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Old 31-07-2013, 12:31   #16
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

First I would drain the water off the bottom of the Racor. Having accidentally unscrewed the drain plug to far i would drop it in the bilge. The very bottom of the bilge. Then I would look to see if I could find a screw that might fit back in the drain hole. I would then crack the racor bowl using the wrong screw. Next I would syphon fuel from the tank with the hose. Doing this I get a mouthful of watery diesel which I spit out. I go to wipe the sweat off my brow and get fuel in my eyes. Trying to get out of the engine room I split my head open on the steering gear. Finnally I siphoned and seperated enough fuel into the pail. I think its fuel I cant tell because I am near blind. Then I put the fuel pickup into the bucket. But the engine wont turn. I remove the number one injector and pack the powder from several flares into the cylinder. I light this which explodes and forces the crank, nearly starting the motor. What it does do is start a fire. I call for help. Later I report on CF that I had to abandon my boat because of a fire.
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:42   #17
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

This is like Flight of the Phoenix (the original) and someone is going to bang start the engine, right?

Snore, before Herr Doktor Professor Diesel found new ways to combust peanut oil, ships always docked without engines. So, warping in to a dock is nothing new.

But even if you clean out the water in the fuel? Some engines just can't practically be started by hand, or crank, or pullcord. There are limited options and nothing new to be found there.

Either you spin it up, or move on without it.
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Old 31-07-2013, 12:55   #18
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Yes, its a pity that there's few serious replies to a thread where we could all learn something.

A man has lost his boat and we all think a related question is too contemptible to contemplate?


I'm here willing to learn.

Mind you I am actually in a place where the information could be useful: Out cruising.


Thanks for the non-engagement of minds.

I'm off to the bar.


Mark
PS Thanks to SkipMac and Hud for useful ideas
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:00   #19
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Had something similar happen to me back 1999. I was single handing from the Canaries to Tobago, about 500 miles east of Tobago I lost my towed generator, my one solar panel was barely keeping up the the lights and frig - engine died when I tried starting it to charge my batteries.

Kept sailing- but I had a monitor (I've never understood why everyone who does ocean crossings, specially solo doesn't have one)so kept sailing. Sailed right into Rockly Bay and dropped the anchor.

Turns out I anchored too far out, in the path of the ferry, so about 3 other sailors who were already there, towed and pushed me into a better spot. Took my battery ashore for a charge ...... 3 weeks later sailed to Grenada where I finally fixed the engine - turns out I had a stuck piston ring.

With sails, a self steering vane, enough food and water.. screw the damn diesel!
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:19   #20
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

There are four ways to control a sailboat;
1; the engine
2; the sails
3;the anchors
4;tides, currents, windage.
Losing one, in this case the engine, simply means continuing by means of the others.
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:25   #21
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pirate Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Having been in this situation several times but a lot further than 18-20 hrs from land I'll tell you what I did on two different boats.. each had a different fuel problem but the solution was the same for both...
Hunter 37c NC to UK... bad fuel which ate through my Racor filters.. I removed the outboard hose from the tank and cut off the connectors... then I used that to suck fuel from the top into a 25 litre container... I then made a hole in the containers screw on cap so the hose was fairly snug and connected the other end to the engine filter inlet... this kept my batteries charged adequately till I got to the Azores..
On my Oz delivery the fuel draw for the generator clogged... tried sucking and blowing it clear with the dinghy foot pump.. no joy.
The engine ran fine but unfortunately the gizmo that monitored the alternators output was buga'd so had to fix the gen to keep the multiple systems on the 54ftr going.. once again I bypassed the external pump and filter and using the outboard tank as my reservoir I connected straight to the filter on the gen... I then used a 5 litre water jug to decant fuel from a connector to the engines fuel tank on the port side into the 25L tank... this had to be repeated daily in all conditions till I American Samoa where I was able to find some steel fittings to set up an alternative fuel supply for the starboard fuel tank which serviced the generator.

PS.... that rubber bulb makes the job of bleeding so much easier its something I fit into the fuel line on all my boats.
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:38   #22
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

This is what I'd do, I would wait until the solar panels had enough juice in the batteries to turn the electric motor back on.

No really, what I would do is go online and search "remove water from diesel fuel",
and check CF for ideas, and get some good laughs until I realized I was going to hit a reef in about 1 hour if I didn't do something, then I'd call in a MayDay.

Seriously, a boat must have a water/fuel separator right? You would just have to
run the fuel through it into a separate jug until you had enough good stuff to make it to shore.
I believe they also make additives that dry out the fuel by evaporating off the water,
every boat should have some of that stuff, so fill a jug and use it to get good fuel
in just that jug to run the engine.
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Old 31-07-2013, 14:55   #23
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

I pondered this off and on at work... I have a really good job


The original post included what I felt could be relevant from Cynosure's stores
  • no baha filter
  • three spare primary filters (not stated a spare bottom for Racor)
  • three spare secondary filters
  • 5 feet of fuel hose
  • 4 clamps
  • one 5 gallon bucket
  • 1/4 bottle of Jack
  • Spray silicon
What I came up with was this-
  1. We need a container to test what we are doing. The bottle of Jack is perfect for it! Clearly this is a crappy day so take A sip JUST ONE! and empty the bottle into the tea pot, or some other container. In the worst, over the side the whiskey goes.
  2. Change the primary and secondary filters. Don't save the fuel, but do dispose of it properly. New filters will reduce the work load on the lift pump as it will be used outside its normal operating parameters. (PLEASE don't split hairs on this)
  3. Disconnect the hose at the secondary filter that feeds the engine and connect the 5 feet of hose to the secondary. Stick the other end of the hose into the empty whisky bottle.
  4. Turn the ignition on and see what the flow rate and quality looks like. If the lift pump cannot push a decent flow through the secondary, disconnect the fuel line from the lift pump and use the 5 feet of hose to run from the lift pump to the whiskey bottle.
  5. When the bottle is full (and after lamenting about the sour mash) see if the fuel looks good. If so place it in the five gallon bucket. If the quality is still poor, it may be necessary to go try sucking the water out from under. Or allowing the fuel/water to separate in the bottle. Another option is to try draining the Racor when the bottle is 1/2 full.
  6. Since a 5 gallon bucket may not fit in the engine room develop a means of securing it in the salon in front of the engine. Take care NOT to drink from the teapot!
  7. After 3-4 but no more than 6 bottles of fuel, drain the Racor. Take a break and hydrate. If hungry eat a snack. DON'T drink from the tea pot.
  8. When the bucket is full, reconnect the fuel lines that were removed.
  9. Remove the inlet fuel line from the Racor and connect the five feet of hose to the inlet and run it into the bucket.
  10. Secure the hose from the fuel tank to guard against spills.
  11. You now have super clean fuel in the 5 gallon bucket.
  12. Bleed out the fuel system.
This is where it get's dicey. Get the silicon spray ready. When the engine catches, it may falter. To avoid stalling the engine and having to pray you have enough electric for a second try, shoot the silicon spray in. This may be "hotter" than you care for, so do so in moderation.


When the engine is up, running and generating power, it is clearly time for a "spot of tea".

Thoughts?
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Old 31-07-2013, 15:12   #24
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post

When the engine is up, running and generating power, it is clearly time for a "spot of tea".

Thoughts?
I thought of your idea already and then discounted it (actually I didn't and also I have NFI whether it would work or not - but it's the internet who will ever know? ).

Instead I would have put the kettle on for a cup of tea first.....and pondered the bottle of Jack.......and likely then have continued sailing.
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Old 31-07-2013, 15:13   #25
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by sabray View Post
First I would drain the water off the bottom of the Racor. Having accidentally unscrewed the drain plug to far i would drop it in the bilge. The very bottom of the bilge. Then I would look to see if I could find a screw that might fit back in the drain hole. I would then crack the racor bowl using the wrong screw. Next I would syphon fuel from the tank with the hose. Doing this I get a mouthful of watery diesel which I spit out. I go to wipe the sweat off my brow and get fuel in my eyes. Trying to get out of the engine room I split my head open on the steering gear. Finnally I siphoned and seperated enough fuel into the pail. I think its fuel I cant tell because I am near blind. Then I put the fuel pickup into the bucket. But the engine wont turn. I remove the number one injector and pack the powder from several flares into the cylinder. I light this which explodes and forces the crank, nearly starting the motor. What it does do is start a fire. I call for help. Later I report on CF that I had to abandon my boat because of a fire.
Lol ...........The voice of experience?
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Old 31-07-2013, 15:26   #26
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Having been in this situation a number of times and having reached an age where the effects of the stress involved vastly outweighed the vicarious excitement of the adventure:
I completely separated the house from the cranking systems and moved all the nav stuff over to the house system.

Installed a system to keep the fuel clean. It did not cost much and I also use it to pump out the engine oil for oil changes.
I do not at all miss the challenge of no engine because of filthy fuel or flat batteries.
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Old 31-07-2013, 15:46   #27
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

In the 2000 Vendee Michel Desjoyeaux burned out his starter. For the rest of the race he pull-started him engine with him boom. Never saw the details of how exactly he did it, but got to admit it is clever and probably not that hard to reproduce.
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Old 31-07-2013, 16:30   #28
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Never have this problem, cus I do what everybody says is a bad thing! I have a drain in the lowest part of my fuel tank ! which lets me drain any water I may have out of my tank ! I know everybody says its bad, but these valves have saved me many problems over the years! just sayin some thing part bad can be all good sometimes
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Old 31-07-2013, 16:39   #29
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pirate Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Never have this problem, cus I do what everybody says is a bad thing! I have a drain in the lowest part of my fuel tank ! which lets me drain any water I may have out of my tank ! I know everybody says its bad, but these valves have saved me many problems over the years! just sayin some thing part bad can be all good sometimes
I think an outlet below the bottom of the tank is a great thing...
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Old 31-07-2013, 17:06   #30
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Re: Bad Fuel Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Based on the loss of a vessel I would like to offer up the following...


You are 140nm from landfall. You are single handing. You guess 18-20 hours till landfall. Batteries at 9.5 volts, solar panels gone and water in fuel tank keeps fouling Racor.

How do you get engine started?

Stores are, no baha filter,three spare primary and secondary filters, 5 feet of fuel hose, 4 clamps one 5 gallon bucket. 1/4 bottle of Jack. Spray silicon

Any takers?

ROTFL sounds like the "square peg into a round hole" challenge from APOLLO 13!
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