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Old 09-23-2015, 09:31 PM   #1
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twin screw trolling on one engine

Looking at a twin screw trawler that needs one of the engines rebuilt. What are the pros/cons of removing the dead engines prop and trolling around with one engine until I have the funds to rebuild the other engine. I figure at least I would be able to use the trawler. When I mean trolling around, I don't mean the Loop; just 1 to 2 hours of enjoyment.

Thanks for the advise!

RT
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Old 09-23-2015, 10:18 PM   #2
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You'd be fine out in the open but docking and other close quarter maneuvering will be a challenge due to the prop not being centered and the small rudders of most twin screws.
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Old 09-23-2015, 11:46 PM   #3
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Does the boat have a bow thruster?
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:43 AM   #4
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While you probably could steer the boat in open water ok and it will be difficult to dock, the bigger issues would be if the wind comes up significantly or there is boating traffic. Simply, most of the time it doesn't take much to steer a boat, but conditions arise when the small rudder at slow speed isn't going to overcome a significant cross wind.

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Old 09-24-2015, 08:54 AM   #5
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The quick answer is there is nothing wrong with doing it and as other posters were getting at the handling is another story, on our boat I can travel on one and dock somewhat easily provided there isn't any adverse conditions (high winds or current). I've been on boats where it literally goes in circles and no matter how hard to turn the wheel or throttled, still circled.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:15 AM   #6
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Can the other engine be used at all, for even a short use? You said it needs a rebuild that could mean it is burning oil or some other problem but still allow a quick short use.

Just thinking out O the box a bit, I probable would not want to relay on it if it could be used for docking when needed.

You can always try it on a nice calm day with knowledge of the currents at the time you will be returning to the dock.
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:38 AM   #7
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There could be other issues limiting the use of a single engine. For example, if only the bad engine is driving the alternator and/or the hydraulic pump if you have hydraulics for steering and stern thruster.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:25 AM   #8
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Depends on the boat, but I can attest it can be done. You need to be using a face dock rather than a slip to pull it off, or at least I did. We had chartered a Mainship 430 for several days and one engine became inoperable about day 2, and we were a days run from the homeport. For you Bay Area guys, the boat was out of Alameda and we were near Rio Vista picking up some friends. I didn't want to abort what was going to a fun cruise. Got off the dock at Viera's, went up to Sacramento and docked at Old Town, departed from there, spent a few days anchoring, then dropped friends off at Viera's and back to Alameda. It actually turned out to be kind of fun once I got the hang of it. Might of been one of my finest performances in close quarters maneuvering, considering how many landings and departures I've blown with both engines working! I sure wouldn't want to tried to have put it in a narrow slip though.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:39 AM   #9
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We have had to operate our boat on one engine five times in the last 17 years, the last time just a few weeks ago. In open water it's no problem, and if the unpowered prop was removed it would be hard to tell the difference between one or two engines as far as the handlbg is concerned.

Maneuvering is an entirely different story. The last incident, when we had to get the boat onto the yard's Travelift dock in a mild but adverse wind, proved to be quite the challenge. A bow thuster would have helped for sure, but this is one situation where a stern thruster would have been even more beneficial to have.

While we have so far successfully docked on one engine when we've had to, it is not something we would recommend doing on a regular basis. In all of our cases had the wind or currents been stronger a challenging but manageable situation could quickly have become impossible and even damaging.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #10
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Marin's comments made me reflect back some. One important detail is that I could only figure out how to dock it on the side of the working engine, and that was pretty easy. If you think about it, coming into a face dock, that's the engine you use 90% anyway. Spring lines are your best friend, coming and going. An important advantage was the docks I was using on the Sacramento River were on the east side, so I was docking into the current. With the current would have been really tough. Also, I don't recall it being windy.
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Old 09-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #11
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BB1;
You don't say what your boat is and hull design can make a difference.
I'm with SCOTTEDAVIS; pick an ideal couple of hours and go try it.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #12
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something to try

Tow a dinghy on your short cruises. Tie the dink perpendicular to the boat on the stern and have someone operate it as a stern thruster on the captains commands. Use it to get the boat out of the slip and back in. When safely out of the slip, re-position the dinghy for normal towing. Cumbersome but better than hitting other boats.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the knowledge and sharing your personal experience.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:48 AM   #14
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Depending on the boat, the removal of one engine may produce an inbalance problem that could be difficult to over come.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahal View Post
Tie the dink perpendicular to the boat on the stern and have someone operate it as a stern thruster...
All in all a really tough chore
When trying to do it with only one oar
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:15 PM   #16
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Of course you can do it, with some difficulty if you are an experienced boat driver. If this is your first boat IMO it is not a good idea.
rebuilding an engine is expensive with so many boats in good condition going at low prices I would not buy an unknown set of problems.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old deckhand View Post
Depending on the boat, the removal of one engine may produce an inbalance problem that could be difficult to over come.
That's a really good point. Not sure I would even attempt it if one engine was gone out of the boat completely.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:58 PM   #18
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Also check with your transmission manual you may need to lock down the non operating shaft, while running on one engine. It all depends on your transmission setup and manufacturer.
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