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Old 04-11-2013, 12:35 AM   #101
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My generator had a fuel leak that stank-up the boat with diesel smell - it was bad but it could have been much worse had it been gasoline. I can't understand how anyone can say that they prefer the smell of gasoline over diesel. And as far as exhausts go, gasoline is very deadly. I don't let my wife sniff our fuel or exhaust so to her, it doesn't matter how our boat is powered.

It would be a bummer to not be able to move up to a diesel powered larger boat because my wife detests the smell of diesel. If I went ahead anyway, I would feel inconsiderate and will feel guilty every time we went boating or every time my wife took a sniff.

I once had a gas powered 32 footer. It was a gasser because it was what I could afford at the time and not due to preferring gas over diesel.

On the other hand, if my wife really insisted on gas, I could always repower a used Nordhavn 46 with a gas engine. The get home motor will also get swapped of course.
Regarding the gen set fuel leak - All I can say is must be careful in mechanical maintenance... then it matters not the fuel used... as long as we're careful to not let the leak begin.

Correct... enclosed areas with relatively high gasoline exhaust content are deadly if breathed for long. Diesel exhaust is really bad to breath in a large volume too. However, we keep our interiors either well ventilated or securely closed. I'm not referring to smelling exhaust inside our boat... I mean the diesel exhaust smell at berth when starting, exhaust’s station wagon effect when idling down a canal (especially with tail wind), and the general lingering odor of raw diesel fuel itself; in comparison to raw gas smell which seldom lingers as gasoline fully evaporates quickly.

My Linda would be fine with it if I decided to go diesel in a boat... but she'd rather it were gas for several reasons... odor is one and considerably mellow sound reduction is another!

Keepen Momma happy keeps everybody happy, me especially!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:51 AM   #102
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Art,

Can you share with us how to predict a fuel leak. That would be one heck of a skill to have.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:18 AM   #103
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Art,

Can you share with us how to predict a fuel leak. That would be one heck of a skill to have.
The skill is simply preventative maintenance

Get all portions of fuel system(s) into tip-top condition and personally check them consistently to make sure they stay that way. Then I can predict there is MUCH less chance for any fuel spill.

I'm a stickler on personally keeping all mechanical/fuel portions of my personal boats, cars, and trucks in top condition. Canít predict the exact day a fuel spill calamity might occur, but, can predict that it may be sooner than expected if fuel system isnít kept up in great condition Ė always having its condition being checked and rechecked... Over and Over Again!

To me thatís half the fun of owning power driven products.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:23 AM   #104
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That's condition based maintenance. Preventative maintenance would be changing things out before they failed based on prior experience and data.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:28 AM   #105
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That's condition based maintenance. Preventative maintenance would be changing things out before they failed based on prior experience and data.
Picky Picky

Damn the definitions - Full Speed... We must stay ahead of a fuel spill!!
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #106
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That's condition based maintenance. Preventative maintenance would be changing things out before they failed based on prior experience and data.

Look out.. Someones trying to inject FACT and LOGIC into this post............:hi de:..........:s ocool:..
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:40 AM   #107
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Art,

Can you share with us how to predict a fuel leak. That would be one heck of a skill to have.
Art,
mahal's point is that no matter how good your maintenance is THINGS HAPPEN. The safety aspect of gasoline engines in a boat can not be avoided. The potential for a fire or explosion can only be reduced.

I wanted this to be an objective discussion about the merits of gas engines but some people like Mark and Marin are having a love affair with the smelly one and can't seem to get their emotional feelings under control. They are just machines ... engines. Both gas and diesel engines can make some nice music but mostly they just make noise. These feelings of affection and gushing rhetoric to embrace some imagined romantic aspect of diesel engines has ruined this thread (mostly) but we've still managed to get some related/unrelated and interesting words in.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:54 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art View Post
The skill is simply preventative maintenance

Get all portions of fuel system(s) into tip-top condition and personally check them consistently to make sure they stay that way. Then I can predict there is MUCH less chance for any fuel spill.

I'm a stickler on personally keeping all mechanical/fuel portions of my personal boats, cars, and trucks in top condition. Canít predict the exact day a fuel spill calamity might occur, but, can predict that it may be sooner than expected if fuel system isnít kept up in great condition Ė always having its condition being checked and rechecked... Over and Over Again!

To me thatís half the fun of owning power driven products.
Your claim that you are able to "not let the leak begin" with your good maintenance routine is far fetched and downright impossible. The leak that I referred to was a fuel seepage out of a good looking mechanical fuel pump. How in the hell would would you have seen that coming? Oh I know, you change gaskets or pumps regularly before a failure.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #109
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Anybody else notice how good Art is getting at pissing people off?

He can do it even if he's not trying to, or, when he writes something that's not even offensive!

Must be some sort of an Art form!

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #110
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HaHa That's good.

Art's never pissed me off .... well I do remember having a "disagreement" and I was a bit frustrated but not pissed off. He's just too nice a guy.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:24 PM   #111
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Your claim that you are able to "not let the leak begin" with your good maintenance routine is far fetched and downright impossible. The leak that I referred to was a fuel seepage out of a good looking mechanical fuel pump. How in the hell would would you have seen that coming? Oh I know, you change gaskets or pumps regularly before a failure.
Well... that's one way to help avoid it! Nothing is fool proof – but – careful attention to everything aboard a boat can really help!

Let me ask you... Captain!... How often do you check all of your boat's operational equipment??

IMO: Captain of a pleasure boat should check systems daily... like I do whenever aboard our boat. As a general rule I open both ER hatches in early morn (I automatically wake at 5:30 +/-, while Admiral and guests sleep in separate staterooms behind closed doors). I step into ER for a survey of all its under salon deck components. When newly arriving to boat at dock - first thing I do, even before any electricity is hooked up or switches turned on - with portable floodlight in hand - I open one or both ER hatch for sniff test and do a quick visual check. Constant surveillance is the only way I know of to help avert disasters or even annoying break downs. That includes gas or diesel powered cruisers...

Two years ago, while closely checking our mechanical fuel pump on 7.5 KW Kohler gen set, by pulling my finger under the pump (something I do each visit into ER) I noted slight moisture. Smelling my finger I immediately realized it was gasoline. Even though the amount leaking from pump's slowly rupturing diaphragm created no noticeable gas fume odor in ER - I caught it early-on due to my consistent and thorough surveillance on all operational portions of the boat. Next visit I had new pump in hand and onto gen set it went. Also, on both engines' fuel pumps there are "sight bowls"... if any moisture gets in the mechanical pump needs to quickly be replaced with new. That means that although the pump has a secondary diaphragm to keep engine running the primary diaphragm is beginning to rupture. Those simple to accomplish check-up items are just a sample of what I do every early morning while aboard. Then, of course, there's fluid level checks on all units, close look at and a feel if necessary for through hulls, linkage attachment visuals and tightening/adjustment if needed, fuel line and fitting checks, checks on all cooling hoses, bit of lubricant spray onto moving parts as may be required. Heck, every spring I even check and tighten every available nut, screw, and bolt in the entire ER. Far as I’m concerned I can never be too careful in taking real good care of all portions. I think from what I just said you can get the picture of how serious I am in helping to avert problems, can’t you?? BTW: These daily early morn visits while aboard boat give me much joy, feeling of accomplishment, feeling of safety and constant visual picture of what’s really going on in my boat’s below deck areas, specifically in the large and well lit ER. Daily check-up throughout ER on a visit may last for minutes or if circumstances warrant for long as it takes! Knowing a boats operational tenor at every moment is one of a Captains highest responsibilities. Any “Captain” that thinks a boat is similar to a car where you just start and go for days/weeks/months on end without constantly consistant checking all boat components is begging for eventual problems and potentially life threatening calamity. At every “correct season” (i.e. spring, summer, fall – warm water) cruise I also spend fun-time swimming under our boat with mask, fins, flashlight, and applicable brushes/scrappers to clean all UW drive gear, check/clean all water draw holes/grates, brush schmeg off bottom (we’re in fresh water, little to no seaweed or other growths), and clean the surface of or replace the anodes.

One item that I, as Captain, demand to have nearly instantly available for me on any of my boats: Easy, quick access to standing head room with lots of light and plenty of elbow room to get around in the ER compartment. Otherwise I would not be able to keep up my all important daily ER equipment survey. In other words... I refuse to purchase a boat where you must pull away the steps to a down galley and/or forward stateroom so you can crawl on hands and knees through a small opening to arrive into an ER cave where you can hardly kneel, constantly hit your head, and have difficulty even turning around – much less peering over the other side of the engines to see anything or to work on it. And... if the engines are hot and something makes it imperative that you go into that cave – well – good luck, you’re screwed!!

Now, understand, we don't keep our boat as a show piece for others to ooooh and ahhhh over, we simply keep her in damn good over all condition for us to use and enjoy while playing on it. That's what pleasure boating's supposed to be all a bout - as far as we're concerned. All in all our Tollycraft tri cabin currently fits all my Admiral’s and my desires/needs!

PS: Last pict is crew for that weekend enjoying Morning Joe and saluting the boating-fun day ahead... not long after I closed ER hatches from my early morning check-up!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:37 PM   #112
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Anybody else notice how good Art is getting at pissing people off?

He can do it even if he's not trying to, or, when he writes something that's not even offensive!

Must be some sort of an Art form!

I always say: It's better to be pissed off than pissed on... as some in TF try to do!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #113
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HaHa That's good.

Art's never pissed me off .... well I do remember having a "disagreement" and I was a bit frustrated but not pissed off. He's just too nice a guy.
Thank you Eric - Right back at cha!

In NY, back when, every time I knocked someone out in boxing ring or a street fight or pined my opponent in HS Greco wrestling... they'd call me a "Pissa" to deal with... guess it stuck! LOL
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:00 PM   #114
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I wanted this to be an objective discussion about the merits of gas engines but some people like Mark and Marin are having a love affair with the smelly one and can't seem to get their emotional feelings under control. ...
Eric, that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me today.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:31 PM   #115
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Let me ask you... Captain!... How often do you check all of your boat's operational equipment??

Valid question and I think it exposes a reality that doesn't really get acknowledged, particularly on boating forums like this where most everyone is trying to paint a picture of what great boaters we all are.

We hear a lot of people saying "I check this every time and I change that out every x-hours or years no matter what" and so on. And for some people it's probably true.

But I would be willing to bet that 90 percent of boaters never check anything other than the basics--- oil levels, coolant levels, nothing obviously leaking into the drip pans or bilge---- and react only when something goes wrong.

Virtually every boater I know well enough to know how they operate their boats is this way including us. Before every trip--- but not before every engine startup--- I check engine and transmission oil, coolant, give a cursory glance around to make sure everything looks okay, and maybe once in a while I'll give a tug on the drive belts on the fronts of the engines to make sure they're tight.

Every now and then I will do an engine room check while we're underway but I don't do it regularly. On short weekend trips I rarely do it at all. On multi-day trips I'll usually think to do it every couple of days.

And that's it, folks. I don't check hose connections and inspect pump gaskets and hose clamps and examine all the wiring and sensor connections and so on. The only concession I make to a detailed inspection is to open the petcock on top of the FL120s exhaust manifold before (almost) every cold start to make sure there is no air trapped in the manifold because I know if there is it is bye-bye manifold and they are not obtainable anymore other than off another engine.

Other than that, we run our engines fat, dumb, and happy until something happens, at which point we deal with it. Fortunately, there have been very, very few of those "something happens" moments. In fact, in terms of something actually going wrong with an engine, there have been only three instances in 14 years: a coolant pump that began to leak on the delivery trip from Tacoma to Bellingham after the boat came off the truck from California in 1998; a pinhole that developed a year later in a component of the worn-out exhaust system that was on the boat when we bought it; and many years later a pinhole in one of the fuel injection pipes.

And many of the boaters I know don't even do as much as I do. Some of them--- and these are good, very experienced, careful boaters who've done things like go to SE Alaska and stuff--- will go an entire season with little more than a fluid check "every now and then." Some of them never do an underway check, if for no other reason than they have to pull up half the cabin floor to access the engine space.

I'm not saying this is all okay to do, but I think it's reality. And the other reality is that it works. The engines in the boats of the people we know are almost trouble-free, and have been for years and years and years. All these people, including us, do service their engines (or have them serviced) at the proper intervals. Oil, filters, coolant, etc. So the engines are not ignored in that respect.

But in response to Art's question, I don't know anybody, including us, who ever checks all their boat's operational equipment. It works, it breaks, then we fix it. And I believe that is true for the vast majority of boaters.

Which, I suppose, could be used as an illustration of just how reliable and trouble-free the diesels in boats like ours really are.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:36 PM   #116
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Here I was beginning to believe I was the only one that anal about my boats mechanical and safety condition. Thanks Art you have me feeling better about my compulsive behavior.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:10 PM   #117
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[QUOTE = Marin]Which, I suppose, could be used as an illustration of just how reliable and trouble-free the diesels in boats like ours really are.[QUOTE

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Here I was beginning to believe I was the only one that anal about my boats mechanical and safety condition. Thanks Art you have me feeling better about my compulsive behavior.
Two things I see here Craig and Marin:

1. Craig, to be truthful, the reason you and I are (need to be) so damn anal on constant check-ups IS because we B gassers... least that's how I see it. Careful is as careful does around any sort of explosives... specially around our efficient, low cost, low maintenance, sweet smellen, mellow/quiet sounding, lightweight, easy to repair, parts available bout anywhere, mechanics galore, and great for making our size boats perform at some quick planing speeds... gasoline engines - I just had to get all that in here!!

2. Marin, to be truthful, "when you least expect it - expect it! And, nice pro-diesel ending to your long post! My pro gas in in #1 above - LOL

BTW: Thank you both for helping ta make me feel so damn good bout pleasure botten!! I can only hope ta return the favor to you guys! Youíre obviously great additions to the pleasure boating community! YeeHaw!

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Old 04-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #118
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Art-- The "when you least expect it, expect it" mantra is certainly true. The issue is that there is so much that can theoretically go wrong (with a boat, car, plane, horse, you name it) that if one spent the time and effort to attempt to ward off the "expect it" occurance, one would never get anything else done. Or put another way, boating would be akin to being a full-time mechanic/carpenter/plumber/electrician.

Now some people like that aspect of boating (or vehicles or whatever) and that's fine. In fact that's what some people want out of boating. Witness the fellow who spends years bringing or keeping a boat up to snuff in all respects, inside and out, but never actually goes out in the boat.

We have one of these in a boathouse near us. Twelve years, this boat has been worked on (it was in great shape when we first saw it). The hull is painted, stripped, painted again, windows are installed, removed, newer windows installed, and so on. Mechanically I'm told it's perfect. And this 50' boat has never been out of its boathouse except to travel a few hundred yards to the Travelift every couple of years for a haulout. But.... that's what the owner likes to do.

So for us, while we certainly believe the "when you least expect it..." saying, it's just something we choose to live with rather than endlessly chase.

As they say, "sh*t happens." It's one reason we have two engines under the floor, the theory being that sh*t might happen to one of them but the chances of it happening to both of them at the same time are so remote as to not even be a consideration.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #119
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Art,

This thread is getting weird and the more you post the less sense you make. So I'm out of this one.

One more thing. Psychology 101: if you have to constantly tell people how good a captain you are and how great your boat is, chances are that you feel just the opposite. So either be secure with what you have or buy a boat that will not make you defensive about owning.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #120
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How in the hell would would you have seen that coming?
One way you could see it is...


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