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Old 06-05-2010, 14:54   #16
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I had an Atomic 4 in my old boat, and now have a Yanmar. I would never go back to an Atomic 4, and never go back to gasoline.
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Old 06-05-2010, 16:34   #17
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Most buyers would steer clear of petrol regardless of boat quality unless they factored in an immediate Diesel replacement. Most surveyors would probably make a strong negative point about the motor being petrol.
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Old 08-05-2010, 22:53   #18
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What a bunch of

Hooey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surveyors should survey and not put their own personal predjudices into the picture.

Most gasoline related incidents occur during fueling i.e. not taking normal precautions.

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Most surveyors would probably make a strong negative point about the motor being petrol.
A surveyor like the one you mention would NEVER get any referals from me.
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Old 09-05-2010, 05:53   #19
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Hooey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surveyors should survey and not put their own personal predjudices into the picture.

Most gasoline related incidents occur during fueling i.e. not taking normal precautions.

A surveyor like the one you mention would NEVER get any referals from me.
Chief,
ya gotta admit Gasoline is an inferior fuel
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:53   #20
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Atomic4 is a really great little engine. Easy to work on. Run really smooth and develope plenty of power. Downside is carrrying gas. The engine uses 1-1.25 gallons per hour at cruising speed.
When I bought my bcurrent boat the standard engine was 30 hp Westerbeke. The upgrade to 30hp Yanmar was $2k. I upgraded to the Yanmar and feel it was money well spent.
I agree with others who state that the difference between the Atomic4 and a diesel is at least worth $5k.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:17   #21
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Go with the diesel. Gasoline has a limited shelf life and gas with ethanol/methanol will absorb moisture causing no end of problems with phase separation and causes bad things to happen to rubber and neoprene.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:43   #22
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Resale value is also a function of buyer preceptions. Whether the A4 is actually more likely to burn (in terms of real numbers) the difference is price is governed by gossip.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:44   #23
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Now there's a pithy phrase; "Governed by Gossip". Remember where you saw it !!?!
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:49   #24
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Gas vs Diesel

I agree that gas if a far inferior fuel. It is much more volatile, has a shorter shelf life and is more likely to have quality issues than diesel.

Diesel is used in every industrial vehicle that requires power. Tractor trailers, busses, locomotives, commercial aircraft and large marine vessels. All of these applications are torque based engines. Torque output of the engine is what moves heavy loads and diesel engines in general have a much better torque curve than a comparable gasoline.

Sailboats require more torque than hp to move. A low hp high torque engine will turn your alternator, push the boat and have power to spare.

In a jam you can put just about anything that resembles diesel in your engine to keep moving, try that in a gasoline engine. Plain and simple diesel is just better. No question....
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:06   #25
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I work on a farm doing equipment maintinence. We have diesel tractors with over 50,000 hours that run like new. We have diesel trucks with over a million miles that are as reliable as anything on the road. With proper maintinence these things will almost run forever.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:49   #26
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I am in total agreement

What gets me is the fear mongering that goes on sometimes about gasoline. Westerbreak had a history of this when they took over Universal. (I found that gem in an online history of Universal)

Believe me, I rebuild enough carburetors every season....I am almost thinking of making it a part of normal winterization. i.e. after winterization, bull the carb off...clean, reassemble and "bag it" til commisioning time.

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Chief,
ya gotta admit Gasoline is an inferior fuel
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:44   #27
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If you are mechanically minded the A-4 is no issue at all. If you are all thumbs and want simple then perhaps diesel is better.

I would like to hear from someone who lost a boat due to an a-4 that blew it up. I can’t deny that diesel is more stable as it does not break down, but diesels have issues too. They need more cranking power for one. Don’t like to start if cold is another. I would rather clean the main jet in a little updraft carb than I would be looking at an injector pump that does not develop any pressure.

I have an A-4 with a heat exchanger and an adjustable main jet carb. Burns less than half a gallon an hour at five knots and plays with the boat. Since I am a sailor not a motorman, it gets little use. More often than not I am running it to use it a little, get it warm and burn the carbon out rather than needing the engine. While I could use it to charge batteries, I find it seldom needed though that is one of the reasons I put in the adjustable main jet so I could lean it out if it needed to spend a long time charging the bank.

So what do you have to do to a gas engine that you don’t do to a diesel: ignition – that’s it. Carry a spare everything just in case. No big deal. I have never had a set of points fail, condenser fail or coil fail. I know of a couple of burned out coils because the points were way too close and the coil got hot but it would have never happened if the points would have been gapped every hundred hours.

I think one of the problems people have with the A-4 is that it is too forgiving of abuse and lack of maintenance. They can run on three cylinders and do ok but it ain’t a good idea. They can run hot for a while too and the list goes on. Like a woman or a horse; take care of it and it pays you back!

I carry a couple of spare starter springs and brushes. My fuel pump is electric and at the tank. I carry a spare. Multiple filters inline and a water separator. With a three line filters in a row, if, and big if as it has never happened, I can jerk out the first one in the line and have engine power back in a couple of minutes. My alternator is high output Delco. I carry spare pump parts (both pumps take the same impeller)

I do have a fume detector in the engine doghouse but mostly for the benefit of those who are afraid of the gas engine. The few times I have ever had a fuel issue I could smell it long before the detector would ever go off. The detector has never gone off except to test.
 
If I could have easily replaced the A-4 with a diesel I might have done so in the beginning, but nothing had the low profile of the flathead A-4 and as I did not wish to sit up 6 inches higher while at the chart table I just made the A-4 idiot proof.

Um Saudade
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Old 09-05-2010, 16:37   #28
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A-4

A properlly maintained gasoline engine is plenty safe. I know of no boat that burnt to the waterline due to a properly maintained gasoline engine and only one that was improperly maintained but that was a stink pot (Not A4).

If you have the time a A4 will treat you fine. You don't even have to be that mechanical. Add an electric fuel pump and electronic ignition and life gets much better. But they still require a lot more attention than a diesel.

Even if you are a sailor and not a motor man the "auxiliary" has to be reliable. I personally do not want to rebuild my carburetor or replace ignition components every spring.

No sailboat manufacture installs an inboard gasoline auxiliary at this time. There has to be a reason.

An A4 cannot hold a candle to a diesel as far as reliability goes....
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Old 09-05-2010, 16:46   #29
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No sailboat manufacture installs an inboard gasoline auxiliary at this time. There has to be a reason.
U.S.C.G. Regulation
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Old 09-05-2010, 17:58   #30
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U.S.C.G. Regulation
I rest my case....
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