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Stuart Adair

What to do if I suffer mechanical failure....

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This hasn't happened to me but I'm sure one day it will....And before that fateful day I'd like to be prepared.

I'm cruising down the river with nobody else around and I suffer a mechanical failure that leaves me dead in the water. If I'm close to the marina (Perhaps an hour away) how do I get back. Or failing that how do I get to a place I can moor up safely ?

I'm an RCR Gold Member and I've got a VHF radio but I'd rather look after myself than making an emergency call. 

Obvious thing I've thought of is to fit an auxiliary outboard for use in emergencies but I've got a swim platform on the back and whilst I could remove it, I'd rather not. Is there such a thing as a side mount for an outboard ?  I've seen electric outboards but they put out about 30lbs of thrust. Is that enough to get my 1990 Signature 27 moving through the water ?

Sorry if this is a bit of a wet-behind-the-ears question but when it comes to boating that's exactly what I am :-)

Stu

 

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You could install a Kicker/Aux o/b motor as a back up. there are mounts available (electric wont be powerful enough for your boat)

Swim_Platform_Outboard_Motor_Bracket_2_m

depending on where you boat - there may be a Towing Service company in your area, you can call in event of such an event

(here in the BC - we have C-Tow "the Auto Club of the Sea" Marine Assistance Towing Company) - https://c-tow.ca/

Some hail other boater in the area for a tow .... though not all will offer to do so.

 

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Make sure you have your Coast Guard required paddle on board.  :D

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Check out sea-tow or boatus.

The memberships are cheap enough.

Remember their billing startz when they answer the phone.

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Have a good anchor that will hold you steady against the current, until help can arrive. Also, carry an appropriate amount of tools and equipment to repair the most common breakdown problems. 

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Well you have a radio and cell phone those are good assets. I would also suggest a nice paddle.  I've used one mine, just sit on the bow you can get to safety.

 

 

.

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Call " Sea Start" even if you are not a member they will come out and fix your boat, but you will have to sign up as a member there and then.....

For those of you in the US "Sea Start" is a UK based at sea brake down service....

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Buy the OEM manuals for your boat and educate yourself. You are the first line of defense for your families safety and protecting your asset and in most cases you can get her home with a few tools, key spare parts, and knowing how to stay out of trouble in the first place. If you share the make, year, and model of your power plant, many here will be able to share their experience relative to common failures. The most common break down on the water is as a result of overheating, and if you do your raw water pump maintenance at a reasonable interval, and don't use your skeg as a depth finder you can greatly reduce your chances of a failure while underway. The second issue is poor fuel quality which can become a gift that keeps on giving. Buy quality fuel from a known high volume source and pre-treat it with Stabil Marine 360. Proper fluids changes at recommended intervals, and if you suspect an issue then stop, look, and listen before you go from bad to worse.  W

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1 hour ago, Wingnut said:

"Buy the OEM manuals for your boat and educate yourself, and don't use your skeg as a depth finder ... W"

Words of wisdom!

What river will you be boating? I have been towed in off the Chesapeake bay by both other boaters and BoatUS, so unless you are sinking, someone is usually around. But Wingnut and others are correct. Try to prevent the situation of needing a tow.

Toddler, you've successfully used a paddle to move your 25 footer? I'm impressed? Many years ago, I had to pull my old 22' Grady White to shore. I had the rope around my chest. I am a swimmer, but that was the slowest progress I had ever made in the water. I jumped in because the oar I had wasn't making any progress.

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On our trip to Bimini...which seems like eons ago, I broke down.

SeaTow went and got me, towed me home to North Miami.....no charge.

Best return on money (membership fee) I will ever get.

 

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as Wingnut states, get the manuals and learn as much about your mechanical equipment as you can.  Keep a good tool box and spare parts on board.  And get a Sea Tow or Boat US membership in case you can't fix the problem.  The best defense is to be proactive and keep up with your maintenance.  I've had to change out my IAC valve on the water as well as change a prop (not practical now that I have a Bravo III).  I also carry a jumper box that I've used to jump other boaters.

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Oh, and one other thing, don't be afraid to message certain members on this site if you are in trouble.  Trust me, been there, done that a few times with my pal Wingnut!!:beer-7687-1:

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If you have not done it yet, sign up for a safe boating course this winter.

It is a good to start, and you can build from there.

If you don't do it for you, do it for the people in your boat, and the others on the water around you.

Get to know your boat.  Denny.

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At 6 mph inland river speeds . You can just pick a spot just  out of the moving boat channel area. Drop a front & rear anchor to stay close to the traffic line to yell & wave for help. If you drift to far away ? Radios do not work ?  No boat docking pole WITH A DISTRESS FLAG tied to it for a brake down ?   You may be sitting their quite a while.

I do a range check about 1 time each spring on the VHF band. . Only thing I no longer will do for a boat is to pull them OFF  OF a rocky stuk on.  They do not know if a holes is going to let water into the hull after being pulled off.  Know of 2 sinkers that had that happen...……. Wisely both were ordered to run the boat BACK ONTO THE ROCKS.

People forget boats are not like cars. Get out And sit down.

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On 12/17/2018 at 6:15 PM, tomnjo said:

Make sure you have your Coast Guard required paddle on board.  :D

Years ago, I had a gear grinding incident and had to shut down. I was in the Buffalo River. Fortunately, the current is very slow so bumping into the bridge wasn't damaging to the boat or the bridge. With the current being dead slow, I was able to manipulate the boat enough to get it to the LaFarge cement dock and tie up until the tow boat showed up. The paddle helped. But if this would have happened out in Lake Erie or the Niagara River, worthless.

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Yeah, I figure the paddle is good for maneuvering but not to much else. Can't imagine making much headway with one. We have enough current on our pool on the Mississippi to maneuver over to a bank.

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