I knew before I even looked at the boat that the engine was trashed. If I had any doubts then one look would have been enough. It had been submerged which in a Columbia 38 is pretty amazing. Though the engine is well below the water line there is a huge empty space under neath it with a capacity of well over 300 gallons. The sheer neglect that would allow that much water to accumulate is just mind boggling. The boat was tied up as a liveaboard for a decade at least.

The engine at first look, very rustic


So knowing the engine had to be replaced I started looking for a replacement. The engine is in a place that has very little overhead clearance. There are no modern engines in the 25 hp range that are short enough to fit under the floor. But ---- Universal the maker of the original Atomic 4 that was installed made a diesel replacement that was the same height from shaft to engine top. It was the M4-30 using a 4 cylinder Kabota block. It was made around 1990 and there were only 470 made. So I started a search up and down the west coast. Much to my amazement I was able to find one in Juneau, only 1500 hrs on it and in good running condition. So another item was added to the rapidly growing load for my PU to go to Napa. Here it is being unloaded in Napa.

Engine unloaded

engine unloaded

I finished up the first year without installing the engine, so it got to travel all the way back to Washington and then on to the ferry and up through BC into Alaska and then to Juneau. The engine lift got to go round trip also, it is almost as heavy as the engine.

While in Alaska during the summer I did some work on the engine and replaced most of the hoses and painted a few items. Come October I loaded up the engine and headed south, this time I left the lift in Juneau as Chris the paint god had one I could borrow in CA. I didn't put the engine in storage this time I put it under the scaffolding and covered it well.

So the engine had close to 5000 miles on it before it even turned over. We set up a test cell ie saw horses and Tom went to work on the engine. He replaced the shaft seals and impeller, painted the engine where needed and lots of other little adjustments and maintenance as needed. Once we got it started he changed the oil and filter. The engine ran incredibly smoothly once we got it started, with out muffler it was still very quiet. When we put the new mounts on we just let it sit here with out bolting it down. It never moved.

Tom and the Engine

tom plus engine

Engine Test Cell

engine test cell

The water tank was in finally. Tom had marked the mounts and we had to make a new cross piece out of a hunk of hardwood that we found on a pallet in the dump as the engine base was just a little longer than the A-4 that used to be there. One of the unique things about the Columbia 40/38/Constellation is the engine is dead level as is the prop shaft. I am thinking minimal prop walk.

Engine Mounts

engine mounts

We rolled back the tent and pulled a couple of the PVC tent bows to make room for the engine to go in. Then called up Mike the yard foreman and fifteen minutes after their arrival the engine was in place.

Lifting the Engine

lifting the engine

Dropping in Place

dropping in place

So here is the engine in position. Not bolted down and nothing hooked up.

Engine in Place

engine in place

Here is where it stopped for the year, engine in place and bolted down and lined up with the shaft on. The bolts are anchor bolts screwed into the mounts. Lots to go before running, water and fuel hook ups with external fuel filter, hot water line to the water heater and red dot. Throttle and shift cables, this will have to coordinated with installing the steering pedestal.

Bolted down and shaft hooked up

engine bolted down

To Be Continued in Year 3 "sigh".