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Old 03-13-2013, 11:17 PM   #61
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George (caltexflank) says

"Again, no they are not at pure idle, they put a load on them. For instance, many of those you used to see "idling" have refrigerated trailers. But go around a big truck stop some night, talk to the guys. You'll be brought up to date. In a prior life I had a distribution company that served this market, went to the trade shows, got to know some fleets, learned what's up."

So I don't know what's up eh? Those refers have there own engine for the refrigeration. The only load on their engines that I can think of is lights and the heater fan. And you say your information comes from a "prior life". Where does the engine load come from George?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:31 PM   #62
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Back in the day of the building of the Alaska pipeline and the associated oil fields a lot of the equipment came from manufacturers in Texas. And most of it travelled to the North Slope by truck. I read an article in New Yorker magazine back in the 80s or whenever about the truckers who ran this stuff north during the winter. From the day the trucks started on their journeys in Texas to the day they got back they were never shut off unless they broke down.

At the truck stops and motels along the road in BC, the Yukon, and Alaska, the trucks were not only left idling all night, the drivers had to get up every hour or so and run the trucks back and forth in the parking area to keep the lube oil in the transmissions and differentials from turning to glue.

And from what I recall from the story, when the trucks got back to Texas they were serviced, re-loaded, and sent right back out again. So this treatment didn't seem to be particularly detrimental to them. And they were hauling flatbeds and lowboys with oilfield equipment on them. Not refrigerated trailers or anything that required power. So no load on the idling diesels per se.

And I think Eric is correct. The few times in recent years I've paid attention to trucks in rest stops or truck stops the refrigerated trailers had their own engines clattering away with a green light that the driver can see in his mirror to let him know the trailer's refrigeration system is still working. It has to be this way because when the trucker drops off the trailer the refrigeration system has to continue to run on its own until the trailer can be unloaded.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #63
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Refer trailers virtually all have a self-contained diesel compressors and cooling systems. You'll see the 40-gallon refer fuel tank hanging under the trailer (we clean up their spills routinely).

I was a geologist for Chevron in the mid 1970s. We did most of the exploratory wildcats on the North Slope of Alaska during the winter months (no damage to the tundra and ice runways during the winter: cheaper). We would start our Ford pickups (diesel) in November and shut them off in May. I don't recall a problem with them. However, I don't think I would have bought one used after the season, even though they only had about 1,500 miles on them!

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Old 03-14-2013, 12:13 AM   #64
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.. You don't look in the bilge for water? ...
and I'd expect/hope the automatic bilge pump to run if there was water in the bilge. I always inspect the external waterline when walking toward my Coot.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:14 AM   #65
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There are "check list people" and "no check list people". I always wonder what a check list person would do when faced with a situation the check list wasn't designed to cover.

Keith: I would expect to get out of the slip in under a minute if a boat exploded 4 slips away. 5 minutes means you weren't at all worried.

Ours is presently "put away for the winter" while we are enjoying the sun (95F today) in Palm Desert CA. If I was to arrive at our marina and encounter a boat explosion 4 slips away, I doubt it would take a minute, despite being away 4 months. All that has to be done is start the engines, undo the shore cord and cast off. The engines are used to being left over the cold winter months, as I won't run them without a decent load, so never fire them up unless I am prepared to go out. They are left with changed oil, so I know they need no pre-start checks. The water never freezes, so the seacocks never get closed, other than exercising them. undoing the lines after the engines are started allows a look over the transom to ensure there is water being discharged from both exhausts. While backing out, the cover comes off the flybridge, once out of the marina, the mast goes up, the bimini goes up, the radio antenna goes up, then we are done.
When there is a load of groceries, the time it takes me to return the wheelbarrow to the top of the ramp is enough for the stowage to occur, so no time is lost.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:44 AM   #66
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... The water never freezes, so the seacocks never get closed, other than exercising them. ...
Have to continually remind myself to "exercise" the seacocks.

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Old 03-14-2013, 01:42 AM   #67
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There are "check list people" and "no check list people". I always wonder what a check list person would do when faced with a situation the check list wasn't designed to cover.
There are operating procedures and casualty procedures.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:29 AM   #68
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The PO of my boat left me with a check list but it's gone now. I don't have a problem remembering the few things that need to be done. For instance, the checklist above mentioned removing dock lines. Really? I don't need a check list for this.

I don't use a check list for car trips.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:40 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by funangler
Too many distractions at the dock and if you are too focused at the dock you come across rude.


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That happens to me all the time and it really makes my wife mad. When we return, however, without any problems, she marvels at how great a little boat we have.
The above is a valid point, so we always try to organise that if we are taking out friends, relatives, etc, we get to the boat half an hour before they do, so basic checks and prep stuff are done, and one can welcome the guest passengers and exchange small-talk without missing anything important.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #70
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For those that have Hynautic sterring..... tank pressure is important enough to be on a list if you have a list.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:27 AM   #71
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And yet truckers often idle their diesel engines for hours at a time.
I should have said "And yet some truckers often idle their diesel engines for hours at a time." ,but I didn't expect anyone would contradict what I have seen in person with my own eyes.

1) I used to play music in a bar attached to a large truck stop in central Maryland. In the cold winter months, the truck drivers who slept in their cabs rather than taking a room in the motel would idle their engines to keep themselves warm.

2) I worked for a large public school system with a fleet of hundreds of diesel busses. On really cold mornings the mechanics would come in as early as 4:00 AM, ride around the parking lot in a truck equipped with jumper cables, and start the busses. They were left to idle until the drivers picked them up at 6:00 AM or later. There was a cloud of diesel smoke over the entire depot complex.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #72
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"Let me put it this way son, even as we sit here, things are breaking".

So true...
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:59 AM   #73
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We started out with a checklist similar to yours but with even more items on it. We soon realized we weren't using it because it took too much time to wade through it all.

So I revised it way down to include only the items we deemed essential to the boat's safety and proper operation. Things like flags, all the various pieces of electronics, life vests, etc. came off. We have no trouble remembering those things anyway.
All fair points, and criticisms that were echoed by others below.

To answer, I don't know if we will even use the checklist. We don't have one today, and have taken the boat out many times... but I thought it was an interesting exercise to sit at my desk and think about the process and write down the steps, and I shared the results.

I added flags and lifevests because that is something that we actually forget more often than not.

Similarly, when I was on a charter fishing trip I asked the captain what one piece of advice he'd give me for taking care of my own boat -- his answer surprised me a bit. He said every single time you take the boat out, when you get back to the dock rinse it off top to bottom with fresh water -- that those 5 minutes of normal maintenance will reduce future salt-corrosion based maintenance, and forces you to do a visual review of the boat after every trip. I liked it -- so it made my list

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I don't have a problem remembering the few things that need to be done. For instance, the checklist above mentioned removing dock lines. Really? I don't need a check list for this.
I don't forget to remove the dock lines either ... it was just a documented procedure, and that's where it happens. In fairness, that's a step that could easily be removed.

Although I have been on professionally crewed charter boat (one that left the dock twice a day 6 days a week) where the captain left the dock with the shore power cord still attached damaging both boat and dock. Just brain-farted. Would a checklist have prevented the accident? Maybe, maybe not...

Also, my intent was not to walk around the boat with a clipboard in hand, a hardhat, and a reflective vest, doing each task and checking it off before moving on to the next one.... I was thinking more along the lines of, for example, ok, we are "ready" to leave the dock. Before we release the lines, pick up the checklist, and scan through it making sure each item was done. If yes, let's go -- 30 seconds tops.

Further, if we have guests aboard that want to help, or (more likely) my 7 year old daughter, this is something they/she can follow, and do things the way I think they should be done.

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"Let me put it this way son, even as we sit here, things are breaking".
Pure genius.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #74
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He said every single time you take the boat out, when you get back to the dock rinse it off top to bottom with fresh water --
While sea trialing my very first big boat (1995) the broker mentioned and did that very similar thing. I never forgot it and with a blue hull and deionized water, it's served me well.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:43 PM   #75
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We don't have a problem remembering to remove the docklines when we leave. They are on the post-arrival checklist because we use lines on both sides of the boat to counter the prevailing storm winds and we want to make sure they're all in place before we head home.

Again, we don't go around the boat with the checklist as we do things. The lists are just final review items before we start engines or lock up and go home.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:07 PM   #76
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When we have guest I like to show them as my lovely wife has no interest, so they sort of become the crew many times. So I can ask them to check and do some basic thinks like count noses, check engine room/bilge for fluids etc. Also they know where things are like additional live vests/floatation’s and stuff.

When in open water I usually let them take/watch the helm/electronics/gauges, even though the boat is on auto pilot most of the time, but it gives them something to do, and feel important. I would much rather check and double check at the dock. I also call my diesel mechanic and neighbors to let them know when we are going to leave the dock, so they are on full alert. Besides what is the rush it just another old day on the boat will some new scenery slowly passing by thar we have seen dozens of times.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:10 PM   #77
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I asked quite some time ago about what is so bad about idling an engine with no load. No response so I'm assuming on one knows.

I bought into it fully for most of my life but now I'm think'in it may just be some old wife's tale like thing that mechanics perpetuate because they heard it from someone else and it sounded good. Lots of that sort of thing out there and we lay-people never REALLY know if it's true.

Underloading issues? Too much information exists to reject it entirely but little evidence exists to say it can't be done safely either. LOTS of people doing it and hardly ever a problem.

In my years in Alaska I've run my engine at the dock every three weeks or so when we didn't go out. For a year or two I'd tighten up the spring lines and run it in gear to have a load on but for 3 or 4 years now i've just run out of gear for 10 min at 1100rpm and then at 1400rpm for 10 min and then a bit at 800rpm and then shut down. I have run up to and probably over 1/2 hour like this. John Deere dosn't approve I know nor do many or probably most boat owners. I suppose I'm a self appointed myth-buster but I don't have any hard evidence showing why it's bad to run an engine w no load. As a general practice I minimize idling for other reasons like noise pollution near other people ect.

But specifically I know of nothing that indicates that it's bad for engines to run w/o a load .... other than so in so says it's bad.


I STARTED A NEW THREAD SO PLEASE RESPOND TO "Running engine w no load".
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #78
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............. When in open water I usually let them take/watch the helm/,,,,,,,,,,
I once geave the helm to my (grown) daughter while I helped put up the bimini top. We were in a land cut on the ICW so I told her to just stay in the middle.

I forgot to tell her what to do in case we had to stop quickly.

Lucky we didn't need to and I was just a few feet away.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:43 PM   #79
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Mattkab, I like your checklist. Since I'm not a frequent boater and sometimes go for 2 months without seeing my boat, I always feel like I'm forgetting something, so a checklist such as yours is a good idea. On your list however, I din't see anything about turning the battery selector switch to off when leaving the boat. This is something that I forget to do on occasion.

Koliver, I too can do better than one minute if a boat four slips away blew up. But the boat will have to stay behind. I would sprint like I was on steroids.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:51 PM   #80
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On your list however, I din't see anything about turning the battery selector switch to off when leaving the boat. This is something that I forget to do on occasion.


I'll need to add that. Thanks!
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