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Old 09-02-2015, 11:30 AM   #61
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What are you up to Walt ..... or down to?
With all those windows in the aft salon I wouldn't think you were too worried about that.
When I go to my boat (which is about 5 times a week) it's because I have a project in mind, maybe watch a ball game, answer my e-mails, etc. By having the bow in, it limits the distractions of well meaning people who want to stop by and say hello. No, I'm not a hermit...just a guy who values his privacy.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:00 PM   #62
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I assumed that Walt .... wasn't putt'in ya down.

We've been back'in in lately. And I'm enjoying the people .. except one.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:14 PM   #63
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I assumed that Walt .... wasn't putt'in ya down.

We've been back'in in lately. And I'm enjoying the people .. except one.
I also have one that I'm trying to avoid. She is a well stacked gal, about 35-40 that insists on dropping by and I can't allow that! I'm not John baker for crying out loud! ..........
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:16 PM   #64
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Lose one engine, and meet yourself running in circles.
Good one. But can't one just paddle on the side with the lost engine?
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:37 PM   #65
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For now though I shift as often as I need to or want to. Like a car it's how you use the clutch not how often.
Eric-- We shift as often as we need to. I absolutely agree that how you use a mechanical device is a major factor in how long it lasts. But so is how often you use it.

There used to be a fellow on our dock who had a boat with a Velvet Drive. I only observed him as he was maneuvering in the fairway and into and out of his slip so I have no idea what his boat handling was like anywhere else.

He was a "shifter" and was constantly in and out of gear. I coud see that his shifting technique was fine; he wasn't yanking the levers around frantically as I've seen a fair number of boaters do. And he knew what he was doing in terms of handling his boat.

He had to have both of his transmissions repaired during the time he was on our dock and he complained that Velvet Drives had a pretty short life so I assume he'd had to have them worked on before.

Now we have no way of knowing the reason behind the transmission work he had to have done. But every mechanical thing with moving parts has a finite life. We don't know how long that life will be and its length is governed by a lot of factors. But whether it's the washer in a water faucet or the engine in a boat or the cutless bearing in a strut, it is "wearing out" every time you use it. If this was not true there would be no need for the TBO lmitations on aircraft engines and specified time intervals for airliner airframe inspections and so on.

So we engage our two Velvet Drives using the proper shifting technique, we let the prop shafts come to a stop between shifts if we can; there are some situations where we can't, and we conduct our maneuvers with minimal shifting. We shift when we need to, but over the years as we've gained experience we've learned that it really doesn't take much shifting to make a boat do what you want it to.

Not to say that our transmissions won't fail the next time we use the boat, which will be this weekend, but so far they have been trouble free for 17 years. How long will they go before needing work? I have no idea. But as long as they continue to be used they will eventually fail in some way, just like every other mechanical device that contains movng parts.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:46 PM   #66
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Years ago you had the notion that an engine had "X" number of revolutions for it's life.
Just like your heart. I wouldn't stress about any of this. Do what works for you and live a long and happy boater's life..

I use my Bow thruster liberally (the shame!) and it makes me look like a docking genius!
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:17 PM   #67
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I absolutely agree that how you use a mechanical device is a major factor in how long it lasts..........

But every mechanical thing with moving parts has a finite life. We don't know how long that life will be and its length is governed by a lot of factors. But whether it's the washer in a water faucet or the engine in a boat or the cutless bearing in a strut, it is "wearing out" every time you use it.
I agree with the above & that is why I disagree with those that say a diesel is happiest running at 80% of WOT. It's true that one must get the engine up to it's optimum operating temperature but to run all over the place at 80% of max power just doesn't sit well with me.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:55 PM   #68
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Heron,
There's a guy on our float that dosn't look like a "docking genius". Steers his boat all the way down the fairway w the bow thruster.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:04 PM   #69
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Marin,
No it's not a "finite life". The piston going up and down at low load is WAY different than one running hot on light oil w too much load and not enought rpm. The load pushes the piston down and since the crank pin is not directly underneath the piston there's a huge side load on the piston and cylinder wall.
And metal parts held together w screws, bolts and gaskets self destruct over time from expansion and contraction. Gradual heating up is a big plus for the engine.

So no ... One piston stroke is not the same as another.
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Old 09-02-2015, 04:05 PM   #70
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Ok here's a challenge then for all those who think rudders are unnecessary. I'll be in the Bahamas tomorrow and I'll leave a hundred dollar bill at the big game club bar for the first captain who can get to it by crossing the stream on a twin engine inboard boat running only on one engine without using any rudders. I don't care which engine you use and you don't have to remove the rudders but you do need to remove the steering wheel and disable the autopilot.


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BINGO!

You know, sometimes there really is a reason no one does a certain thing, like leave the rudders off.

Also agree that jet drives are the answer to the OP's original issue, but note they move around too... like a rudder does. Joystick steering is pretty cool too if you go that route. Also agree that running with the engines out of synch wears on you pretty quick, as do long cross current runs with no AP. As CafeSport would surely say, Mr Cottontop, meet Mr. Gulfstream.
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:08 PM   #71
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Marin,
No it's not a "finite life".
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

finite (adjective): having limits, having a limited nature.

Engines, transmissions, etc. do not run forever. They have a limited service life, aka "finite." The variable is how long that service life will be. They will generally last longer if used less or more conservatively as long as it is within their ideal operating parameters. But eventually, they will fail no matter how they're used.

If they are not used or simply put on display in a museum, then of course their life may be infinite.

So my friend Bob Munro's comment when I asked him about the best operating parameters for the Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine with regards to maximizing its reliability and life was correct when he said, "A piston is only going to go up and down so many times. So the easier you make life for the engine the more times that piston will go up and down."

Note that he did NOT define how many times the piston would go up and down. That is obviously dependent upon a number of factors. But one of the big factors is how the engine is treated by the person operating it, which was the point he was making with his little saying.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:22 PM   #72
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Ok here's a challenge then for all those who think rudders are unnecessary. I'll be in the Bahamas tomorrow and I'll leave a hundred dollar bill at the big game club bar for the first captain who can get to it by crossing the stream on a twin engine inboard boat running only on one engine without using any rudders. I don't care which engine you use and you don't have to remove the rudders but you do need to remove the steering wheel and disable the autopilot.


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If I was there I'd take you up on that and end up with your money.

You left a couple things out that makes that doable.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:26 PM   #73
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If I was there I'd take you up on that and end up with your money.

You left a couple things out that makes that doable.

I think so, too, although I've never tried the technique I think would work.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:34 PM   #74
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If I was there I'd take you up on that and end up with your money.

You left a couple things out that makes that doable.
You've got my attention.

I once took a Mainship 430 up the Sacramento River to Sacramento, and then on back down to Oakland, docked it four times on one engine. One of my better performances if I say so myself.

No steering wheel? Emergency rudder doesn't count. Presetting the rudder doesn't count.
What do you do, aim the boat way north or south and expertly calculate your curvy course?
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:56 PM   #75
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Twin Engines - Rudders Required?

Bill I left some things out intentionally. It can be done but it's not going to be easy due to a couple of significant currents. One can be planned for the other can't. I'm glad to hand the hundred over to the first one who not only can figure it out but actually do it. Just thought of something...no gps. Just kidding!


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