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Old 23-07-2013, 16:44   #1
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Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

I've just got a Catalina 27 with an Atomic 4 that took on sea water.it is still free, so, just wondering if it should be rebuilt or scrapped.
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Old 23-07-2013, 17:10   #2
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Re: Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

Tough question, I suspect you will need a mechanic to help you decide. The guy on the boat next to me had an A4 and with a little work it hummed like a kitten. There are still places where you can get parts or even a complete rebuild. If you scrap it you will have to decide whether to replace it with another A4 or a diesel. They make diesels to fit the old engine mounts but fuel tanks and such will probably have to be replaced. It will all get down to money.

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Old 23-07-2013, 17:42   #3
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Re: Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

Muscongus, the answer really depends on a lot of variables, such as
Have you experience doing a gasoline engine rebuild? Are you a competent amateur mechanic? Can you personally assess whether all you need to do at the moment is reseat the exhaust valve where the seawater came in? Am I writing Greek to you?

Seriously, it has to do with skill level, willingness to tackle a new project (which involves time and money), personal preferences (I have more money than time, I know a good honest mechanic in my area, etc.)

That's an old engine, with some peculiarities, but it's pretty easy to work on. On another thread, we have Sailorchick, who is tearing down an engine even as we write, it's called something like, "I got bored, so I pulled the head on my engine." She's getting lots of help.

If the engine is trashed, you may not want to fool with it. It's a really old design. Others will undoubtedly tout to you the virtues of a new engine; but you are the only one who knows what your resources and preferences are.

Good luck with it.
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Old 23-07-2013, 17:51   #4
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Re: Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

Check out MoyerMarine.com, there are forums there you can peruse to help figure out if salvageable or not. MoyerMarine is also the "GOTO" company for all things A-4. I have 2 A-4's that I am working on.
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Old 23-07-2013, 18:07   #5
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Thanks you guys,

I'm not sure if I'm going to keep the C27 or not, so, spending on it is more of a priority than it would be if she was definitely my long term boat. I've got a Bristol 24 that I've done a lot of upgrades to that we sail every weekend and really enjoy. Its a but small though....

Send that a guy can purchase a new motor for a couple grand, but there are a ton of considerations with that like the fuel tank, shaft size and angle, motor mounts and transmission.

At first, ill put one of my outboards on her transom, get her in the water and sail her some. I'm pretty sure that's the only solid way to make a decision about the boat.

I've got to see if I'm going to keep her to make a real decision about how much I'll be willing to spend on her.
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Old 23-07-2013, 18:08   #6
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Sorry about the typos. Auto correct, dontchaknow...
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Old 23-07-2013, 18:10   #7
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Re: Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

used A4s in supposedly good condtion turn up fairly regularly around major sailing locations. Assume they are take outs for a diesel conversion. Should be able to pick one up for less than $2,000 and usually way less. Will have to have it shipped but that's not that big a deal for such a small engine.

Ingestion of water is no big thing unless the engine tried to compress the liquid. If it just got seawater in a cylinder from syphoning through the exhaust, just change the oil and it should be good as new if it didn't sit too long. Had an issue with a Volvo Diesel doing on my old boat. Filled with water twice before i figured out a permanent fix. Pumped out the oil and water, changed the oil twice after letting it warm up thoroughly and all was fine. Engine ran for more than 15 years afterwards. If it tried to compress the liquid, especially at higher rpm, the chances are good you've got bigger issues and will take a tear down to find all that out.
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Old 23-07-2013, 18:29   #8
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Thanks,

That's hopeful news. The boats getting delivered in the next couple of weeks and I'll take a good look at things then.

It would be great if the A4 was a simple fix. Let's keep out fingers crossed...
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Old 23-07-2013, 18:39   #9
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Re: Is an Atomic 4 worth rebuilding?

It's a Catalina 27. They made two models - one set up for an outboard, and one for an inboard Atomic 4. Do some internet research and look at photos of Catalina 27's with outboards. You won't be able to exactly duplicate what they have, but you'll get the idea.
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Old 23-07-2013, 20:16   #10
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As a general rule, its not worth it to convert a gas sailboat to a diesel. You will save money and time by selling what you have and buying a boat which already has a diesel. Catalina 27s are legion out there.
A diesel is over improvement.
If you plan on keeping the boat for a long time its worth it. Otherwise not.
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Old 24-07-2013, 05:05   #11
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Hmmmm in my mind simple answer. Yes rebuild her.
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