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Old 27-02-2011, 11:21   #1
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Removing Diesel and Using Outboard on 38' Sloop - Opinions ?

Being as my life is slowly going down the toilet re work and cash flow, I'm soliciting opinions on whether or not its feasible to remove the inboard diesel, install a well (most likely aft of the rudder) and using a long shaft outboard for auxiliary power.

The boat in question is a Roberts Offshore 38.


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Old 27-02-2011, 12:07   #2
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Doable but probably not the best decision. You'd need a very large outboard to do what your diesel could do and you'd have the problem of keeping the shaft in the water while motoring in a seaway plus gasoline vs. diesel stowage. In a much lighter boat it might be a more reasonable alternative. I'm assuming you've looked into all the diesel alternatives, i. e. diesel rebuild or replacement?
Hope you can come up with a diesel solution.
kind regards,
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:19   #3
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

If the diesel runs why pull it out. And if you have toput in a well, you'll probably have the expense of a haul out, build the well, outboard price and other cost.
Probably be cheaper to overhaul the diesel and have a stronger engine with the prop down deep where it's more efficient.
Just my opinion.
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:19   #4
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

It aint bust so dont fix it.
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:29   #5
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

That diesel will be way more efficient than any gasoline outboard you throw on the back. Also, if it comes down to it, you will destroy the resale of your craft by ditching the inboard diesel.
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Old 27-02-2011, 12:29   #6
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Is the diesel broken? The outboard idea would require a lot of engineering as far as weight distribution, hull design, etc. It would probably work but why would one want to replace a reliable, efficient diesel with a gasser?
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:02   #7
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

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Originally Posted by rowingdude View Post
That diesel will be way more efficient than any gasoline outboard you throw on the back. Also, if it comes down to it, you will destroy the resale of your craft by ditching the inboard diesel.
Agreed, and all things being equal the diesel will be more reliable and last longer.
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:16   #8
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

I wouldn't do it, particularly if the diesel is not broken.

If it is and it is not salvageable I would still want to scrimp and save for a diesel re-power. I don't know the displacement of your boat but I installed a 1 cylinder yanmar on my old 5 ton 32' ftr and on all but the windiest days it was plenty 'nuf to get me out of my slip... on a couple of days pinned to the dock we got help from the neighbors warping off and out but that was the exception and everybody thought it was a good bit of fun.
I have seen 1 cylinder Yanmars go for as low as $1000. There is definately a chance that it wouldn't work to adapt the skids etc. for a smaller engine son do plenty of measuring but in my case it was an afternoon of grinding and another afternoon of glassing to make the fit. You will probably also need to resize the prop...I did and with some guesstimation found a replacement at Minnies for $45.00. It worked fine.
My point being that in looking at a solution you don't need a huge (re: more expensive) engine to get the job done. My favorite argument for having a large engine is to get through the chop... maybe it's my lack of cruising (rather than sailing) experience showing but if there's chop isn't there wind?
oops... i didn't just start an engine/no engine debate did I?
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:19   #9
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

I don't know how handy you are but a friend at the dock, an electrical engineer, had diesel problems and did his own rebuild. He dismounted the engine, dragged it into the cabin and tore the sucker down. He then proceeded to completely rebuild it using the shop manual. Often he would have to buy three of the same part because one would fit and the others wouldn't. He then returned the unused parts. While the engine was out he cleaned out the engine compartment, reinforced the engine stringers, and replaced the wiring. It took him a few months doing it part time but it now runs like a champ.

I tackle quite a few DIY jobs but frankly I am in awe. I'd be more likely to attempt this if I could get a short course on diesels but have been unable to find one locally yet. But since you mention your job isn't working out too well, could you attend a diesel repair course, perhaps at the local community college. You could then take care of your engine and make some pretty good change working on other engines.

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Old 27-02-2011, 13:26   #10
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKai View Post
Being as my life is slowly going down the toilet re work and cash flow, I'm soliciting opinions on whether or not its feasible to remove the inboard diesel, install a well (most likely aft of the rudder) and using a long shaft outboard for auxiliary power.

The boat in question is a Roberts Offshore 38.


Sabre
For what you would spend on an outboard big enough to drive a 38 foot boat you could probably rebuild your diesel twice over.
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:38   #11
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Oh, let me add that I knew nothing when I did thisand it was pretty intimidating. Talking to dock neighbors and getting pointers and help made all the difference and I got a cheap education. If you are in a marina don't forget the talent and willingness to help from folks on the docks...
"first there was a mountain, then there was no mountain..."
I think Donovan said that
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Old 27-02-2011, 13:43   #12
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Rich/Cabo Sailor hit the nail on the head. If you're going to be having time on your hands, learn to rebuild it. You'll end up with a better, more efficient boat too. And as someone mentioned, you will make your boat completely unsellable and worthless by maiming it in the manner you are proposing.
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Old 27-02-2011, 15:01   #13
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Diesel condition aside, unless you are sailing in *VERY* protected waters, don't count on an outboard being usable power when you need it.

The position of the screw and engine on a 38' boat (I don't know this boat, but...) are carefully planned by the designer and intended to be usable in rough water conditions. An outboard would spend half its time free-spinning in large swell or choppy conditions and not give you what you need at the very time you need it.

I've seen boats in Narragansett Bay (where you rarely see more than 2-3' chop) struggling with outboards all the time.

FWIW

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Old 27-02-2011, 15:24   #14
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

Not a good idea. A well maintained outboard won't last 1/4th as long as a poorly maintained diesel. You won't have as much motoring ability outside the harbor and you won't have as much battery charging ability and you'll use a ton of gas.
Plus you'll need to rework all of the controls in addition to building a well. The best outboard well is still another hole in your boat and I don't know about yours but my boat already has too many holes in it now.
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Old 27-02-2011, 18:56   #15
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Re: Opinions needed Re removing diesel and using outboard on a 38 foot sloop

For the total sum of money to reduce the value of your vessel you could find a used diesel engine to replace the spent diesel.

To pull an engine is usually one days work, clean up the engine compartment another day. Make moderate repairs to engine area maybe two days.

Placing replacement engine in another day, finish with plumbing, cables and ignition the final day.

All work completed in less than seven man days.
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