Princess 54/Volvo D12 Failure/Steering Impact

Scubaboy79

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Hi all,

I was out early on Saturday morning planning to enjoy the amazing weather....making my way down the Itchen River from OV marina, whereupon our starboard engine (2009 Volvo D12 800) shut down completely, with no error code other than "Caution Check Engine". No further code is available even when you scroll through/click through... The engine refuses to restart and talking to our engineer (and Sea Start who were required for the consequent issue....see below)...the error refuses to clear despite restarting the electronics/EVC. I have Ropewalk Marine coming out on Tuesday to investigate. Any ideas? Underwater camera investigation shows no fouling on the prop or rudder.

The issue which came as a surprise to me was that because it was our starboard engine, and I could not even start the engine after it shut down, I lost all steering, requiring Sea Start (who were amazing) to come out and act as my starboard engine to get me back the short distance to OV, given the bow thruster/stern thruster don't really have much impact underway... I always thought on Princesses, that the upstairs helm was electronic steering with the downstairs helm being hydraulic (and powered off the starboard engine), but I lost steering at both helms (which was not surprising to Sea Start). Any other Princess owners have any clues on this, or did I miss something completely obvious in the somewhat high pressured ten minutes of trying to work out what to do on a busy Itchen on a sunny Saturday......It seems strange that if you lose your starboard engine, then you also lose your steering which doesn't give much redundancy (being one of the comforts of a twin engined yacht..)

All thoughts/advice welcome!
 
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We had a similar problem on d12675 in princess p502007 and found out that the relay was the problem a couple of months later it did happen on the other engine I carry a spare 2 you will not be able to see the fault Sam in Lymington fixed ours it has also happened on my friends v53 2007 as well with d12
Terry squires
 

volvopaul

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Hi all,

I was out early on Saturday morning planning to enjoy the amazing weather....making my way down the Itchen River from OV marina, whereupon our starboard engine (2009 Volvo D12 800) shut down completely, with no error code other than "Caution Check Engine". No further code is available even when you scroll through/click through... The engine refuses to restart and talking to our engineer (and Sea Start who were required for the consequent issue....see below)...the error refuses to clear despite restarting the electronics/EVC. I have Ropewalk Marine coming out on Tuesday to investigate. Any ideas? Underwater camera investigation shows no fouling on the prop or rudder.

The issue which came as a surprise to me was that because it was our starboard engine, and I could not even start the engine after it shut down, I lost all steering, requiring Sea Start (who were amazing) to come out and act as my starboard engine to get me back the short distance to OV, given the bow thruster/stern thruster don't really have much impact underway... I always thought on Princesses, that the upstairs helm was electronic steering with the downstairs helm being hydraulic (and powered off the starboard engine), but I lost steering at both helms (which was not surprising to Sea Start). Any other Princess owners have any clues on this, or did I miss something completely obvious in the somewhat high pressured ten minutes of trying to work out what to do on a busy Itchen on a sunny Saturday......It seems strange that if you lose your starboard engine, then you also lose your steering which doesn't give much redundancy (being one of the comforts of a twin engined yacht..)

All thoughts/advice welcome!
Not sure if you have steering pressure pump on engine or not ?
The two Princess 50s I look after with D11s have a stand alone electric power assisted system so it's nothing to do with the engine other than of course it requires a good alternator to keep the batteries charged , yours sounds like a fully hydraulic system so I don't think your shut down can be steering related unless there is some kind of power to a shuttle valve that's electric controlled .
 

volvopaul

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Hi all,

I was out early on Saturday morning planning to enjoy the amazing weather....making my way down the Itchen River from OV marina, whereupon our starboard engine (2009 Volvo D12 800) shut down completely, with no error code other than "Caution Check Engine". No further code is available even when you scroll through/click through... The engine refuses to restart and talking to our engineer (and Sea Start who were required for the consequent issue....see below)...the error refuses to clear despite restarting the electronics/EVC. I have Ropewalk Marine coming out on Tuesday to investigate. Any ideas? Underwater camera investigation shows no fouling on the prop or rudder.

The issue which came as a surprise to me was that because it was our starboard engine, and I could not even start the engine after it shut down, I lost all steering, requiring Sea Start (who were amazing) to come out and act as my starboard engine to get me back the short distance to OV, given the bow thruster/stern thruster don't really have much impact underway... I always thought on Princesses, that the upstairs helm was electronic steering with the downstairs helm being hydraulic (and powered off the starboard engine), but I lost steering at both helms (which was not surprising to Sea Start). Any other Princess owners have any clues on this, or did I miss something completely obvious in the somewhat high pressured ten minutes of trying to work out what to do on a busy Itchen on a sunny Saturday......It seems strange that if you lose your starboard engine, then you also lose your steering which doesn't give much redundancy (being one of the comforts of a twin engined yacht..)

All thoughts/advice welcome!
Ah I've read it all again , the reason you lost steering power assist is because you do indeed have a pump on your starboard engine so loosing the engine meant you lost the steering assistance.
Your shut down is now nothing to do with steering problem. You need the vodia plug in to read the fault codes , if it won't start it could be a HCU or PCU fault or something simple like a loose plug on either that's caused the shut down .
I'd assume you have a sea fire extinguishers system, did you overide that as I've had so many shut downs from this where the plug has come out the valve on the bottle or a disconnection inside the black wiring box on the engine .
 

Hooligan

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Ah I've read it all again , the reason you lost steering power assist is because you do indeed have a pump on your starboard engine so loosing the engine meant you lost the steering assistance.
Your shut down is now nothing to do with steering problem. You need the vodia plug in to read the fault codes , if it won't start it could be a HCU or PCU fault or something simple like a loose plug on either that's caused the shut down .
I'd assume you have a sea fire extinguishers system, did you overide that as I've had so many shut downs from this where the plug has come out the valve on the bottle or a disconnection inside the black wiring box on the engine .
Yes I had an engine shut down on me in a very rough crossing in Sicily. Managed to use the other engine to get back to a quiet bay and anchor when the other engine shut down as well. Seafire system should indicate that that’s where the issue is. Called them in the U.K. and they were amazingly helpful and managed to get me to circumvent the issue. Still was quite a harrowing experience losing an engine and had the other gone as well I suspect boat was a goner given conditions.
 

simonfraser

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'I'd assume you have a sea fire extinguishers system, did you overide that as I've had so many shut downs from this where the plug has come out the valve on the bottle or a disconnection inside the black wiring box on the engine '

sounds like a bad setup to lose the engine when the plug to the fire system disconnects ....
 

volvopaul

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'I'd assume you have a sea fire extinguishers system, did you overide that as I've had so many shut downs from this where the plug has come out the valve on the bottle or a disconnection inside the black wiring box on the engine '

sounds like a bad setup to lose the engine when the plug to the fire system disconnects ....
It places the engine into stop mode .
 

Hooligan

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It places the engine into stop mode .
Yes. What caused this for me was a leak in the forward windscreen that over time went down to where the Sea Fire brain was. Over time it corroded the lead that connects the brain to the system. They talked me through effectively disabling the system which allowed me to get the engines (and generator) to work. Meant I did not have fire protection for a while until I could get a new unit out but at least I could get the boat to safety.
 

simonfraser

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I don't see how this is a safe way to run the engine(s) on the boat

I'd want a warning system to tell me there is a fault in the fire extinguisher, but not to stop the propulsion
 

Scubaboy79

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Once again, the expertise on this forum never fails to disappoint! @Terry squires you diagnosed correctly....Sam came to the boat today and it was indeed a fault with the EVC relay, so an easy fix and a big relief for me.

I still need to figure out the steering point though. I really thought that yes the downstairs helm is driven by the hydraulic system powered by the starboard engine, per @volvopaul 's point (so if that engine fails you lose your hydraulic steering), but that the upstairs helm was on an electronic system. I shall delve into the P54 manual this weekend....as being down an engine plus steering meant my get home options were somewhat limited.

No issues with my Sea Fire system (touch wood...) but helpful to know that can also be a source of shut-downs. Thank you.
 

terrysquires

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Once again, the expertise on this forum never fails to disappoint! @Terry squires you diagnosed correctly....Sam came to the boat today and it was indeed a fault with the EVC relay, so an easy fix and a big relief for me.

I still need to figure out the steering point though. I really thought that yes the downstairs helm is driven by the hydraulic system powered by the starboard engine, per @volvopaul 's point (so if that engine fails you lose your hydraulic steering), but that the upstairs helm was on an electronic system. I shall delve into the P54 manual this weekend....as being down an engine plus steering meant my get home options were somewhat limited.

No issues with my Sea Fire system (touch wood...) but helpful to know that can also be a source of shut-downs. Thank you.
Hi am glad its sorted they are not dear so I carry 2 spares but I have no trouble on my p54 so i think it was a bad batch in the 2007/10 models
My steering on mine is fully power assisted but there is a pump to pressure it up on the oil gauge when it drops low if that helps
Terry
 

NBs

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Yes I had an engine shut down on me in a very rough crossing in Sicily. Managed to use the other engine to get back to a quiet bay and anchor when the other engine shut down as well. Seafire system should indicate that that’s where the issue is. Called them in the U.K. and they were amazingly helpful and managed to get me to circumvent the issue. Still was quite a harrowing experience losing an engine and had the other gone as well I suspect boat was a goner given conditions.
Hi,

Can you tell me how you did this your Seafire system?
 

Hooligan

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Hi,

Can you tell me how you did this your Seafire system?
Hi. In essence the cable lead had corroded. I spoke to Sea Fire U.K. and they talked me through moving some wires on the box which in essence disabled the system. I cannot recall exactly what I did but if you have a similar issue call Sea Fire. They were very responsive. Not sure if this is what you were asking.
 
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