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Messages - John Langford

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Main Message Board / Re: Return from the dark side
« on: May 20, 2020, 04:35:46 PM »
Thanks Ron. I’ll call him tomorrow.

Nice to see you are still part of the C34 discussions. There is an enormous amount of chatter on the Ranger Tug forums (where I’ve been hiding for a year), but nothing like this concentration of knowledge and experience on one particular model.

Main Message Board / Re: Return from the dark side
« on: May 20, 2020, 01:44:36 PM »
Thanks for the tip. Do you happen to have a last name and phone number?

Main Message Board / Return from the dark side
« on: May 20, 2020, 11:35:36 AM »
After an abortive effort to embrace power boating, Kate and I are looking forward to returning to the sailing world. The power boat, a Ranger Tug, works beautifully and is a delight to be on in anchorages and at the dock. But after one summer of cruising we found that we really missed sailing and the simple pleasure of working with the wind to get from one place to another. Our beloved 34 Mk II, ‘Calypso‘, is in the hands of yacht club colleagues, Jim and Allison Lucas, who are are contributors to this forum. So we are on the lookout for another post-2000 34 MkII or 355, or even a 350 or 36 in the Pacific Northwest. Not an easy search in these Covid induced, closed border days.

And thus my question. Do the LOA figures published in the spec sheets by Catalina include the anchor roller in the calculation? Our slip at the yacht club is limited to  boats no longer than 36’5” and the administration takes the measurement very seriously. A 34 Mk II has a published LOA of 34’6” but is charged for 36’ with a Bruce or Rocna on the roller. The 355 and 350 LOAs are both advertised to be 35’5”. If that includes the roller, then with an anchor they should be less than the ironclad limit of 36’5”. A Catalina 36, at 35’6” apparently doesn’t make the cut and is forced onto the long waiting list for a longer slip.

So if anyone has authoritative information on how Catalina makes its LOA calculation I would be delighted to hear it. No reply when I asked Catalina directly. We made one bad mistake by trading Calypso in for a powerboat; we don't want to make a second one by buying a boat that doesn’t fit into our slip. The waiting lists are too long for an ancient mariner.

And, of course, if you have a 34 mk II in the Pacific Northwest that you are prepared to part with, please let me know.

Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: October 01, 2019, 06:54:30 PM »
Happy to start the conversation you suggest Jim. I’ll marshal my thoughts and post in a new thread. I’m sure that other Catalina 34 owners have made a move like this, or are at least thinking about it.

Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: September 29, 2019, 04:48:44 PM »
So that I could sort out which, if any, off the shelf mufflers might be used as a replacement if my original muffler gave up the ghost.

All moot, I’m afraid. We recently trade Calypso in as part of the purchase of a Ranger Tug. While we miss the sailing, motoring along at 8 knots in our shirtsleeves in the always cool and often rainy Pacific Northwest is proving to be a real treat. Calypso is in the good hands of Jim and Allison Lucas who, ironically, are moving from a powerboat to sail. I hope they become active members of the Association.

Finally, thanks to all of the active members of this list for your informative analysis, ideas, and even sympathy as we worked together to keep these fine yachts in great shape. It’s the best boating list in the world and I feel privileged to have been a member for over 16 years. Give the MV Surprise a wave if you see us out there. I guarantee no peace threatening wakes!

Main Message Board / Edson pedestal cable yoke
« on: June 01, 2019, 12:24:51 PM »
Another day, another weird boating incident.

Leaving Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island, in the San Juan Islands, I noticed that the throttle lever moved slightly when I alternated the gear lever between neutral and forward. By the time I cleared the Harbor, I could not move either the gear or throttle control without the other lever moving around a lot. Effectively, I could not use the gear lever without firmly gripping the throttle lever and couldn’t shift into neutral or reverse at all without the the throttle lever forcing up the revs. No fun at all.

Since I had always thought of the two functions as being independent, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Instead of trying to reanchor and work on the problem I left the motor ticking over in forward and sailed back to my home port, 13 miles away.  But when I approached the marina I couldn’t sort out how I could get into it and down the passage to my finger and then stop the boat. In the end, I turned the motor off and on while in forward and at the end ‘dead sticked’ into the slip without too much fuss. Luckily the wind was light.

I took apart the binnacle and the Edson pedestal cable cover in the aft cabin but couldn’t see what was going on inside the pedestal. The throttle and gear shift cables were both properly connected at the motor end. It was my neighbour who saw me staring at the problem and suggested that there was a yoke halfway up the pedestal that secured the pedestal end of BOTH cables. Thus, the unusual interaction between them. We removed the guts of the engine panel lower down the pedestal and found a nylock nut and a washer and the hole for the bolt securing the yoke to the pedestal. But no sign of the bolt. We took off the wheel. I manipulated the two cables from below until he could see the end of the bolt. Then, putting a long screwdriver down into the pedestal from above I was able to push on the loose yoke until eventually he was able to capture the bolt as it poked through the hole in the pedestal wall. This was a lengthy and frustrating experience that left me with a few choice words I would have loved to share with the Edson pedestal designers. Deployed a healthy dose of loctite, tightened down the bolt and put the whole mess back together. Status quo ante.

Further thought. If you have your engine panel apart for any reason, you might want to put a wrench on the nylock nut visible at the back of the panel.

Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: February 26, 2019, 12:50:35 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I guess you there’s no easy way so I’ll just start drilling holes in the hull until water comes in. Photos to follow. 😬😬😬

Main Message Board / Finding the waterline
« on: February 19, 2019, 03:17:34 PM »
I would like to accurately establish how far above or below the waterline the engine raw water outflow joins the exhaust riser in the engine room on the MK II with the M35BC. There must be a simple way to do this that is less trouble than attaching a clear hose to the raw water intake and observing how high the water column rises inside the hose. Any suggestions?

Also, by rough measurement I estimate the capacity of the M35BC aqua lift muffler to be about 12 litres. Has anyone actually done a more accurate measurement?

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 27, 2019, 11:43:04 AM »
One further thought on orientation of the gauge. If you use an oil-filled Durachoice gauge then vertical orientation allows you to rezero the gauge by pulling out the plunger without losing oil. Any other orientation would make adjusting the gauge problematic I believe.  BTW, I chose the oil filled gauge because it helps steady the action of the gauge if it is subject to vibration. Since I ended up installing it to the wall of engine box it shouldn’t be vibrating along with the engine. So perhaps I could have chosen a gauge model that wasn’t oil filled.

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 26, 2019, 04:50:28 PM »
Thanks to all. A drag needle would have been good. I sail mostly alone so leaving the helm, removing the steps and lifting the companionway engine hatch for a look while running at 2200 rpm isn’t without its challenges. So far I have only checked it at the dock running at 1500rpm.

Main Message Board / Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:45:14 PM »
Inspired by a Cruising World piece, I recently installed an oil filled Durachoice 0-30 inHg vacuum gauge between my primary Racor filter and my fuel pump. I installed it vertically against the wooden frame for the engine compartment on the starboard side with gauge facing forward. It can be read by lifting the companionway access hatch under the upper set of steps. The installation was straightforward and the engine works fine. So fuel supply is fine. The odd thing is that there is no deflection of the gauge when the engine is running. I have recently changed filters so I wouldn’t expect much deflection. But none?

Any thoughts?

The Cruising World article can be found at:

Main Message Board / Re: Manus swivel
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:08:12 PM »
I have just installed a Mantus swivel between 150ft of 1/4” G4 chain and a 33lb Rocna.  I haven’t used it in anger yet but l am totally impressed by the design of the swivel and the integrity of the installation itself. It’s a lot more robust than any other swivel I have encountered. I’m using it with a Maxwell 500 windlass.

Main Message Board / Re: Maxwell VW800
« on: November 21, 2018, 07:42:04 PM »
I have the VW 500 in an earlier (1999) mkII. Because it is installed horizontally, I couldn’t check the oil using the viewing window on the body of the motor. So I felt the need to check and replace the oil about 10 years ago. I did have to remove one ledge and trim to take out the wooden bulkhead. Even though I had anchored out almost every night, averaging 50 plus nights on the hook each summer, the oil was fine. I don’t recall needing a new seal kit to reassemble the unit. As Ron recommends, I don’t intend to try to change the oil again unless I hear strange noises coming from the windlass or see evidence
of a leak. But I do take apart the drum and gypsy each year and grease the shaft.

Main Message Board / Westerbeke 30C Three
« on: November 21, 2018, 07:04:28 PM »
For a second year in a row, Westerbeke is offering this engine (25hp and 2.5:1 transmission) via distributors in Canada as a Christmas present for $7995.00 (Can) or about $6000.00 (US). Has anyone used this engine as a replacement for the Universal 25XP or 35B. Facing a rebuild or a cranky old age engine it looks like it might be an attractive alternative.

Main Message Board / Re: Jib Fairlead Track
« on: November 21, 2018, 06:52:22 PM »
More applause for Garhauer adjustable Genoa track cars. After the foresail furler and the autopilot, the adjustable Genny cars are the very best friend of the solo sailor.

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