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post #6 of Old 05-18-2007
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All those boats still have A4's not because the engines are still reliable or lightweight or economical or repairable; it's because it will cost an inordinate amount relative to the value of the boat to repower with diesel. Older, smaller fiberglass boats (like the ones that were equipped with the A4) are relatively cheap, and new diesel engines are relatively expensive. You can wind up spending half the purchase price of your boat to repower. Since most folks who buy older, cheaper boats do so because they are cheaper, they tend to keep the A4 going rather than bite the bullet. Me, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a boat I really liked just because it had an old A4. I'm no mechanic, so I'm going to be paying someone to do the work for me anyway. I would be careful about venting and maintenance, but assuming the A4 in question is in good shape, I say go for it. Don't forget, there are about one zillion gas powered boats on the water as we speak, and they don't blow up or leave their crews stranded. Worse comes to worse, mothball the A4 and slap an outboard on the transom.
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