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Old 05-15-2021, 12:12 PM   #1
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Running with Fouled Running Gear

My vessel was in water (in canal, brackish water) all winter. I took it out for a test ride today. All went well, no vibration, etc. However, at WOT my RPMS were about 300 below norm (2900+ instead of 3200+). So there is probably some fouling on the props, rudders, etc. Normally I would just wait for the water temp to rise and dive in to clean or have it short hauled.

This year we are keeping the boat out out east on the north shore of Long Island. The trip is just over 100 miles, mostly in the ocean. Question is, is it OK to run with slightly fouled running gear. Then only reason I'm pushing it is that I want to get the boat out east as soon as we can. Weather this week is perfect.

Thanks.
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:42 PM   #2
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I would go for it.
As long as you keep the speed down.
You should probably get a diver to clean the props and check zincs, coolant intakes and rudders.
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:50 PM   #3
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I would go for it.
As long as you keep the speed down.
You should probably get a diver to clean the props and check zincs, coolant intakes and rudders.
AND, watch your engine temperatures.
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:55 PM   #4
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The loss of 300 rpms is pretty serious and should immediately warrant either you or a diver going down for a look. If it’s crap wrapped up on your shaft between your strut or stern bearing and wheel, or dragging a lobster pot on a rudder, etc etc it could go from annoyance to costly. If you have engine exhaust temp gauge (s) see if your engine is over loading and heating up. Water temp doesn’t always tell you what EGT will. Better be safe than sorry. Good luck
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
I would go for it.
As long as you keep the speed down.
You should probably get a diver to clean the props and check zincs, coolant intakes and rudders.

A clean bottom and running gear should bring boat back up to speed.
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Old 05-15-2021, 03:01 PM   #6
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My vessel was in water (in canal, brackish water) all winter. I took it out for a test ride today. All went well, no vibration, etc. However, at WOT my RPMS were about 300 below norm (2900+ instead of 3200+). So there is probably some fouling on the props, rudders, etc. Normally I would just wait for the water temp to rise and dive in to clean or have it short hauled.

This year we are keeping the boat out out east on the north shore of Long Island. The trip is just over 100 miles, mostly in the ocean. Question is, is it OK to run with slightly fouled running gear. Then only reason I'm pushing it is that I want to get the boat out east as soon as we can. Weather this week is perfect.

Thanks.
Here on Long Island as well and we would clean it before we moved it, needs to get done in either case and not worth the risk. Once it fouls at the start of the seasons it builds quickly. Also your intakes likely have growth as well and they could really affect your trip at an inconvenient time.
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Old 05-15-2021, 03:48 PM   #7
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Running a boat with growth on the running gear has never hurt my or commercial boats I have run as long as the vibrations werent too bad and if more than minor, run less than hard.

Line wrapped can but not in my experience do damage to shafts and/or cutless bearings.
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Old 05-15-2021, 04:13 PM   #8
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I would go for it.
As long as you keep the speed down.
You should probably get a diver to clean the props and check zincs, coolant intakes and rudders.
I second this. Diver is cheap insurance. Long stretch on lee shore with no safe harbors.
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Old 05-15-2021, 04:46 PM   #9
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Once you leave the slip, performance is usually predictable, good chance there is lessened performance but little chance fouling will affect a potential catastrophic failure.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:17 PM   #10
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Curious how so many just assume this problem is sea growth and nothing else. Well cross your fingers, grab your wallet and hope that is the case. Personally getting underway with a problem and hoping it’s nothing is a fools errand
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:40 PM   #11
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IMO - Limited growth[s] on bottom, shaft, prop and rudder is usually just an annoyance for speed and fuel use. However... growth on water intakes can become more than costly.

Couple hundred for a diver... or possible thousand$ - you make the call!!

BTW - I too always do my own bottom/apparatus cleaning and anode refreshments/changes. Just do it! You'll sleep better even if it's just to make sure all water intakes are clean.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:59 PM   #12
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Curious how so many just assume this problem is sea growth and nothing else. Well cross your fingers, grab your wallet and hope that is the case. Personally getting underway with a problem and hoping it’s nothing is a fools errand
Maybe because of decades of running boats that have sat for more than a month in a place where fouling is possible has sunk in, and that's more likely that than a wrapped line,

My experience with wrapped line is it either stops the engine abruptly or has little effect at all. Plus the owner never mentioned picking up a line which most of the time the skipper knows.

If it something else....which it could be..... but what else goes wrong just sitting unless its engine issues? ...which you need to run to ID anyhow.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:39 PM   #13
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Gotta start somewhere. Diver..... this part of FL, for my 34 ft AT, $80, once a month.

If that doesn't help, check the factory spec and then, discuss your situation with a good prop shop. Follow his recommendations and try your test run again.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:08 PM   #14
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If you are going to run at planing speed, get a diver to clean it before you go. If running hull speed, no worries.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:20 PM   #15
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My early spring is like that.
I am now in the habit of checking for black smoke, watching engine temps when I haven't had the annual haulout yet.
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:02 AM   #16
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MR Herreshoff used to suggest to visualize the prop and its growth blown up to the size of the hull, to decide if it should be removed.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:33 AM   #17
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Moving the boat without understanding the root cause of the problem is something I personally would prefer not to do. I would spend too much time worrying about it and not enjoy the trip very much. If coming to an understanding of the root cause is not possible or practical at your current canal location, then I would consider taking the 100 mile trip slowly. 6-7 knots max...and then, only if there was no unusual vibration. If you've noticed increased vibration, then I would go even slower, or consider not going at all until the problem is rectified.
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Old 05-16-2021, 08:02 AM   #18
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In my case, prior to moving the boat that had been sitting for a while, I would have employed a diver to clean the bottom, clean and inspect the running gear.
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Old 05-21-2021, 03:33 PM   #19
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I recently purchased from Amazon, a digital inspection endoscope. I tie the camera end to a fishing rod. From the swim step I can check all of my prop, rudder, shaft etc. From the dock I am able to check the thruster as well. The device has a decent focal length, and does still, as well as video. IIRC the $ was just under 60.
My friends borrow on a regular basis........
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Old 05-22-2021, 01:16 AM   #20
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I recently purchased from Amazon, a digital inspection endoscope. I tie the camera end to a fishing rod. From the swim step I can check all of my prop, rudder, shaft etc. From the dock I am able to check the thruster as well. The device has a decent focal length, and does still, as well as video. IIRC the $ was just under 60.
My friends borrow on a regular basis........
Sounds good. What if water is not very clear?
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