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Old 24-02-2015, 11:14   #16
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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Why? What's wrong with the atomic engine? I'm currently looking at one with the atomic. I always thought they were a decent engine. Or, is there something wrong with the hughes that have that engine in them?

thanks.
Atomics are good old gas engines. Which isn't really that good. Deisel in a confined space like a sailboat is much safer.

Also, an atomic 4 is an awfully little engine for a 38' cruising boat.

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Old 24-02-2015, 11:57   #17
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

I have an A4. It's a fine little motor. It runs nice and smooth. Makes plenty of power for a Catalina 30. There were 20K or so of them in various sailboats, legends of explosions are overblown.

But I wouldn't take it offshore.

#1 reason is fuel consumption. Drinks fuel at around 2x the rate of a similar diesel. So that too-small tankage just got twice as small.

#2 is the electrical. It's toast if it gets salt water in the ignition. (Where a diesel won't)

#3 is fuel availability. Oldschool diesels will run on pretty much anything if you filter it. Not so much for petrol/gas.
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Old 24-02-2015, 12:08   #18
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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I have an A4. It's a fine little motor. It runs nice and smooth. Makes plenty of power for a Catalina 30. There were 20K or so of them in various sailboats, legends of explosions are overblown.

But I wouldn't take it offshore.

#1 reason is fuel consumption. Drinks fuel at around 2x the rate of a similar diesel. So that too-small tankage just got twice as small.

#2 is the electrical. It's toast if it gets salt water in the ignition. (Where a diesel won't)

#3 is fuel availability. Oldschool diesels will run on pretty much anything if you filter it. Not so much for petrol/gas.
Ya but a 38 has twice the displacement of a 30. It would be woefully underpowered for anything more than docking.

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Old 24-02-2015, 13:46   #19
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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Ya but a 38 has twice the displacement of a 30. It would be woefully underpowered for anything more than docking.
according to sailboatdata

the catalina 30 is listed as 10200lbs

the hughes 38 is listed variously as 12700lbs and 14500lbs depending on the year.

that is definitely not twice the displacement of a catalina 30

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Old 24-02-2015, 13:55   #20
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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according to sailboatdata

the catalina 30 is listed as 10200lbs

the hughes 38 is listed variously as 12700lbs and 14500lbs depending on the year.

that is definitely not twice the displacement of a catalina 30

jon
No problem, I was ballparking/estimating the actual displacement. Your detailed research has revealed a cat 30 has a high displacement for its length and the Hughes 38 has a low displacement for its length.

So in your estimate an atomic 4 pushes a 38' boat pretty well in cruising conditions? No problem making hull speed in a head sea?

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Old 24-02-2015, 14:56   #21
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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Why? What's wrong with the atomic engine? I'm currently looking at one with the atomic. I always thought they were a decent engine. Or, is there something wrong with the hughes that have that engine in them?

thanks.
I had an Atomic 4 in my Ericson 27
Fine little engine. About 40,000 made
Parts to complete rebuild from Moyer Marine
This motor has a cult following, I think they are called the
"AFourians".
You can buy a complete rebuilt one for less than 6k
All sorts of ad ons and upgrades available
A regular car mechanic can work on them
Not sure but I think they were originaly used in cars or tractors
They are really tough to kill.
Just remember you need a good functioning blower.
They can also be started by a hand crank in case you lose your batteries.
Can't say much about long passages with gasoline on board
I mainly cruised Long Island sound and the Hudson to the lower
NYC bay.
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Old 24-02-2015, 17:29   #22
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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So in your estimate an atomic 4 pushes a 38' boat pretty well in cruising conditions? No problem making hull speed in a head sea?
owners of H38's that have the atomic 4 in them like them. others have replaced them with 20-30hp diesels. i dont have personal experience with the H38, i am researching the boat for future purchase.
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Old 24-02-2015, 17:41   #23
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Idk. I had an a4 in my Grampian 30, when I upgraded boats the item I was probably most excited about was not having to fart around with an atomic 4 any more. They have very good points, a relative idiot like me could repair one without adult supervision- which is impressive.

The problem was- I always had to do something (not every time out, but say every 20 hours). Adjust the carb, adjust the timing, replace or clean the plugs. It was always something (in a4 defence- it was a a 1974 and was capable of running very well).

My G30 was really the upper end of where I think the A4 belongs. I think a 38 (even a 14500 lb 38 instead of a more typical 18000 lb 38) is just too much boat for these little gas engines.

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Old 24-02-2015, 19:54   #24
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Two thoughts about the Anemic Four:

1. IIRC, the crankshaft has but two main bearings, a design feature that was old when the Model A Ford was designed. Back when I had one, all the knowledgeable mechanics told one to not run anywhere near the red line, or the engine life would be drastically impaired. This means the available horsepower is much lower than the rated power.

2. They were often supplied with 1:1 drive ratio (or close to that number). This meant that one had to use a small and higher speed prop... exactly what you don't want in a cruising boat's power train.

Mine was in a Yankee-30, a ~10,000 lb S&S design, and was barely adequate for motoring in heavy conditions... well, nearly adequate. I too believe that it would not do well in a cruising boat of greater displacement and windage.

Cheers,

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Old 24-02-2015, 20:38   #25
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Jim is obviously a much much more experienced cruiser than myself. However, I can describe a personal experience regarding the A4. I was transiting my G30 a distance of about 14 miles in early December on Lake Ontario. Pretty easy stuff. Right?


We rounded the Leslie st spit into an ugly 30 knot or so head wind on my G30.


The little engine worked fine, but our headway was so poor, we cut the engine and decided to sail into it. Results were no better. After 5 hours of pounding into wind, wave and snow, we just gave up and turned around (we made about 2 miles).


One year later on my Fantasia 35, we attempted the same trip for the same reason. The old Perkins 4.108 drove the much heavier boat into 5 or 6 foot seas (no snow or ice this time) at a solid 6.5 knots. We made the trip in under 3 hours.


Now, imagine you are not on crappy little lake Ontario, the distance to be run is more than 14 miles, the Hughes 38 would certainly make better headway under sail than a G30- if you can manage her. But wouldn't a proper engine be nice?
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Old 24-02-2015, 20:54   #26
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

Just for the record, the Goodlander's are not on Wild Card, the Houges 38, anymore. They sold it and bought a larger ketch.

Wild Card may be for sale in Grenada.


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Old 24-02-2015, 20:59   #27
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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Originally Posted by sedentary View Post
Why? What's wrong with the atomic engine? I'm currently looking at one with the atomic. I always thought they were a decent engine. Or, is there something wrong with the hughes that have that engine in them?

thanks.
never mind the guy that said that... diesels suck also, only good engine is an outboard. Glad I got rig of my diesel. now im sailing.
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Old 26-02-2015, 06:05   #28
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

the Hughes 38 is not a typical boat. it is long narrow and deep, with more weight amidships than typical. it has a 10' beam and a 6' draft with the engine right in the bilge above the keel.

all other things being equal, a longer boat will punch thru chop better than a short one.

all other things being equal, a narrow boat will punch thru chop better than a fat one.

all other things being equal, a boat with weight amidships will punch thru chop better than one with weight in the ends.

there are two ways to get thru chop - an easily driven hull that cuts thru OR lots of power. both ways will work.

i have been in contact with three owners of Hughes 38's that all have extensive experience offshore or alongshore. one has a beta 30hp, one has a universal 20hp and one has the atomic 4 with upgraded parts. all three are happy with their engines, and report the ability to power thru chop to windward. this is probably the result of the easily driven hull.

i will do more research to find out what props and reduction drives they are using and report back.

jon
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Old 26-02-2015, 06:18   #29
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Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

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the Hughes 38 is not a typical boat. it is long narrow and deep, with more weight amidships than typical. it has a 10' beam and a 6' draft with the engine right in the bilge above the keel.

all other things being equal, a longer boat will punch thru chop better than a short one.

all other things being equal, a narrow boat will punch thru chop better than a fat one.

all other things being equal, a boat with weight amidships will punch thru chop better than one with weight in the ends.

there are two ways to get thru chop - an easily driven hull that cuts thru OR lots of power. both ways will work.

i have been in contact with three owners of Hughes 38's that all have extensive experience offshore or alongshore. one has a beta 30hp, one has a universal 20hp and one has the atomic 4 with upgraded parts. all three are happy with their engines, and report the ability to power thru chop to windward. this is probably the result of the easily driven hull.

i will do more research to find out what props and reduction drives they are using and report back.

jon
This is very interesting. But makes sense.

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Old 24-02-2016, 15:03   #30
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Smile Re: Hughes 38 - Would You Trust it Offshore ?

check out the Hughes 38 website

hughes38.com – Hughes 38 Owners Group

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