Author Topic: More engine troubles...  (Read 2194 times)

Offline lkm

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: 2
More engine troubles...
« on: May 09, 2016, 10:04:30 PM »
Well, after a very nice calm season opener with light winds and a smooth running engine, I had a rather 'exciting' day Sunday with gusty winds and the engine stalling below 2000rpm, making for an challenging approach to docking situations.

Of course, to make matters a bit more complicated, is when just as your approaching the doc the motor mount just breaks off in the middle and the engine falls in the water held by the starter wires and fuel lines, which tends to distracts you.








Boat survived without damage and motor recovered, but I suspect the engine will need a bit of work after begin completely submerged for a few minutes.
I'll count myself lucky as this could have been much worse.

Note to others with 10 year old mounts, it might be worthwhile to inspect this important part of your boat.  I wouldn't have thought that this could happen.
2005 Eclipse #20 - Figaro

Offline Salty19

  • Fleet Admiral
  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 2399
  • Karma: 38
    • Island Time Pictures
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2016, 10:22:06 PM »
Ouch!  Sorry that happened, but at least you had some luck by not losing it entirely.  I had read a couple of reports about those boards breaking, but Gerry Hutchins assured me that was a problem from quite a long time ago (1980's).  Not wanting to lose the motor, last winter I built a new board out of marine ply, carbon fiber and plenty of epoxy.  At the time I thought...i probably don't need it, but better safe than sorry.  After having owned a couple of cranky, PITA 4 strokes I was paranoid about losing the ultra-reliable 2 stroke Yamaha. 

However your pics have assured me I did the right thing.

I'm curious if the white appearance was present prior to it breaking.  If so, that could be UV degraded the plastic, making it brittle to the point of failure.
If so, others with a similar white appearance might want to replace it. 

Do you want my old board to get you by for now?

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 328
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 09:56:05 AM »
OMG.  Amazing that you were able to recover from this.  I will look at mine very carefully next time out, especially since my PO drove all around, including a trip from Texas to Kansas with a 9.9 hp 4 stroke on the mount.  I hope you will indulge me with a few answers.  What size outboard was on the mount?  Do you trailer with the outboard on the mount?  I was driving behind a powerboat last summer with a 5 hp or so outboard on the stern in addition to the 250 hp 4 stroke.  The 250 was supported by a trailer bar but the 5 was not.  Every bump the trailer took would bounce the 5 hp up and down really violently.  Of course it was mounted to the transom and not a mount.  Good luck.  BTW where did you go to buy a new mount.  Com Pac?  Al

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 268
  • Karma: 3
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 04:56:56 PM »
Wow.  Sorry to see that.  I had my boat (#23), so same age as yours, out today.  I'll have to take a close look at the mount tomorrow.  Thanks for the heads up. 
Do keep us up to date on the repair,  I may want to do mine as a preventative measure. 

Good luck,

Vectordirector
2005 Eclipse #23
2004 World Cat 250DC

Offline Tom L.

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 437
  • Karma: 7
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2016, 04:58:09 PM »
Hi Al,

That bouncing (shock Load) you describe puts many more times the load on the mount than anything else. I trail my Sun Cat all the time with the motor mounted to the transom motor mount. But and it's a big but I always tie a line to the motor and use a truckers hitch tied to the base of the gallows to pull the slack out of the mount which totally eliminates that bouncing around. The rope itself takes a lot of the load off the mount too.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 328
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2016, 07:39:41 PM »
Brian:  I would guess that most of us need to do a preventative maintenance repair on that puppy!!  Can't be a tremendous amount of cash and it should beat dropping the motor in the drink, especially a salt water drink.  Going to take a long hard look at mine tomorrow.  Should be a good day of sailing.    Al

Offline lkm

  • Rigger
  • ****
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: 2
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2016, 07:47:39 PM »
As for how I averted disaster: The boat recovery was possible in large part to my quick acting mate (my wife) and someone on shore who recognized the dilemma, but kept focus and surged to action to protect the bow of the boat and gain control and guide me to an open slip.  Fortunately I was in reverse when the mount broke and moving at slow velocity forward.  My hand was still on the handle of the motor and I never even let go of the motor (it was also attached via starter wires and fuel lines), but I couldn't keep the 90lb motor it above water at such awkward angles from just the handle. With the boat safely into an open slip, my wife helped me pull the engine up onto the boat.  Does marrying well count as luck or skill?  :^)  Mostly luck I think.

Regarding causes:
1) How big is the engine -- too big.  A tohatsu 8 with electric start.  Somewhere between 90 and 100 lbs.  Also 8hp is way to much for the boat, and the prop is too small and high pitched, which is part of why I think I had so much trouble with the throttle. 
2) Travel.  On longer trips I was trying to take the engine off, but with the electric start this is a real PITA because there is no quick disconnect so it requires disconnecting he battery, taking the engine cover off, unbolting the 2 wires and snaking them out, etc.  Then its a bear to move.  So, yes I was lazy and typically trailered with the engine on unless more than about 75miles.    Also, I know the PO traveled with it on, and don't know before that.  But, I suspect the bouncing down roads was a significant fatigue factor.  The motor always felt solidly attached, so the actual motion on the mount, although powerful, would likely be small compared to the stretch in any rope. I think it was lot of small motions rather than large ones.  In fact, I think a lot of the stress goes to the transom since when I bought the boat the transom had cracks that I professionally repaired (also reported on some other eclipses), so I was always nervous about traveling with the motor on, not so much because of concern for the mount, but that I might end up with more transom cracks (which so far I've been lucky with - the repair is holding).
3) The mount plastic looks very dry and brittle.  I noticed this even when I bought the boat, but figured it more of a cosmetic item at the time.  It looks like its seen a lot of sun and time.
4) The mount failed at bolt lines.  A better design would reinforce with metal rods to strengthen along the horizontal axis.

Regarding solutions:
I'm still looking into it. But...
The ComPac Parts list has something called "Motor Bracket, Eclipse" $258, but I suspect that is the entire bracket, not just the plate.  All that is broken is the mount pad.
It looks like you can buy a similar replacement mount for about $50-100 searching google for "outboard motor mount plate," but I need to investigate more on specific sizing, etc.  I might consider a hand build
I will likely take the motor to be serviced, if nothing else so that it can be sold, but am now strongly considering replacement with a smaller/lighter unit without the electric start like the SailPro, and then building a mount on the trailer so that I can move the motor off the transom during travel.   

Will keep you posted.
Larry.
2005 Eclipse #20 - Figaro

Offline brackish

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 2107
  • Karma: 53
  • Arion
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2016, 08:20:20 PM »
That's too bad, but your motor should be fine.  Best thing to do is to change the oil as soon as possible and start it as soon as possible.  May have to clean the carb to get it to start but should be ok.  I've dropped several in the drink, all recovered fine.  However it is too much motor for that boat.

Regarding the motor removal process, I made a quick disconnect with these.     http://www.andersonpower.com/us/en/products/powerpole/index.aspx

It works great, the motor just has a short piece attached which on the 23 will just fit through the stern hole that it has to go through.  Every thing else stays on the boat and attached.  I used a PP75 because the motor had 8ga. wire. to the starter.

I purposely recycled a 9.9 electric start four stroke to reduce weight and make the motor easier to remove for towing.  I never tow with the motor on.  I replaced it with a Sail Pro, one of the best thing I've done to simplify the process of removal.  At 59 lbs. I can remove it by myself without having to get on a ladder or in the bed of my pickup.

Offline frank

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 362
  • Karma: 15
  • small boats....somewhere
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 09:25:11 PM »
Did you try Gerry at the factory?

They may be able to sell you the part seperately
Small boats: God's gift to young boys and older men

Offline Potcake boy

  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 546
  • Karma: 15
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 09:29:57 PM »
Larry,

The sooner you get that motor to the shop the better. Don't try the electric starter because there may be water sucked in while the motor was still running. That could create a hydraulic lock that could be devastating to your motor. Not such a big deal if a motor goes swimming but they do need prompt attention thereafter.

As far as a more suitable motor, I've used a Yamaha 8 hp on a CP19 that I had. I purchased a thrust prop (the kind with the elephant ears) and the rectifier kit. Loved it. I have also used a Tohatsu/Nissan SailPro 6hp, and it left me a little cold. The Yamaha is a little heavier, but the two cylinders are so smooth and quiet, and the thrust prop works great. The Tohatsu was noisy and vibrated a lot. The steering friction can't be tightened enough to prevent the motor from turning sideways at low speed, which is really annoying when steering with the tiller and you don't notice it till the boat won't steer right.  However it came standard with a 5 amp rectifier. The SailPro is a cheaper choice, but the Yamaha is so much nicer to use.

In any case, you lived through the experience and learned from it - that's pretty much good seamanship.

Ron
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water

Offline Tom L.

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 437
  • Karma: 7
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 09:49:05 PM »
IKM you're right about a rope back up on your mount. After looking at the picture the Eclipse mount is a rigid mount. A rope would not be as effective. BUt you still need to keep the motor from bouncing in its own kick up pivot mount and there is a lot of slop in that assembly.

Most sailboat transom mounts are the parallelogram bar type mount to raise and lower the motor. That permits the motor and mount to bounce significantly when on the road. The rope needs to be nylon so that it has some elasticity. Most of the motors weight is actually being held by the rope so the attachment point for the rope needs to be robust.

Tom L.
Present boat, Menger 19 "Wild Cat"    O'Day 25, Montego 25, Catalina 30, Tartan 37, Catalina 380, Mariner 19, Potter 19, Sun Cat

Offline Bob23

  • I'm a mean and selfish curmudgeon! - Bob23
  • Fleet Admiral
  • Commodore
  • ******
  • Posts: 6016
  • Karma: 112
  • All men die; few men really live.
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2016, 05:48:57 AM »
 Years ago back in my Seapearl days, I managed so submerge my new Tohatsu 3.5 in salt water for hours. (The details of events leading up to said submerging are classified!)  Back on shore, I immediately did 2 things: Vowed my next boat would be have a keel which lead me to buying my CP 23. And submerged the entire motor upside down in a barrel fresh water. Next morning I dropped it off at a friends shop. By 2 pm, he had it purring like the kitten it was. It ran perfectly from that day forth when I sold the Pearl.
 Since that day, I have refrained from dunking my motors in the drink but that broken mount has me concerned. Darn sure I'll be checking mine this weekend as I'm not fond of repeating what you went through.
Bob23

Offline hoddinr

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 340
  • Karma: 10
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2016, 07:30:26 AM »
I had the same problem with my Tohatsu 3.5 on Whispur, my SeaPearl 21.  Hit a submerged log in Lake Harris, and broke the engine bracket off.  She was tied on with a line, however, and by the time my buddy Bill Fite towed me back across the lake to Hickory Point I had the thing dried out.  Fresh gas and new spark plug and she started right up.  Fresh water helps though.

Ron

Offline alsantini

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 328
  • Karma: 8
  • Sail On
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2016, 08:59:44 AM »
I wonder just how much motor we need on an Eclipse?  I bought mine with a 9.9 4 stroke that was a beast.  Sold it with my Precision 21 and moved the Nissan 4 hp 4 stroke over to Off the Wind.  I have used it in all sorts of conditions including going into a 30 mph blow that popped up on the Gulf last year.  At 2/3 throttle I was not moving forward much but I was moving.  If the Nissan gave up the ghost, I am not sure what I would buy but I do not think I would go much above 5 hp.  My buddy in Florida with a much heavier Precision 23 uses a Mercury (Tahutsu) 5 hp 4 stroke.  The P-23 is probably 1000 lbs heavier than the Eclipse.  We have been in all sorts of conditions and always had reserve power.  So, what is hanging off the stern on your Eclipse?

Offline Vectordirector

  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 268
  • Karma: 3
Re: More engine troubles...
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2016, 03:06:12 PM »
Hi all,

2005 6hp 4 stroke Suzuki.  ~58 pounds.  I have one of those Master outboard locks and it makes it impossible to see what's happening around those top bolts.  I will remove it and see what's up.  My boat had some cracks on the transom when I got her.  I repaired them and they haven't returned. 

A 100 lb motor would put much more stress on the mount than a 60 lb one would bouncing down the road.  I forget my high school physics, but isn't it a geometrically larger force because it acts as a lever?  May be part of the problem.  I find 6 hp is plenty of power to get the boat to hull speed at 1/2 throttle.    In calmish water if I open it up past half it just gets louder and burns more gas, and I don't go any faster.   I would say the only reason to go bigger is to get electric start (priceless if you need it).

Good luck,

Vectordirector

2005 Eclipse #23
2004 World Cat 250DC