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Old 05-21-2013, 12:20 PM   #141
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I've had many gas powered boats from out boards to in/outs & inboards. my '64 Chris Craft Constellation had twin 283 Chevs with raw water cooling. I owned this boat in the 1990s and the engines still ran fine but the transmissions not so much. I still have a 1985 FourWinns Bowrider with the 305 Chev that runs like a top. With the awesome little gas engines being built these days for automotive use, I would think it would be really cool to detune and marinize one. Add fresh water cooling, put it in a little trawler and it should run a very long time and be pretty good on fuel. It would be much lighter than a comparible diesel and much less expensive. Many older sailboats used the Atomic four and are still running. Imagine with electronic ignition, clean running fuel injection and the friction fighting advances of the new engines how sweet one of these engines would be. It would make a boat like the little Willard hard to resist I think.

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Hello Kevin

Good to have you aboard TF! If you search archives you will find that discussions of Diesel – vs – Gasoline engine-power has gone full circle many, many times.

In actuality both propulsion types are great for pleasure boat marine use and each has high and low points. Gasoline engine users (such as you and me currently) are pleased with their simplicity, affordability, and ease of use/maintenance. Diesel engine users (such as the majority of TF members) are equally as sold on their engines (maybe even more so... lol). Eric who replied just below your post is one of the most level headed TF members; he’s always a pleasure to chat with on posts and usually provides great input.

You’re lucky, or he’d probably attack ya: After 10,000 posts TF member “Marin” decided to “abandon ship”... he can get downright insulting (viciously nasty) to other members regarding gasoline engines, as well as about other items... can we spell opinionated?? That said, he did have some good input and is very intelligent! Marin and I (also, Marin and others) had numerous highly-heated go rounds. I wish him the best but glad to not any longer read his insults to members and I hope his famous conversations with his dog do him well toward further education about pleasing communication skills. (I’m confident he’s now a lurker...Don’t be surprised if Marin jumps back in upon reading this – come on Marin... I dare ya! LMAO!!).

In my 60 years, on East and West coasts, I’ve owned and/or been aboard many types of boats, pleasure and working craft. In very simplistic terms, I see it as this (many intricacies not mentioned that could change boat owner’s power-type decision):

1. If a boat is semi planing or full planing hull, shorter than 45’, below 25K lbs, and to be run between 100 to 300 hrs annually in close proximity to home port... gasoline engines are the simplest and most economical propulsion power.
2. If a boat is full displacement, semi planing or full planing hull, 45’ or longer, above 25K lbs, and to be run over 300 hrs annually with some long distances traveled... diesel engines are the simplest and most economical propulsion power.

Happy Boaten Daze! - Art
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #142
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Atkin & Co. - Marcia
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:47 PM   #143
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You have great taste in boats Eric. I appreciate simplicity above all else.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #144
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Thanks Craig,

Actually I'd like to build that one and hang my 60hp Suzuki OB on it. Being designed as an inboard the CG may be too far aft. And I think a level riding boat is the best way to a decent ride w a flat bottom.

At first I thought of building it as a low freeboard skiff by not including the raised deck and cabin. But looking at her over time I reached a point where I loved the design complete .. just the way she is. I'm sure she'd be best as an inboard ... just as Atkin designed her.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #145
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Thanks for the welcome Eric and don't worry, I have pretty thick skin. lol. I know this gasoline debate has been raging for quite sometime but I don't have anything against diesel either. The only problem I have is with the older smaller one lungers that are so loud and have high vibes. I've sailed in some boats that I was so glad I could shut down the engine and sail there was this huge sigh when I could. That being said, I love the sound of a smooth running 4 or 6 cyl. diesel (once the engine hatch is shut). That Atkins design is close to what I have in mind. I would like an 8.5 foot beam and 32 foot length. Enough room for a real head and galley. Modified V- going to flat bottom. I am fond of the old Chris Craft lines of the mid 60's and of down east lobster style boats. A nice hard top and opening windshields are really nice. It gets HOT down here in Texas. I have often thought of building my own custom but after restoring my old Constellation and then selling it, I'm very hesitant to do this. There are some boats out there that are close I'm sure. Maybe even one of the first fiberglass Chris Crafts. There are also many trawler styles I like too.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:39 PM   #146
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I am fond of the old Chris Craft lines of the mid 60's and of down east lobster style boats. A nice hard top and opening windshields are really nice. It gets HOT down here in Texas. I have often thought of building my own custom but after restoring my old Constellation and then selling it, I'm very hesitant to do this. There are some boats out there that are close I'm sure. Maybe even one of the first fiberglass Chris Crafts. There are also many trawler styles I like too.
I echo your above sentiments. I looked at everything from houseboats and trawlers to trailerable Sea Rays. While boat shopping, like a moth to a flame, I kept returning to the wooden Chris Craft hardtop express cruisers.

When I stumbled upon our 1967 Owens by accident while chasing yet another crappy so called "turn key" boat I was smitten. When I realized it was a fully refit fiberglass I was hooked , and when the owner fired up the brand new 350 V8 my wife said "pay the man".
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #147
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That is one good lookin' boat CP! I can see why you and the Missus were smitten.

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Old 05-21-2013, 11:45 PM   #148
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"... my wife said "pay the man".
Thanks for photo of your beloved Owens. First time I've seen her sleek looks. Nice boat!
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:39 AM   #149
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Very "classy" boat, Craig. It sure takes me back....I love the look!
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:37 AM   #150
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Thanks guys.

Someone here a couple years ago told me that when walking away from your boat it has to make you look back one more time and sigh "I really don't want to leave". This boat currently has that affect on us. Some day if/when our mission changes or it no longer has that affect on us it will be time to change.

Until that time we really enjoy the option of putt putting around at 1,500 RPM with no wake and smelling the roses or opening her up to 4,000 and letting the wind blow our hair around. Either way that V8 is music to our ears.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:11 AM   #151
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There is nothing quite like an older wooden boat with a hardtop. The new running gear just makes it sweeter. Running it like a trawler makes it cheaper and longer lasting.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:31 AM   #152
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Craig and MVNP...

Having worked with shipwrights, mechanics and also accomplishing general duties in boat yards for years on LI and then Penobscot Bay Maine as a youngster in 1960's into early 70's; basically born on boats working with dad on em from very young in the 50's... I truly appreciate their now antique and classic boat design lines, layout, construction techniques, and sea keeping capabilities. Fiberglass was barely a glimmer on the mfg scene when I already had sea legs. You two's fine Owens and Tollycraft are prime examples of the type craft I was indoctrinated on. 1st boat my family cruised was 17' cabined o/b with 25 hp gull wing Johnson. We'd go fishing all over LI's south beach inland waters and even went out Short Beach Inlet into the Atlantic on real calm days for some "sea" fishing - lol. By late 50's we had an i/b cabin cruiser... she was 1948 23' Chris Craft Express single screw 115 hp straight 6 Chrysler Crown raw water cooled engine w/ head and galley as well as small dining table in cabin and V berth at bow... retractable soft canvas top, good sized cockpit and front deck for sunnen the over cabin. Parents and we three young boys cruised on her for years. More boats thereafter as we boys grew with dad's favorite culminating with a keel-laid in 1950 custom built at Brooklyn Navy Yard by and for their master shipwright, 38', raised deck, fly bridge, single diesel sport fisher beauty that he and I refinished in early 60's and was used into late 70’s.

The well equipped, completely fiberglass, long duration live aboard cruiser and simply delightful (to us) 1977 34' Tolly tri cabin twin my admiral and I (as well as others in our family) now love to use and play with is basically "new-age" to me regarding the back-when 20th Century decades that I was constantly around wood boats in yards, on inland salt waters, and eventually all over the coastal waters of New England.

Classic boats! Gotta Luv EM. And, yes, Craig... We always say hello to our Tolly upon arriving as well as looking back several times as we depart to assure her we'll be with her again! Boats do have and own a soul - their owner’s that is! LOL
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:13 AM   #153
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Yep, the classic lines of many of the older boats are much more pleasing to me than the new breed of "tennis shoe" boats. Yesterday while eating dinner at a favorite restaurant on Clear Lake I saw a beauty coming in from the bay. I was about a 40 footer. Downeast style express, dark blue hull, very well kept and sounded like a nice big diesel. Nice rumble but not loud. All heads turned to watch it go by. Shortly afterward a "tennis shoe" about the same size came by and no one even looked. Back to gasoline engines, careful maintainance and remembering to vent the engine compartment go a long way to making these boats safer. Most of the trawlers I've seen have propane for the galley. The same venting needs to take place on diesel boats for this reason. I don't know if those of you with diesels have had much problem with this, but a friends sailboat has a Perkins M-30 and the lift pump has failed twice in 2 years. This is an engine mounted pump and usually takes a couple of weeks or more to get even here in the Houston area. Most of the gassers I've owned were very easy to get parts for.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:22 PM   #154
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The aku boats I filmed on in Hawaii a few times all had a single 6-71 for power but they ran the dry exhaust through a huge muffler. So on deck the sound of the engine was just a distant rumble.

For folks contemplating a dry stack engine , gas or diesel , the trick is to Google exhaust systems with the words "hospital critical" sure thre not cheap m and sure there heavy , but what price the sound of silence?

For low power gas engines the flat 4 Subaru (say under 60 hp cruise ) would be an ideal choice.

The home made aircraft folks find them very reliable , and the side to side shake (like a BMW) might make the cruise smoother as its hard to move a hull sideways , but easy for a 4 banger to bounce up and down in its rubber mounts.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:58 PM   #155
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FF wrote;

"For low power gas engines the flat 4 Subaru (say under 60 hp cruise ) would be an ideal choice.

The home made aircraft folks find them very reliable , and the side to side shake (like a BMW) might make the cruise smoother as its hard to move a hull sideways , but easy for a 4 banger to bounce up and down in its rubber mounts."

Bad idea Fred. (opinion). How would you like to service exhaust manifolds UNDER the engine. And they are wide. And I don't think the're smooth. The old VW air cooled flat 4s were smooth but I've driven several Subaru's and think most in-line 4s are smoother.

The 3 cyl Suzuki or most other in-line 4s would be a better choice.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:04 PM   #156
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A dry stack exhaust on an inline six, say, Ford, Chev or mopar slant 6 would sound sweet if well muffled. Almost as nice a a V-8. I've never liked the flat exhaust note of a boxer engine except the boxer 6 ala Porche.

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Old 05-26-2013, 08:06 AM   #157
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A 3 cylinder (or multiple of 3) is always a smooth choice but the vibration not from up and down might make the flat engine work.

The engine is so tiny that the exhaust would probably be under 2 inches per side , not a big deal to insulate and route out.

Gassers don't suffer under loading death as diesels can , so an outsized engine , of 3 cylinders or even a small V 6 should crank 30-60 hp for a very long time.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:41 PM   #158
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Wow, I was just cruising some old threads when I ran into this one. Because, like others, I just may want to review some discussions regarding gas vs diesel. We are selling our diesel powered sailboat and moving to a "trawler" (whatever that is). Grand Banks are one of the considerations, but, after reading some of the posts by Marin I might cross GB off my list. I certainly don't want to be involved with a bunch of GB owners with his views or attitude. "A boat like mine" seems to be one of his favorite phrases. Like maybe a boat like his is something to be in awe of.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:48 PM   #159
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Wow, I was just cruising some old threads when I ran into this one. Because, like others, I just may want to review some discussions regarding gas vs diesel. We are selling our diesel powered sailboat and moving to a "trawler" (whatever that is). Grand Banks are one of the considerations, but, after reading some of the posts by Marin I might cross GB off my list. I certainly don't want to be involved with a bunch of GB owners with his views or attitude. "A boat like mine" seems to be one of his favorite phrases. Like maybe a boat like his is something to be in awe of.
As a former GB owner I saw no issue.. Don't take anything Marin said and think that that is the way that GB Owners think.. it was his opinion only. But I do think that GB owners do think highly of their boats and do take care of them.. and they are really beautiful.

I think GB had a big hand in making trawlers mainstream.
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Old 05-15-2014, 04:54 PM   #160
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Well, you posed and answered the question right there in the most sensible way I've seen yet here.

There IS nothing wrong with gas as a marine powerplant as long as you define what it's good for. Which is, as you say, smaller boats. Or cheaper boats or mass market boats. Gas engines are a really cheap way to power a boat, which means you can bring that boat to market for a whole lot less than you can a boat powered with diesels. The classic albeit overused example of this is Bayliner. The fact gas engines have relatively short lives compared to a diesel is fairly irrelevant for this market because the kinds of boats they're in don't get used all that much, relatively speaking. And if the boat is designed so the engines are under a cockpit where they can be easily swapped out, so much the better.

When you start talking about bigger, heavier boats, boats that represent a considerable investment and so will hopefully have a long life-- 30, 40, or more years---, or boats that are going to run long distances or short distances a whole lot of times for a whole lot of years, then diesels are the best choice, which is why that end of the market--- and the commercial market--- uses diesels virtually exclusively. They woudn't do this if it didn't make economic sense to the buyers and operators.

So both types of engines have their place. But what's being claimed by some here is that gas engines are an ideal powerplant for the upper half of the market. Which, despite their cheap initial cost and cheap replacement cost, does not hold true in my opinon. If it was, Grand Banks and Nordhavn and Fleming and the commercial lobsterboat guys and so on would all be using gas engines.

Engines, other than outboards, are not plug and play devices. Getting the engines in and out of a boat like ours, for example-- or a commercial fishboat---- is a major proposition. Doesn't matter how cheap the engine itself is, the effort to take the old ones out, put the new ones in, and then fix all the stuff you had to take apart or break to get the engines out and in is considerable and expensive. For a boat with an anticipated service life of 30, 40, 50 years or more, it makes no sense to have to undergo that process every few years depending on how much the boat is used.

It makes much more sense with a boat like ours to put one or two engines in the thing when it's built that have a good chance of lasting the life of the boat assuming proper operation and servicing. And the only way to accomplish that is by using a diesel. Which is why companies like American Diesel and Kong and Halverson and others started doing just that back in the 60s and early 70s.

The two different categories of boats are very much apples and oranges, and so need apples and oranges powerplants to make economic sense. Smaller, simpler boat, want to appeal to as large a recreational market as possible, wouldn't make sense to stick anything other than a cheap gas engine in it. Bigger boat, major investment, more complex design, needs to be really cost-effective in the case of a commercial application, it doesn't make sense to stick anything other than a diesel in it.

That's my take on it, anyway.
Any chance at all that you could be just a little more pompous?
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