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Old 17-10-2016, 12:57   #16
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

hello sailon1. I have a Hughes 29 with an atomic four, essentially an s&s hull with a cutaway keel it is an easy boat to move and I have done 21 days of combination sailing, motoring on 15 imperial gallons so unless the wind stops for a couple of weeks at a time I can't see you having much trouble cruising with 20 us. gallons and a couple of good jerry cans. As you have lived long enough to post, I assume you are blower savvy and are keeping fumes out of the bilge. I have a monoxide alarm and also use propane for cooking. I did once watch a dock neighbour get blown out of his companion way as he went below with a lit cigarette in his mouth. If you run a gasoline boat, don't smoke!!! It can be bad for your health
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Old 17-10-2016, 18:20   #17
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

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Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
nowadays very few inboard engines are gasoline.
In fact during the time my boating was on a trawler I never met a single person using gasoline. When evaluating and infrequent risk one must keep in mind the severity of the consequence of the risk.
People go to great trouble to protect themselves from propane as they should, but keep in mind that the density of gasoline fumes is 4 times the density of propane.
If you do choose gasoline, which if your boat has a gasoline engine you are locked into, have a good system of blowers to run prior to turning on the engine.
pdenton
Do not know where you are from... I do not know the percentage but a lot of boats have gasoline engines.
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Old 17-10-2016, 21:46   #18
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

I've sailed / lived aboard 8+ years on my Columbia 30. 15 gallon tank. All over the SE. Atomic 4 but I was getting 150 miles per tank. Always used 5 gal cans topside. Ran 5 knots. 3 blades. V drive. Still have A4 on my 27 now. 7 years and no problems with gas. A4 hell of a lot cheaper and easier to maintain than diesel. Prefer a diesel but Whaddyagonnado.

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Old 17-10-2016, 23:52   #19
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

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Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
nowadays very few inboard engines are gasoline.
In fact during the time my boating was on a trawler I never met a single person using gasoline. When evaluating and infrequent risk one must keep in mind the severity of the consequence of the risk.
People go to great trouble to protect themselves from propane as they should, but keep in mind that the density of gasoline fumes is 4 times the density of propane.
If you do choose gasoline, which if your boat has a gasoline engine you are locked into, have a good system of blowers to run prior to turning on the engine.
pdenton
The vast majority of new boats in the USA have inboard gas engines.

Yes, gas deserves respect but follow common safety protocols (run blower, no sparky devices in the engine room, etc...) and there is no reason for paranoia. Check with the local Power Squadron and they can run you thru it if you don't understand.

100mile range is a bit low but certainly doable. If you can secure 2-4 jugs on deck where they won't get in the way, that would get you a much more comfortable range which should be plenty for a Bahamas trip. Running the ICW, 100mile range is plenty.

Another idea to play with. How does your range vary with speed. At normal cruise speed (6.5kts), we expect 6MPG but if we slow down to 4-5kts, that jumps up to around 10MPG. (Assuming calm conditions). You might be able to significantly increase range by simply chugging along at a slower speed when on longer trips where range becomes a consideration and the wind isn't cooperative.
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Old 18-10-2016, 00:59   #20
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdenton View Post
nowadays very few inboard engines are gasoline.
In fact during the time my boating was on a trawler I never met a single person using gasoline. When evaluating and infrequent risk one must keep in mind the severity of the consequence of the risk.
People go to great trouble to protect themselves from propane as they should, but keep in mind that the density of gasoline fumes is 4 times the density of propane.
If you do choose gasoline, which if your boat has a gasoline engine you are locked into, have a good system of blowers to run prior to turning on the engine.
pdenton
My first reaction to this post was that it was completely off base. But, perhaps what PD meant was that no other TRAWLERS had petrol engines, and I suppose that this could be true. But of course, the vast majority of the total boating population is in outboard powered vessels, and they are essentially all petrol fueled. In the somewhat larger mo-bo realm, we still see lots of petrol engined I/O drive boats, and in the smaller sedan cruiser and sport boat realm there are plenty of big petrol engines in play.

But the trawler world is a lot like the cruising yacht world, where long term reliability, good fuel economy and generally better safety concerns are the driving concepts rather than power to weight ratios, and so his observation might well be valid... but not very applicable to the OPs query.

And FWIW, Ann and I cruised (and raced) for years with an Atomic 4 powered Yankee 30. This included several coastal cruises from SF to SoCal, and one round trip to Hawaii. We would have rather had a diesel, but certainly not to t he extent that a repower would have made sense.

Jim
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Old 18-10-2016, 05:08   #21
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

You will get people that naysay gasoline engines quite a bit.
But my experience is that for an inboard that is in less than 36' you wont find a quieter and smoother engine than an atomic 4. Make sure you know the engine well. Go to the Moyer marine website and learn all you can.
I highly recommend installing a pertronix ignition conversion (usually $90-$120). This eliminates the points and condenser and most of the trouble. Carry a spare coil ($25-$50) and while your at it cap and rotor. (another $30) Also carry a supply of Lead-Substitute with you. This is key to keeping your valves in good shape.
Is there an unused space where you can install a second smaller tank? If it is isolated from the engine compartment you might use a cheaper plastic tank. Then just put in a y valve (or one on each tanks supply to the filter).
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Old 18-10-2016, 11:53   #22
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

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Originally Posted by Sailon1 View Post
My Pearson 30 has an Atomic 4 gas engine, very reliable. 20 gallon fuel tank provides 100 mile range. Is this cruising range adequate for say the Bahamas and coastal cruising in general?

Throttle back to 4.5-5kt and you fuel economy will go up dramatically.
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Old 19-10-2016, 00:08   #23
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
My first reaction to this post was that it was completely off base. But, perhaps what PD meant was that no other TRAWLERS had petrol engines, and I suppose that this could be true. But of course, the vast majority of the total boating population is in outboard powered vessels, and they are essentially all petrol fueled. In the somewhat larger mo-bo realm, we still see lots of petrol engined I/O drive boats, and in the smaller sedan cruiser and sport boat realm there are plenty of big petrol engines in play.

I'm sure he was talking trawlers or sailboats but lots of people cruise (although typically weekend cruising) with gas powered twin inboards and at least in the states they are more common than trawlers and sailboats combined. It's not until you get up around 40' and larger that diesel starts to dominate the market.

But the trawler world is a lot like the cruising yacht world, where long term reliability, good fuel economy and generally better safety concerns are the driving concepts rather than power to weight ratios, and so his observation might well be valid... but not very applicable to the OPs query.

While diesel engines historically lasted longer, gas engines are very reliable. Two boats back I had a pair of 30yr old Chrysler 360's that ran perfect and no expectation that they would die any time soon. Fuel economy is a downside but that has to be balanced against the extra $20-30k the diesel upgrade would cost. Most people don't care about fuel economy, they care about overall cost. I seriously doubt those using gas engines are any less concerned about safety. Most simply take reasonable precautions.

And FWIW, Ann and I cruised (and raced) for years with an Atomic 4 powered Yankee 30. This included several coastal cruises from SF to SoCal, and one round trip to Hawaii. We would have rather had a diesel, but certainly not to t he extent that a repower would have made sense.

Jim

Another complication of the gas vs diesel is much of the "wisdom" is based on 40yr old heavily overbuilt slow turning diesels vs lighter built gas engines using carbs/points/distributers/etc...

The modern diesel lives a much higher stress lifestyle with smaller lighter blocks turbocharged to cram more power in and come with the complication of electronic controls.

At the same time, electronic fuel injected engines have become more reliable, lower maintenance and more fuel efficient.

This isn't to say diesel is bad but in many cases, gasoline power is equal or better depending on the use case. Certainly with a functional gasoline engine, it would be silly to rip it out and replace it with diesel.
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Old 19-10-2016, 05:38   #24
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Re: Gas Engine for light cruising

Luckily for you, A pearson 30 is a very good sailing boat. If you have a clean bottom and decent sails, you wont need a heck of a lot of fuel unless you are fighting current and calm winds or head-winds. Most A-4 owners figure for 1 gal/hour consumption, but easily is less than that if you back off to below hull speed.
one thing I forgot to mention in my previous post: Make sure you check your bilge blower out. The hoses tend to come apart over the years, making them useless noise machines.
Hose wall should not break or puncture easily. Make sure that the inlet side of the blower hose is lead to the lowest point of the engine compartment or very close to the carb and fuel pump.
Make sure that the outlet is attatched to a vent cowl. You should check it every time by sticking your face next to the air coming out and give it a sniff. If you have a stinky bilge, you are overdue for a cleaning, if it smells like fuel investigate before starting. On a pearson 30 all you should have to do is lean over and check the blower exhaust.
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