do not burn alot of fuel. Just dont run the snot out of them and they will go for a very very long time.
A lot of your concerns have been answered. A failures are heart gasket related. I do know that CAT did have a service upgrade on the head gaskets. If you truly like the boat I would move forward. I would also get the pricing on having both heads removed and getting the upgraded gaskets prior to a failure. Once pricing is determined I would start my offers according. Once the gasket fails the cross firing of the cylinder's damages the block & the motor is doomed to failure.
I posted this boat for personal reasons (to talk about the engine) but it is a good opportunity and some great responses have come through here, all of which are greatly appreciated.
The beauty of the internet is that you can shop for boats a few states away. The shame is that if you want to dig in, you have to really be committed because its a ton of work and dough to get into the oil/survey/inspections/sea trial etc. for a boat that might prove to be a waste of time if something bad surfaces and it cant be settled.
Its interesting that no one has chimed in with bad news about this 3208 as you might see in another thread. To me, the work involved in deciding if I want to but that boat or not (survey/oil/travel....) is enough to make me want to offer less. Also, despite peoples good vibes about this engine, it still has 4000 hrs that a stranger has put on it. WHo knows what lies beneath? I guess the head gaskets/water pump(s)/injectors/fuel filters/hoses?/belts?/etc. could be evaluated but I would have to get a Cat mechanic to go crawl all over it and tell me (over the phone) what he thought. Would love to be there.
The other thing is all the bright work. Not sure I am up to it anymore (I am only 38 but have been rode hard an put away wet). Think I will stop complaining to you all now but I am sure these are all thoughts that every person looking at that boat is weighing heavily. Am I wrong?
I looked at that boat a few months ago. As I remember, the husband/owner passed away and the wife/owner is selling her. She's been sitting for awhile, and is going to need some work to get her cleaned up, but she seemed like a nice boat. The listing recently was "under contract," and now its back. I'd ask what happened. Good luck.
I thought it was solid glass, but I'm not positive. The wood all needs attention, but I don't remember thinking anything was so far gone that it had to come out. We looked at a Bruno 35 FB that's listed in Denton, MD and this Wilbur. There's a big difference in fit/finish between the 2. Both have been sitting for awhile.