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Old 01 January 2007, 13:16   #1
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Learnt something new today....

1 Jan every year sees the annual Raft Race in Stanley harbour which of course means the local boat population gathers en masse too (about 10 in other words!) so despite the weather (windy and pssn with rain) of course I had to join in.

Great fun, got a bit cold and a lot wet and nearly drowned the missus without noticing, I was going flat out up the harbour and had a few airborne moments then when I chopped the throttle on arrival there was this "woooosh" of water about 4" deep came past my feet. "Eh?" I thought then looked round to see something vaguely resembling a drowned rat on the seat behind me. "Did we take a wave over the side?" I enquired innocently - "I take it you didn't notice then" - "No, sorry" - glad my seat is at the front but not sure about supper tonight

Anyway - getting off the point. After a couple of hours I went back to the launch site (about 2 miles) dropped her off to go and find a hot bath, put the trailer in the water... went back to boat. Now the main engine on mine is normally brilliant when its been running earlier in the day, flick the key and off you go, so I have the (bad) habit of taking the lines off, jumping in, start it and away so I don't have to get out of the boat again. So I did this, and it started, ran for about 3 seconds and then stopped again ... and it wouldn't start...

By this time the offshore wind (probably near 20kt by that time) had me six feet away from the pontoon, too far to grab. A few more goes, and it definitely wasn't going to go. Panic stations is not the word - the pontoon is in a narrow channel about 200 yards wide and I was heading sideways at about 2 or 3 knots with an awfully rocky beach ahead. The little aux started after about four pulls, as always, but it's not happy providing any power when it is cold, so that stalled three or four times as soon as I put it into gear. Finally got it going and under way about 20-30 yards off the opposite (and by that time rather jagged looking) beach and headed back to the pontoon with a heartrate "a wee bit higher" and suddenly not feeling at all cold! I got it going again after a bit - I think it was just flooded and seemed fine afterwards - but a not very serious problem suddenly became very serious.

Moral of the story I guess is to make sure you've got propulsion before you commit to the high seas and just because it starts every time normally don't assume it always will! I sure as hell won't be doing that again, no harm done but it was closer than I would have liked to having more than tube problems...
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Old 01 January 2007, 14:08   #2
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Hi Stephan, that boat is really trying its luck with you.
I guess you got the Sponsons fixed.

That not knowing whether it would ever start or not was the order of the day with an old 100 hp which we found had a head cracked in half.
It was more like 2x3 in line than a six in line,, piece of crap more like.

Then got Mercury 50 4 in line on next boat, could never change 4th spark plug (lowest) without acrobatic feat leaning over head of engine cantilevered by gut and hanging out. Could not do now without induced nausia.

Then Johnson 3 cylinder 70, sweet but hunted when idleing, peace at last this was as good as it got....

Know exactly what you mean, when do you let go warps... never with a Mercury...
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Old 01 January 2007, 14:35   #3
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Hi Stephan, that boat is really trying its luck with you.
I guess you got the Sponsons fixed.
Can't really blame the boat, it was a stupid thing to do casting off without the engine running, I shouldn't have done it and I won't be doing it again (well not unless it's flat calm - I knew the wind would carry the boat away from the berth because I'd done it earlier). Sods Law indicates that something will let you down when you most need it!!! No harm done, once I got it going again it was fine, but the vision of a rapidly approaching beach will stick in my mind. I think its a good thing to scare yourself occasionally, it keeps the mind focused

The bodge up is not ideal but makes it usable on a day to day basis just looks like it is still going to need some TLC after a day in rough water. Really good fun today though, and it was rough enough that 2 jetskis sank (well the riders fell off) one of them nearly ended up on the beach as his ski was drifting so fast he couldn't catch it swimming behind it (I did offer assistance but it was declined, 20 min later it was about 10 feet from the shore so he probably wished he hasn't) ... and I saw somebody else bailing water out of a boat with a coffee mug not really a day to be out on a concoction of oil drums lashed together (which most of the rafts were made of) but only one of them capsized so they did pretty well. Wish I had got some photos but it really wasn't camera-friendly conditions!
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Old 01 January 2007, 15:54   #4
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Drifting

Know what you mean. Drifting on to lee shore, especially a rocky one is a bit of a nerve wrecker.
If I may suggest a Sea Drogue,anchor. This is a very useful addition to the Stock items on board.

I had occasion to use one when the electric pump in my boat failed due to faulty Electrical isolation Battery switch, just got to within whisker of safety when it cutout, whoosh over the side with drogue and took my time to sort out problem.

I seem to be getting help with spell checker when writing this! Is this new, very useful it is. Hopefully will tidy up my threads....
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Old 02 January 2007, 04:28   #5
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I've never found my sea anchor to be much use-it rarely even tightens the line so I've just dropped my grapnel instead (all the holding power of a slug on an ice cube but it keeps me bow into the waves).

Anyone else found the same?
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Old 02 January 2007, 04:45   #6
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I went through the "persist with the main engine or start the aux engine or drop the anchor" thought process yesterday, rather rapidly! I guess any decision that doesn't land you on the beach is the right one, but I did wonder for a while...

The other thing that occurred to me this morning is that it shows the benefit of having the aux set up and ready to go because if I'd been carrying it in the boat and had to mess around trying to get it onto the transom I would have been in deep ****.
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Old 02 January 2007, 08:43   #7
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I launched the boat, started the engine, pushed off the pier with four guests on board and as soon as I engaged the engine and tried to turn the wheel found that the shaft was solidly frozen at the engine. Oops! Lookes like a circular cruise my friends!

Even though I keep the zerk fittings well greased and wash the rig down after every use this has happend a time or two. It takes a knock or two on the fitting to free things up.

The key to all this is to pretend you're a pilot and properly "pre-flight" the systems. Cooler on board, check. Beer and ice in cooler, check. Remembered to bring the fishing rig and bait, check.
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Old 02 January 2007, 11:44   #8
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I went through the "persist with the main engine or start the aux engine or drop the anchor" thought process yesterday, rather rapidly! I guess any decision that doesn't land you on the beach is the right one, but I did wonder for a while...

The other thing that occurred to me this morning is that it shows the benefit of having the aux set up and ready to go because if I'd been carrying it in the boat and had to mess around trying to get it onto the transom I would have been in deep ****.
My usual trick is to start the engine and warm it up for a couple of minutes before casting-off and driving into a narrow or busy channel before it dies as I've not turned the petrol tap on. I then spend about 2 minutes drifting helplessly towards land/other boats as I try to restart before leaping for the auxiliary. Then realisation slowly dawns on me...

Even with my 4/5 hp Johnson only weighing 26kg it would be a real struggle if it was stored anywhere else but on the transom - its hard enough getting it in position from dry land let alone carrying it on a wet deck and slipping it past the A frame with any sea running.

By the way Stephen, if, heaven forbid, you had hit those rocks and by some awful accident punctured your toobs, would your insurance have covered a re-toob for you?
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Old 02 January 2007, 12:06   #9
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Even with my 4/5 hp Johnson only weighing 26kg it would be a real struggle if it was stored anywhere else but on the transom - its hard enough getting it in position from dry land let alone carrying it on a wet deck and slipping it past the A frame with any sea running.

By the way Stephen, if, heaven forbid, you had hit those rocks and by some awful accident punctured your toobs, would your insurance have covered a re-toob for you?
Same engine as me I guess, mine is 26kg but the 6hp version, and I agree - it not too hard to fit from dry land but I'd not like to try it in a bit of a sea, more likely to end up with engine and me in the drink instead!

I don't have any insurance because the insurance company here (only one) don't do a standard private boat owners policy due to the very small number of boats. When I enquired, they eventually decided that maybe they could do it as a one off but the cost was going to be high even for basic hull insurance excluding any third party (about 400 I think) and they needed a full Lloyds inspection on it which would no doubt have cost a bomb and they would have picked up all sorts of things that needed to be changed on the boat so I eventually decided it was too much hassle. Another "benefit" of living where I do
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