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Old 03-29-2007
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Fair enough, I have seen a few otherwise undamaged cars catch fire due to some flaw in the fuel system. By contrast, in my limited boat owning career (1999 to present), I have seen two sailboats sink at dock due to hose clamp failure/backsiphoning of the head intake. Neither was lost, but some upholsterers were made richer.

I saw a third boat take on water because of a clamp or hose failure (everyone was too embarrassed to admit it) on a C&C 35. Ironically, it had an Atomic 4 and furthermore, once some bright sailor had figured out the floorboards were floating and had shut off the seacock, they used the Atomic 4 raw water hose (presumably loose at this point) to suck the boat 90% dry. The Atomic 4 was undamaged by this, so I assume they didn't have a lot of particulate crap in their bilges.

Risk is everywhere, but frequently the amount of actual risk is really about managing negligence and/or ignorance.
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Old 07-31-2007
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Gas vs. Diesel

I have a Catalina 27 with an Atomic 4, a Beneteau 32s5 with a Volvo M2002 diesel, two Jetta TDI turbocharged diesels, and an air cooled flat six gas sports car.

I do 90 percent of the maintenance on all the engines and have 100's of hours behind each of them. When it comes to the marine engines, I have actually had a harder time keeping the diesel running than the Atomic 4. Gasoline, with proper fuel additives (PRI-G) will keep for years. Diesel, on the other hand, will tend to grow algae/fungi (ask me how I know...). That said - each engine has its quirks, but none of those quirks are very difficult to understand. I am not a mechanic, either - I just like knowing my engine is there when I need it. And I really like both the Atomic and the Volvo.

So - don't let gas or diesel influence your decision. A mild dose of reason and intelligence will keep you safe and sound with either route.

Focus instead on the condition of the engine in question - its compression, ease of start, and state of engine systems. Pick an engine that is either in very good condition, or one that can be rebuilt quickly w/new parts (Atomic 4 is great for that) and brought current.


Last edited by robrichtx; 07-31-2007 at 10:39 PM.
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