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  #1  
Old 03-26-2013
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Well I Finally Did It!

After years of oooing and aahhing at every sailboat on the water, watching Youtube videos every night, and walking nearly every dock in eastern NC, I bought my first sailboat. And despite absorbing as much info as possible through every possible source, I have discovered that there is a TON more to learn and do before splashing. And every chore seems to be harder on a sailboat! It took me forever to figure out how to get the oil dipstick back in the hole on the Atomic 4!
This brings me to my very first question. I thought I was doing a reasonably smart thing by temporarily running a new water intake hose into a bucket, so that I could start the engine on the hard. We had turned the motor over pre-purchase, but I really wanted to hear it run (yes, I know I made a mistake by not having a sea trial, but that is another story). Got the hose in the bucket, got ready to fire it up, but the choke was stuck. It fired up on the second try, I mean it REALLY fired up! The problem was that it was in gear (I couldn't really feel neutral), and the prop ran really fast for a second or two before the engine shut down. I didn't try to restart it. Is it possible that I have severely damaged the stuffing box? Also, the carb seems to be a tight spot, should I just bite the bullet and get a mechanic to clean the carb, free the choke, and change the impeller, etc? I am guessing this could be extremely costly!
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

I doubt you will know the damage until you are able to fire it up, or start pulling things apart. There is a specific A4 section on this forum, and for the best help out there, go to moyermarine.com.

BTW, what kind of boat did you get?
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstCandC View Post
After years of oooing and aahhing at every sailboat on the water, watching Youtube videos every night, and walking nearly every dock in eastern NC, I bought my first sailboat.
Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstCandC View Post
And despite absorbing as much info as possible through every possible source, I have discovered that there is a TON more to learn and do before splashing.
One of the hardest things to learn: that there is MUCH more to learn. It can be a fun ride if you let it, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstCandC View Post

I thought I was doing a reasonably smart thing by temporarily running a new water intake hose into a bucket, so that I could start the engine on the hard.
You really take a chance that you will possible screw something up doing this. At this point, if you don't know anyone with engine experience who can look at it for you for the price of a dinner, I would grab hold of that bullet and have an experienced mechanic look at it. But that's just me.

Or, learn how to dock your boat under sail.

Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

Which C&C did you buy? Great boats.
You probably did no damage to your stuffing box or prop shaft if it only ran for a few seconds. I start my engine on the hard every year before splashing, just as you did, with a 5 gallon bucket for cooling water. You'll need to learn where neutral is, though. You will need to learn about the atomic 4. It's a simple engine that you can learn to maintain and repair on your own, even if you have little mechanical background. The place to go is:
Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians - Powered by vBulletin
You can learn everything you need to know about the Atomic 4 and the rest of your mechanical drivetrain from that website, and you'll learn everything you need to know about the rest of your boat here.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

Regarding de-winterizing your engine, you can easily do this yourself. Go to Moyers website, referenced above. You want to buy Don Moyer's Atomic 4 maintenance manual. All parts you'll need are available from Moyer.
You're already ahead of the game-- you know the engine will start.
The most common mistake newbies to the A4 make is to leave the water intake valve open while cranking a non-starting engine: This will cause water to back up the exhaust and enter the engine through the manifold. Leave it shut until the engine starts, then open quickly. Anytime you are cranking a non-starting engine for more than a few seconds, the valve should be closed.

You don't need a mechanic if you have some time. You want to:
change oil
change filters (you should have a Racor primary water separating filter and a separate polishing filter)
standard tune up: new plugs, points, condenser, rotor (if points ignition and not electronic), distributor cap, possibly wires and coil
Clean carburetor: very easy on the A4. Don't be afraid of it. Parts (gaskets) available per Moyer.
Impeller- replace- need gasket, too.
You may want to acid flush the block and clean gas tank, but those can be done in the future.
Also for the future are engine timing, compression test, prop shaft alignment. Don't sweat those things now. All the above can be done in the water. Before splashing, check your cutlass bearing. That needs to be done out of the water. Grab the prop shaft just aft of the bearing and try to rock it side-to-side, up-and-down. If there isn't much movement (1/16" or less) you're good for this year. You can adjust and even repack your stuffing box in the water.
Post any engine/drivetrain questions on Moyer's site and you'll get all the answers you want.
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

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Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
...
You're already ahead of the game-- you know the engine will start.
...
Not really, not anymore. He said that the engine shut down. Until he gets it started again he won't know if any damage was done that caused the shut down.
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Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
Not really, not anymore. He said that the engine shut down. Until he gets it started again he won't know if any damage was done that caused the shut down.
I assumed he meant that he shut the engine down. If that's not the case, then, yes, we need more information. If he did shut it down, it's unlikely that there's any significant damage.
If it did shut down on it's own, it's still possible this is something minor- was the fuel valve shut off? He may have run out of fuel causing the shutdown.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Well I Finally Did It!

Engines don't run well with the choke stuck on once warmed up. Lets hope that was the reason why it turned off.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

Thanks to all! The boat is a '77 C&C 27 MKIII. For years, I flipped back and forth on wanting a larger boat (which it seemed I could never afford, so I bit the bullet so we could finally get out on the water) and a smaller trailer sailer like a Mariner 2+2 (but the Admiral demanded a real head!).

After just missing out on a Pearson Coaster and a C&C 30, we just ran across a local ad for this boat. The standing headroom and new head were a hit with the Admiral, and visions of anchoring out at Ocracoke and Cape Lookout with LED lighting, solar panel, and Force 10 grill triggered an impulse buy- not a cool thing to do when buying a sailboat!

Thanks again for the tips on the engine. There is a manual, and I have been studying this site, the Moyer Marine site, and also the C&C sites. There is so much to learn. This particular engine has several upgrades- fresh water cooling, electronic ignition, and a rubber oil drain tube for changing the oil. The oil looked clear, but not milky, so I thought I would give it a shot. I changed the plugs with the same Champion plugs that were already in the motor. There seemed to be a little rust in the plug holes, so I poured a tablespoon of oil in each hole prior to starting. The gas valve was open, but I didn't put any fresh gas in it yet. Going to read up some more before I do any more work on the engine. Now on to that bottom job....
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Old 03-27-2013
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Re: Well I Finally Did It!

I'm afraid that engine will never work unless we get some pics of the boat.
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