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Old 18 September 2012, 01:43   #1
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newbie warning

I'm an eager newbie / fool ???? Went out from rye saturday, tide was running fast and high. Started to go out into the channel from the ramp, as I went out engine stopped. So I was drifting across in the tide and river current, hating Bill Higham, "sorry Bill , wasnt you" preying to the holy father. Keeping cool , was the only way out, I knew that. Anyway grabbed the harbour master boat , lashed on, pumped the fuel , gave it choke, it went , was ok. Thought it was because I havent yet used the engine enough in three months and was coldish and needed a bit of fast idle, there were two rnli "hero's" watching and I was having a laugh with them as it was happening, so I new it wasnt that bad or they wouldnt have been so relaxed about it. Anyway I went out, was going up the channel and it happened again , the engine just stopped. This time there were two big boats comming in towards me, "if your not nearly dying your not living right ???? " I didnt want to be living in that way right now, believe me !!! I started turning the engine over with choke , and all I got was "Horror film car wont start syndrome! " boats comming at me , from a distance , I had some time, but realised that I was in a very very dodgey situation , without a suitable paddle or an anchor and with an engine that wont start, not very cleaver, so I gave it a good choke and it started. Few !!! , no actually PHEEEEEEW !!!!!! Then I just had to get out the way right??? But , had the big boats allready altered their course? , if so I would go over to the right lane, they would be then comming at me , I would move, they would move, and could easily just get into a right mess over which way to go, I know you give way to bigger boats , pass on port, correct me if I am wrong , but the big boats cant just switch left and right as they need time to alter there course. Luckily I got over in time for all vessels to get back on track and STILL WENT OUT. I did have a radio, life jacket, etc. I was on my own as well. Bit mental , yeh, but the brine does just drag you out doesnt it, mentally and physically. Anyway cutting a long story short, I went out for about an hour and half , with the engine still intermittent, but only didnt start first time , not conking out. Anyway , on the way back , engine stopped again , opposite the launch , this time tide was pushing me out and a big fishing boat was comming , all got very scarey, but I survived. I was worried about the engine, I paid top dollar for it and was ......... well you know , gutted. When I got home I looked over the boat and found that the connecter on the fuel tank, where it fixes , not where the fuel goes in, have slightly come out of its locating hole and was letting a little bit of air in the fuel pipe.

CONCLUSION. I could have bothered to check the boat right over first time it happened and stopped two potential accidents, with 4 boats. Shouldnt have got out in a running tidal launch without at least getting a dangers overview from someone who's familiar with it. A harbour is not a river slip way , it like pulling out on the M25 that moves around, or should be thought of as potentially being so. Allways take a big paddle, I had a small one , and have an anchor allways when going out from a place thats busy , basically the sea.
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Old 18 September 2012, 02:42   #2
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Hi sounds interesting!
If it makes you feel better the same happened to me 3 weeks ago near Falmouth. I was on my Honwave 3.8m and had already covered several miles with no problems. We had lunch at a cove and I rowed out to deeper water to start the engine only to find it would start and stop after a few seconds. By this time I was drifting in the wind towards an outcrop of rocks!
I had oars and managed to row to a sheltered spot where I then checked everything, to find the connecter to the tank had just been dislodged slightly. It was then that my son told me he caught it getting into the boat!!
That's after 4 years of using the Honwave and never having that problem before. That's why having good safety kit is important I had the anchor,radio,flares if needed but probably not at this time as I was right under the view of the
Falmouth Marine Coastguard Agencies window.
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Old 18 September 2012, 02:49   #3
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Hi sounds interesting!
If it makes you feel better the same happened to me 3 weeks ago near Falmouth. I was on my Honwave 3.8m and had already covered several miles with no problems. We had lunch at a cove and I rowed out to deeper water to start the engine only to find it would start and stop after a few seconds. By this time I was drifting in the wind towards an outcrop of rocks!
I had oars and managed to row to a sheltered spot where I then checked everything, to find the connecter to the tank had just been dislodged slightly. It was then that my son told me he caught it getting into the boat!!
That's after 4 years of using the Honwave and never having that problem before. That's why having good safety kit is important I had the anchor,radio,flares if needed but probably not at this time as I was right under the view of the
Falmouth Marine Coastguard Agencies window.
It great really because its another thing I know to check now and it didnt kill me. Really though, for the sake of pushing a pipe on , you could lose your life.
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Old 18 September 2012, 03:33   #4
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Hi. Yep the sea is a interesting place to be.
Tides and wind all give you something to think about.

I had a similar issue once.
was heading out of a pleasure harbour past the commercial harbour and as I hit the throttle the OBM died! just as a couple of fishing boats were heading out. !!
Bugger!
restarted fine and ran at idle ok.
hit it again and it died leaving me drifting to the harbour wall and its large rocks!
restarted and slowly chugged in.
turns out was the stator coil gone!

I checked everything, oil, fuel, + lines, electrics the works.
700 euro (service and stator) later it was all good to go :-)

so sometimes you can check everything and still things go wrong.
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Old 18 September 2012, 03:46   #5
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Spareribs - you asked for some advice: What the "cheapest" way to stay safe at sea? there were some valuable tips in there on PB2 and RNLI Seacheck (or whatever its called now). Both will help you go equipped for what lies beyond the harbour wall. Please take that advice; whilst there is a lot to be said for learning by trial and error the sea is rarely forgiving. You need to be aware of the "incident pit" - essentially when trivial issues lead to a chain of events that gets worse and worse. When you understand it you wouldn't have continued for a couple of hours with a dodgy engine and no serious alternative form of propulsion.

My 'learning points' from your incident would be slightly different:

(1) A fuel primer bulb should go stiff if the whole fuel system is working properly. It can be a useful diagnostic to get a feel for this.
(2) If you have a suspect engine make sure you have a serious alternative form of propulsion (auxiliary engine; proper oars or paddles and enough man power to use them - its much harder than you think; a friend with a rope).
(3) A shipping lane is not the best place to be testing a new or dodgy engine.
(4) You don't want the 'surprise' of the effects of tide/current and your first 'crisis' at sea to be on a new boat on your first outing. Far better to get some experience under controlled circumstanced first.

Quote:
and could easily just get into a right mess over which way to go, I know you give way to bigger boats , pass on port, correct me if I am wrong
Give way to bigger boats is an over simplification, whilst it makes sense it is wrong, which means the skipper of other boats can predict less what you will do. Personally in your shoes I'd have taken the shortest* route towards shallow water (where the big guy is unlikely to follow).

*obviously not crossing in front of anyone etc.
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Old 18 September 2012, 05:19   #6
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And don't forget your anchor! A surprisingly useful bit of safety kit.
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Old 18 September 2012, 05:58   #7
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I like your post, and can relate to all of it... but..

If my marine engine ever stops for no obvious reason I would never go out again until it was recified and prooved in a safe bit of water / tank test. At sea, your life is your engine running.

The first time I went out in my boat I was very disapointed with the performance, very poor... then after a good few seconds I remembered that my very large transom wheels were still down.... on the menai straights, with a 3 year old and wife on board.... Your mind is full and things can get over looked.....
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Old 18 September 2012, 06:25   #8
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I like the post too, its all food for thought for a fellow newbie.

Out of interest is it the "done thing" for SIB owners to have an auxiliary outboard or do most rely on paddle power in times of failure?
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Old 18 September 2012, 07:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
And don't forget your anchor! A surprisingly useful bit of safety kit.
+1
essential piece of kit that's often overlooked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyonestone View Post
I like the post too, its all food for thought for a fellow newbie.

Out of interest is it the "done thing" for SIB owners to have an auxiliary outboard or do most rely on paddle power in times of failure?
No it's not generally the "done thing" unless you have plans on crossing busy deep water shiping lanes on a regular basis. but always a comforting and confidence building thought to have one.

The great thing with rib's and sib's paticularly, is they don't need great depth, so we don't have the restrictions that these larger craft have, and therefore should stay out of shipping lanes, unless crossing is necessary, It's much safer to stay on the boundaries, keeping shipping lanes clear for deep draft vessels, infact mca guidlines state that all shallow draft vessels should take great caution when crossing or entering lanes.

I know i've joked about it before concerning larger craft, but with smaller sibs you'd be amazed how effective hanging of the back and kicking like ... with divers flipper's on, you aint gonna fight any current but you can cross and travel with tide. I know this method works from younger days experience being out in small sailing dingies and then having the wind totaly die on you., in an outright emergency anythings worth a try, but be prepered for cold water shock, but then better then being ploughed down.
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Old 18 September 2012, 11:46   #10
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proper oars or paddles and enough man power to use them - its much harder than you think
Couldn't agree more! Took my eldest daughter out a while back, on my little 16' open bass fisher (essentially a large rowing boat), for a gentle row and picnic on the River Hamble.

Rowed out from the public slip, next to Moody's, pottered about on the river, dropped anchor out of the way, had a bite to eat and then plodded back.

Then the tide turned and the wind picked up... I'd not consider myself weak and it was only me, my twelve year old and an open fishing boat, but it took nearly 45 minutes constant rowing to get back about the last 400yds. I was knackered and pulling so hard I broke one of the rowlocks clean off the side of the boat.

We laughed about it, but only as I didn't want my daughter to realise quite how surprised and knackered I was!
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