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dickybrewer5 07-11-2010 03:05 PM

replacing universal atomic in '82 O'day
Hi all, this seems like a better place for this post. I have a nice 1982 O'Day center cockpit sloop with a seized motor. It is the original Universal Atomic 4 cylinder, 32 HP, Diesel motor. I found a re-manufactured motor from a supplier who says the replacement is the same footprint. My problem is I can't figure out how O'Day intended for these motors to be removed/replaced??? The obvious way would be for the floor of the cockpit to be removable, but it isn't. It looks like I would have to remove allot of the kitchen area to get the motor to come out through the main cabin and that seems really difficult if not impossible. I talked to another sailor who told me that he knows people who get a good fiberglass pro to cut out the floor of the cockpit and then remount it after the motor work is done - this seems like a good idea if I would not hurt the integrity of the monohull. I am looking into these ideas, but wondered if anyone could offer me information on what the proper procedure is? I appreciate any info and wish you all happy sailing, thanks, Rick

jimmys37 02-07-2011 10:33 AM


Congratulations on finding a new motor,

I need parts from your old motor, will you contact me if any of your parts are available, note sometimes spares are left on board to support the older motor will you check.
Jimmy 37

Faster 02-07-2011 11:21 AM

Judging by the photos in this listing:

View Boat Photos -

It looks like there's a panel in front of the motor that is big enough to pass through forward, but it also looks like the cabinet front in the galley (which also supports the companionway steps) would need to come out too. Surely that was considered when this was all put together and it should not be all that difficult to do....

Best of luck.

deniseO30 02-07-2011 03:11 PM

Looks like it should/could slide forward but if you opt for cutting the floor. that's been done by many people for many boats. cutting and support is easy.. keeping water tight may be more difficult. What engine did you find for replacement?

dickybrewer5 02-07-2011 05:45 PM

Hi and thanks for replying. Here is my latest info. I found a place called Schooner Bay Imported Motors in Wisconsin (ph# 715-779-3266). I talked to a guy named Al back in June of 2010 and he said that they have re-manufactured Universal Atomic 4 cylinder diesels with the same footprint as the one coming out. I was quoted a price of 4500 without core, I can get a core refund if I turn in the old motor. I am not happy about the idea of cutting into my cockpit flooring. It looks to me like getting this motor out is going to be a pain in the backside, but I'm going to try to get the seized motor out by removing all external parts and probably the head too - which will tell me what happened to that motor (it is the original 1982 motor). If this motor can be rebuilt, I'll use it. I will probably be too busy to do anything about this until the fall of this year - I'm an owner/operator big rig driver and busy, need to make money for this and other projects. I have recently replaced the bilge and done some other upkeep but need to measure to see exactly how the motor will have to come out. I LOVE this sailboat and it sails and handles open ocean like a dream - very stable, fast (not a racer but not slow at all) conveniently laid out EXCEPT for the motor replacement. I'm really baffled that there does not seem to be a reasonably clear way to remove/replace the motor but maybe someone out there knows and can tell me, if not I'll find out one way or another when I crawl in the motor compartment and start removing the motor myself.
I really appreciate hearing from all of you and I'll try to respond to your posts more specifically. If anyone has ideas about motor replacement, you can see quite allot of pictures of sailing vessel Venteux on my facebook page Find Your Friends on Facebook | Facebook or search my name on face book if the link doesn't work (Richard Armstrong, Grants Pass Oregon). If you find my page at face book, click on photos and you'll see my albums, I have a whole album of pictures of VENTEUX Regards, Richard

rustyballast 02-12-2011 02:56 PM


I have an O'Day 30 with a seized Yanmar YSM12. I am in the process of discovering more than I wanted to know about the cost of a replacement engine. I am not familiar with the center cockpit type but mine is quite simple with access behind the companion way steps. It took about an hour to disconnect everything including the starter and alternator. The motor would have already been out but I discovered that the dripless seals are not so dripless when you slide the motor and transmission away. :-). I wonder if schooner bay has YSM12s laying around.

I changed the oil and water pump annually. Not sure what happened.

mgunning 02-12-2011 11:41 PM

I must disclose that I represent an electric propulsion company for sailboats. That being said, we have been removing engines and replacing them with electric systems. The real trick is to remove them without hurting or sinking the boat, both things can happen. We have not had to cut fiberglass but I am sure that one day we will need to do so. We would recommend the removing of all parts of the engine to reduce its footprint. You might need to build a jig to attach the motor to a hoist. Additionally you may need to rotate to move up or forward. You might have the misfortune of owning a boat that the engine was installed during the build/layup construction phase, but that is not so common. Think outside the box and be patient.

dickybrewer5 02-13-2011 12:44 AM

Electric motor replacement
Hi Mike, Thanks for the suggestions. I'm a machinist and a mechanic though I'm currently employed as a professional driver for a major transportation company. I think that the most puzzling thing to me is the lack of any obvious path to remove the motor. I should have no problem removing all external parts, perhaps even the head, then the block would not be such a problem to remove. No chance the boat will be damaged or sunk. I am interested in electric motor replacement for the sake of information, though I don't think I would go to the expense of doing that on my sailboat. I'd welcome any info you care to share though as I'm always up for learning. Thanks, Richard

fordo 02-13-2011 07:20 AM

Universal's Atomic 4 is a gasoline engine. Universal makes diesels and made diesels that fit the footprint of the A-4. Are you sure your old engine is a diesel? And the rebuild, if it is a diesel, may fit the footprint of the A-4 but it will be taller and may not fit in the space. If you are replacing a gas A-4 with a rebuilt gas A-4 everything should fit with no problem. If you are replacing a gas with a diesel their will be changes in the prop and the fuel system and you will have to replace the exhaust system. All of this is expensive so know what you have and what your getting before you start.

mgunning 02-13-2011 08:47 AM

Like Fordo, I also am thinking that the engine is a gas not diesel. Looking at the picture I am not sure, but do not recall there being a 4cyl Atomic diesel. There are diesels that are bolt pattern replacements for the A4. If it is a gas system, parts be will difficult to find but it should go easier o install. I have an A4 that can be rebuilt and If that is an option for you, I will talk to my mechanic. We are in Southern California. I am sure there are closer A4 to you in WI.

If interested, you can check out the electric systems at Electric Yacht

Good luck with your project, your boat is well worth the effort.

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