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Old 07-05-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
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Two short trips

Last weekend the weather was great for a winter cruise. On Saturday I went for a solo run out in the gulf. The morning was calm, so I decided to do some speed checks at various rpm.
875 rpm. 3.0 knots
1000. 3.6
1250. 4.5
1500. 5.2
1750. 5.7
2000. 6.2
2250. 6.7
2500. 7.1
2750. 7.3. (WOT)
Looks like she does a bit better than the theoretical hull speed with a WLL of 29.5 feet.

A light wind picked up in the afternoon so I sailed her back at a relaxing 3.5 knots.

Sunday was dead calm again so set off with the admiral and my nephew. Idled from the slip to the lock. Shut off the engine while waiting for the lock to equalize. Sea gate opened and I went to start the engine........... nothing.
Quick check of connections etc but still no life from the starter motor.
As we were holding up pedestrian traffic with the sea gate open,we pushed the boat out of the lock and contined to faultfind.

A hint of a breeze started moving us towards the breakwater so it was time to slightly panic. There was an old wharf about 150 metres away, but we were slowly drifting the wrong way. I dug out my emergency tiller and started "paddling" the rudder. We slowly made headway towards the wharf. After securing the boat, we confirmed that the 30 year old starter had died, and we would be spending the night here.

Next morning we found out the nearest replacement starter was in Germany, but found a guy who rebuilt the solonoid while my wife waited, and we had the boat back in the slip before noon. I've since returned the starter motor to him for a full armature rewind and pinion gear rebuild; just to be sure to be sure.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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Boating is fun! (It is, isn't it? Please do not disillusion me!).
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #3
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Even a breakdown has its good side. I now can be confident about the starter motor.
It did the same thing a couple months ago but mysteriously "fixed" itself after a few minutes, before I could work out the exact problem.
Its nice to know it will now be 100%.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
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Next time just stick a screwdriver shaft between the two large wire connectors on the back of the solenoid. Much less drama and risk.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
Next time just stick a screwdriver shaft between the two large wire connectors on the back of the solenoid. Much less drama and risk.
Rick,

That was almost standard procedure on a 1966 VW van I had too many years ago if not on a hill.

Rob
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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If the motor itself is at fault, a whack with a hammer will sometimes free it up. Just don't hit any plastic parts.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:51 PM   #7
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If you do the spark test as pictured just be sure your eyes are protected or you may have another problem of personal nature.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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I tried all the above tricks without any luck, before pulling the starter out. The guy who is rebuilding it said the starter was previously messed with and the solenoid had a dead short which cooked it completely.
My back up power (wind) wasn't with me for a change. But the rudder paddling worked surprisingly well in calm conditions. The manual tiller certainly helped.
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