It's not a great feeling is it!
Yesterday launched from Fowey, cruised the river for half hour or so then headed out and went a couple of miles east up to Lantic Bay area for a bit of fishing. All well on the way there, cruised at 25 knots, remember seeing the smartcraft monitor reporting over 14 volts (I'd put the battery on a charger/maintainer a week or so ago having not been used since June). Anchored up, engine and electrics off for 20 minutes, no sign of fish so engine back on, into gear and trawl at 2 knots. Within 200 yards first mackerel being brought in and engine stalls, odd, never done that before, crank it to restart and only firing very occasionally (always starts first turn) try a couple of times then nothing, no power at all even opti gauges blank. At this point the VHF is also showing 'low battery' and then promptly dies but I'm sure this is a seperate problem which I previously mentioned here (VHF blowing fuses
) that said it did throw a low ball into the mix at the time!
Weather conditions were a brisk F5 offshore but we were fairly sheltered and dropped anchor which held nicely, all three of us had mobiles on different networks, none of which had signal!
Last line of communication other than resorting to flares was my standard horizon handheld but I really wasn't expecting any response from that especially given our location. Multi meter out and 12.4v showing at the battery and at the engine, engine end tilt/trim button doesn't respond though but plotter happily working away but still no VHF, very odd, they are powered from the same fusebox and no the VHF fuse hadn't gone but the meter was saying something daft like 2v on the terminals. By now it's getting into late afternoon and there are no other boats in sight so I give the handheld a try and Brixham coastguard responded to my first call immediately, usual questions follow, how many persons, life jackets etc and 20 minutes later having heard my calll my new best friend appeared in his 19' fishing boat and very kindly tows us back into Fowey, we paddle back onto the slipway, bit of a fight with the manual release tilt mechanism (engine was trimmed all the way in) and a bigger fight lifting the damn engine, up she goes however, jam in a bit of wood and off home.
Next morning check main fuses and find a 20 amp one blown, genuinely didn't think to check it at sea, odd, we weren't in any danger, no sea at all running but a snippet of stress thrown in and something obvious like that sails merrily by, I can quite see under really ardous conditions how people's judgement goes to hell. Anyway fuse changed, gauges all light engine cranks and... nothing, no sign of firing, done all the checks I can and now find I'm blowing fuses covering the high pressure fuel pump, Rob at Black Dog booked in for next week!
I bought that handheld in 2007 on a bit of a whim, never really thought I'd need it, pleased I did!