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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Gas > Atomic 4
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2011
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I follow CalebD's procedures re fuel and rw valves. There is one Cardinal Rule to add. Don't open the rw valve until the engine is running. I have installed a control cable that will open and close the rw valve from the cockpit. Climbing down into the bowels of our I-28 to get raw water flowing through the heat exchanger ( I did install a heat exchanger to make life easier on me and the A-4 ) after the engine has fired, got old, even faster than I did.

The reason I have this boat is the po's lack of understanding about filling the water lift muffler with sea water if the engine doesn't start for a protracted time. He ran down his battery trying to start it. Left in frustration and the full wl muffler spilled some overflow back into the engine. Returning two months later to try again with a new battery he found the engine seized and sold the entire package, including Avon, obm, survival suits, hand tools, all lines, sails spinnaker, etc. to me for $1500.00 bucks. I exchanged the frozen motor for a rebuilt from Don Moyer and we have enjoyed one of Perry's best little boats for three years now. Don't introduce cooling water until she is running! It is a great little engine!
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  #22  
Old 10-21-2011
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Tommays,

Can you PLEASE tell me where you got that replacement gauge set up? I have a '76 C&C with the 30hp A4. Trying tu upgrade a few things, and the gauge console is sorely in need of it.

Thanks in advance!
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  #23  
Old 10-21-2011
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They are just off the shelf Telex classic inboard boat gauges at about 30 dollars a gauge and it pays to update the senders to get the best performance if there of unknown age
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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  #24  
Old 10-23-2011
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I have noticed on this thread that a large number of the comments relate to the safety concerns of gas vs. diesel.

If you take a moment to think about it - how many valid stories of sailboats blowing up or burning due to engine fires have you heard? I have no personal knowledge of any in 40 years of sailing. Propane, yes. Alcohol, yes, Kerosene, yes but none related to an A4 engine fuel system.

Also, when you consider that something on the order of 90% of all power boats are gas powered, how often do they burn? Not very often.

And we all know that sailors are smarter and more knowledgeable about their boats than powerboaters - right?

With a modicum of care in addition to keeping your fuel system in good shape you should never have a problem. IMHO, the level of worry associated with this issue is closer to paranoia than a valid concern.
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  #25  
Old 10-23-2011
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Jon, there still are SOME petrol powered boats that have blown up as a result of petrol itself. I know someone who had to try salvaging a man's leg, after he had a refueling accident, blew up his boat, and augered into the wood fuel dock when he came back done out of the air.

Then in the US alone, there are several gasoline station fires EVERY year, when people refuel their cars. Some being very smart and lighting the cigarettes they just bought at the same station, others from static or other causes.

Petrol is supposed to explode.

The only question is, whether you've properly confined the explosion to the inside of the engine.

Heck, we lose a couple of homes and businesses every year to propane explosions as well, but only the oil and electric companies try to sell folks on "safe oil (electric) heating".

Then there's fireplaces and Christmas lights...Some folks just really shouldn't be allowed to mess around with anything flammable at all.
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Old 10-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Petrol is supposed to explode.
Nope, that's why God invented octane. Gas is supposed to BURN, albeit very quickly. If it explodes it's called detonation - very bad thing.

As to your other comments, I agree but I would hazard a guess that there are 10 or 100 times the number of galley fires than gas engine fires and few people fret about having a propane galley like they do about a gas engine. You can get diesel stoves and heaters as well but they are less convenient than propane.
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Last edited by SloopJonB; 10-24-2011 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 10-24-2011
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The only A4 fire I know of happened on a C&C 35 Gandalf on the great lakes in 2009

Pretty lucky all around as it was destroyed and nobody was badly hurt
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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  #28  
Old 10-24-2011
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Galley fires? Sure, had two kitchen fires nearly burn down my building (thank you, neighbors) in the last two years. Alcohol fires on boats? Well documented, and personally I can eat cold food and skip my coffee for days if the only heat source is alcohol.

IIRC gasoline is considered a "low explosive" because it deflagrates, as opposed to a high explosive. Bear in mind that diesel fuel is generally considered less explosive than gasoline--but diesel is the key to an ANFO hyperbaric bomb.

Aircraft and cars also do explode--fueled by just gasoline. Hollywood FX not required. Octane boosters just slow down the rate of propagation in the flame front, and STEAL POWER from the fuel. The good lord invented them to fool the masses into paying more for worse fuel, before gasahol was invented.

I like my gasoline like my women--able to make loud violent noises with little provocation and for loong periods of time, but only in the right times and places. Oh, wait a minute...maybe I've got something confused there. (VBG)
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  #29  
Old 10-25-2011
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Octane boosters just slow down the rate of propagation in the flame front, and STEAL POWER from the fuel. The good lord invented them to fool the masses into paying more for worse fuel, before gasahol was invented.
Nope, he invented octane so we could have high compression engines with lovely, crisp throttle response. Slowing down the flame front with high octane may "steal power" in some sort of lab experiment but in the real world it allows you to boost the compression ratio or the boost level in a turbo or supercharged engine. On average, each point increase in compression is good for a 4% boost in power - going from a typical 9.0 to 1 to a "good old days" 12.5 to 1 gives a 14% increase in power - not exactly "stealing power" or "fooling the masses".
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  #30  
Old 10-25-2011
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Folks have been taught to think "high test" will make their engines run better. Ignoring the new ones with detonation sensors, that's been fooling the masses for over 50 years.

Using low test to run a high compression engine? Sure, that's one way to do it. Or you can start with building a stronger engine. Many ways to skin that cat. The faster the "boom", the faster the pistons can move, and velocity buys more power than just increasing the mass. That's why aluminum baseball bats hit further than wood.
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