How many things can go wrong in one day???

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RickyD

Guru
Joined
May 4, 2018
Messages
784
Location
United States
Vessel Name
Aquarius
Vessel Make
Californian 55 CPMY
I apologize for the lengthy story here, and I don't need to be chastised for my stupidity, I own it.

Worst trip ever.

A couple years after I bought my 55 Californian CPMY, I was finally able to entice my brother down from San Francisco. Just him and I for five days at Catalina Island. First stop, the gorgeous waters of Emerald Bay. The afternoon trip over was mostly uneventful with a bright sun and normal swell and wind chop. I was sucking off of a recently replaced fuel tank to fully empty it to know the actual tankage on fill up, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that suddenly the engines started to die. I quickly switched over tanks and the starboard engine continued but the port quit and would not restart. We were close to our destination, so I continued with just the starboard. In prepping for anchoring, I was thinking about maneuvering with the starboard and the thruster and I forgot to pull in the dinghy, so of course I wrapped its towline around prop and shaft till it ended up on the swim step. I was fully anchored with the sun already set, so the wrap will have to wait till tomorrow. Now start the small genset and let’s charge up the house bank. Moments later there were loud motor noises from the ER and as I entered, it was smokey. The genset quit and I realized it lost cooling water, overheated a plastic connector on the exhaust hose extension and was blowing exhaust into the engine room. We’re ok, I have the big generator to fall back on. So, I try to start it, no good. What??? Then a thought: Try to start the starboard engine. Nope. Ah, the Fireboy shut down the motors. So, I clear that and the starboard starts but not the genny. We shut down all electricals to save amp hours, and waited till morning. Around 4 in the morning we were bouncing pretty hard so I got up to check on the two dinghies. My Caribe DL12 was fine but my Achilles 10 was gone. I jumped in the Caribe and racing downwind searching until my flashlight died. Then back to bed. In the morning, I called the Coast Guard and local Harbor Masters about the dinghy and then jumped in the water and started cutting and pulling the wrap on the starboard prop and shaft. It was so tight it took me about an hour and a half to finally clear it. No generator means we need to go home and figure this all out. I kept trying to bleed the port engine but always ended up with air in the Racors. So, what happened? I had hastily switched over the fuel tanks but not completely. The port fuel supply valve was slightly cracked open and sucking air out of the empty fuel tank; the Fireboy shut down the generator but the stop solenoid didn’t come back to the perfect rest position so wouldn’t start. I pushed the stop lever about 1mm and then it started; the little generator lost the impeller. When I tied up my Achilles I did the cleat tie backwards and thought to myself, it'll be fine. It wasn't. My Achilles was a 1998, and my wife said just buy a new one. So, I was on my way to the dealer when the Coast Guard called and someone had found my Achilles 10 miles from where it started. A comedy of errors and bad luck. We were safe but how many things can go wrong on one short trip?
 
Will your brother ever go boating with you again?

Sorry for all the hassles, and if it's any consolation, I think we all have days like that from time to time.
 
By golly! That beats me! My Webasto and my Genny died the same day we were in Seymour Inlet. A week later my windlass packed it in.

Jim
 
Of course. We had fun after getting back to my slip. I actually had to replace both the small genset through hull valve and the impeller as I couldn't move the handle. I was able to do that in the water with the help of my diver. I had not changed the impeller on that as the boat was still kind of new to me at the time and I had not gone through all the maintenance.
 
I apologize for the lengthy story here, and I don't need to be chastised for my stupidity, I own it.

Worst trip ever.

A couple years after I bought my 55 Californian CPMY, I was finally able to entice my brother down from San Francisco. Just him and I for five days at Catalina Island. First stop, the gorgeous waters of Emerald Bay. The afternoon trip over was mostly uneventful with a bright sun and normal swell and wind chop. I was sucking off of a recently replaced fuel tank to fully empty it to know the actual tankage on fill up, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that suddenly the engines started to die. I quickly switched over tanks and the starboard engine continued but the port quit and would not restart. We were close to our destination, so I continued with just the starboard. In prepping for anchoring, I was thinking about maneuvering with the starboard and the thruster and I forgot to pull in the dinghy, so of course I wrapped its towline around prop and shaft till it ended up on the swim step. I was fully anchored with the sun already set, so the wrap will have to wait till tomorrow. Now start the small genset and let’s charge up the house bank. Moments later there were loud motor noises from the ER and as I entered, it was smokey. The genset quit and I realized it lost cooling water, overheated a plastic connector on the exhaust hose extension and was blowing exhaust into the engine room. We’re ok, I have the big generator to fall back on. So, I try to start it, no good. What??? Then a thought: Try to start the starboard engine. Nope. Ah, the Fireboy shut down the motors. So, I clear that and the starboard starts but not the genny. We shut down all electricals to save amp hours, and waited till morning. Around 4 in the morning we were bouncing pretty hard so I got up to check on the two dinghies. My Caribe DL12 was fine but my Achilles 10 was gone. I jumped in the Caribe and racing downwind searching until my flashlight died. Then back to bed. In the morning, I called the Coast Guard and local Harbor Masters about the dinghy and then jumped in the water and started cutting and pulling the wrap on the starboard prop and shaft. It was so tight it took me about an hour and a half to finally clear it. No generator means we need to go home and figure this all out. I kept trying to bleed the port engine but always ended up with air in the Racors. So, what happened? I had hastily switched over the fuel tanks but not completely. The port fuel supply valve was slightly cracked open and sucking air out of the empty fuel tank; the Fireboy shut down the generator but the stop solenoid didn’t come back to the perfect rest position so wouldn’t start. I pushed the stop lever about 1mm and then it started; the little generator lost the impeller. When I tied up my Achilles I did the cleat tie backwards and thought to myself, it'll be fine. It wasn't. My Achilles was a 1998, and my wife said just buy a new one. So, I was on my way to the dealer when the Coast Guard called and someone had found my Achilles 10 miles from where it started. A comedy of errors and bad luck. We were safe but how many things can go wrong on one short trip?
Have you seen the movie "All Is Lost" ??? : With Robert Redford -- Directed by J.C. Chandor. Redford's character had a REALLY bad day on the water ---
 
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Just think how much you learned that day. :)
 
Small diameter dinghy painters on large smooth stainless stern cleats require a different hitch than the half wrap cleat hitch taught to most Americans. Always use the European “full wrap” or the “multi wrap” to keep the line from slipping. I also always tie a 2nd line to the dinghy for overnight.
 
Congratulations. These are the trips you never forget.
 
I apologize for the lengthy story here, and I don't need to be chastised for my stupidity, I own it.

Worst trip ever.

A couple years after I bought my 55 Californian CPMY, I was finally able to entice my brother down from San Francisco. Just him and I for five days at Catalina Island. First stop, the gorgeous waters of Emerald Bay. The afternoon trip over was mostly uneventful with a bright sun and normal swell and wind chop. I was sucking off of a recently replaced fuel tank to fully empty it to know the actual tankage on fill up, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that suddenly the engines started to die. I quickly switched over tanks and the starboard engine continued but the port quit and would not restart. We were close to our destination, so I continued with just the starboard. In prepping for anchoring, I was thinking about maneuvering with the starboard and the thruster and I forgot to pull in the dinghy, so of course I wrapped its towline around prop and shaft till it ended up on the swim step. I was fully anchored with the sun already set, so the wrap will have to wait till tomorrow. Now start the small genset and let’s charge up the house bank. Moments later there were loud motor noises from the ER and as I entered, it was smokey. The genset quit and I realized it lost cooling water, overheated a plastic connector on the exhaust hose extension and was blowing exhaust into the engine room. We’re ok, I have the big generator to fall back on. So, I try to start it, no good. What??? Then a thought: Try to start the starboard engine. Nope. Ah, the Fireboy shut down the motors. So, I clear that and the starboard starts but not the genny. We shut down all electricals to save amp hours, and waited till morning. Around 4 in the morning we were bouncing pretty hard so I got up to check on the two dinghies. My Caribe DL12 was fine but my Achilles 10 was gone. I jumped in the Caribe and racing downwind searching until my flashlight died. Then back to bed. In the morning, I called the Coast Guard and local Harbor Masters about the dinghy and then jumped in the water and started cutting and pulling the wrap on the starboard prop and shaft. It was so tight it took me about an hour and a half to finally clear it. No generator means we need to go home and figure this all out. I kept trying to bleed the port engine but always ended up with air in the Racors. So, what happened? I had hastily switched over the fuel tanks but not completely. The port fuel supply valve was slightly cracked open and sucking air out of the empty fuel tank; the Fireboy shut down the generator but the stop solenoid didn’t come back to the perfect rest position so wouldn’t start. I pushed the stop lever about 1mm and then it started; the little generator lost the impeller. When I tied up my Achilles I did the cleat tie backwards and thought to myself, it'll be fine. It wasn't. My Achilles was a 1998, and my wife said just buy a new one. So, I was on my way to the dealer when the Coast Guard called and someone had found my Achilles 10 miles from where it started. A comedy of errors and bad luck. We were safe but how many things can go wrong on one shorTo

I apologize for the lengthy story here, and I don't need to be chastised for my stupidity, I own it.

Worst trip ever.

A couple years after I bought my 55 Californian CPMY, I was finally able to entice my brother down from San Francisco. Just him and I for five days at Catalina Island. First stop, the gorgeous waters of Emerald Bay. The afternoon trip over was mostly uneventful with a bright sun and normal swell and wind chop. I was sucking off of a recently replaced fuel tank to fully empty it to know the actual tankage on fill up, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that suddenly the engines started to die. I quickly switched over tanks and the starboard engine continued but the port quit and would not restart. We were close to our destination, so I continued with just the starboard. In prepping for anchoring, I was thinking about maneuvering with the starboard and the thruster and I forgot to pull in the dinghy, so of course I wrapped its towline around prop and shaft till it ended up on the swim step. I was fully anchored with the sun already set, so the wrap will have to wait till tomorrow. Now start the small genset and let’s charge up the house bank. Moments later there were loud motor noises from the ER and as I entered, it was smokey. The genset quit and I realized it lost cooling water, overheated a plastic connector on the exhaust hose extension and was blowing exhaust into the engine room. We’re ok, I have the big generator to fall back on. So, I try to start it, no good. What??? Then a thought: Try to start the starboard engine. Nope. Ah, the Fireboy shut down the motors. So, I clear that and the starboard starts but not the genny. We shut down all electricals to save amp hours, and waited till morning. Around 4 in the morning we were bouncing pretty hard so I got up to check on the two dinghies. My Caribe DL12 was fine but my Achilles 10 was gone. I jumped in the Caribe and racing downwind searching until my flashlight died. Then back to bed. In the morning, I called the Coast Guard and local Harbor Masters about the dinghy and then jumped in the water and started cutting and pulling the wrap on the starboard prop and shaft. It was so tight it took me about an hour and a half to finally clear it. No generator means we need to go home and figure this all out. I kept trying to bleed the port engine but always ended up with air in the Racors. So, what happened? I had hastily switched over the fuel tanks but not completely. The port fuel supply valve was slightly cracked open and sucking air out of the empty fuel tank; the Fireboy shut down the generator but the stop solenoid didn’t come back to the perfect rest position so wouldn’t start. I pushed the stop lever about 1mm and then it started; the little generator lost the impeller. When I tied up my Achilles I did the cleat tie backwards and thought to myself, it'll be fine. It wasn't. My Achilles was a 1998, and my wife said just buy a new one. So, I was on my way to the dealer when the Coast Guard called and someone had found my Achilles 10 miles from where it started. A comedy of errors and bad luck. We were safe but how many things can go wrong on one short trip?
To quote Van Morrison "Well my Mama told me there'll be says like this."
 
Congratulations. These are the trips you never forget.
Yep! While you’re in these situations, you’re muttering “How the h*ll did I get into this? Am I crazy? But once it’s all over, in retrospect you think fondly back on it and say to yourself “That was one heck of a day!”
 
Once issues begin, they always seem to cascade. Been there too. I lift a glass to you and say, "still better than a day in the office!"
 
This is the sort of thing that happens to me sometimes too.

Travis McGee once said that all boat problems come in threes. I've found that to be pretty accurate over the years.

In all seriousness, it is also what generally gets people in real trouble. Prime example: They have trouble backing the boat down the ramp, get frustrated, and forget to put the plug in. Then the bilge pump float switch fails and they don't realize that water is coming in until they are a distance from the dock and there is a ton of water in the bilge. The boat sinks before they can get back to the dock.
 
Small diameter dinghy painters on large smooth stainless stern cleats require a different hitch than the half wrap cleat hitch taught to most Americans. Always use the European “full wrap” or the “multi wrap” to keep the line from slipping. I also always tie a 2nd line to the dinghy for overnight.
Good tutorial!
 
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