Join Date: Nov 2002
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)
I agree that an inboard gas engine should not be a total deal breaker on an otherwise sound boat.
The explosion hazard is real and you need to maintain the engine correctly, only install electrical equipment that is safe around gas, and install a sniffer for the bilge.
The big disadvantage of gas is the limited range the boat has. A gallon diesel contains a lot more BTUs than a gallon of gas and a gas engine sends a lot of the energy it generates out through the exhaust as heat.
Although some people say they would not have a boat with a gas engine in it many routinely stick the dingy engine gas can in their lazerette and sometimes place the outboard engine there too.
Outboards are a pain in the butt. I sailed florida for years and the outboard I had was always coming out of the water when there was any sort of sea running. Couple that with a very short range and limited (at best) battery charging capability and you have a really strong argument against using an outboard as your auxillary engine.
If you use an outboard try to make it a 4 stroke as the gas milage is much better. Four stroke engines are really heavy, however.
BTW, you dont have to cross the gulf stream to have some wonderful cruising. Any place in the keys where cars can reach is as beautiful as places in the Bahamas.
If you do want to cross the stream you can just wait for the weather (so you will have wind) and start down in the keys so you will have a good shot at making it acrossed the stream before it carries you too far north.