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Topics - Mark Sutherland

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Main Message Board / New England Sta-Set Lines Slipping In Winch Crowns
« on: November 12, 2017, 12:54:06 PM »
I recently replaced 3 lines (Outhaul, Furling and Topping Lift) with New England Sta-Set, and they are all slipping in my winch crowns.  They seem to have a very slick feel to them.  Is there a way to "rough up" these lines without damaging them? 

Main Message Board / Rules Of The Road Question
« on: October 02, 2017, 09:13:22 AM »
I've had two, nearly identical situations occur in the past month or so, with the same vessel.  I'm sailing on a broad reach, port tack, pointing 300 degrees.  Unknown to me is a tug, pushing a barge (maybe 75 -100' long), aft of my boat, to port, pointing 330-340 degrees, moving about 12-15 knots.  I'm sitting on the port side of the cockpit, so this tug-and-barge is behind me, out of my field of vision.  I notice him when I see him to port out of the corner of my eye.  His heading will lead him across my bow, and I didn't wait to determine if we might be on a collision course.  He's close enough to my port side that I'm not certain I have enough room to tack (turning to port, towards the barge), so quickly jibe to a starboard tack.  I understand that a working vessel with limited maneuverability has the right of way, but doesn't this tug have an obligation to alert me, either by horn or radio? 

Catalina 34s for Sale / 1986 C34 For Sale Soon (May '17)
« on: May 20, 2017, 01:49:48 PM »
I have a purchase pending for a C350 and will be selling my 1986 C34 very shortly.  It is located in Long Beach CA (Shoreline).  I'll write up a full info sheet on my boat when the sale on my new boat closes.  The short version for now is that my boat is well above average condition.  Some quick highlights are:
*New upholstery (contemporary, custom forward cabin matress) (2015)
*New cockpit cushions (2016)
*Full electronics, including radar
*New primary winches (2015)
*300 +/- hours on rebuilt engine
*New standing rigging, mast and boom painted (2009-ish)
*New running rigging (2016)
*New Raymarine windvane (2017)
*New LED mast/deck lights (2016)
*New Engine panel and updated wiring harness (2010)
*Fresh Varnish, 2B detailed in 2 weeks
*All toilet parts new (except bowl) (2017)
*Extremly well maintained


I'm looking at buying a near perfect, 2006 350 to replace my 1986 C34'.  The only item of question for me is the in-mast furling.  I've read many of the posts about a modest performance loss, which I'm okay with it if it is indeed modest.  I'm most concerned about the occasional "jamming" of the main and the consequential inability to furl it in, especially if the conditions are adverse.  What is the likelihood of a jam, and what do these jamming scenarios look like, worst case?  There's no way I'm going up the mast to cut the main down, I'm too old for that.  The only solution I can envision is trying to roll the main vertically, from the clue towards the mast, then wrapping the spinnaker halyard around the mast like a maypole, essentially vertically slabbing the main against the mast????  There are no battens in the existing main.  I've gotta resolve this scenario in my head before I buy this boat.  Would very much appreciate your great counsel on this one!  Thanks.

Clarification: I may not have been concise enough with my question which is, what are the best options for dealing with a main sail that has become jammed and won't furl back into the mast, especially under adverse weather conditions?  Thanks.

Main Message Board / Rain Running Down Mast Into Cabin
« on: January 02, 2017, 03:41:14 PM »
On my mast (as I suspect with yours as well), there's a recessed channel in which the main sail cars travel up and down the mast.  My mast is keel stepped, so this channel runs all the way down into the cabin and into the bilge.  So too does the rain run down this channel and into my cabin, where it deflects off of a stop-screw, and splashes down on my dinette table and on the floor.  Does anyone have any neat ideas of how to block this channel above deck so the water runs OUT of the channel before it enters the cabin?  All I can think of is maybe stuffing some backing rod and silicon in the channel.  Thanks All  8)

Main Message Board / Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« on: August 14, 2016, 09:01:10 PM »
I'm considering a top-down furler for my Asym, and was wondering if anyone has any experience and maybe a recommendation of a particular brand or model?

Main Message Board / Lube Type for Speed Transducer?
« on: June 07, 2016, 08:54:59 AM »
I've noticed a lubricant of some sort on my Raymarine speed transducer unit when I pull it out of the through-hull sleeve to clean it.   Does anyone know, or can recommend the type of lube to use for this purpose?  I'm guessing it might be the same lube as what is used for through-hull valves?  Thanks.

Main Message Board / Replacing Sheaves At The Mast Head
« on: March 15, 2016, 08:06:40 PM »
I'm having my halyards replaced, and some other above deck routine maintenance done by a rigger this week.  I asked my contact at the rigging company to replace the sheaves at the mast head while he was up there.  They said they could only do that while the mast was down.  Is that correct and why? Thanks.

Main Message Board / Dripless Shaft Seal & Water Pickup Hose?
« on: February 15, 2016, 06:59:40 PM »
I have a dripless shaft seal (aka PSS?) on my '86.  I've never had an issue with it, and hence never spent much time down there looking at it.  There is a hose coming off of the unit.  Looking at photos online, I've seen this hose referred to as a "Water Pickup Hose", which, in the photos online, disappears out of the photo, seemingly to some water source.  In my case, BEFORE my last bottom paint job, my PSS had a hose on it that was about 4 or 5"(?) long and sealed with a plug in the end of it, pointing straight up. My bilge has always stayed dry when it's not raining out, so my PSS was apparently not leaking. After my last haulout, my invoice stated, "Replaced the vent line hose with new longer hose".  Seems they removed the existing 4-5" sealed-end hose and replaced it with a hose lead all the way to the space under my head sink.  Their new hose had a brass plug at the end, said plug having a small hole drilled in it to allow water to bleed out of it.  They mounted it high on the wall directly above my main power switch (under the sink), which really ticked me off because it bled water down on the main switch when I ran the engine.  My questions: 1)Was my original short, sealed hose an incorrect installation because it was below the water line or was it ok?  2)Is it proper/necessary for this new hose to bleed water out of it when I'm running the motor?  3)When I reroute this new, longer hose away from my main switch, can/should I install an anti-syphon fitting on it so I can run this water-bleeding line back down to the hull level so it's not spitting water indiscriminately?  Thanks much for any advice you can share.

Main Message Board / Haul Out Suggestions?
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:10:13 AM »
Hi All, I'm hauling my boat out for the first time since I've owned it for a bottom paint job.  Because I have VERY little spare time for repeat haul-outs, and down time, I like to fix or replace anything that is suspect, or near the end of it's life cycle, whenever I'm already paying someone to be working on a specific area on the boat.  I think this is a pretty good practice, especially when I don't know the age of many of the components on my boat.  That said, is there anything you think I should pay special attention to or that I would want replaced while I've gone to the time and expense to do the bottom job?  Should I have moving the parts of the rudder replaced (bushings, etc)?  Should I replace the cutlass bearing?  I appreciate the advice.  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Main Message Board / Dropping an Asymmetrical Spinnaker
« on: April 22, 2014, 08:43:52 AM »
I've recently begun flying my Asym.  I'm using a sock and the "Tacker" device at the forestay, which is working nicely.  I'm not totally happy with the effectiveness of my procedure for dropping the Asym.  Here's what I'm doing and the issues I'm encountering.  The Tacker site demo video suggests over-sheeting the Asym sheet, then blowing/releasing the tack from the tacker device at the forestay, then hauling down the sock.  My goal is to bring the sock and sail down on the bow, adjacent to the forward cabin hatch.  The problem I'm encountering is that when I release the tack, the entire sail and sock ends up aft of the spreader and the sock gets bound up against the aft side of the spreader as I'm trying to bring the sock down from my bow position.  The sock ring/collar actually gets stuck when it gets down to the spreader, after which it only comes free after a lot of fuss.  I tried having the cockpit crew ease the sheet/clew as I bring the sock down, just BEFORE I release the tack, hoping that I could get the leach forward of the spreader/shrouds, but easing the sheet just allows the Asym to fill and power back up which makes lowering the sock very difficult.  My next idea is to over-sheet, release the tack, and almost simultaneously quickly ease the sheet 10-15 feet, allowing the leach and clew to move forward of the spreader and shrouds.  My planned point of sail during the take-down would be about 120-130 degrees.  If any of you have any advice, I'd sure appreciate it.  Thanks much.

Main Message Board / Pencil Zinc life/degradation rate
« on: March 10, 2014, 07:29:21 AM »
I just replaced my pencil zinc the other day.  The old zinc was a YEAR OLD and when I pulled it out, about 90% of the material was still intact.  (*Note, I waited a year because every 3 months that I checked it, it was good...).  In the past, my zincs have lasted 3 to 6 months.  I put about 50 hours on the engine last year.  Why would this zinc last so long?  Are there different kinds of zincs?  Did I use the wrong one?   

Main Message Board / Interior photos (batch 4 of 4)
« on: February 15, 2014, 01:03:42 PM »
Batch 4 of 4

Main Message Board / Interior Photos (3 of 4)
« on: February 15, 2014, 01:01:54 PM »
Batch 3 of 4

Main Message Board / Interior photos (batch 2 of 4)
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:59:44 PM »
The job was done by Barnes Upholstery in Orange CA.  Great job, great service. 

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