Gas vs. Diesel
I have a Catalina 27 with an Atomic 4, a Beneteau 32s5 with a Volvo M2002 diesel, two Jetta TDI turbocharged diesels, and an air cooled flat six gas sports car.
I do 90 percent of the maintenance on all the engines and have 100's of hours behind each of them. When it comes to the marine engines, I have actually had a harder time keeping the diesel running than the Atomic 4. Gasoline, with proper fuel additives (PRI-G) will keep for years. Diesel, on the other hand, will tend to grow algae/fungi (ask me how I know...). That said - each engine has its quirks, but none of those quirks are very difficult to understand. I am not a mechanic, either - I just like knowing my engine is there when I need it. And I really like both the Atomic and the Volvo.
So - don't let gas or diesel influence your decision. A mild dose of reason and intelligence will keep you safe and sound with either route.
Focus instead on the condition of the engine in question - its compression, ease of start, and state of engine systems. Pick an engine that is either in very good condition, or one that can be rebuilt quickly w/new parts (Atomic 4 is great for that) and brought current.
Last edited by robrichtx; 07-31-2007 at 10:39 PM.