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Old 12-12-2012, 01:06 AM   #1
Al's Avatar
City: ketchikan, Alaska
Country: usa
Vessel Name: 'SLO'~BELLE
Vessel Model: 1978 Marben-27' Flybridge Trawler(extended to 30 feet) Pilothouse Pocket Cruiser[
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,065
How to contend in a spendy hobby

Greetings to the Forum,

During the viewing of several recent forum subjects, a peripheral moment pops up now and again. It is not a direct subject, rather it puffs in and then fades away only to drift in the background. It is not the word 'Cheep" more 'inexpensive' in light of what expensive represents. The word is fuel. Cost, burn rate, tank volume, you get the message.
Thinking the concern, I submit for conversation. "How about purchasing one of those big 454 gas engine(s) rigs in the 35-42 foot class and converting to small diesels?" Now the size of engine to make such a replacement is not the crucial issue, it more is the logic of combining a massive amount of accommodations for the dollars initially invested plus the cost of the conversion including engine(s) Prop(s).
I submit the following advertisement as an example. The boat actually raises the opportunity relating to "Wood over fiberglass or glass over wood" forum that is currently in play. This may be a subject for that forum, it just seemed proper to allow it to stand alone.

Tollycraft 38ft Tricabin will take any res offer

Cheers and may the conversation be fruitful as well as instructive.

A.M (Al) Johnson-ketchikan
27'Marben-Pocket Trawler

"I was taught to respect my elders. Now I don't have anyone to respect!"

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Old 12-12-2012, 06:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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One would have to be willing to cruise for decades at far over the common 200hours a year , AND do all the work oneself to even brake even.

Gas engines have many advantages over diesels.

First is the ability to operate at tiny loads with modest efficiency with no damage from under loading.

Second is the minor cost of parts and maint compared to diesel.

Operating at 4GPH on gas , and perhaps 2 1/2 gph on a new highly efficient computer diesel .

Gas now in Gulfport FL $3.03 a gal diesel $3.75 a gal.

Do the math. With a swop cost of even $5000, (great scrounging!), where is your break even?

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
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City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
I agree with FF. A gas boat will probable be cheaper than the a diesel, so use the saving for the extra cost of fuel. However, if you plan on living aboard, I would definitely buy a diesel as diesel is a lot more forgiving than gas.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Agreed that to replace running gassers in a boat intended for use at trawler speed with diesels is a money loser. esp with 318s, as there isn't much market for you to be able to sell them to recoup some of the conversion cost. Also if treated gently they will likely outlast you, provided you can find replacement marine parts for them. Manis and risers could be expen$ive and hard to get. I always buy gas powered boats with the mentality (and $ offer) that I'm going to have to replace them or atleast major components in the near future. Your idea is sound if you tweak it a bit. Look at project boats in sound condition that need repowers/updating and priced accordingly. While not quite as large as you are seeking, this is just an example of the type of project I'm referring to. As stated though you'll have to do all the work for it to come out right money-wise. In this case the trailer is almost worth the asking price. And this is just the asking price, you haven't even tried to dicker on it.

1985 300 weekender
TIME well wasted
1984 34' Mainship III
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 8,749

FF and others are right. Gas to diesel is not cheap. So unless the following reasons apply:
  • A real need to extend range by 40% with similar sized tanks
  • Well above average DIY skill sets or a deep wallet
  • Lots of spare time if DIY
converting a gasser Tollycraft to diesel is a tough sell. There are some wonderful EFI gas engines out there to choose from that are much better than an old Chrysler (I've owned these before). Further, we will not run out of liquid fossil fuels for a very long time.

On a side note, I just filled up with car gas at $3.07 per gallon with the diesel pirce at the same place at $3.69
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