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Old 06-12-2014, 01:53 PM   #1
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First trip on Lollygag

We picked up our new-to-us 42' 1979 CHB Europa in San Rafael on Tuesday. This is my third boat and second trawler. But this is the first with two engines and a full bimini cover over the bridge deck. She is huge and pretty and a lot of boat to handle. We started late due to the tide and then crawled out of San Rafael while we got the feel of her. The tide was due to ebb in about two hours when we got to the main ship channel and we almost made it to the Carquinez straight by slack tide. Once the tide shifted we could see the speed drop as the ebb pushed back. We expected that but the currents in the river, the confluence of the different flows going around islands, through channels and stuff really moved us around. The autopilot is dead (we knew that) and hand steering all the time was interesting. Just like a new driver, I oversteered a lot for the first 30 miles. The bimini over the bridge deck is an amazing sail! And since I haven't sailed San Pablo bay or the delta for 15 years, I forgot about the constant wind. Let's just say we looked like amatuers as we zig zagged up the San Joaquin. We stopped in Antioch for the night. In the morning, before the wind started, we were able to swing her around and start up the river again. Suddenly I had an epiphany! Since I was always drifting right and had to correct, I adjusted the starbord engine up a hundred RPM and she held her course with the wheel centered. Duh. Two engines... this will take getting used to. Like wheeling her around. That looks so easy but the devil is in how much power goes to each engine. This second day went much better and we had a nice cruise up the river to Riverpoint Marina, just outside Port Stockton. I really slowed down and steered with the engines and got her pointed into the slip. Lots of people came to help with lines (and see the new boat coming in) when one guy shouts "you're not going to make it." Son of a gun, my radar was taller than the covered slip. The marina guy was there and he is sharp. He also knows every empty slip and right away says go to another slip, a 50' slip with a real tall cover. I made it in with about 6 inches to spare. We got tied up and thanked everyone and hugged and kissed and finally have our boat home where we can start to work on her.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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Congratulations! Sounds like a trip. Clever adjustment to put a little more power on the starboard engine to compensate for the right drift.
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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Congrats, may the adventures never end!
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:27 PM   #4
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It`s true much low speed manoeuvring steering is controlled by engines, not rudder, but in my experience if you add some rudder, the turn is quicker and tighter.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:02 PM   #5
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Sounds wonderful, we will be doing the same with our Gulfstar in the near future bringing her from the Upper Chesapeake through the C&D down the Delaware river, through Cape May up to Little Egg. Since I'm new to trawlers and my last boat had big power I'm thinking about hiring a salty Captain to help us make the trip and show us the tricks. Then again if I properly plan the trip we might just go it alone.
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
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It`s true much low speed manoeuvring steering is controlled by engines, not rudder, but in my experience if you add some rudder, the turn is quicker and tighter.
Right, Bruce. Rudder will get things moving in the right direction quickly. Adding power to the outside engine with get it really moving.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:25 AM   #7
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BILLYLLL
Make the trip! It was worth it,even with the bundle of nerves that goes with it. I learned a lot about the boat, how she handles, where things are and that sort of stuff. You probably don't need a captain. If you know the rules of the road it's just a matter of learning the boat. That is always exciting!
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:35 PM   #8
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I'll have about a week to play with the boat in the upper Chesy before I take her home. Hopefully I'll shake out any bugs. I know the rules of the road but I'm used to a larger boat that can outrun weather and avoid hazards. I do need to familiarize myself with the Perkins diesels. After I had the tank cleaned and the old fuel removed, there's fresh diesel fuel in her I had all the fuel filters replaced, the raw water impellers replaced, all hoses and belts, oil and anti freeze and the oil filters replaced. The exhaust hoses were replaced 4 years ago and they weren't showing any signs of fatigue. The generator needed an oil sensor but after that it was serviced like the Perkins 62hp diesels. The boat's sea trial lasted almost 2 hours everything looked great. Right now I'm having shaft logs, bearings and the rudder bearings replaced and repacked. They are also painting the bottom and replacing the Zincs. I should be in pretty good mechanical shape but you never know with a 40 year old well cared for boat. The trip does have my nerves on edge.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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I had a perkins in my sailboat and she was a great little engine. Sounded like a sewing machine she ran so quiet. They are as reliable as Lehmans and parts are everywhere. I'm just starting on the systems in Lollygag; she's 35 years old but well cared for. Even so, water lines, instruments, lighting and a host of other 35 year old stuff needs to be replaced, refreshed or removed. I have a list of recommendations to fix and then I start on the heads.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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I'm just starting on the systems in Lollygag; she's 35 years old but well cared for. Even so, water lines, instruments, lighting and a host of other 35 year old stuff needs to be replaced, refreshed or removed. I have a list of recommendations to fix and then I start on the heads.
Yeah, older boats can certainly need a lot of TLC and elbow grease to bring them back up to par. I was lucky enough so that my 40-year old had previous owners who did most of that (fuel tanks, barrier coat, electronics, etc., etc), but I am still finding stuff to work on. Mostly having to do with wiring. Lots of dead wires, and tracing them can be a bitch.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:55 PM   #11
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Billy, pick your weather and it is a piece of cake. If I wasn't laid up with this injury, I'd certainly volunteer to pilot for you. Going through serious boat cold turkey. I wish there was an AA equivalent!
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:11 PM   #12
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... The tide was due to ebb in about two hours when we got to the main ship channel and we almost made it to the Carquinez straight by slack tide. Once the tide shifted we could see the speed drop as the ebb pushed back. We expected that but the currents in the river, the confluence of the different flows going around islands, through channels and stuff really moved us around. ...
At times, it does get exciting in Carquinez Strait. Usually it's the 2.5-knot current making steep waves with a strong wind in the opposite direction. And then there is the rare race:

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Old 06-13-2014, 11:55 PM   #13
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Congrats on the new to you boat and welcome to the Delta.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:15 AM   #14
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I might be misunderstanding what you are saying but the engines on a twin screw boat should be synced at the same RPM when underway. You should not have to have one turning faster than the other to hold a straight course.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:27 AM   #15
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I might be misunderstanding what you are saying but the engines on a twin screw boat should be synced at the same RPM when underway. You should not have to have one turning faster than the other to hold a straight course.
Are the propellers counter-rotating? Are the RPM meters reading properly? Is there something "going on" under the hull like rudders aren't parallel? ... I require a three-degree rudder to port to maintain a straight course (which the steering mechanism will maintain itself), but then I've got a single propeller.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:39 AM   #16
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I might be misunderstanding what you are saying but the engines on a twin screw boat should be synced at the same RPM when underway. You should not have to have one turning faster than the other to hold a straight course.
He adopted this tactic only to counter a constant wind induced drift off from straight ahead - not for normal running. I see no harm in that.
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:51 AM   #17
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Re-reading the OP, it sounds like the boat doesn't have an autopilot or synchronizers. Crabbing, as described can be countered with rudder. Not sure what kind of cruising the OP plans on Lollygag, but an autopilot is a great tool. Especially one with a remote for lean back in the chair, feet on the helm luxo-cruising.

You really don't want to run the engines out of synch underway for any period of time. You can set up a vibration that way and it will typically be noisier too. On of the first things we do once in the fairway is turn the synchronizer on. Yeah, you can do it manually over time by listening and feel, made easier by calibrated tachs. The synchro is so much nicer, especially when you are in a mode of having to vary speed, or in a bad following sea and want to keep one hand on the wheel, such as coming in a nasty inlet.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:52 AM   #18
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He adopted this tactic only to counter a constant wind induced drift off from straight ahead - not for normal running. I see no harm in that.
What George said. :-)
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #19
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When I had a single screw trawler, I used my AutoEx for those kinds of steering corrections. My AutoEx consisted of a Kleenex box jambed between the spokes of the wheel. Worked like a charm.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:01 PM   #20
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Thanks George I'm feeling better about making the trip. I closed on the sale of my Mainship today. Early next week I'm heading Maryland to put a good solid effort into adding alternative charging, Radar, plotters, AIS Class B, a pair of VHF radios. I also plan on changing out the old navigation lights to LEDs. I need to get her back to my home marina in NJ where it will be much easier to upgrade the vessel. The FLIR, water maker, KVH M3, LED TFT's, Ham SSB and the new heat pump will have to wait until I'm in NJ.
It would be nice if you could come along but I know you are hurting. Get well soon George and thanks.
Bill
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