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Old 11 August 2012, 19:16   #1
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Country: UK - Scotland
Town: Ardfern
Boat name: Moon Raker
Make: Humber Destroyer
Length: 5m +
Engine: Honda BF 90 D
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Heart stopping moment in the Gulf of Corryvreckan

Checking on the flow rate through the Gulf of Corryvreckan as we waited for slack water and the swimmer's chance to join the elite. Drifting with the flow at 3 knots. Almost ready. Turned the key, the familiar two beeps and then... nothing. No start, no click of solenoid, nothing. Bit of a cold sweat.

Trim worked, loads of voltage, fuse? No, all ok. Mmm! Called the big Red Bay with the swimmer on board, but they were pulling in pollack by the dozen and the kids in the wrap-around were just too noisy.

This is a Honda only eighteen months old. It shouldn't go wrong, but it had. Where the hell is the starter motor? Maybe I could short the terminals with a screwdriver - except there's only one terminal - if indeed that is the starter motor.

By now I'm through the Gullf and heading for America, and there's a swimmer thinking I was a long time checking the flow.

Maybe I can hand start? I get the tool kit and undo the flywheel cover - (oh why don't I have a workshop manual?). Then I look for the pull string in the console front locker. Bringing it back aft I nudge the engine controls... and there's a click! I turn the key and the Honda fires up, no problem.

As I fly across the water, the flow has all but ceased. We've reached that brief magic moment. Alongside the Red Bay, I call 'Times just right, Sarah'. And in she goes and another dream becomes reality.

And I learned something new today.
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Old 12 August 2012, 05:51   #2
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Country: UK - England
Boat name: Sea Hornet
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Posts: 195
Panic

Quote:
Originally Posted by alystra View Post
Checking on the flow rate through the Gulf of Corryvreckan as we waited for slack water and the swimmer's chance to join the elite. Drifting with the flow at 3 knots. Almost ready. Turned the key, the familiar two beeps and then... nothing. No start, no click of solenoid, nothing. Bit of a cold sweat.

Trim worked, loads of voltage, fuse? No, all ok. Mmm! Called the big Red Bay with the swimmer on board, but they were pulling in pollack by the dozen and the kids in the wrap-around were just too noisy.

This is a Honda only eighteen months old. It shouldn't go wrong, but it had. Where the hell is the starter motor? Maybe I could short the terminals with a screwdriver - except there's only one terminal - if indeed that is the starter motor.

By now I'm through the Gullf and heading for America, and there's a swimmer thinking I was a long time checking the flow.

Maybe I can hand start? I get the tool kit and undo the flywheel cover - (oh why don't I have a workshop manual?). Then I look for the pull string in the console front locker. Bringing it back aft I nudge the engine controls... and there's a click! I turn the key and the Honda fires up, no problem.

As I fly across the water, the flow has all but ceased. We've reached that brief magic moment. Alongside the Red Bay, I call 'Times just right, Sarah'. And in she goes and another dream becomes reality.

And I learned something new today.
I've been there. When a touch of panic sets in, reason and logic seem to become somewhat inhibited.
I once left the elephant trunk down all night, on a swinging mooring in Plymouth, only to return next morning to 8 inches of water over the deck. My initial fear was water ingress into the fuel system. Unlikely I know. I primed the bulb and turned the key. The motor turned over without a hint of firing. My fears seemed justified. 3 or 4 more attempts produced the same result. Advice was flowing fast from the crew of the rib that had taken me to the mooring. Fuel vents, kinked line, blockage, air and so on. As I sat on the tube with my mind racing, eyes darting from bow to stern, looking for a clue, I put my hands in my pocket in subconscious resignation and immediately discovered the problem. From my left pocket I sheepishly retrieved the kill cord and discretely clipped it on. The barrage of advice was suddenly cut short by the roar of the engine. My advisers looked perplexed and with much muttering and shoulder shrugging, they left as I cheerfully prepared to bale out.
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Old 12 August 2012, 07:24   #3
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Brain fade at sea, I get it too. It's something to be very aware of imho. It's lucky you bumped that lever.
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Old 12 August 2012, 07:51   #4
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Country: UK - Channel Islands
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When I brought my boat back across the channel after taking delivery in Poole I stopped halfway to have something to eat. When it came time to get going again the engine wouldn't start. Ten minutes of panic later I realised the gear lever had slipped into reverse and so had disengaged the ignition. Doh..!!
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Old 12 August 2012, 12:59   #5
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Boat name: Moon Raker
Make: Humber Destroyer
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Brain fade at sea, I get it too. It's something to be very aware of imho. It's lucky you bumped that lever.
Yes, it was. Thing is, the engine was out of gear and the lever so near to horizontal it wasn't obvious. I must have moved it less than half a centimetre. Still, after all these years I should have realised and checked.

I must say that the engine controls are the worst feature of this engine. There's a lot of free play on the throttle lever, compared to my old Mercury, which had none. This makes fine engine control difficult. I took the cable cover off and it doesn't appear to be slack in the cables. I can move the handle almost an inch without any movement on the throttle cable connecting lever. Not as smooth as the Mercury either.

Apart from that, the engine is just sublime.

I shall have a word with the dealer over the winter to see if this is normal or a faulty unit. It should still be under warranty.
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Old 12 August 2012, 13:01   #6
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Boat name: stramash
Make: Tornado
Length: 5m +
Engine: Etec 90
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Actually I wondered if you had my old BF90,.. because it used to alarm and fail to start for 'absolutely' no aparent reason now and again, after a head scratch, away it would go ? .... I never got to the botom of that one
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Old 12 August 2012, 13:17   #7
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Whilst we're confessing. I nicked my lads Rib couple afternoons back for a cheeky bit of fishing. Launched it and went to put the trailer away, stopped to chat to a gent but he got a call so I left him to it. Returned to the boat to find it was sitting a little lower than usual in the water.

5 mins longer and it would have sank - I'd left the bung out! Lucky Vic got that call. Thing is, I normally stay in the car whilst he prepares it for launch, then I back it in and go store the trailer so I never even gave the bung a second thought. Just goes to show routine breads stupidity. I blamed Tom (my lad) of course, it was his job and not being there is no excuse

Peter @ Boatsandoutboards4sale ~ askboatsandoutboards4sale@sky.com ~ 07930 421007
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Old 12 August 2012, 13:47   #8
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Country: UK - England
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Make: Avon
Length: 3m +
Engine: Out Petrol 3.5 & 15
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I don't feel so bad now as the 2nd time I used my RIB (on the Thames at Windsor), I forgot to put the bung in, came back after moving the trailer and parking the car for my wife to say there is all water in the boat. Then it wouldn't start, tried pulling loads of times still no joy, funny I thought it started much quicker yesterday in the dustbin then I realised no kill cord on (only fitted the week before so obviously works a treat. Got underway, engine died a few times, cold engine, choke not right, bit more choke starts straight away choke in another few hundred yards engines dies again. This time wouldn't even turn over remembered that I hadn't checked the tell tale - perhaps it has seized (it was a 1980s engine). Started drifting back and paddling, offered a tow by massive Gin Palace, declined with thanks as only 100yds to go, then I remembered that it doesn't start in gear. Out of gear starts straight away. Get a bit of speed up and pull bung out to drain water. No more problems for the rest of the day apart from the wife not liking the bumpy water by the weir and I thought that was the best bit.
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