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Old 05-17-2004, 02:24 PM
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Default Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

I have a boat that was given to me. One of the engines is frozen, but the other is operational. The boat is 33' with twin Mercruiser 233 hp 351 ci engines. I need to get the boat from the slip it is in now up the chesapeake about 45 miles. I have a friend who has agreed to follow me and assist me in another boat. I have never operated a twin engine boat under the power of only one of the engines.

Is there any advice you would offer me before I head out?

Will the boat track a straight (ish) course with one engine running, or will I need to attach a rope to the assisting boat to hold a course?

Any help, advice or guidance you can offer would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:36 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

You should have no trouble except when docking,or in tight areas.
I had a 36ft CC years ago and i ran on one engine many times (saving gas).
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Old Bay

You should be able to make it. Last summer I lost an engine coming up Delaware Bay to the C&D. It was a nasty day and my choices were to stop, anchor and repair it there, make way for a port along the bay or continue on to the upper Chesapeake. I chose the latter and motored at much reduced speed. Handling was not a problem, although some compensation in steering will be necessary.

My advice, keep your eye on the gauges, make sure you have all the required gear(especially communications), file a float plan, pay up your towing insurance and buy your friend a case of beer. It will be a slow ride.

Good Luck
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Old 05-17-2004, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Every boat is going to handle somewhat differently. You should be able to get from point A to point B on one engine, but not at a very fast pace. The further the props are from each other, the less straight you will be able to track. I've only gone a few miles on one, but I've got a friend who recently took his about 40 miles.

Pick a nice calm day. Again, slow and steady and you should be OK. You will find it extremely difficult to manuver in close quarters though. At this point, you may need assistance from your friend where you aren't too familiar with the handling of that boat.

Good Luck.
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Old 05-17-2004, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Wow! Very encouraging. I plan to leave the dock at sunrise to maximize my time and slick water. If I can make 6 Knots an hour I can do the trip in 8 hours. I am prepared for that. I will pay up my SeaTow account before I leave. Thanks very much for the feedback guys and gals. It may end up being a nice troll if we hook into some fish.
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

buy a pipe wrench and dog down the shaft of the inoperable engine. you will thank me.

also make sure you aren't overloading your operating engine...like said above, keep close eye on your guages....i would aim for 5-6 knots, 8 is pushing it for most boats properly propped and powered
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Make sure you have an appropriate anchor and line...just in case.
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Probably goes w/o saying, but you are going to a have a great time backing into a slip!
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

If you don't have hydraulic steering or no feed back you're going to be hanging on the wheel all day also. It will want to push in the direction of the dead engine side. I had to do the same for about 20 mi. Not fun, but manageable.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Baitdragger,

What do you mean? Are you saying that I should take measures to keep the other prop from spinning? Thanks.

As for backing it into the slip - I am lucky enough to be taking it to a private pier, not a crowded marina. I could definately see a problem at a marina, but I think I will be able to manage getting it into the single slip at the private pier.
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

yes, most of the times a dead engine will allow the prop to spin and burn up the transmission or seal or both. best just to keep the prop from spinning and that way there is no concern

there should be no problem docking...just take it slow, use the wind and an extra hand or two at the pier will help...but you shouldn't over shoot the dock or anything...just idle on up
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

The inoperable engine is frozen solid. If I put that tranny in gear, would that keep the prop from spinning, or would I be doing damage by stressing the trans?
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:54 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Inboard transmissions rely on hydraulic pressure created by a running engine. No running engine - no pressure. The shaft will not lock in place. Take the advice given and secure that shaft from turning. Not all gear manufacturers require this, but it's better to play it safe.

Good luck, 5 knots will probably be about it. Try to time your trip so you're not bucking much current.

Steve
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Old 05-18-2004, 03:48 PM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

Baitdragger is right on the money with this one. The hydraulic pump is in the front driven by the crank shaft. If the engine is not turning there is no lubrication to the tranny. If you turn the prop it turns the clutches and gears but without lube. You know what's next. We use to lock a vise grip on to the coupling hub so that it wouldn't turn or unbolt the coupling and block so it doesn't slide back toward the packing gland.
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Old 05-19-2004, 08:26 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

It has also been suggested that I simply remove the propeller on the inoperable side. This would reduce drag, and keep the shaft from spinning. Any thoughts on this? I can't forsee any problems. Thanks for the heads up on burning up the trans.
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Old 05-19-2004, 10:53 AM
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Default RE: Operating twin inboard boat on One engine

That's the best idea yet!

Good luck







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