I took my maiden voyage, very short 45 mins, on Sunday with my family. On our way back, I notice the engine was running hot. I passed off the wheel to my cousin and went to check it out. The reservoir is spitting out steam and the gauge says 200. I basically put it to idle and limp back to the slip. Then checked the temp and it had gone down to 180. I had to cleanup and leave quickly, cause I was late to an engagement.
I came back today and went thru the engine. I found that the raw water intake wasn’t opened all the way. I opened it all the way and tested the engine, underload, in the slip for about 20mins and the temp never broke 120. I am happy (this will change soon) and cleaned up the boat and found that my waste tank is full. After some thought, I decided to take it to the dump spot and empty the tank.
Now, I am not a seasoned sails man, but I have about 15 plus years on powerboats from 17ft jon boats to a 56ft Motor Yacht, but no real experience with a 30+ foot sailboats. Ive talked myself into one manning my boat to the dump spot. I start to backup from the slip and head out into the main marina channel. I just get the bow past the cement pole and the engine doesn't seem right. I think to myself, I need to abort this and figure out why the engine isn't right, so I put into reverse to get it back into the slip. Hmmm, No reverse, the wind has me now in the middle of the 100ft channel, expensive boats everywhere and I have engine issues. Going reverse is not working, so I decided I will try to motor forward and find a spot to do a very slow 180 and then get the boat back into the slip. What do they say about plans? haha. I motoring forward and I am running out room, so I try to perform this maneuver. I come down the starboard initiate the turn, increased forward throttle to push the aft around, and the boat isn't responding the way I think it should, so I am now pointing down another row of slips, and I try again to reverse to slow down and backout. By this time, I am catching the attention of some liveaboards and for whatever reason they know I am in trouble. haha. One comes out and ask if I need some help. I calming informed them that I am having some engine issues and if i come close to grab the bow lines. But as I am speaking, the reverse is working now. Very slowing, but working. I begin to backup and thanked them for coming out to help, after a 2 point u-turn I calmly start heading back to my slip. Then another spectator informs me that I am not peeing any water, Now I in the middle again, trying to figure out if I can even look, but decided to just get back to the slip.
Have I mentioned I am brand new in this Marina? I’m looking at the row I need to go down, I make a very wide turn and was going to use the wind to get me into end slip, when I notice I have passed my channel.... So, I straighten out the boat and while praying I put in reverse. This time there is no luck, its not working. I see a guy on the starboard side in his slip just sitting on his boat and I ask him if he could grab my bow and told him I was having some engine issues. He looks at me, and says "What am I going to do with it?" I am still trying to think, what else go wrong. Stupid question... The bow get a slight starboard gust and is now on direct course to very nice sailboat port side, I quickly run to the bow basically was going to sacrifice arms and limbs to save both vessels. I make it time and protect both boats, now they are five more boats to protect. Now, the guy I asked for help, yells over and says "Don't hit my boat, I just had it fixed" lol.. I am now in the middle sideways being pushed by the wind towards about 5 boats. I stayed on the bow became the manual buffer zone between the boats. For whatever reason, I didn't hit any boats, but I did hit a bungy on BBQ lid, but no contact or damage. Im almost even to the last slip, I just have to clear the pole. From the bow, I have decided I have enough clearance to clear the concrete pole, so I head back to the cockpit and grab the wheel, engine is still idling, I cross everything and push the throttle and the boat moves forward past the pole. Im back in the marina channel, under power and heading towards my slip..
I point the bow to the starboard side of my slip, hit the throttle to get some forward progress and then cut the engine. And like I have down this a 1000 times the bow eases in the slip, I jump off grab the aft line secure it and the secured the rest of the lines. Yahoooo.. No damage and only slight injury. Only an hour before this debacle of a trip, I was at my Ortho getting xrays and diagnosed with issues to my 5-6 vertebrae and I am not supposed to doing any physical activity, like pushing off boats
Many lessons learned.....
1. Don’t believe the previous owners startup sheet (He never mentioned the raw water red ballvalve behind 2 red hoses.
2. A 37ft motoring sailboat is nothing like a 56ft Motor Yacht with thrusters or a 17ft river Jon boat that can turn on a dime.
3. Call a engine mechanic to come walk through you boat. Called before I left the dock.
4. many more.....