Outboard on a P30
My atomic 4 in my 1973 P-30 was pronounced deceased a couple of days ago. Due to the fact that there is no room to work on this thing anyway, I was wondering about mounting an outboard to the transom of the P-30. Has anyone done this before? Is it a reasonable solution? I had a P-26 with an outboard for years with no issue. If anyone has experience with this, please let me know.
Personally, I'd call it butchery and giving the boat a slow and painful death. A4's can be rebuilt or replaced, with a rebuilt A4 or a diesel. Once you remove the inboard engine from a boat that originally had one--you ruin the resale value of the boat, you might as well scrap it while there's still some value left in the rest of the parts.
Other than that...You'll need a long-shaft and a 9.9 just isn't going to be enough, so you're going to spend a lot of money on an engine and then you're going to ruin the balance of the boat by putting all that weight behind the transom. It will hobbyhorse and even with a long shaft, the prop may be out of water in rough weather.
All around, sure, it can be done if your needs are really minimal, but it is a butcher job.
I've got a 72 P30. The old atomic 4 is still running, but we've had some scares. I've thought about an outboard as well (preparing for the inevitable). I came across a post here which asked about putting an outboard on a 76 P30. I can't post it here because I'm a new member, and I guess they're trying to limit spam, but if you search in google for "pearson 30 motor questions" (with quotation marks) you'll find it. One poster in that thread had put a 9.9 with a 20 inch shaft on a 73 P30. See page 2.
I'm tired of the stress and cant really afford a 7k rebuild, but I do worry it might end up being a mistake for the reasons hellosailor mentions.
For an interim "fix" that will cost a lot less than seven grand and won't look odd...How about a BoatUS membership and an upgraded towing policy? Then if the engine quits at a really impolite moment, call for the tow.
Meanwhile...October is halfway here, and you can rework the engine over the winter. Unless something is really SHOT SHOT, like seawater has eaten the block away, almost everything else can be fixed, and any competent mechanic (I know, just try to find one of those<G>) or patient guy with two hands and a toolbox can do the rest.
Remember that outboards, unless they are new, also have an odd habit of needing repairs.
Good points, the most salient is the hobby horsing motor out of the water scenario. I experienced this with my p-26 and although it was only once it was a real pain. It might be worse with a P-30. Thanks for pointing out the other post, there was a post there about using the mast and boom as a crane for removing the engine, I will give that a try.
One other thing, the real attraction to the outboard is that in the P-30 there very little room to care for your A4, and as things get older they need more care. Does anyone have any good suggestions for dealing with the normal things on an A4 in a P-30, other than hiring a midget.
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.
Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Engine Rebuilding and Parts
Thanks for the info.
Atomic 4 Repairs
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.
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.
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