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Topics - Fred Koehlmann

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Main Message Board / Crimping Tool for 8 and 6 AWG Wire
« on: October 17, 2017, 10:39:50 PM »
So I'm at a point where to complete our solar panel install, I just need to wire the controllers (MPPTs) to the house batteries. The only thing is that my ratcheting crimper will only go as large as 10 AWG wire. The marina has a large crimping tool, but it only goes as small as 4 AWG. I tried the 8 AWG with my crimping tool but destroyed the lug as a result (not surprising).

I've looked at all the local big stores like HomeDepot, Rona, and Canadian Tire, with no luck. I' starting to think I'll ask at the garage on Thursday when I take our van in for its seasonal oil change!n I'm getting desperate.

Does anyone know of a place that would sell/loan a crimper for 6 & 8 AWG wires?

Catalina 34s for Sale / C34 MkII, 2002, Hull #1602 for Sale
« on: March 02, 2017, 07:31:43 PM »
She is in great shape and listed through Swans Yacht Sales in Whitby, however the boat is currently at Bayport Yachting Centre in Midland, Ontario, were we have been sailing it out from, since 2011.

As of this writing, she is still under her winter cover, but if more information/photos are needed, just let me know.

Cheers, Fred.

Main Message Board / Main Panel Reversed Polarity Light
« on: October 15, 2016, 01:30:20 PM »
So Dolphina was put onto the hard this last week and I'm up doing the obligatory winterizing of the pumping, etc. When I arrived last night the fist thing I did was search out the nearest power outlet (at the lamp stands and 120v 15 amp). When I hooked everything up and went to the panel and flipped the switch, the reversed polarity light came on (its still on). Since everything was fine in our slip for the season, I had no concern about what was on the boat, but assumed that the marina had their power messed up. Today I went to Canadian Tire and bought a nice Gardner Bender GFCI Outlet Tester. I tested the marina's outlet and it was correct! So now I'm worried, so I climb on board and test my outlets, they all say that they are OK as well. So now I don't know what to think. Is my main AC switch pooched? If so, why are the downstream outlets OK?  :?

FYI: My ProNautic 1240P charger is running OK with what its getting and I see that it also has a Reversed Polarity light, but it is NOT on, so it would suggest that everything is also OK. Or does that just mean that the DC is not reversed?  :think I'm sure the manual is somewhere.

Main Message Board / Additional (Second) Shore Power Inlet
« on: September 08, 2016, 02:40:10 PM »
Our 2002 MkII has the 30 Amp shore power inlet/socket at the transom, as I suspect all MkIIs have. I currently need two cables (one long & one shorter) to reach the shore power outlet on the main dock. What I don't like is that the connection between the two cables is not what I would call "safe" since it can be under stress, potentially disconnect, and could get water in between. Also the cable sits on the full length of the deck and the aging vinyl is leaving goo on the deck (from being UV affected).

I know I could reverse in to the slip, but we have a diagonal dock box, which makes this a pain and we like our privacy at the dock so having our cockpit away from all the traffic on the main dock suits us just fine.

I would like to place a second inlet inside the forward anchor locker, and then just use the short cord to reach the shower power outlet on the dock. Has anyone done this project? I have searched the site and haven't found anything to this point.

The way I see it the project would require the actual inlet, a 30 Amp breaker just inside of the entry point, and a second 30 Amp galvanic isolator ( At the panel, I would need to have a three way switch (much like the OFF/SHORE/GENERATOR switches the Blue Seas sells ( so that I can switch between forward or aft inlets. At first I thought I could just "cut out" the existing breaker  in the panel and incorporate the new one by screwing it into the panel in the resultant opening, but now I'm think to just install the switch beside the panel and have the output leads feed into the existing panel where the power now terminates. Technically I would have duplicate power and reverse polarity lights/testers (not sure if this is an issue).

I'd appreciate any input from those more electrically inclined than I am.

Thanks, Fred.

Main Message Board / Replacing Lewmar Port Lens
« on: August 14, 2016, 06:05:03 PM »
On Dolphina the six opening side ports have plexi lenses that are crazing a fair bit. I have looked a Catalina Direct and they're showing prices from $100 to over $150 per replacement lens, and that's in US dollars. I was hoping to remove the lenses and see if some local plastics shop would be able to replicate the shape and i would just reinstall the hinges and latches, however I can not for the life of me figure out how to remove the hardware. It looks like they may be glued on!!

Has anyone tried it with these already?

Much thanks, Fred.

We have a Portland custom cut mattress for the forward v-berth. We are willing to let it go for free, if someone can make use of it and are able to come and pick it up. The spec's are:
  • three pieces, cut to fit C34 MkII V-berth (less a few inches) :wink:
  • 7" thick Latex, medium firmness
  • Dri-Tek mattress protector for each piece

We bought this mattress from Portland Boat Mattress for last season (2014), and when we received it and put it into the forward berth, we found that it was, in my opinion, too small. Our sales person explained that they make the mattress 1/2" smaller all around, to ensure that you have room to tuck your bed sheets and cover in. Unfortunately this was a detail that he had neglected to tell us, other wise we would have told him to cut it exactly to fit.  The mattress we asked for was in three pieces (port and starboard pieces and one that fits into the centre of the vee at the head).

The mattresses as they were made, meant that I would always fall in between the two mattresses into the crack, as they separated. And in my opinion they were less more than 1/2" all around. The dealer said that they would re-cut and replace the mattress. It took until this spring before we saw the new mattress, and yes this time it fits just fine. They however had no interest in taking the old one back. I guess the shipping would have been too much and they would have had a hard time selling a used mattress.

The way we "made do" with them last year was to insert and additional 4" of foam at the head (aft section) of the mattress. In the space between the mattress and the port and starboard lockers. IN the centre section I used the old cushion board and screwed a 2x3 along the end to hold the small mattress into place. It worked and I probably would have left as such, but when you pay as much as we did for the mattress, you want it to fit without having to jury rig something. The mattresses are just a season old and are in good shape.

So now we have our good mattress in the boat, and this comfortable but slightly off in size mattress in our basement. Is anyone interested?

FYI: We are in Toronto, Canada. That will probably limit the audience somewhat.

Main Message Board / SI-ACR does not appear to be working
« on: August 15, 2014, 03:06:26 PM »
So after I had the main bank (4 x Interstate 6 volt batteries) installed, I added a spare 12 volt 27 group battery as bank 2. I also introduced a Blue Sea's SI-ACR 7610 between the two banks. For the first two to three weeks it looked like it was working just fine. My shore charger, EFOY trickle charger, and engine alternator all charger the main bank (go to the main bank bus), so the ACR should be changing bank 2 whenever it needs it and there is a charge on the main bank. At least this is how I understand it to work.

Just two weeks ago I finally upgraded my original shore charger from the Professional Mariner Flyback 20-3 to a new ProMariner ProNautic 1240P unit. I have to admit this unit is sweet and almost seems to charge the bank to full before we leave the boat Sunday nights. We disconnect the shore power when we are away during the week.

So lately the spare bank has been loosing power (its at about 60-75%), and I haven't been using it (I leave the switch on #1). I checked this last weekend and while the new changer was charging the main bank, I noticed that the green light on the ACR was not on. It should be on if it is working. Could the new charger have "killed" something in the ACR? There are no blown fuses in any of the lines. I thought the thing was suppose to be pretty solid. What cold have gone wrong? Has anyone heard of a defective unit?

Main Message Board / Another Cutlass Bearing Situation
« on: May 28, 2014, 02:10:35 PM »
I didn't want to highjack Roger's cutlass bearing issue, so I thought I would start anew. Dolphina has a bronze shaft with the three prop 15x9 propeller and what seems like maybe the original shaft bushing from Catalina (built 2002). Luck us it has set screws. There was some play between the shaft and the bearing (more than other boats sitting in cradles around me) and I noticed some minor cracks in the skeg just above, so I though to play it safe I would have the marina put a new bushing in place before launch.

Unfortunately this has become something of a nightmare. First they could get the nut off. When I went up last weekend the nut was off, but the aft section of the shaft looked a bit bent and there was an offset dimple in the end of the shaft. Now they couldn't get the prop off (and I'm guessing the offset dimple was from whatever tool they were using). Today I got a phone call, saying that they can't get the bearing out with their tool, and they wan to take the shaft off to get at the bearing to cut it out! So what they estimated as originally a two hour job is now over six hours.

Am I looking at an incompetent work crew, and am getting screwed? Are these guys not doing something right? Is it possible that everything is really this difficult? I'm expecting them to want to drop the rudder next, since from what I read on this site, the shaft can only get clear if the bearing is already out. Also should I be looking at replacing the shaft now with a stainless one? If so how badly does that ding me in my wallet? Any other recommendations?

Much thanks, Fred.

Main Message Board / DC Electrical Questions
« on: May 20, 2014, 07:40:23 AM »
I am currently working on setting up our new DC electrical system to the point where we can launch this year. Of our previous 4Ds one died last season and we were not happy with them being set up as separate banks. In the end we really just used them as one bank(until the one of them died).

So this season we have replaced them with four Interstate 6 volts, which even ends up giving us more total amps than we had before. At the moment I'm just focusing on getting bank #1 set up, so that we can power the engine and get to our slip.In my wiring work I have some questions:

1) I'm adding both a positive and negative bus bar, instead of having everything wired direct to the batteries as it was. The bus bar comes with a nut and lock washer. The lock washer is just small enough in diameter that is slips partly into the hole of the cable lug. I'm thinking that I should be putting a washer in between the lock washer and the lug, so that the lock wash lies flat, but what sort of washer (is stainless OK, is there such a thing as copper or tinned washers)?

2) The charger (Professional Mariner Flyback 20-3 Alltech Series) has the #2 and #3 DC out terminals joined together. If I am currently going to have only one bank (until I get the spare one worked out), should I be joining #1, #2 and #3, so that all are set as a single DC source? [I assume this is the much maligned charger discussed elsewhere in the forum, but for now it seems to work and it'll get me into the water.]

3) In reviewing my existing wiring I noticed that the windlass positive was not hooked up to the common, but only to battery #2 on the 1-2-Both-Off switch! The owner's manual shows it as being on the common. I'm planning on putting it on the common as per the manual. Any reason why it was setup the other way?

4) From what I can tell our alternator is going to the starter instead of the batteries. My problem is that I can't even see the starter from the aft cabin or from the top and forward access areas. So disconnecting it from the starter is going to be problematic for me. I'd like to have the alternator charge the main bank directly. That said, is it as simple as taking the red line and feeding it to the positive bus bar for the main bank?

Much thanks, Fred.

40" diameter Destroyer stainless steel wheel for sale....$200 plus shipping.
Photo of wheel:

Currently storing it in my living room, which is why I'm looking to sell. However if I haven't sold it by the time I get around to fixing up the basement, then I guess I'll hang it on the wall as nautical memorabilia. 

This questions is targeted specifically to Canadian boaters that have their boat registered rather than licenced. We opted to register Dolphina, and there is one requirement that I have lagged in completing, which is the affixing of the numbers permanently to the hull. As the requirement states:

"Both the official number and registered tonnage shown on the Certificate of Registry must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least 4 cm high on a clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The registered tonnage must be preceded by the abbreviation "N.R.T." and the official number by the abbreviation "O.N.". These numbers must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area."

The later part makes me think that I should be epoxying the numbers/sign to the hull. I figured the storage area behind the port settee would work fine; just pull the back rest and you can see it through the cubby opening. What I'm not sure about is what to make it out of. I was going to make a mould and build it up from epoxy and glass (kind'a work intensive for my liking) or get a plastic sign from some place like

I'm curious how others have resolved or completed this ministry requirement.

Main Message Board / Search not working.
« on: May 19, 2013, 12:59:34 PM »
I don't know how long this has been going on, but the search for the forum does not seem to be working. I've tried it at several different level over the last few days, and I always get the same error. Of course I can't search if any one else has been experiencing this, since its not workign for me. The returned error is:

2: pspell_new() [<a href='function.pspell-new'>function.pspell-new[/url]]: PSPELL couldn't open the dictionary. reason: No word lists can be found for the language "en".
File: /home/c34org5/public_html/bbs/Sources/Search.php
Line: 700

I'm wondering if some dictionary of meta search terms is missing or something, or some include file. Hopefully someone in the know will be able to resolve it.

Cheers, Fred.

Main Message Board / Adler/Barbour Evaporator PT NO Z3311
« on: September 05, 2012, 10:23:10 AM »
Well this last weekend we just finished our three week vacation onboard, and it seems I did the big Opps on our last day (fortunately on the last day). I wanted an ice cube for my rum, and that vertical tray was frozen to the evaporator. So the knife was handy and I took a few chips out and then suddenly whosh, as freon (or whatever they use these days) came streaming out. Well, I got my ice, but now I'm looking to replace the evaporator!

The part number indicates Z3311, but I can't seem to find JUST the evaporator. All i can find online is the evaporator kit, with hose included, for abpout $500. Expense drink.

Does any one know if you can just source the evaporator unit itself, or does it only come as the full kit for some reason? I know you are all laughing, but the admiral is not too pleased.  :(

Main Message Board / Burnt Out Wiring - Lighting Circuits
« on: July 09, 2012, 09:11:37 PM »
I just came back from a week of vacation sailing, where after the first night we lost our cabin lights. Long storey short, I eventually tracked it down to a completely burnt through wire behind the electrical panel. Frankly I was surprised to see that the take-offs for the power to the lights were all done with these snap on connectors.

So why did it happen? Last year (first season we sailed the boat) I noticed that there was wetness behind the panel. Turns out that the stanchion vent's through deck was leaking. Aside from being a bad vent, it also is a bad idea to have a through deck fitting that people can grab and pull on (loosening the seal). Had I known that the reason the nav lights were not working last year was because they had already been burnt through, I would have fixed this sooner.

Luckily this last winter I replaced the holding tank (need to get back an update that posting), and also moved the vent to a new location to exit by the forward port hanging locker. As for the stanchion vent... I removed the stanchion, ground off the thru-deck piece, epoxied the deck closed and re-bedded the stanchion. Now the space behind the electrical panel is dry. But I guess it took until this season for whatever oxidized wire was left, to burn out.

So there is more than one reason to get rid of those stanchion vents.

Main Message Board / Some Winter Storage Questions
« on: September 25, 2011, 07:21:40 PM »
We're storing Dolphina with her mast up this winter and I've got a couple of questions I would like some input on.

I've noticed that most people leave the wind direction and speed sensors on the masthead when the mast is up. Are these remote sensors able to stand the ice and freezing? Should they come down? On our previous boats we did not have electronic sensors. I image that most leave them up just because its a pain to to topside to do so, but if the units fail, that even more of a pain.

We've also comissioned a winter cover from Topline Canvass, here in Midland, and for this it will allow us to leave the boom connected. I'm curious about the vang. To keep the boom level, I need to pull on the vang a fair bit. These would leave the internal spring loaded for the entire winter, which I figure could cause it to fatique some. What do most people do? Leave the vang compressed, or disconnect it and support the boom with a crotch or post?

Much thanks, Fred.

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