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TOPIC: HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please

HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 07:48 #1

  • MonteVista
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While cruising at speed apparently someone hit the windlass switch by accident. I had replaced the original momentary-ON, OFF, momentary-ON switch with one that works ON, OFF, momentary-ON so I don't need to keep my finger on the button while dropping anchor and can use both hands for steering which I need to do in crowded places under heavy wind. With the switch turned on and anchor/chain being dropped we did not immediately realize it and by the time we realized it it was too late! The engine came to a sudden stop with a terrible sound. I needed to call for assistance and were able to unwinded the chain and pull it back in. Chain and anchor and the windlass are working OK. So is the engine. However the propellers are toast. Even worse, the props don't turn when I put it in gear. I had to be towed a long distance to shore and then the boat was lifted up on a truck for a long journey home. Back home my mechanic removed the drive and observed the transmission gears are OK but some parts/linkages need to be replaced. The really bad news is the engine coupling is broken. He thinks this will require the engine to be lifted out.

I have the QSD 4.2L Mercury engine in a Bayliner 285. Does anyone know if the coupling can be replaced without removing the engine?

Lesson learned: always have a chain lock engaged to prevent such a situation.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

Safe cruising

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 08:04 #2

  • mr.bent
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You probably have a bravo drive connected to that motor, so you can't change the coupler without lifting the engine.
The cover over the coupler is also the rear mount of the engine so no easy way, but a nice chance to clean up the engine compartment. :cheer:
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 08:43 #3

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Thanks,

I do have Bravo III so the engine has to come out. You are right, the only silver lining in the cloud is I should be able to end with a very clean bilge and engine compartment.

Oh boy!

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 12:08 #4

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MonteVista wrote: Lesson learned: always have a chain lock engaged to prevent such a situation.


When I installed my windlass, I added a 65A helm-switched solenoid to where the power for it came off a gang on the transom wall. Then I ran the power for the solenoid switch off the ignition switch, so the engine has to be running, and I cannot run the battery down.

Now I only need to fire up the engine and hit a switch for the windlass rocker switch to have power. I've also kept that 'big power source' off the helm until I need it.
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"B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 13:01 #5

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I feel your pain. The anchor should be secured with a line tied to a cleat. That way if you accidentally hit the switch it won't release. Yes, I learned this the hard way!
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 15:14 #6

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After my incident I too am considering something similar. In addition to a chain lock which I should be using on every trip, I may add a regular switch in tandem with the windlass switch on the dashboard. I can then discipline myself to keep this switch always in the OFF position so the windlass can not be operated, unless I intend to drop/pick up anchor.

So many lessons, so little time (and money!) to learn them all!

Be safe, all!

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 15:38 #7

  • Ruffryder
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you should be using a good anchor chain tensioner!
you dodged a bullet:) last time this happened to me, it ended up damaging my engine... spun the main bearing.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 16:27 #8

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One of these to keep the switch from being accidently activated.
www.rpelectronics.com/30-1250-toggle-switch-safety-guard.html

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 17:07 #9

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The opposite can happen too. Years back a few of us were rafted up overnight. Collection of 30 t0 35 foot express cruisers. Storm came up out of no where with 50 mph gusts. We started dragging towards a permanent mooring. One of the guys got on the radio and told everyone to deploy. While most held, the right side of the raft was still spinning. While we didn't drift into the mooring, it wasn't until the next morning that we figured it out. The searay 340 on the end had about 150 feet of chain and anchor line hanging from the boat with the anchor safely attached to the tensioner. He still hasn't lived that down.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 18:32 #10

  • Mr. Darcy
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Sorry to hear of your troubles, but thank you for sharing the incident. Now I know of one more thing to be careful about, and hope to avoid that disaster.
Greg

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 19:00 #11

  • Chief Alen
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You might be covered under your insurance.

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Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 02 Sep 2017 20:49 #12

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Thanks Chief. I sent a message to Pantaenius which is my insurance co. I am waiting to hear.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 03 Sep 2017 14:28 #13

  • JimMc
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I would not mention the part about changing the switch to the insurance company
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 04 Sep 2017 20:31 #14

  • Glasply1
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You say you need to change some parts/linkages in outdrive. I would make sure there are no loose bits floating around in and amongst the gears in the drive (and be very sure the gears are all good.... I'd visually inspect). Also, a hard stop that stalls the engine like that is tough on motor (ask me how I know!). In fact, when I made my claim the insurance company asked if the motor stalled. You gotta pull the motor so I'd do a compression check in case there's something else that might need to be done because if there is it would be a waste to find out later.
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 06 Sep 2017 07:14 #15

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Thanks,

Most of the innards of the transmission (gears, etc.) are being replaced. I shall ask the mechanic about the engine also.

P.S. The lower gears are intact. In the upper section, the gears are ok but the yellow sleeves inside (for the clutch, I believe) are damaged. Unfortunately Mercury does not sell those separately and further they sell the transmission gears as a pkg. So, I am having the entire transmission replaced. May be Mercury has a different policy in other countries but at least here in Turkey, I have to through this route. All in all parts costs add up tp about $6700 (incl. tax and duty charges). A brand new drive unit takes much longer to bring in and costs around $12,500, props separate. The props are repairable but once I have the boat functional I intend to have those replaced.

Thanks,

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 06 Sep 2017 08:12 #16

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Some pictures related to my incident.

Being towed by GULMARIA (Google it!)


On top of the winch/truck


One broken part


Many parts laid out


Prop damage!

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 08:14 #17

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So, more details about the damage.

Apparently, as both props were firmly grabbed by the chain the lower unit came to an immediate stop. There is no damage to any part of the lower unit. This transferred all forces upwards through the vertical shaft to the transmission. The shaft was slightly damaged and the piece that engages the gears was broken. There are separate gears in the upper unit/transmission. None of their teeths were damaged. However, each gear gear has a pressure fitted metal sleeve on the inside (gold color) and two ofthose were scraped a bit. Mercury does not sell those separately and also sells all 3 gears and cluch as a single pkg, local price is almost $2000. While these parts were being damaged the torque from the engine was too much for the coupler and it broke. Engine appears not harmed at all.

All in all, parts, labor, transportation, drydock services, etc. this is going to be about a $12,000 lesson for me. I am working with insurance to see if or how much they will cover. From now on I shall cruise with the chain snubber or anchor tensioner on as well as implementing a separate switch, with a safety cover, that will provide power to the windlass switch so unintended operation of the windlass switch can not deploy the chain/anchor.

I learned my lesson, I wish it was easier!

Be safe

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 11:30 #18

  • johnep
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I have a similar set up. I just lifted and turned the motor and replaced the coupler without removing it. Total time was around 5 hours. Why not keep the windless system you have but install a switch to power the windless in a separate location? You would need to intentionally turn the control switch on before using it. Seems like you have a good set up just needs a safety switch.
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 18:55 #19

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Good advice about lifting and turning the engine to replace the coupler. The engine needs to be turned anyway so it can come out of the engine compartment's opening.

I intend to power the windlass exactly as you suggested. I shall keep the existing windlass switch and will add another switch elsewhere on the dashboard to provide power to the windlass switch. That switch will also have a safety cover on it so that the cover has to be opened first in order to turn on the switch and provide power to the windlass switch.

Be safe

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 23:30 #20

  • tdcooper99
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MonteVista wrote: Some pictures related to my incident.

Being towed by GULMARIA (Google it!)


Beautiful tow boat.... I've actually been planning to PM you as I am possibly interested in a bare boat charter in Turkey next year. Not GULMARIA unfortunately. For that kind of money I'd BUY a boat (or 3!) locally :woohoo:

My wife and I have spent some time in Turkey, 5 trips at various times when we first met. Kalkan, Kas, Fethiye, Dalaman, Marmaris, Oludeniz... pretty much all the main tourist places along the south coast. We lived in London at the time, only just moved back to Canada in 2015, and only got into boating at that time. It's our 10th anniversary in 2018, and I'd like to do something spectacular.... so I'm considering a charter somewhere in that part of the world... Greece, Croatia, Turkey.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 23:48 #21

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Here are a few pictures of my motor turned. I did not need to remove the motor to replace it.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 08 Sep 2017 23:50 #22

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Motor turned

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 09 Sep 2017 05:06 #23

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Thank you,

This is very useful. I shall discuss this with the mechanic.

Thanks so much.

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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 09 Sep 2017 22:48 #24

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If the props have the rubber hubs, have the hubs replaced.
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HELP! Disaster happened I need advice, please 10 Sep 2017 06:36 #25

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Props don't have rubber hubs, so that's ok. Unfortunately the engine has to come out since it is a QSD 4.2L, not a V8 as shown in johnep's pictures. Expecting all parts to be received by end of monday. Rest of the week is repair time. I shall try to take pictures of the engine coming out and going in. I am really worried about this. Other than the obvious difficulty in removing connections to the engine space is very tight in there (generator, waste tank, gray water tank, ..) already removed the batteries., that might help. I think the engine has to be turned 90 degrees inside the compartment so it will fit through the opening. I am having nightmares!,,

Be safe

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