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KDV

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  1. I have a similar situation with prevailing winds and diagonal boat wakes that want to push me into the adjacent boat in my slip. It’s relatively easy to get out but a challenge to come back into the slip if someone is docked beside me on my starboard side. When returning, we always prep as soon as we enter the no wake zone by putting out fenders for insurance on the starboard side and having a line tied to the midship cleat on the port side so that my wife can hook it around the nearest cleat for leverage once we get close to the dock and help to control the bow. We also mount a floating/telescoping hook on the dock that she can grab for emergencies. With her at the stern and holding the rope, I back into my slip close enough for her to get onto the dock (alignment doesn’t have to be perfect) and she hooks the rope around the cleat. By hooking the cleat, she doesn’t have to handle the full 9,000 lb weight of the boat because the cleat acts like a bit of a pulley. She just tightens up the rope as I ease in against the wind and wakes. With her snugging the rope, I can give it some power to overcome the wind and wakes while not having to worry about driving my swim platform into the adjacent boat on my starboard side! We’ve found that the key for us is to be prepared ahead of time...that way there is no panic if something goes sideways like a gust of wind or some yahoo flying into the marina (or plowing water) and creating a small tsunami as we try to dock.... Hope this helps
  2. Is there any chance that it could be: A split in a water line going between the freshwater supply tank and the faucets in the head or the water supply for the head itself if it is a vacuflush head that uses the freshwater supply? A loose fitting on on the HW or CW line caused by vibration over time? I had a loose T-fitting coming out of my freshwater tank on my Signature 270 that was causing water to build up in the bilge. A previous poor winterization could also induce split(s) in one of the poly-flo supply lines which might drip down to the bottom of a hose and cause water to pool at the lowest point?
  3. Hi all, I’m looking for some collective wisdom or tribal knowledge on how to go about boating the Rideau canal. Ours is a 29’ (LOA) Signature and we would be trailering from the upper Valley to Ottawa in order to travel toward Kingston. As such, I need a recommendation about where to launch and more importantly, where would be a suitable place to leave a tri-axle trailer for a week. Appreciate any suggestions. Cheers Kerry V.
  4. We have a 2005 Signature 270. Since the bow is so high we always back into the beach. Mind you the beaches around here are all beautiful sand. As we back in, we come to a stop then drop the bow anchor, giving it plenty of scope then back in slowly as the rode plays out. As I approach shore I trailer the drives all the way up and coast into shore and kill the engines. Once on shore, I set a Danforth-type stern anchor then use the windlass (or with my previous 26’ Doral pull it by hand) to snug the bow anchor rope tight enough to ensure that I’m floating and not swinging. (Don’t want to be bouncing your hull on a big rock that could be submerged just below the sand after all) Once positioned, I snug both fore and aft anchor ropes. If the wind and crosschop from other boats going by is significant, I’ll attach a second stern anchor and stake both in place using a small axe that I keep in the trunk for splitting firewood. I pin them through the ring that connects the anchor and chain ... especially if camping out overnight which we do most of the time. A 3 ft length of rebar works perfect for that. I also use a ramp that mounts to the second step down from the top of my swim ladder and extends toward shore so that I’m in knee-deep water instead of waist-deep water when I step off the ladder. You can see it just floating under the water in the image. The ramp is a folding aluminium ATV ramp that I modified by securing 1/2” thick cedar boards between the rungs of the ramp. I used non-skid tape on every second board because (cedar will get “greasy” in water over time) and secured them using roofing nails. I also fitted a pool noodle to the bottom half of the ramp so it floats in the waves/wakes/wind instead of dragging on the bottom and causing damage to the swim ladder. We secure it to the swim platform using a ratchet strap when underway. In over 20 years of doing this I’ve never had an issue with sand/clay/mud being picked up. Hope this helps!
  5. On a dry day, take some clear wax (an old candle will often suffice) and rub it along each of the seams. The worst it will do is repel water from the stitching and preserve it a bit and it might even get you through another season?
  6. Funny you mention that they seem to fail around 350 hours because my hour meter is sitting at 359 currently.
  7. You nailed it Wingnut! The port IAC was indeed faulty. I switched it for the known good one that I'd replaced two weeks ago. The two beep alarm did not come in at all. Just to verify, I installed the suspect IAC on the starboard engine, fired it up and immediately got the two-beep alarm. I guess as you suggested, the failure of the first IAC must have been mechanical in nature while this one was related to the servo motor. In retrospect, it makes sense that both would fail within a few weeks of each other since they were both original to the boat. Thanks once again for your expertise and for your willingness to share it! Kerry
  8. Wow Wingnut! That is a lot of information to take in...but nevertheless, thanks for the education! I have to make a correction however. It turns out that now, the engine is starting just fine when warm. I must have failed to let the fuel pump fully pressurize the system before attempting to start so perhaps that eliminates the IAC? Ironically, I replaced the IAC on that engine two weeks ago when my port engine kept stalling when going to neutral. I actually swapped it with the starboard IAC as a test and put the new one on the starboard engine. So the original stbd IAC is now on the port engine. Maybe it too has become problematic? Maybe whatever caused the original IAC to fail is causing the same problem again? That said, when that IAC failed, no alarms came in. I've also noted that when I turn the key to the "on" position I get the single beep (as usual) but as soon as I turn it over, I get the 2 beeps immediately. I don't if that reveals anything or not but I figured I should include it. I also forgot to note earlier that when the first alarms came in, I checked the gear lube monitor and found the level at the "fill" line so I topped it up. I had done vacuum and pressure test on that bravo 3 drive prior to the start of the season because I thought I'd seen evidence of water in the lube when it was changed last fall. Turns out I was wrong (it was clear synthetic lube and hard to tell) but the testing proved that the drive held both vacuum and pressure. A marine mechanic suggested disconnecting one of the leads going to the sensor on the gear lube reservoir to see if the beeping would stop (another suggested that the float can become suck on the bottom and cause an alarm to come in as well and to try to free it up using a pick tool or something similar. I did disconnect one lead but the alarm persisted. Maybe I needed to disconnect both leads? I'm guessing based on your recommendation that my best bet is to get a mechanic with a scan tool down to the dock and see what comes up. Thanks for the information though. I'm definitely going to print it up and keep it as a handy reference!
  9. Hi all, recently ran into an issue with my port engine on my 2005 Signature 270 giving me a 2 beep alarm every minute and not starting warm without giving it extra fuel. 4.3L Mercruiser TB fuel injected. Also, RPM lags slightly behind starboard engine at idle (500 vs 700) and at speed. All gauges read more or less the same for RPM (minus the 200 rpm lag) and temp as well as oil pressure. Also confirmed that the fuel pump can be heard coming on and stopping when turning the key to "on" position. Thanks for any and all suggestions! Kerry
  10. Probably but I notice that nobody has put the year and engine from which that Ford part originates and every parts counter I’ve ever dealt with wants that info.
  11. Yup. That is exactly why I am asking these questions lol! I want to be 100% certain before I even consider it.
  12. I recently saw on YouTube a method for pulling on board diagnostic codes from a mercruiser using a multimeter’s continuity-test setting and some paper clips/wires as a jumper on the OBD plug. Essentially, jumper two pins to put it into “service mode”, turn the key to the “run” position, then probe the connector on the correct pins using the continuity setting to generate corresponding “beeps” that you can count. (e.g., 1 beep followed by a brief pause then 4 consecutive beeps (with the whole sequence repeated 3x) equates to a code “14”) The problem for me was that the video showed what I recall to be a 10-pin OBD plug for a 5.7l engine. Mine are 4.3 L Bravo 3s and seem to have only a 4 pin OBD connection labelled “Depth sounder/Diagnostic”. Does anybody here know if: The 4.3L bravo 3 engines have another OBD port that I may have missed or if the 4 pin plug labelled “Depth sounder/Diagnostic” is actually the correct and only one? If the 4 pin connector is the correct OBD plug, then which pins should be jumpered to put it into service mode and which pins should be probed to pull the codes? Many thanks to all who can provide some suggestions...
  13. I recently encountered an engine stall problem with my 05 Signature 270. It would run just fine upon startup, idle at the dock and even ran fine when on plane but as soon as I quickly moved from “in gear” to neutral one engine would stall out. Talked with 3 different mechanics in my area and checked out this site as well as a few others. I had arranged for one of the mechanics to come to the dock and hook up the scan tool (@ ~ 100/hr of course) whenever he could squeeze me in but was told it could take a week for him to get there. I arranged for this because I suspected a faulty IAC valve but wanted to be sure before ordering a $200.00 part to find out it isn't the problem. I then had a chat with another mechanic (the mechanic at my marina who previously told me he was too busy to come and look at it). Since I’m equipped with Bravo 3s he said there is no “kill switch” to temporarily shut off the engines when moving to neutral like there is with an Alpha drive so there would be no cable adjustment. I suspected a faulty idle-air-control valve (IAC) and he figured it was a good guess (so did the other two mechanics) but also cautioned that it could be related to temperature senders as well. He said, since you have twins, why not just buy some gasket material and switch the IACs from one engine to the other? If the other engine dies when you go to neutral then you have your answer. So I went to the local auto parts store and bought a gasket material kit for $13.00, made a couple of gaskets and swapped the two components. It took longer to make the gaskets than it did to swap the parts lol. The long story is that it was the IAC that was faulty. But the lesson was that $13.00 worth of gaskets is a lot cheaper than $100.00/hr for a mechanic’s time. So if you have twin engines you can try switching parts and save a lot of money! Happy troubleshooting!
  14. KDV

    Attention on Deck!!

    Regarding drowing-especially toddlers! I’ll post something that was passed on to me by our local certified swimming instructor that most parents never consider: All responsible, well-meaning boaters/beachgoers I know who have toddlers, always dutifully keep a suitably sized life jacket on their toddlers when on the beach as well as when boating. But according to our toddler’s former swimming instructor, something that few consider the is the negative impact of disposable diapers on the effectiveness of toddler life jackets! You know, the ones with the “headrest, strap through the groin area and grab handle”... They told us never, ever use disposable diapers with a toddler lifejacket! After all, they’re designed to absorb water!! Waterlogged diapers will put a child face down in the water and prevent the lifejacket’s buoyant back panels and “headrest” from doing what they are designed to do and roll them face up so they can breathe!! And because as was pointed out here, drowning is silent... so you would never know you child is in distress! If you must use something, use the “little swimmer” pull-up type of disposable diaper or something similar that doesn’t absorb nearly as much water. And always test those disposables first with the intended lifejacket before getting underway, going to the beach/pool (or on shore before you leave them play on their own) to verify just how it changes the effectiveness of the lifejacket!! Nobody needs to learn the hard way...
  15. Actually, yes but not witnessed visually. We were anchored for the night on one of many Ottawa river beaches, sitting around the campfire on Canada Day weekend, when around 10:00 we heard a loud bang. At first we thought fireworks but no other sound followed. Turned out that a 20 something year old had taken a woman out on a seadoo in the dark (at her insistence) and piled into a rock island less than a km away. We heard the impact. Both were killed instantly. One of our party took the military first responders out to the scene in his fishing boat. He needed a stiff beverage for a nightcap needless to say. Not a good night.
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