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Old 28-09-2015, 10:10   #1
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Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

A little background, then a couple questions:

I got this boat for 2500 and have since put an outboard motor on. I also bolted the prop shaft in place to keep it from freewheeling.
My original thought was to leave all the wiring, exhaust, ect. in place so that I can advertise as "ready for re-power" when I go to sell.
My new method of thinking is that no one is going to be interested in putting an inboard back into this boat ever again and it would be more appealing on the resale market if I cleaned out, sealed off and re-purposed that area.

1) What is your opinion on the above? I would really like to clean that area, remove all the wiring, the exhaust, close the holes in the transom up so water can't get in, seal the shaft hole off, seacocks, ect...

2) This is my first boat with an engine and there is a foul smell inside the cabin. At first I thought it was the head. I cleaned that out, not the problem...so then I went to the bilge, cleaned that, not the problem.
I am currently thinking the spell is coming from very old diesel inside all the lines that remain, gas tank, diesel soot from what appears to have been an exhaust leak, grease and other gunk built up in the engine compartment.
I want to clean all this out nice and squeaky clean, hopefully getting rid of, or reducing the smell in the process.
Any advice on tackling this job? What's the best way to siphon out the sludge that is likely built up in the tank? How about sealing the hose coming from the tank so no more fumes get in?
What type of cleaner should I use to get rid of the gunk, grease and soot?
Do they make some type of deodorizer to apply to the fiberglass in this area once the gunk is gone?

Thanks!
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:29   #2
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Well... that's a tough one. IF you are talking the Newport 28, the selling value is limited, so it may not be a big deal either way... and you are right in that putting a $15000 engine in an older boat like that may never happen.... but someone may run into a used engine they might want to do that with.
It would be nice to clean up and seal up the entire area... so if you want to , I would say go for it. The boat is likely never going to be worth more than $5k anyway, so make it your own.
A caveat though.... how much have you used the boat? At some point, assuming you put your heart and soul into the boat and get everything just like you want it,..... what if you find (like many of us have found) that an outboard motor on the transom is a PITA in choppy water. Then what if you run into a used inboard engine that you want to put in the boat..? You might just consider cleaning everything up and removing the prop from the shaft.... or even just capping off the stuffing tube and removing the shaft also.
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Old 28-09-2015, 10:55   #3
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Maybe somebody who paid more attention in their ship construction classes than me might be able to correct me, but I wonder if the weight from your engine is of vital importance to your trim and stability? If it is, no doubt you can put a similar weight chunk of lead in the engines place, but it's something you might want to consider.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:28   #4
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Interesting project. I researched putting an outboard on my 1986 N28 if the diesel ever failed beyond repair, because the boat would not be worth repowering with a new diesel engine. The top two issues were (1) cavitation when the prop comes out of the water from wakes and waves and (2) the requirement for cockpit mounted engine controls because the outboard has to be mounted so low on the transom that access is tough through the stern pulpit, making docking even more exciting. Getting to your question, given the boat's market value, I would yank everything, seal up the prop shaft hole, use the outboard with cockpit controls and enjoy your boat. Regarding smells, besides the head, did you clean out or replace the holding tank and all the hoses related to the head? It doesn't take much of a leak to cause all sorts of head-related odor problems. Update us on how your project is progressing.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:32   #5
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Well... that's a tough one. IF you are talking the Newport 28, the selling value is limited, so it may not be a big deal either way... and you are right in that putting a $15000 engine in an older boat like that may never happen.... but someone may run into a used engine they might want to do that with.
It would be nice to clean up and seal up the entire area... so if you want to , I would say go for it. The boat is likely never going to be worth more than $5k anyway, so make it your own.
A caveat though.... how much have you used the boat? At some point, assuming you put your heart and soul into the boat and get everything just like you want it,..... what if you find (like many of us have found) that an outboard motor on the transom is a PITA in choppy water. Then what if you run into a used inboard engine that you want to put in the boat..? You might just consider cleaning everything up and removing the prop from the shaft.... or even just capping off the stuffing tube and removing the shaft also.




Yes this is the Newport. I can't see anyone ever taking the boat out in confidence in anything other than calm seas. I put new rigging on it and it is a great bay boat...but it still has soft decks, some blisters that need to be fixed eventually and several other issues. Long story short, I just can't see anyone putting the money, or even the time that would be involved in putting an inboard back in.
I doubt I will ever put one in either as I plan to buy something newer and more seaworthy here in the next 5 or so years, so all my money will be saved for that.
I was just making sure I wasn't doing something crazy by permanently sealing the area off and wanted to get some opinions before I cross the point of no return and start ripping out all the wires and hoses tomorrow afternoon.

With that being said, that whole area is NASTY. A lot of it is black with soot, grease, diesel and who knows what. Does anyone have a cleaner they could recommend?
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:40   #6
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
Interesting project. I researched putting an outboard on my 1986 N28 if the diesel ever failed beyond repair, because the boat would not be worth repowering with a new diesel engine. The top two issues were (1) cavitation when the prop comes out of the water from wakes and waves and (2) the requirement for cockpit mounted engine controls because the outboard has to be mounted so low on the transom that access is tough through the stern pulpit, making docking even more exciting. Getting to your question, given the boat's market value, I would yank everything, seal up the prop shaft hole, use the outboard with cockpit controls and enjoy your boat. Regarding smells, besides the head, did you clean out or replace the holding tank and all the hoses related to the head? It doesn't take much of a leak to cause all sorts of head-related odor problems. Update us on how your project is progressing.
This is a pic from when I bought the boat. PO had some crazy idea about using this electric trolling motor, which was immediately replaced with a 9.9 outboard.



It's very easy to reach the throttle control on the motor while simultaneously keeping the other hand on the wheel with this setup. It also allows the prop on the extra long shaft to sit a good 10-12" underwater.

Docking is a breeze too. If I need a little extra pivot I can turn the motor as well, instead of only using the rudder. It also turns on a dime in reverse. I am assuming due to backwash onto the rudder from the prop being positioned behind it.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:43   #7
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

And while I have my pictures up...



This gives you an idea of the crap I am going to have to scrub out of there
Should I just use some regular degreaser from the auto parts store, or is that too harsh on the fiberglass?
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:45   #8
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Hey Vinny , you got two really good answers there . A guy once told me " you got a good deal on your boat , why don't you gust keep it that way " Of course we didn't and over the 20+ yrs. we have owned our little boat we don't even think about how much money we spend on it . But you sound like you are thinking to the future and that a different boat is there . So I say clean it up , but don't make it so that it would be more difficult to re power with a in board . As far as the fuel tank , if it's in good shape get it cleaned up and seal it up or you might be able to turn it into your out board tank . There are all types of cleaners out there . For really stubborn stuff I like Lacquer thinner also I like a type of concentrate soap called 4U . As far as your boat smelling bad , if it smells like rotten eggs that is stale salt water if it's diesel well it's diesel .
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:49   #9
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

I don't know of any de-greaser that would hurt the glass, but my go to is usually Simple Green as it's supposedly Bio-degradable or auto parts Purple Power, which is cheaper and better than Simple Green.

I say supposedly bio-degradable as it may be, but I believe it emulsifies oil and grease and the mixture of course isn't bio-degradable, plus since it's now emulsified, the mix goes right through a grease trap
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:49   #10
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markwesti View Post
As far as your boat smelling bad , if it smells like rotten eggs that is stale salt water if it's diesel well it's diesel .
I don't have the best nose, but my girlfriend mentioned that it has an old stale petroleum type smell. After she said that it kind of made sense. I think it is a combination of old diesel fuel and soot from an old exhaust leak, I am not 100% sure, but cleaning that bay out definitely can't hurt.
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Old 28-09-2015, 11:51   #11
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Once you get it de-greased, clean it with Pine Sol and water, pine sol is a decent cleaner, but it smells good and is cheap too, mostly to me it smells "clean"
Simple Green has a pleasant smell too.
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Old 28-09-2015, 12:04   #12
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Any old degreasing soap from Home Depot will work, and by the gallon won't hurt the bank


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Old 28-09-2015, 12:16   #13
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

I have an outboard on a pretty good custom made hoisting mount and if you can make it work for you it is a reasonable way to go. I'd cap the thru-hulls and prop shaft, or leave it in and just remove the prop. Some future buyer may want that option. I have my batteries and extra water stored in engine compartment. Dawn dish soap and elbow grease work pretty well and my wife has taken spraying febreze all over the place (I don't smell anything.) Now for a truly liberating feeling, try going engineless!
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Old 28-09-2015, 13:15   #14
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

Alright well thanks guys it looks like I have been pointed in the right direction.
I already have some simple green, so I will pick up a box of terry cloths and go to town. Will report back with pics of progress.
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Old 28-09-2015, 13:31   #15
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Re: Advice on what to do with my empty engine bay.

vinny, if the grease is old and caked on the degreasers etc may not do th job easily. If so, another approach is to rent a steam cleaner for a day. The hot steam will quickly get rid of the really bad stuff, and you can then use a wet/dry vac to clean up the relatively small amount of foul water thus generaed. Then, after the heavy lifting is done, the household cleansers can hack the detailed cleaning and de-smelling.

And, IMO predicating these decisions on what some future buyer might prefer is a bad way to go. Do what you want, when you want... there is just as good a chance that the buyer will see it as an advantage as a disadvantage, and meanwhile you have the use of the boat as you would like it to be.

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