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My boat ran great until......

Old 04-05-2009, 02:43 PM
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Default My boat ran great until......

Finally got back on my boat after a 4 1/2 hiatus due to an injury I received from a free falling accident last November. Following that boneheaded accident, I arranged for my fuel tanks to be topped off and treated for the winter layup. Assurances were made that the tanks were full. I rely exclusively on my Smartcraft gauges to measure what is left in my tank since my analog gauge sucks.

We pounded the black sea bass and headed home yesterday afternoon. Approximately 20 miles from the shore the motors stopped making noise.....this is not good. Checked for problems and decided to call in SeaTow for assistance. They showed up 1 1/2 hours later....no complaints since it was approx 35 miles to their marina. I noticed the Racors weren't full so I asked for some fuel even though I knew we had burned only 50 gallons since we left the dock. We loaded the fuel and the motors fired up. Yup, the tanks weren't topped off and I made a critical mistake in assuming they were.

Unfortunately they only had 10 gallons so I knew I wasn't going to make it the 35 miles to my marina. I zipped along for almost 20 miles and pulled back the throttles and waited for SeaTow to drag me back to the dock. It took 4 hours, in total, to make the last 35 miles home.

Moral of the story.......NEVER assume something as critical as gas is in your boat. I carry virtually every kind of safety device one can own. Nothing is more important than fuel. If only I owned some E-tec's.....I have read they can be run for days without oil, fuel, spark plugs or electricity.
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Old 04-05-2009, 02:49 PM
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Hopefully that is not a bad omen for your first time out on the water for the season. At least other than that, you had a nice day and the weather also looked good. Now you know for next time and you owe the repair man a few choice words!
Old 04-05-2009, 03:43 PM
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Tireless, sorry to hear about your misfortune but I'm glad you got back ok, even if a bit later than you wanted to. Take my word for it, even E-Tec wouldn't have gotten you home without gas, oil maybe, but not gas. Hopefully they didn't charge you when they "topped" off the gas tank or maybe they just passed the hose past the "top" of the tank and they was good enough.

Just glad nothing too bad happened.
Old 04-05-2009, 04:14 PM
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I would be having a conversation whit the "Associate" who claimed to top off the tanks...

Glad to see you made it in ok..

P.S when are you headed back to Houston?

John
Old 04-05-2009, 06:16 PM
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Ouch!

Did they charge you for the fuel?

Was there the possibility that someone siphoned it out?

Sorry to hear about this. Glad it ended up OK though (everyone safe).
Old 04-05-2009, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
I rely exclusively on my Smartcraft gauges to measure what is left in my tank since my analog gauge sucks.

I carry virtually every kind of safety device one can own. Nothing is more important than fuel.
Doh!

My analog gauge sucks too, but I can easily use it to tell the difference between almost empty, 1/4-1/2 full, and full to the very top...

I would call that a pretty important safety device that is worth having onboard! Why not fix it, or at least enough so you can "trust" it within reason. Say what you will about the accuracy of a float sender but it is certainly reliable techology.
Old 04-05-2009, 06:44 PM
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Man that sucks! At least you had SeaTow to get you. Maybe someone "borrowed" the fuel from you before you headed out. Check for leaks anyway just to be safe.
Old 04-05-2009, 06:47 PM
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For the record....we were never in any danger other than getting to shore too late for the restaurants to be open. It appears some employee didn't do as instructed.....nothing shocking about that. My analog gauge showed the tank to be 3/4 full.....like I said, I never look at it. I have always known my remaining fuel by subtracting the SmartCraft consumption data from 208 gallons.....this time I made the mistake of assuming I should start with 208 gallons.....my bad. Yes, I had to pay for the gas....10 gallons at $4 a gallon.....that is rip off but I kind of lost by negotiating strength 20 miles offshore with no power.

In the final analysis I am responsible for my boat and the crew. It would have only taken a minute to check the fuel situation, a step I should have taken given my crapped out fuel gauge. Live and learn.

Hey John.....I may have some business in Houston in June. I'll let you know.
Old 04-05-2009, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro View Post
Man that sucks! At least you had SeaTow to get you. Maybe someone "borrowed" the fuel from you before you headed out. Check for leaks anyway just to be safe.

While waiting for SeaTow I checked the bilge and opened the deck caps above the tanks while trying to figure out what happened....no gas smell. It would be nearly impossible to "borrow" 150 gallons of gas off my boat since it sits in a locked boat storage facility at my marina.
Old 04-05-2009, 07:23 PM
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Tireless,

A friend of mine had gas siphoned out of his boat at a locked storage facility by Lake Lanier. To make matters worse they stole his trailer lights too. It can happen.
Old 04-05-2009, 07:37 PM
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Gas Gauges!!

I had a Four Winns runabout that taught me about gas gauges. Initially, I thought the boat got great mileage. Needle showed full all morning, running kids, joy riding. Wasn't until later in the afternoon, that I'd see it come off full. About an hour later it showed 1/4th, and 20min later empty. Minutes after that we are getting towed back to the dock.

So I got wise. As soon as the needle came off dead full, I had 1/2 tank. When it said 1/4th, I probably had only several gallons, and I needed to fill.

Same thing with my current Grady. I have two tanks, and one is topped before I go offshore, and the other is my backup to get home on.

Gauges should be banned on boats.

It is good and refreshing to see an old fashioned stand up guy these days. "I'm responsible for my boat and occupants, etc......" As much as we all seek to lay blame on others, this is a good reminder that the Captain (owner operator) of a boat has many responsibilities that just can't be laid off on others.
Old 04-05-2009, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
While waiting for SeaTow I checked the bilge and opened the deck caps above the tanks while trying to figure out what happened....no gas smell. It would be nearly impossible to "borrow" 150 gallons of gas off my boat since it sits in a locked boat storage facility at my marina.
Tireless,

How's that weld you had done on the T Top? When I had mine fixed, it cracked right beside the new weld about one year later. Keep an eye one it this season.

I have an entire new T Top now. (Of course, my old one was 25 yrs old)
Old 04-05-2009, 11:56 PM
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Black 300 Etec's
Be a good repower thread. I can see FDs posts now.

I ran out of gas on my Carolina Skiff, and it had a wood stick with notches for fuel gauge.
Old 04-06-2009, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
In the final analysis I am responsible for my boat and the crew. It would have only taken a minute to check the fuel situation, a step I should have taken given my crapped out fuel gauge. Live and learn.

Hey John.....I may have some business in Houston in June. I'll let you know.
How would you check the fuel situation with a crapped out gauge?
Old 04-06-2009, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by dssmith View Post
Tireless,

How's that weld you had done on the T Top? When I had mine fixed, it cracked right beside the new weld about one year later. Keep an eye one it this season.

I have an entire new T Top now. (Of course, my old one was 25 yrs old)
It's funny you should ask that question given the picture I posted. The first weld didn't hold so I had the guys come back and weld in some wedges on both side of the t-top even though only the starboard weld was broken. In the picture you can clearly see one of the four wedges they attached. There is another in top of the one you see and two more on the port side of the frame. It's holding up great. I inspected the entire t-top yesterday after washing the boat.
Old 04-06-2009, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rotordriver View Post
How would you check the fuel situation with a crapped out gauge?
I should have stuck a fuel hose in the fill and loaded fuel until I knew it was topped off.
Old 04-06-2009, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Afishinado View Post
Black 300 Etec's
Be a good repower thread. I can see FDs posts now.

I ran out of gas on my Carolina Skiff, and it had a wood stick with notches for fuel gauge.
I had the same sophisticated system on a dune buggy I had in college.
Old 04-06-2009, 06:08 AM
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tireless - sorry to hear about your day.

guess who else had an "interesting" shakedown cruise this weekend?



thanks to The Admiral for that pic!

my seastar steering went out. i'm pretty sure i've got a leak in the line somewhere. i refilled it last fall and have only run it about 6 hours over the winter. sunday was the first day i went out to set-up my trolling spread and do some catch & release in preparation for rockfish opening day on the chesapeake...motors were stuck in the hard left position so i couldn't even use the throttles to maintain a course...boat u.s. to the rescue.
Old 04-06-2009, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tireless View Post
For the record....we were never in any danger other than getting to shore too late for the restaurants to be open. It appears some employee didn't do as instructed.....nothing shocking about that. My analog gauge showed the tank to be 3/4 full.....like I said, I never look at it. I have always known my remaining fuel by subtracting the SmartCraft consumption data from 208 gallons.....this time I made the mistake of assuming I should start with 208 gallons.....my bad. Yes, I had to pay for the gas....10 gallons at $4 a gallon.....that is rip off but I kind of lost by negotiating strength 20 miles offshore with no power.
Now that you're back,. the negotiating position changes quite a bit. I'm certain you'll go have an 'informative' discussion with them.
Old 04-06-2009, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by happyjack92 View Post
tireless - sorry to hear about your day.

guess who else had an "interesting" shakedown cruise this weekend?



thanks to The Admiral for that pic!

my seastar steering went out. i'm pretty sure i've got a leak in the line somewhere. i refilled it last fall and have only run it about 6 hours over the winter. sunday was the first day i went out to set-up my trolling spread and do some catch & release in preparation for rockfish opening day on the chesapeake...motors were stuck in the hard left position so i couldn't even use the throttles to maintain a course...boat u.s. to the rescue.
Welcome to the "I've been towed in club".....ouch. The waters looked calm and you were inside so I hope you enjoyed the peaceful ride to the dock.

It's good you found the weak link in your sytem before the fish start biting.

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