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Old 01-07-2018, 01:18 PM   #1
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Anyone apprehensive about taking a single screw trawler to Alaska in the IP?

Hi Travelers,

Now that we're trawler owners (used to be sailboat), we might get tired of going to the San Juans and want to venture farther north... maybe way farther north after I retire in a few years. With a sailboat, you have sails for power and a small engine and maybe a kicker on top of that. The trawler has just it's trusty Lehman 120. Was wondering how many of you would or would not attempt the inside passage with a single screw.

Dave
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:30 PM   #2
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Hi Dave,

Our previous boat (not a trawler) had a single diesel I/O. We ventured as far as the Nawhitti Bar and the Broughton Archipelago. We had no reservations about doing so.

How did we mitigate risk? Everything was maintained at 100%. 625 feet of anchor rode aboard. Careful navigation and weather awareness. Spares aboard for owner-repairable casualties. Clean, fresh fuel only and lots of filters.

Best Wishes
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:40 PM   #3
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Richard crossed the Atlantic round trip with your same engine so I would say the engine itself is not the main concern, but more how it was maintained, how it is now and what are your skills of seamanship.

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Old 01-07-2018, 02:00 PM   #4
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Hi Dave,

Our previous boat (not a trawler) had a single diesel I/O. We ventured as far as the Nawhitti Bar and the Broughton Archipelago. We had no reservations about doing so.

How did we mitigate risk? Everything was maintained at 100%. 625 feet of anchor rode aboard. Careful navigation and weather awareness. Spares aboard for owner-repairable casualties. Clean, fresh fuel only and lots of filters.

Best Wishes
Jeff, did you get a new boat??
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:02 PM   #5
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We left Anacortes Washington in late April 2016 and 2017 heading north as far as Glacier Bay area and returned early October both years with a single engine boat.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:07 PM   #6
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Commercial fishermen, tug boats and ships do the passage with a single engine.
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:08 PM   #7
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I will bet that 90% of the boats that ply the IP are single engine.

David
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:03 PM   #8
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Done the IP and across to Prince William Sound twice with singles, one gas and one diesel. #1 reason a diesel quits running is dirty fuel, just keep your filters clean and do your maintenance preventively, not retroactively...
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:14 PM   #9
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If thats what you have and want to do it...go for it.

My take on singles is, as long as you have the money to be towed to help, fixed at high repair and storage rates, plenty to rent a place to stay at high prices till the boat is fixed, money for the car or travel elsewhere....go for it.

If on a strict budget, tbe problems with singles without a backup engine is there is no self rescue unless you have a big dingy with extrodinary range. So where you have issues, you are now stuck with where you are.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:16 PM   #10
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A friend of mine who annually runs his single-engine boat to SE Alaska has a saying.....he maintains his engine and other machinery like his life depends on it. Sort of sums things up when you don't have a second engine. It's also a good mindset when you have twins.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:20 PM   #11
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I would much rather trust one well run and well maintained engine than to trust two seldom run engines. It really seems the less an engine is run the more problems it has...

That's my take ...
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:27 PM   #12
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I maintain mine as well as you can....15,000 miles before it standed me with a broken dampner plate

As I said, any one can fail at any time beyond the abilities or parts carried onboard.

Therefore, as long as the inconvenience of breaking down where you dont want to be and the costs involved dont bother you, no big deal.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:33 PM   #13
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Been doing it since 1986, no problems. The log infested waters of BC have taken their toll on many twins.
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Old 01-07-2018, 03:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I will bet that 90% of the boats that ply the IP are single engine.

David
A walk down the docks in Ketchikan or Juneau would show differently, maybe 30% tops for pleasure vessels venturing up from the lower 48. BTW, the AK waters are quite free of the logs in comparison to BC where active shore side logging is occurring big time.

But sure, a single engine vessel can make it quite fine to AK. I hear several did it in 2008.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:20 PM   #15
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Single Engine trips -- worried about only one engine ?

I have run single engine trawlers for 35 plus years.
I currently have a single engine Kadey-Krogen 42. ( - BTW -Great Boat.)

I maintain the single engine pro-actively & with the knowledge that it is my only engine. So no skimping. No putting anything off. Keep fuel clean. Carry plenty of filters, Have a filter vacuum gauge at the helm station, etc.

I also Carry good comprehensive spares package & tool kit for those things that I can repair.

That said. Shit happens.

So I also have a great Heavy Duty outboard motor mounting bracket that is removable & stores easily in the lazzarette that is a special made O/B motor mount & it mounts nicely on the back of the swim step - right in the middle directly opposite the rear bulwark rear door to hold an out board motor.

This gives you / me a outboard motor or kicker of your size choice that you can use as a get home engine (& also use for your dinghy too if you want) as a great back up get home power plant that works great & does not break the bank.

I have never had to use it in duress, , but I have used it as a pro-active practice way to get home just to be sure it works as described with this back up motor, just to test it out for myself & it brought the boat back to home port from the Channel Islands National Island Park here in So-Cal back to my home harbor & it worked like a charm.

However, NOTE: I did not do any docking with it as it is not very maneuverable in tight quarters & shifting is not the easiest to do as must climb out on swim step to shift it, etc.
So if your really concerned, this is a perfect way to ease your mind & give you a good tested back up motor that works.

So I can personally recommend this as an alternative.

Good luck.

Alfa Mike
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:05 PM   #16
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Many of our members have made ocean crossing with singles, I don’t want to names them as that is up to them but they are all boaters today so they made it probably with a few stories. You may wish to talk to them to get some ideas of do’s and dont’s Plus spares and tools.

I’ve always been a twin engine guy as I go far into the Bahamas but I have never lost an engine but did lose a generator because of not having a part on board (didn’t stop the trip but lost the comfort of AC.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:44 PM   #17
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Iíve not been to AK but I have been to Prince Rupert twice and also been back and forth across Hecate Strait, which is a bigger deal, IMO. You should have no reservations with a properly maintained Lehman.

Jim
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:47 PM   #18
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Wink

I suggest you read Alaska Blues by Joe Upton, a highly readable account by a fisherman who makes the roundtrip each year in an old wooden boat no bigger than yours.

He does this in company with another boat, something you might want to consider. (I'm leaving about May 15th.)
...and, yes, I have done it before.
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Old 01-07-2018, 10:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Hi Travelers,

Was wondering how many of you would or would not attempt the inside passage with a single screw.

Dave
Dave


A far bigger set of issues than single vs twin for successfully transiting to and from AK involve:
  • Preparedness of skipper and crew
  • Maintenance and repair capability of crew
  • Electrical system performance
  • Clean fuel tanks
  • Weather, tides and current understanding
  • Charting equipment and navigation skills
  • Radar familiarity and system capability
  • Depth sounder backup
  • Anchor(s) and windlass operation and pre-trip maintenance
  • Potable water storage
  • Fuel gauges and or sight tubes calibrated.
  • Scads of spare parts, oil and filters
Fun discussions (especially for us TF old-timers) can be had on single vs twin discussions. However, there are IMHO far more critical things to concern a skipper for what could be a 3000 nm round trip with little cell phone coverage, no Boat Tow companies, and normally inclement weather.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:26 PM   #20
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Might I suggest this link for your perusal?

Pairadice and ASD Alaska Adventure 2017

One of us is single with no get home, the other twins. And yet neither were immune to material failures other than engine’s.

Cheers
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