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Old 22-08-2013, 15:58   #16
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
If you wish to continue closing your engine water intake tie the ignition key to the seacock when you do so. That will prevent any repeats.
+1

I have a set of small bright flags to attach to critical sea cocks, they cover the ignition key so that have to remove them and attach them to the appropriate seacock before I set off.

Got the idea from our last boat where the owner had one for the swing down keel locking pin, to remind him the keel was locked down BEFORE he went back to the boat ramp.
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Old 22-08-2013, 16:05   #17
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

sh** happens. if the impeller is good quality it may be ok. take a look at it and go from there. a good habit is to look over the stern after starting the motor. good luck.
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Old 23-08-2013, 11:50   #18
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

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replace your rubber impeller in the pump, make sure you get all the pieces. Everyone has done this once it seems! Early im sailing career I quit shutting the engine seacock. Heck the cockpit drain seacocks dont get shut.....
I did this once too...and learned how to rebuild an Atomic 4.

I only ever leave the cockpit scuppers open, however. The engine intake and the fuel line are closed, and I simply never start the engine without taking the steps away, opening the seacock, opening the fuel cock, checking the oil dipstick, and pushing down the spark plug caps and priming the fuel pump. Modify as required for diesel.

In truth, I like to check for leaks and "sniff" for possible gas line problems, even with a blower. I kept the habit of eyeballing the engine on our second, diesel-powered boat. I think it's a reasonable habit. Once I found a water pump belt just about frayed through because I was in the habit of doing a visual check prior to hitting the key.
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Old 23-08-2013, 11:53   #19
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
+1

I have a set of small bright flags to attach to critical sea cocks, they cover the ignition key so that have to remove them and attach them to the appropriate seacock before I set off.

Got the idea from our last boat where the owner had one for the swing down keel locking pin, to remind him the keel was locked down BEFORE he went back to the boat ramp.
I've seen this, too: Hang the key on the seacock handle! Or at least until you acquire the good habit. I also check, once started, that water is actually leaving the boat. My paranoia has paid dividends more than once.
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Old 23-08-2013, 12:50   #20
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

Treat yourself: Go to a local airport pilot shop, or order online. Aircraft owners learned a long time ago that people tend to forget or get distracted. So they have big red ribbons that are embroidered "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT". And that's what you attach to the ignition key, and hang on the raw water intake valve.

Which also reminds you to check the raw water strainer. It is amazing how quickly you can get a fine Bouillabaisse growing in there.

If you just burned out the impeller, no big deal, they should arguably be changed annually anyhow, because after that long, the rubber is usually looking for an excuse to fail on you anyway. So buy two or three if you can get a good price on them. That also ensures that if this one fits, the rest are really the correct part as well. Dust them with talc and seal in a tin or jar to keep out oxygen, and they won't dry out on the shelf.
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Old 23-08-2013, 13:06   #21
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

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Old 23-08-2013, 16:00   #22
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

I did this when picking up my first sailboat. The temp alarm went off and shut down the engine after 10-12 minutes. I was freaking out think I had just bought his boat and had already destroyed the engine. I opened the seacock and started it back up. IT was freshwater cooled and as soon as water started flowing copious amounts of steam came out. I thought it was smoke, and the engine was trashed(sounded ok). Turned the engine off, realized it was steam and waited a bit to avoid any further dangerous temperature differentials. 20 minutes later she started right up. never had any evident permanent damage. Hope you are as lucky! And as everyone has already said, check the raw water impeller at a minimum.
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Old 31-08-2013, 02:09   #23
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Re: Ran Engine Without Cooling

Ran my 4107 Perkins for a good 20 minutes part of that under load w/o the sea-cock open. My mechanic buddy said, "she sounds different, did you open the seacock?" I jumped below w/o thinking and opened it before he could stop me. It was a heart breaker with the engine having just over 20 hrs on a rebuild but at the time we just carried on and when I got in I checked the impeller and the blades were fine and other than loosing some coolant she seemed okay . Three years later she is still running strong. I wonder if having the cooling system hooked up to the water heater helped. At any rate seemed to have dodged a bullet and the lesson has stuck.
I wouldn't worry too much beyond checking the impeller as has been suggested. Others have gone before you on this one for sure!
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Old 31-08-2013, 02:39   #24
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Re: Ran Engine Without Cooling

To farther the pilot analogy used earlier, pilots make extensive use of checklists for many stages of flight (preflight, takeoff, cruise, landing, etc.). Why not have a pre-engine start checklist? You could probably laminate it and have it somehow mounted next to the engine ignition or in a booklet along w/ some other checklist. A "cruise" checklist. Checkout the checklist books that military aircrew use. They come as as large ringed book containing a bunch of heavy duty clear pages that you can slip your checklists into. A good thing about the checklist books is you can add pages for provisioning, information on your most used anchorages and Marinas, etc.

I know, lots of us are lazy or will just forget to look at the checklist, but if you can get into the habit of at least looking at a checklist beforehand you may be better off. This is what I'm going to do, as I was pretty well indoctrinated into checklist use while I was undergoing flight crew training in the Marines.
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Old 31-08-2013, 04:29   #25
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Re: Ran Engine Without Cooling

Don't feel bad. I think everyone does this sooner or later.

I had never done this in decades of sailing, and then this year, bang! Did it to my generator and found out only after it shut down from overheating. Impeller destroyed and bits everywhere. Spent most of a sunny Saturday cleaning out the heat exchanger and sea water passages, instead of sailing.

Then a couple of weeks later, started the main engine without opening the sea cock. Fortunately remembered within 10 minutes. The impeller in this case survived the incident and went on to serve for another hundred hours or so.


I started to blame all this on plain stupidity, or premature senility, and then I realized that the cause was something much worse -- laziness.

I used to always check the engine before and after startup -- every time. Beforehand: verify open sea cocks, check oil, check sea water strainer, feel the belts. After startup: verify sea water flow (my sea water strainer has a clear top), feel sea water pump, listen for odd sounds, look for leaks or anything amiss. Then shut the engine compartment and get under way.

This year I started to get lazy and stopped doing that. The results were not good!

In your case, as others have advised, just pop off the impeller cover and have a look. With some luck, it will be ok. If it is more than one year old, I would replace it in any case, however.
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Old 31-08-2013, 07:00   #26
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Re: Ran Engine Without Cooling

I did it once and toasted my impeller. I put a sign by my ignition switch that says "Is seacock open?"

Its worked so far.
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Old 31-08-2013, 07:19   #27
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Re: Ran Engine Without Cooling

If you close your seacock...just hang the key there...you have to open it anyhow if you are gonna use the key to start the engine...everything else is just fluff....checklists for other stuff may be a good idea and include this for sure...but as a stand alone safety measure...it's hard to beat for simplicity and effectiveness.

The assistance towing company uses this philosophy all winter long when the engines are "in the water" winterized...the pressure to get underway combined with too many other thoughts of the "operation" make it about as foolproof as you can get. Has worked on numerous boats with many capts for over 20 years.
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Old 31-08-2013, 07:43   #28
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Re: Ran engine without cooling

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
replace your rubber impeller in the pump, make sure you get all the pieces. Everyone has done this once it seems! Early im sailing career I quit shutting the engine seacock. Heck the cockpit drain seacocks dont get shut.....
Or ...

Do like the private small aircraft pilots do, and always carry a little laminated checklist (fits in wallet), and rely on it instead of memory
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