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Old 08-09-2015, 01:50 PM   #121
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We don't have a choice regarding tow insurance, as there is nothing offered in this part of the world. .Regardless - I'm in the self-insure camp anyway. I'd rather put away that insurance money for when the rainy day occurs.

I do the same with life insurance, car insurance, and some forms of health insurance. Insuring for the big ticket costs such as public liability, heart surgery etc make sense to me, but I wouldn't get any warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that I'd save tow costs if my boat failed me. I try to get that secure feeling by knowing my boat systems well, keeping the critical spare parts and tools on hand, and being self sustained as much as possible.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:59 PM   #122
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The one time I paid for a tow there was a Sea Tow member aboard my boat. There was discussion of tricking the tow company that he was solely operating the boat(and I was just a tag along passenger) so we could get a free tow but I just don't live my life that way. They towed me. And I paid for it(I said earlier in the thread $250...it might have been $350). .
They get that regularly I'm sure and glad to read that you don't do those things. That's why they write it to indicate "owner not present" for another operator to be covered.

I applaud you taking the high road.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:54 PM   #123
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Have tow insurance and consider it a great deal. Own four single engine boats and spend a lot of days under way. If all my ventures were an hour or 2 tow from the dock, I might consider self insuring. Have mated for the local Tow Boat US guy several times in the past and seen him bill in the thousands for a tow in from offshore. I consider this an umbrella policy. I know if I need a tow, it's going to be in the thousands not the hundreds and will likely far exceed all the premiums I've paid. That's just the way my luck runs. Also like that the insurance generates a network of operators for most places I will go. Lot to be said for organization sometimes.

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Old 08-09-2015, 03:12 PM   #124
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Have tow insurance and consider it a great deal. Own four single engine boats and spend a lot of days under way. If all my ventures were an hour or 2 tow from the dock, I might consider self insuring. Have mated for the local Tow Boat US guy several times in the past and seen him bill in the thousands for a tow in from offshore. I consider this an umbrella policy. I know if I need a tow, it's going to be in the thousands not the hundreds and will likely far exceed all the premiums I've paid. That's just the way my luck runs. Also like that the insurance generates a network of operators for most places I will go. Lot to be said for organization sometimes.

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Tow one... then less chance for tow-need... you'll have twin screw!
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:36 PM   #125
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have towed plenty of twin screws in my day....bad fuel, ripped their props off, no steering and have to negotiate tough bridges/currents/docking issues, incapacitated skipper, arrested DUI skipper,engine room fire, aground in a bad spot.....probably more but you get the point.
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Old 08-09-2015, 03:38 PM   #126
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Tow one... then less chance for tow-need... you'll have twin screw!
Don't think the 16' with the 6 HP or the dingy with the 15 HP is going to pull my trawler. Besides, there are some things I prefer to leave to the professionals.

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Old 08-09-2015, 04:00 PM   #127
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have towed plenty of twin screws in my day....bad fuel, ripped their props off, no steering and have to negotiate tough bridges/currents/docking issues, incapacitated skipper, arrested DUI skipper,engine room fire, aground in a bad spot.....probably more but you get the point.
Got towed twice in my boating career:

Once towed in line by CG, 1965; pop's single screw (155 hp Nordberg Knight gasser), 38' sport-fish-sedan/fly-bridge boat... several miles off Block Island. Plugged fuel line. That fall we installed Perkins 185 hp.

Once side tied by really cool sailing-training boat captain, 2009; in a mellow canal less than a mile to my dock. The kids aboard learning really were wide eyed... they loved it. That tow was also due to gas problem. This time in my twin screw 31' Uniflite that had fuel pickups in its single tank's rear... soooo when cruising even limited fuel to rear got to the engines. When slowed to canal speed the boat was slightly bow heavy so the fuel went to forward tank portion and engines became starved. Its gauges were really not correct. I had f'd up not catching that one!
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Old 08-09-2015, 04:03 PM   #128
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Don't think the 16' with the 6 HP or the dingy with the 15 HP is going to pull my trawler. Besides, there are some things I prefer to leave to the professionals.

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Old 08-09-2015, 04:19 PM   #129
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Actually, I did once self-tow a 37' Gulfstar sloop with a 15hp outboard on the inflatable dinghy. Ran lines fore and aft, tightened them up firmly, and "hip-towed" (from directly alongside). My mate stayed on the bigger boat, steering as I instructed, while I manned the dinghy tiller. Once we gathered steerageway, it went fine.

(Why tow a sailboat, you ask? That's a longer story).
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Old 08-11-2015, 02:54 PM   #130
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Update:

Yesterday the mobile mechanic came down and took a look at my engine. The good news is that he believes at this time that the problem is isolated to the starter, and not the flywheel. They are pulling the starter off today to be rebuilt (or replaced, depending) and will visually inspect the flywheel at that time.

So, question for those of you that are better boaters and mechanics than I:
Could you replace a starter? I have quite a few spare parts, but a starter is not one that I carry. Do you?

I'm truly not trying to be an ass... I want to be as self-sufficient on the water as I possibly can, and I'm taking this as a learning lesson. It's a real question, and I really would like to know your thoughts.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:03 PM   #131
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Update:

Yesterday the mobile mechanic came down and took a look at my engine. The good news is that he believes at this time that the problem is isolated to the starter, and not the flywheel. They are pulling the starter off today to be rebuilt (or replaced, depending) and will visually inspect the flywheel at that time.

So, question for those of you that are better boaters mechanics than I:
Could you replace a starter? I have quite a few spare parts, but a starter is not one that I carry. Do you?

I'm truly not trying to be an ass... I want to be as self-sufficient on the water as I possibly can, and I'm taking this as a learning lesson. It's a real question, and I truly would like to know the answers.
Our Fu Hwa with a Perkins 6.354 came with a spare starter. It looks new. But, I have no idea what the MTBF on the starter is.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:13 PM   #132
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I think it depends mine looks fairly easy to replace

I did replace the generator starter while I had the head off and the sound shield

it was very easy at that point.The Volvo engine starter looks harder but still within my skill set and I am no expert
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:19 PM   #133
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So, question for those of you that are better boaters and mechanics than I:
Could you replace a starter?
I'm pretty darn far from being a mechanic. But I pulled the starter off my FL120 to have it rebuilt at the shop and then reinstalled it myself. Unless there is a problem in actually getting at the beast, it's an amazingly simple exercise. It took longer to drive to the shop & back then to remove & replace the starter.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:21 PM   #134
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I'm pretty darn far from being a mechanic. But I pulled the starter off my FL120 to have it rebuilt at the shop and then reinstalled it myself. Unless there is a problem in actually getting at the beast, it's an amazingly simple exercise. It took longer to drive to the shop & back then to remove & replace the starter.
Correction on my gen starter I had it rebuilt I did not replace it
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:56 PM   #135
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Update:

So, question for those of you that are better boaters and mechanics than I:
Could you replace a starter? I have quite a few spare parts, but a starter is not one that I carry. Do you?
.
IMHO Its worth keeping a spare starter on hand if your engine is 10+ years old. On most engines it's only a 15 minute job to change it out. Just disconnect the wiring and remove 2 bolts.

Luckily when mine failed (with no spare) I was close to a public dock, and was able to scull 100 meters using the rudder to get there, so no tow required.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:57 PM   #136
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Update:

Yesterday the mobile mechanic came down and took a look at my engine. The good news is that he believes at this time that the problem is isolated to the starter, and not the flywheel. They are pulling the starter off today to be rebuilt (or replaced, depending) and will visually inspect the flywheel at that time.

So, question for those of you that are better boaters and mechanics than I:
Could you replace a starter?
I have quite a few spare parts, but a starter is not one that I carry. Do you?

I'm truly not trying to be an ass... I want to be as self-sufficient on the water as I possibly can, and I'm taking this as a learning lesson. It's a real question, and I really would like to know your thoughts.
Most starters are easy to remove/replace; remove the electrical lug, a couple of bolts, pull out, replace. On a boat, however, access will rule the job difficulty. If you can get to it easily, it will likely be a 30 min job...maybe less on a cool engine. If it is against a stringer or in a tight outboard location it may be a bugger.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:00 PM   #137
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It's probably more an issue of access than mechanical difficulty in removing and reinstalling the starter. My stbd starter is easier to access than my port starter. Neither are difficult jobs to complete.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:13 PM   #138
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Probably trickier to diagnose that it is just the starter than the hands on removing and replacing.


Also nice to know the few tricks such as just cleaning up the wiring contacts, tappimg while trying to turn over if the bendix is hung, etc....
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:23 PM   #139
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Having a single engine, we carry a spare starter as part of the spare inventory. I'm dead in the water if it fails. I also have a spare alternator since that is part of the cooling system/belt set up.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:33 PM   #140
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Agree with those who say it's not a big job - access is the real issue. Nothing's easy when you're standing on your head with sweat rolling down into your eyes.

Carrying a spare seems prudent, space and weight permitting. When looking for a place to keep it aboard, consider: 1) how old / corroded looking is my existing starter? 2) am I departing on a long offshore passage (although here consider that you're less likely to shut down 'til you get where you're going)? 3) am I stopping and anchoring up periodically in remote locations, such that main engine re-starts will be regular, inevitable and maybe even urgent?
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