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lajimo 05-27-2013 10:28 AM

the key to sailing
So I'm out solo the other day, very nice 3 hr reach in modest wind. It's going on early afternoon as I come about for the return trip and the wind seems to die a bit on the new tack. Decided to crank up the engine and motor sail - put the key in and turn - and the key breaks off with a good sized piece stuck in the ignition. And I didn't even turn it hard - really!
Hmmmm. Get out my smallest screwdriver and try to tickle the broken piece out of the ignition but no dice. Try to put the remaining key in on top of the broken spot and wedge the turn - nope.
Winds picked up and I'm making good speed but to get back into marina will eventually need to go directly into the north breeze so I really have to fix this. No hurry though, will be hrs before I'm back, so time to mull things over with a beer.
After thinking it over for 20 minutes or so I decide to remove the entire engine instrument cover - its mounted into lower side of my cockpit. Ignition is a cylinder with 5-6 wires coming out of the top. Hmmm. Two of these must be connected by the key switch - which two? Oh well, get long screwdriver and try connecting them in pairs. Success! 4th pair cranks the engine right over and it starts up. Time for another beer.
Later back in the slip I was able to tap back of the ignition cylinder and get the broken bit out. Reassembled and it still works fine. Sometimes it all works out :)

Sal Paradise 05-27-2013 11:29 AM

Re: the key to sailing
Congrats . Yeah, same thing for me except lost my key overboard... although I was able to access the ignition and starter wires without taking anything apart. Probably took me 15 minutes to think of it, and 15 minutes to do it.....

asdf38 05-27-2013 11:42 AM

Re: the key to sailing
Sounds like a great sail

It recently occurred to me that I should have aligator clips onboard for electrical debug just like this.

mad_machine 05-27-2013 02:35 PM

Re: the key to sailing
As the previous owner of many an italian car, I recommend alligator clips for bypassing dead switches

SchockT 05-27-2013 02:38 PM

Re: the key to sailing
Yeah make sure your jumper wire is a heavy enough gauge for the current draw. It probably wouldn't br a bad idea to mark the correct wires to jump for emergency starting. The trial and error method could make the situation worse!

CatMan22 05-27-2013 02:46 PM

Re: the key to sailing
Nothing like a great McGuyver ending to a day out sailing. There's a real sense of accomplishment when it all works out.

Capt Len 05-27-2013 03:14 PM

Re: the key to sailing
If the engine has a solenoid fuel shut off you'll need two jumpers. One to engage fuel ( hot to injector pump) and the other to jump the hot to starter .

fryewe 05-27-2013 10:52 PM

Re: the key to sailing
First owner of my boat deliberately broke the key while it was in the ignition deep enough for starting. Stubby flat bladed screwdriver is my key and there is no danger of not being able to turn the ignition.

I like your troubleshooting guide:
- 1. Get beer. Open.
- 2. Mull while drinking beer.
- 3. After mulling take action.
- 4. Continue taking action until problem is solved.

Alex W 05-27-2013 10:56 PM

Re: the key to sailing
Is it a Yanmar?

My favorite trick there is that they all use the same key. I'm not actually convinced that there are tumblers in the key switch, a screwdriver seems to work too.

fryewe 05-28-2013 12:40 AM

Re: the key to sailing
It's a Yanmar. Perhaps they are like John Deere tractors which use Yanmars. There are only two keys for John Deere tractors for all models. The key for my tractor will start tractors all over the country.

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