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Messages - Stu Jackson

Pages: 1 ... 542 543 [544] 545 546 ... 553
Main Message Board / Factory
« on: May 30, 2002, 09:05:56 PM »
 They make boats, they're not too into email.  Call again, ask for parts, speak to David Graas or even Robert Butler, Frank's son.  Just get a real person, they're very helpful.

Main Message Board / Pin Diameter
« on: May 30, 2002, 03:47:30 PM »
Mike, don't know off hand.  Have you tried calling Catalina?  Nice that they're still in business.

Main Message Board / Alternators & Combiners
« on: May 30, 2002, 03:40:37 PM »
 This makes sense, as long as YOU understand it.
 Usually, the alternator wiring is run to the 1-2-BOTH switch, which allows you to choose which battery bank you want to charge from the alternator output. Running it directly to the house bank makes sense with a combiner.
 The combiner combines (clever, huh?) the batteries together whenever there is a charging source present, and disconnects the start & house banks when the charging source is removed.  It's simply a relay.  It just replaces the switch to choose where to send the charging sources and automatically sends it to both banks.
 This way, you can have ANY single output charging source (alternator or charger or solar, etc.)connected to the house bank and at the same time be charging the starting battery without flipping any switches.
 The purpose of connecting the combiner to the house bank and then downstream to the starting battery, instead of the other way around, is that you need most of your charge in the house bank, and do not need to run all that current through the combiner if it went start to house.  The starting battery is almost always fully charged, since it only uses a few amps, and thus minimal amp hours, to start the motor.  Remember that the batteries will only aborb (or accept) what they need.
 If you use the combiner, then also connect your charger to the house bank.  If you have a two output charger, I suggest that you check West Marine's Advisor columns on the combiner, since I don't think it'll work with charging sources at both banks.  West Marine also used to send out, by fax, copies of their combiner installation manual so you could understand it in more detail.
 Some people do not like combiners because they feel that it tends to overcharge the start battery.  Since the start battery uses so little, this is probably true, but it will only accept, through the combiner, what it needs anyway.  The single greatest advantage of the combiner is that you don't have to worry about the switch when charging.  That means it's safer when you're motoring, so no one is ever tempted to move the 1-2-BOTH with the engine running, which could fry your alternator.
 Our start battery is #1.  The alternator still runs through our switch, since I haven't gotten around to rewiring that part yet for reasons I won't bore you with here.  I set the switch to #1 for starting and leave it in that position when motoring.  The combiner  charges both batteries.  Our alternator is still the stock old 55 amp.  After we shut the engine down, we switch the switch to #2, the house bank.  When just running the engine for charging at anchor, I start the engine with #2, since the house bank is more depleted and the current will run through the combiner first to the house then to the start battery.
 There are also a number of other ways to arrange switches in lieu of the 1-2-BOTH arrangement, also covered pretty well in West Marine Advisors and Calder's manual.
 I did install a Zap Stop on the alternator.
 Al Watson posted a simplified wiring diagram with a combiner on the C34 website, think it's in Projects.
 Finally, don't forget to change your charger settings from gel to wet cell, or whatever setting your new battery manufacturer suggests.

Main Message Board / Port Locker Leak
« on: May 13, 2002, 09:04:50 PM »
Jeff reminded me of something that I'd learned from the Projects and FAQs.  The Mark I boats didn't have any weatherstrips at the port locker or the aft lazarrette.  One of the first things we did when we bought our boat almost four years ago was to add these features to both spots.
 We used relatively inexpensive weatherstripping from the local hardware store.  I recently read an article that suggested that the best way to REALLY do this is to use automotive gasket material used for sealing the space between, say, your car hood and the engine area.  I think it came from Good Old Boat magazine.
 While I don't remember the material, it consists of a pre-adhesive coated base with a semi-circular gasket above.
 This would seem to answer the issue of the less expensive stuff getting squashed over time.  At least it has helped for the time being.
 When I find the right material, I'll post it here.

Main Message Board / Engine #s
« on: May 13, 2002, 09:06:51 PM »
 Suggest you check out the Universal website.

Main Message Board / Battery Chargers
« on: May 12, 2002, 07:21:29 AM »
 Sometimes (and rarely) Catalina "just doesn't get it."  This seems to be true about the electrical support systems for the batteries in their boats.  They continue to stock the new boats with old technology when it comes to battery charging.  Some of us have urged Catalina to provide at least an option to have a good system, with quality equipment, installed at the factory, to no avail.  This would include a "real" battery charger, like the Statpower 10 or 20 amp model, or an inverter charger, or solar panels, as standard but optional equipment.  They continue to "peddle" the Flybacks and other junk, which eventually (sooner than later) end up with folks sending "dead battery" questions to this Message Board.
 Recent posts on this subject include Equalizing Batteries (toy Catalina stock chargers don't do this), "Do I Leave the Boat Plugged in or Not?," and others.  John Nixon recently responded to an earlier electrical and battery question, and he noted that the only charger he could recommend without hestitation was the Statpower (now Xantex).  You can find his posts on electrical stuff by searching this message board under "Nixon."
 You wouldn't put an undersized, el cheapo block on your mainsheet system, or use a toy furler, so why do that with your expensive electrical system?
 Just because it doesn't fit doesn't mean you can't find another place to install the proper equipment.  If you're on your second Flyback, that should tell you something.  The Charles technology is no better.
 If you invest in a quality charger, and the Statpower standalone charger is the only one to purchase (unless you want to go the inverter charger route using Heart or Trace equipment), you will assure the continued good health of your batteries.  Any other choice is sure to harm your batteries and cost you MUCH more in battery replacement in the long run.

Main Message Board / Replacing standing rigging in place
« on: May 10, 2002, 06:56:10 AM »
A Search of this Message Board finds "Replace Standing Rigging," May 2 to 20, 2001.  Search using the word "standing."

Main Message Board / Caps
« on: May 12, 2002, 06:56:33 AM »
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hal:I found mine was the heat exchanger cap.  I decided to replace the cap and have not had any problems since.  The engine manual even suggests having spare caps!  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 I assume you mean the engine manifold cap (like a car radiator screw on variety), rather than the heat exchanger (Semi-Dure) cap which is held onto the end of the heat exchanger by a bolt.  Two caps, two very different things.  Both, however, can lead to leaks.
 Also, as noted in many recent posts, check your hose clamps regularly.  Last week I found one of the two hose clamps holding my old 2 inch HX had broken off.  The result was that the remaining HX clamp and the four inlet and outlet hose clamps  were under additional load to support the HX and they all needed to be tightened.  Oh, I also got to clean out the bilge (it's sure getting cleaner every week :eek:) and refill the antifreeze in the manifold and recovery bottle.
 [This message was edited by Stu Jackson #224 1986 "Aquavite" on May 12, 2002 at 07:28 AM.]

Main Message Board / Necessary Battery Maintenance
« on: May 12, 2002, 06:47:05 AM »
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jentine:
                               I have been plagued with dead batteries.  Last year I replaced the batteries and added small solar chargers.  The mechanic at the marina was surprised by the performance.  ...the batteries are fully charged when he puts the boat in the water.  Jim Kane<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 Your choices are not only to leave it connected or disconnected to shorepower, but rather the question should be:  "What is one of the best ways to reduce or eliminate the self discharge of the batteries when you are away from the boat?"                          
 Ron's right about the shorepower, and I never keep us plugged in when I'm not at the boat.
 However, Jim hit on the answer.  Liquid lead acid batteries will self discharge about 2% per day.  The longer you're away, the more power goes POOF!  Eventually all those minus 2% days end up getting your batteries to ZERO.  Scary that Jim's marina guy was "surprised."  Confirms my suspicions that most marina people know didily about electrical systems and boat batteries.
 Depending on how your charging system is wired, you can either buy separate small chargers for each battery bank (starting & house), or a larger solar panel for both (if you have a battery combiner in your electrical charging system).
 You size the panels based on the capacity of your batteries.  Uni Solar has very good sizing information, and I'm sure with a little web searching using Google you can find their website.  Also try West Marine's website or catalog for their Advisors for solar panel sizing suggestions.
 This will also help to make your batteries last longer and stay healthy by keeping them "topped off."  Pretty good investment ratio and ROI ($37 plus wiring to save $200 per battery! - don't know how many batteries you have on board.)
 Also, as I've said, oh, about a dozen times before, invest in a quality three stage charger, if you haven't already.

Main Message Board / Equalizing Batteries
« on: May 06, 2002, 03:36:39 PM »
 Equalization is not dangerous as long as you ventilate, ventilate, ventilate.  Make sure you are there for the process.  Never leave batteries unattended when equalizing.
 The purpose of equlaizing batteries is to discharge the built up sulfite that "grows" on the cells over a period of time, and ONLY for wet cell lead acid batteries.  Gel cells should NEVER be equalized.  It's also most likely why your readings are now different: over time the batteries have built up different layers of sulfite.
 Good idea to check Calder.  Another good source is the following:
 From this reference source and others, you will also see that it's not only the voltage of your batteries, but the specific gravity of the acid in the cells that will help you diagnose the issues.  You need an inexpensive hydrometer for this, easy to use, like a turkey baster.
 Dave is right, too, if your battery manufacturer says don't, so don't.  Also, six volt batteries may well be different than standard 12 volt batteries regarding equalization.
 This is not an issue of "many ideas are out there, take your pick."  Rather, the idea is for us to help you with your specific problem.  Unless your "marina" is a specialist in batteries and/or electrical systems (and most aren't), you already probably know more than they do.
 Check your battery manufacturer's recommendations, figure out if your charger can do it, and do it if you need to, armed with all the technical information you can get.
 [This message was edited by Stu Jackson #224 1986 "Aquavite" on May 06, 2002 at 03:47 PM.]
 [This message was edited by Stu Jackson #224 1986 "Aquavite" on May 06, 2002 at 03:49 PM.]

Main Message Board / Engine Noise Insulation
« on: May 09, 2002, 07:01:22 AM »
 A Message Board Search will take to you July 24 & 26, 2001, Engine Insulation is the topic.  Search under "noise."  More info for you there.

Main Message Board / Battery Temperature
« on: May 06, 2002, 08:17:12 PM »

Main Message Board / Speaker Interference
« on: April 25, 2002, 11:38:39 AM »
One thing to be careful about is the potential of interference from your new cockpit speakers to your autopilot.  I installed our speakers on our Mark I in the vertical panel below the helsman's seat, and had to relocate my autopilot further away due to interference.  The speakers were the non-magnetic outdoors shielded type, but still gave our old Autohelm 3000 fits.  The autopilot was on the angled face of the starboard seat.  It's now up on the coaming, which turned out to be a much better and more accessible location for it.  Certainly a different cockpit layout than a Mark II.
 You may have a newer autopilot with a remote fluxgate compass, so it may not be an issue.  You may want to wire up the speakers temporarily, turn them on and take a test drive just to make sure you have no interference.

Main Message Board / Switch Off
« on: May 05, 2002, 01:14:27 PM »
 Not a problem.  The key energizes the circuits for the gauges (and alarms if you have them wired that way).  Once the engine gets going, the only thing that'll stop it (on purpose) is the kill handle.  Occaisionally I have to use one of the keys on the ring with the engine key, so when motoring, I just take it out, use the other key, and put it back.  What we also do is remove the key when sailing, and hang it off the kill handle.  That way there is less chance that someone could slide something against the key and break it off in the slot.

Main Message Board / Head Mistress
« on: May 02, 2002, 09:41:21 AM »
This article is also posted right on this very C34 Website under FAQs:

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