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New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Albin's "power cruisers"
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Redjack
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New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by Redjack »

Hello fellow Albin fans. Apologies in advance for the long first post or if I have posted in the wrong forum. However I would greatly appreciate the advice of experienced Albin 25 owners.
I am a new owner of a 1973 Albin 25 living in Ireland. Unfortunately the Volvo MD 2030 on my boat is, as a marine mechanic has told me, very difficult to start and running very badly. Lack of compression is the issue which would necessitate costly and time consuming repairs in parts and labour.

I have considered repowering with either a used or new Beta 25 or Sole Mini 29 or 33. The Sole is a Spanish version of a Mitsubishi engine and costs around €7500 ($8300) here including gearbox.
Removal of old engine, installation costs etc would add considerably to this amount.
I have read with interest, some discussions about repowering an Albin 25 with an outboard motor. This holds a lot of appeal to me as I am relatively experienced with outboards whereas inboards are a new and rather intimidating prospect.
The advantages of outboard power as I see it are:
Cheaper and quicker initial repowering.
Cheaper and more accessible maintenance.
Ease of future change of motor when necessary.
Ease of use and reliability of modern 4 stroke outboards.

The disadvantages as I see them are:
Having gasoline onboard.
Lack of battery recharging capacity compared to inboard.
Lack of the efficiency of a small diesel inboard which was one of the reasons I fell in love with the Albin 25.
The effect on the aesthetics of a beautiful boat.
Necessary work to transom to ensure the boat is able to support the weight of an outboard.

The boat is based on inland waterways and I don’t intend, in the medium term at least, to venture into the Atlantic.
I believe all the disadvantages can be overcome, through, for example, storing the fuel containers in a well vented location, such as the aft cabin roof.
Use of a portable power bank to power the led lights, nav equipment, phone recharging etc. Power consumption would be quite low, no fridge, no ac etc.

The issue that most concerns me is the strain to the transom of supporting an outboard motor. The outboards I have considered for the repower are a 20hp Tohatsu weighing just 95lbs or a Yamaha 25hp High Thrust motor weighing 202lbs.
Could a 20hp outboard propel the boat to hull speed? Could a 95lbs engine be happily supported by the transom without major strengthening work?
Would a high thrust motor be better suited to moving a displacement boat?
Thank you for taking the time to read my first post and I appreciate any opinions.
Ed422
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by Ed422 »

Unless you plan on leaving the old engine where it is or adding a similar mass of ballast, I’d worry about shifting the center of gravity.

Ed
Dieselram94
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by Dieselram94 »

I think the transom could be beefed up easily to handle the weight and at 95 lbs it’s not all that heavy anyways. If I was going to do this I would want the fuel tank in the original location. On the aft cabin roof I would think would get old quickly. That being said I would just go for the beta option. The out board will be quieter, however it will always look like an afterthought. I just hate the idea of gas on a boat. I’m considering repowering mine with a brand new beta, currently I have a Perkins 4.108 that runs perfect. I just don’t like the rear main oil seal set up on the Perkins. I’m also planning on installing my Honda 9.9 outboard on the back as a back up motor. Something to be said for redundancy while on the water.
WillieC
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by WillieC »

That is quite a first post and welcome to AOG!

You can pretty much do anything you like with enough money and skilled craftsmen, or another boat might be a better choice for proceeding. But I understand. This is the boat you have.

Others have installed outboards on their A25s, I know of one in BC where the owner went ahead and left the MD engine inboard and beefed up his transom/swimstep to take an outboard. Two of everything at the helm. That boat has since changed hands or at least he was trying to sell it.

Your concerns/disadvantages are very real. The transom is likely the least of your problems, but consider all the changes you would need to make to the aft cabin, unless you are thinking of just beefing up outside the hull. Sounds expensive if you are not doing the work yourself, and I suspect you may not be a naval engineer. Balancing the hull and matching your power requirements are not simple back of serviette scratchings.

I would look very seriously at replacing the engine with a modern no-frills basic, solid repower. I have looked very carefully at Beta for they have the full set-up ready to bolt in.

Outboards are easy to replace, but one clean inboard repower will outlast your ownership by a long shot. Maybe trade your boat for one that is already an outboard and spend your money there?
jerridsc
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by jerridsc »

I too acquired a 1973 A25 without an engine, just what I was looking for. I have committed to outboard repower. I wanted the quiet, the simplicity, the cleanliness and the affordability of an outboard. I have 4 - 6 volt golf cart batteries where the engine once lived. I am using the thoroughly cleaned and tested original fuel tank as well as an additional 15 gallon below deck tank for added range, both properly vented and installed following abyc standards for safety as are many thousands of boats currently in use. Added a gas sniffer in the bilge for alert. I started with a Mercury 4 stroke 25hp bigfoot (high thrust) motor. While I was able to achieve 9-10 MPH with a not fully loaded, cruise ready boat, when I re ran the boat fully loaded, speed was reduced and the motor was working too hard and running hot. I had the biggest diameter prop (12 1/4 “ at 8” pitch) that would fit on the bigfoot motor. In this case, overpropped. I felt a smaller prop would not give the control and extra margin of safety needed to handle wind, waves, current etc. while a 40 or maybe a 50 hp would provide the power needed, I found that the 40, 50 and 60hp Mercury’s are all the same size and weight. I found a good deal on a low hour 60hp, 4 stroke, EFI motor. More power than I will need 99% of the time. I installed a 400 watt solar panel on the full length hardtop I built to help make up for the loss of diesel powered charging. I have added a number of design elements to support the engine weight back there. I have also added bow ballast to help keep proper trim. I have great respect for the original A25 design and those that keep them original. I just could not afford repowering the diesel way. I will try to include some pictures.
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WillieC
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by WillieC »

That is a great post. Note how much work was done by the owner. The best part is that you didn't ruin the original boat. I like your simple hardtop as well. Did you do that? I am sure plenty would like to see your design.

Very nice job. To the OP, there's your answer!
Redjack
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by Redjack »

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience and thank you jerridsc for sharing the photos of your beautiful boat and outboard setup. Your experience of the 25hp Bigfoot being underpowered and running hot has made me reconsider the outboard repowering option. A larger 50 or 60hp outboard is close in price to a new inboard install.
Also this side of the Atlantic $6 a gallon gas versus $3.80 diesel is a significant consideration for efficient cruising in the long term.
I still have a lot of research to do so thanks again for the information.
On another note does anyone know the year or exact hull number when the fully displacement design changed to the flatter aft hull? My hull number is 1442.
dkirsop
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by dkirsop »

This link will take you to a listing of year of manufacture by hull number
https://www.albinbc.com/albin-25-history
Hull No. 1013, 1971
WillieC
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by WillieC »

Do you have a picture? Easy to see looking at either end of the transom, From the side.
Burton
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by Burton »

Per Brohall discussed the matter of righting moment in the A25 manual. As designed, the A25’s have excellent stability— though it does give us a wicked roll at times— my, do they ever get up quickly from leaning over! Just wait until some jerk in a big cruiser blasts past you up close. Hang on! Brohall recommended putting weight outboard to the sides to soften the roll. Anyway, it’s no big deal as to flat calm waters, but keeping the center of gravity low is critical to keep the original righting moment for safety in seas. The golf cart batteries mentioned in the comments above are certainly smart for this issue of stability—so long as they are held down really good. Our A25 Deluxe rides bow high without water in the freshwater tank and anchor and chain up front. I would be concerned about adding weight to the transom that might create more of a bow high situation.

Also, the boat with an outboard will be a “Frankenstein”— an unkind moniker for boats and home grown RV’s with odd mods done. If you care about resale, this is a consideration.

Brohall did a great job of design— perhaps the outboard can work okay, but messing with his design is a bigger issue than just horsepower location.
jerridsc
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by jerridsc »

You make good and important points Burton. I hope to acquire much experience with my “Hybrid” A25 that I will share with those here.
jerridsc
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by jerridsc »

Now this is a “Frankenstein’s Monster” of a boat. Probably not what the designer had in mind.
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DesertAlbin736
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by DesertAlbin736 »

jerriedsc,

Your in the water pic seems to show your boat riding quite bow high. Or perhaps that's just an optical illusion with bottom paint going all the way up to the flare ridge (for lack of better word) at water line?

Ours tends to ride a little stern low with our Gig Harbor dinghy handing on lift davits. The davits and dinghy with MacGyver "RIB" fenders adds about 100 lbs to the stern. Then depending how much gear & luggage we have stowed in aft cabin also adds weight.

I wonder how heavy your 60 HP outboard is? Back when I had a Catalina 25 sailboat with 8 HP Tohatsu 4 stroke outboard & that was 95 lbs. A Catalina 25 sailboat is roughly the same size as an Albin 25 but a bit heavier with a 1,750 lbs fixed wing keel. 8 HP was enough to push it to hull speed when motoring under power. So in your case your outboard is fixed in place & can only steer by the original rudder? That would seem make it difficult to do "rudder kicks' to take advantage of prop wash for low speed maneuvering.
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
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Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
jerridsc
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by jerridsc »

Those pictures were early on. I had 1 battery and a 3 gallon gas tank on the swim Step. No anchor and chain, no filled water tank in bow and no 4 golf cart batteries in the engine hold. The 25 hp motor weighed 172 pounds. The 60 horse is @ 60 pounds heavier. Also, it is fully steerable, not fixed. The rudder has been removed. In addition to all the bow and battery weight, I have added 140 pounds of ballast in the bow to keep the boat on an even keel. I like talking about this and enjoy answering any questions from all.
hetek
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Re: New Owner New Engine Considering Outboard

Post by hetek »

I'm just gonna throw this out there, but if you look in the aft cabin and lift the center seat panel where the rudder stuffing box is...

...Reminds me of an outboard transom. The part closest to the door, not the back at the transom. Add an engine box or hey, how about a sail drive?

I thought about it now and then since I, too, was in the midst of a repower, but I decided to go ahead with my 25hp Vetus inboard diesel.

Speaking of my Vetus... I'm waiting for a quote from their U.K. distributor/retailer for some cooling system parts. They quote you shipping costs before they let you purchase. Good news is that the base engine is a Mitsubishi and I can source many parts locally, just not the cooling bits.
Jon B.
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"Bunkie" - a 1984 A27FC
New owner of...
1977 A25 deLuxe - a work in progress
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