It was dawn, and we were running dead-down as we approached a small island (one of 17,508) in smoky, mysterious Indonesia. We’d just sailed 3,200 nautical miles and used the engine exactly three hours, mostly to keep it dry and lubbed. Anyhow, I decided to jibe and furl my large genoa jib. Normally, we both do this but the wind was moderate and the sea fairly smooth. Perhaps I was a tad drowsy. In any event, I attempted it by myself. Without Carolyn (who has sense except when it comes to men) I managed to somehow hopelessly wineglass my genoa jib – for the first time ever I was at sea with a partially furled and partially not furled jib. By the time I realized that it was really, really tangled and I wasn’t going to solve the problem by swearing – I was almost on the beach.
I could hear the surf line ahead-not a nice sound.
My whole 30,000 pound boat was shaking like a rag in a dog’s mouth.
I cranked up, and, thanks to the extra power and good torque of the Perkins M92B (supplied by Parts & Power), was able to power away from the immediately danger… the windy, wave-crashing beach… even as my entire rig was going berserk from the flogging sail attempting to commit suicide and/or sink my vessel.
I needed a lee and I needed it fast.
Thus I revved our Perkins up to 2200RPM and powered into the lee of the same island, and managed to anchor in 147 feet of water-despite almost hitting a salt water crocodile begging for table scraps in the head with our hook! (Amazingly, we were right in front of an ancient Hindu temple-with, perhaps, Ganesh lending a helping or hurting hand!)
Once the anchor was set, and we were both able to think… Carolyn cleared the problem within ten minutes while muttering, “I married an idiot!”
…the lesson learned was to never send a stupid man to do a good woman’s job!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave. Our brand new Rocna anchor and our just regalvanised chain was fouled in 147 feet of water – perhaps by the unhappy croc – I dunno.
My anchor gear costs $2,000, and I certainly didn’t want to leave it there. So I tried every trick in the book-nearly yanking my wife (poor, poor woman) and our anchor windlass right off the foredeck. “BANG!” went our one-inch Nylon snubber… making a sound like a cannon shot as it parted.
Only, perhaps, a grinning croc laughing at us on the bottom.
So I finally allowed almost full scope out and almost full power… and, canting the bow way down with steady pressure and a slightly offset rudder… made a slow giant tug-boat circle… until… POP! And we broke off the tip of the mountain or whatever was fouling us below.
Hooray, again, for Perkins and its massive power!
Do I think I could have saved GANESH and twisted up an underwater mountain with a Yammer or Stammer or some other high-revving engine?
I doubt it.
…nobody in their right mind would go up against an ugly salt water crocodile mano-o-mano with one of those pathetic ‘numbers game’ engines!
Thank gosh for my low-RPM, high torque Perkins, and the team who installed it.
Article courtesy of Captain Fatty Goodlander.
PS. Carolyn wants a divorce but I told her we couldn’t afford it.
Your engine may have saved our lives already.
At the height of our recent gale, I managed to claw down the jammed storm staysail at dawn… which was VERY good in one sense… but not another. We needed to heave-to. If we remained sail-less and sideways, we’d surely roll within minutes.
Thus I checked for sheets and lines overboard, and hit the starter button. The Perkins immediately sprang into life, and powered Ganesh directly into those powerful, giant, deck-sweeping 20 foot plus seas… without a problem… at a mere 1900 RPM. Thus Carolyn and I was able to spend the next 2.5 hours (I kid you not, please don’t ask) raising the double-reefed main.
YES! If the Perkins had not started or didn’t have enough power… I don’t know what would have happened–perhaps the Caribbean would have one less word-crazed Marine Columnist.
On a side note… the gale and being hove-to certainly made us heel sharply… at one point dipping the starboard rail for hours at a time… and the exhaust system did its job perfectly. GREAT!
We also had an amazing bit of luck (both good and bad) 14 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
It was pitch black. No moon. We were motorsailing at 6.3 knots, with the Perkins ticking along at 1600 RPM… when I sensed a change while sitting at the nav station belowdecks. The boat hadn’t shuttered and the engine hadn’t changed pitch… but something was wrong. I went on deck and looked at my gauges and my sails… then flicked on a spotlight… and saw we were stopped totally in a sea of bright green. Stopped? Sea of Green? Yeah! We’re run into an illegal drift fishing net which was miles long… and it had gently stopped us… and was all around us… under our keel and snagged on our skeg and binding up the rudder and on both sides of us and dead ahead…
AND YET HAD, SOMEHOW, NOT YET BEEN ENTANGLED IN THE STILL SPINNING PROP!
I immediately throttled down and put her in neutral… amazed at my good, great, unbelievable luck. (This was about 10 minutes before the angry, naked, high-on-cocaine Aztec with a 16″ Ikea butcher knife was standing on my deck… dripping & seething… and deciding whether to gut me like a fish or not… but, hey, that’s another sea yarn.)
Basically, the M92B is running perfectly and I’m very pleased.