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post #1 of 20 Old 05-13-2008 Thread Starter
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Mechanic

Good Day All
I have an interesting tale to tell and a question.

I put my sailboat in the water and after checking all the seacocks, fuel shutoffs etc (I have a Hunter 326 with a 3G Yanmar diesel) and after letting it idle for atleast 10-15 minutes I put the boat in gear and started to get under weigh for the first time this season.

The boat promptly stalled once I was in the channel. I was fortunate that the winds were light and I was blown back to a T dock at the same marina. No crime no foul.

Obviously, what happened was all my fault and I was fortunate that everything went well (aside from an elevated heart rate?!?)

What I learned was my diesel was not primed. The fuel in my primary filter was maybe 3/4 and the filter just before the injectors was 2/3 full. My stalling was a result of the engine not being primed.

This is the second year I had with boat and my first mechanic did everything with me right there. He made certain that he showed me he changed all the bits/filters/impellers and that after he changed the filters he primed the filters. The engine started up and ran just fine last year.

My new mechanic did not want me around (not that I blame him) but it appears that he did not prime the filters with diesel fuel? Could he have and the filters drained this year during the winter layup?

I know I did make a rookie mistake and was lucky.

However, my question (sorry for the long winded fill in) is, what should I expect of a mechanic when he does the engine winterizing; filters, oil, impeller, and engine zinc?


Your thoughts?

Ian Lyons
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Hunter 326
Narragansett Bay
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post #2 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Originally Posted by lyonsian View Post
My new mechanic did not want me around (not that I blame him) but it appears that he did not prime the filters with diesel fuel? Could he have and the filters drained this year during the winter layup?

Your thoughts?
Any hired contractor or company - "Not wanting you around" is a bad sign. You have a right and in my opinion an obligation to be around anytime sometime works on your vessel if you so desire to be there. It is the only way to know the work is done right or to learn more about your systems.

Just my 2 cents... but out of all the suggestions you get - if you ever encounter this particular situation, find someone that will embrace your desire to be there.

-- Jody

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post #3 of 20 Old 05-13-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyonsian View Post
Good Day All
I have an interesting tale to tell and a question.

I put my sailboat in the water and after checking all the seacocks, fuel shutoffs etc (I have a Hunter 326 with a 3G Yanmar diesel) and after letting it idle for atleast 10-15 minutes I put the boat in gear and started to get under weigh for the first time this season.

The boat promptly stalled once I was in the channel. I was fortunate that the winds were light and I was blown back to a T dock at the same marina. No crime no foul.

Obviously, what happened was all my fault and I was fortunate that everything went well (aside from an elevated heart rate?!?)

What I learned was my diesel was not primed. The fuel in my primary filter was maybe 3/4 and the filter just before the injectors was 2/3 full. My stalling was a result of the engine not being primed.

This is the second year I had with boat and my first mechanic did everything with me right there. He made certain that he showed me he changed all the bits/filters/impellers and that after he changed the filters he primed the filters. The engine started up and ran just fine last year.

My new mechanic did not want me around (not that I blame him) but it appears that he did not prime the filters with diesel fuel? Could he have and the filters drained this year during the winter layup?

I know I did make a rookie mistake and was lucky.

However, my question (sorry for the long winded fill in) is, what should I expect of a mechanic when he does the engine winterizing; filters, oil, impeller, and engine zinc?


Your thoughts?

Jody is absolutely correct. You have every right to be present and to oversee any work done on you boat.
I like to be involved with any work that I pay for. Whether it's for my boat, my house or my car for that matter.

But what happened to your first mechanic?
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post #4 of 20 Old 05-14-2008 Thread Starter
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Cont'd Mechanic

However, should a mechanic be responsible for the priming, or should I have just expected the basics..the filters replaced.

Ian

Ian Lyons
Sea Lyons
Hunter 326
Narragansett Bay
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post #5 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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The boat should be ready to go!

I fixed your flat tire but you have to put the air in it!
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post #6 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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It is somewhat strange, though, that after 15 minutes of idling the engine shut down. If there was no prime - I would expect the engine to shut down almost immediately, or do the usual coughing and sneezing associated with air in the fuel lines. Once it runs fior 15 minutes, presumably prime is there. Could there be an issue with the filters perhaps? Something as easy as filter cover not being tightly screwed on?
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post #7 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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Lionsian
1. Give that mechanic his walking papers.
2. Take a course in basic diesel maintenance. Or self study.
2A. Take a course in basic electricity. Or self study.
3. Have the manual for your particular engine on board and drawings of the fuel system and electrical system for your vessel.
4. Study and gain an understanding of those systems and the engine.


All of the above will stand you in good stead. The reason I say this is because I have been the Paid Captain and the operating engineer of a lot of boats. And if I have an engineer on board, I don't want him to snow about anything in the engine room. So there is a need to be more knowledgeable

Above all else: Have Fun and be safe out there

1600 Ton Master, 2nd Mate Unlimited Tonnage

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post #8 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brak View Post
It is somewhat strange, though, that after 15 minutes of idling the engine shut down. If there was no prime - I would expect the engine to shut down almost immediately, or do the usual coughing and sneezing associated with air in the fuel lines. Once it runs fior 15 minutes, presumably prime is there. Could there be an issue with the filters perhaps? Something as easy as filter cover not being tightly screwed on?
This was my thought as well. I've had the retaining ring on my primary filter back off enough to spill fuel after not tightening it securely (man, am I glad that was not gas). It seems improbable that it would run well for that long with that much air in the system.

As far as the mechanic goes, I would expect to be welcome to observe his work. If not, then I would find another mechanic. I know a number of mechanics feel that the owner's presence is an inconvenience and a distraction. All the same, it's your boat and your check.

-Jason

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post #9 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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Boasun's right....especially since, when you're 20 miles off-shore....there's no mechanic on-call if your engine has issues... and the more you know, the better the chance that you can fix it or jury rig something to get you home safely.

Sailingdog

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post #10 of 20 Old 05-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Any hired contractor or company - "Not wanting you around" is a bad sign. You have a right and in my opinion an obligation to be around anytime sometime works on your vessel if you so desire to be there. It is the only way to know the work is done right or to learn more about your systems.

Just my 2 cents... but out of all the suggestions you get - if you ever encounter this particular situation, find someone that will embrace your desire to be there.
I agree with you.
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