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Old 05-18-2015, 04:56 PM   #1
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Self induced work

Sooooo,here is my tail of the trials of boating. I get up at six excited for the first day of the Great Loop. Port engine starts, Starboard doesn’t. It turns one quarter of a turn and the starter chatters. First thing I suspect is the batteries, even though they are at 12.8 vdc. I pull all connections to the Stb engine to ensure clean and good connections. Test start ‘NO JOY’. I put jumpers to the other engine NO JOY. I pull all cables and swap batteries for each engine. Port starts right up, Stb didn’t. Took hydrometer readings. All cells >1.825. IT’S NOT THE BATTERIES.
Phase two: I start snooping around the starter (its outboard and a bear to see). I find the lead from the starter positive to the alternator positive output melted. The cause will come later. I replace the positive lead from the alt to the starter and…NO JOY and its get hot quick. Looks like a starter problem.
Well we are starting the loop today and have no car. In come Robby, Joann and Donny to help out. Robbie and Donny provide all kinds of great advice from their previous experience with farm equipment and previous jobs.They talk me into pulling the starter so I did. Robbie suggest we taking it over to the Wenger Amish motor shop and check it out, best idea of the day (you why see later). Mean while I want my truck because I figure we are going to be here for a few days. Joann takes me home and on the way back I order a new starter from Drum Point Marine and it will be here tomorrow between 1000-1300. I get back and Robbie calls Wenger to see if they could fit us in. They can so we hit the road for Saint Mary’s Amish country. The fella at Wenger tests the motor and its fine. We start asking questions and he gave us a wealth of ideas. Sooooo, back to the boat.
Phase three: I wire brush all the contact point for the starter to the block and all the terminals, even though they were pretty good. As I was putting the last positive lead though some piping I bumped the block, IT DIDN’T SPARK! It should have been a direct short. Robbie suggests taking some readings. They all come up empty, almost zero. As I am scratching my head I look forward and shazam!! the Main Engine battery cutoff switch is in off. It’s a big plastic key switch that looks like and oversized clock key. I must have bumped it while loading stores.
NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE. The wire that fried to the alternator did so because that little 10 ga. wire was trying to back feed and start the engine.Put the key in on and the engine fires right up. NOTHIN BUT JOY!!!.
I am not sure what the moral of the story is. The ordeal took solid none stop work from 0800-1600. Oh well I know how to pull the starter now. Looks like the LOOP starts tomorrow.
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:12 PM   #2
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LOL...Great story Dave....
Hope the days to come are less traumatic!
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:20 PM   #3
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LOL! Funny story....at least to those of us that didn't live it....Now, the rest of the loop will go great! Right?
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:33 PM   #4
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Sounds like something I would do Dave. Hope you'all have a great trip!!
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:52 PM   #5
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Why is it ok for the admiral to take compromising pictures. She wouldn't take it to kindly if I got a shot at/of her like this
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:01 AM   #6
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A battery switch with a built in field cut off might be an investment.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:11 AM   #7
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I love stories like this. They help me realize some of my goofs are "normal boating experiences." Thanks for posting, Dave.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:55 AM   #8
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I agree, we all have been there. Absolutely frustrating and usually just a minor bump. I had a similar experience a few years ago. Pulled into Cocoa village marina on a 2 week trip with my parents. While getting ready to go to dinner my wife was blow drying her hair and POOF lost all Electric, I was plugged into a shorepower 50amp service. After initial troubleshooting I contacted the dockmaster to see if the PED shorted out, nope that was working fine. Ended up switching power cord from STBD to PORT side outlet and all was fine. Tried to figure out why my PORT side power outlet would not work for over six months! One day while putting some gear away I noticed to switches in a cabinet way in the back. The were marked Shorepower 120 And another Marked 240. Well wouldn't you know the 240 was on the OFF position. I must have laughed for 10 minutes at that one. That is just one, I have many more.
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Old 05-19-2015, 09:28 AM   #9
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Glad you had your only breakdown before you started the trip.

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Old 05-19-2015, 10:09 AM   #10
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When I was having my engine serviced I started it up to get the oil warm. After a few minutes the engine quit. Not a good feeling as I was about to embark on a 1300 mile trip. A quick look around showed that the valve was closed on the Raycor filter that was in use. I must have knocked it closed working in the ER. We ziptied it open so that can't happen again. My mechanic said "things like that are why you run your engine for a while before leaving the dock!"

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Old 05-19-2015, 10:22 AM   #11
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Anybody that has been in boating has a story or two or three or four....... like this one. Have a great trip!
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:32 AM   #12
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Great story. Let me know what to check first if it happens to me. Thanks for shearing and hope you enjoy the loop.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:44 AM   #13
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yup, my key is bright red and the switch is on a post in the forward ER. Ive bumped it out several times, at first I did things like you did, now its the first place I look when engine no start!
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
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A battery switch with a built in field cut off might be an investment.
Agree, ant it wont be hard to tie it in.
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Old 05-19-2015, 05:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
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When I was having my engine serviced I started it up to get the oil warm. After a few minutes the engine quit. Not a good feeling as I was about to embark on a 1300 mile trip. A quick look around showed that the valve was closed on the Raycor filter that was in use. I must have knocked it closed working in the ER. We ziptied it open so that can't happen again. My mechanic said "things like that are why you run your engine for a while before leaving the dock!"

Richard
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Did the same thing this spring after a fuel pump replacement.
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:04 PM   #16
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I have another one

Started the loop today. Cleared the the Solomons harbor and placed the auto pilot in auto. Adjusted 10 degrees to port and the boat quickly made a right turn. Freaked me out for a minute because it went hard over pretty quick. I changed out the autohelm hydraulic pump this winter and the new one rotates the opposite of the old. I tied the red wire to the red wire and black to black just like the old one. Easy fix to swap the leads at the course computer. Of course I made it hard when I bumped a lead on the Seatalk system and blew a 1 amp fuse and took out the AIS. Good thing I watch the guys install all that equipment and know where they hid the fuse box.
About 60 miles today, anchored in Swan Creek, Rock Hall Md
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:18 PM   #17
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When in the Cape May area...let me know if you need anything.

Sounds like you are headed this way.
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:40 PM   #18
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When in the Cape May area...let me know if you need anything.

Sounds like you are headed this way.
Should be in Cape May Friday. Barnegat Bay Saturday or Sunday
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:42 PM   #19
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Good job on finding the problem.

I LOVE it when something goes wrong at the very start of the trip. That means it's already happened so we can relax a bit on the rest of the trip.
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Old 05-19-2015, 10:29 PM   #20
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Good job on finding the problem.

I LOVE it when something goes wrong at the very start of the trip. That means it's already happened so we can relax a bit on the rest of the trip.
The admiral said the same thing. She said thats three, we are ' good to go'
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