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Old 02-29-2016, 08:54 AM   #21
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Boat's 40 years old this July. Have lost one engine, for various reasons, more times than I can count, but have never been towed...
Yikes Edelweiss, with a list like that, you must be sucking all the bad boat-engine karma away from the rest of us, thank you. Never been towed, although I did lose the starboard engine in the fairway of the marina once which resulted in a hideous landing. Some people still run for their lives when they see me coming at the marina. We did tow a jet skier a couple miles a few years ago - he sucked a water skiing tow line through his intake grid, then a big wave rolled his jetski over the wrong way (apparently they shouldn't be rolled a certain way or it floods the innards). That did not go well, the jetski was swamped halfway up to the seat and kept rolling over. If I had it to do over again I would have snugged it up alongside and not tried to tow it trailing behind.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:58 AM   #22
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I have needed two tows in 22 years with this boat. Once a poly tarp wrapped around my prop and another time I lost an injector line. The USCG Auxiliary towed me once on the Delaware river and the other time was a Boatus/SeaTow type off the Jersey coast (might even have been Psneeld).

I could have limped home with the broken injector but it was just easier to call and I pay for towing services. Breaking down on the Delaware can be resolved by just swimming to the side and calling a taxi.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:23 AM   #23
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I lost use of my engine when the exhaust connector on the manifold sheered off. I jury rigged a new connection with aluminum foil and stainless wire that I figured would be good for a couple of minutes. I hip towed my 36' boat (not the boat in the avatar pic) with the dinghy until I was within a couple of hundred yards of home then fired up the engine for that last bit. My jury rig held, but wouldn't have lasted much longer.

Ordered a new manifold the day after I got back. Received it two days later and I installed the next day. Back in business on the 4th day after the event for about $800.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:11 AM   #24
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Once on a previous boat when I anchored too close to shore and the tide went out from under me. I had recently moved from an area with minimal tides to one with a much greater tidal range. I was towed off the sandbar and didn't need any more assistance.


Towing insurance is much less expensive than buying and maintaining a second engine. And a second engine won't help if they both share the same fuel supply and you take on bad fuel.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:21 PM   #25
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Towing insurance is much less expensive than buying and maintaining a second engine.
Statement is very true, but a couple of points about them. Towing insurance is only good where there are towboats and where the insurance is in force. We have quite a few members who go out of the country. We have others who go offshore. We have both tow coverages, but we've boated many places that would be no help.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:41 PM   #26
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I managed to double gasket an oil filter on my Bayliner during an oil change, the boat got about a mile out before the gaskets slipped off of each other and all the oil hit the bilge. It was a short tow, and I learned to be very careful to check that the gasket on the old filter comes off with the can.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:17 PM   #27
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Never been towed, not even my single-engine automobiles. Nevertheless, had a throttle cable break on my '69 VW Bug decades ago, but the failure occurred in the home's garage.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:23 PM   #28
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I managed to double gasket an oil filter on my Bayliner during an oil change, the boat got about a mile out before the gaskets slipped off of each other and all the oil hit the bilge. It was a short tow, and I learned to be very careful to check that the gasket on the old filter comes off with the can.
Something else that I have never thought of, but will now make a point to check. Thanks!
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #29
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The one time I had an engine fail me while I was offshore (well, 10 miles out), I fortunately had a twin engine boat and was able to motor home on the other engine. It happened after we were fishing at anchor and, according to Murphy, that is when the starter decided to quit working.
I've owned single engine boats since then and, to this day, I'm very reluctant to shut it down if I'm more than a mile or so offshore. When I fish offshore, I troll.

My experience has generally been that, once I get an engine started and running, it will keep running (as long as it has good fuel). But once I shut it down, the odds of me needing a tow home increase dramatically.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:47 PM   #30
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I have. An impeller failure on my single engine Mainship. Had been in really shallow water that day and maybe the abrasive sand along with a fairly used(read lack of mtx) impeller caused it to fail. It was at 10pm. Towed about 2 miles. Cost...$280. I did not have tow insurance. The tow operator was alomst apologetic at having to charge me. I woke him up when I called. I had absolutely no problem with paying him that amount. And while I have occasionally held tow insurance, I usually don't and am still well ahead.

With that said, it is not always engine failure that causes the need for a tow. Going aground being another issue that has nothing to do with the number of engines. A 47 Hatteras in our party this last weekend managed to get stuck enough to call Sea Tow. He was a member. We were every bit of 20 miles from where the Sea Tow boat was based. That would have been an expensive incident had he not had the membership.

Also, I notice starter failures on twin engine boats. I have seen a sportfish that had this happen. Did they just surrender to limping home on one engine???? Nope!!!! They started one and then put the good starter on the other engine and then started the other!!!!!
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:04 PM   #31
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Yup , twice in the past 30 years.

Purchased the old single engine woody Artemis a 32 Grenfell express, after the survey's, mechanical and hull. The power had been rebuilt , like new , the prior year before I purchased her. Invoices from a machine shop in Victoria along with receipts from the yard for the work on the Ford industrial 390 , interceptor .

So on my first big cruise heading north I felt comfortable with the information I had on hand. But through Welcome pass she started to push a lot of steam. Backed off the throttle she banged and popped , I managed to get into pirates cove and get the anchor down. Shut her down and checked the plugs, yup water in the cylinders. Pulled valve covers and had six bent push rods, that I had replacements for, along with enough goods to tear down the top and put back together.

Fired up and came home at 1100 rpm a days travel, after a couple of days working on the boat in a real nice spot. Instead of fishing. Then rebuilt the engine at the dock . being a newbee I had no idea insurance covered such < you have to laugh. The manifolds had been reconditioned not new GRRRRRR. Any ways about a year later I was anchored down river and when I went to fire up the timing chain jumped and wa la need a tow home. Yup I should have replaced the chain through the rebuild but it seemed with in tolerance when I rebuilt the engine, oh well. Towed by a buddy cause I did not have a puller with.

Once on Invader about 5 miles from the marina, I lost all the fluid from the steering. Seems when I built the aft cabin one of the fittings through the deck took a hit. The threads be done, but who knew. I had the fix but left the fluid on the dock in a dock box. $ 50.00 bucks for the tow home and two hours later I be up and running. I do apologize for the fluid spill into the river cause it went from the fitting directly to the scupper so I had no idea I had sprung a leak till the better half looked out the back of the boat. Easy to trace from there.

Having a few parts and some tools with good knowledge on systems has served me well. I can go on and on with at sea fixes, and not just on my vessels.

YMMV.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:12 PM   #32
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Having a few parts and some tools with good knowledge on systems has served me well. I can go on and on with at sea fixes, and not just on my vessels.

YMMV.
As I look to moving to a trawler, that is one of my concerns. I definitely don't have the knowledge. In each of the cases you described, I would have been stuck.

A bad impeller? No problem and I always have a spare on hand. Anything beyond that and I am way over my head.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:20 PM   #33
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As I look to moving to a trawler, that is one of my concerns. I definitely don't have the knowledge. In each of the cases you described, I would have been stuck.

A bad impeller? No problem and I always have a spare on hand. Anything beyond that and I am way over my head.
Dude I learned the hard way, by just getting out there , and find the problem solving fun to a point. $hite happens it just do. Enjoy the journey all of it, and always carry a few 5 gallon pails !
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:59 PM   #34
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Quote:
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As I look to moving to a trawler, that is one of my concerns. I definitely don't have the knowledge. In each of the cases you described, I would have been stuck.

A bad impeller? No problem and I always have a spare on hand. Anything beyond that and I am way over my head.
Next time I have to change my impeller, I will let you have a crack at it!!!... Not always easy on some installations!!! But I know where you are coming from. An impeller....or a thermostat....both probably the easiest things to change on past engines....not so on mine. Major PIA!!!

But like has been said, diesel engines are relatively simple. Most things that make them quite are within the realm of the average Joe's ability.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:10 PM   #35
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...Pulled valve covers and had six bent push rods, that I had replacements for, along with enough goods to tear down the top and put back together.

YMMV.
Wait a minute, you carry a set of spare push rods on board? What, do you tow a parts barge behind you 24/7? What else do you have in there? You're making me feel woefully inadequate.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:20 PM   #36
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Wait a minute, you carry a set of spare push rods on board? What, do you tow a parts barge behind you 24/7? What else do you have in there? You're making me feel woefully inadequate.
If I'm not mistaken, the boy's from New Foundland and smart enough to know he had all the parts he needed on the starboard engine to fix the port one.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:39 PM   #37
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I've been towed once, and have towed once. Those cancel each other out, right? I've lost one engine a few times now. Stripped coupler killed the port side, fuel pump died once, had a blocked raw water intake once, and then I had a few instances with a fouled shift cable.

All of those times I was able to chug on with one engine. The one time I was towed, It was when I ran out of gas about 1000 feet from the fuel dock. Luckily a good Samaritan was willing to tow me in with his jet ski.

I have since gotten myself a Towboat US membership, but haven't had to use it. Yet.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:42 PM   #38
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A guy waved me down in Ossabaw sound Georgia a few years ago. Center console with wife and 2 kids aboard. I took him under tow with my 19 foot boat but soon realized I didn't have the fuel to pull him to port against the tide. I came aboard his boat to see if I could help troubleshoot why his engine wouldn't start. When I jiggled his shift lever the engine fired right up. Wife eyes shot daggers to her husband. I never even got a thank you as we parted ways.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:06 PM   #39
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If I'm not mistaken, the boy's from New Foundland and smart enough to know he had all the parts he needed on the starboard engine to fix the port one.

Well I am an old ford guy. Grew up with the 352., 360., 390, 428, ford's. Ended up with a couple of rubber mades, parts. One of the reasons I purchased the boat. Knew that power.

Different world today.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:17 PM   #40
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Been towed twice. First time the power pack on my outboard went up. Added a 6HP outboard as a get home motor. Second time one of the two bearings in my raw water pump went to pieces bending the pump shaft. Now carry a complete spare raw water pump. I try to learn from my experiences.

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