Click for Cheoy Lee Click for Ocean Alexander Click for Fendertex Click for Abeking Click for Mag Bay

New owner got stuck in mud in main channel

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by seajewel, Dec 27, 2008.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    I am new to this wonderful forum! I am the proud owner of a beautiful carver 33SS with 6.0 MPI Crusaders -- Had plenty of captain training hours -- just did my inaugral voyage (a small harbor cruise) from the Newport Dunes only to be stuck in mud between the green and red channel markers! I backed up and had to get right in the middle of the lane to establish better depth. Boat now vibrates heavily when using the throttle on the starboard side.. I will be checking the strainers as the starboard engine died a couple of times.. An obvious learning lesson is to use the depth finder (my teaching captain had it turned off as we drove from San Diego to NB). Miraculously, I was able it to redock in wind conditions backing in (depth was 10ft7" at dock side). There was active dredging going on at the time. Advise to using main channel markers and what damage to expect (props, shaft, etc). Help. I still love my boat! Just a painful pride injury! :(
  2. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    That sounds more like bent running gear (probably a prop rather than shaft) than any problems with sea strainers. It would be a good idea to check the strainers, but I'd bet on a bent prop.
  3. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    Thank you -- I will let you know -- I am hoping that is all it is!! By the way, how common is for a main channel to be so shallow! Thank you again!:rolleyes:
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,312
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    it depends where... i'm not familiar with the west coast and it depends on what you call "main channel". because there are markers and a channel, it doens't mean any boat can make it thru, some marked channels can be shallow, it depends what they're for.

    it also helps to check the notices to mariners for shoaling and dreding info.

    I can't imagine why anyone would be running with the depth finder off... in doubt slow down when you see the bottom come up.

    you probably have a bent prop, and/or shaft...

    if you tell us exactly where that happened (which channel, which marker nr), we can look up the charts and give you more precise advice...
  5. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    Pascal and Ken
    Thank you for the constructive advice --I was only going a whopping 3 to 3.2 knots; the markers lead you to newport dunes - I will be going to the boat today to get approxiamte position. It so far is a humbling experience -- My teaching captain programmed my E80 to show a 3 split screen without the depth finder -- believe me - I learned my lesson...and spend much time learning to re-program according to my needs. Asides from the engine compartment where I can visually see the shafts - should I be looking elsewhere -- I will have the diver look at the props - any good advice about prop replacement?
    Thank you, Hisham :(
  6. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    If you haven't been aground, you haven't been around (or you're a liar)

    You can probably have them reconditioned. You may also look at replacing with new and keeping the reconditioned props as spares so as to avoid down-time if/when this happens again.
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,312
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    unless they are completely mangled up, they can be repaired and as Ken said, it's never a bad idea to have spares if you're going to cruise some distance from your homeport in areas here prop shops are hard to find.

    is the water too cold to swim in? pardon the stupid question, i'm from floriduh!... if not, go take a look with snorkel, that's what we do here :) if the vibration is bad, you shoudl see a bent blade. also, after grounding, alays look in the ER to make sure you're not taking on water... if you bent the shaft (unlkikely at low speed) you could be getting some leakage...

    teh strainers are not going to cause one of your engine to stop... unless it's overheating but then you'd see high temp on the gauge... always a good idea to check the strainers anyway.

    I'm not a big fan of a single multifunction display with split screens, you end up having a lot of stuff on one screen, hard to read. Unless you're fishing, you dont' really need a full graphic image of the bottom, see if you can setup the display to have just the depth shown, in a databox... takes less space. but i prefer having the sounder with its own display... and this way, if the plotter fails, you still have your sounder...

    also, make sure you use the latest charts, not just the chip in your plotter but the paper charts as well... in doubt, stick to the middle of a channel, except for other traffic obviously... again, not familiar with california waters but on the east coast, channels often shoal from the sides...
  8. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    Was talking to a friend today about going into Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. His exact quote:
    "Plow right in there if the wind is on your beam. It's shallower than a fashion model on each side of the markers." :D
  9. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    Thank you both for the great advice.
    Will make sure I am not taking on water!
    Will report back.
    Hisham :)
  10. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL
    "An obvious learning lesson is to use the depth finder"

    Before you put to much faith in it, find out what it's really telling you. It may or may not have an offset put in it. So it could be reading true depth, keel depth or anything in between.

    Personally I prefer a fish finder type display over a pure digital. Fish finders at least give you a picture of what is happening. Where digitals could be reading something other than the bottom. Many times I've watched the digital display go out on a fish finder while the graphic one keeps on reading the bottom just fine.

    Did the engine stall as you were trying to back off? mOr after you got into deeper water?
  11. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    Capt Bill
    It did both! (i.e, re engine stalling!)
    Believe me that was a hell of a "dumb me" lesson -- trusting the markers was not a really good advice I was lead to believe with my teachings - I am to blame -- I am just wanting to make sure I have all my bases covered.
    Thank You,
    Hisham :(
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,312
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Bill made a good point... check the setting on your sounder and see if someone set an offset. basically, the transducer is on the hull and reads the depth from the transducer ("antenna") to the bottom. Some people prefer to program an offset that ill give them either the depth from teh surface to the bottom or from the prop to the bottom...

    so indeed, if the sounder says 5' and you don't know if that's 5' from the transducer, from the surface or from the keel/prop it doens't do you any good.

    not sure about your system... usually it's goign to be under sounder setup menu or something like that...

    trusting the markers is good, but you need to look at the chart too...
  13. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    First I want to thank everyone for their input - I cant tell how wonderful it is to get support from more experienced boaters. I went to the boat - strainers are all clean (minimal stuff), bilge pumps are essentially clean, the shafts appear to be visually Straight - but what do I know -- I am sure we are concerned about the shafts from below the ER in the water. I just bought this boat 2 weeks ago and we drove it at cruising speed from San Diego to Newport Beach @ approx 22-25Knots. Prior to closing the purchase, I did have the oil change done on both engines and the generator; bottom was also painted. I bring this up because the ER was absolutely dry during the survey. The Training captain did check it before we left San Diego and said all was OK (we spend 3 days of training before leaving!). Right below both engines in the ER compartments towards the interior of the boat (medial) I see some water mixed with oil. Any clues??
    I will check on the settings for my depth finder - Thank you Pascal and Bill.
    Once again, Thank you for your attention to this matter. :confused: :eek:
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,587
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Seajewel,
    One thing about a depth finder it tells you about the depth you just passed, not what is coming up. Remember that transducer is probably 2/3 or more back from your bow. Check the depth finder about as often as you check your rear view mirrors in the car (every few seconds). In a shallow area one eye doesn't leave it. Watch for the bottom starting to come up (7,6,5,4,neutral).
    While you're checking the props hold a straight-edge from your rudder shaft out to the top op the prop blade. Keeping the straight-edge steady spin the prop making sure all blades meet it the same. Often a slight bend can't be seen with the naked eye, especially under water. This method will serve you well. Also check the struts. If as you turn the prop you feel a rubbing that would most likely be your cutlass bearing.
    The fact that the motor died several times indicates you may have ingested sand while trying to extricate yourself. You may need to back flush you motor and change your thermostat a couple of times.
    About that training captain...what lesson was he trying to teach by turning off your depth finder?:confused: Find a 100GT captain on at least his 3rd issue (more than 10 years professional experience). Along with docking and the basics spend a day with him going to places you may have thought of going or places he thinks you should watch out for.
    As for the E-80, it's a good unit. Try using a duel-screen (chart and radar and YES use the radar even when it's perfectly clear. That's how you get used to recognizing what you're seeing). The set up a data box for depth as was previously suggested. Move the range in and out. As you come in you will get more detail. On a day that you're just hanging around sit down and play with it, play with it, play with it. Put in routes to everyplace you can envision yourself going. That's the only way to make it second nature. Also, don't forget to set up the lolipop on your radar. If you get caught in fog you'll want your radar as big as possible. If you put in your route on the chartplotter the current leg will be on your radar so you won't need the plotter on except when you get into tighter quarters.
    I think you just found out why they say BOAT stands for Break Out Another Thousand. Hopefully not to many this time.
    BTW, watch for the change of texture and color to the water. That indicates a change in the bottom. Also, when in doubt proceed at dead slow or follow someone bigger than you.
    Good Luck.
  15. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale FL
    "Right below both engines in the ER compartments towards the interior of the boat (medial) I see some water mixed with oil. Any clues??"

    Hard to say. May be something, may be nothing. Check the fluid levels in your transmissions. And look for signs of leakage around your tranny seals.

    More people tend to damage something trying to get off the bottom than going aground.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,587
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I would not worry too much about this. From everything you've said it appears that you only wacked one prop. You also said you had an oil change recently. Odds are a few drops spilled into the bilge at that time. There will almost always be some water in the bilge from the shaft logs even if they are dripless (especially if they are new) or water from rain, washing or through the vents. Let a drop of oil mix with a few drops of water and bingo. Taste the water to see if it it salt or fresh. That will give you a hint at where to start looking for intrusion. Also, clean up that bilge. A new boat is easy to keep clean. That way if you do find a drop of oil just look up from it and you'll instantly know if you have a problem..
  17. seajewel

    seajewel New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    De Anza Marina, Newport Beach, CA
    Thank you NYCAP and Capt Bill
    Your advice is wonderful... I will be on the boat tomorrow reading and playing with everything... I do like the idea of constantly learning from these experiences. It only makes me more cautious. I am having a diver come in and check out the props; I am in the market to look for some extras anyway... I found a good deal on ebay for 21X21 -- a set fore about a grand ( Nibral 1.75inch)-- However , my boat came with 22X22 -- I know that screws with the rpm,etc -- should I even bother?? otherwise I will be looking at 3 grand for a new pair!!:( :eek:
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,312
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    a little water in the bilge is common as long as it's a little. if the pumps cycle on and off then it means more is comming and it could be trouble. could be rain water, could be water from washing the boat.

    tasting the water is one way to see if it's salt or fresh, but a safer way is to put a little water on a dark surface in the sun and see if you have salt left after it evaporates...

    what kind of oil? clear engine oil (tan), used engine oil (black) or red oil (tranny oil although some use regular oil, not ATF, or trim tab).

    how old is the boat? i thought you meant new but since you mentioned oil changes it may be used?

    nycap is right about practicing with radar although in some case, especailly at the beginning, id' prefer to run with the GPS as big as possible to get better details. Then as you build experience and start thinking about using the boat at night or at time where you may get caught in reduced visibility, you can start gettting used to the radar.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,587
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sorry Pascal, but I have to disagree with you strongly about this one. I've met too many panicked boaters (with years of experience) stuck in the fog. The GPS can be followed by anyone who can read a map and follow an icon across a screen. They're the greatest thing since sliced bread, but when that fog moves in and you stop the boat you'll be spinning in circles. Also, remember that some units have up to a 6 second lag time. That radar will be the best friend in the world IF you're used to using it. That is NOT the time for learning though. As you head for your home set the radar @ 3 mi. When you reach the 1.5 mi. line range in. Then .75, .50, .25, .125. and drive between the jetty images. Watch the radar as you do this with only an occasional glance up (the opposite of what you want to do). You'll be hooked.
    Props on e-bay. Although it's a good idea to carry spare props if you travel much (It could save you a 3 day layup waiting for delivery, but I've only changed 1 prop in over 20 years.) I would NOT buy these. Propping is a art & a science. Those don't match. Those will certainly raise your RPM's, but I have no idea of how they will effect your load, torque, speed, etc. If you want to get different results from your boat (faster out of the hole for instance) go to a reputable prop shop and let them figure out what you need. At this point you shouldn't need a new prop unless you broke a blade bad. In most cases though they'll add metal and bend it right. It won't be cheap, but it won't be 3K.
    BTW, you may even want to skip the diver and just get a haul. You know that one prop is dinged so you'll be hauling to have it changed anyway, and it's much easier to check on land anyway.
  20. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    I don't think either one of you guys is wrong on this although your advice is certainly geographically biased. NYCAP runs in the Northeast where fog is just a regular part of life and radar is a necessity (I even have it on my tender). Pascal typically (for pleasure at least) runs in Florida where fog is a VERY rare occurrence and radar during the day is more of a CYA than anything. So, Seajewel, for the early stages of learning I think you should heed the advice that suits your meteorological environment.
    I would give the diver a heads-up and he can probably pull the prop right there for less money than a haul-out.