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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-19-2010 05:04 PM
nelsonstruck I forgot, I did remove the exhaust from the end of the manifold back.
09-19-2010 04:59 PM
nelsonstruck Actually I took nothing off of the engine. I did dismantle the cabinets around the sink and steps. I was left with the top piece of the counter around the sink just hanging. I cut it off at the corner and then straight back from the corner of the sink. I will reattach this later. I then had all the room I needed. First I took the halyard and put a come along on it. I lifted the engine up to test the strength, there was plenty. Then with the halyard line and another line from the cleat on the back of the boat for for control, I picked it up then pulled it back and set it on the side of the boat on the bench. Then I hooked the halyard to the end of the boom and threaded some 3/8 line through the halyard clip and ran around five times so I had five times the 3/8 for bearing. I ran it from the halyard clip so to put no strain on the boom except to hold the halyard out. I had to put about 6 feet of line down from this. I then put the come along on the end of the 6 ft line. The engine has a nice place for a hook on top, perfectly balanced. I had the boom at about a 45 degree angle, just enough so that when I did swing it out over the truck the motor would go down into it. I had enough length on the come alone that I could pick it up and over the rails and then let it down into the truck parked next to it. I have pics. The worst part of the job was that one of the bolts mounting the engine was particularly difficult to get out. I am large, and somewhat less flexible than I used to be, so of course this bolt was the right rear bolt, the hardest one to reach. I eventually snapped it and once the prop was disconnected, it moved.
09-18-2010 11:04 PM
Originally Posted by nelsonstruck View Post
Thanks for all the advice, loved the rant. I will fix the A4. I did pull it using the mast and the boom as a crane. Worked great.
Good on you!

I wondered if that'd work on a P30. It actually does fit thru the opening under the companionway, eh? What did you have to remove from the engine to get it to fit thru there? Did you put runners under the engine, coming up to the cabin, to kind of "skid" it up that far, as I've heard is done? I assume you attached the main halyard to the boom to add a bit more strength, rather than just relying on the topping lift? What did you use for lifting tackle under the boom?

Details, sir, details!

I'd love to pull our A4, some day, in the fall, take it home and give it a thorough going-over, incl. all of Moyer's upgrades.

09-18-2010 08:54 PM
nelsonstruck Thanks for all the advice, loved the rant. I will fix the A4. I did pull it using the mast and the boom as a crane. Worked great.
08-09-2010 02:03 PM
Originally Posted by tadds View Post
I have a 1974 P30 and "had" an Atomic 4 which was totally unreliable at the worst possible times. I had it swapped out for a M-25XP Westerbeke Diesel and have never regretted the decision.
That's all well-and-good, and I'm happy it worked out for you, but, by all accounts: The venerable old Atomic 4 might just be the quietest, smoothest-running, most reliable power plant anybody's ever put in a sailboat.

However: They are not perfect. They are not trouble-free. Some are better than others. Sometimes they break. Such is the nature of anything created by Man.

Nice rant, BLJ. Bravo!

08-09-2010 01:50 PM
Converted to Diesel

I have a 1974 P30 and "had" an Atomic 4 which was totally unreliable at the worst possible times. I had it swapped out for a M-25XP Westerbeke Diesel and have never regretted the decision.
07-30-2010 12:17 PM
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Fair warning- The "Rant" light is now illuminated.

So, what have we learned? you don't save any money up front, you don't save any money on the back end, and ignorance ain't bliss.
07-30-2010 08:25 AM
bljones Fair warning- The "Rant" light is now illuminated.

What is it with people who think that if they get a flat tire the solution is to re-invent the wheel? Or, maybe a more accurate (but less cliche-ridden) analogy is this:
If you get a flat tire, do you find a way to install another axle and bolt the spare onto the rear bumper? Of course not- you FIX the flat tire!
I cannot count the number of boats I have seen with cobbled outboard mounts hanging off the stern- it looks like a boil on the boat's ass. And just like a boil on the ass of a working girl, it turns a beauty into a common 5 dollar street ho.
The problem is never the engine- the problem is the owner's inability or refusal, to understand his engine, or the owner's disinterest in maintaining his/ her engine.
Unless the block and the crank is shot, the Atomic 4 can be rebuilt, often without removing it from the boat. If you source all the parts you need before starting work, you can have it torn down and built back up in a weekend.... and probably for less than the cost of rube-goldberging an outbard on the transom.

Oh, right, i forgot, we're sailors, which means we're cheap! Riiiiiight, that's why the outboard tumour becomes the solution! Cheap sailor says, "Wait a minute, I can buy a cheap outboard for $500 and a motor mount for $200, so what is that smarmy bljones guy talking about, that (getting my hands dirty and ewwww, climbing into the engine bay and) rebuilding the inboard (that I am really scared of) is cheaper ?"
And you wonder why Celestial navigation has become almost unknown- apparently, sailors aren't good at math!
Compare apples to apples- if you want to "solve" a reliability problem, then why would you replace an old unknown Atomic 4 with an old unknown outboard? Nay nay, my friend, the only way to adequately and completely screw up this equation is to buy a NEW reliable outboard- trust me, my cheap friend, you will eventually end up doing it anyway, two or three used outboards from now, unless you get frustrated and sell the boat first. Have you priced a new long shaft 9.9 hp outboard lately? oh yeah, and the remote throttle, and the cantilevered stainless mount, and the time ( which means money, because of course you are going to have to pay the yard to do all of this because if you can't handle rebuilding an Atomic 4 you clearly cannot handle drilling holes and reading isntructions) to fit it and...
If you can come out ahead of buying a rebuilt Atomic 4, I'd be damned surprised.
So there's the front end economics- now let's take a look at the back end. When you sell your boat here's how the listing will look:
"Pearson 30 for sale: Immaculate interior, beautiful freshly waxed topsides and deck, no blisters! Dead Atomic 4 down below, but there is an outboard hung off the transom! Cheapest on market! Willing to look at all offers!"
While all the other boats are selling, yours will be sitting, and ironically, it will be lower in price by at LEAST the cost of that outboard.

Buy the $100 in tools needed to fix your Atomic 4, buy the manual, buy the parts she needs, buy a clebratory 6 pack for the mission accomplished ceremony, pull up your big-boy underroos and get it done.

So, what have we learned? you don't save any money up front, you don't save any money on the back end, and ignorance ain't bliss.
07-30-2010 03:17 AM
Atomic 4 Repairs

Originally Posted by SEMIJim View Post
There's plenty of room in there to do most of what you need to do, up to and incl. pulling the heads, if you had to. You might have to be a bit of a contortionist, but the room's there. Hell, if I, at 6'4" (193cm) can fit down into the starboard lazarette to remove and re-install the water pump, a more average-sized person ought to be able to do just about anything.

I am led to understand that, if the engine needs to be pulled, it can be accomplished by removing everything that's hanging off of it--basically leaving just what's called a "long block," and it'll fit thru the space when the companionway stairs are removed.

As for an outboard... an outboard?!?!? on the back of a P30? You have got to be kidding me. Besides the fact it'd look like hell and you'll play hob trying to manage both motor and tiller at the same time, it'd have to be a big outboard and, given the P30's stern configuration, would probably suck for performance. Not-to-mention adding all that additional weight back there.

And then what would you do to keep your batteries topped-off while at sea?

I'd never consider it for a moment. If I had to have the cockpit sole taken out to swap the engine, that's what I'd do.

A rebuilt A4, w/electronic ignition and all the other improvements both Universal and Don Moyer developed for the A4, is less than US$5k + shipping.

I think there is a whole sh**load of room to work on the engine of a P30, compared to other boats I have seen.

My goodness...It is almost a blessing working on the P30 Atomic 4 (no such thing as a blessing repairing motors). Remove the Sink drain and things are much easier to get at.

Maybe I am lucky...I am only 5'8 and 100 lbs.

Heck I can practically make love with the engine, there is so much room. I have had smaller appartments.

Jeez. Atomic 4. Old Engine. Reliable Engine. 1000's still around. Pretty cheap parts. Hard to kill (i have WAY over reved mine many times in my P30,not on purpose...stupid throttle in WRONG location as pant legs get caught ). SUPER EASY TO FIX!!! (Say that about a diesel!!)

Anyway, only my 2 cents worth.

07-17-2010 04:53 AM

Thanks for the info.
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