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Old 02-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Safety of Gas Engines

I am still looking at trawlers and motoryachts.

All*of the trawlers that I have looked at in my price range so far have diesel engines but the rest of the boat is pretty well shot.

The other alternative is a motoryacht. Most motoryachts have gas engines. I feel safe on them when I know they*have been well maintained.

Most people I know say "NO"

What say you?*
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Gas engines are as safe as the owner and operator allow. Well maintained, and ventilated, they can be fine.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Lena and I owned a 1966 Chis Craft when we lived in the PNW.* We took that boat from Olympia to Vancouver/Vancouver Island*and cruised year round.* It had a 350 cubic inch gas engine.* We never*felt there were any safety issues.* It was a great boat and as far as*we know it is still out there.* Both Willy and Carey are spot on.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Gas is a safer than what it is made out to be..but as been posted...maitenance and operator are the real keys.

I always said that if I couldn't find the right trawler but did find the right style aft cabin motoryacht...I buy her..run the gassers a few years while I tried to pick up a pair of 75-100hp diesels used, out of commercial trailerable gennies/light towers, etc..etc..
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:01 PM   #5
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Safety of Gas Engines

I had two friends that their lives were cut short by a gasoline generator on a well maintained 36' Pacemaker. They were smart meticulous people. *He a CFO for a large national fast food chain. *She a director of adult literacy programs. They were extremely careful----even anal. *CO is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. *It is a killer. *CO killed another friend in her home.

I have not seen a diesel boat explode, but have seen gas boats explode

Diesel if you can. *Careful if it's gas.


*


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Tuesday 21st of February 2012 07:02:42 PM
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

I have a friend who is an experienced boater, boat owner, and a part time boat mechanic. He just bought a motoryacht with two gasoline engines and a gasoline genset.

I went with him to bring it home, a two day trip. First thing, he fires up the blower, then imediately fires up the engines. We stopped for fuel along the way and same thing after taking on gasoline, he fires up the blower and imediately fires up the engines. What can I say, he is supposed to be the expert.

The CO detectors are original to the boat, eleven years old.* Service life on those detectors is about three years.* I pointed this out to him, we'll see if he replaces them.

Having a diesel engine provides a lot of peace of mind both for the fire/explosion danger, and for CO.* I added a CO detector to my boat in case CO from another boat gets in.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
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Safety of Gas Engines

Most of us feel safer with a diesel-powered boat.* (And I like the heavy growl of a diesel engine's exhaust.)


-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 21st of February 2012 08:17:35 PM
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Quote:
rwidman wrote:
I have a friend who is an experienced boater, boat owner, and a part time boat mechanic. He just bought a motoryacht with two gasoline engines and a gasoline genset.

I went with him to bring it home, a two day trip. First thing, he fires up the blower, then imediately fires up the engines. We stopped for fuel along the way and same thing after taking on gasoline, he fires up the blower and imediately fires up the engines. What can I say, he is supposed to be the expert.

The CO detectors are original to the boat, eleven years old.* Service life on those detectors is about three years.* I pointed this out to him, we'll see if he replaces them.

Having a diesel engine provides a lot of peace of mind both for the fire/explosion danger, and for CO.* I added a CO detector to my boat in case CO from another boat gets in.
*Bad decision making doesn't mean gas engines are dangerous...ANYTHING is dangerous if you ignore basic safety rules.

Sure diesels have advantages...but todays gas engines are safe, reliable and are coming closer to diesels in many respects...unfortunately...price too!
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:23 PM   #9
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Quote:
Tony B wrote:
All*of the trawlers that I have looked at in my price range so far have diesel engines but the rest of the boat is pretty well shot.
*Continue your search.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Our current boat is a diesel, but the last two were gas. If you pay attention to the safety regulations for gas I feel they are just as safe. that said, the real issue for running gas engines now is ethanol. It works fine in a car engine because you will go through a tank regularly. Not so in a boat. Ethanol looses stability after a few months. It eats fiberglass gas tanks, it eats some hose material, carb floats, etc. I never had a problem with it because I paid a lot of attention to maintenance. But every spring I see a lot of people in marinas in our area have to have their carbs or fuel injection systems rebuilt.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Never start the boat without putting your nose in the bilge. Pretty damn simple since that is required to check the oil and water . . .
If you have the extra $75-100, buy a diesel, I would. You'll get it back in the sale. If you don't, buy the boat that works for you and PAY ATTENTION.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:46 PM   #12
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

I personally think gas engines on boats are only acceptable as outboards. I do think gas inboards can be dangerous - but more importantly, I think gas inboards are a pain to keep running right in a marine environment...

I would not consider buying a trawler type boat with gas engines, but thats my opinion.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Quote:
I'm running a gas boat now but the pending trawler will be diesel. So will the genny.* I may die at sea but I don't want to die in a boat explosion and I don't want to die from CO poisoning.

*
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:54 PM   #14
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

"If you have the extra $75-100, buy a diesel"

More like $15,000 to $20,000. Look at yachtworld and compare.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #15
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Quote:
7tiger7 wrote:
I personally think gas engines on boats are only acceptable as outboards. I do think gas inboards can be dangerous - but more importantly, I think gas inboards are a pain to keep running right in a marine environment...

I would not consider buying a trawler type boat with gas engines, but thats my opinion.
*That is my thinking. *Outboards are fine. *Fittings, hoses, connectors, and fuel tanks are all subject to failure. *Gasoline is heavier than air. *Boats don't have vents in the bottom. *The only way to remove any accumulated gasoline or propane fumes is with mechanical extraction. *I know that cooking with electricity means running the generator. *That is a trade off I am prepared to make for peace of mind.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:44 AM   #16
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Tony
*
I currently have the original twin 1977 gas-powered 350 cid 255 hp carbureted Mercruisers and a 7.5 Kohler gen-set in my 1977 Tollycraft.* I check and service all three engines on a dated log; they always remain in top condition.* Both drive motors have about 300 hrs each since professional rebuilds.* CO alarm we check before each boat usage... Went off once from exhaust station wagon effect when we mistakenly left master stateroom rear door open while piddling down a long canal, we as usual were on the bridge.* I religiously run the blower for a minimum of ten (10) full minutes (sometimes much longer while accomplishing other items) before starting any motor.* At beginning of blower usage I always lean out the up-galley slider door to smell the blower fan exhaust vent on side of hull... so far never smelled gas fumes.* If boat has been sitting for a period I also open the hatches in salon floor and do a see & sniff test, with spotlight if it is dark.
*
On Atlantic and Pacific, thousands of hours combined, Ive cruised several gasser boats in my life and one with Perkins diesel.* Each type of propulsion has its pros and cons... in craft 40 and below.* Over 40 I would go diesel.* As has been said in other posts to this thread safety of a gasoline powered inboard is up to the Captain ONLY!*
*
Regarding gallons per hour: Twin gassers and a planing hull such as our Tolly tri cabin (when operated one screw at a time) can be used quite efficiently in just below hull speeds.* I get 2 + nmpg at 6.5 knots running on one; I alternate engines each hour.* If I power up with both motors and plane at 15 to 16 knots it gets about 1 nmpg.* If weather threatens, or for any other need-be reason, I can run up to 21 + knots at 4300/4400 rpm (4500/4600 is WOT).* Then I feel nmpg would be about the best I could hope for!* OUCH!!* Luckily I nearly never need to go that fast except for a few minutes and have only done so three times in years of use.
*
Happy Boat Search - Art
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:31 AM   #17
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

More old wives tale crap about methanol and worry about fire and explosion...as an assistance tower I see a pretty good cross section of hundreds of boats each teay...many are out of the methanol conversion problems a year or so ago...just how many boat fires/explosions*are because of a NORMALLY maintained and operated gas engine each year?

get a grip folks...you stand a much bigger chance of dying on our hyways that from methanol or gas engines blowing you up.

Notice how I didn't discuss CO...that's a biggie....I would use at least 3 levels of safety alarms and other safety precaustions using a gas genset and sleeping aboard.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:50 AM   #18
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Overall for a non commercial boat (200hours a year not 24/7) the gas will be far and away cheaper to operate overall.

The maint is far less , and less specialized , fluids are cheaper and in smaller quantities. Many parts are 1/10 price for gas.

Quarts of oil rather than Gallons cheaper antifreez ....

The biggest hassle with gas is the short life of the fuel in the tank.

Diesel can be a decade old and with good filtration still power the boat.

Todays piosoned gas with ethanol is a bigger problem.

Good fueling techniques ,along with better filtration., and in some areas the availibility of NON ethanol diluted gas solves the problem,
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:13 AM   #19
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Quote:
psneeld wrote:
More old wives tale crap about methanol and worry about fire and explosion...as an assistance tower I see a pretty good cross section of hundreds of boats each teay...many are out of the methanol conversion problems a year or so ago...just how many boat fires/explosions*are because of a NORMALLY maintained and operated gas engine each year?

get a grip folks...you stand a much bigger chance of dying on our hyways that from methanol or gas engines blowing you up.

Notice how I didn't discuss CO...that's a biggie....I would use at least 3 levels of safety alarms and other safety precaustions using a gas genset and sleeping aboard.

"Methanol" ?
*
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:22 AM   #20
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RE: Safety of Gas Engines

Gasoline power in a boat is inherently less safe than diesel power.

How do we know that? Because of the extra safety equipment that must be installed in a gasoline powered boat. The short list includes blowers to extract gasoline fumes, ignition protected starters, alternators, voltage regulators, and anything else electrical that is installed in the engine room or compartment such as inverters, battery chargers and heaters, and CO detectors in sleeping quarters.

Now if all that equipment is installed and in good working order, and the safety proceedures are followed as far as closing the boat up while fueling and running the blowers for four minutes before starting the engines, a well maintained gasoline powered boat should be as safe as a diesel powered boat without all this equipment and precautions.

As in my example above, lots of people will overlook some of these precautions because they haven't personally seen a boat explode. Will you really run the blower for four minutes before starting the genset so you can watch The Price Is Right on TV? Somehow, I doubt it.
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