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Topics - Ray & Sandy Erps

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Fleet 5 / Dungeness Crab in Skagit Bay
« on: May 28, 2008, 08:34:20 AM »
Ever wonder what the crab are doing down there while you're drinking your umbrella drink?  I borrowed a drop camera from work and hooked it up to a bait bag and dropped it overboard at Hope Island.  Took about 4 minutes for the crab to show up once the bag stopped skidding across the bottom:

Fleet 5 / A scary Memorial Day Weekend
« on: May 24, 2008, 08:05:34 PM »
We had a bad day today. Left Spencer Spit around 11:00 and headed north towards Doe Island. There was no wind so we motored. Just south of Doe Island a ways, in Rosario Strait, the engine sounded different and I noticed no water shooting out the exhaust. Temperature gauge was okay, so I caught it in time. I shut down the motor then went down below to check the water intake strainer. When I pulled off the engine cover, I found a fan belt completely off. What the heck. Next I found the pulley on the raw water pump broken, with the pulley completely missing.

Rosario was ebbing. It runs at 5 knots in places. We put up the sails and drifted south down Rosario like a log, doing 5 and 6 knots over the ground but only a knot or two through the water, barely able to steer at times. Rosario doesnít ebb straight down the middle of the channel. It sets to the west a bit against Blakely Island where it looks like river rapids. Even though I was trying to sail away from Blakely Island, we were being set towards it. My wife was getting scared. Iíve spent enough time running the Skagit River that I knew currents will push you towards an obstruction and then usually around it at the last minute. We zipped along the east shore of Blakely Island sideways and cleared a point I was worried about. The next obstruction was Black Rock and we were heading straight for it.

I put the 3 H.P. on the dinghy and hooked a tow line to the boat because there was no wind to sail and therefore no steerage. I started pulling the boat and could only get 1 knot. We just barely cleared Black Rock. I was starting to get worried now. The next obstruction we were getting pushed into was Bird Rock. I decided to see if I could patch the engine to get some control of the boat again.

I took our garden hose that we use to fill the water tanks and cut and end off. I screwed the other end into the anchor wash down hose. I took the cut end down below and bypassed the raw water pump and hooked the garden hose directly up to the hose to the heat exchanger. I started the engine and turned on the anchor wash down pump. Water was coming out of the exhaust again, but at a reduced rate. I put the boat in gear and started idling. We were making almost three knots and the exhaust elbow hose was staying cool. It looked like we were going to make it. We motored over to Deception Pass where it was flooding at 6 knots. We headed through. Unfortunately, a big power boat was coming through the other way against the current and taking his share out of the middle. I didnít have much steerage and aimed for the middle too. Itís my understanding a down current boat has the right away due to reduced steerage. We cleared the boat right under the bridge and headed over to Hope Island and anchored. We can relax again. I think weíll sit here until Monday and then go in with the current. It could have been a lot worse. I have a new found respect for Capt. Vancouver who explored this area 200 years ago without an auxilary engine.

Main Message Board / Other Catalina Boats
« on: June 06, 2007, 03:12:49 PM »
Our daughter and son-in-law are soon to be third generation sailors.  They want me to go look at a 1976 Catalina 27 with them.  I know that a lot of C-34 owners previously owned smaller Catalinas, so I thought I would check with this crew to see if there is anything I should watch out for when we go take a look.  If you can help, please private message me or email me since this is off topic.

Thanks,  Ray

Main Message Board / Spare Voltage Regulators
« on: June 04, 2007, 12:09:10 PM »

A couple of weeks ago I did a boo-boo and damaged my charging system.  I thought it was probably the alternator and took it off to be tested.  It was fine.  As I mentioned in a previous post, several of these high capacity alternators are based on a souped up Delco 10-DN alternator used on GM cars in the 60's and 70's and that repair parts are available on the internet.

Well, after reinstalling my alternator and doing further checking, I think I determined my fancy voltage regulator has a short in it.  Mine is like several other smart three stage regulators out there that cost an arm and a leg.  Since it was the weekend and we wanted to go boating again, I ran down to NAPA and picked up one of their $15 external regulators typical on cars back in the 60's and 70's.  I mounted it right next to my fancy regulator and the wires pretty much swapped over wire for wire.  I started it up and everything worked fine.  Now I have a functional back up regulator that will get us by while the other one is sent back to the shop to be fixed.  Once it's fixed, I'll switch the wires back to the gold plated regulator and leave the $15 one mounted up in case I do the boo-boo again.  Just thought I would share that in case you're the type of person who can learn from other's mistakes.  (I wish I was one of those, I have to make them myself before the learnin' sticks).

Main Message Board / Inexpensive High Capacity Alternators
« on: May 29, 2007, 10:41:13 PM »
A few years back, Jim Moe gave C-34 owners some great advice on a source for a high output alternator.  I installed one on the C-34 we had and it worked great. 

I just recently did a major boo-boo on our current boat and damaged one of the alternators.  It was a 105 amp Lestek alternator.  When I started looking for repair parts for it I found that Lestek, Balmar, Ample Power, Powerline and others each have high capacity alternators based on a cheap old Delco Alternator that was popular in the 60's and 70's.  I just re-read Jim's post, and it appears that the Blue Circle alternator is also based on the same Delco, although that still needs to be confirmed.  The Delco is model 10-DN, called a three wire alternator, because it was externally regulated.  If you google Delco 10dn, you'll find quite a bit of information about them.

You can buy a used Delco at an junk yard for around $25.  You can buy a 105 amp rebuild kit that includes diodes, stator, brushes and bearings for just under $40.  These Delcos come apart and go together pretty easy compared to other alternators I've been into.  So for under $80, you can build your own high capacity alternator, or if you already installed the blue circle alternator, you can have a repair kit that replaces diodes, brushes and a few other parts for around $20.

My current boat has two alternators on it.  After doing this little bit of research, it turns out that they're both Delco's and the one repair kit will probably work in either if I screw up again (sometimes it takes me a couple of times to learn from my mistakes).  Unfortunately, I learned all this a little too late, because the Lestek is already in the shop and I'll probably end up paying a large fee for a kit that costs $20.  Nutz.

Fleet 5 / Desolation Sound 2007
« on: May 05, 2007, 09:10:26 AM »
Greetings to fleet 5,

Although we're not in a C-34 anymore, we're still sailors who happen to be heading up to Desolation Sound again the first three weeks of July.  Anyone else heading up?

Fleet 5 / Gray Whales are in Saratoga
« on: April 02, 2007, 03:05:10 PM »
There are a couple of Gray Whale hanging around Saratoga Passage.  I've seen them two days in a row now, Sunday and Today (Monday)  Sunday at Onamac PT.  Today, north of Sandy Pt. about a mile or so.

I understand they frequent the bay just north of Onamac Pt. and often go into Crescent Harbor.  Might be worth a sail in that area this coming weekend as I think they're on their way north and just stopping by.

Fleet 5 / Weekend March 17th-18th
« on: March 12, 2007, 07:03:53 PM »
Between the weather and family obligations it's been a few weeks since we've been out.  We're going to remedy that this weekend, depending on the weather.  We may sneak out early on Friday to Coronet Bay then who knows where after that.  I've never been over to Sequim Bay before, which looks like it could be kind of a cool sail if the Strait's not blowing a gale.  Anyone else from the Anacortes area going to be out and about?  The floats still aren't in yet at James Island or Doe Island, so that means we have to tow the dink if we go further than Coronet Bay.

Fleet 5 / President's Day 3-day weekend`
« on: February 14, 2007, 12:59:15 PM »

There currently isn't any ice on the boat and it's not getting dark until after 5:00.  We're thinking of going to either Saddle Bag, Eagle Harbor or Coronet Bay for the weekend depending on the weather.  So far it looks like most of the rain will be on Thursday and Friday.  Will anyone else be out and about?


Fleet 5 / Thanksgiving Rendezvous
« on: November 13, 2006, 08:57:28 PM »
Greetings fellow PNW boaters,

There's an informal get together being discussed on the SSCA website for the Thanksgiving Holiday at Hope Island.


Fleet 5 / Pacific Northwest get togethers. (can't spell rendezvous)
« on: April 01, 2006, 05:03:40 PM »
Spring is supposed to be here in the Pacific Northwest, although you wouldn't know it by the snow line in nearby hills.  I'm waiting for my schedule to change again in May so we'll have weekends off so we can start getting out in the local Islands again.  We're getting out for sure on Memorial Day weekend and would enjoy meeting up with other local boaters again.  We've had very good luck getting the float at Doe Island in the past, even on Holiday weekends, if anyone else is interested in a rendezvous.  We're also in the process of firming up our vacation to Desolation Sound again, probably the first three weeks of July again.  I think we'll hit Princess Louisa either while heading up or heading back down.  We enjoyed meeting Jack and Ruth on Mariah III last year along with Randy and Jeanne on Voyager.  Happy sailing

Main Message Board / Moving on
« on: February 10, 2006, 11:08:13 PM »
We sold Diamond Girl to a fella taking her up to Silva Bay British Columbia.  I recommended that the new owner check out this website to keep informed on the boat's wonderful attributes and clever improvements that other owners continue to come up with. 

We bought a Canadian built cruising sloop, a Fraser 41.  We have eight years or so to get her paid off so we can head down to Mexico in the winters on her.  We'll continue to watch for familiar C-34's in the Puget Sound - Gulf Island region as we enjoy our new boat.  I wish there was a similar knowledge base on the Fraser line of boats that exists for the Catalinas.  My hat's off to the crew who contribute to this forum and the guys that maintain it.  It's a great resource for a great boat.

Ray and Sandy Erps
S.V. "Nikko"
Fraser 41
La Conner Washington

Main Message Board / Racor loss of prime
« on: December 13, 2005, 02:28:24 PM »
My diesel furnace seems to be loosing its fuel prime lately.  Its fuel intake is plumbed into the Racor filter.  I think it's probably sucking air around the fuel primer plunger on the top of the Racor filter head.  I believe this because when the forced air furnace starts to sputter like it's starving for fuel, I gave the Racor primer a couple of pumps to build up a little pressure and this had two results.  The furnace continued to run for another few minutes and a little bit of fuel leaks around the primer plunger.

I figure if the primer leaks a little fuel while priming, it probably sucks a little air when the furnance lift pump is pulling fuel through the filter.  It looks like there may be remnants of an O-Ring around the plunger stem just under the primer plunger knob, but I can't be sure.  I googled Racor on the web to see if I could find an exploded parts diagram but didn't have any luck.  Anyone know if there is supposed to be some sort of an O-ring seal on the Racor Primer plunger?

P.S., not sure of the Racor model, but my recollection is that I use 24RS replacement elements (or something like that) and it has the clear plastic bowl and a replaceable element about the size of a standard automotive oil filter.

Main Message Board / Propellor Ring
« on: September 27, 2005, 04:55:08 PM »
I haven't seen this symptom listed here yet.  We just replaced the cutlass bearing and had the propellor tuned up (balanced and pitch corrected so they're all the same).  The propellor makes a ringing noise above 2200 rpm now.  At first I thought maybe it was the cutlass bearing squealing a bit, but it's a ringing noise, not a squealing noise.  I recollect being on a power boat several years ago that had new propellors put on and it made similar ringing noise.  I figure it will go away as soon as it grows a baracle on one blade but in the meantime, it kind of bugs me.  I teased the wife and told her I was going to jump in with a hammer and put a ding in one blade to see if that makes the noise go away.

Anyone know what that's all about.

Main Message Board / Full Cockpit Enclosure
« on: September 19, 2005, 06:19:08 PM »
Our dodger is about to split at the seams.  It's probably 15 years old, so time to replace it.  We're thinking about a full cockpit enclosure.  Paul was kind enough to send me some pictures of his outfit and whether he thought it was worthwhile or not.  Looking for additional input from boats with patios.

We use our boat year 'round and this is our first boat with a dodger (just love it, don't know how we got along without one for so long).  We're thinking after we got used to climbing in and out of the patio that we would come to appreciate the warmth and dryness during the dark months up here in the Pacific Northwest.  On the other hand, if we took the cost of the new patio and converted it to one dollar bills, we might be able to burn the money under our existing rain fly to keep the chill off for several months.

So what's your experience?  Got any good pictures?

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