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Topics - Analgesic

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Main Message Board / Diesel in the bilge!!
« on: March 09, 2019, 04:27:33 PM »
So, I went to visit my 1988 C34 today on the hard in MA for the first time in a month (with some pretty intense cold since last visit if that is relevant).  The boat is shrink wrapped and the bilge had been dry.  I was shocked to see about 1/8" of pink diesel on top of a 1/2 " of ice in the main bilge.  Behind the engine in the aft birth there was about 1/4" of diesel under the shaft and up against the vertical fiberglass at the back of the engine.  There also was diesel in the depression above the shaft further aft of the shaft exit tube. No trickle tracks could be identified.   So, the search for a source is on.  I removed the aft cabin panel to inspect the fuel tank and all visible surfaces looked well  There was no diesel directly below the engine.   I turned the key to start the fuel pump briefly and couldn't identify any trouble.  The fuel tank read 3/4 full which is where I left it in the Fall.  All fuel lines are dry to my inspection off the top of the tank and into the space under the head sink. 
So, I absorbed everything I could (best estimate a pint of diesel total) and laid down dry paper towels to port of the shaft so if there is a trickle I should be able to see which towel it hits on the way to the low point. 
Has anyone dealt with this?  I fear something catastrophic might be coming on.  I can next visit the boat in 4 days.  Thanks in advance for any guidance on how best to proceed.     Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Zinc question
« on: October 08, 2018, 08:20:52 AM »
Last Winter I replaced the PSS Shaft Seal bellows which involved disconnecting and reconnecting the shaft to the flexible coupling.  There is a wire that jumps metal to metal around the coupling.  This morning I hauled the boat for the season and noted the two shaft zincs looked as good as new, not the sacrificial decaying look I'm used to seeing at season's end.  The shaft itself looks okay at first glance.   I have to assume the bridging wire is bad.  I haven't checked the pencil zinc in the heat exchanger yet.  Anyone know if I need to be looking for other sacrificial metal trouble in the engine or elsewhere?   

Main Message Board / Link 2000 meter question
« on: May 07, 2017, 11:41:34 AM »
I just replaced my 4 golf cart batteries and my boat has an old Heart inverter/charger Link 2000 set up that seems to have worked flawlessly for the 13 years I have owned her.  The boat is on the hard and when I attempted to charge them using AC power, it took longer than I expected to go from Charge to Accept and never went to Float.  The  cold volts reading on the Link is 12.35 V while a direct reading on the batteries with my multimeter gets 12.64 V.  At the same time, my starting battery (a wet cell 12 V) matches exactly and it has a much longer wire  run to the Link unit.   My boat lives on a mooring all Summer so all future charging will be via alternator until next Fall.  I have already reprogrammed the unit to make up for the "gotcha" bug discussed here previously.  I don't want to harm my new batteries with incomplete or inaccurate charging.  To those smarter than me, does this sound like simply a bad or undersized sensing wire?  Is there an easy test for this?  All wires disappear into dark places and before I start down this path, I wanted to see if there might be another answer.  Thanks in advance for any guidance. 
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Wiring near disaster
« on: March 20, 2016, 06:42:46 PM »
So, still shaking after feeling like I almost set the boat on fire today.  Briefly, I have a 1988 M25 XP, on the hard south of Boston.  Last Fall my alternator crashed, took it to local highly reputable battery guy who rebuilt it only to find that my Balmar Max Charge regulator was also dead.  The same guy sold me a Transpro regulator for much less $ than a new Balmar, said it would be fine since I sail mostly, use engine sparingly.  I decided to replace the terminal strip by my engine since it was looking very tired (prior owner did the wiring harness upgrade).  I then removed any corrosion and reattached every wire back at the Seaward panel in the cockpit and replaced a dead bulb on the engine temp gauge.  Thinking I would be just testing the light bulb, I turned the ignition key one click (not the extra to fire the glow plugs).  I heard the beeping alarm test and clicking of the fuel pump as usual. I then left the cockpit to inspect everything and saw smoke pouring out of the engine area.  The Brown wire (14 ga, see picture) going to the new regulator was smoking, melting and burning the wire cover.  I hope the attached picture adequately shows both ends of the short harness connecting the alternator to the regulator  mounted under the head sink .  Anyway, I think I'm pretty meticulous about hooking up everything.  However, clearly something disastrous is going on.  The brown wire where it goes through the 4-wire plastic unit to plug into the regulator has completely melted inside.  One answer is to wave the white flag and call somebody who knows what they're doing to fix this but I like to know what's going on and consider myself reasonably competent.  That being said, I don't want to set Analgesic and the rest of the boat yard on fire.  Thanks for any advice. 
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Spartite Question
« on: April 05, 2015, 04:59:23 PM »
I am planning on using Spartite this Spring to hopefully end the perennial mast leak.  Can anyone who has done this tell me how much they purchased to complete the job?  It is expensive and I don't want to buy the large kit if the small kit is enough but I also don't want to come up short doing the project.  I have a 1988 standard mast.  Thanks in advance for any help. 
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Butyl Tape in galley sink? Galley sink drain flix
« on: December 14, 2014, 06:47:25 PM »
The two drains of my galley sink started leaking only a couple of years after replacing everything.  I used plumber's putty last time at the critical leak-prone areas but after all the great things I've read about butyl tape for leak-prone deck hardware, I was wondering if this might be the best solution for  sealing gasket type areas when I reinstall the drains this Winter.  Has anybody tried this or is there something I should know from a health standpoint (dishes soaking in water exposed to butyl tape picking up some toxin, etc.)?  This is a rotten, hard to reach job I never want have to do again.  Thanks

Main Message Board / Exhaust Riser Replacement
« on: November 25, 2014, 04:44:23 AM »
Second big Winter project is a new exhaust riser. Following many posts here, I checked with Catalina Parts and they don't  stock them anymore.  Catalina Direct lists them on their site but I also read about the advantages of a perfect match by having it made locally.  Where would one go to have an exhaust riser made?  Welder, machine shop, mom and pop auto repair shop?  I suspect it is critical to provide a very specific order since this must be a novel job request.  Also, it must be critical to have the right materials used due to the temperatures involved and the highest quality welding as well.  Finally, I noticed an insulating wrap for sale at CD which seemed ridiculously expensive.  I removed a white woven fabric wrap from the old one held in place by wire wrap which I assume must be much cheaper.  Any suggestions?  Thanks
Brian McPhillips 

Main Message Board / Boiling Heat Exchanger
« on: November 21, 2014, 03:11:38 PM »
Question for the chemists-I have read on this forum that the heat exchanger should be taken to a radiator shop to be boiled out periodically.  I removed mine this week and it was dramatically caked with scale on the inside.  I called my local radiator shop and he says he stopped doing any boiling years ago once car radiators became more plastic.  So, being from New England, I do have a big lobster pot that would easily accommodate the exchanger.  Any suggestions how I might boil it myself?  With vinegar or some other safe chemical?  Thanks in advance for any guidance. 
Brian McPhillips

Catalina 34s Parts & Pieces For Sale or Wanted / Winter Cover Sold
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:58:42 AM »
Posting below no longer active

Catalina 34s Parts & Pieces For Sale or Wanted / Winter Cover
« on: September 20, 2014, 07:13:50 AM »
I have a boom tent Navy blue Top Gun Winter cover for sale.  It is a 3 piece inside the rail model and is in pretty decent shape but I am replacing it with an over the rail model due to a squirrel problem where I store the boat on the hard.  It has been very effective keeping snow and rain out and protecting my teak (except from squirrels).  I'm asking $250 OBO (my new one cost $1900).
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Battery Voltage Question
« on: April 14, 2014, 01:20:06 PM »
Four years ago I made the switch to four 6V golf cart batteries from Sam's Club for my house bank as recommended here.  They have served me well but for the last year whenever the boat was either on the mooring for a week or over the Winter ignored for any length of time, the resting voltage on the bank would drop to 11.85-11.90 range.  On the hard with my AC cord plugged in to charge or when motoring, it will zoom up to 14.5 V but drops right back down once unplugged.   
Yesterday I disconnected and removed all 4 batteries from the compartment and testing them individually, two had identical 6.05 V readings and two read 5.7 V. My questions: first why would this evolve when they all form one bank, can I try to charge up the two weaker ones away from the boat and see if they will hold steady, or can I replace the two weak ones and keep the two stronger ones using the same brand and model?  It's been an expensive Winter and new batteries were not in the planned budget.  Thanks for any help.
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Replacing Sherwood water pump with Oberdorfer
« on: October 12, 2013, 10:34:04 AM »
I think my 1988 C34 has a Universal M-25 engine and at the end of this season I found my 5 year old Sherwood water pump to be leaking and rusting badly.  This came after a stressful impeller replacement that took an hour while under sail after the engine overheated this Summer from a blocked intake.  I'm ready to switch to the front plate Oberdorfer  for cost, convenience and hopefully better longevity.  My current pump is mounted with two hex bolts through flanges into the engine blocks.  I see that the Oberdorfer has 5 mounting holes on the engine block side.  My questions-will the two current engine block holes line up and be adequate to hold the Oberdorfer on or do I have to drill additional holes into the engine block (which frightens me)?  If I have to drill the block, is there anything I need to know having never drilled into steel before?  Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Water heater leaking antifreeze
« on: June 29, 2013, 09:01:17 PM »
I'm very depressed.  Last Summer my old Seaward water heater must have rusted through at last and emptied all of my fresh water into the bilge right at the start of my vacation.  I bypassed it and endured the Summer without hot water.  In the Fall I replaced the heater with a new model S-600 by Seaward.  My first couple of sails this year with brief motoring to get off the hook, I noticed very low levels of antifreeze in the engine.  I assumed there was some redistribution going on after bleeding air out and just topped it off.  Today for the third time the antifreeze was very low and looking further, it seems to be leaking out the bottom of the new heater onto the plywood base.  I carefully checked where the antifreeze hoses enter and exit the heater and they appear dry.  For now I bypassed the heater with a short 90 degree angle of 3/8" hose connecting the thermostat to the pump and the engine seems to be running fine.  I left the inside of the new heater dry over the Winter-no water or antifreeze.  I can't believe that the new heater came with a leak-the thought of taking it out, shipping back, etc is very frustrating as it was such a big job last Fall.  Is there any other possible problem I'm overlooking here? I was thinking of pouring some water with food coloring down the antifreeze hose to see if I can track down the leak.  Any other ideas /suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Engine Temperature problem
« on: May 21, 2013, 05:21:39 AM »
Launch day 2013 yesterday and it's always something.  This Winter I replaced the hot water heater.  I followed the web site advice on burping the antifreeze, engine started right up but I took my eye off the ball and after idling for a while at the dock I saw the engine temperature gauge reading almost 240 degrees or whatever the max is.  I immediately shut it down, allowed some cooling time, repeated the burping process with the petcock this time.  I restarted the engine just to get off the dock, temp seemed to be rising too fast, shut down and sailed for 90 minutes to my home club and when I restarted the engine to again get to the dock, the gauge now gave no reading (never budged from the minimum 120). I have great water flow from the exhaust, raw water filter is clear and I removed any corrosion from the temp sensing wire in the thermostat with no change.  So, I'm left with an engine that seems to start and run well but might be overheating with no way to tell.  I hate to call the diesel guy if there is some other easy solution/troubleshooting step I could try first.  Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.
Brian McPhillips

Main Message Board / Stanchion Rebedding
« on: November 05, 2012, 11:52:43 AM »
I have just encountered the apparently common problem of water leaking through the starboard double stanchion above the galley resulting in wet moldy wood on the storage shelf and the wooden AC outlet  cover cracking in two.   I found references here to Main Sail's instructions for using Butyl Tape for this project  but have not found a link to the actual  article searching this site.  Does anybody have this?  Also, having never worked with butyl tape or epoxy for that matter, is this a project I should/can take on in November in New England-current daily temp ranging 30-50 but going down fast?  I don't want to fill a hole with epoxy only to have it never cure.  Thanks.

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