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Old 07-04-2014, 15:30   #1
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Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Sailor bailed for 5 days until rescuers arrived | Stuff.co.nz
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Old 07-04-2014, 18:51   #2
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Bailing for five days! Yikes!
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Old 07-04-2014, 19:10   #3
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Tragic to lose his boat.

A wake-up call to every boat owner on the importance of backup safety systems.
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Old 07-04-2014, 19:46   #4
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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.

Fitness for Purpose (Crossing oceans)

In CF threads about crash pumps, there generally seems to be negligible interest in engine-driven pumps, but I guess there's only a small subset of forum members who cross oceans, or have serious (and thoroughly thought-through*) intentions of doing so.

*(Hey! accidentally managed to secrete the word "tough" three times inside four words!)

It was a bit surprising to me, though, and not so heartening, that only 15% minded not being able to start the propulsion engine without DC amps.

Assuming it's the propulsion engine which is fitted with the engine-driven pump (which I suppose on bigger vessels may not be the case) reliance on that engine to deal with the water is not much good if electricity has been taken off the menu: it's axiomatic that backups must be (to the greatest extent possible) independent, and sufficient unto themselves.

Battery power seems quite likely to be off the menu as a result of the very same inrush of water we're trying temporarily to stem, while we find it, in order to staunch it. Bear in mind that salt water, as well as being wet, conducts electricity rather enthusiastically.

- - - -

An axe is often said to be a useful or even essential aid to getting interior joinery cleared away in order to staunch, sometimes even in order to *find* a serious leak.

I'm probably reading WAY too much into the poll answers, because you can never tell what contingencies people are considering, but I couldn't help noticing that the two people who wanted to be able to start the main engine without battery power were the same two people who considered an axe indispensable for crossing oceans !
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Old 07-04-2014, 20:26   #5
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
It was a bit surprising to me, though, and not so heartening, that only 15% minded not being able to start the propulsion engine without DC amps.

Battery power seems quite likely to be off the menu as a result of the very same inrush of water we're trying temporarily to stem, while we find it, in order to staunch it. Bear in mind that salt water, as well as being wet, conducts electricity rather enthusiastically.

- - - -

An axe is often said to be a useful or even essential aid to getting interior joinery cleared away in order to staunch, sometimes even in order to *find* a serious leak.

I'm probably reading WAY too much into the poll answers, because you can never tell what contingencies people are considering, but I couldn't help noticing that the two people who wanted to be able to start the main engine without battery power were the same two people who considered an axe indispensable for crossing oceans !
Maybe I'm a dummy but how do you start a modern marine diesel without a battery?
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Old 07-04-2014, 20:39   #6
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Read virtue XI great story or webb chiles.
This story has no information about system or cause. Speculation is wide open without better information.
Those that advocate ditch pumps may never have tried starting these after months of sitting. Try priming one it takes some work to get them pumping on land. Not sure how the videos make these things always fire right up. That has not been my experience with ditch pumps. I think a engine driven option better then the bulk and issues with ditch pumps.



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Old 07-04-2014, 21:21   #7
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Maybe I'm a dummy but how do you start a modern marine diesel without a battery?

Larger marine diesel engines are all air start, not electric start. They have huge air tanks with high pressure air in them.
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Old 07-04-2014, 21:26   #8
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

I agree there is reason for concern.

Let me apologies in advance for my long winded post. Feel free to skim it may not be worth the read for some anyway.

I advocate full comprehension of a problem before finding a solution. I have found in my quest to find components for my solution I have run across ones in the industry and out on the water that appear to not fully comprehend the way real life emergencies would come about, they have adjusted their solutions accordingly. Thus there are not many engine driven crash pumps in place ready for use.

By the time I am finished we will have primary ( low volume )and secondary (high volume) DC bilge pumps in 2 locations. An engine driven crash pump 2 portable high flow electric pumps that can be run from a genny. Below 2x dual action manual bilge pumps plus one manual operated from the helm. Buckets on hand of corse plus emergency sail set to be used as a crash mat/tarp.
I have already installed insulation/ reserve buoyancy at deck level and in stowage areas. About 1000kg of buoyancy worth so far. Down the line there will be more.
At the moment I am making all our storage areas water tight and sealing up areas that will make about 3 thousands Kg more in reserve buoyancy.

Bulkheads will be capable of being sealed off 3 in total. All my electrical is done in a submersible fashion. I am considering buoyancy bags that can be stowed away.

Manual start of engine is an idea I fully agree with. Axes hacksaws pry bars etc are essential too.
Since we are doing a complete refit many things don't take significantly more effort or money. Just pre planning, a clear vision okay and extra money.

Ultimately I would like the capability to keep afloat, make essential repairs pump out and be able to continue on in most circumstances. Worst case I'd prefer to stay on board using the vessel as a life raft if required. Having said that the dinghy will be prepped to double as an emergency life raft plus we have the inflatable canister Solas life raft as a last resort.

With 2 young girls on board I want to give us the best chances of survival should the worst happen. On that note most of my systems include primary secondary and a isolated redundant back up. This approach does not suit everyone and has to be well planned to not cost a fortune, to work as planned and to work as well as any other primary system.

It seems I'm an oddball in Australia and do not conform to the she'll be right mentality. Probably because of my Canadian background.

This maybe a curse in other regards as I find researching hunting and finding what I'm after often takes as long as the job itself. I become OCD finding what I know must exist. Then I often need to find it at a price I can justify.

My point is I am
Likely not alone and there will be those that like to dot all the i's and cross all the t's others will be comfortable with a lot less and feel they have it covered often times for most things they will be right. So it's all a trade off.

I guess I should mention I come from a life of Tech and commercial diving, alpine and big wall climbing have worked rescue Firefighting and at one point I ran a company setting up expedition vehicles for remote explorations so my philosophies have been moulded a lot from my personal experience.
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Old 07-04-2014, 21:34   #9
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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Larger marine diesel engines are all air start, not electric start. They have huge air tanks with high pressure air in them.
That I understand but what is a reasonable solution for manually starting a small (54hp yanmar) diesel with limited space?
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Old 07-04-2014, 22:47   #10
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

A common complaint among those whose bilge pumps have failed leading to the loss of their vessel is that an overwhelming amount of detritus finds it's way to the bilges leading to almost immediate clogging and re-clogging of the either the pump or it's intake filter during a major flooding event.

Having experienced a situation not that long ago where I needed to empty a large amount of water from the bilge (it wasn't flowing in that fast - it had just gone unnoticed - but I didn't have time to "Google" it) only to discover that the electric pumps didn't work and I couldn't work out the valves for switching to the manual bilge pump, I resorted to disconnecting the water intake for the engine at the through hull and using the engine's raw water cooling circuit to drain the bilge. The engine is capable of pushing out a large volume of water at higher rpm and I'm now seriously considering adding a tee into the circuit to allow use of the engine's intake as an additional emergency pump. If I do this, I will be adding a large surface area filter to it if I end up going this way to keep gunk out of the impeller at least.

On the topic of starting the engine, most cruising boats will carry a large a/h battery capacity in multiple banks and the more likely electrical starting issue will be failure of the starter motor. For this, two things are required. 1) a spare starter and 2) a pre-practiced way of swapping out starters quickly. On the second point, I had a diesel mechanic moan to me how difficult the starter was to remove from my boat. After a little thought I noticed that the one bolt that was impossible to get to from the side of the engine could, in fact be reached very easily from from underneath just by using a long socket extension passing under the sump from the front. As a consequence, I carry a spare starter and have the necessary tools to swap it out and can do so in 5 minutes.
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Old 07-04-2014, 23:24   #11
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Just as a side note, there were a group of 4-107s with hand pump hydraulic start for sale on the Seattle Craigslist recently. They were lifeboat motors that probably were well maintained , since there are lots of regs about starting them on a regular basis. I am not aware of any Yacht sized diesels that have air start, but some smaller diesels have a back up hand crank. I think they are refered to as the Cardiac Crank. You got to love those old Green Demons. _____Grant.
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Old 07-04-2014, 23:44   #12
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

not really too worried about taking on water on either my 63 ft alu keel boat ,as it has 5 watertight bulkheads,or my catamaran that has 4 watertight bouyancy compartments.

when we had the aft cabin flood from a cracked skeg 400 miles from antigua,pumping it out 2 times a day was enough to remove the limited amount of water that could only flood as far as the waterline under the cabin sole.

what was more worrying was seeing blue through the crack as the skeg flexed!,and the possibility of loosing steering.

bouyancy compartments or watertight bulkheads are the way to go!

it doesnt matter how big your pump is or how it is run,if the leak is bigger than the pump or pumps output
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Old 07-04-2014, 23:46   #13
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

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.
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Old 08-04-2014, 00:14   #14
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Re: Inability to keep the water out > Long distance rescue

Peter, the old Green Demons are like zombies, they just keep getting back up and chugging along. I just bought an MD7A mostly because it had the hand crank option, and it had been fresh water cooled its whole life. I also picked up a Whale Gusher 25 at a swap meet for $50. I need to order a rebuild kit from Defender for $95 and I will have my cockpit mounted hand pump, with a Whale Gusher 10 mounted down below. After 8 or 9K miles without a self bailing cockpit, I know the value of good hand pumps. Give my love to Faye. _____Grant.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:32   #15
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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?
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.



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