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Old 28-09-2015, 23:55   #1
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Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Maybe a stupid question, but I'm learning, I really am learning a lot. I'm not just asking questions and taking care of the problem and not learning anything. Each fix is a learning experience.

So the weird channel we have has markers every 500 yards or so, but they curve and are really hard to follow. It shallows quick outside of them. I was sailing along and it turns out it is a minus tide today and all of a sudden I start thinking things feel funny. Like I'm going slow. So i look at the water, its murky, I decide I should tack. I make it about halfway around and stop.

I'm thinking, weird, I thought I had the speed to make that tack, so I straighten out and fill the sails and try again and this time nothing happens. I just stay heeled over with the sails filled.

I never actually felt hitting the mud. But I was stuck. I didn't like it. I turned on the engine and tried to reverse first, didn't move. forward, nothing, eventually I gunned it and with the help pf the sails, somehow made my way into deeper and deeper water and beelined it back to the channel.

My question is do I need to do anything to clean out my engine? I'm wondering if I sucked up any mud using it so much and so fast with the raw water intake so close to the churning muddy water.

FWIW i have a heat exchanger, so only get raw water outside the engine.

I don't want to overheat or anything in the future. I already think it clogged a bilge pump, is there anything else I should do? I have a hose attachment to run fresh water through there and did that.
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Old 29-09-2015, 04:19   #2
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Your raw water strainer should have caught anything big enough to plug your heat exchanger, so just check to see if it's clear. Also, make sure the cooling water coming out of your exhaust is normal volume. You could also take a look at your impeller to make sure it wasn't damaged by any grit it might have inducted if you want to be super-careful.

After doing the checks, if you're seeing normal operating temps on the engine, I'd say you're in the clear.

p.s. not sure how running aground could clog a bilge pump.
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Old 29-09-2015, 10:57   #3
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Inspect your thru-hulls really well to make sure they didn't get "unsealed". Probably not if you were on sand/mud. I would change the impeller at least - myself. And take out the raw water strainer and see if there is any gunk in it. You are most likely okay otherwise.
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Old 29-09-2015, 12:07   #4
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Ok so what part of the SF bay are you in? There's plenty of mud to get stuck in there. Mud in the bilge? Maybe you hit harder than you thought! The strainer is supposed to take care of the big stuff but I agree about checking the impeller if flow seems less than before.
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Old 29-09-2015, 12:25   #5
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

That's my question where in the sf bay did you stuff it.
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Old 29-09-2015, 12:36   #6
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Is the amount of water coming out the exhaust about normal? Is the temperature gauge reading the same at cruising speeds? If so, don't worry.

The Cape Dory 28 raw water intake is a long way from the bottom of the keel that was in the mud. Nothing big could have been sucked up from the bottom. The swirling mud is very fine and just went right on through the strainer and impeller. A few minutes of abrasion isn't going to bother it. Sea weed or grass is a much bigger problem.

Clean your strainer because you should frequently check it anyways. When was the last time your raw water impeller was changed? I change my impeller once a year because it's cheap and easy to do at the dock but very hard to do in a sea.
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Old 29-09-2015, 13:08   #7
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Hey north two more accidental groundings and you are free to change your boats name without any renaming ceremony.
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Old 29-09-2015, 14:39   #8
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

It's shallow down here! By the San Mateo bridge. It's so bizarre to me that I can be miles from shore and it's only a couple feet deep. I've only sailed in Washington, Canada and Hawaii before and all of them get deep really quickly. There are rocks you have to watch out for, but generally, as long as you are a couple ten yard from shore you're in deep water.

I checked the impeller a couple weeks ago when I did my engine tune up, it's easy to check, I'll do that and the strainer.

Oh, the bilge? I don't know, it was working fine before, I guess maybe since water comes in through the prop shaft it was muddy and clogged it? I really don't know how I came to that conclusion.
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Old 29-09-2015, 15:00   #9
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

Snort,try the Chesapeake. I ground about once a day. Last week I grounded three times in five minutes. Today I grounded the dingy, twice!
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Old 29-09-2015, 15:18   #10
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

If you have a fresh water flush, you likely have a gas engine. If you have a diesel replacement for a gas engine, remove the fresh water flush fitting. My boat used to have an A4 and now has a diesel. I removed the fresh water flush when I changed the raw water intake thru hull from 1/2" to 3/4", the ball valve, elbow and sea strainer.
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Old 29-09-2015, 16:18   #11
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Re: Ran aground, anything I need to do to my engine?

I think the fresh water flush is for the heat exchanger. I never had a gas. I have cooler inside the engine ad raw water cooling the outside. I think te fresh is just to get the salt out and extend engine life.
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