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Rebuild or Repower?

Kevin A Wright

Member III
On paper the Beta 30 should fit, but I know I need to get down to the boat and to exact measurements referenced off the drive shaft and engine bed. Engine compartment is pretty roomy on the 35 - 3. The Beta 30 is actually 3 inches narrower than my existing M25, but it is also not centered on the drive shaft, being 2" wider on the port side than the stbd. Height / depth is comparable and length is one inch longer. But again, need to get the details right. Also a Beta 30 is only 15# heavier than the M25. If needed I can shift a grandchild to balance the boat. But if it doesn't, the M25 is really only rated at 21hp, so a Beta 25 would still be some improvement.

On the electric question I think it really depends on how you sail. If you are going out for day sails on the bay or hopping from marina to marina it makes sense. But the reason I have a boat is so I can go where people (and facilities) aren't. They've improved the energy density of storage batteries greatly in the last 10 years. But it's not even remotely close to what you get with a gallon of carbon bonds waiting to be broken. When batteries get to the storage level of a lightsaber, I'm all in.


Member III
I repowered Silver Maiden last winter with a Yanmar 1GM10. I tossed around for a good bit of time would I have the old Palmer P60 rebuilt, or would I do something else. What ended up pushing me for the 1GM10 was getting an engine with only 5 hours on it complete with transmission from someone that bought it for a project that he then bailed on.

The engine was $1200 off craigslist. I tested it before handing over $$ and loading into the car. It was a bit smaller than the Palmer so I knew it would fit and it weighs 1/4 what the Palmer did.

To rebuild the Palmer would have been $2500 and another $500 shipping and I would need the yard crane at $200 twice. Total investment before ancillaries like a new shaft coupling and new hoses was right at $3400, so that made the conversion look good.

For the conversion I had to spend a bit more than the $1200 as I also did a raw to fresh water conversion on the engine, so a circulating pump for $20, then new exhaust hose for something in the order of $50 I think, loads of new cooling hose for both raw water and fresh water sides. Probably $80 on that and then there was the new engine bed. My original rework of the engine bed called for some steel on top of wood, but in the end I went with all wood. I used Black Locust and as I recall the wood was in the order of $80, but I have some left over. I also added an electric fuel pump even though the Yanmar has a mechanical. That was about $50. I added the fuel pump to cut down on the need to monkey about with purging air if I happened to run out of fuel somehow. I also had to buy a bunch of hose clamps and misc fittings for the fuel and cooling plumbing. That came to about $100.

Total cost was about $1600, but I did get a deal on the motor. Oh make that $1800 because the motor had set around long enough that the raw water pump was a little unhappy, so I bought a new one.

For the tank I drained the Gasoline and sold it to another boater in the marina at 20 cents a gallon less than prevailing price and I plumbed a return line into my tank.

I did all the work myself and I can say I now know the engine space very well now. It was a big job but I am happy. In the next few weeks she is getting hauled to replace the prop. I should have done the prop replacement when I had her short hauled to do the bottom, but I wanted to try the old prop before investing in a new one.

If you do repower talk to west by north propellers about what you need to match the new engine to the boat. I thought that since the shaft RPM for the Palmer and Yanmar were the same I would be good......NOPE!

Kevin A Wright

Member III
Yes I did a refit of a gas A4 to to a Perkins diesel on my E27. In addition to the new prop I also had to do new larger shaft, cutlass bearing, and packing gland. Diesel = lower RPM, more torque, bigger "bite" on the water. It also dropped my fuel consumption from 1 gph of gasoline to 1 qt/hr with the diesel.

And most importantly no gasoline on the boat. One of the last straws was when I found that the fuel petcock was not shutting off all the way and the floats in my carburetor stuck. Opened the boat one sunny day to a gas fume filled cabin. Really glad I was wearing cotton. Both because of no static sparks and because it's easier to wash the $^#&* out of your pants with cotton.

Kevin Wright
E35 Hydro Therapy


Member III
I have a E29, 1971. 19 Years a go my Atomic 4 ceased. All the valve guides were rusted, and I had a water leak inside the head above the 3rd cylinder. For twice the price of a rebuild, I put in a new Yanmar 2gmF diesel. It was the best move I made, and even though the new motor cost about 70 the value of my boat. I have sail her for 19 years with up issue. If you going to keep you boat, do it... its way cheaper then buying a new boat.

Kevin A Wright

Member III
Well the new Beta 30 is on order. Final price came in just under $13,000 after the add ons for a different Tranny, upgraded instrument panel, shipping, high rise exhaust header, and hot water fittings. Double checked all the measurements after pulling out the old M25 and everything should fit just fine. Now just twiddle my thumbs for 4 to 6 weeks until the new one arrives.

I'm actually excited to do my first oil change with the built in sump pump. It's the little things in life that count.

Kevin Wright
E35 Hydro Therapy


Member II
Today I received an estimate and price list from beta marine here in the bay area.
For now, we will keep the tired diesel and in the future, sold it and jump to a bigger boat ;)


New Member
FWIW, I just had a six year run with a Yanmar 2GM. Loved it. The cheapest parts are the ones you don't have to buy. Easy starting, non smoking. and very efficient. I heavily factor in hassle and "down" time for the boat when thinking of a conversion. That and, my 7 years with an old A4, would have me just replace the Atomic. Parts= easy, cost= best route, down time, lowest possible. PLus all the quirks and maintenance routines are already in muscle memory.