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Old 04-24-2012, 05:49 PM   #21
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How many folks have actually used a 'get home' system? My 'get home' is an unlimited BoatUS towing policy, or if well offshore maybe a sat phone, EPIRB or PLB or SPOT? If one is not crossing oceans alone, it appears to me that there's an unjustifiabley large expense in buying and maintaining a mechanical system...unless of course you just WANT one...and in the scheme of things, owning that boat is impractical as well, but we do it anyway.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:59 PM   #22
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How many folks have actually used a 'get home' system? My 'get home' is an unlimited BoatUS towing policy, or if well offshore maybe a sat phone, EPIRB or PLB or SPOT? If one is not crossing oceans alone, it appears to me that there's an unjustifiabley large expense in buying and maintaining a mechanical system...unless of course you just WANT one...and in the scheme of things, owning that boat is impractical as well, but we do it anyway.
Some like them as "get out of danger" systems...if it can be engaged as quick as anchoring...then it can come in quite handy.

But I tend to agree, in coastal cruising where anchoring till help arrives (and by that I mean in a populated area such as Boston to Texas coastal)...a single with towing seems to be the most economical in just about all aspects as long as your schedule is flexible.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #23
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No towing services in our neck of the woods (waters?). You are on your own unless you can get a lobsterman or other good Samaritan to help you out.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:52 PM   #24
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dwhatty,

Ditto

Way ditto
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:33 PM   #25
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No towing services in our neck of the woods (waters?). You are on your own unless you can get a lobsterman or other good Samaritan to help you out.
This TowBoat US in Penobscot Bay anywhere near you?

TowBoatU.S. Castine

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(207) 460-5866
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:54 AM   #26
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This TowBoat US in Penobscot Bay anywhere near you?

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Yes. But they are an hour or more away from our home port and further than that if you are way down the eastern Bay, over in Jericho Bay or way to the eastward.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:09 AM   #27
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Yes. But they are an hour or more away from our home port and further than that if you are way down the eastern Bay, over in Jericho Bay or way to the eastward.
Was just wondering.... an hour or two wait isn't all that unusual for towing unless you are in the same general area as where the towboat is docked.

A one/two hour wait for me ...even up to 24 hrs is acceptable to me to only have to deal with one reliable engine versus two...but that's me.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:13 AM   #28
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This came from BoatUS web site: It looks like you can get reimbursed for towing as long as you contact them ahead time anywhere in the world.


Q: Is my BoatUS Towing Service valid wherever I boat?
A: Yes. BoatUS Towing Service follows you and your boat. No matter where your homeport is or where you keep your boat. If you’re within a TowBoatUS or VESSEL ASSIST service area, BoatUS will provide for towing service up to your selected service level. Even if you are boating in an area that does not support a TowBoatUS or VESSEL ASSIST Service Provider, BoatUS will reimburse your towing service up to your service level; $2,500 for Unlimited, $3,000 for Unlimited Gold and $5,000 for Commercial Towing Level, when authorized by the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch center.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:14 AM   #29
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KISS.... It's not only the "electronics"- but also the additional components required. Data in, controls out. All those connections. Not to mention additional "systems" like extremely high pressure provided by an additional pump in some cases. My guess is that if helicopter "fly by wire" controls worked day in/ day out in a sea air, engine room environment you would see a much higher failure rate. .
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #30
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KISS.... It's not only the "electronics"- but also the additional components required. Data in, controls out. All those connections. Not to mention additional "systems" like extremely high pressure provided by an additional pump in some cases. My guess is that if helicopter "fly by wire" controls worked day in/ day out in a sea air, engine room environment you would see a much higher failure rate. .
Like a USCG helicopter covered in salt spray every day?

I can tell you horror stories about both mechanical AND electronic failures in that kind of environment...
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:38 AM   #31
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This came from BoatUS web site: It looks like you can get reimbursed for towing as long as you contact them ahead time anywhere in the world.


Q: Is my BoatUS Towing Service valid wherever I boat?
A: Yes. BoatUS Towing Service follows you and your boat. No matter where your homeport is or where you keep your boat. If you’re within a TowBoatUS or VESSEL ASSIST service area, BoatUS will provide for towing service up to your selected service level. Even if you are boating in an area that does not support a TowBoatUS or VESSEL ASSIST Service Provider, BoatUS will reimburse your towing service up to your service level; $2,500 for Unlimited, $3,000 for Unlimited Gold and $5,000 for Commercial Towing Level, when authorized by the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch center.
Sea Tow has the same deal but offers up to $5000 reimbursable for all members as long as you call ahead and get approval...which if you are way out in the boonies could be an issue in itself I suppose...
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:51 AM   #32
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Our yacht insurance policy has a $1,000 commercial tow coverage.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:27 PM   #33
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Like a USCG helicopter covered in salt spray every day?
Yea but I don't have the USCG's maintenance budget. For my $$ mechanical is the way to go.

I worked for ERA helicopters back in the '80s and we used Bolkow and old Bell 212/412s and this was in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield. EVERY single day we'd have to flush (with water) the engines! to get the salt out. these were the workhorses and probably about as mechanical as helos get other than the flying erector sets from Korean War era.

I would much rather have an engine that is belching smoke and/or missing on multiple cylinders than just flat out quit. I'd much rather it tear its guts out if I ask it to in an effort to get me to safety rather than have some failsafe software tell it to shut-down to avoid a catastrophic warranty repair for the manufacturer.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:55 PM   #34
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I worked for ERA helicopters back in the '80s and we used Bolkow and old Bell 212/412s and this was in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield. EVERY single day we'd have to flush (with water) the engines! to get the salt out. these were the workhorses and probably about as mechanical as helos get other than the flying erector sets from Korean War
Electronics today are way,way,WAY different today than they were in the eighties. To judge today's electronic controls by what was in use in the eighties is a completely meaningless comparison.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:22 PM   #35
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OK so everyone here thinks I'm an antiquated, anti-electronics, head in the sand nut. Be that as it may, everyone has their opinion, sometimes it matches with yours, sometimes not. My boating background began before I could walk/talk, literally in the gulf with my parents who were commercial fishermen. We've had Perkins, Detroits, Cat, and even a Waukesha. At the speeds I use an engine the $$ difference in purchase price, maintenance, and operating costs the mechanical engine is going to come out ahead everytime. If I were running a charter sportfisher or other "high" speed vessel the improved GPH afforded by the electronic management system may make sense, but my boat is for leisure not profit. This doesn't take into acct the piece of mind that "I" have with that old, wasteful, simpleton engine that I understand the workings of. I'm through trying to defend why I prefer something. It's just a preference.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #36
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Personal preferences are what boating is all about. If a person prefers old mechanical engines that's fine. I don't think they're wrong for wanting to do that. In the same way I don't condemn the fellow who likes driving around in a '57 Belaire. Or likes to fly around in an airplane powered by an engine that was buit during WWII.

All I'm saying is that the notion held by many that electronically controlled engines are unreliable, prone to crapping out for no reason, will leave you stranded at the drop of a hat, and are impossible to work on is totally untrue today.

Speaking just for me, I hate old stuff when it comes to equipment I need to operate. The engines in our boat (FL120s) belong in an industrial museum. The only reason I continue to run old engines, old vehicles, old bicycles, old stereos, and fly an old airplane is cost. I can't--- or won't-- cough up the money for the latest thing in all those categories and more. So I take care of the old stuff I have and I run it and maintain it properly because I want it to last. Not because I think it's worth preserving but because I can't or won't pay to replace it.

But if I could justify the funds--- and we may do this in the near future--- those old Lehmans would be out of our boat and into the dumpster as quickly our diesel shop could do it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:48 PM   #37
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Yea but I don't have the USCG's maintenance budget. For my $$ mechanical is the way to go.

I worked for ERA helicopters back in the '80s and we used Bolkow and old Bell 212/412s and this was in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield. EVERY single day we'd have to flush (with water) the engines! to get the salt out. these were the workhorses and probably about as mechanical as helos get other than the flying erector sets from Korean War era.

I would much rather have an engine that is belching smoke and/or missing on multiple cylinders than just flat out quit. I'd much rather it tear its guts out if I ask it to in an effort to get me to safety rather than have some failsafe software tell it to shut-down to avoid a catastrophic warranty repair for the manufacturer.
The point is that progress works....maintenance budget aside...electronics have proven themselves reliable in the marine environment.

My 15 year old yamaha outboars has electronic ignition versus points and it has been submerged overnight twice in it's life and still starts first pull. I have never added a part other than a water pump and spark plugs.

I'm pretty sure that the dunkings exceed the design criteria or the manufacturer has done a great job in marinizing electrical/electronics in a tough environment.

I'm with you on the old tech diesels...but if I could buy the maintenance software and connect an electronic diesel to my laptop for less than $5000 then I'm not so sure anymore.

PS: For the first 8 years of flying USCG helos..those babies had Korean War vintage trannies and rotor systems...so I know old/new staring death in the face...
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:02 PM   #38
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Like a USCG helicopter covered in salt spray every day?
I wouldn't necessarily call that an engine room environment. Be honest here. The last time your Chevrolet pick up "died", if someone told you it had no ignition fire- would you know where to start looking? I wouldn't. What if you had a handset to plug in. Maybe then. Problem is, electronic fuel injection is much more complicated than this. And Autozone is not there to test it for free. I see my Leahmans as a Feature. And the benefit is obvious.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:08 PM   #39
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Like a USCG helicopter covered in salt spray every day?
I wouldn't necessarily call that an engine room environment. Be honest here. The last time your Chevrolet pick up "died", if someone told you it had no ignition fire- would you know where to start looking? I wouldn't. What if you had a handset to plug in. Maybe then. Problem is, electronic fuel injection is much more complicated than this. And Autozone is not there to test it for free. I see my Leahmans as a Feature. And the benefit is obvious.
Why is the engine deck of a helo any different? It in fact is probably a lot worse than the average coastal trawler engine room. It's dripping in salt water everytime the helo hovers over salt water and the engine/exhaust temps are like a non-water cooled diesel at full throttle all the time.

I'd say WAY worse than my trawler engine room.

Plus my electronic diesel in my Ford gets way worse treatment than my boat diesel too. Covered in road salt every winter, blistering temps in the summer...2 times in 12 years she wouldn't go...both times a simple electrical connection about the same as the electric shut down solenoid that exists on my 40+ yeard old boat engine design.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:10 PM   #40
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The last time your Chevrolet pick up "died", if someone told you it had no ignition fire- would you know where to start looking? I wouldn't. What if you had a handset to plug in. Maybe then. Problem is, electronic fuel injection is much more complicated than this. And Autozone is not there to test it for free. I see my Leahmans as a Feature. And the benefit is obvious.
It doesn't matter if I know where to look because I have zero desire to work on the engines in anything I operate. I have done so for decades because I've been too cheap to pay someone else to do what I can do myself. But the fact that I'm pretty good at it does not mean I like doing it, that I have any interest in doing it, that I get any enjoyment out of doing it, or that I like spending the time doing it when I could be using the time for far more interesting and productive things.

So when it comes to electronically controlled diesels in my boat, I wouldn't give a hoot in hell why something malfunctioned if it did. If I could afford those engines I could also afford to have the technical guys fix them when they needed fixing. Which, based on what I see and know of electronically controlled engines these days, wouldn't be very often.

So I do not view the Lehmans in our boat as a feature, I view them as a detriment to an otherwise very nice boat. (The same is true of the Jurassic Mark 2 Onan generator in our boat.)
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