Engine dies, what would you do..... - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
 Not a Member? 

Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-10-2007
DrB DrB is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 966
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 8
DrB will become famous soon enough
Engine dies, what would you do.....

My biggest fear is having my engine die on me while traversing a very dense, and filled, mooring field.

Looking to see how folks would react in the following situation.

You start your engine and everything is operating fine. There is a bit of breeze and current and you start making your way through the mooring field towards open water. Boat sizes are any where from 20 to 50 ft, your boat is 32 ft. Clearence between each boat is 60 to 80 ft. All of sudden the alarm to your engine goes off. Do you:
  1. Leave the motor running and head for the most open water that you can get to in a minute or less to do your next action
  2. Immediately shut the engine down and try to get a sail up and trimmed and try to sail her out of the mooring field
  3. Drop anchor immediately, hope it bites, and get bumper set up for any potential collisions while you signal for a tow
  4. Something else?

Another question, do folks normal hoist their main sail at their mooring, or soon after if at a dock, and then motor out or hoist the sails after they have motored out and are in open water where they have alot more room to manuever? My question mainly applies to larger boats (25+ feet). I have sailed a Soling to and from a mooring, but that is way more responsive than my boat. Assume a breezy day.

DrB

Last edited by DrB; 08-10-2007 at 10:49 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-10-2007
Rickm505's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 770
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Rickm505 is on a distinguished road
I'd look pretty silly hoisting a mainsail in my marina slip. We hoist sails after we clear the marina breakwater and are in clear water.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-10-2007
bestfriend's Avatar
Hitchin' a ride
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In my mind, I live in Oslo
Posts: 3,191
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
bestfriend is a jewel in the rough bestfriend is a jewel in the rough bestfriend is a jewel in the rough
You're gonna get a whole bunch of different answers for this. In my marina, the experienced sailors, and some not so, motor back into the fairway, then hoist the main and sail out with the motor in neutral. You tack on the upwind, make the turn and then head straight downwind out the marina. From a safety standpoint, if you know what you are doing, it gives you another option if your motor dies. What happens if you are motoring out of the marina and your motor dies and your sail is not up? You will quickly drift, or get blown in our marina's case, into another boat and the dock. Unless you have a few people to fend off, most here prefer to sail out. Mooring is a little different, you may have more room to drift and get your main up. Although I am not of this caliber, there is a lot of experience at our Marina. I just motor with the sail at the ready.
__________________
Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


Vaya con Dios

Last edited by bestfriend; 08-10-2007 at 11:14 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-10-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 288
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
FrankLanger is on a distinguished road
Assuming you have a diesel engine, I check oil, coolant, fan belt tension, raw water strainer and fuel filter (clear plastic reservoir) to ensure everything looks good before I start the engine. Then I run it at the dock for 5 - 10 minutes to warm it up, ensure there is water coming out the exhaust and that the gauges loook good. Then if all is well, I leave the marina under motor power, but with sail cover off and all lines ready to raise the sail. Once we are well clear of the marina, dock lines are stowed, fenders removed and stowed, life jackets donned if we are wearing them that day (depending on conditions) and as we head out of the bay I'll start watching for opportunities to raise the mainsail depending on wind direction, boat traffic, etc. I raise the mainsail first, ensure it is good, before unfurling and trimming the headsail.
Usually this approach works well, and minimizes the likelihood that the engine will have problems at that point.
Hope that helps.
Frank.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-10-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
EHockman is on a distinguished road
Losing an engine is always a big deal if you are not ready and in a bad spot, but it does not have to be if you have practiced a few times without the mooring field and surrounding boats. Try sailing into an anchorage without the motor and without surrounding boats a few times - learn how to start and stop your sailboat with sails alone. It can be done.

Each situation will be different and require a different response. If the engine dies and you have room, you might want to drop the anchor so that you don't have a lot going on while you troubleshoot. If you can coast to a mooring, that's even better. If your only option is open water, then that's where you go. Try to pick the solution that won't cause damage to you or anyone else and will result in a dead-stop as soon as possible to troubleshoot the motor. But until you are stopped, sail your boat first and deal with the motor second.

Anytime I leave the dock, mooring, or anchorage, I have my halyards connected and ready to hoist. My sheets are free and ready to use. If anything goes wrong and I need my sails, I want to get them up fast and from the cockpit simply by hauling on the halyards so that I can at least make basic manuvers. Often, all I need is the jib, so that's the first thing I'll go for since it can't take my head off and won't jam in the slide (like my main) if the wind is wrong when I raise it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-10-2007
pirateofcapeann's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Gloucester, Mass. USA
Posts: 373
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 13
pirateofcapeann is on a distinguished road
Well, assuming you’ve taken good care of your motor, the likelihood of this happening is minimal. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way! But, for grins, let’s say that this scenario happened aboard the ol’ Jesse Boyce.

First, I’d throttle down! Take the load off of the engine but maintain headway.

Second, I’d take a quick look and listen. This may point to a quickly correctable problem. A broken belt? Closed seacock? Something squealing? Smell anything burning? Is she vibrating excessively? Do the gauges show that she’s overheating or has no oil pressure?

Third, Shut her down. She’ll fore-travel a ways before she stops. You most likely will have enough momentum to make for an empty mooring or into an area where you can anchor.

Forth, Always have a sail ready to hoist before you get under way. Not only for the possibility of motor troubles but running around prepping your sails is a lot safer in the calm confines of the marina then out in a rough seaway.
__________________
________________________#\__
"Who would go to sea for pleasure
would go to hell for pastime."

PoCA
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-10-2007
DrB DrB is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 966
Thanks: 0
Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Rep Power: 8
DrB will become famous soon enough
These are great answers...

Thanks.

My engine is well maintained. Before we go out, I check the oil level, fuel filter, sea strainer, look for loose stuff, and check the belts. I run it for a few minutes (5+), and look for the steady stream of water out the back. If all those pass, I start the adressing the sails. We remove the mainsail cover and attach the halyard.

The final thing with the sails that we do is undo the jib furler line and ready the jib sheets to unroll the jib and loosen the main's sheet which loosens the boom which allows the sail to be raised

I then go back and check the guages on the engine and relook to make sure the engine has a good fow of exhaust water. If everything checks, we prepare to leave.

When we are ready to leave. I have my wife put the transmission in reverse and I watch the mooring lines. If they tighten, I have her quickly put it back in neutral, and then forward to remove the mooring line tension so that I can remove the lines. By putting it in reverse first, if the propeller is loose, it will spin off the shaft and the lines wouldn't tighten, whereas forward, I was told it may not. Better to have the propeller spin off now than after we have left.

Once off, we then head directly for the open channel area. I can raise the sail in leas than 15 seconds and have the jib out in less than 10 if need be.

I will practice sailing around my mooring field when it is empty to see how easy/hard it is with our boat.

DrB
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-10-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
marvshirley is on a distinguished road
If your engine dies while in a dense mooring field you might be able to coast or drift alongside another boat. Just make sure you have fenders set before you come alongside.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-11-2007
Owner, Green Bay Packers
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 10,318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Depending on the area, it's wise to have an anchor cleared, ready to let go.

If you think about it, all the areas where you will get in trouble are areas where an anchor, quickly deployed, will save your butt. If the water is deeper than what you'd anchor in, it is unlikely there will be any moorings or boats to contend with. If you are in deep enough water, but getting blown down and really want to check on the engine problem, you can walk the anchor out to fifty feet or more. You can then go below to check on your sick putt-putt with a modicum of assurance that you'll fetch up before running aground.
__________________
“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-11-2007
arbarnhart's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 761
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
arbarnhart is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by bestfriend View Post
You're gonna get a whole bunch of different answers for this. In my marina, the experienced sailors, and some not so, motor back into the fairway, then hoist the main and sail out with the motor in neutral. You tack on the upwind, make the turn and then head straight downwind out the marina. From a safety standpoint, if you know what you are doing, it gives you another option if your motor dies. What happens if you are motoring out of the marina and your motor dies and your sail is not up? You will quickly drift, or get blown in our marina's case, into another boat and the dock. Unless you have a few people to fend off, most here prefer to sail out. Mooring is a little different, you may have more room to drift and get your main up. Although I am not of this caliber, there is a lot of experience at our Marina. I just motor with the sail at the ready.
I like this idea the most by far; if I ever get a larger boat I want to treat the engine as "plan B" in prety much every situation (right now, my real answer is to paddle on out ). But if the sails were not up, it would depend on how quickly I could get sail power as to whether I went for that or anchored. If it was simple as pulling a jib sheet to unfurl and then have enough control to ease on out, then that is what I would do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Runaway Diesel Engine Ben Hilke Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 07-19-2004 09:00 PM
Caring for the Cruising Outboard Doreen Gounard Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 04-22-2003 09:00 PM
Surveying a Diesel Engine Tom Wood Buying a Boat Articles 0 01-26-2003 08:00 PM
Surveying a Diesel Engine Tom Wood Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 01-26-2003 08:00 PM
Replacing the Diesel Engine Sue & Larry Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 06-12-2000 09:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:02 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.