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Old 08-04-2014, 04:36   #16
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by Lojanica View Post
That I understand but what is a reasonable solution for manually starting a small (54hp yanmar) diesel with limited space?
The most practical option, if you carry dive bottles, is probably air start. Could be tricky finding a unit that small though; Ingersol Rand only list them down to about 4 litre diesel engines (Volvo Pentas down to about 5 litre, eg D50A and TD61), but the smallest Yanmar they list is 43 litre!

They're completely out of reach price-wise, like all IR stuff, but these days you can often pick up "new old stock" high-end industrial stuff on eBay for an order of magnitude less than new price.

I've sailed on a boat where they'd worked out a way to hand start a Gardner 6LXB (~120hp), and they had successfully tested it ... but it took four big boys (racing maxi, so they have four on each watch) and they had to dismantle the galley.

What some people used to do for backup, to get the engine running and 'reboot' the electrical storage after a calamity, was to carry an extra wet cell battery with NO acid in it, and carry the acid (at the correct concentration) separately. That will last indefinitely if well sealed. But that is not a trivial thing to arrange safely.

Other possibilities include

Prestolite Starting Equipment | PB Asher
(hydraulic and spring)

Lucas Bryce / Bryce Berger Hydraulic starter systems & spare parts, B35 & B50 starters, HP3 hand pump, PA7 accumulator, RV7 relay valve, overhaul service
which is a Bryce Berger hydraulic starter for small engines, also they offer a Simms spring starter.

You could also try eBay and Google for "StrongStarter", spring (wind-up) starters
Their smallest was a "Light" unit, which was for diesels up to 2 litre, or 0.5 litre per cylinder, around 50hp max
The next size up was "Small"
Their website is now defunct but their email was mail@strongstarter.com

These are all on the right-hand side of the Atlantic so you might have to communicate by abacus or carrier pigeon


I guess the long tyranny of "Lucas, Prince of Darkness" has left people in that part of the world deeply mistrustful of electrics, even on land. I personally reserve my mistrust for the deep briny environment.

Other brands of air starters you might find on US eBay include:
TDI
StartMaster
Pow-R-Quik

But generally these are too big for a small marine diesel.

If your Yanmar is one of the latest series, with common rail injection, it will require DC electrics to run that and the computer. (sigh)
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:46   #17
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Re: manual starting of a diesel engine ... I saw these guys recently:

Startwell Mechanical Starters - Diesel Engine starting - spring starter - back up starter- startwell - simms - manual starter - alternative to electric hydraulic and pneaumatic

who seem to manufacture mechanical replacement starters for common diesel engines.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:47   #18
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

"There is no way.

None at all for a normal cruiser to start a modern diesel on a sailboat with out a battery"

Hi, I can't say that's wrong - but check out Andrew's post #61 in the Bad MacGyvering thread.

I'll give it a go if I lose the cranking handle (haven't tried it yet...) for my Bukh DV36.

True, it's not really a modern diesel
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:56   #19
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Miss my old Volvo MD2b. The dynamotor, combination starter and generator, sheared it's mounting bolts on the way to the Marquesas. Got out the trusty crank and started it with that for the next ten years. Unfortunately, the old handcrank diesels like the Sabb, Volvo MD Series, etc are now history. There were a couple of non electric starters available for the 4-107 but they were pricey.

Have one of the Edson Diaphragm Pumps that I picked up at the Blue Pelican Consignment store in Alameda. That thing will move a lot of water in a hurry with surprisingly little effort. Unfortunately, they run close to a boat unit if you buy new but don't know another hand pump that moves as much water.
I would put an Edson "Gallon-a-stroke" pump about second after a good anchor on the must-have list.

I picked up a new one on eBay for about USD600, which if you've ever used one is darned good value. I sailed across the Pacific once pumping as much as 20 tonnes of water per day back to where it belonged between the six of us without undue effort.

Hard to go past a high capacity engine driven pump, though, if you're one or two-handed, to buy you time while you find where the water is coming in.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:09   #20
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Another thought on mechanical starters: if you know of any shipbreakers, ship's lifeboat engines often had spring or hydraulic starters.

I recall stumbling across a ship's graveyard, a shipbreaking village in NZ's Marlborough Sounds, a long time ago. It was like a place time had forgotten.

According to the chart there was supposed to be a Post Office, but if there was, we certainly never found it.

And walking up the steep street (cobbled? or it might have been paved with ship's engine parts) on dusk (there was only one, IIRC) people seemed to look through us, but not to see us.

Felt really strange, in a country where people in remote places are notoriously friendly...

We wondered momentarily if they were 'close kin', blind perhaps, but good at faking it ... but there was no banjo music, so clearly not.

The only way of getting there by land was a walking track, and I remember later that still night, lying in the inky darkness to a mooring (too deep to anchor) listening entranced to an Irish sounding voice of a person winding around that cliff-top mule track for mile after mile, singing like an angel who had "drink taken", heading happily for home.

- - - -

Most ships seem to be broken up in the Indian subcontinent, these days, though... not quite as romantic. And pre-loved mechanical starters harder to come by ...
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:26   #21
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by jannw View Post
Re: manual starting of a diesel engine ... I saw these guys recently:

Startwell Mechanical Starters - Diesel Engine starting - spring starter - back up starter- startwell - simms - manual starter - alternative to electric hydraulic and pneaumatic

who seem to manufacture mechanical replacement starters for common diesel engines.
Brilliant! Thanks a lot. I'll file that.

That's clearly a new name for the "StrongStarter" I mentioned above as having a defunct website.

Of all the options I listed, that's the one which gives the most dimensional info (which tallies with the StrongStarter info I had archived), and they have the same sub 50hp option I mentioned

... but unfortunately they don't list many marine engines. (at least, not small ones)
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:50   #22
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Something I forgot to mention about "booting up" a dead electrical system, using an alternative starting motive power source:

I was reminded by this by one of the FAQs on the site jannw linked to:

13 Q. How can I energize an alternator, as the Startwell Starter requires no battery?
A. This is a problem faced by all non electric starting systems. The easiest solution is to use a small (or second hand) battery to excite the alternator which requires very little current.


I know this can be done, but cannot remember the specifics of which terminals to energise. Perhaps someone with more electrical chops could set us straight?

And do I remember correctly that even a small 9V battery will do at a pinch?
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:21   #23
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Smile Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
There is no way.

None at all for a normal cruiser to start a modern diesel on a sailboat with out a battery.

Btw, nor have I ever heard of someone carrying an axe. Unless its for when the wife is cooking and you need to break the cake.

If you listen to every bit of 'advice' and then buy every object mentioned for your boat it will sink before you get to the breakwater. But you will probably not even ever get that far.



Mark
That's what I thought. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:29   #24
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Btw, nor have I ever heard of someone carrying an axe. Unless its for when the wife is cooking and you need to break the cake.
Mark
We carry an axe. So should you need it someday to get at that leak behind the sink, give a shout.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:37   #25
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

I think the resistance to having engine drive crash pumps is that they really dont move much water at all. At least most of them. (consider your engine cooling pump and the water that exits your exhaust!)
I still think one of those bucket size honda trash pumps would be a great option. Although not rated to move a huge amount, They only weigh a few pounds and put out a steady 1" column of water! Alot more than you are going to bail steadily.
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Old 08-04-2014, 13:05   #26
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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I was surprised and heartened in a recent poll elsewhere on this forum to see that a whopping 92% of respondents considered a vessel unfit for them to cross oceans, if there was no provision which did not rely on electricity to remove bulk water.
I just voted on that poll and agree that i would not consider a boat safe to make an ocean crossing in if there was no provision for removing bilge water in bulk without electricity. Hence, i added to that statistic. However, personally i would consider a bucket sufficient equipment to achieve that goal.
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Old 08-04-2014, 13:18   #27
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

As long as the boat floats very high on its waterline with holes in the bottom of it, you only need basic dewatering ability.

As to an air starter, go to harbor freight, buy the lowest rpm turbine air tool you can and gear/belt it down to the speed needed to spin the flywheel.
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Old 08-04-2014, 13:25   #28
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

An interesting poll. And also interesting to see what peoples various priorities are. I do have an engine but am not at all put out when i am unable to start it for whatever reason. A friend of mine who sails coastally and offshore around Bermuda very regularly but hasn't taken his boat overseas had his engine pack up on him 2 years ago. He found that he doesn't miss it, is now a much better sailor as a consequence and is planning on removing it altogether in the near future (the boat is a beneteau 375) and using it as a mooring weight. Not being able to start an engine without electrics (or for that matter a complete electrical failure) would be very low on my list of concerns but there seem to be a large number of threads devoted to avoiding or abating these very eventualities.
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Old 08-04-2014, 13:28   #29
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I think the resistance to having engine drive crash pumps is that they really dont move much water at all. At least most of them. (consider your engine cooling pump and the water that exits your exhaust!)...
Other than that they're both driven by the engine, that's a bad comparison. The engine raw water pump need only move enough water to cool the engine. A crash pump will move many times that volume.
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Old 08-04-2014, 13:28   #30
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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As to an air starter, go to harbor freight, buy the lowest rpm turbine air tool you can and gear/belt it down to the speed needed to spin the flywheel.
Interesting idea. I wonder if you could get a cordless drill that would have enough oomph to turn the flywheel or crankshaft by just sticking the right-sized socket in it? I guess it depends largely on the size of the engine. Anyone tried this?

Sorry, i'm really off-topic now!
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