BY CHUCK HUSICK
How To Properly Operate An Engine Out Of Water
Q. I have a Ranger 21 tug with an 18-hp Yanmar diesel.
When running the engine out of the water, it has a hosepipe coupling at the top to supply the engine with cooling water. I read
that I should never operate the engine with the hose under pressure. It said instead to fill a suitable-sized container of water and
simply allow the engine to draw the water through a short length
of hose into the engine. Is this the proper way to cool the engine
when out of the water? — Randy Griffin, Six Mile, SC
A. A pressurized water supply should never be used to feed
the raw-water pump of an engine equipped with a water-cooled
exhaust system. Applying even a low-pressure supply of water
to the raw-water pump creates the risk that the water will flow
through the pump when it’s not operating, or deliver an excessive
flow of water if the engine is operating slowly. Either condition
can fill the exhaust system with water, which can back up into
the exhaust manifold and enter a cylinder. The advice to allow the
engine to draw water from a container is correct.
PHOTO BY NEALE RABINOWITZ
Huffing And Puffing
Call Signs Of Yore
Q. My 20-year-old, three-cylinder Yanmar auxiliary has
provided 2,000 hours of service. While it runs well, once or
twice a year it makes a rattling noise and a white cloud of smoke
comes out the exhaust. Shifting into neutral and applying full
throttle usually eliminates the problem. However, recently,
it took a long time to clear the problem. Years ago “experts”
told me the problem was caused by bad injectors. I installed
three new injectors, but the problem remained. I think it’s a
stuck exhaust valve of one cylinder. Is there anything I can do?
— Helmut Mrozik, Matawan, NJ
Q. I’ve just ordered a new VHF radio with DSC. When looking for the application for an MMSI number, it asked for my “Call
Sign.” Is this a name I make up for myself? Is it an official name or
number assigned by the Coast Guard? Where and how do I apply
for a call sign if it’s officially assigned? When and how should a
call sign be used when using the radio?
— Mike Hampton, Houston, TX
A. I suspect a problem in the fuel-supply system. Assuming
you maintain the primary and secondary fuel filters in proper
condition and that the problem occurs regardless of the amount
of fuel in the tank, the engine-mounted mechanical-lift pump
may be at fault, failing to deliver sufficient fuel for the power setting, causing fuel starvation. The fact that you’re able to clear the
problem by shifting out of gear and accelerating the engine tends
to confirm this assumption, as the unloaded engine will consume
very little fuel while the high rpm will allow the pump to refill the
secondary filter and the remainder of the fuel system. I doubt the
problem is caused by either the injectors or a sticking valve. If the
problem occurs when the fuel level in the tank is low, you might
have an air leak somewhere along the length of the fuel pickup
tube in the tank, although the fuel pump will still be my prime
suspect. If you have an electric fuel pump in line with the fuel
supply, try turning it on when the problem next occurs, as it will
force fuel into the mechanical pump.
A. Virtually all recreational boats less than 20 meters ( 65 feet)
in length used in U.S. waters may install and use a VHF marine
radio without purchasing a radio-station license from the FCC.
Unlicensed radios don’t have call signs assigned by the FCC or
the Coast Guard. You’ll use your boat’s name when identifying
yourself when initiating and concluding radio communications.
You may contact BoatU.S. via their web site ( www.BoatUS.com/
mmsi.) or their 800 phone number and apply for a free Maritime
Mobile Service Identity Number (MMSI).
Once you’ve received the number, enter it into the radio’s
MMSI memory. Be sure to follow the MMSI entry directions carefully; most radios will allow the number to be entered only a limited number of times. Connect the radio to your GPS receiver and
check for the presence of your GPS position data on the radio’s
LCD display. You’ll find a link to the DSC tutorial, “Can You Hear
Me?” on the opening page of the BoatU.S. web site.
I urge you to review this tutorial; it will provide a great
amount of very useful information about marine VHF radios and
includes a radio simulator that will assist you in learning how to
use the radio.