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Messages - Ray & Sandy Erps

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Fleet 5 / Re: FCC VHF License
« on: June 16, 2009, 08:46:28 PM »
It's my understanding that a license is required to speak on the radio, not listen to it.  We've been clearing customs back and forth between Canada for twenty years now, and the radio license hasn't come up.  We don't have a license on our current boat and we don't plan on getting one.  I hear the radio police are a little more strict in Mexico though.

Fleet 5 / Re: Summer 2009 Gulf Islands Rendezvous
« on: March 29, 2009, 05:36:32 PM »
We're headed up the July 4th weekend as well, although we may anchor up in the San Juans to try and catch one of the fireworks shows, which would put us in the Gulf Islands on the 5th.

Main Message Board / Re: Transition Day
« on: January 24, 2009, 10:20:28 AM »
Are you going with a wind vane steering system?

Main Message Board / Re: Transition Day
« on: January 23, 2009, 06:42:18 PM »
So are you heading down this year?
Did you decide on what solar panels you were putting on?

We're a couple years behind you.

Main Message Board / Re: New Lifelines for Blackdragon
« on: December 01, 2008, 05:27:04 PM »
Looks good Steve.  Thanks for sharing.  How 'bout a picture from a little further back to see how the new lifelines look from a distance?

Main Message Board / Re: New Lifelines for Blackdragon
« on: November 25, 2008, 02:37:08 PM »
I recollect a fellow on the SSCA website that used Amsteel for lifelines.  I'm not sure I've ever seen that line.  Is it pretty resistant against chafe?  My lifelines are due.  I've been debating on whether to go this route, or use bare stainless wire.

Main Message Board / Re: Edson Pedestal Brake Problem
« on: November 19, 2008, 03:42:52 PM »
Maybe the brake pad material is wore out?  I bought replacement pads from West Marine.  They just glue in.

Main Message Board / Re: Excessive alternator heat & Regulator Controls
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:47:31 AM »
One point worth noting is that "hot" is very much a relative thing when talking about an alternator.


They're selling infra-red thermometers now for around $50.  Point it at an object with a laser sight, click the trigger and read the temperature.  I picked one up last month and it works well.  I haven't tried it on the alternator yet, but plan on getting a baseline temperature for the whole drive train for a reference point and log it in the maintenance manual.  That should help in future troubleshooting to determine if something is hotter than before.

Main Message Board / Re: Cinnamon Buns in the Fog
« on: October 10, 2008, 03:27:49 PM »
Sounds great.  Each summer after we get back from Canadian waters we start counting down, only 49 more weeks to go until we can do it again!

Main Message Board / Re: Engine Spares for a Long Cruise
« on: October 10, 2008, 03:21:05 PM »
That's a good list.

Set of brushes for the starter
a starater solenoid, or at least the solenoid contact plate.
Shaft zincs
Water pump bearings

Main Message Board / Re: White Smoke from Engine
« on: September 28, 2008, 10:14:39 AM »
My experience has been that white smoke is unburned fuel being expelled through the exhaust.  White smoke when a cold motor first starts up would not alarm me much.  Just watch a highway truck start up on a cold morning and it spews white smoke.  It should clear up as it warms up though.  Is your motor reaching operating temperature?

If it's steam, it should disappear/dissipate shortly after coming out the exhaust fitting.  If it's smoke, it will hang around longer.  Also, if it's smoke, I would expect that if you held your hand in it, you would be able to smell the fuel after a big of it has condensed on your hand.

If it was my motor and I was able to determine that it is smoke and it's associated with low power I would start to suspect a dead cylinder, either due to compression or an injector that's squirting un-atomized fuel.  I would start by doing a poor man's compression test.  Crank the engine while the fuel shut off cable is pulled to see if you can hear uneven compression.  If the compression sounded even, I would start up the engine and start cracking injector fuel nuts one and note the effect on the engine.  That's like pulling spark plug wires and listening to the RPM's decrease.  If you don't hear a noticeable decrease in engine RPM after cracking one injector fuel nut, I would pull that injector out and inspect it for damage.

If the compression sounded uneven while cranking it with the fuel shut off pulled, I would start trouble shooting the reason.  It's most likely valves or rings.  Blue smoke is associated with bad rings, so I would look at the valves first.  I would check the valve lash to see if any of them are tight.  If they're within specs and the springs looked good, I would begin to suspect a valve leaking past the valve seat.  I might try a real compression test to confirm it or just pull the head off and check.

One other source of white smoke that I've seen before is when antifreeze is getting in to the cylinders.  It also leaves a sweat odor in the exhaust.  This is a bit unusual, because typically if you have that kind of a head gasket leak, the compression will get into the coolant circuit and blow the fluids out, but still, I saw it once or twice on highway trucks.

Anyway, that's where I would start troubleshooting. 

Fleet 5 / Re: Fall Rendezvous
« on: September 17, 2008, 07:40:50 PM »
Great pictures of the raft.  Looks like it was fun.

Main Message Board / Re: Ocean sailing the 34
« on: September 07, 2008, 01:35:44 PM »
My one question at this time is, is the 34 capable of sailing from the Puget Sound to Mexico?

We owned a C-34 for three years and loved the boat too.  Would I sail it down to Mexico?  Sure, if I wasn't rushed so I could pick my weather windows.  We plan on making that trip and beyond in a few more years.  With that in mind, we bought a boat that was designed for blue water sailing.  Check this website out for lots of information on what makes a blue water sailing vessel:

Main Message Board / Re: Taking One for the Team (Honda generators)
« on: September 03, 2008, 02:21:27 PM »
Doh!  I hate it when that happens.  Can we get a report on how well it worked before it went overboard?

Fleet 5 / Re: Diving vs. hauling
« on: August 27, 2008, 07:39:32 PM »
I get three years out of our bottom paint.  I dive on it about twice a year for zincs and scrubbing.  One of those dives is up in Desolation Sound each summer where you don't need a wet suit.

You might check the web for putting together a home made hooka diving outfit made from a small compressor and regulator.  I've seen directions on building them on the SSCA website and I've noticed that a couple of our local profession dock divers are using them instead of SCUBA tanks.  They just plug the compressor into the shore power outlet and jump in the water on the air hose.

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