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Old 12-14-2015, 08:48 PM   #21
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re the chicken vs egg question, have you checked your upper helm start switch? I know of a case where the rubber cover over the upper helm start switch cracked, let water in, which then closed the switch while running, causing a runaway starter. Luckily, no other damage, so a new start switch and a new starter completed the repairs. You may not have that kind of switch up top, but if you do......
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:22 PM   #22
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I've had this happen before. Back in late 90's I was hired to go to New Bern and deliver to the Ft Laud boat show one of only two 130' Hatteras's ever built. Factory reps fired up the port gen, starter locked in, cooked the entire elec. DC system on that side of eng room. Glad it wasn't me that hit that switch, lol.

The way they explained it to me, is you have to realize that the starter motor, once locked into the running engine, at this case an 1800 RPM generator, that little starter motor becomes a generator, and it's totally unregulated voltage/current output.
Poof!!! end of wiring.

Now, as for the mechanic, well his service adviser probably just told him to change out a starter, he did, clicked the key, it worked. You said yourself sea cocks were closed, he probably didn't want the engine to fire anyway. The damage to the wiring was already done, nothing he did caused the problem, he just didn't look around for any other previous damage. At most his oversight, which he wasn't even told to look for, caused you a time delay and inconvenience, not a cent difference in damage costs.

Just my opinion, YMMV.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:00 AM   #23
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BandB, I absolutely LOVE standing up to insurance companies. Many years ago I had a 330 Sundancer that I was on with another couple. Night time, drifting on the Columbia, all the nav lights on. We were hit by a BUI who was running on plane. Did I mention it was at night?


Allstate and I became close personal friends (HA HA) over the next several months. In addition to the boat, they ended up paying me over $28K in "ancillary" expenses that included $3,000/week for a rental boat until they settled up that part of the claim. Needless to say their rep didn't like me very much when we were all done.


I always referred to their client as "your drunken insured" in our conversations and reminded them we would be going to small claims court in MY hometown and it would be the poor helpless boater vs the HORRIBLE big insurance company.


They settled for 100% of the amount I claimed which included my insurance premium for that year and a long list of other stuff I wanted reimbursement for.


An insurance pushover I ain't.


koliver, I doubt that happened because my helm is fully covered and I seldom use the upper helm switches to start engines. Anything's possible though.


Racer, you nailed it with this paragraph....
"Now, as for the mechanic, well his service adviser probably just told him to change out a starter, he did, clicked the key, it worked. You said yourself sea cocks were closed, he probably didn't want the engine to fire anyway. The damage to the wiring was already done, nothing he did caused the problem, he just didn't look around for any other previous damage. At most his oversight, which he wasn't even told to look for, caused you a time delay and inconvenience, not a cent difference in damage costs."


He told me at the time that he checked to make sure the starter motor spun over and turned the engine. He didn't want to run it long enough to let the engine start because the sea cocks were all closed.


I'll meet up with him tomorrow and see what he has to say.
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Old 12-15-2015, 01:26 AM   #24
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BandB, I absolutely LOVE standing up to insurance companies. .
I figured you could hold your own. One thing adjusters often depend on is you not knowing your policy thoroughly. They're not going to volunteer. Or in the case they're representing a third party, you not knowing their responsibility there.
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Old 12-15-2015, 02:20 AM   #25
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When you get to the repair stage, the following are a few ideas that may be appropriate:

In 2009, I was faced with a total rewire of WESTERLY, and tried to minimize the chance for, and impact of, a stuck starter. Having a single older mechanical engine and a single helm greatly simplified the project.

1) The start battery/starter circuit is completely isolated from all other circuits, except for the low output alternator that charges only the start battery.

2) Besides the normal keyed ignition switch, a second momentary push-on switch provides power to the starter. Both switches have to be activated to start the engine. This precludes a stuck starter due to a single switch failure (or key jam).

3) A voltage alarm was installed on the start battery circuit that alarms both high and low.

4) A high current battery switch (600A) for the starting circuit was installed outside the engine room near the helm.

5) A high-temp alarm sensor (135F) was installed above the starter.

6) A mechanical engine shut down was installed at the helm station.

All alarms are at the single helm station.

About overcurrent protection devices (OPD): ABYC E-11 does not require fusing the starting circuit. But Nigel Calder in the Third Edition of his Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual recommends protecting starting circuits with a slow blow fuse near the battery rated at 150% or more of cable ampacity (Page 187). Sometime to consider.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:36 AM   #26
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i had a visit from your little bastard friend this afternoon.
Mathers Micro-commander controller not responding. When docking. High wind. At night. No sign of our sense of humor either. One of those days I guess.
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:15 AM   #27
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Andy

How many MMC stations on the vessel? Did you move to a different location? I've been curious if one location on fritz all are hampered ---?
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:35 AM   #28
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It would be my guess that the starter was running because of the burned and shorted harness, and not the cause of it.
That sounds a lot more likely. That is, that a short in the ignition circuit keep the solenoid to the starter battery closed, meaning it kept spinning, causing such a prolonged drain on the starter batt it overheated and smoked, but the wiring harness damage would have been from the original short in the helm dashboard electrics, does seem the most likely.
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Old 12-15-2015, 07:30 PM   #29
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I just got done with a 2 hour meeting with Jim. He had pulled the upper and lower gauge panels off the boat and had them in his office. It's sure easy to see which wires burned. We picked out the gauges he's going to replace all of mine with. I decided I'm not going to mention the brand name because it could turn out to be a thread like always happens when discussing anchors...."The Rocna is far superior to the.....".


I'll post some pics when they are installed.


Jim is going to build the wiring harnesses right in his office. The harnesses from each of the helms are relatively short; they run from the gauge panels to their respective connectors about 4' away, then those connectors connect up to the main harness that runs down to the engine.


They also found some burned LED readout panels that are on the main power panel. The ones that are on my boat are no longer made and the ones that are available are a bit larger than the ones I now have. So he's going to have to replace a few LED readout panels on the main power panel. IF he can't get them to fit in the existing holes he'll fabricate a panel that will lay over the top of the existing panel and accommodate the larger holes.


I did mention this thread to him with the comment that there are some pretty knowledgeable people on here who had some good ideas and he might want to check the posts out.




So that's where we are at this point.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:00 AM   #30
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I just got done with a 2 hour meeting with Jim. He had pulled the upper and lower gauge panels off the boat and had them in his office. It's sure easy to see which wires burned. We picked out the gauges he's going to replace all of mine with. I decided I'm not going to mention the brand name because it could turn out to be a thread like always happens when discussing anchors...."The Rocna is far superior to the.....".


I'll post some pics when they are installed.


Jim is going to build the wiring harnesses right in his office. The harnesses from each of the helms are relatively short; they run from the gauge panels to their respective connectors about 4' away, then those connectors connect up to the main harness that runs down to the engine.


They also found some burned LED readout panels that are on the main power panel. The ones that are on my boat are no longer made and the ones that are available are a bit larger than the ones I now have. So he's going to have to replace a few LED readout panels on the main power panel. IF he can't get them to fit in the existing holes he'll fabricate a panel that will lay over the top of the existing panel and accommodate the larger holes.


I did mention this thread to him with the comment that there are some pretty knowledgeable people on here who had some good ideas and he might want to check the posts out.




So that's where we are at this point.
So, with so much taken apart does he have a theory on the cause? I'd hate to see it all put back together but that missed.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:29 AM   #31
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Andy

How many MMC stations on the vessel? Did you move to a different location? I've been curious if one location on fritz all are hampered ---?

Hey Sunchaser,
Our N62 has 4 MMC Stations. The other 3 stations work perfectly fine.
I believe it's the potentiometer. I'll be calling ZF in the morning.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:08 AM   #32
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Runaway starter.....maybe due to starter relay/solenoid switch contacts 'welding'
together (in crank position) from heat from high resistance of dirty/corroded contact surfaces.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:26 PM   #33
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BandB, we both have several theories on what caused it to run away. He has assured me that every electrical connection and every wire will be tested and retested before he signs off on the claim being fixed. It's going to be interesting after he gets everything put back together and is ready to smoke test his work. I wish I was going to be here for but I'll just have to wait to hear from him.


Mich Mike, Jim and I have discussed that and he's going to make sure everything is in good order before he applies power.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:41 PM   #34
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Make sure the fire extinguisher is not out of date, and he knows where it is.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:29 PM   #35
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Hung starters rarely burn up control wiring. Yep, can burn up cables, especially if there are high resistance connections, but can't see them burning up the light gauge stuff.

Starters also have over run clutches so it won't turn into a generator if hung. Unless the clutch welds itself, but that would be apparent on teardown. And even if it did, it would overcharge the batts and doubt it would burn up control wiring.

Starter reported as "rebuilt" so it was not in too bad of condition??

I suspect the wiring had a fault first, then burned up stuff, then conductors crossed and THAT fired the starter. Probably not initiated by a starter fault. But hey, I am commenting on the net!!!

Alway watch DC voltage when starting engines. Volts should dip and come back up when starter is finished. If volts stay down, check things out. A hung starter keeps volts low.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:47 PM   #36
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BandB, we both have several theories on what caused it to run away. He has assured me that every electrical connection and every wire will be tested and retested before he signs off on the claim being fixed. It's going to be interesting after he gets everything put back together and is ready to smoke test his work. I wish I was going to be here for but I'll just have to wait to hear from him.


Mich Mike, Jim and I have discussed that and he's going to make sure everything is in good order before he applies power.
Sounds good. This is one of those cases where you don't just fill in and replace the obvious but you consider all the wiring and connections to be suspect.
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Old 12-16-2015, 05:21 PM   #37
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I suspect the wiring had a fault first, then burned up stuff, then conductors crossed and THAT fired the starter. Probably not initiated by a starter fault.

I floated that balloon a few posts back. It is the most up front explanation for what happened.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:45 PM   #38
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I suspect the two of you are right. I see the starter as perhaps the innocent victim.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:05 PM   #39
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By way of an update, Jim put together a bid to the insurance company that closely matched the one done by the surveyor. It's an open ended bid, meaning that as they get started putting this thing back together and testing every system on the boat, if other things pop up that look like they were damaged in the original incident, the insurance company will pick up the tab on those items also.


So, are you sitting down? The total cost of the repair on items that have already been discovered....drum roll please.....$15,032.


Yeah, that's what I thought. Of that, around $6,400 is parts and $7,400 and change is labor. Some of the rest is sales tax. YOWZERS!!!


Thank heaven I bought a yacht policy and didn't skimp on the insurance coverage. I have to pay my deductible out of that $15K and the insurance company picks up the rest.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:56 PM   #40
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Thank goodness you have good coverage and you seem to have gotten a reasonable adjuster from the insurance company who also has a sense of trust with Jim. I am very hopeful this case will continue on a positive note. It just sounds like that's the spirit of what is going on. I think you get a feeling very early in the process of whether you have someone who is going to be difficult or someone interested in being fair and see that things are fixed properly. Also, great that it's left open.

As to the amount, I'm not surprised having known people who had electrical issues on boats and cars. You're still out the deductible plus loss of use for an extended time, but this is what we get insurance for. I'd encourage everyone to check their policies carefully and make sure their policy would have covered this.

I know this has been stressful but it's got to be a relief now to at least know the work is getting started and there is agreement as to what is to be done.
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