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Topics - Breakin Away

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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?

Main Message Board / Tiny, intermittent oil leak
« on: November 04, 2018, 06:55:09 AM »
I've had a couple times in the last month when I found a very small amount of oil (a few drops at most) under my motor. One time it was on the port side, another it was on the starboard side. In between those two occurrences, there were a couple times I motored and there was no oil leak apparent, including a 6 hour day of motoring with no oil drops observed. But the very next day I motored for another 6 hours (with some heeling during a couple 30 kt gusts) and found a couple drops of oil.

The two times I found oil I had motorsailed and had some heeling in the direction consistent with which side I found the oil. My guess is that there is a slow weeping through a seal somewhere which accumulates somewhere on the fins and other horizontal elements, and when the boat heels it falls off on the low side of the engine. It's also possible that the weeping of oil only occurs when the motor runs while the boat is heeling.

A couple of other notes: I have occasionally found tiny amount of oil on the engine housing this season. While I don't remember exact location, I do believe it was relatively high up on the motor. Also, I did have some water leakage from my Sherwood raw water pump in May which led me to have it rebuilt and to replace the raw water hose back to the HX. I did replace the flange gasket with the water pump. I've inspected the edge of the oil pan flange and noticed a tiny amount of corrosion around the very edge, but no signs that it's any more than superficial, and only about an inch long in one spot. (I'll recheck this next time I go to the boat.) Also, frequent checks of the dipstick verify that there is no measurable loss of oil. It's always at the top line on the stick.

I'd be interested in your suggestions on how to diagnose and locate the source of this small leak. Are there flange bolts I should tighten somewhere? I think it's overkill to remove/replace the oil pan at this point. Would prefer to eliminate other problems first.

The boat is now hauled out. I'll be changing the oil and winterizing in the next couple of days, so may not get much diagnosis done. I'll try to take a few pictures if I see anything interesting. I expect that running the motor for 20 minutes without any load (to heat up the oil) isn't going to put enough stress on it to see any leakage. Also there won't be any heeling with the boat on the stands (there better not be!!!).

Main Message Board / How to diagnose Exhaust Riser plugging?
« on: May 27, 2018, 07:41:04 PM »
Hi all,

As some of you may have seen on another thread, I replaced the impeller on my Sherwood pump before splash, and immediately after splash experienced severe (4 drops/second) leakage from the weep holes. I replaced it with a brand new Sherwood G908 from Westerbeke (yes, I know that's a bad idea, but I had reasons that were specific to me). The new pump is generally better, weeping only about 1 drop per minute. However, my expectation was that zero drops should be seen on a brand new pump (unless there's some break-in period that I'm not aware of). I'll call the Westerbeke distributor Tuesday to inquire about whether I have a defective pump.

While there is absolutely no reason to believe that this leakage is caused by backpressure from a blockage or other problem in my heat exchanger or exhaust system, I do need to consider this possibility (especially since I expect that the Wb distributor will try to pin the blame on something else). I see lots of stuff on the Tech Wiki about replacing the exhaust riser, but not much about diagnosing the existing system to see if I actually have a problem there. Do any of you have any tricks to diagnose this without having to dismantle my exhaust riser, etc? Please post here or provide a link to existing posts/articles on the topic. Next time I'm at the boat I'll also remove the HX end plate to inspect, though last time I did this everything looked fine and I've never lost any impeller blades or anything else since then.

Main Message Board / Upgrade for Sherwood raw water pump
« on: May 22, 2018, 09:28:47 PM »
I just learned of this pump. Looks like it addresses some of the (very few) issues with the Oberdorfer N202 pumps:

I searched all over this website for any mentions of this pump, and see nothing (aside from some replacement parts that Moyer sells for the Oberdorfer pumps). Is this pump a new offering? Does the flange look like it would fit on the B-series motors?

Main Message Board / Leaky Coolant Hose M35B
« on: December 29, 2017, 07:48:20 PM »
I have a slow leak of antifreeze near the heat exchanger (rear) end of my M35B engine. I'm gradually narrowing down the exact location, and currently I think it's coming from the hose that runs into the port side of the HX. Tightening the hose clamp did not stop it. It may be somewhere else, but I'm starting to fear that there might be a crack near the end of the hose, which I assume will only get worse as the crack propagates. I may try a second hose clamp, but I'm coming to the realization that it may need to be replaced, since it's about the only hose left with original factory paint. The parts manual (#201021) identifies it as part #019059 (#15 in attached picture), 26" long x 7/8" wire inserted hose. Having never worked with wire-embedded hose, I'm concerned about how to make any tight bends that are needed. Is there a tool that I need to get? Do I take it to a shop to do the bends?

If I have to replace that hose, I might as well do the adjacent raw water hose (which is the other one still with factory paint), identified as #200439 (#16 in attached picture). This one has very intricate bends, and appears to be custom made by Westerbeke (since the parts manual does not even specify a length). Can you guys recommend a source for this one?

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