Originally Posted by jameswilson29
Gasoline fumes are the real danger. The fumes are heavier than air and can fill enclosed spaces like a boat. Boats with gasoline inboard engines have a blower to expel the fumes from the inside of the boat before starting the engine.
In addition, gasoline has a lower flash point than diesel fuel. You can light gasoline with a match, whereas you cannot light diesel fuel with a match.
Diesels engines do not require the complicated ignition systems that gasoline engines do, making them simpler and more reliable.
Totally agree, however, I had an Atomic 4 In my Sabre and loved that little engine. There are simple steps to take to assure that the gas engine can be used safely. Closing all hatches, ports and washboards when fueling up, then airing everything out prior to firing up the engine. Run the sparkless blower for the recommended amount of time, etc...should be no problem.
People have LP gas on board which is equally as dangerous, seeks low areas (ie: bilge) and can go up in an instant, but do we recommend to cruisers to use alcohol stoves only? As long as the proper steps are taken and become ritual, one should have no issues with operating a gas inboard safely.
In terms of reliability, I had more trouble with my diesel on the Vega than I did with the A4, your mileage may vary. diesel needs to be treated, water can build up, micro organisms can grow, fuel filters need to be watched carefully, lines bled constantly...they are a lot of maintenance as well.
I guess my point here is not to allow a gas engine to be a deal breaker for you necessarily, particularly if it has been well maintained.
Good luck with your search and welcome to the sailing family!