Well it is not as stupid an idea as some have posted.
Many sailboats were equipped with Universal Atomic 4 gasoline engines, that are still in operation today, some 40 years later. Catalina 30
is one of the most popular that comes to mind.
Many power boats today are manufactured with gasoline engines.
The propensity of gasoline outboards to diesel outboards also tells a story. Lots of sailboats are equipped with outboards.
Gasoline can be explosive. So can diesel. (That's how diesel engine runs by the way.) Gasoline combusts more easily than diesel. Diesel combusts more easily than water. Rum
is somewhere in between. It's all relative.
Car engines have been put in work boats since the beginning of time. It's crude. Not so reliable, but can be made to work.
BTW, many car engines in North America are subject to salt
spray every winter, that is much more highly concentrated than one would ever find in the sea.
I personally would not recommend putting a car engine in a sailboat. There would need to be so many things modified to make it work, and even more to make it reliable, that your time, if valued at all, would make it cost prohibitive.
If you can't afford to repower
with a new marine engine (and I would recommend choosing diesel), consider looking for a used one.
Replace with exact same make and model.
If you are very handy with engines and want the experience, get the service
manual, read it, and if convinced you have the time, money
, tools, know how, and parts, overhaul
the one pulled out, before putting it in your boat.
If you don't want to go the overhaul route
, ensure it has been tested or rebuilt by a reputable marine mechanic
You can often find used good used marine diesels for about $3000. (Or ones that need rebuilding for about $1500.) If it has more than 5000 running hours on, it should likely be rebuilt.
If you are not replacing with same, you could be into engine bed
, hose, fuel
line, control cable, wiring
, prop shaft, coupler, stuffing box, cutlass bearing, and propeller
mods. (For DIY plan on $2K, for hire about $5-10K.)
If you are highly competent mechanically, good luck and have fun. If you are generally handy, best leave this to a pro.