Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-06-2014, 01:48 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
Tacomasailor's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 39
How many cruise very remote areas with single engine & no backup?

I do not want to start a single-vs-twin slanging match. I would just like to get information from LONG DISTANT – REMOTE CRUISING single engine trawler operators who DO NOT have any “get home” capability.

How many of you trawler guys head offshore more than 100 miles on trips of more than 500 miles with a single engine and no “get home” capability?

-or-

How many of you cruise in very remote areas, let’s say the closest diesel mechanic is more than 250 miles distant, with a single diesel and no get home capability?

I am a 40-year sailor who has done over 10,000 miles way off shore or in very remote areas. During that time I have experienced four (4) diesel engine shutdowns:

- two due to clogged fuel filters
- one due to broken fuel line
- one due to broken injector line

I’ve also had to shut down an engine when, in the middle of the night, we hit something that bent the strut that supports the prop shaft. We could turn the prop slowly to get into the dock but it was of no use to move the boat.

Each of the problems occurred in a different boat. Two of the shutdowns (filter & fuel line) occurred in serious seas where maintenance of steerage was critical to survival. A quickly unfurled headsail provided stability and some steerage, even in light winds and big seas.

In each case the problem was resolved within 20 minutes. Two of the engines did prove difficult to bleed and get the injectors working again and the sails were needed for over an hour.

We are now looking at 46 foot, or larger, trawlers. Most have a wing engine or a sailing rig (love those DDs) that would provide some ability to maintain steerage.

We have seen a number of very well respected trawlers that have a single engine and no “get home” capability. Given my experience, it is hard for me to understand how one heads off shore or into very remote areas with no alternative to the, admittedly rare, main propulsion failure.

SO – how many of you are cruising way out in the blue water or in very remote, i.e. no possibility of calling home for help, with only one engine and no backup?

I am not asking for opinions about single-vs-twin nor do I need to know about “get home” engines. I just want to know how many trawlers really go places with a single engine and no backup?

If you do not personally do offshore or remote cruising with one engine and no backup – do you know anyone who does?
__________________
Advertisement

Tacomasailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 02:46 AM   #2
Guru
 
Tidahapah's Avatar
 
City: Mooloolaba
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Tidahapah
Vessel Model: Bert Ellis Timber motor cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,779
two due to clogged fuel filters
- one due to broken fuel line
- one due to broken injector line

Mate, until recently when I fitted the ketch rig to my vessel I cruised some pretty remote places out here in the Great Barrier Reef in a single engine motor cruiser.
had only one engine malfunction and that was a fractured low pressure fuel line that was repaired on board with in a couple of minutes.
From the list above none of those problems should have occurred if the fuel system and pipe work had been maintained and inspected properly.
With good inspection ports and drain traps fuel tanks can be maintained in a very clean state.
Fuel pipes and injector pipes inspected frequently and I always carry some high pressure steel pipe and fittings of the required size. Hose and hose clamps for low pressure pipes.

As long as you don't go the way of electronic diesel engines and keep it simple it should never be a problem.
Double RACORs and a polishing system will keep the fuel in good condition and a good supply of filter elements as a final back up.
Diesel engine , air , fuel and water is all that it is about, Plus good maintenance.

In saying that I have now fitted a ketch rig as a back up and also fuel conserver.
Cheers
Benn
__________________

__________________
"When I die I hope my wife doesn't sell my toys for what I told her I paid for them"
Money: It's made round to go round , not flat to stack.
"Get out and do it"
Tidahapah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 06:21 AM   #3
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,534
>REMOTE CRUISING single engine trawler operators who DO NOT have any “get home” capability.<

To be in danger 100 miles of blue water is not needed , the Harlem river is totally barren of anchor spots , concrete walled for most of its length , covered with bridges and bridge abutments , has a 3-4 K current , and the natives will not wait till dark .
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 06:41 AM   #4
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,794
Bay Pelican has a wing engine with a separate drive shaft, prop and isolated fuel tank and Racor.

Haven't kept records but clearly a majority of trawlers under 53+ feet visiting the Eastern Caribbean have a back up engine arrangements of one form or another. These are mostly Krogens and Nordhavns.

If I were to travel to the remote locations in the Caribbean with a single engine vessel without a back up system my preference would be with:

naturally aspirated engine
manual as opposed to electronic controls
rubber fuel lines (or the ability to work with copper)
fuel polishing system
keel which protects the prop
spare prop
replacement parts for everything on the engine including the starter

A major problem to face in the Eastern Caribbean is that there are so few motor boats (other than perogues) that it would be difficult to find someone who could tow a middle sized trawler. No commercial tow operations to speak of, and on most of the English speaking islands little coast guard support.
__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 08:35 AM   #5
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,740
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
>REMOTE CRUISING single engine trawler operators who DO NOT have any “get home” capability.<

To be in danger 100 miles of blue water is not needed , the Harlem river is totally barren of anchor spots , concrete walled for most of its length , covered with bridges and bridge abutments , has a 3-4 K current , and the natives will not wait till dark .

And I lost power on my single engine trawler In the Harlem on my delivery trip luckily my second anchor held and I was able to bleed the fuel and get running.
I have also done several 500 plus mile trips but none have been offshore.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 10:18 AM   #6
Guru
 
hollywood8118's Avatar
 
City: Port Townsend Washington
Country: USA
Vessel Name: " OTTER "
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander Europa 40
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,482
The key is maintenance.
If you have one propulsion source you do everything to keep it in pristine shape.
No rust anywhere on the engine, replacements for the major and minor failure points of the engine on board.. and the education to do the work, multiple racors and a electric prime pump, carefully monitor fuel taken aboard, multiple engine monitoring systems, choosing when and where you operate.
All these things combined help to promote safer voyaging.
HOLLYWOOD
hollywood8118 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #7
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,883
Well, I have put several thousands of hours on both sailboat engines and trawlers and I have only had one failure that couldn't be resolved quickly- a trashed starter that couldn't be jumpered but fortunately this incident happened at the dock.

Meticulous maintenance wouldn't have helped that incident and wouldn't have helped the OP when his injector line broke. I am impressed that one poster actually carries high pressure tubing to repair such mishaps. I would never have thought of that one.

So, if you are going to cruise in remote places with a single engine, you have to have the skills, the tools and the spares to fix them yourself. But once in a great while all of the above won't help.

David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
Guru
 
Scary's Avatar
 
City: Walnut Grove Ca
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cary'D Away
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 884
I have a twin, however I have had minor shut downs that would have been very uncomfortable with a single.
Total electrical shut down on a gas engine, Mercurser, circut breaker failure.
Lower circulating hose rupture, Detroit
Governor spring fracture and break, Detroit
High pressure injector line fracture spraying fuel forcing shut down, Cummins
Water pump impeller failure, freshly replaced new impeller that had been in storage for several years. Detroit
All of these occurred in remote locations in rough conditions that would have made life miserable if I couldn't have maintained some steerage.
Scary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
Guru
 
Ski in NC's Avatar
 
City: Wilmington, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Louisa
Vessel Model: Custom Built 38
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,890
Most engine failures are due to filter clogging or air loading, both can be handled by good tank and fuel system upkeep.

The next most common failures are seawater pumps, circ pumps, starters, belts, hoses and on some engines, the injection pump. It is a good idea to keep spares on board for these. CAV pumps poop more often than the oil lubed in lines, like Bosch, ND and Simms.

Drive plate failures are pretty common, if you have high hours you probably should replace before heading into the sticks.. Likewise input shaft seal on Velvet Drives.

A spare injector is not a bad idea, but most engines can run with one dead injector. Fuel line can be removed and diverted to a catch container, etc.

With the above covered, you are left with the basic guts of the engine which are very reliable. Especially a day or so into a trip.

Most failures occur after a period of layup. Shakedown trips are important!!
Ski in NC is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 12:37 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Retriever's Avatar
 
City: Seattle, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Safe Harbour
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 191
Does the Inside Passage, SE Alaska, West Coast of Vancouver Island, and Haida Gwaii count?

I cruise these areas on a single engine NT 37. Cummins 6BTA (mechanical diesel) with a full keel that protects the prop from most debris.

Spare parts include lots of fuel filters, spare coolant/oil/filters, injectors, belts, belt tensioner, idler pulley, water pump impellers (will carry spare water pump next summer), alternator, starter, various hoses...some others that I'm sure I'm forgetting.

The only part I've needed is the alternator. And the engine has never stopped running until I switched the key off.
Retriever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 01:08 PM   #11
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,723
I've cruised some somewhat remote places up the BC and SE AK coast.

Single engine. No backup. Full keel. Newer engine.

Several slow downs and one failure ...in Georgia Strait BC.
Was due to Teflon tape and other sealants coming loose and fouling the lift pump. I'm presently involved in a full bore project to make the system as perfect as I can. Sealant was carefully applied only to the upper threads of the pipe fittings and special hose clamps were installed in pairs on long hose barbs. Put in a new fuel pump and all new hoses on the supply side.

Now I've messed up the wiring and today (right now) I'm going to Seattle for confer w big mechanics in the sky .... up there w the religious dudes.

Going to drop in at Fisheries Supply to see the new Spade anchors.
__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 01:33 PM   #12
Guru
 
AKDoug's Avatar
 
City: Kenai, Alaska
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Melanie Rose
Vessel Model: 1999 Willard PH
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 572
I have run the Inside Passage twice from Seattle to Prince William Sound, both times in a single engine vessel and have never had an engine issue. Diesels usually quit because of fuel problems, so an annual filter change will head that off unless you get bad fuel somewhere or have tankage issues (water in vents or some such).

When you only have one engine, it gets very close inspections and you take extra precautions to make sure it stays reliable. I am almost never less than 100 miles from port, and my backup power is a 9' Achilles inflatable with a 6 hp outboard (tow job). I am never offshore more than about 40 miles (transiting) and there is seldom anyone around to offer a tow.
AKDoug is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 02:50 PM   #13
Guru
 
AusCan's Avatar
 
City: Adelaide
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Kokanee
Vessel Model: Cuddles 30 Pilot House Motor Sailer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,097
I don't have to go far to be remote, as I rarely see a another boat after I'm a few miles from the marina. We have no towing service, and the volunteer coast guard are few and far between. The immediate area consisted of a semi-protected gulf, and beyond that is the wild Southern Ocean.

When shopping for my current boat, backup power was certainly on my mind. I was mainly looking at twin engine trawlers that could handle rough water. Not easy to find with a limited budget.

I came across this motorsailer and decided that this may kill two birds with one stone. A trawler type boat with sails that give backup propulsion and act as stabilizers at the same time.

Well- I've put about 2000 hours on her so far, plus another 1000 or so under sail alone.
I've had two engine failures on my 30 year old Volvo, and the sails were no help on either occasion.

The first was when I set off after a week of waiting for the high winds to end. I soon discovered that there was zero wind but the seas were still very ugly. About 50 miles out I had overheating issues and had to shut down. It took about 6 hours to sort out the problem while rolling around in the rough.
Second breakdown was a starter motor that completely failed in the lock just near my marina. Dead calm again, so I used my emergency tiller to pump my rudder and sculled at 0.1 knots to a nearby dock.

Regarding the second line of reasoning for the sails - stabilization - the sails have saved my butt a hundred times. Having a rolly soft chined hull, the sails do a magical job of steadying things out.

Still waiting for backup propulsion to save my butt, but its comforting to know it is there.
Its also nice to use as a quiet alternative.
AusCan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 03:30 PM   #14
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,373
The top notch offshore designed boats such as Nordhavn or the Dashew FPB have twins or get homes if singles. Ditto another favorite, the KK 52. The early FPB 64s had no get home but quickly added it and retrofitted those that did not. A world cruising Northern Marine 76 (Star) that has recently gone through a major refit in Seattle added a very neat get home, the owner is about as astute a traveler as is out there.

The choice is yours. Your budget, maintenance skills and risk taking will provide the answer. BTW, I recently went through the same mental and boat bidding drill, all considered vessels were singles with a get home or twins. Offshore cruising with a single only can be done, but a very well tended engine and spare parts with knowledge is needed.
sunchaser is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #15
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,920
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
The top notch offshore designed boats such as Nordhavn or the Dashew FPB have twins or get homes if singles. Ditto another favorite, the KK 52. The early FPB 64s had no get home but quickly added it and retrofitted those that did not. A world cruising Northern Marine 76 (Star) that has recently gone through a major refit in Seattle added a very neat get home, the owner is about as astute a traveler as is out there.

The choice is yours. Your budget, maintenance skills and risk taking will provide the answer. BTW, I recently went through the same mental and boat bidding drill, all considered vessels were singles with a get home or twins. Offshore cruising with a single only can be done, but a very well tended engine and spare parts with knowledge is needed.
And one thing that often isn't mentioned....stress...

If you are a person that controls stress very easily with no ill effects...heck yeah...single engine cruising is probably 90+ percent carefree.....how you deal with that 10% can be important.

Even twins isn't 100% carefree...but a lot closer than a single in my mind.

I run a single to Fl and back every year...I handle the stress OK...but that's because I cruise probably the most mindless cruising grounds in the world. Reasonable help is only a couple hrs away at most...and with a towing insurance policy/rider....most likely it will be free.

Yeah...when/if I venture past those easy-peezy cruising grounds...some sort of get-to-safety rig will be in place....
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 04:50 PM   #16
Guru
 
caltexflanc's Avatar
 
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,802
You could always go to a general aviation airport or forums and quiz some members of the flying clubs how they do it; those guys have some real motivation to not have engine failure.
__________________
George

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
caltexflanc is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 05:34 PM   #17
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,920
Hey I flew single engine helo's from the Arctic to the Antarctic and every conceivable weather in between...and I was nervous...just like I am but to a way lesser degree with my trawler.

The only time I ever had a REAL issue was when a tail rotor gearbox went south when parked on an ice a little less than 400 miles from the North Pole...safe on deck...go figure...of course the long wait for the other helo to come get the crewman and me was the longest hours of my life.....

So well maintained gear...even if it was from the Korean War ...shouldn't scare anyone...but sooner or later if you do anything enough...that chance of something going wrong catches up.

A "little" stress does keep you on your toes!!
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 07:57 PM   #18
Veteran Member
 
City: Laconner
Country: US
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 67
We cruise the inside passage all Summer. Have done so for over 20 years with a single engine DD 671. Lots of spares on board and a good repair manual. Fortunately when a rare problem has occurred it's been easily fixable (impeller, wrong fuel valve switched, sticky starter). I worry more about losing a generator. Touch wood the DD runs and runs!
Bigsalmonfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 08:50 PM   #19
Guru
 
windmill29130's Avatar
 
City: Little River SC
Vessel Name: JAZ
Vessel Model: Ta Chaio/CT35
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 716
Sounds like you need peace of mind. Buy a boat with twins and you'll get it.
__________________
Tracy & Susie Hellman 1985 Ta Chiao CT 35
Twin Lehman Super 90's Westerbeke 4.4kw
Lightkeepers Marina -Little River, SC
windmill29130 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #20
Guru
 
City: Hotel, CA
Country: Fried
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8,328
This guy seems to think a single engine is ok in remote places with no backup.

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByTrawler Forum1412646033.343161.jpg
Views:	284
Size:	63.9 KB
ID:	33450
__________________

__________________
Craig

It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they've been fooled - Mark Twain
CPseudonym is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012