Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Coast Ontario
Thanked 93 Times in 82 Posts
Rep Power: 9
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.