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Old 12-28-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
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steaming with one engine on a twin powered trawler/cruiser

It is not if but when the engine is going to fail on you. (I know, i know, if the maintenance is up to date and engine not tortured it should last for a long, long time but...) On single engine boats, I guess you pray it does not happen when you need it most e.g. in shallow waters with strong currents where luck and anchor may help you, otherwise you radio/phone for C-tow or similar saint to get you back to your marina or closest place where you can fix the propulsion. On a twin powered boat where you do have propulsion redundancy, how easy is it to move the boat with single engine and that small rudder the trawlers/cruisers have? I am aware of the speed being at minimum but how easy is it to steer the boat with one engine offset to one side. The rudder efficiency on the dead engine side should be minimal with no wash from the prop. Has anyone experienced it and how was it?
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Easy peasie! A twin screw boat can surely be run on one screw. Not as smooth or maneuverable as with both engines... but VERY doable!
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:25 AM   #3
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Many fish boats that transit from Ca to AK , simply remove one prop for the journey.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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Many fish boats that transit from Ca to AK , simply remove one prop for the journey.

Which fishery are those "many" boats involved? How many of them make that transit from California to Alaska? What is the average size of those boats?

Of those "many" boats, how many are multi-engine? Where do they get the prop replaced when they get wherever this fleet of "many" boats works?

Something very fishy about that idea ...
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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I did this for a year on my Cruisers 3950 aft cabin, just to be sure I would be happy traveling at that speed. I'd leave the marina on both, then shut one off for the trip. Restart the other to dock. Then I'd reverse that, going home on the other engine. Freewheeled the inactive prop.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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If I had (wanted) two engines, I'd run them both at the same time. Use them or lose them!
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:42 PM   #7
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If I had two engines, I'd run them both at the same time. Use them or lose them!
Exactly.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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If I had two engines, I'd run them both at the same time. Use them or lose them!
Mark... If you had twins - you would not have COOT - and, that is impossible to even think of!

PS: There's no twin screw model of your displacement hull, sail assist boat - is there??
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #9
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if you use your boat enough...there's plenty of hours/miles traveled to be had for both engines....
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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Yesterday I lost one engine and came into port on one engine, no other help to dock the boat. Thank goodness there was no real breeze. Just rudder and engine control, no thruster. So it can be done but I wouldn't have attempted to dock in my tight little slip with wind though.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #11
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Yesterday I lost one engine and came into port on one engine, no other help to dock the boat. Thank goodness there was no real breeze. Just rudder and engine control, no thruster. So it can be done but I wouldn't have attempted to dock in my tight little slip with wind though.
Hopefully you got her back up?
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
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Mark... If you had twins - you would not have COOT - and, that is impossible to even think of!

PS: There's no twin screw model of your displacement hull, sail assist boat - is there??
No there isn't. Besides, my highest priority was to have a keel-protected propeller and rudder! (Next came 360-degree walk-around decks and strong railings which put Nordic/Arctic tugs in second place.)
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:03 PM   #13
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Nope

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Hopefully you got her back up?
Still working on it. I started a new thread Art for suggestions and I am hopeful I can track this down without a mechanic. I can see hundreds being thrown at this if I can't.....
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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No there isn't. Besides, my highest priority was to have a keel-protected propeller and rudder! (Next came 360-degree walk-around decks and strong railings which put Nordic/Arctic tugs in second place.)
How often does COOT hit bottom?
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #15
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How often does COOT hit bottom?
Three times in the last two-plus years. Twice on the Napa River and once on the Petaluma River, both mud-bottomed. We "slithered" into deeper water each time. There are lots of shallow waters here.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:13 PM   #16
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if you use your boat enough...there's plenty of hours/miles traveled to be had for both engines....
Are you still "on the dry"?
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:34 PM   #17
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Three times in the last two-plus years. Twice on the Napa River and once on the Petaluma River, both mud-bottomed. We "swithered" into deeper water each time.
Moving too fast into unexpected shoal? You have depth warning buzzer on your sounder?



My learned rule of thumb is to try and NEVER touch bottom. Even with single screw, full keel, and skeg from years ago that was the plan.

Now, with our twin screw Tolly and unprotected props, the words NEVER Touch Bottom are always at forefront of my captaining agenda... i.e. emblazoned on my mind! LOL So far, So Good!

Although... I have churned a bit o' dirty water from bottom twice in 5 years. Once coming out of San Rafael canal before most recent dredging and once in begining to a delta island cove... as I reversed gear and backed into deeper water. Both times I was in idle rpm and my sounder buzzer screamed at me. I have it set at 3'... which gives me 2 + feet water under keel from where tranducer is stationed on bottom of hull. Both those near misses are too close for my comfort!
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:52 PM   #18
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Moving too fast into unexpected shoal? You have depth warning buzzer on your sounder?

Although... I have churned a bit o' dirty water from bottom twice in 5 years. Once coming out of San Rafael canal before most recent dredging and once in begining to a delta island cove... as I reversed gear and backed into deeper water. Both times I was in idle rpm and my sounder buzzer screamed at me. I have it set at 3'... which gives me 2 + feet water under keel from where tranducer is stationed on bottom of hull. Both those near misses are too close for my comfort!
No buzzer/warning. It only takes a few seconds of distraction or lack of local knowledge (combined with overdue dredging) to wander into too-shallow waters.

Fifty years ago I ran aground four times in the narrow San Rafael channel, during one night. Only navigational aids were chart, binoculars, and compass. Channel markers were dark except for the outer one which was hidden among the Richmond lights on the other side of the bay. I was motoring my Dad's auxiliary 28.5-foot sailboat from a boatyard in San Rafael to our berth in the Oakland estuary. Luckily, the tide was rising and I was able to move from grounding to grounding after five minutes each.

In the "upper" Petaluma River, I suspect your depth-buzzer will likely buzz much of the way.
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:27 PM   #19
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When the Petaluma River/slough is this low (two hours before low tide), you have a good chance of scraping bottom with a four-foot draft.

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Old 12-29-2013, 08:32 PM   #20
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Thank you guys for all the replies, so i guess ending with one engine due to other one breaking down is not that much of a trouble. As Mark said, if having two engines, why bother using only one. Use or lose them, I was only curious how big a hassle is ending on one engine only and it being offset with smaller rudder (i am moving from a sailboat with huge rudder that can steer it at effectively at 1 knot of speed) , but it appears no issues with that.
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