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Old 06-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
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Well, this is unfortunate...

I had some more engine work done on Friday. The mechanics was happy that he had solved all my problems. We went out today to take advantage of the nice weather.

The engine started just fine, the old pressure came up and we motored out of our harbor. We are deep in the harbor and it is a no wake zoom so it takes a good 15-20 minutes to get out. Things were fine and I throttled up to about 1800 rpm and we were cruising along nicely for about 10 minutes. Then the oil pressure alarm went off.

I throttled back and got pointed away from the shore (was hugging the shore to get a back eddy) and then shit it down. Everything looked fine in the ER but a check of the dipstick showed what looks to me like a lot of fuel in the oil.

Tried to start it up again and the oil pressure only came to 10psi. I for a few minutes at idle in gear to get me into some deeper water and then shit it down again.

Called BoatUS for a tow but they are busy on this hot and sunny day. They should be here in about 1.5 hours. I am drifting South currently in a back eddy in 70 ( make that 50 and shallowing quickly) feet of water. If the current doesn't kick me back towards the main channel I will have to drop the anchor.

At least my wife made me a sandwich.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:16 PM   #2
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Wow,
the fact that you can maintain your composure, post a topic here and eat a sandwich is a testament to your experience. I used to live in Gig harbor and know what kind of currents you have in the Narrows.
I would be pumping out my sanitary tank and the wife would be testing out the flare gun.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:25 PM   #3
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Hang in there Dave and hope for the best! I would have already put out the anchor then filled the aft head.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Wow,
the fact that you can maintain your composure, post a topic here and eat a sandwich is a testament to your experience. I used to live in Gig harbor and know what kind of currents you have in the Narrows.
I would be pumping out my sanitary tank and the wife would be testing out the flare gun.


Well, you know where we are. There is a large ebb right now, about 5 knots. The is a back eddy South of the harbor between the Gig Harbor entrance and Pt Evans. We are caught in that back eddy. Normally it would simply spit us into the main channel at Pt Evans.my only concern is that a North wind has kicked up and is pushing us towards the shallower water at Pt Evans.

Other than that, drifting around going where the current takes me is something I am used to from sailing these water in smallish sailboats with flaky outboards.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:38 PM   #5
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Is the oil level high? Is that how you are determining there is fuel in it? Does it smell too?

Assuming it is fuel in the oil, the likely causes would be a failed seal in the injection pump system. Has any of the recent work involved those parts? Oh, you had the injectors replaced, right? In some configurations, leaks there can run into the oil, but I don' know if that's the case with the QSB.

The good news is that the engine alarmed and you shut down before any damage was likely done.
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:54 PM   #6
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Well... I had to drop the anchor. The shore here is very steep and I started to let the anchor out on about 26' of water. I put 100' of chain out but didn't want too much swing because I am close the shore.

The anchor caught and held. Then about 15 minutes later the current shifted as the eddy changed. We swung towards the shore with about 10' under our stern and are now being pulled to the North. Fortunately, the anchor reset very quickly.

Have I mentioned I like my Excel anchor? I would not have been doing as well with the CQR that was on here.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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The current is switching back and forth. Each time the anchor has to reset. Getting more and more interesting.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:17 PM   #8
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Yikes. I'm sure you thought of this, but can you deploy a stern anchor?
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:35 PM   #9
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Wow Dave,
This just sucks!
You are a calmer man than I...
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:38 PM   #10
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can you use the dink to carry the anchor out to deeper water...then winch yourself out there ?
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:46 PM   #11
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Low slack about now but flood beginning and a 16 foot tidal swing over the next several hours. In the channel you will be going the equivalent of 8 knots in place. I sure hope your tow comes soon and admire your calmness in light of that situation. I would be nuts.

Good luck to you. I wish I was in the area to drag you away from that bank.
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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Good luck Dave . Hope it all works out .
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:44 PM   #13
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Well, Tow BoatUS made it. There were mere inches under the stern. H= got us towed back and into my slip. He did a great job, particularly considering it was a new boat and wasn't completely setup yet.

I've decided that having a boat that can't actually go anywhere isn't too bad.
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And in case you didn't spot it, a nice Rum & Coke to relax with.
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:57 PM   #14
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Wifey B: Impressed with how you handle stress. It's like, I can't do anything about it so I'll just relax. Thank goodness for tow boats.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:24 PM   #15
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Wifey B: Impressed with how you handle stress. It's like, I can't do anything about it so I'll just relax. Thank goodness for tow boats.


Yes, thank goodness for them. I am sure that if I had called a Pan Pan, one of the many boaters that were going up and down the sound would have given me a tow away from the rocks. I also was prepared to start up the engine to move us if needed.

I did noticed that a lot of boaters seemed curious about us so they would make a close pass. Of course, they wouldn't slow down at all so all I could see were these huge wakes coming when my stern was already sitting very close to the bottom. I swear that some boaters just can't seem to remember that their throttle can actually be adjusted, even if they aren't within a line toss of a dock.

I think the Tow Boat driver was ex USCG. Youngish guy, but he mentioned to my wife as were trying to get through a gaggle of paddle boarders (who thought that the center of the main harbor channel was a good place to hang out in the sun) that in his prior job he would be writing citations for not having a PFD on board.

Didn't strike me as a former LEO so my guess was USGC.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:25 PM   #16
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Rum fixes many issues. Another story to tell...

But seriously, you handled that with amazing aplomb.
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Old 06-25-2017, 06:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
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can you use the dink to carry the anchor out to deeper water...then winch yourself out there ?

I missed this suggestion at the time, along with Cardude's, but I can't figure out how to multi-quote on the iPad.

Cardude, if I had another anchor, that would be an option. Unfortunately, I don't. However, on my list is getting a folding anchor and rode to use as a Sapir. Currently, I have those but they are on my sailboat.

In this situation it could have been useful, however, I would have to know that was going to happen ahead of time. The reversing current caught me by surprise. I didn't realize that I was at the frontier between the main current and ebb. It kept moving back and forth and the wind was blowing toward shore. If I'd had a stern anchor, I could have let out 300' of rode on the initial set as I was being carried parallel to shore. I then could have dropped a stern anchor and taken up half that rode to ride between the two. Even if I had a stern anchor, I'm not sure I would have trusted putting out all that rode when I was so close to shore.

Benthic, I could have done that, but only if I had another anchor as I was hanging on that one anchor to keep me from drifting. Plus, this is an open channel 1.25 nm accross with a 5kt current in the main channel and lots of large wakes. In those conditions it is not something I would want to undertake unless desperate, and I never was desperate.

Both very good ideas however and I appreciate them.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:47 PM   #18
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Surprisingly, I just helped handle dock lines for a sailboat that was being towed in by the same Tow Boat driver as brought us in. He had never been to our marina before but now has been here twice in one day. This time it was a sailboat with water in the fuel.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:38 PM   #19
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Great story. Glad it turned out so well. Kudos for staying calm and rational.

If you'd only had twin engines or anchors! .......... ...but at least you had BoatUS towing. I wouldn't boat without it.

Is your dinghy motor strong enough to be used as a tug to push against the hull to shift the boat away from shore? I've moved a 48 footer with my dink (15 hp) in benign conditions to get him out of a tight cove with one engine inop. At the time, there were 5 other boats to avoid in our tiny secret cove...not that secret, I now that I think about it.

I'm sure your conditions were far from benign on the sound.

PS. Why did the sailboat need to be towed? Were his sails broken, too?
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:42 PM   #20
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We didn't have the RIB with us, just the hard dinghy. The only dinghy motor we have at the boat right now is the Torqeedo. It has approximately 4 hp. It could move our boat in now wind and current, but no way to budge it again the wind and current we had.

The conditions were pretty benign all things considered. Not too much wind and so not much in the way of wind waves. With the 5 knots of current in the Narrrows where we were, there are always some pretty impressive chop from the swirling currents.

The sailboat was coming into Gig Harbor entrance when their motor quiet. It was a very low tide today (-3.5') and the entrance has a pretty strong current and is very narrow and extremely shallow. The current spit them out of the entrance and they were able to drop anchor. While it is possible to sail into the harbor, it isn't possible against the current at low tide with the wind coming out of the North.
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