We went our for a late fall cruise this afternoon in our '67 Commander 31 with 327F's (900 hrs). The boat was running great at 3100 rpm's / 22.6 mpg. for a mile or two when I noticed the port engine rpm's dropping. Within another 1/4 mile or so it was loosing power and oil pressure dramatically! I also thought I heard a couple of "backfire" type noises, but they seemed to be coming from the FRONT of the engine room area (like just forward of my feet at the helm).
I shut it down immediately and we limped back in on the starboard engine. The engine never overheated (160 max) and when I checked, the oil level was only down 1/2 qt. or so.
I anxiously invite any "arm-chair quarter back" speculation before I call the yard in the morning. Thanks!!
What you are describing now does sound timing/electrical or fuel related. I cannot figure the dramatic loss of oil pressure you originally described. Could the oil pressure gauges have lost power intermitently as well --hence reading close to/zero?
Greg, you ask for answers, stick around, you get your answers with questions ;-)
Greg, I had a 21 San Juan and a 15' fishing boat when I bought the 35. The San Juan was moored with a group of Comet and Lightning competition so don't feel alone. The reason I asked about the Pertronix is that it is often a solution of mechanics but it has so many failure modes I don't trust them. I do like fully electronic ignitions but doubt that is what you have especially with the reported symptoms. If the distributors still have the cable tach drives I would guess Pertronix or similar. If you don't have the tach drives then they may be fully electronic but the ignition problems are suspect. New wires, new plugs then? Keep the faith.
PS, I was the Commodore of the Fleet That Never Sailed. Portage de Sioux, MO 1993
Oh yeah, no current no floods, no need to tack every 1/2 mile or less, no barges, no mindless powerboaters! Lightweight sailing ;-) http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Portals/48/docs/Nav/NavigationCharts/...
Harbor was above Portage light. Bluffs on the opposite side >100' when not in flood somewhere on the above lock and dams the current was around 2 knots if gates were open below, current ~5-6 knots. Good news, current drops white capping to >15 mph wind from west or east.
Tim, I can't even imagine trying to sail in those tight quarters with 5-6 knot currents. No wonder the fleet "Never Sailed!"
Mystery solved this morning. Turns out it WAS sticking parts in the distributor. Repair parts on order but won't be in before the boat gets pulled for the year. So our season is over, we'll address this during lay-up.
In a way I'm relieved to have the boat on the hard for a while. We've had our share of drama this year... ;)
Fleet that never sailed, link for reason. https://tinyurl.com/yau6qx5u
As we say about our sports teams, "Wait 'til next year."