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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Engines > Diesel
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Diesel This is a forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 08-23-2011
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swap gas to diesel

hey i want to swap a gas motor for a diesel has any one done this and was it worth it at the end
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Old 08-23-2011
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You'll have to provide a lot more information than that to get a useful response, What kind of boat ? How old is the boat ? Hpw is the boat used. ?

Is it worth it ? do you mean in usefulness, reliability, maintenance wise or financially ?
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Old 08-23-2011
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Yes. No. Depends.
Folks are always tearing out their old Atomic 4 engines and replacing with diesel, electric or oars.
Is it worth it financially? No, never to not likely.
Is it worth it for your peace of mind? Perhaps.
If you have an Atomic 4 in your boat swapping it for a diesel is going to be a major expense if you have someone else do it. Depending on cost of new engine it could cost anywhere from $6K to $14K +.
If you are at all mechanically inclined, have some free time and like saving money you likely could get your old gas engine working again. I'd pursue the question of reviving it at this forum: Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians - Powered by vBulletin
Which gas engine is it anyway? And what make/model/length boat is it?
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Old 08-24-2011
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For example my 1970 freshwater cooled A4 powered Cal 29 surveyed out at the same or MORE value than diesel powered Cal 29s as the boat tops out in value no matter how much stuff you hange on it
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Old 08-31-2011
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It will not help with the resale value much but it IS less dangerous than gas, and extends the range given the same size fuel tank. I put 100 hours on my Yanmar 2qm15 and barely went through a single 20 gallon tank. You do get better fuel economy as well. I would say if you intend to cruise a lot or are keeping the boat for a long time it is worth it. A rebuilt 2qm15 runs about $3000 + installation unless you do it yourself which is not that tough. Two big guys can lift it in and out and it takes few if any specialized tools. I bought my boat because it had a Diesel and other features I wanted. It may not add to the resale value but for me it was a selling point that caused me to choose my boat over others.
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Old 09-04-2011
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I changed from gas to diesel some years ago, had to change everything, the prop, drive line, exhaust system, had to be cut down bed logs so the new engine would fit, also had to replace the throttle and shift controls. It took lots of time and money, but I am a happy but poor sailor.
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Old 09-05-2011
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I have a 1971 Pearson 33 with a 20 hp 4 cyl gas Palmer P-60 (International Cub of some kind). I might be forced to re-power and am looking at deisels. Which manufacturer is best? Universal and Yanmar seem to be the most popular. Any advice? Should I choose the same HP? Will I have to change my prop?
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCboy View Post
I have a 1971 Pearson 33 with a 20 hp 4 cyl gas Palmer P-60 (International Cub of some kind). I might be forced to re-power and am looking at deisels. Which manufacturer is best? Universal and Yanmar seem to be the most popular. Any advice? Should I choose the same HP? Will I have to change my prop?
I'm not going to wade into the "which is best" question (to which you're likely to get many heartfelt responses), but you need to decide "which is best for you."

Consider local price and availability of parts and repair specialists, as well as design/layout for your particular installation (i.e., will all the service points be easily accessible, or are you going to have to become a contortionist to get to some/all of them.)

You are almost certainly going to need to modify your fuel tank -- unlike a gas engine the diesel's got a return line.

You may well need to adapt, change or replace one or all of the following:
o Prop.
o Shaft.
o Packing gland.
o Cutlass bearing.
o Exhaust system.
o Raw water cooling system.
o Engine bed/stringers.
o Control cables/wiring.
o etc.

The price of the engine's only part of the cost.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Thanks PorFin.
I'm starting to realize that switching to deisel is more involved than I thought.
It's just that since my current engine block appears to have rusted through from water passage to oil galley, it's toast and can't even be re-built. I like the idea of a brand new engine, but who makes a little gas motor for sailboats anymore? Since my model of boat commonly came with an Atomic 4, that should be an easy fit, but I'd be looking at used/re-built right? Even if I wanted to go that route, where do I find one near Vancouver BC?
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCboy View Post
Thanks PorFin.
.... Since my model of boat commonly came with an Atomic 4, that should be an easy fit, but I'd be looking at used/re-built right? Even if I wanted to go that route, where do I find one near Vancouver BC?
Today on Craigslist... you won't even have to get on Hwy 17...

Atomic 4 Transmission/Engine Unit

Clearly not the entire package but if you can determine if the blocks OK it's a start.. after that it's Moyer Marine....

btw many moons ago we took out an old Atomic 2 twin and replaced it with a new volvo 2001. Ultimately a successful swap but required some fairly major mods to engine beds, a new prop, mods to fuel system etc... The cost was never recovered in a subsequent sale...
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Last edited by Faster; 09-06-2011 at 11:12 PM.
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