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Old 23-06-2014, 08:07   #1
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Repair or Repower?

Hi All:

I am faced with a tough decision.

I have an old atomic four that scored a very low compression test. (One scored as low as 55). I have had a lot of trouble with it and need to do something.

My choices are to have someone work on it to see if it is something that can be fixed, do an exchange program with Moyer Marine where they swap me for a rebuilt one($4800), or I bite the bullet and pay 10k for a brand new Beta diesel.

I was making my way down the icw and am held up in Oriental, NC weighing my options.

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.




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Old 23-06-2014, 08:19   #2
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Re: Repair or Repower?

The upside to repowering with the same type motor is ease of installation. It probably won't be a total swap and drop but much closer than with other motors, altho there are some that are near drop-ins. I don't know if your choice of diesel is such.

I have an A4 in my Pearson Triton and love it. Properly maintained they can last a lifetime. I will assume you will make sure whatever engine you install will have a heat exchanger to keep that pesky salt water out of the engine block - that helps much with longevity, as you would know.

I'd go with the Moyer swap. The motor is tested and warranted. You could have Moyer rebuild yours but since you are on the go, maybe you should just do the swap and go sailing.
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Old 23-06-2014, 08:38   #3
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Thank you....yes the Beta Diesel is pretty close to a drop in....just a lot more labor hours(changing transmission/fuel system etc) and I would have to change my prop. Mechanic said late July it would be ready while the exchange could be done much quicker......some people I talk to love the A4 while others think I'm crazy to consider anything other than a diesel




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Old 23-06-2014, 08:47   #4
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Re: Repair or Repower?

the more i think about carrying a load of explosive gasoline in a fuel tank the more i like diesels. then again the power boaters and automobiles cruise around all day with tons of gasoline and i never see them exploding. if you are replacing then it is a no brainer: go with the diesel.
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Old 23-06-2014, 08:50   #5
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Re: Repair or Repower?

It may be great fun to blow big bucks on your boat with a brand new engine. But you could replace the ancient gas engine with a low-hour used or rebuilt diesel for a fraction of the cost of a new Beta. A friend just picked up a Yanmar 2GM, completely rebuilt by a Yanmar Gold dealer, for $3500.

Investing thousand$ in that old A-4 does not compute. If it is using a lot of oil, get rid of it. If it only needs a valve job, you might get by for awhile. Otherwise it would be wiser to put your $ towards a more long term solution.
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Old 23-06-2014, 09:04   #6
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Re: Repair or Repower?

I am in the same predicament with my P30 A4 compression is 50,75,90,90 a friend rebuilt his A4 its close to $4000.
I am seriously considering electric, it will cost more but silent, odorless, no maintenance gotta love it.
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Old 23-06-2014, 09:06   #7
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Re: Repair or Repower?

I wonder if the folks who are terrified about the alleged dangers of a gas engine in an enclosed hull use propane fuel for their stove?

A properly installed and maintained gas engine is no more dangerous than a properly installed and maintained propane system. Thousands of folks use propane all over the world and only those folks who fail to use common sense get into trouble. If you own a sailboat and lack common sense there are infinite ways to get into trouble, not just from a gas engine.

If you have plenty of time and money - go diesel. If you want to go sailing this summer, call Moyer and get that new motor shipped so you can have some fun in '14. Tens of thousands of those old A4s were installed and thousands are still being used. Replace your blower motor while you are in there - even if it sounds ok. Get a fume detector if you want some more gadgets in the boat - but, honestly, if you run your blower like you are supposed the danger is minuscule.
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Old 23-06-2014, 09:12   #8
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Re: Repair or Repower?

What is the boat worth with a serviceable A4? If less than $20,000 I would do the Moyer swap. If more then the Beta begins to sound attractive.

Where are you? Sailcraft or Deatons? Sailcraft is a Beta dealer and will probably push that option. But they do have a good mechanic- Darrel who can do it right.

Wayfarer's Cove is another option. Their on site mechanic tenant is a Beta dealer I think as Beta US is just around the corner. Might be a bit cheaper. But I wouldn't want to be stuck on my boat with no transportation at Wayfarers.

David
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Old 23-06-2014, 09:17   #9
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Re: Repair or Repower?

I'd consider resale value and ease of resale. If you dump money into the Atomic 4 or replace with an Atomic 4 you will still have an Atomic 4 when you eventually sell the boat. That will make selling harder and lower the price.
I put a new Yanmar 3YM in 2 years ago. The engine-tran cost $7.5k, with install and misc. parts it came to $12.5k. It took 5 days to install, including custom mounts. I wish I had done it earlier on the boat, as I was already at least $4k into screwing around with the old Volvo.
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Old 23-06-2014, 09:45   #10
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Given the state of the "fleet" as it were, I'm not sure the gas/diesel issue means much for resale. After a boat is more than 15 years old, the resale value drops precipitously and if you have an A4 in your boat it is likely ancient. Not a huge market for those kinds of boats anymore. Putting a pricey diesel in an old hull is not going to have much impact on resale value, IMHO. You just won't get much back on the investment.
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Old 23-06-2014, 10:09   #11
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Everyone here is so knowledgable, it's great!

Yes, I am at Sailcraft and spoke to Allen and Darryl. They are pushing the Beta. Sailcraft does seem like strand up and trustworthy guys.

My boat is a 1973 C&C 30' MK1 that was maintained like a racer.

I only paid 9k for her so I had a little sticker shock at a 10k repower quote. That said, if for 5k more it is such a better system that a rebuilt Moyer A4 then it is a strong consideration. I understand the combustible concern but I'm religious about doing all my safety checks and well ventilating.

I'm hesitant to have the mechanic open up the existing because then I'm may be throwing good money after bad some more.

Although resale is of course a thought, I hope to have the boat a long while so it is weighed a little less.

My uncle back home(Ft.Laud) is a big DIY old sailboat guy that wants me to get it down there for him to help. So there is some thought to just putting her on a truck back home.


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Old 23-06-2014, 10:18   #12
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beckettnole View Post
...Although resale is of course a thought, I hope to have the boat a long while so it is weighed a little less...
Many mistakenly think this way.
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Old 23-06-2014, 10:33   #13
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Re: Repair or Repower?

I'd suggest an electric motor, get some batts and a portable generator, and that will get you home to reconsider whether to stay with electric or put in the dirty diesel.
Check into a golf cart motor and controller.
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Old 23-06-2014, 10:55   #14
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyoldboatguy View Post
Given the state of the "fleet" as it were, I'm not sure the gas/diesel issue means much for resale. After a boat is more than 15 years old, the resale value drops precipitously and if you have an A4 in your boat it is likely ancient. Not a huge market for those kinds of boats anymore. Putting a pricey diesel in an old hull is not going to have much impact on resale value, IMHO. You just won't get much back on the investment.
You will not get a lot back on the re-engine. You will, generally, sell the boat much faster than if it had the old A4 in it or even an ancient diesel. That said, I didn't realize it was a $9k boat to begin with. That makes it a much tougher decision. If the OP is going to hang on for a long time, then maybe a new diesel. Or, as already suggested, a used diesel if the OP is going to do most of the refit work.
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Old 23-06-2014, 11:16   #15
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Re: Repair or Repower?

Any recommendations where I can find a rebuilt Yanmar? That might be a better comparison to consider against a rebuilt A4




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