Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
Thanked 48 Times in 45 Posts
Rep Power: 12
You all are ruining my mostly pleasant memories of the Atomic and Utility Fours.
These memories go back a while, when gas was more common than diesel, even in the fiberglass hulls. In the average 30-footer (think Cheoy Lee, Morgan, Islander, Seafarer) they were way too much power (idle, 900 rpm, hull speed, 1400) and ran way cold on raw New England salt water. I did some deliveries then, so the engines were mostly new, and worked okay. They instilled in me the practice of *always* sniffing the bilge before lighting off anything electrical, and closing up everything while refueling.
Now I teach sailing in the OPBC, on sport boats with 4-horse outboard, occasionally we'll have one of those "Motor?? We don't need no stinkin' Motor!!" moments, and will sail down the narrow, shadowy canal and into the slip under sail. But for most close-quarters harbor work, and flat-ass calms (lessons run on a schedule), and just-in-case, I'm happy to have the semi-reliable outboard on hand.
I admire those who are true "purists". But I've also given them a tow in a few times too.