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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 01-19-2003
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Thomas!

I can''t believe you just mentioned you have a gas motor. Do you have any idea how many emails you''re now going to get telling you about people who blew up? (grin)

Seriously, thanks for all you share on this BB.

Duane
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Old 01-19-2003
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Hello all, 808state here, (my name is BoB-"808", that''s what my friends call me). Thanks everyone for all the great information. It will really help me make the decision on what to buy. So we know the pros and cons of gas vs. diesel. The next question is, how available is gasoline at marinas, and is it more expensive than deisel? I know it probably wouldn''t be a problem finding in the Keys, SW FLA. What about in the Bahamas, or beyond? Don''t want to lose my boat on a lee shore or run aground in a blow because I was trying to find a marina with gas, ran out of gas, ran aground or be rolled, or worse. Thanks again for the input, really appreciated. Take Care, 808 state (Bob).
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Old 01-20-2003
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Dor the most part, gasoline is more readily available than Diesel. Prices differences vary with diesel usually being a little less expensive in the States. With the small amounts of fuel that you will be using on a boat that size the difference in price should be insignificant.

Jeff
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Old 01-21-2003
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

You have received alot of advice about the engine. Your most important decision is the boat. Get a light weight, shallow draft, lots of sail area boat.
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Old 03-27-2004
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Well I guess I will be getting the same rash of e-mail about gas engines. I have an Atomic 4 gas engine,you need to cary spare ignition parts.Coil,points and condenser,plugs,a spare fuel pump electric is the best way to go if you have the manual pump it cost about three hundred bucks to make it electric.A constant duty sealed bilge blower with a deep sump hose even two on seperate switches is better. I run one if any one is below while motering just to make sure no monoxide is building up in the cabin. The motors are simple by all standards and most problems can be fixed almost any place if you have a good tool box. One thing that is a negative is if you have to do any fuel system cleaning as in filter cleaning ect, the gas that may and will get spilled makes for a bad night if you have to get up and hit the blower every hour because the smell stays in the bilge for a whole day unless you hose it down and soap it out. Dawn dish soap works OK with lots of water.Don''t smoke in the cabin or light any open flames until the next day just to be on the safe side. Forget the outboard power plant they are for dinks only or fishing skiffs not sail boats. Also an Atomic will heat a water tank for a shower in short order while you charge the batteries you can descum.I always wondered about the name ATOMIC if that was because the explosion they made was that big or what?
However I have had hundreds of hours on boats with them and never a real problem even on one we discovered ten gallons of fuel from an old leaking fuel line in the bilge while under way and still came home ok. We were known as the bio terrorists after getting the fuel out of the bilge but things happen you can not help. I guess the key is maintanance and new is good for all reasons when it comes to gas.
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Old 03-30-2004
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

I too have an Atomic Four, an early model in a Pearson Triton and have to give it a thumbs up. It was designed for marine use with very low compression ratios thus you don''t get the noise or vibration you get with a diesal.

The real beauty is any "shade tree" mechanic, myself included, can fix it. They are very simple engines and few things can go wrong with it that you can not fix with some basic knowledge and basic tools. There are over 40,000 of them still in use... I think that speaks for itself. I have left the points and condensor on mine since my thoughts are K.I.S.S.... generally if it is not firing it is simply a matter of using a piece of paper sack or a match book on the point and you are good to go again. (However, I do carry spares, as well as, Don Moyers bible-- just in case--- but the engine really is amazingly simple). I also have an old British Seagull on my dink, another oldie but goodie.

Most importantly, buy the boat you can afford and go now. There are numerous older boats in your price range and often you can find an old boat that simply needs to love to become a safe reliable home. Just today in the Annapolis paper was a free Catalina 27... they are out there, just keep looking and keep learning and planning. Fair winds. Ang

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Old 12-17-2004
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

oK I am reading this old post and where are these young people at today who moved to SW Florida back in 03 drop us a line or post some news as to how you are doing.
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Old 06-30-2005
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Speaking as a relative novice, I appreciate the simplicity of Diesel engines. I am no engine mechanic, not by a long shot, but with a bit of reading, I am able to understand my single cylinder Volvo Diesel. That''s a point I never reached on (gasoline) automobile engines. With all the other good reasons - already mentioned here - to go Diesel over gas, if I had any choice in the matter, the choice would be simple - Diesel.
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Old 07-01-2005
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

Diesel all the way for me too.The older I get the more chicken I get.Sure a diesel will burn you out,but it will not set your boat off like a bomb,that is the real difference.A fire is not nice,but an explosion is definitely the clincher.I have been burned bad in a gas fire/explosion before.Thankfully it was not on a boat or I would probably of been finnished. Just the horror of a gas fire sways my opinion,anything burning is not good but gas is bad and untill you have actually experienced it there are few words that can describe the speed of which things get out of control.Where diesel engines shine when economy is the issue is when they have a light load applied.A big rig can sit overnight idling using next to nothing for fuel but a gas motor just chews it up.I have owned heavy equipment for years and like everything else some motors are now running with electronic timed /fuel injection.Just wait and it will be in all the boat engines as well.Talk about screwing around with something untill you make it more complicated and less reliable IMO.This conversation reminds me about heating your home with oil or natural gas.Sure you can get a leak with oil and have a problem,but natural gas for me if I have the choice NO WAY.
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Old 07-19-2005
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

It''s important to note that besides the explosivity of gasoline there is igniteability issues. Put a match to gasoline in the open and it will violently burn. Put a match to diesel in the open and it will not burn. You need more concentrated heat to get diesel to burn.

If you do go with gasoline what makes a big difference in reliability is to have electronic ignition. I believe there are conversion kits for most engines if it hasn''t been converted already.

A little off the subject but mentioned previously was the fact that people will worry about gasoline but have propane stove systems. On my 28'' Ericson I avoid that problem by having an Origo alcohol unit. I think the safest of all cooking systems. No propane or CNG. No tricky lighting of pressure alcohol systems but the advantage of water extinguishment . Just the Sterno type cannister that I refill up on deck in case of spills.
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