BOATING TIPS -- July 2000
Stay Alert!

Joe Coons

I got a reminder to stay alert the other day.

And it was my wife Judy who gave it to me!

We were coming home from a cruise we had donated at a charity auction. Along with four guests, we were running along at cruise speed just south of Chuckanut Bay, our destination, when Judy, who had gone below, called up from the hatch, ďJoe, come quick! Now!Ē

Hustling down from the flybridge, I heard my starboard engine making a dreadful clatter. ďThat isnít right, is it?Ē, said she.

It sure wasnít! After a quick look in the engine room (with the engines now at idle), I shut down the noisy offender. From then on, we continued our trip on one engine only. But Iím wondering what was wrong . . . and what it will cost . . .

Iíve contacted my mechanic to get a professional opinion, and Iíll report to you on the results (unless Iím in debtorís prison). I thought it best not to start it up again without a guru on hand, even though there was no exterior evidence of any engine anomaly.

Iím hopeful that Judy heard the clatter as soon as it started (she thinks she did) so I was able to act quickly enough to let the problem, whatever it was, compound the damage.

And Iím sure glad that Iím able to fairly skillfully operate our boat on one engine, something I practice because I do a lot of single-engine training.

Moral: Keep a good lookout and ďlisten-outĒ both inside and outside your boat . . .

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