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Old 03-08-2006, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Diesel or Gas?

This topic has probably spent some time here before but I would like to get a few views on what is preferred.

Our new Bristol 32 came with an Atomic 4 and we are still struggling with the idea of replacing it but it runs like clockwork. My question is, do we leave it and stash the cash that we would have spent for the day we DO replace it or is it worth the while to continue to maintain and repair the A4??

How many "Cruisers" continue with a A4 over Diesel? Does it make sense since the A4 is so much easier to work on than a Diesel? Seems kinda nice to be able to do your own work vs having to call someone when something goes wrong.

I don't feel that the issue of having to switch on the blower for the gas engine is overshadowed by the diesel. I think that having the diesel may have it's own issues with all the filtration that has to be done on the fuel.

Would it be considered a bad idea to cruise for any length of time with the A4??

Any thoughts??

Bajamas
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Old 03-09-2006, 02:03 AM   #2
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Scott,

I'm certainly not an expert, but...

The biggest advantage a diesel engine has over a gas engine is the simple fact that diesel vapors are not explosive.

Diesel engines also consume far less fuel, which vastly increases your range.

So from a cruising perspective - I'd definitely go with diesel.

From a mechanical perspective - diesel engines are much easier to maintain.

I once witnessed a yacht explode and immediately sink in Avalon Harbor. Quite spectacular. It not only abruptly ended a pleasant voyage... but the lives of two happy sailors, as well.

If I were in your deck shoes, Mate, I'd sell that Atomic 4 as a running take-out and apply the money to a new Yanmar.

You'll be glad you did.

Kirk.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:10 AM   #3
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Kirk,

Certainly doesn't sound like a pleasant experience!

Like I said, we have considered the diesel and feel that it might be a nice feeling to know we are crusising with a brand new diesel instead of a gas engine that is 35 years old! AND WON'T BLOW UP![B )]

It's also hard having to part with all that extra cash too!

Always a give and take huh?

Thanks

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Old 03-09-2006, 09:43 AM   #4
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The A4, although reliable, at 35 years old may not exactly be as reliable as it once was without a complete rebuild and even then- one has to question the integrity of the block.

Theres an old saying that goes like this; Pay me now, or Pay me later.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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My preference is not to own a gas boat. That said if your atomic is running then the finances say to leave it alone. If you haven't priced a marine engine (gas or diesel) you are in for a big surprise.
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Old 03-09-2006, 04:41 PM   #6
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I don't know the Atomic4 but the fact that it is a petrol motor leaves it behind the '8 ball'. A diesel is much more reliable, economical and easier to service yourself. There are many additives to add to the fuel to eliminate fuel waxing and bacterial growth but if your using the motor much it isn't a problem anyhow. As for the 'fuel filtration' of a diesel - dirty fuel is dirty fuel be it petrol or diesel and both are a problem. To replace a petrol motor with a diesel means a fuel/money saving from then on, the economy of a diesel motor over a petrol motor is significant so you'll use less fuel per hour and get a bigger range from a tank full of diesel. I also doubt that motors will go down in price. The risk of a petrol fire is genuine. I guess all in all those are the reasons that cruising yachts seem to all have diesel motors.

Regards

Peter
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Old 03-10-2006, 12:26 AM   #7
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I have a policy of "change at my convenience please" - If you dont schedule the upgrade to diesel - it will occur at the least opportune time where installation is not perfect and the old engine is worth nothing :-

Sell it (even if it pays for the dumping costs) and start with a reliable new one...
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:22 AM   #8
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Scott and Bev,

We ALL agree ... go diesel.

Terry
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:03 PM   #9
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Has anyone researched the use of Electric motors with a small gas generator as a replacement for gas or diesel? It is a new technology but it seems to have some benifits. No diesel fuel, very few spair parts needed. Mean time to failure is very high. Lots of torque. Under sail you have a constant source of power. The only draw back is that you need alot of battery power to motor without the generator.
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Converted Post'
Originally posted by Sailboatman

Has anyone researched the use of Electric motors with a small gas generator as a replacement for gas or diesel? It is a new technology but it seems to have some benifits. No diesel fuel, very few spair parts needed. Mean time to failure is very high. Lots of torque. Under sail you have a constant source of power. The only draw back is that you need alot of battery power to motor without the generator.
There was a thread about this on the tartanowners.org website in the T27 community area, maybe a few months or more ago.

Some people had actually went that route and found that the amount of batteries required equaled the engine weight, not to mention that companies actually sell the electric motor for this purpose.. The folks with smaller boats claim to love the quietness it affords, claim it goes for just about 6hrs, but then again- these are smaller boats, not long distance cruisers per se.. But who says you cant have one of those Honda Quiet generators on board either?

Food for thought I guess. I'll dig up that thread when I get done with work and post a link to it.
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:09 AM   #11
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Well - I have a dream of powering under full sail past all the other wannabees with the electric motor just giving me the edge...

course - wouldnt mention I had electric - BIG SMILE

I believe the cost of a genset is similar to that of a diesel - so the electrics are a luxury - YES PLEASE .

Also - what about using the prop to generate power if anchored in a tidal current - twice a day !

food for thought !
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:36 AM   #12
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I have an old Westerbeke 40 on my Islander 41. I have heard that parts are hard to come by for this model. I am looking at replacing it with two Briggs and Stratton Etek 48 volt motors. There is a controller available for these motors that enables regeneration, or enalbeing them to generate power at 48 volts. The issue arrises on how to control the flow to the battery bank. Trying to keep the system simple I am looking at using a 4055 inverter that will take the power and dump it to a 110v water heater or refrigeration. I am also looking at some sort of a brakeing system to stop the shaft from turning at the point i don't need the power and the batteries are close to being full. I would also have the 2000w Honda to supplement and extend motoring as long as i have gas.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:08 AM   #13
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Well, Sorry I couldn't find the whole origin of the thread, but I thinks thats because it was mixed in a thread about replacing the A4 motor- which resulted in a twisted thread. But, I did find this thread-

http://www.imaginationsunlimited.com/tarta...1245#reply_1338

As far as using the electric motor that also moves your boat to generate electricity in tidal waters has me hard pressed about the fact that it will have a lot of torque and will require a lot of water current to even make it move. (perhaps a wind generator without it's motor connect via a hydraulic impeller to the electric drive motor down below?)

I just simply don't know for certain.
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Old 03-15-2006, 06:47 PM   #14
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Re Electric Main Engine with a gen set.

There's been a couple of recent articles in one of the Brit sailing mags - it was either Yachting World or Yachting monthly - where someone has had this set up built into a new cruising yacht.

It may be worth getting hold of the magazine or a copy of the article - you could try on the publishers web site www.ybw.com.

Whilst the set up did include a larger battery bank than one would normally carry, the principal idea was not to run the main electric motor from the batteries all the time. To power along they aim to run the gen set (a small diesel) which then directly powered the main electric motor - with apparently better results overall than using a main deisel.

The article explained that the torque possible from the elctric motor at lower speeds was far greater than possible with a combustion engine. The fuel consuption of the small gen set used to drive the electrics wso cruising range under power multiplied several times. The overall weight was reduced. The costs were lower. Space was gained. The gen set was whisper quiet in operation - and one gets the benefit of the small gen set to also power 110v / 220v appliances if they are required.

I'm not sure if the boat is completed or still under contruction - but I do recall the owner had not completely filled in the original engine room space - just in case it did not work out as he planned!

Hope this is useful.

Cheers

JOHN
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