Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel)

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Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel)

Post by Old PDQ Message Board » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:54 am

Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel)

Posted by Keith Gouveia on August 04, 2003 at 21:20:00:

Hello fellow PDQer's:[/i]

My wife and just tied the lines to the dock in the Washington, DC area after
taking our, new to us, PDQ 32 "Katmantoo" down to the Bahamas for the winter and
Spring. We had a wonderful time and the boat performed quite well all things
considered. I am a longtime mono-hull sailor and this boat was a compromise to
get my wife down to the Bahamas this time

It was a great platform to entertain from at anchor, we were able to sneak into
the best holes and primo locations in Georgetown, Marsh Harbour and other
crowded anchorages. Sitting on the hard bimini and steering through the cuts was
a dream. We received many compliments about the look of the boat and managed to
show several larger monohulls her rear-end under sail

Now the "all things considered" aspect. We had nothing but trouble with the
outboards. If you are planning to cruise down the ICW to the bahamas and futher
I would recommend stowing a spare 9.9 Yahama 4 stroke (if you can get one)
wherever you have room and buy a service manual. Better yet get the LRC model

It costs more but you will probably spend the difference in outboard repairs

Both motors had about 700 hrs on them when we bought the boat and were recently
serviced by an authorized Yamaha dealer. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Yahama
parts for this engine are like gold. Hard to find and very dear when you get
them. In Coinjock, NC we lost the port engine. After getting an authorized
Yamaha dealer to examine the problem he concluded it was the infamous stator
that never goes bad! Well 1 month later we picked up the new stator in
Charleston, SC after limping 400 miles on 1 engine (our mantra for the trip
would turn out to be "thank goodness we have/had two engines"). The part had to
be ordered from Japan (no one in US had one) and put on a boat and shipped to
US. What no air mail?
We were very thankful for the second engine because we could now cruise at about
6.5 to 7 miles/hr instead of the 4-5 miles (we like using statute miles on
ICW)we had for the last 400 miles

The engine ran fine for the next 650 miles. I became religious on upper/lower
unit oil changes and tune-ups and put the stator in myself incase the other one
bit the dust

Two months after leaving the Chesapeake and 1 month of dawdling waiting for the
stator we were finally in position to cross the stream in Key Biscayne. I have
done this trip several times before so I had a good idea what to expect or so I

The crossing to Gun/Cat Key was great and after napping for awhile we headed for
Chub Key in the Berry Islands to check in. This is about a 90 mile stretch of
beautiful water crossing the banks in shallow water that the catamaran ate up

Unfortunately, you must anchor out on the banks with no protection for the
evening as you don't want to come off the tricky banks without light. Anchoring
that night was horrible. The wind blew 20-25 kts the boat bounced at anchor with
a cross-current to wind and we endup rolling even in the cat about 15 degrees
and the hull slap was a Lennox Lewis punch. Finally, at light forty we headed
towards Chub Key and about 20 miles from the cut to the channel the port engine
died. Seemed to be a fuel problem as it slowly gurgled and quit. After the
tremendous bouncing it was reasonable to believe that the crud in the tank got
stirred up. Cleaned the primary filter and it ran for awhile and then several
more instances of this occured. It finally quit turning over at all. During this
time we were fighting into a 3 ft chop on the banks with 20 kts on the nose and
with the 1 engine fired up to 3/4 throttle we were making about 3 kts. It was a
long trip to Chub Key. "Thank goodness we have/had two engines."
After checking into Chub I checked the engine and determined that somewhere we
had misplaced the engine oil and the flywheel wouldn't turn. Uhoh blown head?
Well, after many small squirts of wd-40 into the cylinders and small turns of
the flywheel I broke it free and fired it up. It ran great except for the fact
that sea water was now pouring out of the engine oil drain plug. Oh, thats where
the oil left? Evidently the plastic drain plug had failed

Its alright, "Thank goodness we have/had two engines."
We motorsailed tacking and making a 38 mile trip 55 miles to Nassau (Miami of
the Bahamas.) We couldn't wait to order our brand new Yamaha. We weren't going
to screw around anymore. Any engine problems will be of my own making not from
previous owners

We get into Nassau too late to order that day so the next day I am on the
doorstep of the largest Yamaha dealer in the Carribean and Bahamas with coffee
in hand. Well, it turns out that this unique motor is unavailable anywhere in
the Carribean, Bahamas and US and they can order us a new one from Japan in
July. It is February 16. No problem, I'll call PDQ and see if they have any
spares lying around the shop or can help me get one from somewhere in Canada

The folks there were very nice in explaining to me that they only got them as
they needed them for the 32's they were building and that unfortunately they
couldn't help us get one out of Canada

I asked about the outboards for the 36 since there were more of those and a PR
person told me that the 9.9's were too small for PDQ 36. Interesting, there was
a PDQ 36 anchored next to me off Crocidiles and I could have sworn they were
9.9's oh well

Fortunately, the Bahamaiam dealer was a resourceful guy and suggested that we
get a new powerhead since the lower unit had obviously been replaced (news to
me) and that we would have a new motor. Cool. We could now make our way down the
Exuma chain and get to Georgetown only having to go through one cut with one
engine. We would have the rebuilt engine sent down on the mailboat and continue
our trip to the southern family islands. We spent a month going down to and
hanging out in Georgetown and learned that it would take another two weeks for
the head to come in and be installed in the engine

We decided to turn around and head back to Nassau and instead of doing the
Jumentos, Acklins, Rum Key we would do the Abaco's. Long ago I know you were
saying quit your whining you are in the Bahamas how bad can it be? It was great

But we had a cloud hanging over us the whole time and we wished it was a Co2
cloud from our missing outboard. We would have been able to go more remote

We got back to Nassau waited a couple more days and had the engine installed and
timed. The shop did quick efficient work when the head arrived. However, in the
rush to put it in they failed to hook up the alternator charging wire and it
took me a new battery and pulling the engine back out of the well to track down
the disconnected wire. Got an early lower unit oil change out the way though

Okay, so now we have a functioning port engine and life is great. We spent the
next month and half cruising the Abaco's without a glitch. Just about when we
were thinking it was time to head west for West End the starboard engine started
to miss. Nothing regular just periodic ... enough to make us worry about
crossing the Stream. Well, I found it to be a faulty fuel pump and a week later
got a new one put it on and life was good again. We were stunned at how quickly
this part was here. Well, by now we could have bought two brand new outboards
for what we had spent on them, if we could have got them

They now run great (I don't mind putting on the jinx since we are tied up for
the next two years) and it only took us 3 oil up/down/tuneups to make it back
from Bahamas. All along the way the Yamaha dealers kept telling us how great
these motors were/are and how they rarely saw the problems we had. After reading
some of the missives on this board I now realize the shops we visited must have
gotten all the mid-week produced motors and we had the Monday and Friday motors
installed in this boat

Oh, you may read this tale and say so what its a sailboat. True enough ... but
even in the Bahamas the wind seems to blow from where you want to go

I highly recommed this trip and a PDQ 32 is great boat to do it on ... but as I
said at the outset ... an extra motor and a shop manual is the way to do it if
outboards are your way

Keith Gouveia
S/V Katmantoo
P.S. I'll spare the details on the dinghy outboard (yamaha 3hp).

Follow Ups:

Re: Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel) Cindy Doug 05:53:21
08/09/03 (0)
Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...) Michel Gingras 14:21:12
08/05/03 (0)
Re: Cruising with outboards Don Wilson 09:43:02 08/05/03 (0)
Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...) Roger Ford (s/v Kokomo)
04:56:02 08/05/03 (2)

Re: Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel)

Posted by Cindy Doug on August 09, 2003 at 05:53:00:
In Reply to: Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel) posted by Keith
Gouveia on August 04, 2003 at 21:20:00:

Been there. Done that. Your trip sounds fairly similar to ours. Thanks to our
failing 9.9's on our 36, we had near misses with bridges in a swift current, a
minor collision with another boat in a swift current, whoever was off watch
spent their time with their head in the engine well. AND we even had to make
half the trip from Rum Cay back to G-town by dropping our 5h dinghy engine into
the well and using that to get back (once the wind died). We got a new engine
shipped to Georgetown and got help from the BEST mechanic EVER - Benjamin from
Exuma Dive Shop. Then we headed to the Jumentos, lost BOTH engines half way to
Ragged. Sailed back to G-town and traced the problem to bad fuel. Ripped out the
fuel tank and took care of that. Then headed down through the Jumentos AGAIN and
crossed over the Cuca where we spent 2 glorious months cruising the north coast

Oh yeah, we lost the other engine there. But we managed to get by on our new one
and replaced the second one in Daytona

I'll leave it at that for now. Just wanted to say -- we feel your pain.

Follow Ups:

Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...)

Posted by Michel Gingras on August 05, 2003 at 14:21:00:
In Reply to: Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...) posted by Roger
Ford (s/v Kokomo) on August 05, 2003 at 04:56:00:

CatScan32 (1995) hULL#18
Changed 1st engine last year (oil pump faulure) and second engine this year(Oil
check failure).. Not too bad considering what I read. Quick overnighht delivery
both times from Seaway Marine (Canada). Call Kumar 905-721-2121....Great Guy!
My engines outran the sails!!!

Follow Ups:

Re: Cruising with outboards

Posted by Don Wilson on August 05, 2003 at 09:43:00:
In Reply to: Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...) posted by Roger
Ford (s/v Kokomo) on August 05, 2003 at 04:56:00:

Next Exit, 36028, is on the 3rd set of 9.9's. Even blew one up in the Bahamas a
while back. When you do go to replace them in the US make sure you give yourself
plenty of time because at certain times of the year they can be almost
impossible to find.

Follow Ups:

Re: Cruising with outboards (I feel your pain...)

Posted by Roger Ford (s/v Kokomo) on August 05, 2003 at 04:56:00:
In Reply to: Cruising with outboards (This missive is a novel) posted by Keith
Gouveia on August 04, 2003 at 21:20:00:

Keith: Some of your story rings true... As you may have seen a little below on
this Board, I just replaced the stator after 500 hours. Many owners have had
good luck in getting parts for the 9.9 (standard on 32's and 36's) from (1-888-324-8348). I ordered the stator and CDI on Wednesday and had
them 1 week later. (That's after Yamaha sends them to Boatune in FL and they
re-shipped them to me.)
It seems that spares is the mantra for 9.9's. I've had a spare oil filler cap
since day-one because I could just see that cap going in the water. After the
stator repair, I ordered a spare stator and two of the woodruff keys for the
flywheel - another probable candidate for going into the drink. If I had it to
do over, I'm not sure if I would go LRC or not. You can remove and replace
several outboards for the additional LRC cost. The outboards are lighter and
pull out of the water to reduce drag. Fuel problems are common with diesel
engines and they often happen at the worst possible time - rough seas as the
crud is dislodged from the bottom of the tank

I've made my choice and will have to live with it. Conventional wisdom says that
the 9.9 should be replaced at 2000-2500 hours. I'll be happy for 1500 hours and
already have money in the budget for the next set - which I'll buy State-side
before I cross to the Bahamas. In the meantime, I'll learn to do the common
repairs and do whatever has to be done to keep the 9.9's running. In closing,
thank God we have 2 engines... Maybe we'll see you on the Bay?
Roger Ford
Kokomo (36080)
Baltimore, MD

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