During our refit I have given some thought to perhaps repowering our Alberg 30 with a new propulsion system. It's not that the one we have is not adequate, it is just old. Why not replace Sal's Atomic 4 while she's here at the house?
Here is a picture of the Atomic 4 that we have now. She is still a very good engine, but it's old technology and uses quite a bit of fuel, not a good option for cruising beyond America. She was rebuilt back in 2008 by A4 gurus at Moyer Marine, and hasn't really been any trouble for us.
(picture from Betamarine.com)
Here is what I would like to put into our Alberg 30, a Beta 14 Diesel. This engine uses probably 1/3 the fuel of the Atomic 4, and diesel on a sailboat is safer than gasoline. So why not? Well, the $8,000 price tag. That's about 5000 extra reasons why this will not be at the top of the list.
(picture from starmarineinc.com)
Next consideration is the outboard. While not exactly designed to push a boat of Sal's size, in calm water it does just fine. I have seen several cost-conscious cruisers with boats similar to ours using this option. It frees up space on the inside of the boat and uses about 2/3 the fuel of our current system.
(picture from Thunderstruck.com)
Next there is electric power. I really like this option for some reason. No more fuel costs other than batteries (every 5-6 yrs). This system's only draw back is range. The large battery bank needed to supply a decent range is just not practical on a boat of our size. But let's face it, our Alberg is a sailboat...how much should we be motoring anyway?
These are our choices and I am still doing the research on each. Each option has its pros and cons and I will be weighing them out here on the blog during the coming months.
What are your thoughts on powering a sailboat?