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Old 09-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #21
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Simple physics ...
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:01 AM   #22
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I learned to back a narrowboat (60' x 6' 10" x 20 tons x flat bottom x single engine) a quarter mile between moored boats with about 4' of clearance on either side without touching anything on either side. And lest one think it's a unique and special skill, my wife learned to do it as have most of the practiced narrowboat steerers we've met in the UK over the years.

I'm not going to take the time to outline the technique but it works as well with a single engine Grand Banks as it does with a narrowboat. In short, inertia is your friend. Once you understand it you can back anything exactly where you want it to go every time.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:30 AM   #23
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Simple physics ...
simple theory....wind and current play havoc with that theory, especially if from opposite directions and off on opposite sides trying to spin you in the direction prop walk wants to take you too.

many capts can't deal with that situation with twins...only "simple" in theory...you don't want to get caught in a bad situation when the conditions exceed the capabilities of the boat to manuever in close quarters.

best to start the situation with plan B when you know "backing straight" just ain't gonna happen.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:53 AM   #24
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When I first took ownership of my single screw trawler I was terrified. I had always owned smaller twin engine boats. I hired a captain (71 years old who had sailed to Europe & South America) to train me for several hours (well worth the money!) He made me do figure "8's" around 2 markers about 50 yards apart in reverse. I figured "no problem" since I had a bow thruster. He then told me to not use the thruster. I said why not? he explained "what if your bow thruster fails just when you need it, then what?" We spent several hours practicing "backing and filling" around those markers and I believe it was very well worth it. He then had me back down a long fairway using the same technique. We spent a couple of days (a couple of hours a day) doing these manuevers. Yes, practice to get the feel of your boat is most important. He always told me when docking to go as slow as possible and never be embarrassed (if conditions warrant) to put the nose in first if need be.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:02 AM   #25
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........ He then told me to not use the thruster. I said why not? he explained "what if your bow thruster fails just when you need it, then what?" ..........
Did he also teach you how to handle the boat if the main engine failed?
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:36 AM   #26
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Pretty simple. While you're still moving, get out of the way of traffic. Anchor or tie up to something if available, then go figure out what's wrong. If you take good care of your single (like most single owners do) you'll probably never have to worry about that.

Twin engine owners? Usually have one fail since they rely on the other one to limp back home.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:21 AM   #27
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I have to agree with Keith. there are many variables i.e. location, speed, traffic ect. Would love to hear your comments !
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #28
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awesome video !
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Old 09-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #29
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Twin engine owners? Usually have one fail since they rely on the other one to limp back home.
Everyone I know with a twin services and maintains their engines every bit as conscientiously as the people with singles. Shutting an engine down in a twin is not something anyone who I know takes lightly. Sure, the other engine gets you home but the boat handles like crap and you go slower. Many boats like ours require the non-powered shaft be tied off. We are as reluctant to have to shut down one of our engines as we were to lose the only engine in the GB36 we chartered before buying our boat. The main difference is that if we have to shut one down we keep going as opposed to coming home on the end of someone's very expensive rope.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #30
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Haven't we been down this road before?
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:42 AM   #31
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........... The main difference is that if we have to shut one down we keep going as opposed to coming home on the end of someone's very expensive rope.
I assume youre trying to say being towed by a commercial tow company?

I know it's not available everywhere, but I have a TowBoatUS membership for about $150 per year that allows me to be towed (and some other services) for no additional charge. In my mind, that's not at all expensive. SeaTow is another similar option for about the same cost.

Having two engines is no guarantee that you will not need to be towed someday. Fuel problems, electrical problems, and hitting an underwater obstruction can dissable both engines or drive trains.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:53 PM   #32
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Marin: The tow rope is cheaper than sitting out there, waiting for the winds tides and currents to carry you to the local garage for service.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:59 PM   #33
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Marin: The tow rope is cheaper than sitting out there, waiting for the winds tides and currents to carry you to the local garage for service.
I agree. But not having to sit out there at all is cheaper still.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #34
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Having two engines is no guarantee that you will not need to be towed someday. Fuel problems, electrical problems, and hitting an underwater obstruction can dissable both engines or drive trains.
True. But in our experience and observation, it's very rare.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:20 PM   #35
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This boat has a single engine:

Nordic Tugs - Model 54 Specifications
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #36
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Engine rooms/compartments are usually roomier with one rather than two propulsion engines. (Roomier without a genset too.) Many, nevertheless, like the redundancy of multiple engines.

I'd bet the majority of commercial boats and ships have only one propulsion engine.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:02 PM   #37
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Engine rooms/compartments are usually roomier with one rather than two propulsion engines. (Roomier without a genset too.) Many, nevertheless, like the redundancy of multiple engines.

I'd bet the majority of commercial boats and ships have only one propulsion engine.
I'm sure some commercial ships are single screw, but you can't compare them to our "toys" as they have engineers and a ton of spare parts on board.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:05 PM   #38
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But in the case of ships they have the ability on board to perform major repairs like changing a piston or even cylinder. And commercial passenger boats and ships--- like your beloved cruise ships--- all seem to have two or even four engines/propulsion systems. Tugs these days tend to have multiple engines and props. Not for redundancy, in this case, but so they can perform all manner of maneuvers. But, if one quit they could get home on the other one.

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Old 09-24-2012, 08:22 PM   #39
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My great grandfather ran whiskey from Fraserbrugh (north of Aberdeen) to Iceland in a 40' wooden double ender with a single, one cylinder diesel
like the ones shown below in Fraserbrugh Harbour. Thats me in the school uniform. I've logged 20,000hrs running single engine boats ... never saw a need for a second engine.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:56 PM   #40
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And commercial passenger boats and ships--- like your beloved cruise ships--- all seem to have two or even four engines/propulsion systems.
The cruise ships I'm familiar with (2,000-3,000 passenger capacity) had five propulsion engines (with two propeller shafts/pods: ships were diesel/electrics). But they aren't our typical commercial vessel.
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