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Old 07-29-2015, 08:40 AM   #41
City: Vero Beach, FL.
Country: US
Vessel Name: FIREFLY
Vessel Model: Pilgrim 40
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 916
Fast, easy and repeatable engine starting is a safety item.

You may need to start up right now depending on weather, dockside danger (fire) or health/injury, etc.

I don't want to be worried about winding up a spring or even thinking about the state of it's wind, I want the ability to crank several times if needed in rapid succession.

I don't want a hand crank on my car and darn sure I will not replace my electric starter with a springy thing.

Now that reminds me I need to go refill the whale oil on my running lights (I use manatee oil, I'm not a monster).

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Old 07-29-2015, 08:50 AM   #42
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,855
I have never had a starter fail in 4 decades of boating. If you don't get them wet they last forever.

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Old 07-29-2015, 09:07 AM   #43
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City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,867
Decades boating, numerous boats... Can not recall starter failure.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:18 AM   #44
City: NC
Country: US
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 690
Originally Posted by makobuilders View Post

I'd be curious to know how many forum members have had starter problems that could not be fixed by switching the starter out, solenoid if not internal, dead batteries, etc....
Years ago, ok, decades ago, my dad was crewing on a sailboat and the captain drained both the house and starter batteries. Solar panels were not on boats back then so there was no way to charge the battery.

They also lost a sail which made getting into port interesting but they did make it with one sail and no engine.

The latest modern emission controlled diesels require air, fuel and POWER to run. If there is no power, then the engine will not run. If the batteries are gone for some reason, can a new engine even be started and then run with a spring starter? The only way to get power would be the alternator so there seems to be a Chicken and Egg question.

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Old 07-29-2015, 11:36 AM   #45
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City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,999
We had a starting issue on our holiday.

We pulled into Fish Bay on Gil Island's south shore (north coast BC) and dropped the anchor for a quick bit of's about the worst spot to stop when storm systems are marching in from the south west, but conditions were calm for the time being and we intended to stay for only a half hour or so.

On startup, all we heard was a soft, 'tick'.


Nigel Calder was pulled off the bookshelf, and with his help we were up and running in less than 15 minutes. Corrosion on the terminal from the ignition switch was the issue. Luckily, it was an easy fix!

(We do have a spare rebuilt starter aboard from a previous issue with a leaking air cooler to oil cooler hose being directly above the old starter.)
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:19 PM   #46
Scraping Paint
City: Fort Lauderdale
Vessel Model: CHB 48 Zodiac YL 4.2
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,804
Originally Posted by FF View Post
(hydraulic) ... a hand pump to pressurize the starting accumulator would be easy.
Standard fitting on many lifeboats and ship's emergency diesel generators.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:30 PM   #47
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City: Ft Lauderdale
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 120' Custom, Cat 3512's, 1750 HP ea.
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 174
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
Standard fitting on many lifeboats and ship's emergency diesel generators.
Years ago when I did lifeboat training we had the hydraulic starter system.

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