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Topics - Breakin Away

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Main Message Board / How to lube throttle/shift cables?
« on: August 15, 2020, 09:42:38 PM »
Hi all,

I'd like to lubricate my throttle and shift cables, but don't see anything in the manual. What lubricant is recommended? What are the lube points? How do you remove the compass to gain access to the ends that are in the pedestal?

I'm sure someone has written this up somewhere, but haven't been able to find anything except a picture in the Wiki. Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Main Message Board / Sling markers for travel lift
« on: May 01, 2020, 12:10:36 PM »
I need to mark my hull for future sling placement before going back in the water this season. There are little arrows there currently, but I do not trust them. I do not know who put them there, and they are wrong (one side is 18" further forward than the other side, which does not make sense).

The travel lift has a crossbar that I need to avoid hitting, so I back the boat in and keep it as far forward as possible to avoid the backstay hitting the crossbar when the boat is lifted out of the water. For this reason I need to place the sling as far aft on the boat as possible, but obviously I have to be careful that the sling is sufficiently forward of the shaft, or I'll end up with a bent shaft and other damage.

My question is how far forward of the shaft does the sling need to be to ensure the sling doesn't damage the shaft? Do any of you have sling markers on your hull, and if so, where are they placed?

Main Message Board / Racor R15P vs. R20P
« on: March 07, 2020, 08:50:16 AM »
Some interesting specs and pricing on Racor spin-on filters.

My boat was supplied with a Racor R15P filter, and I've used exact replacements for the last few years. I'm looking for another one (or two), and getting sticker shock on the prices. Spin-on prices are much higher than the turbine-type filters, but vertical clearance is very limited in my boat, so these spin-on types fit better despite the high price on filter elements. I assume that is why Catalina used them on the MkII boats.

I'm currently getting about 13 months life out of my primary filters. I'm working on improving my fuel management to reduce filterable debris. Another alternative is a slightly larger filter element, which would basically trap more stuff before clogging. I might want to do both (belt and suspenders approach). The Racor R20P filter is 3/4" longer than the R15P and has about 30% more solids capacity (SAE J905 test method). In shopping around, I noticed that the R20P filters are about $10 less expensive than the smaller R15P!

I've measured that I have 1.5"-2" clearance to the hull under my filter bowl petcock, which I think would allow sufficient clearance to spin off/on the longer R20P filter element.

Do any other MkII owners have any experience with switching over to the R20P?

Hi all,

Today was a nice day with 55F temps (and warmer under the boat cover), so I decided to replace my broken-and-unfixable solar vent that's in my salon hatch. I had already removed the old vent and cleaned off the bedding, so I applied butyl tape to the mounting flange, pressed it on, and pressed the 3 bolts through the same screw holes that were there from the old flange. I had to push a little to pop the screws through the butyl tape, and all of a sudden I heard a little "crack". The damage went all the way from that screw hole to the dog handle. Whoever installed the prior solar vent had done a very poor job, with a very ragged hole with lots of jagged edges and cracks just waiting to propagate. I'm actually relieved that this happened now, since I sometimes step on the hatch when dropping the sails, and I could imagine a catastrophic failure might have happened at some point. I now have to replace the hatch lens, and am considering NOT installing the solar fan in the replacement lens because of how the required hole could disrupt the integrity of the lens.

I'm looking for advice on buying and installing a replacement hatch and/or lens. A few things first:
  • The salon hatch measures out as a Lewmar Low Profile Size 44
  • Lewmar specs this as 5/16" thick acrylic, but my hatch is DEFINITELY only 1/4" thick. I wonder: Was my acrylic an (inferior) aftermarket replacement installed by prior owner, or did Lewmar change the thickness spec from 1/4" to 5/16" after mine was made?
  • My boat was made right around the time Lewmar transitioned their hatches from their MK1 design to their MK2 design. Based on their identification guide, I have the older MK1 version, because I have a "roll pin" next to the hinge.
  • Their guide also refers to a "lens code" stamped near one of the dog handles, but my hatch does not have one. These codes were apparently stamped starting in 1998. So my hatch was either made before 1998 (odd for a 2001 model boat), or the lens is an aftermarket replacement.
  • Lewmar's replacement lens sold by many dealers (their part #361058990) works with the MK2 model only, so I cannot use this. I wonder what it is about the design change that makes the new lens incompatible.
  • For this reason, I may have to replace the whole hatch and frame, which will be a MK2 version:
Do any of you have advice about using third-party fabricators? How fast are they? (Boat's under cover now, but not for too much longer.) How about installing a MK2 hatch and frame in a MK1 opening? (Are corner radii a perfect match?) Other advice on installation tips? (I searched and found a couple of things, but nothing on these MK1 and MK2 questions.)

I may post some pictures tomorrow, but I'm out of time for now.

Main Message Board / Plumbing of hot water heater in MkII models
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:52:02 PM »
Quick question:

In the plumbing from the water tanks to pump to the faucet(s), is the hot water heater upstream of the pump (heater between tanks and pump) or downstream of the pump (pump between tanks and heater)?

I will be winterizing tomorrow evening, and the location of the water heater in the plumbing schematic will impact how I do it.

FWIW, I've seen the various posts and blogs that say to install a bypass of the hot water heater, but I haven't done it yet because the needed fittings are impossible to reach in my installation.

Main Message Board / C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:10:26 AM »
I'd like to consider doing some cleaning/maintenance on my MkII (model year 2001) fuel tank, and would appreciate some guidance for those of you who have done this before. How do you access the tank? It seems like might be glassed in on top, with only a couple screw-off ports in the port locker. I know that one of the ports covers the on-off valve from the dip tube. Is there a way to remove the dip tube?

Does the tank have any inspection ports installed at the factory? Is there a way to get to them without cutting apart the locker? Is there a side panel in the aft berth that gives any better access? What is the tank made of?

It seems like the fuel fill port is not a straight drop into the tank, so you can't insert a dip stick or pump-out wand into the tank. How else do you empty the tank?

Main Message Board / Online prop sizing calculators
« on: April 17, 2019, 07:43:52 PM »
For reasons mentioned elsewhere here, I need to buy a new prop right now, a year earlier than planned. I had hoped to do some full throttle testing on my old prop this season, but that's no longer possible, so I have to go with the data I have available. If I can get some confidence in the specs, I may go with Flexofold instead of fixed prop. I know this has been discussed widely here, and we have somewhat different motors and transmissions. For this thread I'd like to focus on modeling results.

I spoke to one prop shop who took a few numbers from me and suggested I go with 15" x 10" 3-blade. I also spoke to CatalinaDirect and they took a much more extensive range of data and will get back to me tomorrow with their results.

I did find a couple of online calculators that gave me results ranging from 17" x 11" (Michigan Wheel calculator at ) to 15" x 9" ( That's a huge range that just increases my confusion. I am curious whether any of you have any experience with these calculators and how they match up with your own experience.

Also, I found this article that warns of the dangers of over-propping, and makes me tempted to "leave well enough alone" with my current pitch:

FWIW, 15" x 9" 3-blade Michigan Sailer is what I currently have, and was thinking I'm a little under-pitched based on my max RPM of around 3400. But as I study this, I learned that there's more to this than just pitch, and things like E.A.R. can have an effect. My original Sailer design has very low E.A.R. (skinny blades) and is now discontinued and replaced by more skewed models that have significantly higher E.A.R. that could deliver more thrust (and more sailing drag) at the same pitch. That just complicates things more.

I'm open to your comments on the two models linked above, and any other online calculators that you're aware of. Many of them seem to be for powerboats, so one must select carefully.

Main Message Board / Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 16, 2019, 06:05:11 PM »
Hi all,

My boat needs a new prop, shaft, and strut. I think I have good leads on the first two, but the strut is a concern. The boatyard's supplier is planning to source it from Buck Algonquin. I believe that CatalinaDirect has the exact part, with the perfect (square) hole locations and perfect curve of the mounting plate, making for the best possible fit (and least man-hours of work). I know nothing about Buck Algonquin except some online pictures that show "generic" struts with no holes and a flat mounting plate. However, I realize it's also possible that Buck Algonquin might have an identical one to the Catalina/CatalinaDirect, and might even make it for them.

Do any of you guys know about Buck Algonquin as a replacement strut for our boats?

Hi all, I think my belt needs tightening. I don't hear any squealing and don't see excessive rubber dust, but I do smell a faint burning rubber. IIRC, my alternator measured 144F when running at crusing speed, but everything around it was around 160F, so I don't think it's excessive. (Tell me if it was.) I did see a little in-out vibration of the belt in the long run from crankcase to alternator.

I see a lot written about tightening the belts for the smaller (older) motors, but not the M35B. From what I can tell, the alternator is in a very nice position to loosen the top bolt and pull it outward. Is it that simple? Is there another bolt that's the pivot point? Does it need to be loosened, and is it hard to access.

I'd appreciate any advice from someone who has done this on the M35B. I have the standard 50A alternator, not the big 100A upgrade.

Main Message Board / Slipping transmission?
« on: April 09, 2019, 11:30:55 AM »
My boat is on the hard. While spraying some Barnacle Barrier on my prop, I noticed a lot of resistance in rotating the prop. It would turn, but only with a lot of effort. I climbed into the cockpit, removed the helm cover, and discovered that the transmission had been shifted into forward. (This probably happened when I removed the steering wheel for the winter, or perhaps knocked into it without the protection of the wheel.) After shifting back to neutral, I was able to rotate the prop easily, the only resistance being caused by my cutlass bearing.

But this begs the question: Is my ability to rotate the prop in forward (albeit with quite a bit of resistance) a sign of a problem with my transmission? Prior owner had it rebuilt about 170 hours ago. Is the prop supposed to be fully locked when in forward? Or is there meant to be some frictional movement, which could be why the manual instructs NEVER to sail with the transmission in forward?

Main Message Board / Where to find Rydlyme?
« on: April 01, 2019, 08:04:24 PM »
Hi all, I'm OK paying $31 for a gallon of Rydlyme. But $17 for shipping? Not so much!

Is there a brick and mortar place that sells this near me (Philadelphia area)?

Also, am I correct that Rydlyme can be used for cleaning both the raw water side of a HX (clean in place without having to remove, as Ron Hill does with Lime-a-Way), as well as cleaning/flushing the EG freshwater side (presumably for descaling cylinder liners and the outsides of the HX tubes without disassembling)?

If I can't find an acceptable source for Rydlyme, I see that Lime-a-Way is available at my local Home Depot for $5 for just under a quart. However, I've read the arguments against Lime-a-Way because it is claimed to be strong enough to cause damage to the metals. Has anybody looked over the SDSs from these and come up with a dilution formula? If not, I'll consider doing some calculations myself:

Rydlyme 5-9% HCl, pH "Unreadable, generally < 3":

Lime-a-Way "Toggle" version 5-10% sulfamic/sulphamidic acid CAS 5329-14-6, pH 2 to 2.2:
Interesting Wikipedia article that mentions Lime-A-Way:

If nobody had done this, I'll do some molarity and pKa calculations to see what dilution of Lime-a-Way might create a similar activity as Rydlyme.

I'd gladly bypass all this and just buy Rydlyme if I could find a suitable local source. If not, it sure looks like Lime-a-Way could be diluted down to an idiot-proof (or even sailor-proof) level of activity, and the convenience of running down to Home Depot may be tempting.

Main Message Board / Fuel gauge calibration
« on: March 02, 2019, 11:31:47 AM »
For the last couple of seasons I have kept some logs of fuel gauge level vs. engine hours. I also keep track of exactly how much fuel we put into the boat, and top off completely once on the hard at the end of the season. My consumption has ranged from 0.55-0.60 gal/hr (depending on what date range I select). I typically cruise at 2200 RPM, though sometimes motorsail at a lower RPM.

One of the interesting results of all of this is a fuel gauge calibration chart. Once I've topped off and calculated average consumption, I can use that to back-calculate an estimate of how much fuel was in the tank at each fuel gauge reading. The end result is a calibration which is pretty much linear, but clipped at both ends. I recorded the reading in "eighths", in other words, 0=empty, 4=1/2 tank, 8=full, and 9=pegged above full. The points extrapolate to about 2.5 gallons in the tank if I ever let the gauge get all the way to "E", 10 gallons at 1/2, 17 gallons in at "F", and 18-25 gallons when pegged above F. (I assume here that Catalina's spec of 25 gallons for the MkII boats is correct, and includes all the volume in the vent and fill hoses when I top off completely.

I'm not sure if any of you have done something similar, so I'm offering it up for your comments:

Main Message Board / Antifreeze: Which type is best?
« on: February 11, 2019, 08:34:24 PM »
I've read a couple dozen threads on these topics. Since all are a year old or more, I'll start a new one to add my questions and comments:

Engine coolant

Obviously MaineSail hates "Death cool", so that's out of the running. Everything I've found on this site says to use "ordinary Prestone". I don't know what the PO put in my boat, but since it was "green stuff" I topped off the reservoir with 50% Prestone Extended Life for the last couple of years, since they emphasize its compatibility with other brands/types. It's worked fine so far. But I've changed my freshwater pump this winter, and plan to flush/rinse/clean/rinse/refill my system in the spring. I want to use the right thing going forward. I was planning to use Prestone again because it's is so widely available everywhere, and I don't want to be driving an hour to get matching antifreeze if I'm in a remote area and need to top off.

However, I am also aware of Practical Sailor's Oct 2014 article that urged the use of heavy duty antifreezes that have anti-cavitation inhibitors that will prevent cavitation pitting. Drew Frye did the testing and repeated his recommendations over on Sailnet recently:

Among his recommended brands, Zerex G05 seems to be the most widely available, and very reasonably priced. But I see no mention of it here. Is there a reason for that? If you read the article, it seems that the problem is worst for engines with thin-walled wet sleeve liners, presumably because their thinness causes them to "ring" (like a bell) and thus drive the cavitation which enhances corrosion. (Anyone who plays a brass instrument knows that thin metals ring more than thick ones.) Does anyone here know if Universal employed thin wet sleeve liners in their designs? Or is this just a Yanmar problem?

I'd like to hear your comments.

Raw/potable water antifreeze

In reviewing most of the comments about this, I saw some concerns over damage to rubber parts like impellers, gaskets, and joker valves. I agree with the general comments that these parts are not damaged by antifreezes based on propylene glycol or ethylene glycol. However, EG is very toxic and cannot be released into waterways or watersheds, and impellers' lives will be shortened somewhat by being left compressed in the cam all winter even with glycols present.

However, some people also referred to using RV antifreeze, so I thought I'd repeat Maine Sail's warning that the cheap orange RV antifreeze uses ethanol in the formula, which will leach the plasticizers out of synthetic rubbers, causing them to harden and crack over time. Also, the denaturing agents that the Feds require to be included with the ethanol will cause a bitter taste in your potable water system that could take years to clean out (as I have learned after my PO used the orange stuff in our potable water tanks). So make sure to use the pink stuff (not orange) and read the label to ensure it does not say "combustible", as that's a giveaway that ethanol is present.

Main Message Board / Tech Wiki Login Problem (continued)
« on: January 27, 2019, 05:02:41 PM »
Breakin Away, try it now.
I tried again. Same result - it says no user by that name. I still think that someone should try creating a new userID to see if you can replicate the issue.

The website is also still not secure.
I still can't log in, even though I'm following your procedure exactly. No change at all - looks just like the screenshots that I posted before. Any progress on a fix? Has anyone tried to do a first-time login for the wiki, and if so, does anyone have a similar problem to mine?

I still think it would be great if you would let Ken follow up on his offer to create a new (temporary) account to try to replicate my problem. That could really help diagnose this.

Main Message Board / Whatís on top of my water tank?
« on: November 04, 2018, 11:31:25 AM »
My forepeak water tank has a white cap on top with a bunch of ridges around the wdges. (Iíd post a pic if I had it.) Iíve been unable to twist it off. Is this a removable inspection port? Is there a special tool for it?

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