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Old 03-06-2010, 11:57   #1
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1971 Columbia 34 - Sell the Boat or Get an Outboard ?

I have a 1971 Columbia 34 MKII with a Palmer p-60 that is on it's way out. I've put in a new zenith carb, cleaned out the entire fuel system, rebuilt the water pump and done a galaxy of other stuff but to no avail. She'll start only on alternate Tuesdays and when she does shell only run for an hour before calling it quits.

So, with a diesel repower costing about double what I paid for the boat and therefore out of the question, is 34' too large for an outboard? The Palmer in there now only produces 22 hp at full throttle, and a two stroke 25 hp long shaft outboard weighs only 120 lbs. I'm thikning a vertically moveable transom mount bracket will do the trick and using my exisiting fuel tanks. I know I wot be able to use it at sea in any sort of swell, but Id only really need it in port anyways, for docking and navigating a mooring field or something.

So forum: your thoughts??
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:28   #2
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I've seen some awfully clunky looking outboard conversions. But if you can mount it effectively, and especially if you can steer it, I would expect a 25 hp outboard would give you better flat water performance and much greater maneuverability.
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Old 03-06-2010, 19:43   #3
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Parts are readily available for a Palmer P-60.

If you can describe your starting problem we may be able to help.

Hanging an outboard off the back is your recourse if you don't have the $$$ to properly fix your engine.....Then again....this has to be done "right"
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Old 03-06-2010, 20:08   #4
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Yeah, like I said, I'm pretty handy mechanically, and I've already put like $600 into this thing that still won't run well at all. I just don't want to keep pouring money into this thing that's already 38 years old, ya know? And I certainly don't have the money for a repower, considering I only paid $5k for the boat originally. I'm thinking an outboard would be my best bet. I want to hang onto the boat, the survey I just had said she is in excellent condition structurally, with the only major setback being that engine.
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Old 03-06-2010, 20:13   #5
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But basically, my starting problem is that it just won't start without ether 90% of the time, especially when she's cold. Also, if I push the choke all the way in, she revs to really high RPMs and
I have to keep the choke 1/4 out all the time.
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Old 03-06-2010, 20:49   #6
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If you have to run with the choke out, the jets/pasages in the carburetor are clogged. This is usually due to degradation of Ethanol enhanced fuels.

If you have used ether....you have probably damaged the rings....ether removes the oil from the cylinders wall and the upper rings wear out......quickly....when the engine gets warm...the rings seal.

When you push the choke in and she revs high?...You have to adjust the throttle.

If I go to a customers boat and see ether....I remove it......Ether is good for cleaning tools and anesthesia.

The Palmer P-60 is an International Harvester Lo-Boy Engine

Old Marine Engine

This is a great site for Old Pieces of Iron.....I work on some Old Stuff and this has been a great help. Mr. Day is a good guy
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Old 03-06-2010, 20:57   #7
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even if you go outboard 25 horse is massive overkill!!! you'd ideally need an 8 or 9.9
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Old 03-06-2010, 21:13   #8
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Really? My p-60 puts out about 22 at full throtle, and yeah, I can do just over 6 knots at that RPM. If that's true, it's music to my ears. I can get away with a 10 or 15 hp outboard? Have any experience with this setup on a 34', 13,000 lb displacement boat?
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Old 03-06-2010, 21:15   #9
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Have you replaced the coil? They can be a pita when a winding gets shorted, will run one second fine and die the next. I stuck a 9.9 yamaha high thrust on the back of 33 to get home when I bought my boat, pushed fine. You lose prop pushing water over rudder and unless you want to turn with motor you'll lose a lot of maneuverability.
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Old 03-06-2010, 21:15   #10
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What Sailmonkey said. I have an OMC aux bracket and a 6hp longshaft on my 27 and she does 6kt in medium chop and no cavitation. My old C-22 recommended up to but not more than a 9.9. I don't know what I would have done with that much power. But I'd still prefer a small diesel in my Albin.

I'm actually looking at a derelict Columbia 34 bubbletop. A friend has one powered by a marinized Isuzu diesel truck motor and V-drive. Cost him $900 in parts, he did his own install and he's been running it for 10 years. He's convinced me that I can do it. So don't give up on her.
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Old 03-06-2010, 21:47   #11
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Well, i've used ether a lot so my rings are probably shot. Time to move on to an outboard? 15 hp seems to be sufficient according to you guys, and it would make a lot of space open up below deck. I'm just so effin tired of losing sailing days trying to fix this thing, whenever I reapir something, theres always something else keeping her from running.

At this point I think i've made up my mind, anyone want a used Palmer p-60? Exhaust manifold intact.

So 15 hp should be fine, I'll give that a shot. Objections?
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Old 03-06-2010, 23:38   #12
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Have you considered a rebuilt Atomic 4? Probably cost you more than an outboard, but at least you don't have it hanging off your stern.
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Old 04-06-2010, 00:19   #13
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It is a sailing boat after all, so the auxiliary engine is only really necessary to get into port isnt it

Having said that, you got an affordable boat with a broken engine, now its time to invest a little to have a boat with a reasonable engine.. Why don't you invest a bit to get it overhauled professionally?
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:01   #14
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Why don't you stick a 9hp on the back, take the engine out and overhaul it in your garage as time/money permits. You'll learn something and eventually (over the next winter?) have the engine ready to go back in. Afterwards sell on the 9hp.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:06   #15
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even if you go with a 15 horse outboard it will be power and weight wasted. once you rev up to a point all you'll do is make noise. something like a 9.9 high thrust long shaft will move the boat as fast as it will go over the full range of the engines throttle response.
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