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Topics - Gary Brockman

Pages: [1]
Main Message Board / Single Handed Transpac
« on: July 19, 2016, 07:28:19 PM »
Congratulations are due to Margie Woods, who is a member here, who sailed into Hanalei today to finish the Single Handed Transpac in Haunani, her Catalina 34.

Main Message Board / AC Refrigeration Question
« on: July 14, 2014, 05:16:44 PM »
I am about to convert my Aldler Barbour refrigeration system to AC for when the boat is in the slip. I have copied the John Nixon article from the Tech Wiki and have my power supply but I am not sure what to buy for the relay. I went to Pep Boys this afternoon and told them I needed a SPDT 30 amp relay and they said that they had 5 or 6 30 amp relays but as I know nothing about the electronics involved, I was not sure which, if any, were the right one to purchase. Does anyone have a suggestion of what I should buy?



Main Message Board / AIS WatchMate sale
« on: May 06, 2012, 11:38:51 PM »
West Marine currently has the VESPER MARINE AIS WatchMate on clearance sale for $99.66, down from $500.00.  If you already have an AIS receiver, but not a dedicated AIS system, this is a great deal.  I have ordered one which I am going to connect this week to the AIS output of my Standard Horizon GX2100 VHF radio.  ( )


Main Message Board / Battery Problem?
« on: January 05, 2011, 11:28:27 AM »
When I came back to the boat yesterday after being out of town for two weeks, I was surprised to find out that my Linklite was blank and that my house bank was completely drained. After hooking up the shore power and turning on the charger, I found the problem.

It has rained quite a bit over the last two weeks in Southern California and when that happens, some water enters the boat and gathers in the bilge. It seems that the bronze check valve in my bilge pump line became stuck in the closed position and that the 1.5 inches of water in the bilge caused the bilge pump to constantly run without removing any water from the bilge until my batteries were drained. I am replacing the check valve today.

My question is about the status of my house bank (four t-105's 2 years old). Are they ruined?


Main Message Board / Boom lenght
« on: March 02, 2010, 12:06:22 PM »
I met with my sailmaker yesterday afternoon to order a new 155 and a new
main. When he measured my boom, my current main measured 13.09 feet. His form on a Catalina 34T said it should have been 12 feet, as does the factory brochure.

Does anyone else have longer boom? My boat came from San Diego, a light air area, and had been set up to race. The main was cut with a very full foot and a flatening reef. The boom would hang down without the flatening reef in Oder to add unrated sail area.

We discussed the new main and decided to go with the 13.09 foot but without the extra boom sag. Today I am wondering if I should have gone with the standard 12 foot main. Any opinions?


Main Message Board / New Traveler Installation
« on: April 25, 2009, 11:10:23 PM »
I have a question for those of you who have installed the 9" traveler bolts thru the cabin top.  Did you use a 1/4" bit all the way thru and ruin the threads in the metal plate or did use the threads as well as thru-bolting the bolts?

Since my original traveler never had the 9" thru-bolts installed, I wanted to install them when I replaced my original traveler with a new Garhauer traveler. Garhauer make me two 9 1/2" bolts by welding 3" bolts to thread stock so that I could thread the bolts into the metal plate in the traveler bridge as they passed thru the hole I drilled thru the cabin top for added holding power. I used a long 3/16" drill bit to go thru the existing holes into the cabin so as to preserve the threads and then used a long 1/4" bit to enlarge the holes from inside the cabin up to the metal plate.

My problem is that when I screwed the bolts into the metal plate, they did not line up exactly with the 1/4" holes I made from the inside. Am I just wasting my time trying to preserve the threads or should I just drill straight thru with the 1/4" bit?


 - Gary -

Main Message Board / Traveler - Rigid Vang Selection
« on: March 02, 2009, 11:53:25 AM »
I have decided to upgrade from the original Nicro-Fico traveler and from my unknown brand solid vang this weekend with new Garhauer products. My question is which traveler and vang should I buy?

I have been offered a great deal on a new MT-2 (only $200), but after looking at a picture of the traveler,  I am worried that the stacked blocks on each end of the traveler may have a high potential for hanging up lines while the newer (and more expensive) MT-UB2 traveler has a cleaner, more protective look.  As I am planning on racing my boat quite a bit this year, I would like to avoid potential problems where I can, but am not sure the MT-UB2 will be worth 3x the cost.  Has anyone with a MT-2 had a problem with it? 

Regarding a new solid vang, the catalog shows three models that fit a 34, the RV20-1SL, the RV18-1 DX, and the RV20-1DX.  Each model has a different tune diameter, with 2” being the largest.  I think the 18/20 number relates to the purchase ratio but I am not sure.  My first reaction is to go for the RV20-1DX and its 2” tube but thought I would see what other people have been using.

Thanks for the advice.

 - Gary -

Main Message Board / What is the best way to secure m batteries?
« on: December 04, 2008, 09:33:24 AM »
After reviewing the projects and electrical system upgrade treads, I am still unclear of the best way to secure the four T-105’s I have placed in the battery compartment in the aft section of the dinette area.  My first thought was to find plastic battery boxes that I could place each individual battery in but have not been able to find any on the internet that would be able to fit in the compartment. I did find a site that sold battery boxes that held two T-105’s side by side, but they were around $100 each. 

So far, I have set my four batteries on a painted piece of 5/8” marine plywood on the bottom of the battery compartment and have left 1/2” clearance between each battery.  I can glue/screw 1” high wood dividers between and around each battery to form short boxes to keep them in place in relation to each other, but what is the best way to keep the batteries secure in these boxes?

Should I use nylon straps with plastic/nylon clips to secure each battery, or pair of batteries, to the base board? What have other people done?


 - Gary -

Main Message Board / Mystery Leak
« on: November 20, 2008, 12:26:03 PM »
When I first inspected my boat before making an offer on it, there was about ¾” of dirty standing water in the bilge.  The selling broker told me that the previous owner lived about 3 hours away from the boat and had not used the boat very much in the 3 years they owned it, and that they had only used it twice in the previous year.  The source of the water was not known but educated guesses listed rain/wash down water leaks, keel bolt leak, and/or shaft packing gland leak, none of which would be a major issue.  When the boat was surveyed, the survey stated that there was “minimal standing dirty water” in the bilge area with an unknown origin. The Notes section of the survey said to remove the water from the bilge area and clean the bilge area as necessary to detect any leaks in the vessel, which I planned to do after purchasing the boat.

When the boat was hauled out to paint the bottom, I decided to take advantage of the haul out and had the yard put in a dripless shaft system (and new SS shaft). After moving the boat to its new slip, I emptied the bilge of water and cleaned the bilge in anticipation of having a dry bilge. When I went back to the boat the next day, I was mildly surprised to find 1/2” of water in the bilge again. A systematic investigation eliminated all of the easily found leaks: keel bolts; rain water; wash downs; thru hull fittings; and hoses. My investigation found that the water seemed to be coming from the aft end of the boat and that the inside of the hull under the aft berth was moist and a small indentation would refill with water after a while when it was dried out. When the rudder post was eliminated, I removed the teak panel at the rear of the aft cabin to check the aft water tank.  I found that although the water tank did not have any leaks, the hull under the water tank was a transition point where the hull was dry to a point and then moist from there forward.  I had the manager of our local boat yard come over to inspect my boat and he confirmed my fear that the leak was coming through the hull itself. 

He said that this was not uncommon (I had never heard of this before) and that he had repaired a new Beneteau with the same problem (voids in the layup) last summer. He said that he didn’t think it was that big of a deal and that it had probably been there since the boat was new. He said that if I didn’t mind a wet bilge, I could just live with it as he didn’t think it was a structural/safety problem. If I wanted it fixed, he proposed to haul the boat, remove the aft water tank and the shelf it sits on, and to grind out the hull in the area of the leak, let it dry out, and re-glass the area. He estimated the job as a haul out, four hours labor, and material ($650±).

The boat is being hauled as I type this and I will provide an update when I know more.

 - Gary -

We recently bought a pretty much stock, 1986 tall rig Catalina 34 (#231), except that it has been fully equipped for racing (7 winches, 3 headsail/spinnaker halyards, sheets, spinnakers, etc.), which I plan do again after not owning a boat for over 15 years.  We renamed her “Squall”, and although she was generally in very good condition, many of the original systems needed updating.

After purchasing Squall, I found this website and promptly became an association member. This is a huge resource that is worth much, much more than the price of membership, and truly adds to the value of the boat.

When I relocated Squall to Marina del Rey from San Diego, where I purchased her, I found that the number two battery was completely dead and would not take a charge (battery only 6-months old). This has prompted me to upgrade my electrical system now rather than waiting to the spring as first planned. After reading a number of very helpful articles in the Forum, I am ready to start purchasing everything I need to update the system and have put together the following shopping list of major items:

•   Trojan T-105 Batteries (4)   
•   Xantrex Truechage2 20-amp Battery Charger   
•   Xantrex Truechage2 Remote Display   
•   Xantrex Echo Charge   
•   Xantrex Battery Temp Sensor   
•   Blue Circle M-7102-HD Alternator   
•   Xantrex Alternator Regulator   
•   Cables, fuses, etc.   

I have an experienced boat electrician who will help me install this system as I have no background in this having only taken a one quarter electrical shop class in my freshman year of high school (early 1960’s).   Is there something I have missed?  Should I include something like a Link___? If so, what would be the appropriate model? 

My wife and I have discussed adding an inverter but are not sure we need one.  I spoke with a Xantrex service rep on the telephone about which inverter I should purchase if we decided to add one to the system and he suggested using a Freedom Charger/Inverter instead of the Truecharge2.  From looking at the specs, it looks to me that if I did that, I would be losing some of the functions/advantages of the Truecharge2 charger.  Any thoughts on this?

Besides purchasing the parts to upgrade the electrical system this weekend, I am planning to install new gate stanchions on each side of the boat (purchased from Catalina Direct), replace the original lifelines with new ones, replace the original non-working NICRO solar vents with new ones, and reinstall the newly painted cowl vents.  I hope all of this doesn’t prove to be too ambitious for the weekend.

Future projects include replacing the hot-water heater and its water lines, as it looks as if it is on its last legs, and installing new vinyl stripes over the faded gell-coat stripes on the hull. Although I enjoy working on the boat, I am looking forward to being able to sailing her more.

 - Gary -

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