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Author Topic: Hard to Start/Operater Error  (Read 2071 times)

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dave davis

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Hard to Start/Operater Error
« on: December 08, 2006, 04:29:40 PM »

Hard to start or operator error? :cry4`
This story happened last Saturday and it will be remembered as one of the most embarrassing mistakes that have happened to me in a long long time.
The crew and I met at the boat in time to take a short one hour trip to the Golden Gate YC to enter in the Seaweed Soup Mid-Winter Regatta. Before leaving the slip I went to warm up Wind Dragon and I pushed the glow plug button followed by the ignition and nothing happened except the starter motor and the fuel pump were sounding off. It seemed strange that it would not catch on. But since I had the boat out of the water for the last 3 weeks, I blamed the battery for the cause. After all, it was not used for that length of time. We all got nervous, tested all the wires and connections that we could think about, and finally we went back to the car in order to borrow the car battery. You have to remember that we were doing things much faster than usual and  we had a starting time we had to make at the regatta. You may have guessed by now that we were all running around without are heads connected. And suddenly, almost by accident, after many tries, the boat sprang to life.
It turned out that one of the crew hit the “kill switch”. That’s the little T- shaped lever that is in the starting panel. It’s function is to cut off the fuel intake by actuating the “stop solenoid”.
Well, I learned how sensitive the kill switch is on my boat. It cuts off about 1 inch above the base. Maybe this story will prevent others from falling into this trap.
By the way, we got to the regatta 15 minutes after the C34 start and I will have to use this race as my throw-out.
Dave Davis San Francisco, 707, Wind Dragon, 1988, South Beach

Mark G

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Re: Hard to Start/Operater Error
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2006, 05:08:05 PM »

Don't feel bad. I did something similar once. Only we were out sailing for a long day. The engine was stone cold. Instead of the usual starting almost immediately, nothing. I cranked a couple more times, nothing. I was thinking about how to navigate - under sail - the mooring field, the channel to the yacht club and the final approach to my slip with the wind was absolutely cranking. I then noticed the kill lever was pulled up. Since then, I have developed a compulsion to push it down every time I pass by.

Hey, it was 4 Fahrenheit here this morning. At least you guys are still sailing.



Ron Hill

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Re: Hard to Start/Operater Error
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2006, 06:44:15 PM »

Dave : Don't know what to tell you except you need a checklist!! 
Before starting the old prop aircraft it was : check the quadrant - Prop all the forward, then back  and all the way forward - then the same with the Throttle leaving it cracked alittle, then the Mixture control all the way forward!!
You need to do the same on your boat before starting - check all of the levers (throttle and shifter) and the the engine kill lever.  Better luck next time! 

Also don't forget that after trying to crank it over for the second time, you'd better shut off the raw water thru hull.  If the muffler fills and backs up water into a cylinder - you WILL screw up the valves when the engine does start!!!!!!!!!!    :cry4`
Ron, Apache #788

Jon Schneider

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Re: Hard to Start/Operater Error
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2006, 09:50:12 PM »

Nah, you don't need a list.  Here's what I do: make every mistake possible at least three times in front of your wife.  You'll learn not to do it again  :roll:  [Actually, I have a very forgiving wife... actually, she needs to be.]
Jon Schneider
s/v Atlantic Rose #1058 (1990)
Greenport, NY USA

Ted Pounds

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Re: Hard to Start/Operater Error
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2006, 08:55:17 AM »

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.  :oops:  Ron's right; a checklist, either in your head or on paper, is a great idea.  "Old habits are hard to break."  But, if they're GOOD habits, that can be very much to your advantage.
Ted Pounds
"Molly Rose"
1987 #447


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Re: Hard to Start/Operater Error
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 04:12:23 PM »

I can relate!!! 

While cruising the Channel Islands, we ran into a kelp paddy that stalled the boat and the engine came to a stop.  half and hour later we free the bulk of the kelp from the underbody and tried to restart the engine .....   NOTHING  :cry4`

after several tries, a thorough check of the system finally found the problem.  Apparently, when we stopped suddenly in the kelp bed, the "stuff" stowed in the starboard aft lazarette, shifted and fell against the "kill cable" kinking it so the engine was in a un-revealed stop position.

fortunately, we found the problem in a last ditch inspection, un-kinked the cable and restarted.

Valuable lesson .... be extremely careful when stowing stuff in the lazarette.
Cat34 Mk II True Luff #1582  2001
San Pedro, CA (Port of Los Angeles)
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