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Old 01-01-2015, 01:01 PM   #121
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twisted tree,
Re your post #116 are you suggesting one needs to read 100posts to see if they will be on topic? Not me.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:57 PM   #122
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I have read a few articles about this. The one point I remember and think it to be true. Usually, if you loose an engine it's a fuel thing.
As Sunchaser says, this is a complete myth. In the 16 years we have been operating a cruising boat in the PNW, in the 43 years I have been flying single engine aircraft, in the 10 years I offshore fished in Hawaii, in the 27 years we've fished with our Arima in the PNW, in the 24 years we've been running diesel canal boats in England I have NEVER had or encountered anyone who had an engine problem caused by fuel unless you count running out of it.

Most of the engine shutdowns we've had or heard of in cruising boats up here, power and sail, have been cooling related. Failed pump, clogged raw water intake, etc. We've had an injection tube pinhole which caused an engine to idle rough but did not cause the engine to stop and had nothing to do with the fuel itself.

Now, as Sunchaser said, it's possible to take on bad fuel and this certainly happens in some regions. I've never heard of it happening in our region and it's certainly never happened to us. It's also very possible for a boat to have cruddy, mucky fuel tanks and this crap can get stirred up in rough water, clog a filter and starve an engine. I'm sure this has happened in this area even though I personally have never heard of a specific instance.

But this notion of both engines in a twin (or the one engine in a single) experiencing a shutdown because of fuel is, in my opinion, more of an armchair theory than something that happens in reality, certainly in a region like the PNW/BC coast where the fuel from the suppliers seems universally clean.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:08 PM   #123
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Quite simply a self perpetuating myth. Unless of course:
  • You fill up routinely in the Bahamas or Mexico,
  • have dirty 30+ year old tanks or
  • a deck leak in the around the filling apparatus .
In the half dozen or so times I've had an engine become balky or dead weight it was never fuel. Years ago when a youngster and worked in the boat repair business ditto, hardly ever bad fuel.

Those who sell polishing systems, magnets, additives and write articles on the virtues of product line will thump drum saying the "bad fuel is the Number 1 cause of diesel engine shutdowns." Just advertising BS like LSMFT (remember that one?) or put a tiger in your tank.
.
I don't know where you do your boating. And yes many do fill in other countries, do have old tanks, do have deck leaks. But there's more and here's where you're perpetuating your own myth just because you've never had issues. Calm lake waters it's generally only an issue if the marina doesn't watch it's fuel over the winter. But for those doing ocean crossings or even ocean cruising it's a far more likely problem. Everything possible gets pulled from the tanks. That's why Racors need attention.

The fuel issue is very dependent on the boat and where it's used. But to dismiss it as an issue shows limited exposure to the situations many do encounter. Now, I've only had one engine issue in my years. It was years ago, a gear issue, and I came back in on the lake slowly and on one engine.

Now back to the original question and all the answers given. I think a couple of things are consensus even with all the disagreement. There is some added marginal protection in twins. Whether it's 5% or 30%, there's some. There is some added cost of operating twins. Again, the amount varies but there's some. Also, maintenance is critical regardless of number of engines as a well maintained boat is far less likely to have major issues.

Then the conclusion. Some people feel more comfortable with twins. However, many are just fine with singles. If budget was an issue, and it is for most people, and depending on where and how using the boat, I absolutely would consider singles. I wouldn't summarily dismiss them for the OP or others. Just because I want twins doesn't mean it's the only way to go.

There are many far more likely problems one can encounter beyond engine problems. The entire electrical system. Fuel. Autopilots. Damage from hitting something. Grounding. Stabilizer problems. Leaks. Fires.

So, form your own preferences but initially don't reject singles or twins or anything else until you've actually explored it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:44 PM   #124
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...

So, form your own preferences but initially don't reject singles or twins or anything else until you've actually explored it.
That's where I am right now. I'm comfortable with either twins or single. I'm not concerned about the cost differences either in fuel or maintenance. As part of the total cost of ownership I don't think it's a deciding factor for me.

So I am considering boats of both types.

Thanks

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Old 01-01-2015, 03:08 PM   #125
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The single engine thing

In my experience a low power or a failure to start if the starter is functional or the engine dies while in use is usually fuel related. I classify fuel related as any part of the fuel delivery system, not just dirty fuel and plugged filters. Supply pumps, check valves, failed injector or failed injector pump, air leaks, aerated fuel, pump drive failure. This is where the parts changers are separated from the mechanics. Edit - fuel leaks should also be on the list.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:14 PM   #126
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Richard-- When we decided to buy a cruising boat in 1998 we didn't care if it was a single or a twin. The boat we had chartered previously is a single with a bow thruster. I fished in Hawaii on both single and twin engine boats. All the planes I've flown have been single engine.

As it turned out, the cruising boat we bought here in the PNW is a twin (the same boat was made in both single and twin configurations so it could have gone the other way).

We had never run a twin engine boat so we were pretty apprehensive about maneuvering and stuff. Between the two of us we had a lot of single engine experience, power and sail, open ocean, coastal, lake and canal, and running one of them is about as straightforward as it can get. But two engines were scary.

I asked a good friend who'd been running a twin-engine cruiser for decades if he'd teach us. He said he'd be happy to but in his opinion the best way to learn to operate a twin was just to go do it.

So we did. Sixteen years later and we will never own anything but a multi-engine boat.

But..... if the cruiser we bought back in 1998 had been the single-engine version, today we would undoubtedly be making exactly the same statement only it would end with "...but a single-engine boat."

So weigh the pros and cons as they apply to your desires and preferences, not anybody else's, and pick your poison. If you make the right choice for the right reasons, you'll have a great xperience for all your boating days no matter how many engines are under the floor.

PS- If you buy a single make sure you buy a really long, stout rope to go with it.



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Old 01-01-2015, 03:31 PM   #127
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As it turned out, the cruising boat we bought here in the PNW is a twin (the same boat was made in both single and twin configurations so it could have gone the other way).

Sixteen years later and we will never own anything but a multi-engine boat.

But..... if the cruiser we bought back in 1998 had been the single-engine version, today we would undoubtedly be making exactly the same statement only it would end with "...but a single-engine boat."
So much is our progression as boat owners. Most started with singles and were happy. Then some moved on to twins and they were then happy. We're more interested in speed than most are so twins are necessary. But in most cases if you've never had twins, you're very comfortable with singles. Once you have them you probably won't go back.

Of course then there's......Well, we just ordered a center console. It doesn't have twins. Nor single. We didn't let them talk us into quads. Just triple.
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Old 01-01-2015, 03:45 PM   #128
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I don't know where you do your boating.
.
No you don't. But just a hint, where the water is salty and waves big. But this isn't about me or you, it is about the myth that bad fuel is the predominate reason for engine problems thus shutting both engines (#115) if you have twins. Balderdash
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:03 PM   #129
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I had twins went to a single.😄
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:19 PM   #130
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twisted tree,
Re your post #116 are you suggesting one needs to read 100posts to see if they will be on topic? Not me.
And the debate rages on. Foolish of me to even think I could side track it....
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:33 PM   #131
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You actually tried?
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:15 PM   #132
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Twins are too much of a hassle for me, double maintenance, expense and half the access in the engine room. there are few places in the ICW where the loss of power is a critical event. Most of the time one can swim or dinghy to shore or drop anchor and wait for help. It's not like you're drifting towards a dam. We carry a big sea anchor, which we might deploy in deep water off the bow in the event of lost power and unpleasant sea conditions.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:50 PM   #133
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One or two its all about personal preference. Better for me worse for you. Blond or brunette skinny or curvaceous you make your choice then you deal with it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:05 PM   #134
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Not sure if I have seen it or not...posted or even with my policy....anyone have insurance info about travelling and number of engines or related safety issues?
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:55 PM   #135
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Greetings,
Mr. ps. How could any insurance company insist you have one, two or any engines on your boat? Our policy does have navigation limits and states we must comply with minimum USCG requirements but that's about all I recall. Doesn't say anything about foolish decisions regarding weather or waterway conditions.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:05 PM   #136
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I expressly wanted a single engined boat for simplicity and economy. My dream boat was a Nordhavn 62, and they only come with one main engine,,,perfect! A few years down the road now, I have changed my mind. If I was building a new build, and money was no object, Iíd spec twins.

During our Pacific crossing from San Diego to Hawaii, I could not shake the inherent stress of 'What happens when the the big beast stops?' Turn on your wing engine right? Yeah, well I tried that, and she pushes us along smartly at 2.8 knots. Thatís it. We could probably do 3 if we kept the peddle to the metal but that would not be sustained, and would also be foolish. So 2.8 knots it is.

INFINITY has 4 engineís. Main, wing, and two generators. My imaginary lottery win (Nordhavn 76) would also have 4 engines, 2 Mains, and two generators, so in reality, no additional equipment or maintenance regime is required. At least with twins, your spares inventory could be streamlined down a bit as you now have common equipment.

With twins, you have a second engine on permanent standby, all the time, as itís appropriately sized and specíd as primary propulsion, not just emergency propulsion. Of course we all understand that twins are not as economical, nor as protected as singles, but I have found the following;

this marginal economy gain in a single is the last thing you are concerned with. If you are the type of person who lovingly cares for their vessel, (with the associated costs) then the price of diesel is certainly tertiary. You will have much bigger fish to fry.

our previous twin engined Cruisers 5000 (go-fast boat) never suffered any issues with PNW logs/debris. We may have been lucky, but it just wasnít an issue. Iím a Nordhavn fan, so my next trawler (lottery win) will also be a Nordhavn, and the twins they spec appear just as Ďprotectedí as the single is. They can also sit on their own bottom if required.


Our N62 has a single Lugger 6125A (Komatsu block) with 8353 hours on her and she purrs like a kitten, and Iím convinced sheíll never stop. But why then would I want twins, given the choice?

Neither boat is good-or-bad, each will safely take you wherever you want to go. It just boils down to what you (the Captain) feels comfortable with. Itís more a Ďpiece-of-mindí thing as others have stated.

Have fun out there - & Happy New Year!
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:08 PM   #137
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Not sure if I have seen it or not...posted or even with my policy....anyone have insurance info about travelling and number of engines or related safety issues?
Our yacht policy defines some cruising limitations in terms of where we can go with regards to open ocean and certain places at certain times of the year. There is no language defining boat requirements--- number of engines, electronics, etc.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:37 PM   #138
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Great Harbour Design Truth #1: Twin Engines are better than one.

Great Harbor Trawlers' Trawler Truths: Why twin engines are better than one.

But they go one step further. They have 2 keels protecting the propellers. To me their arguments make a lot of sense.

Sadly, my boat has a single engine.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:09 AM   #139
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I was thinking maybe navigation limitations.....

With Insurance companies being the ultimate financial risk managers....either they think either single or twin must be pretty much the same....or they must charge differently....or they are spanking the twin guys pooling them with the single group that must ultimately wind up in danger or get towed more....
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #140
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....or they are spanking the twin guys pooling them with the single group that must ultimately wind up in danger or get towed more....
I'll tell you who should get spanked, the GH guys who dared post/print the notion that twins are OK.
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