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Old 08-27-2006
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The Columbia 27 might be a bit heavy to push with an outboard. I believe it has a "wineglass" stern that might tend to sink a good deal below it's lines if one were to place an outboard powerful enough to push the boat back there. You might also find the prop pushing air in some choppy conditions. This is NOT good for an outboard, since it causes the motor to rev at the same time it cuts off cooling from the water. (How often do you want to buy a new 25hp outboard?) The transom may not be built to take the torquing and pressure back there, either. Do you want to have to rebuild it as well? More important than the age of the engine is how well it has been maintained. Diesels routinely run for many thousands of hours if they are maintained well. Our Yanmar 3GM diesel is 24 years old, and we expect many more years from it, despite it's being raw-water cooled. Atomic 4 gasoline engines have a reputation for longevity also. They're also relatively lightweight, powerful, and quiet. Gasoline engines have more possible "issues" than diesels, but if it ain't broke... Even if you have an Atomic 4 and it develops a problem, mechanics (and others on this site, for example) are familiar with them and know how to fix them. Perhaps as part of your survey (you are going to have the boat surveyed, no?) you should have a proper mechanic inspect the engine. Perhaps you should insist on running it while the mechanic is there, for good measure. THEN you'll have a better idea of what the issues are. Maybe $500 spent on the existing engine would be better than putting $1500 into an outboard that will never be a good solution.
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