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Old 08-16-2014, 10:32 PM   #21
Al
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By the way- We have a Perkins 4-154. this one above has the Perkins 4-236 which I now state is the better choice and one that I am pursuing. Stuggling at under or near 6 knts at 2300 RPM on a 3000 RPM rated engine with a three to one reduction, has become a issue. The hull works out to 7 knots by numbers. The Perkins 4-236 will provide that at 1600-1800 with a two to one reduction and allow the extra kick against head seas when needed.
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Old 08-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #22
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Al so sorry I got the boats confused.

The 154 should be plenty of power for your Marben. What's your prop dia? Three to one looks like a very deep reduction. Willy is 2.57-1 w an 18" X 14 prop. We have a 3000rpm engine and run 2300 at 6.15 knots cruising .. One gph. A 3-1 reduction should beg for a 20" prop.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:47 AM   #23
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Thread creep!
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:59 AM   #24
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I would respectfully suggest you run your boat details through Vicprop and the specsheet will give you the correct horsepower and prop, the engine make is matter of owners choice and the depth of his pocket.
I run Perkins 4236 in both my boats simply because they are damn near indestructible and will probably still be around when I'm gone to Fiddlers Green.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:39 PM   #25
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Irish,
I think the Perkins 236 was standard in the Willard 36.

I started w the 107 in Willy but it was hard starting and didn't like the idea of having a hard starting engine in Alaska. Are the bigger Perkins reasonably smooth? They say the Lehman 4cyl is'nt smooth. And does the 154 and 236 have prechambers or is it direct. Seems to me the prechambers were a new thing in the early 60s. I remember working in a powerhouse in Alaska and reading a magazine article about the English Perkins w the pre combustion chambers and the injectors within. Perkins must have quite a history.

Why weren't the Perkins engines employed in boats like the GB36. I think they just wanted to offer a slow boat and a faster boat. And they did it (unfortunately) w one hull that was optimized for only faster.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:32 PM   #26
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Irish Rambler,
That and parts for 4-236 seemingly are laying around like that of the old 671 Jimmys in every backyard!!! Finding parts for the 4-154 is like finding the remains of a DoDo bird! If I find the 4-236 replacement is fiscally doable from an installation point I will be joining you with same in our boat as I have access to a recent marine gen set replacement requiring only those items needed to take it from a gen set to a drive engine . I like the 1600-1800 RPM rhythm knowing too that there is spare "Umph" to fight the tide/wind when thought required.
According to Vicprop our current wheel is right on. Over propping is not a consideration.
Were I to have the opportunity to own a 29 foot Prairie and had the chance to choose an engine it would start with the 4-236 nothing smaller.
In my searching I have found a rebuilt 4-236 by a known builder (TAD?) is a fiscal consideration when judged against a brand new engine .
That and confirmation of what you have discovered with actual ownership. Nothing against the newer engine offerings, only a personal opinion.

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Old 08-17-2014, 02:49 PM   #27
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Eric-
Having just purchased a backup 4-154 as my "Belt and Suspender" policy a bit of research was undertaken. I purchased a supposed lightly used (300 hrs) W58 which is built on the Perkins 4-154 block. Westerbeke had access to the Perkins between the years 1980 and 1991. The head has the pre-heaters where as the original Perkins did not. The original 4-154 employed external preheat or the use of "Panther Piss" (Start fluid) in moderation by a predetermined injection system. I do not have that on our 4-154. It is either start fluid (which I dislike using) or a longer process of preheat with a external hot water unit. It works however requires a trip down to the boat prior or an early start to allow for the preheat.
The Perkins 4-236 that I have access to is somewhere around 25-30 years old and has been maintained with schedule, no doubt a good candidate for a rebuild and installation finding that it will be a fiscal fit. (Yes! in spite of having a backup to the 4-154!)
The engines both, 4-154 and 4-236 are quite smooth running more so than as you stated and I have heard, the four cyl. Ford.
Note we all are speaking to the natural aspirated engines in this discussion. Trust the Prairie owner is obtaining information he can use.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #28
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Al:

Have you ever tried spinning the engine with fuel off to pre heat the combustion chamber before fueling?
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:27 PM   #29
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I run Perkins 4236 in both my boats simply because they are damn near indestructible and will probably still be around when I'm gone to Fiddlers Green.
Bringing my boat from the East coast of Florida (in 2012) to the North gulf coast where it is now, I got the raw water intake for the port engine stopped up (big fish kill off St. Pete, and it was sucking them up against the intake), was stupidly not watching the temperature gauge, and the engine badly overheated. When I say badly, I mean the temp gauge pegged, all the paint burnt off the engine, and the soot from the exhaust (raw water hose came off) finally stopped up the air intake so that the revs dropped and I noticed it and shut it off. I limped into Clearwater on the starboard engine and called Marine Doctor. I had visions of a ruined engine, but he just laughed and said that it would take more than that to kill a Perkins 4-236. Sure enough, he had it up and running in a few hours, and it has run flawlessly ever since. So I am sold on the engine!
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:21 PM   #30
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more power

Bayview-

Good catch on your part for the method.

The boat was constructed in 1978 yet the SN: of the Perkins indicated being built before 1966!.

Yep, To create internal heat within the cylinders. Turn it over for 10-15 seconds, stop wait, turn it over for another short period, stop- Third attempt will sometimes do the trick, yet, with a 50 year old engine and untold recorded engine hours other than on the current reading, I suspect a bit tired!! No smoke, and good oil pressure. ( There is a noticeable bit of "Blow-by)

The external heater is acceptable, sort of gives the aspect of having an old heavy duty Atlas procedure and part of the not too distant nautical world. Besides, the coffee is on the boil by the time the starting process begins!

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Old 08-17-2014, 06:46 PM   #31
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Original Poster here - great information. Lots of gems and pearls.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #32
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I have a Yanmar 4JH2 in my Willard, and my only complaint is that there are certain rpm ranges the engine doesn't like, so you don't run there. I think 50 hp is almost too much for my hull, since my 70% throttle setting (2650) is the boat's top reasonable speed (7 knots). I run mostly at 1850 for 5.5 knots but have no useable throttle between those two speeds due to engine characteristics, so it is one or the other. The noise difference is incredible :-) As is the difference in ride, at 7 knots she is really dug in (spray), and at 5.5 she floats like a bubble over the top (no spray). Thoughts to ponder...
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:18 PM   #33
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Doug, That is interesting. I find that my prairie is really content at 26-2700. She is quiet, rides smooth and just seems to hum along. We are sliding between 5.8 and 6.2. I get her to 7 at 3000 but noisy and tends to drift off line easily. Have no idea after 3000 and don't want to find out.

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Old 08-17-2014, 08:04 PM   #34
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I get 8 knots out of mine somewhere over 3200 rpm's but the racket is terrible and I was approaching max rpm's. The surveyor got 8.3 knots at full throttle... I hate full throttle :-) I think the boat would be really happy at 6 knots, but the engine isn't. On the other hand, my last averaged fuel consumption was .411 gph at 1850 rpm's, how can you complain about that? I like 1450 even better since it's so quiet, and about 4.5 knots so it's good when you are really going nowhere (just cruising). I can get under 2 knots at about 800 rpm's, which is excellent for trolling for salmon. Overall I am very happy.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #35
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Eric,

At one time, I was looking at the P29 too. Here are some pics. An interesting construction note is that Hargrave designed this boat with generous beam above the waterline, but kept the BWL as narrow as possible. Note the tapered/softer chine at the transom. I read this was to reduce wetted surface and make the boat more economical to operate. It also supposedly made rolling less harsh than if the beam had been carried all the way to the waterline with a hard chine.
Larry thanks for snagging my pictures of my boat while she was on the hill.
The miss dot dee has a 63hp yanmar and it pushes the boat around 8-10kts depending on tides currents ect. this boat originally came with a 140hp mercruiser gas engine and the original owner said that ti only did 10-12kts and was down right scary when it would try to plane off. The boat has a lot of extra weight that the average prairie doesn't have from a washer dryer custom cabinetry and more tools and gear than you can shake a stick at. When we pulled her this year we had the bottom blasted of the past 34 years of bottom paint and that increased our speed and raised our waterline. the P29 is a slower boat but a very comfortable get there in style boat
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:49 PM   #36
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Larry thanks for snagging my pictures of my boat while she was on the hill.
Sailormike,

I missed this one by just hours I think. I was really excited about the boat, but alas, it was not to be.

I am very pleased with my Fales 30, but I would love to have a bit more room. The Prairie 29 has more interior space in its length than I would ever have imagined. And, it still looks like a proper yacht. We can thank Hargrave for that.

I'm sure your Miss Dot Dee will bring you years of pleasure.

Larry
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:12 AM   #37
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Sailormike,

I missed this one by just hours I think. I was really excited about the boat, but alas, it was not to be.

I am very pleased with my Fales 30, but I would love to have a bit more room. The Prairie 29 has more interior space in its length than I would ever have imagined. And, it still looks like a proper yacht. We can thank Hargrave for that.

I'm sure your Miss Dot Dee will bring you years of pleasure.

Larry
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Yeah we have enjoyed her since 97 and have done extensive work to her here is a link to a website I put up about her. Home of the Miss Dot Dee 29' Prairie Trawler
I haven't had a chance to update the pictures from our haul out a couple months ago but hopefully will have time to do so soon.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:16 AM   #38
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Anyone have direct experience with a Prairie 29?
Yes we own The Miss Dot Dee hull number 50 Home of the Miss Dot Dee 29' Prairie Trawler would be glad to speak with you about it.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:08 PM   #39
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Sailormike -- I've sent you a pm --thanks.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #40
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The different engines are made up with different reduction gears to make the same shaft RPMs. They all used the same prop. Looking around different threads, several people have tried changing the prop. It hasn't made a difference that anyone has positively reported. Lots of money has been spent, no changes have occurred.

There is a specific reason why this particular hull isn't capable of going any faster. The hull design is not made to exceed approximately 9 knots. To exceed 9 knots take IMMENSELY more Horsepower (fuel use) and larger engine (which wouldn't fit in the hull anyway)

So, what you are trying to justify (faster Prairie) just isn't practical or effective. You would have to have (by my WAG) at least 200 HP and a way over pitched prop to do this. Any boat would thus be way too loud to enjoy, and the fuel consumption would be on the order of 15 Gallons per hour. Totally NOT why people buy trawlers.

If you want 'speedboat' speeds, buy a speedboat. If you want 'fuel sipping' speeds, buy a trawler!

My Prairie with a 4.236 uses about .75 GPH at 6.5 knots. Up around 8 knots (max speed) it burns around 5 GPH. See how the fuel consumption flies up, with the increase in speed? It would exponentially increase with an even larger engine, to get above 10.

The mathematical equation for fuel consumption reads like this: Lesser speed is to greater speed as lesser fuel consumed is to greater fuel consumed CUBED! which using my example of consumption (.75 (6.5 knots) is to 5 (8 knots) shows the old equation pretty accurate. If you expect to get another increase the fuel consumption will be extravagant.
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