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Old 05-01-2015, 11:12 AM   #1
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Sea Trials

My boat was damaged in hurricane Katrina and for the most part has not been used since. She is a steel 55 foot Art DeFever designed and built boat,(built in 1978, basically a stretched Defever 48) I bought the boat two years ago, I hauled it as soon as I bought it. She was on the hard for repairs(including all new cutlass bearings) and paint until I put it back in the water last October. In January of this year I drove it under its own power three hours from the boat yard to the marina it is currently at; on that trip I blew the coupler between the engine and transmission, other than that no driveline issues, oil temp and pressure good, engine temp good, the shaft log did leak, a lot, I added another wrap of packing. The coupler has been repaired and this weekend I'm going to take it out on Lake Pontchartrain and run it some more to see if anything else breaks.

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Since I have owned it, I have replaced every piece of rubber(including all belts) in the engine room, pulled cleaned and pressure check the oil cooler, trans cooler and heat exchanger, fresh fuel and oil.

*

The boat has a single Cat D343 AT and a twin disc 5111 transmission.

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A few questions;
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Have I missed anything?**Is there anything else I should do before I go run the boat for several hours? (I know I should have asked this before I ran her for three hours but that was an unplanned short notice trip, drama with the yard)

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Zerk grease fittings, I have only found two, one on the back seal of the transmission and one on the rudder post are there any other common grease fittings/points I should be looking for?

*

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I want to get the boat to Texas as soon as possible, how many "uneventful" trips on the lake would you take until you felt confident in the boat to make the 450 mile trip to Texas?
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Old 05-03-2015, 06:14 AM   #2
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OPERATING Time is a great tester.

I would plan on going out in the lake for 24 hours of constant running, at mostly cruise speed.

If she does fine , the next 24 hours would have far fewer risks.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:20 AM   #3
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Talonewo,

Absolutely excellent advice from FF.

I would only add, be sure to take a 1st mate to help you handle her and you spend a lot of time in the ER looking, listening, smelling, generally observing everything about the engine an systems while at differnent cruise speeds.
When near home, harbor, or boat yard, open the throttle and see how she runs at 90% for 10 minutes. Observe oil pressure and temperature - really get to know your engine under these conditions in safe locations and then you will have confidence you can take her across. You Will Know when the time is right - you will feel it.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:29 AM   #4
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On an old vessel that has sat with diesel in tanks for several years suggest you get a marine fuel/tank cleaning company to come to boat and empty and clean tanks and fuel and camera inspect tank interior. Flyweight is an onboard resource for this endeavor.
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
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Flyweight?
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Old 05-03-2015, 12:25 PM   #6
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If you're going to have someone "camp out" in the ER as earlier suggested, I might add make sure you have good quality ear protection (the muff type) along with safety glasses.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:09 PM   #7
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Flyweight?
Well my IPad auto spell checker allowed me to compliment Al.
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Old 05-03-2015, 01:55 PM   #8
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I don't think 24hrs or running is needed. That's half his trip!!! Most troubles come on fairly soon into a trip.

A few trips of an hour or so, enough that temps stabilize. Check alternator volts, check for leaks. Good idea to have someone with some engine knowledge to ride with you and have the time to stay in ER and just watch and listen. Does not need to be an engine expert, just someone that knows what that big yellow thing is and what leaks look like...

Do know your fuel and tank crud conditions. Have plenty of filters, buckets and diesel jugs to fill filters. Know how to reprime engine if it air loads.

Have a tow boat card!!
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:50 PM   #9
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That's a very good question for old salts as well.

My Willy has been out on the hard after a thousand mile trip down from Alaska towashington state. She sat for well over two years. So far I've only run her two or three miles. On the trip from AK we did have a fuel related engine failure so I'm a bit shy now.

Spent much of the last summer working her and feel all is well .. but?
Before the short trip up the Chanel to the marina I ran her tied very securely to a float at a fairly heavy load for about twenty minutes. Then I went up the Chanel at 1400rpm (cruising rpm is 2300). Have run the engine once every 3 weeks or so since. Part of my getting ready for this very short trip was to select the best anchor for the job and rig it so it could be instantly deployed.

Don't consider her ready for a trip at all IMO. The kind of confidence (that's an attitude or feeling) and level of dependability (that's actually readiness to go the distance w/o fail) is a fact that we will never know the exact level of .. readiness.

As I see it it's an ongoing event that ends when one parts w the boat. The longer you run the boat, become familiar w it, fixing problems and observing others coming and otherwise learn about your boat the greater the confidence you'll have in the boat and the more valid your confidence will be.

So there's no answer to the question. Except that the more experience and knowledge we have of our boats the greater will be the justification for confidence felt.

As for a trip w an unfamiliar boat one should consider w more than a passing thought what one would do if the boat started to sink, or the engine quit or if it caught fire. Even if you aren't .. be a planner for awhile.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input, took her out twice this weekend, first was for about two hours in a no wake zone just putted around to get everything up to temp. Got back to the dock and changed the oil in the engine and trans, 27 gallons later(yep 27 gal on a single engine). Took it out again the next day for a few hours cruised around at 1400 rpm, about 8 knots. She ran like a champ no major issues. The shaft log was leaking but when I tightened it up it would run hot, I added another wrap of stuffing but that did not help. I question the quality of work the yard did and I'm not sure of what kind or how much packing they put in so I will remove it all and start from scratch On my next trip.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:28 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input, took her out twice this weekend, first was for about two hours in a no wake zone just putted around to get everything up to temp. Got back to the dock and changed the oil in the engine and trans, 27 gallons later(yep 27 gal on a single engine). Took it out again the next day for a few hours cruised around at 1400 rpm, about 8 knots. She ran like a champ no major issues. The shaft log was leaking but when I tightened it up it would run hot, I added another wrap of stuffing but that did not help. I question the quality of work the yard did and I'm not sure of what kind or how much packing they put in so I will remove it all and start from scratch On my next trip.
Isn't the shaft log supposed to drip a bit?
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:29 PM   #12
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Isn't the shaft log supposed to drip a bit?

I know mine does.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:26 AM   #13
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"The shaft log was leaking but when I tightened it up it would run hot, I added another wrap of stuffing but that did not help."

"Isn't the shaft log supposed to drip a bit? "


With old style packing , flax , teflon the shaft MUST drip while underway , as a lubricant and for cooling.

When you can measure the packing and install a modern packing,

Duramax or similar , no dripping required underway runs cool..
,
27 GALLONS? of lube oil

What engine is that?
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:51 AM   #14
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What engine is that?
The boat has a single Cat D343 AT and a twin disc 5111 transmission.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:23 AM   #15
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Gore packing does not require dripping either.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:33 PM   #16
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I put gore in mine, it ran hot for a while, then it appeared to "break in" and quit leaking and ran cool. Took a while, though.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:26 PM   #17
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I posted my packing situation on another thread but this might be a better audience.

I had my stuffing box repacked in Indiantown and have had trouble getting it to drip ever since. I was under the impression that they all needed to drip 2-3 time a minute but now I'm reading about this Gore GFO stuff that doesn't need to drip. I took some temp readings and it got up to around 150 and green stuff started oozing out.

I called the yard to ask what material they used but the service manager who started the repair job quit and nobody seems to know.

Any idea what the green goo is? I finally backed the nut way off and got it to drip pretty well but I guess I'm wondering if I've damaged this seal somehow.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:45 PM   #18
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I don't think so....

Even with the old style whitish teflon packing..it would ooze green from the green patina from the bronze fitting I would guess.

Even double the 150 degrees inside the packing is doubtfully a dangerous temp for anything.
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Old 05-07-2015, 10:00 PM   #19
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Ok. Cool. Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:24 AM   #20
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Most of the old style packing has grease infused , you probably melted some out with an over tight setup.

"the service manager who started the repair job quit"

Probably went back to mowing lawns.
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