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Old 11-06-2016, 02:41   #1
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First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

I posted this as a reply to asking for help getting my boat home from Dana Point to King Harbor. I thought it deserved its own thread though.


My buddy that talked me into getting a boat came along.

We got on the boat and everything started right up, It was fairly still so we were going to motor out. We made it a whole 100 yards before the motor went out. I got a quick lessen on how to use the rudder for power.

I had kinked an O-ring on the fuel filter and we loss suction. I had a spare but we decided to get a basic 5/16 as a spare just incase. it's a whole lot faster to get on and you can see the flow with the clear plastic. It wouldn't be a permanent fix.

Off we go again. 8am. About an hour and a half into the trip and I get sea sick. FML! I had used a couple different bands but that didn't do anything.
Then about 45 min later the motor makes a squealing noise and is smoking, like a belt was failing, it also felt like the trans was really hot. The motor never went over 160 deg. So we shut it down and started sailing.
Mind you I'm down, I'm not learning anything except that the next time I go out I'll have a patch on. we were making around 3-4 knots.

About the time we got to the derricks off of Huntington we lost all wind. Down to about a mile an hour. It's 2:30 and I say were calling a tow. We are concerned about crossing the Long beach and LA harbor shipping lanes and making it around PV.

I'm soooo glad I sprung for the Gold tow package. We called and within an hour and a half we were hooked up. In that time we had gone about a mile.

As soon as we start getting towed we start taking on water. We cant find where it's coming from. We have a small drip coming from the exhaust water line but not enough to be filling the boat at the rate of a 5 gal bucket every 5 min. Guess what else we found out. The bilge pump doesn't work. My buddy's bailing water cause I'm holding the tiller and barfing.
If anyone has any ideas where this water could be coming from let me know. Most of my thru hulls are plugged except for the inlet, outlet to the motor and the bilge. I might be missing something, I'm a nube. Once we stopped being towed we stopped tanking on water. Thank God cause we we're spent. Today I checked to oil for water but it was good. Ill pull the plugs tomorrow since I didn't have a plug wrench or the energy to work on her.

So at 9pm we get her into the slip. Ill say this The Captain that got us home was impressive getting her into the slip. Supper smooth and accurate.

So I have been humbled. I'm going to get her set up for living a couple nights a week and then start working on the motor. I won't be taking her out for a while. I plan on getting some lessons, if anyone has any recommendations around Redondo beach let me know.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:14   #2
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

I can completely relate when I bought my first sailboat we had a exhaust leak, open thru hull in bathroom, engine failure and no electricity by the end of the trip up from Mexico.

Chalk it up to great experience and a proverbial 'shotgun of a wedding' (getting to know the ins and outs of your new vessel in a very compressed time period!).

Cheers and glad you made it safely...


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Old 11-06-2016, 08:35   #3
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

Quote:
My buddy that talked me into getting a boat came along.
Good, serves him right, hope you puked on his favorite boat shoes.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:35   #4
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

One thory: Your water leak could very well be from the rudder post. When being towed, the boat is squatting because the tow boat is moving faster than your hull wants to move. The outside sea level is above the top of the rudder post and your rudder post seal is shot or needs adjustment or repacked. I had a little trawler that when I motored at full speed the water from the rudder post would run into the bilge like a small stream!
WARNING: Check out that your engine works ASAP. You said the exhaust hose was leaking/dripping? It's possible you filled the hose and your engine with sea water from the same reasons due to towing speed!


Lessons learned: Try your systems at the dock.
-You could have run your engine for a half hour in gear to make sure all was fine. Especially do this if you do anything to the fuel system like change filters.
-You should have tested your bilge pump and known it's ability to work..


Kudos to you for getting the towing insurance!
Transmissions do get hot, but it's a mystery what your engine smoking thing is...
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:51   #5
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

2xcrash, that was a good post. I think it is good enough to that others can learn from it. Good on you for posting the unflattering aspects of it.

As for the "taking on water" cause?

That is something, you should determine ASAP along with fixing or replacing the bilge pump. Otherwise you might find your boat sunk at the slip.

Some things to check:

1. The boats drive shaft exits the boat hull through a "packing gland" that should drip a little water, especially when the engine is running and the shaft is turning, but not 5 gallons in 5 minutes. The gland may need more grease pumped into it to provide a better seal to SLOW a possible leak. It is OK if it drips a few drops per second while the boat engine is NOT running, OR MORE WHILE THE MOTOR IS RUNNING but you will want your working bilge pump to expel that water after enough accumulates in the bilge to trip the bilge pump float switch. That switch may be faulty or stuck, so check that too.

NOTE!!
Just remember, the gland is supposed to allow a little water to drip INTO THE BILGE while the boat engine is running, to prevent the drive shaft from burning though the gland, which would cause it to fail and then a big leak!

Perhaps the packing gland was TOO TIGHT on the shaft (for selling the boat someone may have tightened it to eliminate the drip so water was not seen in the bilge on visits) and because it was too tight, that could have caused the noise you heard that sounded like a failing belt. Then that could have caused the ingress of the water.

The motion of the boat thought the water, while towed, could turn the prop and shaft, which could cause more water to come in.

So, I would do two things ASAP:

1. Have a look at the packing gland on the drive shaft. Read about this online or watch a video on YouTube to see what it looks like and what must be done to servie it.

2. Check the bilge pump float switch. Test it by lifting it and then by adding water if necessary. Replace if necessary. Bilge pumps are relatively cheap. Buy an extra and install it too.

Good luck, and I hope you have a better voyage next time.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:53   #6
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

You made it!
Good!!
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:18   #7
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

2x,
Glad you made it. And thanks for the post! And yes, I agree that it was not a very flattering account....you dumb Bastid....shoulda checked to make sure the bilge pump worked before ever leaving the pier! Hopefully, others will learn from your adventure. I think some of us old folks that have been around boats a long time got a good chuckle out of this as it probably reminds us of those very same "adventures" in boating that we had all those many years ago! (But won't admit too.) HeHe! The important thing...you lived to sail another day, and gained some valuable experience and knowledge. Good for you! Have fun and Good Luck!
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:24   #8
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

2xcrash, seasickness is no fun. Engine trouble is no fun. Slating around in no wind is no fun. Water coming into your boat is no fun. Getting towed is no fun. Still, isn't sailing grand fun?

You will take care or these issues. And you will get out there again. And it will be more fun.


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Old 11-06-2016, 09:28   #9
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

Luckily you had the ability to be towed. Where i sail there is no one to do it even though my insurance covers it. So the only towing we can get is the USCG. And on my maiden voyage, that's exactly what happened when the OB died due to ethanol poisoning and the wind died at 2:00 PM and never returned.

It could have been worse.

My wife in a catamaran with 5 little kids was almost killed in the Chessie by a tanker when the wind died and the tanker almost ran them over. Luckily at the last second a puff of wind pushed them out of the way.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:54   #10
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

Welcome to the wonderful world of sailing! BTW that sea-sickness thing is probably VERY common on maiden voyages. You were nervous and unsure of things (COMPLETELY understandable) and anxiety REALLY aggravates that. The more you sail and gain confidence, the less you'll get sea-sick.
As far as water coming in, there really are only a couple ways and either Cheechako or Steady have named it I bet.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:08   #11
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

The way to look at this is from a glass half full viewpoint - you're now seriously into the boating business and have established a base line against which to gauge "bad days on the water". Congratulations mate.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:41   #12
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

......typical cruise........
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Old 11-06-2016, 17:53   #13
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

So in my defense....(BAAHAAHAA)
No really I tested the bilge pump but its the hand pump at the rear of the boat.... Now I know it wasn't hooked up properly. There is no automatic bilge on the boat ....yet. There will be one soon.
I also ran the motor a few times, in fact the day before I left I ran it for over an hour and no issues, but it wasn't under a load of pushing the boat 5 knots, just idling it the dock is not the same stress.


The motor oil was dry and not milky and the motor would turn over but not fire. All new hoses to be installed soon.


I don't mind telling a failure story. Glad we made it. and now that she's safe at home, I can start working the issues.


First thing I have to do is put some comforts on her because Ill be staying on her a couple nights a week. Then get into the repairs.


Mind you this was a 3000$ boat. Owned by the original owners, a German engineer, the boat is in beautiful shape and the motor not under a load purred.
More fun to come !
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Old 11-06-2016, 18:54   #14
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcrash View Post
...I don't mind telling a failure story. Glad we made it. and now that she's safe at home, I can start working the issues.
For some of us (me included ) this is the best kinda learning. Failures are more powerful than successes, but we're hardwired to minimize embarrassment or weakness by not telling others about our mistakes, so thank you for sharing. Once you get the motor going, you should get out there and sail as much as you can. When you really know your boat and know that you are more in control, this opens up options.

It's all about not running out of options....
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:47   #15
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Re: First trip getting my boat home nightmare!

Great account of the first voyage. Sounds like you hit the learning curve with a bang. Only up from here. The folks at Marina Sailing where you are in Redondo are great if you need a sailing course.
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