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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 05-02-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaschrumpf View Post
What's keeping your engine from running now? Are you a member over at Moyer's yet? I looked for your username but didn't find it. Keep us A4 fans posted as to your progress.
Electrical, dealing with the rats nest and yes, I'm in over my head. But thats for another thread. I'm not a member yet, just lurking for the most part. I'm going to take my time and work through her, just trying to figure out if I can raise the sails or not.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-2010
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I'm guessing you're tied up in a slip. If anybody knows a way to get out of a leeward slip under sail, let me know.

Actually, here's a thought. If you've got a dinghy with a powerful outboard, tow your boat into open water. It shouldn't be terribly difficult; tie the tow line to the bow in advance, walk the boat out of the slip, and then start towing. Or if you're berthed bow-out, you can get going right away. Make sure you have somebody at the helm.

Once you're out of the marina, you might want to stay out. Marinas scare me, and I have a working motor. Anchor somewhere for the night and sail every day; pretty soon you will be confident enough to sail back into the marina when conditions are right. Ideally you have a job that is flexible in this way, or no job at all.

Actually, why go back into the marina at all... there must be a mooring field around. Move your boat there and then you never need a motor.

p.s. Does your marina have a rule against briefly running a line from your boat to a cleat on the corresponding slip one dock over, and back again? If not I have another idea for how you can get out of your slip without a motor.
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Last edited by AdamLein; 05-02-2010 at 10:24 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed031 View Post
Electrical, dealing with the rats nest and yes, I'm in over my head. But thats for another thread. I'm not a member yet, just lurking for the most part. I'm going to take my time and work through her, just trying to figure out if I can raise the sails or not.
We've had quite a few threads over at Moyer's about rewiring the A4. They even sell a kit for rewiring the A4, with exact wire guages and colors for each use. I found it a bit pricey, and did it myself with wire from local vendors, but YMMV. There's lots of wiring diagrams available if you search the forums -- some amazingly complex with chargers and stuff built in, and some that are just straightforward setups with just what is necessary to make an A4 run.

This is a great diagram to start with. You can find many others that include the house distribution panel, like this thread.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
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  #14  
Old 05-03-2010
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ED031,
Since you asked, have you considered what to do when a big ship or barge is coming down on you? Suggest you don't go out until you have some sort reliable power.
For what it is worth, Dabnis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed031 View Post
Hi, I have a (new to me) Columbia 31 with a Atomic 4 that is not running at the moment. I am new to sailing and want to get some time under sail, practice and learn the boat. What difficulties would I have taking her out with auxiliary power? or should I just wait until I get the motor up and running?

Thanks

Ed
Ed, sailing a 31' unpowered boat in and out of a marina requires a great deal of skill. I have never known a novice who had that skill. The consequence of a mistake is that you might lose control and run into and damage other boats, and there's a high likelihood that you'll make such a mistake(s).

If you want to practice sailing, I suggest you get a small, inexpensive sailing dinghy, until your engine is up and running, or crew on racing boats. In either case, you'll learn a lot.

I agree that the A4 is a wonderful old engine. It's very simple and reliable, and fairly inexpensive to maintain, and, notwithstanding the concerns about gas engines generally, it's safe. My engine is a diesel, but I have sailed on a friend's A4 powered boat a great deal, in all conditions, and it is an impressive little engine.
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AdamLein's idea is good. You'll need a dinghy anyway for cruising, so get one now. If you're shorthanded, consider "hipping" the dinghy alongside, next to the cockpit, made fast tightly bow and stern. this will work in calm water, like in the harbor. Take it slow (since reverse, if you have one, won't be very effective), then let the dinghy trail aft when you get into open, or rougher, water (not too rough though, you don't want to swamp the dinghy while it's alongside).

Returning to slip with hipped dinghy, get your nose halfway into the slip, then let the dinghy trail aft. You should be able to pull yourself the rest of the way in with the mooring lines you left on the slip for that purpose. This idea would work "backwards" too, for when you're backing out of the slip. With the dinghy hipped-up, you'd be able to back your "flotilla" with at least some control.

When I was a kid, working around a boatyard, we used a small skiff/Whaler with 10-hp outboard, hipped up alongside yachts much heavier than yours, to shift them around the harbor, it worked well. Also, around then, I grew up with a *lot* of Atomic (and Utility) Fours, they worked fine and the gasoline wasn't a problem if you took the usual precautions (meaning get down near the bilge and sniff first). Less vibration than a diesel, and with a crank handle, you could even start them by hand if the battery was too low to turn the engine over.

Last edited by nolatom; 05-03-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabnis View Post
have you considered what to do when a big ship or barge is coming down on you?
Follow the rules and etiquette as stated in all the books, I guess? Give way to vessels restricted in ability to maneuver, stay out of lanes except when crossing perpendicularly, make course changes clearly and well in advance. Is this a trick question?

You know that sailboats don't have to start their motors every time a big ship or barge shows up, right?
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  #18  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
with a crank handle, you could even start them by hand if the battery was too low to turn the engine over.
So awesome
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  #19  
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Adam,

My point was what to do when the wind dies. I have always considered any boat much bigger than mine to have the right of way. I agree with all of your points as long as you have enough wind to make some sort of headway.

Dabnis
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The ship thing depends on wear you live

On Long Island Sound and in towards NYC they are pushing a LOT of long barges and i have gotten to close even trying to power away

Out east around Shelter Island the north and south fairys will make you nervous even in a powerboat that can move pretty fast
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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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