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Old 08-01-2015, 01:11 PM   #1
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Prairie 29 engines

Hi,
I'm new to the site but old to sailing, boating and cruising...about 60 years worth. This looks like a knowledgeable group, so I have a question.
One boat on my short list is the Prairie 29 and I see a variety of engines in the ones that are for sale. It appears to me that about 85-100 hp would be right. I'm accustomed to sailing auxiliaries but expect a bit more performance from a powerboat.
Of the original powerplants, is the Perkins 4-108 adequate? It's rated at 50hp when screaming wide open but is really a 35hp engine, and that seems pretty anemic for a boat the size and weight of the 29.
Will the 4-108 push a Prairie 29 above six knots? Will it made decent headway into seas like the 3-4 foot chop on the Chesapeake when it's blowing 15 knots?
Thanks for any info.
-- Tom
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:41 PM   #2
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85+ hp sounds high for that boat. It is a full displacement hull weighing in at about 15,000 lbs fully loaded. That should only take 25 hp to push it to its hull speed which is probably about 7 kts. If you want to cruise at 6 kts, it will probably take only 15 hp. Heading into a 3-4' chop and maintaining 6 kts is probably going to take 30 hp.


The Westerbeke 4-108 would work but I agree with you it is a little small at 1.7 liters. I would like to see about 2 liters. The 4 cylinder Yanmar JH engine would be perfect.


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Old 08-01-2015, 06:53 PM   #3
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Yea, the 108 will do the job, but I would like something a little bigger that would not be straining or spooled up at hull speed. Problem is, not many engine offerings in that range. New Yanmar JH would be great, but pricey to install.

Try to arrange a test run on the 29 and see if it is pleasant to cruise or not.
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:36 PM   #4
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For reference, my 36' 15,000 lb sailboat has a westerbeke 46. I can run all day at 7 knots at 2,000 rpms on flat water. In rough weather I have to push the rpms up to 2,500 or so to stay at 6.8-7 knots. At WOT (3,000 rpms) I can get a bit over eight knots on flat water.

Also, my 32'8" 10,000 lb cruiser has a volvo-penta D2-40 (39.6 hp). It pushes the boat at 7 knots at 2,000 rpms and 5.6 at 1,500. At 3,100 I get a bit over 9 knots. 2,000 rpms will punch me through a pretty hefty chop at around 6 knots, but the boat does have a very fine entry.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdove View Post
Hi,
I'm new to the site but old to sailing, boating and cruising...about 60 years worth. This looks like a knowledgeable group, so I have a question.
One boat on my short list is the Prairie 29 and I see a variety of engines in the ones that are for sale. It appears to me that about 85-100 hp would be right. I'm accustomed to sailing auxiliaries but expect a bit more performance from a powerboat.
Of the original powerplants, is the Perkins 4-108 adequate? It's rated at 50hp when screaming wide open but is really a 35hp engine, and that seems pretty anemic for a boat the size and weight of the 29.
Will the 4-108 push a Prairie 29 above six knots? Will it made decent headway into seas like the 3-4 foot chop on the Chesapeake when it's blowing 15 knots?
Thanks for any info.
-- Tom
Tom
Can't say if it will go to much over 7 kts at WOT. I have an Atlantic 30 (same hull as the prairie 29) with a TAMD40B Volvo 160 hp. Way to much motor-cruise between 6 and 7.5 knots at1800 rpm-depending on conditions. WOT is 10 knots (3000rpm) and the fuel tanks calapse. Very quiet and smooth at 1800rpm. Went a little over 400 miles on my delivery cruise on 140 gals. loaded down. Running between 1600 and 2000rpm. Doesn't like seas over 3 ft. If over 3 ft you will abandon the fly bridge. For a coastal cruiser 4-108 is adequate. Although I think a 80 to 100 hp engine would be my preference for motoring in open water.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:17 PM   #6
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I suspect the Prarie 29 is not a FD boat and probably needs 60 or 70hp.

My FD Willard 30 of 8 tons disp was powered propperly w a Perkins 4-107. Plenty of power. 36hp. So if the Prarie is FD the 36hp Perky will do her fine. More power would be a waste and require the boat to be run underloaded.

But I don't think they are FD.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:49 PM   #7
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My Prairie has the Perkins 4.236 85 Hp engine. If you look on the other prairie threads, especially the one about prop size and engine size you will see that there is nothing that will make these prairies get up and go.
And I concur. You will realize that you won't want to be out in any more than 3'. I have been out in 5 to 6 and didn't much care for it. The old girl didn't care for it either. I cracked the side of the house in that. The PO installed a 'seatbelt' at the lower helm. I didn't understand the installation until I got out off Nobska Point in 4' on the beam. Snap, roll, snap, roll. They are great calm water, intercoastal. river, protected water boats. Unless you have the time to wait for weather windows; If you're on a time and strict schedule then you should look at other boats that can get up on plane and get out of the weather quick.


Regarding your query about headway, I think any of these engines would make headway. The question is: Would you want to be out there in that? This is a 29 hull. Not a 40.


Regarding engines, I don't have one, but I think the 4/108s are considered almost impossible to find parts/have rebuilt. The 4/236 is readily rebuildable, and lots of spare parts.


Here's two more for your perusal. https://newlondon.craigslist.org/boa/5087353669.html


http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/boa/5103939413.html


IIRC, there's one around Pensacola on YW for sale also. There was one sporadically in Tybee I Ga for sale. But I can't find the listing now.


Just so you know, the Atlantic 30 is the same hull with slightly different and layout finish inside. And the Campion 300 or 310 is the same hull also but way lower build quality.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:55 AM   #8
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Eric-- Here is a shot of a Prairie 29 on a Travelift. Draw your own conclusions.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:58 AM   #9
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Excellent information and very helpful. Keep it coming and thanks much, guys.

The boat I'm looking at tomorrow is the one in the slings in Marin's photo. It's on Kent Island near my home now but I saw it for sale in Florida last Spring. The engine has had quite a bit of work done on it recently, so parts must not be too hard to get.

I saw another Prairie 29 in Deale MD a couple of months ago but it had some issues I wasn't going to deal with, including delamination in parts of the deck and some serious hatch/window leaks.

The Prairie hull is not as narrow and fine-lined as the Willard or a typical sailboat, so it must take a bit more oomph to drive, hence my question about power. I sold my 33' sailboat last summer after 34 years with her because a neck injury limits my flexibility now, thus the trawler search. Loved that boat and cruised the East coast from Nantucket to Florida with her.

And I no longer "do" rough weather or set schedules. Been there, done that, got the bruises ;-)

Another candidate is the Cape Dory 28, which is semi-displacement and a different sort of critter. That one clearly needs more power to reach its potential.

-- Tom
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:33 AM   #10
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Tom:


I owned a gasoline powered Cape Dory 28 for several years. CD originally built them with three engines: the 275 hp Chrysler gasser like mine and a couple of diesels- the 100 hp Westerbeke and the 200 hp Volvo. Some have been repowered with diesels and the best of that lot is with the Yanmar 220 hp engine.


The Westerbeke effectively makes it a displacement speed cruiser of about 6.5 kts with the capability to push that up to 10 at wot. With the 200+ hp engines you can cruise at 12+ kts. But realize it is a semi-displacement, downeast style hull and it takes a lot of horsepower to push it.


I liked that boat very much. It had a great cruising layout. They sell in the mid 20s for the gasser or Westerbeke and 30 and upwards for the 200+ hp diesels.


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Old 08-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tomdove View Post
The boat I'm looking at tomorrow is the one in the slings in Marin's photo. It's on Kent Island near my home now but I saw it for sale in Florida last Spring. The engine has had quite a bit of work done on it recently, so parts must not be too hard to get.


Another candidate is the Cape Dory 28, which is semi-displacement and a different sort of critter. That one clearly needs more power to reach its potential.

-- Tom
I suspect this is the boat you are looking at...Here's a full video log of their trip from FL to MD when sold last year. Apparently it is again on the market from recent posts and was reported on Kent Island.
Final Voyage Of The Mischief

On the CD 28, Mine runs the 200 hp Volvo. Seems overpowered on the surface, but will hit 16 knots WOT. I typically cruise at 2K at 7.5 knots with plenty in reserve. As David points out it takes a lot of power to get much beyond that and pushes a lot of water in that 10-12KN range. Hull forms look similar. We like ours a lot. I personally prefer it's layout/design over the Prairie's. Lots of wood inside, and a quality build. Very nice ones seem to be in the $50K + range. Not a big water boat though (neither is the Prairie)...but likely more comfortable on the Chesapeake than it is here on the Pamlico when things kick up.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:45 AM   #12
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http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1983...s#.Vb4t33nD_IU


Here's another one to peruse. This is the Atlantic version.




Regarding CD28, compared to the Prairie.
I passed a CD28 in the Delaware bay last spring. I struck up a conversation with the operator. I asked him about the seakindliness. He stated: When there are anymore than 2 people up on the flybridge makes her tender. I have had 5 adults on the FB of my prairie. Not an issue. (but, I don't go out in rough weather up there)


He had nothing but good news about running his CD28 in weather from down below. I have learned with my prairie, I can't outrun weather. I can't be comfortable in it. So I wait. Life it too short to have to beat my brains out.


It seems to me that the CD28 is quite a lot narrower than the Prairie 10' versus 12'. I have not been aboard a CD 28. But it just looks not as roomy. This is a big selling point with my admiral. Enough room to get comfy, and still fits on my mooring (that has a 36' size limit.)


BTW, I'm a recovering WAFI as well. Takes a while to realize I don't have to hoist sails or furl them anymore!
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:53 AM   #13
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It seems to me that the CD28 is quite a lot narrower than the Prairie. I have not been aboard a CD 28. But is just looks not as roomy.
Yes...at under 10' they're a little skinny. Admiral and I like the space though. Just the right size for us and how we use the boat.
Ex sailboater here too...Seems about the same interior space as our old Bristol 35.5.
Everything is a trade off in some respects..



More interior shots here:
http://public.fotki.com/ttschwing/ca...wler/interior/

a prettier more classic look methinks, but I'm biased!

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Old 08-02-2015, 11:29 AM   #14
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The best selling point about a trawler (for the admiral) was that she can sit UP, in the salon, be reading a book and look out, see whats happening, and keep the vitaminD going. She was getting pretty fed up with being down a 4 step companionway, 3' below the waterline, with three slits for windows that she couldn't see out anyway.

I was looking forward to running a boat at appriximately the same speed as a sailboat, with no work involved. WITH enough water to take a shower, WITH hot water, With a fridge and an actual stove that could cook something.

The AC, microwave and an actual head that doesn't smell is a bonus. (oh yeah, having a deck that is flat when ON the head is a real bonus too.)
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:33 AM   #15
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Many in the Willard world have rebuilt the old Perkins so parts apparently aren't a problem.
I passed on the rebuild as all indications were that it was to be so costly a new little tractor engine made better sense. I liked the proper glow plugs too.

Re the Cape Dory v/s the P-29 the beamy Prairie makes a lot of sense as space aboard a boat relative to the length is good economics w today's moorage costs.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:43 AM   #16
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I was repeating comments I have read both on TF and other forums about the 4.108 being difficult to find block,liner, piston, gaskets, bearings for. Or was it the 4.154? Too many possibilities.

It appears the 4.108, 4.154, 4.236 are more readily available. I have even found several rebuilders on Ebay who will rebuild a 4/236 for 5k. You just have to ship it to them and reinstall it.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:16 PM   #17
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Re the Cape Dory v/s the P-29 the beamy Prairie makes a lot of sense as space aboard a boat relative to the length is good economics w today's moorage costs.
I suppose if you're looking for Cubic feet per billed slip footage I guess that reasoning works. This has never been what attracted me to my (or any) boat though.
Guess the sailboat guys are getting hosed...
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:08 PM   #18
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cappy,
The 4-107 has sleeves .. The 108 does not.
Better off w the 108 as the O ring sealed sleeves tend to leak on older engines. One of the reasons I bailed on mine.


Heron,
And about the beamy boats .. w a FD boat another foot of beam will require almost nothing to power. SD is not like that at all.
Bigger boat can be had with almost no increase in fuel burn or moorage costs. As long as no more speed is sought.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:14 PM   #19
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Heron,
And about the beamy boats .. w a FD boat another foot of beam will require almost nothing to power. SD is not like that at all.
Bigger boat can be had with almost no increase in fuel burn or moorage costs. As long as no more speed is sought.
LOL...If I had a Manatee or a houseboat I'd feel like I was scamming the system!
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Old 08-02-2015, 05:36 PM   #20
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It is weight, much more than beam that affects power required. But with more beam, goes more weight.


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