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Old 10-30-2018, 03:27 PM
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Hand crank vs. battery

My boat ('76 C&C 33) was hijacked by a crappy yard for 2 yrs and the engine has not been started. I am nearing getting her back in the water. I will probably have to buy new batteries but in the meantime, can I hand crank my A4 to get her started? It is a v-drive so I would have to get down in the bilge under the cockpit but there is enough swing room down there. Is there anything unsafe about this aside from breaking my thumb if I don't keep it on the same side as my fingers? (I've searched the topic)
I am loath to haul TWO batteries on board while she is in the yard just to have either or both run down trying to start the engine. (I am replacing fuel lines, have cleaned the fuel tank, replaced all filters, emptied the carb, etc., to remove as much gunk as possible. I would also like to acid flush the cooling system while out of the water) When I have worked on the carb in the past, it took a LOOOOONG time for it to start, even with the primer bulb installed, starting fluid in the throat, etc.
Any advice appreciated - I am majorly nervous about getting Jenny back up and running.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:37 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Without a battery there will be no electricity available to fire the spark plugs when you hand crank.
The ignition system and the other electrical systems on a boat depend on being grounded back to the battery.
Is solar battery charging an option?

TRUE GRIT
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blhickson (10-30-2018)
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:08 PM
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You can start an A4 with a battery you can easily carry around
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Old 10-30-2018, 05:09 PM
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Thanks for that. I'll just have to install a new battery. It's not that big a deal, just very heavy to safely get up to the boat on jackstands.

While I've got you here (!), the front of the engine faces aft in my boat (v-drive) and is accessible while the fuel tank is out of it. Is there any maintenance I can do to that end of the engine while I can get to it? I think the slinger holes are gunked up as previously there was oil leak from this area. Since I've had the boat, there has never been a flywheel cover there and you look straight at the oil seal retaining flange. From searching this site, apparently you remove that flange, see the holes and you can wipe them off or poke them with a wire to clean them. I would remove any oil from engine prior to this but won't oil gush out of the flange once removed?
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Old 10-30-2018, 06:16 PM
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I'm not sure, but I think if you have no battery hooked up you may run the risk of frying the diodes in your alternator, similar to hitting the "off" position on your battery selector. I'll ask others to comment on this.
The C&C33 Mk 1 is a great boat, as you already know. Hard to beat it going to windward.
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blhickson (10-30-2018)
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:58 PM
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I sprang for an Optima D34M AGM batteries, about 10 lbs lighter than wet cell, smaller case with more CCA's. Works fine with std alternator. Much easier to wrangle into tight spaces and hauling up a ladder.
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blhickson (10-31-2018)
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:59 AM
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Barbara,
Is the rig up? Can you swing the boom out over the edge of the boat, and use a block and tackle (like the main sheet maybe?) to hoist the battery up into the cockpit? It will take a few minutes to rig up but removes the danger of lugging a heavy battery up a ladder. As noted, a Gr 24 will be plenty to get the old girl started.
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blhickson (10-31-2018)
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:03 PM
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A battery is very much required. What I used to do hauling batteries up a ladder was tie a line to them, climb up on the boat with the line, and then pull them up after me once I was safe on deck.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:44 PM
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So glad to have this forum!

I've looked into AGM batteries and the cost is prohibitive right now to get the boat back in the water. The yard told me 3 months ago they would remove the present batteries and charge them but they have not. I tested them and they're shot anyway. Shawn, that's a great idea about using the boom, that's a plan. I was concerned about the stability of the boat on stands with any kind of weight up high or over the side. Is this a safe practice? Its probably done all the time, I've just never done it. I can use the boom to get the clean fuel tank back in! Weighs lots less that a freaking battery. Yay!
Once I install a new starting battery, if I put the battery switch on "Both" but the house battery is still dead, will the starting battery power the gauges? IIRC, the engine gauges were all wired to the starting battery but I will need the depth gauge to get home. (4 hour ride to the harbor along a very twisty river).
Thanks for all your help gentlemen. Being sailors, I use that term loosely.
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Old 10-31-2018, 06:48 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sastanley View Post
Barbara,
Is the rig up? Can you swing the boom out over the edge of the boat, and use a block and tackle (like the main sheet maybe?) to hoist the battery up into the cockpit? It will take a few minutes to rig up but removes the danger of lugging a heavy battery up a ladder. As noted, a Gr 24 will be plenty to get the old girl started.
Maybe you could use halyard or sheet winch? If you could find someone to help grind or tail it should make it a lot easier. Or maybe there is a self tailing winch available.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:07 PM
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Barbara,
Forget the hand crank. Buy a Gp 24 starting battery.
Hard starting can have several causes. Off the top of my head, a) prime the float bowl in the carb. With a mechanical fuel pump, there's a lever on the side to do this. With an electrical pump, just put a jumper across the oil pressure safety switch (crescent wrench works well). b) make sure you have good spark. Pull a plug wire and insert a bolt - should throw a 3/8" blue spark to the block. c) Make sure your choke is closing fully. A properly tuned A4 requires the choke to start when it's cold.
No flywheel cover? All you see is the flywheel! There's no oil seal flange. The bolts you see just hold the flywheel in place. The drain holes you read about are in the flywheel housing (the piece behind the flywheel). To get to them you have to remove the flywheel and the housing.
Having a 'BOTH' switch is a sign of an old electrical system - not that it won't work. With such a switch, one battery works everything or BOTH batteries work everything. If you install the Gp 24 and get the engine instruments to come on, your depth sounder will work too.
Current trend is for 2 battery banks - a big one for house loads (deep cycle) plus the Gp 24 for the engine. Both are on an on/off switch - no BOTH. Alternator output goes to the house battery (at least on my boat) and when it comes up to voltage, a combiner switch closes and sends charge current to the start battery.
4 hour trip on an unproven boat? Sounds iffy. Definitely have an anchor, cell phone, and provisions - may take longer than 4 hrs. Perhaps a friend with a power boat to follow along? Certainly get a SeaTow/TowBoat policy.
Hope this helps.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:44 PM
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Battery lift

Yes you definitely need a least one battery.

I have 2 group 27 wet deep cycle batteries. I am 70 yo , and not unusually strong or fit. I thought out how to do it. I brought them one at a time up a step ladder to my Tartan 27 and then down into the cabin. Just to let you know, it can be done.

Men usually have much greater upper body strength and maybe this is one of those times to ask for help from one! A block and tackle setup is safer and easier to be sure. I do not think, if you keep the weight close to the hull and not swung far away, you do not have to worry about the stability of the boat on jack stands. Good luck!

Mary
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:14 AM
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FYI, Costco has Interstate wet cell marine dual purpose [deep cycle/starting] for about $100 all in at about 50lbs. I got Optimal AGM marine dual purpose [blue top] on ebay, free delivery no tax at $262. Yep, it is more $'s but 10 lbs lighter, smaller and more CCA's. I have one going 10 yrs. [two batteries with #1/#2 or both switch, I never use "both"] In the past I have used the boom and main sheet tackle over the side and that worked well w/ heavier wet cells. Now @ 68 with the AGM's I just easily lift on ladder one rung at a time.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:15 AM
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Excellent advice!

Thanks all for the good suggestions. I bought a Grp 24 battery yesterday with 800 cca for $95, not bad. I'll use the main sheet and a self tailing winch to get her into cockpit and go from there. There's usually someone else there I can wrangle into giving me a hand for this. I'm anxious to get the engine going so I can get her back in the water. Anything else can be done in the slip.
Al, I motored my boat 4 hours to this yard 2 yrs ago to have a bad thru hull replaced with only a wooden plug keeping the water out and the boat afloat. Talk about a nervous ride - had anchor on bow, US Towing package paid up, crew with eye on that plug and hammer in hand. I've had my boat since 2009, and have done all of the work on the A4 myself. I have not done a lot of work in a boat yard tho' and it's a real PITA here. I'm more unproven that the boat is!
Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:46 PM
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Barbara, house loads and all that stuff can be figured later. $95 for a Gr24 sounds about right. I have a Gr24 as my "start" battery, and it has never failed me. I also have larger Gr 29 flooded batteries for "house" loads, which are also very low with LED technology and device charging as my primary loads. I cannot justify the cost of anything other than lead acid batteries at this time...given cost per amp/hour and my old 35 amp alternator and the modest loads mentioned.

Any old boat like ours has generally at least 40% of the total displacement in ballast, in the keel, BELOW the jackstands. The primary objective of all marina personnel is to get the boat sitting on the keel and 'prop it up' with the jack stands..there is zero chance a 100-ish lbs. load of a battery hanging off the side with the boom would make the boat unstable.

edit - as for starting the engine on the hard....If you can, tie off the prop so it does not spin and wear out the dry rubber cutless bearing (with no real "neutral" the prop tends to spin slowly unless you find the exact sweet spot where the clutch plates are all disengaged. Unless you can observe the output shaft/coupling this is an unknown.) Also, make sure the choke closes 100% so it will start quickly, and I would feed a bucket with fresh water in the boat with a flow adjustment (on the end of the supply hose) with the shortest run of hose you can sucking into the water pump so you can monitor that and feed the quantity of water the engine pump will suck in once it is running. Once she is running, she should pull a couple gallons per minute. Don't forget the precautions of long cranking episodes while starting still apply when pulling from a bucket..the exhaust gases of a running engine to expel the cooling water from the muffler are key to not backfilling the engine.
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Last edited by sastanley; 11-02-2018 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 11-02-2018, 09:48 AM
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Jackstands

This is one of those factoids whose genesis has long escaped me, but I seem to remember insurance companies covering marinas changing their policies several years ago to require a minimum of four pairs of jackstands.

Or maybe it was just a way of generating a little more rental income?

Bill
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:32 AM
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If I was there I would just carry it up for you.
When I was hauling big batteries - 8 Ds - we had the line as close to the hull as we could get it. Don't swing the boom way out.
Some young beefy yard worker surely would carry it up for a $20 or a 6-pack
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:21 PM
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Thanks y'all. The boat does have 5 jackstands under her (had six but yard moved one to move boat next door and doubt they put it back). Thanks for the info on the prop and the cutlass bearing. I hope it hasn't deteriorated in the heat. Another think to check. ~sigh~ I can only work on the boat on weekends so no beefy yard guys, only few boatowners with their own long to-do lists. I'll make it happen and report back.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:38 AM
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Most sailboats have a spare block and rope. If you attach the block to the battery and use twice as much rope, your load will be cut in half pulling it up from the ground to the deck.
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