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Old 16-11-2013, 00:44   #1
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Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the water ?

Hi Cruisers,

Me and my mrs have been travelling the med on our Dufour 2800 for the past months. Now we are travelling up the Rhone but the power was to strong for us. So, we spoke to a captain in a barge ship and we are, as we speak, being towed up the river.

Now, when towed, we left the engine in neutral, and the shaft i spinning rather fast and not making a pleasant sound. We left it in neutral because we thought that leaving it in gear would put much pressure on the gearbox.

Is it ok to leave it in gear while being towed upstream, and if so, should we leave it in forward or backwards?

I hope I get a quick reply as we are currently being towed.

With Regards,

Reynir and Anna
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Old 16-11-2013, 00:57   #2
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Hello Reynir,
We have a fairly new Yanmar motor with a shaft drive in our yacht. It states very clearly in our manual to leave the motor in neutral when sailing with the motor off. Damage can be occasioned to the gearbox and warranties voided if put into reverse or forward.


Greg and Sue
Southerly Miss
Australia
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Old 16-11-2013, 01:06   #3
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

You need to tell us what gear box you have.

For Herth boxes one needs to put in reverse and the same for fluid drive boxes.
And if you have a folding prop, it won't make any difference on a yanmar. But with a feathering prop you have to put in reverse or else it will not feather.
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Old 16-11-2013, 03:19   #4
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

For a Maxprop that's correct...or do as they instruct, kill the engine when it is in fwd gear idling.......however, on DIVA that never worked, we always had to put it in reverse and then listen to hear that it had stopped spinning and then neutral, feathered.
On our new boat with an Autoprop, the shaft has to be locked to get the prop to feather. Amel thoughtfully have provided a hydraulic shaft brake which is activated when the engine is turned off.
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Old 16-11-2013, 04:03   #5
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Hi again, we are still being towed and I left the engine in neutral.
I dont know what sort of gearbox is on the engine but it is a Nanni 12hp engine, 2005 model if that helps.

The sound from the propeller running is not pleasant as it is.

Thank you all for the responses, we feel quite helpless here.

Reynir and Anna
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Old 16-11-2013, 04:17   #6
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Ok so I located the manual for the engine online,. It states clearly that I should have it set astern, or neutral. If neutral I should not run it for long. So at the next lock we are setting it on astern.

With regards,
Reynir and Anna
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Old 16-11-2013, 05:41   #7
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Reynir.

Glad you got it sorted out.
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Old 16-11-2013, 09:38   #8
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reynir View Post
Ok so I located the manual for the engine online,. It states clearly that I should have it set astern, or neutral. If neutral I should not run it for long. So at the next lock we are setting it on astern.

With regards,
Reynir and Anna
You can shift it while it's moving.
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Old 16-11-2013, 17:53   #9
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
You need to tell us what gear box you have.

For Herth boxes one needs to put in reverse and the same for fluid drive boxes.
And if you have a folding prop, it won't make any difference on a yanmar. But with a feathering prop you have to put in reverse or else it will not feather.
I wondered about this. I put mine in reverse just so I don't have to hear the vibration. But over 5kts the blade vibrate with a whirrrrrr
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Old 16-11-2013, 18:44   #10
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I wondered about this. I put mine in reverse just so I don't have to hear the vibration. But over 5kts the blade vibrate with a whirrrrrr
I've heard that before. I assume it's a 3 blade prop??? Have you tried lining up one of the blades with the strut/rudder? (Mark the shaft)

I've also heard rudders hummmm, surfing down waves.
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Old 16-11-2013, 20:28   #11
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
I've heard that before. I assume it's a 3 blade prop??? Have you tried lining up one of the blades with the strut/rudder? (Mark the shaft)

I've also heard rudders hummmm, surfing down waves.
Actually I kinda dig it. When I'm off watch and my crew member screws around with the sails, slowing the boat down, I can hear the ring go away and yell at him...
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Old 18-11-2013, 12:59   #12
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

CS

"Actually I kinda dig it. When I'm off watch and my crew member screws around with the sails, slowing the boat down, I can hear the ring go away and yell at him..."

My, but you must be a hard hearted captain to yell at the crew......LOL
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Old 19-11-2013, 03:14   #13
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
For Herth boxes one needs to put in reverse and the same for fluid drive boxes.
??? I'm guessing that "fluid drive" means hydraulic. If so you are giving incorrect info that will potentially damage the OP's transmission, especially under tow. BTW Hurth manufacture mechanical as well as hydraulic transmissions.
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Old 19-11-2013, 12:20   #14
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the watet?

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Originally Posted by NoTies View Post
??? I'm guessing that "fluid drive" means hydraulic. If so you are giving incorrect info that will potentially damage the OP's transmission, especially under tow. BTW Hurth manufacture mechanical as well as hydraulic transmissions.
I doubt a Dufour 2800 would have a hyd/fluid drive trans. But here's the owners manual for a smaller ZF trans.
Owner's Manual ZF M - Yanmar on www.gobookee.org - free eBook download


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Old 20-11-2013, 03:06   #15
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Re: Should I leave engine in neutral or in gear when towed in the water ?

The gearbox you show is mechanical, not fluid (hydraulic) drive. Your post #3 says for fluid drive gearboxes to put in astern. This is wrong and could be expensive, especially in a towing situation.
To the OP. beware of advice on forums (including mine) seek guidance from the manufacturer.
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