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Thread: Newbie. Ericson 35 MKII. Atomic 4 issues. Feeling discouraged. Need Advice. Help.

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member II
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    San Francisco

    Unhappy Newbie. Ericson 35 MKII. Atomic 4 issues. Feeling discouraged. Need Advice. Help.

    Hi all. My name is Kevin. I live In San Francisco. I grew up land locked on the east coast and always dreamed of learning to sail. This year i decided to turn my dream to reality. After lots of saving I purchased a 1975 Ericson MKII. Heres the backstory: So this is my first boat. I found her on craigslist. I was recommended a mobile mechanic who i contacted and came with me to inspect the boat. So cosmetically she is pristine and everything looked amazing. We went to start the Atomic four engine and it would not turn over. It cranks and sounds like its about to start but does not turn over. The owner Said he hadnt started it since last september and was going to put a new electric fuel pump in it which he had ordered and would throw in for free with the boat. I looked to the mechanic who agreed and said once we put that fuel pump in it should fire right up and that I had a good deal hear and should go for it and he will put in the pump for me and get her started. I listened and bought the boat for 15k which i had been saving for 2 years. So a few days later the mechanic comes and puts in the new electric fuel pump and drumrolllll. NOTHING. the engine does not turn over. He says "Oh no problem it just needs a set of points order them from moyer and I ll put them in and she will fire up" I order the points a few days later he puts them in and NOTHING. Does not turn over. He now comes back a third time and starts it right up by spraying Quick start starter fluid into the carb. It runs on the ether for a few seconds then shuts down. Mechanic said "you are probably out of gas" I put 5 gallons in and nothing. I fire this mechanic and call another. He comes on the boat and within 5 min by sight alone says I could use a new head gasket, studs, manifold, oil pressure switch plugs and oil. (did not do compression test or any test) Each mechanic refused to follow the Atomic four unexpected shutdown checklist that Ken at moyer sent me because "they didn't need it". I feel like a real schmuck for not doing enough research. Every single mechanic ive called in the bay area said they will not work on A4 s and that I should save my money and repower it or get a new boat with a diesel. List marine said they would take a look as well as SF boat works but both said I would have to get it towed to there yard which was quoted as 1000 bucks. Im feeling really overwhelmed and discouraged about my new purchase. Its sitting in the slip. Stuck. Noone will work on this engine and I got quoted at 20-25 k to repower it with diesel. Well more than I paid for the boat or its value. I have dreams of starting with coastal cruises to the farrolones , half moon bay and santa cruz and one day single handing to Hawaii like sir Christian Williams in Thelonius. (he is such an inspiration, just finished philosophy of sailing). What should I do? Any advice? Is it true what the mechanics say? Should I ditch this ancient Atomic bomb engine and eat the cost of a repower eventually? I mean this A4 fired up with starter fluid so im guessing its a fuel issue and just getting it to run on the gas is the solution, but now im just bummed in the long run from all the research ive done on the A4 now and seeing how no one will work on it and now I feel stuck. HELP.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 04-09-2019 at 10:17 PM. Reason: spelling

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