Strainer air lock

Patrick McAneny
 

Sailing back from Bermuda last spring , my engine would shut down and I discovered that there was no water in my strainer ,thus the engine had no water and shut down. We were sailing in only moderate to strong conditions ,but never heeled beyond 20 degrees. When I opened the strainer lid water would flow to the top, and I could motor once again. This same thing happened repeatedly ,and had never happened prior to this trip. I made a change to the cooling system in Bermuda, and I want to know if this may have caused this air lock .
Upon starting any boat engine, I have always checked the exhaust for water flow. However on my Amel the exhaust is at water level making it impossible to see if cooling water is flowing. When a couple of owners a while back posted that they had a small hose streaming cooling water into the cockpit confirming flow, I wished I had that set up,Amel must of added this feature to newer models.
So in Bermuda I took off the anti siphon valve off the loop at the top of the hose from the heat exchanger to the exhaust elbow. In place of the valve I ran a small hose to my cockpit scupper to show me water flow. It worked only marginally well ,I surmise most of the water flow never rises to the top of the loop. I figured it still served as a siphon break as it is open to the atmosphere . My question is ,could this have allowed all the water to flow back out of the engine and strainer while heeled over and create an air lock ? Secondly has anyone have a photo of how this system is installed ,I would like to replicate it.
Thanks,
Pat
SM Shenanigans

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