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Archive for Outboard Flipped Into Boat

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be holding its 97th meeting on March 23-25, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia.

Their March 2, 2018 notice in the Federal Register invited public comments, due by March 6th if they were to be distributed in advance to NBSAC members.

We submitted a pubic comment, our recent Propeller Safety dot com post on our updated design chart for preventing outboard motors from breaking off and flipping into boats when striking floating or submerged objects.

We used a cover letter to point out NBSACs own discovery of this problem as retold in the NBSAC95 minutes and attached a copy of our design chart post. Read More→

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U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council met for its regularly scheduled NBSAC 95 meeting April 21-23, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.

Minutes of that meeting were posted in October 2016.

We have spent considerable effort in recent years encouraging NBSAC to:

  1. Recognize outboard motors are breaking off and entering boats with their propellers still running after striking floating or submerged objects, and that this accident scenario is often associated with bass boats.
  2. Increase awareness level of this accident scenario

As we recently closely read the April 2016 NBSAC meeting minutes we noticed they did mention this accident scenario, but they described it in a manner we have never seen or heard before.
We find that quite odd, since several members of the committee and other industry representatives present were well associated with the problem.

NBSAC 95 minutes composite

NBSAC 95 minutes composite

The image above is a composite of pages 1,7, and 8 of the minutes. Read More→

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Back in July 2016, we posted a chart for use in designing and testing outboard motors in a way to prevent them from breaking off and entering boats when striking submerged objects.

Today we are posting an updated / enhanced version of that chart. The new chart specifically identifies three more potential design / testing paths to achieve the objective.

Flip In Design Chart

Flip In Design Chart


Read More→

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We have been following the rising waters in California which the industry was first touting for the additional sales it would generate as many lakes had been down a while depressing marine sales there.

Now as waters continue to rise, California faced/faces continuing issues at the Lake Oroville Lake spillway evacuation, and now the United States Coast Guard is said to be planing to issue a debris warning for San Francisco Bay today.

ABC News 7 of San Francisco released a video when they learned of the debris warning planning to be issued Wednesday 15 February. They note much debris is still floating down into the bay from the Sacramento Delta.

We cover the hazards of marine drives striking floating debris on PropellerSafety.com including the possibility of outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats while still under power when striking floating debris at speed.

We suspect high waters will increase debris in many California waters, especially impacting bass tournament fishing. We encourage everybody to be extra safe out there and lookout for debris.

We will post the debris warning when it is released.

Meanwhile, Pressure-Drop, a sailing forum, has some great satellite, aerial, and on water photos of the status of the region. The also have a nice discussion of flow rates at the bridges and how and why they differ at the surface near bridges.

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Outboard can strike submerged object, break off, and flip into the boat warning

Outboard can strike submerged object, break off, and flip into the boat warning

In 1970, William Haddon, Jr. a well known safety expert published a ground breaking safety article:
 
On The Escape of Tigers: an Ecological Note.
by William Haddon, Jr.
American Journal of Public Health.
December 1970. Vol.60. No.12. Pages 2229-2234.

The the article has since been widely republished and reprinted.

The thesis of the article is that per Mr. Haddon, by 1970 The United States and most developed nations had made significant progress against “living environmental hazards” (medical issues caused by living organisms such as germs, bacteria, etc.). However, similar progress had not been made against “non-living hazards” (accidents leading to injury or death).

The field of Medicine had many strategies and processes by which to attack emerging problems causes by living organisms (such as the Zika virus in current times). While science may not immediately defeat the Zika virus, the basic processes and methods to use to begin to develop a means to combat such a threat are well known.

That same basic structure of processes by which to develop a means to combat an emerging health risk caused by a living organism did not exist to combat a health risk caused by a non-living structure (such as some new type of accident that injures or kills humans).

In his paper, Haddon tried to bring structure to the process of mitigating or eliminating accidents resulting from the sudden release of energy.

In order to better marshal resources against these “non-living hazards”, William Haddon, Jr. suggested that many of them result from “the transfer of energy in such ways and amounts,and at such rapid rates, that inanimate or animate structures are damaged. (Like a bass boat outboard motor striking a submerged object, breaking off, flipping into the boat, and striking those on board with its still rotating propeller). Haddon goes on identify some harmful “non-living hazards” that interact with people and property as: hurricanes, earthquakes, projectiles (like an outboard motor), moving vehicles (like a boat), ionizing radiation, lightning, conflagrations, and notes the cuts and bruises of daily life illustrate our interaction with the rapid transfer of energy.

The paper’s title derives from one example of the quick release energy, the release of tigers. Read More→

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Rex Chambers' boat with outboard motor broke off

Pro angler, Rex Chambers’ boat with outboard motor broke off

When outboard motors strike submerged objects they can break off and flip into the boat as seen in our lists of outboard motors breaking off and flipping into boats and large outboard motors breaking off and flipping into bass boats.

We previously posted information on several existing and proposed solutions, including The Leash, a vectran tether targeting bass boat applications.

Submerged objects have a wide range of characteristics ranging from almost pure water with just a few weeds or small pieces of debris all the way up to stumps, pilings, dredge pipes, railroad ties, and concrete piers. When outboard motors from various manufacturers of various sizes and speeds strike this wide range of objects, the outboard motor log strike system behaves in a number of different ways (modes).

Especially of interest are outboard motors that break off the boat. Breaking off the boat is a prerequisite to breaking off and flipping into the boat. Not all outboards that break off will flip into the boat. But for an outboard to pass over the rear deck, and enter the seating area of a bass boat, it must first break off the boat.

The Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes Chart for a bass boat below illustrates the range of behaviors (modes) encountered.

Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes

Outboard Motor Log Strike Modes

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Evinrude operators manual warning for outboard may break off and enter boat after striking submerged objects.

Evinrude operators manual warning for outboard may break off and enter boat after striking submerged objects.

Bombardier and Mercury Marine outboard operators manuals have long warned parts of or all of an outboard motor may enter the boat after striking a submerged object.

An example from the 2012 250 horsepower Evinrude E-tec manual is shown at right.

A big thanks to Bombardier Recreational Products & Vehicles (BRP) for putting their operators manuals online.

Some manufacturers sell the manuals at price point preventing many from ordering them. Bombardier does sell the manuals if you want a paper copy, but they also make them available online. Those who may have lost the manual or purchased a used boat without the manual, have free access to the outboard manuals.

We encourage all boat and marine drive manufacturers to make their operators manuals available online in the interest of boating safety. Read More→

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We charted the the Design Flow Process designing outboard motors in a manner that prevents them from entering the boat after striking submerged objects. The chart was designed specifically with tournament bass boat outboard motors in mind.

The chart has since been updated since it was originally posted. The most recent version is below.

Flip In Design Chart

Flip In Design Chart

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Most major outboard manufacturers conduct a log strike test on new outboard models to prove durability.

Manufacturers either test them on the water by actually running over a log of a given type, diameter, and length, or on a test stand they think simulates on water testing.

These impact tests are typically conducted at a speed based on the horsepower of the outboard. Testing tends to start at a lower speed, then build up to the maximum speed selected for the test. Some manufacturers conduct more that one test at the maximum speed tested.

In general, the outboard must still be operational (run) after the test, the cowl is to remain attached, and the outboard is to be capable of at least limping back to shore (capable of some steering and of some trim). The outboard is to have no major oil leaks. At least one manufacturer say no parts of the outboard are to enter the vessel during the testing.

Focusing our discussion on larger outboards, especially those targeting tournament bass boat applications, most manufacturers impact test them at maximum speeds of the nature of 30 to 40 mph.

The problem is tournament bass boats tend to run 70 mph or faster. Read More→

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Numerous previous posts concerned outboard motors striking submerged objects, breaking off, and flipping into boats, preventing or mitigating those accidents, log strike systems, accidents and legal trials involving such accidents and related topics.

We will now be covering this topic in this category of the PropellerSafety blog.

If anyone wonders why we are covering these accidents on PropellerSafety.com, its because outboards that break off and enter the boat typically come in with the engine still running, the propeller at a high RPM, and often result in severe or fatal propeller injuries. Read More→

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