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Old 13-11-2006, 21:57   #1
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Inboard to outboard conversion

Now that I am actively shopping for a used Cat I have come across several that have had the inboards removed and replaced with outboards.
I understand there is a thread going on right now that is about dual instead of single outboards.
I would like to hear from other owners who may have done this conversion and how it worked out. I am already aware that you loose many great things when you convert, from 100 amp alternators, bolt on water makers etc.. and on the other hand you get possibly better fuel mileage, easier maintenance..
Let's hear from you, does this lower the value of the boat, is it something I should avoid, does it change the properties of the boat due to ess weight. Let me know!
Christopher
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Old 14-11-2006, 01:23   #2
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It will certainly change the properties of the boat.
The weight will be different (more or less), and will be located in a different place, affecting the balance.
Id have to be pretty arrogant to presume that I could improve the value (or function) of a boat by changing an important design consideration, after its built.
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Old 14-11-2006, 03:47   #3
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inboard to outboard ; "you get possibly better fuel mileage" dream on!

What you do get is the ability to raise the prop out of the water completely, which improves sailing performance, and also solves the problems of lobster pot buoys.

However, outboards are aluminium, and permanent installation as the prime mover does mandate a good electrolysis set-up, (I have two additional anodes attached to the outboard lower pivot chasis i.e. that bit that doesnt pivot, but is right on the water level on the back of the transom) I will also have a lower push capability in bad weather.

IMHO The silleete leg tied to an inboard engine does provide the advantages of an outboard without most of the drawbacks, but these also have their own problems.
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Old 14-11-2006, 07:17   #4
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I'd be concerned with Gord's point. A Cat will ride better with weight away from the 'ends'. My inboards are mounted almost amidships with longesh prop shafts.

Rick in Florida
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Old 14-11-2006, 08:00   #5
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My outboard is mounted inside the centre cockpit locker and projects out into the cockpit, which on a 9m makes the prop nearly a metre from the aft of the boat.
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Old 14-11-2006, 08:28   #6
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christopher,
What size boat are you looking at? This might play into your desicion and this discussion.

Personally, having a deisel in each is preferable in a cat over 40 feet. We built a 44' cat that originally had an outboard and the owner eventually put in a bowthruster in the port hull, I understand. Seems like a nice solution...
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Old 14-11-2006, 09:12   #7
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I have a PDQ 36 with 2-9.9 Hi thrust Yamahas in the port & stbd lazarettes. When in the down position, They're about 8'-9' from the stern. In the 10 years that I've owned the boat, the prop almost cavitated once, when a large motor yacht passed me close at high speed. I average 1 gph when motoring. I think deisels would do better, but I'm very happy not dealing with shafts, packing glands,electrolysis,and the like.and I've had very few situations where having more power was more of a nessessity than a luxury.
Marc
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Old 14-11-2006, 12:01   #8
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What is wrong with your current engines that you want to chuck them and go outboard? It would have to be pretty drastic for me to consider that. I can overhaul my Volvo diesels and sail-drives for less than equivalent power in an outboard and have much better fuel economy and safety.

George
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Old 14-11-2006, 12:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspot Baby
What is wrong with your current engines that you want to chuck them and go outboard? It would have to be pretty drastic for me to consider that. I can overhaul my Volvo diesels and sail-drives for less than equivalent power in an outboard and have much better fuel economy and safety.

George
I think you have missed the idea if this post,please see first post.
Thanks!
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Old 14-11-2006, 15:22   #10
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additional considerations

Christopher,
I apologize for my incomplete, earlier post. There are times I get caught up in the technical aspects of a thread and ignore the original question!!

I can see why these boats you are considering would be tempting as they would have to be priced much lower than equivalent boats with their inboards intact. So, from a new owner standpoint, a good question would be, what's the difference in price between buying twin diesels and whatever outboard you are finding installed on these boats? And is this price difference reflected in the price of the offered boats?

I'm not sure you're going find anyone who pulled twin diesels out of their boat and replaced them with outboards, rave about the conversion. This discussion is basically a price vs practicality issue, and has to be based on your intended use.

Weekend travel? Day sailing? Go with the outboard.

Blue water miles? It would be easier and safer with twin engines of any type and in the long run less expensive with diesels than the outboards.

Rick in Florida
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Old 14-11-2006, 15:40   #11
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Christopher, might be easier to comment on the specific boats you are looking at with outboards. I don't know of any boat which has done a diesel to outboard conversion, but I have owned and cruised a few thousand miles on both (diesel engine cats and outboards driven cats). Most boats designed with outboards have been designed with narrower hulls (12/1 for PDQ 36 to 14/1 for slipstream) because they don't need the greater bouyancy to compensate for the heavier engine, which has obvious advantages in terms of speed and sailing.

The outboard "can" have several advantages, in weight, ease of finding a qualified mechanic anywhere, lower replacement costs, better access to the complete engine by again being able to completely lift it up, having a completely retractible prop (and no metal parts touching when retracted so little electrolysis risk while at anchor and dock), isolation of the motor and fuel system from the living space of the boat and therefore isolating the gas, smoke, from the interior (some diesel driven cats do have dedicated engine rooms way aft, but pay for that in terms of hull shape), or simply being able to have a replacement engine mailed to you on a distant island (been there, done that) and while a diesel is theoretically simpler than a gas engine, an outboard is far less complex than a typical modern diesel and needs much less expensive components such as filters. PDQ is a great example of a nice catamaran with retractible outboards...
diesels do provide better fuel economy for a given horsepower and SHOULD HAVE greater long term reliability, but I know of catamaran owners with diesels in 3 year old boats which are on their second sets of diesel engines, and other owners who have 20 year old reliable diesels, everything depends on the specifics. Was this engine cared for well? Is it a reliable make and model? The biggest lesson I've learned with outboards is to budget in replacement costs for the outboards after around 1500 hours of use before repair costs become too high (or say replacing every 5-7 years with good use each year), but for an engine whose replacement costs are around 3k it's not that big of a deal, that's my diesel engine mechanic bills after 3 years and you would get a brand new engine! Keep an open mind about retractible outboard engines, yamahas are very reliable and very fuel efficient, but after a certain number of hours the corrosion in saltwater will make them need to be replaced.
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Old 14-11-2006, 18:36   #12
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All other things being equal you should expect the outboard powered boat to be lighter, cheaper and possibly to sail a little better. You do lose out on charging ability, hot water, possibly reliability, fuel economy, (although being able to still sail in lighter wind might compensate for this) , and you might find the outboard prop wont "grip" as well as the inboard in choppy conditions.
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Old 14-11-2006, 20:26   #13
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Thank you for the amazing responses. It would be nice to hear from someone who has made the conversion. What I am finding is that most boats that have done the conversion are attempting to get the same price as per a comparable vessel with an inboard. This I do not understand as the lose of hot water possible 100 amp charging, engine assist water maker etc. would dictate a lower price.
To give a little background into what I will be using this boat for. I just sold my Morgan 50 due to size and usability.
I also own an Macgregor 26m that I use for fishing and diving in and around the gulf. We really like this boat as it is efficient, quick to rig and easy to sail.. Kind of a no brainer motor sailor, however there simply is not enough room inside to comfortably pack away all we need for out trips. IT tends to get a bit claustrophobic after the second day. Do not get me wrong this boat is simply amazing multi use boat.
The whole reason I like the idea of a cat and am actively looking for one to purchase is the livable space inside and outside, storage creature comforts that are available on a cat are not compareable to a monohull, and the "heeling is nice too"
Oh and I love the look and feel of them
The boat will be used for Voyages from Naples Florida through the Bahamas. I do not think I will ever get into true blue water sailing otherwise I would have kept the larger boat.
To keep costs down I am looking at used Gemini and or the Catalac. I have come across two that have had the inboard removed and replaced with petite outboards, and are still attempting to get the same price as unmolested inboard versions..
http://www2.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_full_detail.jsp?boat_id=1591173&ybw=&hostu rl=shipandsail

I was hoping that this was going to be an easy purchase, but as anything goes in the boating world it takes a lot of hard work to find just the right boat to continually drop cash into.
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Old 14-11-2006, 20:53   #14
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The Gemini would be great for your intended use. I don't think they ever made one with twin engines. I thought it wasn't until the 3400 was introduced that they came with saildrives. I'm almost 100% sure that they were sold with outboards on the 3000 and 3200.

I have a 3000 next to me in the marina. He has an outboard and is the original owner.

I'm sure you plan on having the boat surveyed, so write a contract pending the survey and then with survey in hand, start the real negotiations.

Rick in Florida
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Old 14-11-2006, 23:45   #15
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Originally Posted by rickm505
The Gemini would be great for your intended use. I don't think they ever made one with twin engines. I thought it wasn't until the 3400 was introduced that they came with saildrives. I'm almost 100% sure that they were sold with outboards on the 3000 and 3200.

I have a 3000 next to me in the marina. He has an outboard and is the original owner.

I'm sure you plan on having the boat surveyed, so write a contract pending the survey and then with survey in hand, start the real negotiations.

Rick in Florida
From your web site it is nice to see the photos side by side of the two boats. I truly apeciate your first hand knowledge!
Thanks
Christopher
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