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Topics - pbyrne

Main Message Board / VC 17 Discontinued
November 06, 2023, 02:46:09 PM
Rather than complain, I thought I'd ask the wise community hear what the path forward is for fresh water, northern climates.

Any ideas?
Main Message Board / Oil change pump suggestions
September 14, 2023, 10:16:07 AM
It's getting close to that time of year again and I promised myself only the best way to change the oil.

I'm thinking a pump is the way to go but don't have a foggiest idea which one is a good one.

Just want to make my life easier so open to all solutions.

I guess it makes sense to reuse it for the transmission as well. 
Main Message Board / Creaking noise from rudder
July 26, 2023, 09:16:24 PM
Had the boat out for a nice sail.  Reefed head sail and main, about 2-3 feet waves, 10-12 knots, and occasionally there was an odd creaking sound from the cockpit floor, around the emergency rudder hatch, and I could feel the vibration in my feet from the creaking. 

I'm not sure why it's creaking or whether or not its dangerous to keep sailing the boat.  Videos attached.  One is under sail, and the other is my wife moving up and down between the helm and the emergency hatch, in the slip. Basically standing behind the helm.

What's going on, is this normal? Never heard this sound before this sail, and the sole seems to be flexing.

I read this thread and wasn't encouraged..,10663.msg82863.html#msg82863
Main Message Board / Correct engine RPM range
July 18, 2023, 05:22:44 AM
Had the boat out on a nice day, but unfortunately had to motor as there was no wind. 

Engine ran fine, sounded fine, but it wouldn't rev past 1600 RPM, and the throttle was on the stop.  Everything seemed tight and correct in the throttle, and changing RPMs was smooth.

1600 seems too low to me, but the boat was doing 6.1 - 6.5Kts...

Something seems off to me, but I'm not sure what!
Main Message Board / Good boat hook
July 08, 2023, 12:13:21 PM
In need of a new boat hook, preferably one that floats.  I'm asking for a friend.
Just installed the Garhauer engine lift, and now looking for a good outboard harness to lift with.

I've noticed that the Davis one has a metal 'bar' handle and not a place to connect the lift to as an attachment point.  This type of harness seems to be good for manually moving the engine but not for a lift.

Any suggestions on a good sturdy harness for the outboard for the new lift?
My lovely wife and I were out in the Kingston area and anchored overnight in one of the recommended bays for first timers like us.

We thought we had a good location, about 15 ft, plenty of room, good leeway for dragging, and perfectly calm weather overnight growing to 10 kts mid morning.

All went well until we tried to retrieve the anchor.  The wind didn't help, but we're a good team, and she drove the boat well while I tried to hand retrieve the anchor.

We brought up a small bush of weeds; so much I couldn't get the anchor fully onto the bow roller before cleating it off.

It was a very close thing, as I almost wasn't able to get the chain, anchor, and probably 15lbs of weeds on board. For this area I'm being told there are a LOT of weeds. 

I did what I could to pause, cleat the rode/chain off and clear the weeds as I brought it in but the sheer weight of it all and fighting the winds meant this was the absolute worst experience anchoring the boat we've ever had, and I think it's a safety issue.

The drum windlass that came with the boat, won't work for us.  IMHO, it's a ridiculously unsafe system for a boat this size, to handle any conditions.  If you don't have weeds, like we didn't in the past its workable I guess.  We also have a 35lbs Mantus, 5/16 chain which I acknowledge adds weight.

I've been reading over the threads,9609.30.html and,11188.msg88997.html#msg88997.

I have a few questions:

1 - is it the VW10-8 or RC that is a better choice?
2 - Is this a direct replacement wiring wise.  I noted some people up rated the wiring. (I'm trying to keep this simple)
3 - It looks like a spacer is needed as per Noah,11188.msg88997.html#msg88997.  Any suggestion on how to make one or deal with the offset differently?  I could probably get something 3D printed locally if I knew the spec.
4 - Up/Down functionality.  I would prefer a hand held wired in the locker as a Primary, wireless as a secondary.  Any suggestions on what would work for a wired, and wireless setup?
5 -Breaker changes?

Bottom line is I need the machinery to retrieve the anchor and I manage it.  It's physically demanding, and IMHO unsafe so this is something I need to address.
Main Message Board / Fuel gauge always reads full
July 04, 2023, 10:24:02 PM
The fuel gauge always reads full, but drops to empty when power is switched off.  After 3 hours of motoring it didn't budge, and when I fueled up the boat took 42L (11 Gallons). 

I have no idea where to start looking to fix this.  Suggestions?
Does anyone know what the part is and where to get the below?  I can't make out the make on the shut off...

It's leaking, and both are stiffer than I would like.  It takes a fair amount of effort to move it, to the point that I'm concerned that the 'flange' knob bit is going to break off one day.
I'm going to be replacing the worn out head with a direct swap (I think) Jabsco Twist 'n' Lock manual marine toilet.

I'm not planning on changing the outlet waste hose, but will replace the transparent intake hoses.  Likely the vent line hose to the holding tanks as well.

I think it's a direct swap, but I wanted to see if there are any gotcha's or tips for a 'clean' installation?  Anything to be mindful of?

For the hoses, I was planning on using Trident XHD VAC White, because it's in stock!|10748|10738&product=74614169&code=Hose%20Waste%2058

Also, from what I've read taking off the hoses and putting them on can be difficult.  It seems that only hot water is recommended, so I'm assuming that light use of heat gun is out of the question?

YOU WILL need:
• 4 x 8mm (5/16") diameter stainless steel bolts of length to suit the
thickness of the mounting surface.
• 4 stainless steel nuts, preferably self-locking. If you do not use
self-locking nuts you will need some nut-locking compound.
• 8 large stainless steel washers not more than 21mm (13/16") diameter.
• A small tube of white silicone sealant.

YOU WILL need:
1. Spiral reinforced smooth bore flexible hoses for both the 19mm
(3/4") id inlet and the 38mm (11/2") id outlet pipework
2. Two stainless steel worm-drive hose clips for every hose tail
connection (4, 6 or 8).

I really enjoy the U seating area in the cabin, but raising or lowering the table is extermely difficult to the point that I leave it down and treat the area as large 'day bed'.

Is it normal to have such difficultly with the raising and lowering mechanism?  It seems spring assisted but I need to manhandle it way more than I want to get it to work.
Main Message Board / Celluar antenna for Cortex AIS
June 09, 2023, 02:45:29 PM
I've installed a Vesper Cortex VHF/AIS and it has an option to have an external antenna (there's an internal one) added.

I've had to mount the Cortex in the hanging locker port side, so it's not exactly LOS with any towers. 

Vepser/Garmin lists an antenna, but I was wondering if there are any other choices that would work?  The Vesper/Garmin is a bit pricey, and it's good to have other options, as I'm not sure of availability.

The cell antenna allows the Cortex to send anchor drag/bilge alarms your phone.
Main Message Board / Mystery coolant leak
June 06, 2023, 12:15:52 PM
A bit of background, during the summer season I haven't normally lost any coolant and the overflow bottle level remains constant.  She goes on the hard for the winter here in Canada.  In the spring, when I get her ready for launch, I find a couple of cups of coolant in the bilge and the overflow bottle is empty.  The engine is still topped up though, and after I fill the overflow bottle and bleed the air out from the little valve on the front of the engine all is well.

However, I've spotted a wee pool of the coolant stuff port side of the engine beside the transmission, after launch and moving her into her dock.

I also spotted what looks like a 'trail' where there is a clear trace down the back of the engine underneath the heat exchanger, that lines up with the wee pool.

I've run a shop towel underneath anything I can reach and it comes back dry.

Does anyone have any idea's what might be happening in general, and where I should look?  One note is that I have replaced the coolant cap 2 years ago.

Let the guessing begin!  :D

Main Message Board / Navpod alternative or repair
June 06, 2023, 11:57:37 AM
During the process of installing a Vesper Marine Cortex VHF/AIS, I've removed the old RAM mic connector, and cigarette accesory plug to free up some room on the top instrument Navpod.  It looks awful with the holes and screw holes and I can't cover them up properly with the Vesper mount and hand set.

I'd like to replace the top Navpod with something that will take the instruments, and isn't frustrating to open and close.  The Navpod screws (whatever they are) are dumb, and the gasket is mind explodingly annoying to work with to put back at the same time you're trying to close things up.

I looked at Navpod for a possible replacement and the $$$ is also mind blowing for a piece of fiberglass. 

Any other companies out there, or ideas on how to seal up holes in an attractive way so it's not such an eye sore?
Main Message Board / Alarn Module Tone
June 04, 2023, 11:27:40 PM
I replaced the alarm buzzer for a new buzzer as the old one was faint to non existant.  I replaced each terminal wire connection one at a time to ensure they went back to the correct location.

When the key is turned to ON but the engine is not started, the alarm is TONE, PAUSE, TONE, PAUSE.

Is this correct?  According to Catalina Direct it should be a solid TONE for low oil pressure.  But I replaced the connections one at a time, and I'm not sure what it SHOULD sound like.
I've been reading with interest the thread on alternator belts and engine temp, and taking a look at my engine.  At 23 years old, but low hours (less than 900), it seems like it's in good shape, but I don't know what a diesel marine engine is supposed to sound like.  I have no reference, as compared to a car, which I know what is normal.

This may sound odd, but can I get some feedback on the way the engine 'sounds'?  There are 2 vids, one idiling and another with forward engaged at idle.  She's tied up at the dock still if that matters.

How does the old girl sound? Anything to look into?  Also, a couple of pics of the back of the engine, just in case!


Idle Forward:
I'm a bit unsure about what's needed to enter the US from Canada via Lake Ontario or 1000 Islands.  Transport Canada web site says 'To travel abroad and be recognized internationally as a registered vessel' you must Register the vessel.

However, in numerous sites I find a reference to Registration OR Licensing.  Such as here:

The following information must be available when reporting:

Name, Date of Birth & Citizenship of Master (with supporting documentation
Name of Boat
Boat Registration or Licence Number
U.S. Decal Number (if 30 feet or longer)
Name, Date of Birth, Citizenship of all passengers with supporting documentation
Home port
Current location

Anyone have any guidance on this?  Maybe there is an understanding in North America that Registered vessels are not required?
Does anyone have any experience with Stainless Outfitters Handi-Lift Outboard Motor Lift?

Seems a lot of people are happy with the Garhauer LD6-1 OM Davit Lifting System, but the Handi-lift is a few hunder cheaper, and can be stowed.

Just wonder if anyone has one and what they think.
Main Message Board / Dinghy Warranty
May 05, 2023, 08:24:40 PM
Looking for a new dinghy and engine, and it's been a bit of a mine field getting current solid info on warranties.

Who's making dinghy's with a good trust worthy warranty?   I'm sure there is plenty of experience here!
I was in the bilge the other day and noticed that the aft most keel bolt had more of a gap between washer and underside of nut than the other keel bolt nuts. 

Sure enough I could tighten that bolt with a cresent wrench.  Visually, the other bolts look better, but I think it's time to check them all.

I have a torque wrench that will go to 250 LBS/ft so getting to 107 ft/lbs (this is the correct number I believe), so I think I'm ready there.

However, I would appreciate confirmation of the parts I need to buy to be able to torque the bolts.

Socket: From this thread:,7356.0.html
1 1/8" 6 point extra deep socket - 1/2" drive

Questions. For a 2000 MK II:
1 - What is the length of the extension needed?

2 - What is the depth of the socket needed?
Main Message Board / Anode guidance
April 04, 2023, 02:14:04 PM
The boat is always in freshwater during summer months, and on the hard for about 5 months.

The prop is a variprop that has a zinc anode on it, the shaft has a zinc anode, and I'm assuming the engine is all zinc too.

I've read various things on the forum, and I'm looking for clear advice on what if anything, I should switch to.  Leave the zinc, magnesium, aluminum?

What I'd also like to know is if you can leave some zinc, and switch to some magnesium?   I ask as the magnesium for the prop is very expensive, and I don't even know if you can magnesium for the engine..?

Anyways, some reasonable combo advice would be be great.  I just want to try and protect the boat as best as possible.
I've got a rode and chain setup, and the thimble of the rode gets jammed in the bow roller on retrieval and as you probably know, it's bloody tricky to free it.

Other than bashing the thimble into something that fits more easily through the bow roller or weaving the rode into the chain, is there another mechanical connection out there that I could use? 

I'm not keen on rode directly on chain due to chaffing, so I'm leaning to giving the thimble a bit of a 'reshaping', but would rather have something that is closer to the diameter of the rode/chain in general, as even if I 'reshape' it it's still fairly large.

Main Message Board / Rudder Movement
February 16, 2023, 12:06:04 PM
I've gone through the forum, and read a number of the 'rudder' posts, (no pun intended), and I didn't see anything that mentioned what I'm seeing.

I can move the rudder, externally, on the hard, side to side what seems like an excessive and unnecessary amount.  The movement is not between the rudder shaft, and the bushing, but the bushing and the hull.

Note the rudder has been replaced, due to it being damaged running aground, however I don't have the exact details of what happened.

Here is a video that shows what I'm talking about.  Sorry, it's not the best, but you can see what I'm talking about if you watch closely at the bushing and hull point at the top of the rudder.

Any thoughts on this? It doesn't seem right to me.
Just watched a horror story on YT where a band new Hanse 418 was run aground and it need the interior removed, and 40K GBP to repair it.

The grid was/is 'bonded' aka glued to the hull not glassed to the hull, and between the shape of the keel and the shape of the hull (flat, making a 90 degree angle between keel and hull) there was a LOT of leverage, and the grid was separated from the hull, and the keel dropped away from the hull a bit.

Absolute mess.

This got me thinking, it's when not if you run aground, and how are are boats built?  I guess a follow up is who builds a modern boat that can take a grounding and not need 40K of repairs.  I looked at Hallberg Rassy and even they say they 'bond' the grid.

I did a quick search here and I didn't really find anything so I thought I'd ask.
Need a bit of help understanding what I'm seeing.  The boat is in freshwater, and gets a VC17 antifouling every year.  It looks like some kind of paint needs to be replaced, but I don't know if it's the barrier coat or...?

To make matters more interesting there is a note in the manual that says:

"Bottom Painting and Blister Protection:
Calalina models are manufactured with an integrally molded blister protection system in the hull laminate. This water absorption barrier material is between the gel coat surface layer and the laminates of the hull.

The bottom may be prepared for painting using conventional de-waxing solvents, then sanding the gel coat surface or using a chemical etching primer.  The keel has been painted using epoxy primer, filler fairing compound and finished with epoxy paint.  This material is a suitable substrate for most anti-fouling systems"

So does this mean a barrier coat was/is needed?

This is all new to me, what am I looking at and what needs to be done?

Also, is there a low maintenance bottom that can be put on instead of VC17?  We're in the Great White (ice and snow) North, so it's haul out and launch every year, and a power wash at the end of the season whether we want one or not.  VC 17 is rather expensive, and I'd rather spend the $100s on the boat itself if possible.
Lost my diesel fuel cap overboard while refilling.

Need a replacement.  They are the stainless steel type.

Any suggestions where to get them? Catalina Direct doesn't seem to have a match.  Saw this on Amazon
What's a good way to charge a trolling motor battery (we use the trolling motor for the dinghy) using the boats electrical system?

There is a 400w inverter but that seems odd to use considering its 12v to 12 v.

Suggestions for battery size and charge would be good too.
Main Message Board / Wifi Extender
June 18, 2021, 06:51:25 PM
Looking for info on how to use this Wifi extender setup.  I'm assuming I need some kind of extender device that plugs into the CAT 5 outlet?
I dried out the speed transducer for a month in the hull, and replaced the outter o-ring which had cracked, and reinstalled all on the hard; cleaned the heck out of it too.  Should be no water in the transducer area.  From what I understand the transducer can be removed in the water, cleaned and replaced, so getting wet is part of the design.  I had it working intermittently yesterday showing 5-6 knots.  Nothing most of the time and at low speeds.

Didn't have a problem last year with the wind instruments but MIA yesterday for apparent wind. 

The mast comes down every year, instruments are removed and stored in boat for winter, and this year due to a leaking pedestal guard, I disassembled the wiring for the pedestal (in aft berth), cleaned with brass brush, contact cleaner and applied Boeshield T9.

Masthead wind instrument connection, mast base, and the afore mentioned pedestal connections below in aft berth were all brass brushed (as possible), contact cleaned, and T9'd.

Any ideas where the issue might be?  I can't check the mast base, no access port, and no way to drop the mast.

What I can do is put a meter on the wiring and see what it shows, but I could use some guidance on what's what and what to look for in the wiring.

I'm ready to evaluate a wireless solution and replace the lot! :)

Is it possible to reglue the ends or repair the foam pre filter?  They cost $28 for nothing.  Hoping this can simply be glued back together Gorilla glue...
While trying to figure out where the coolant leak might be coming from, I noticed some of the bolts on the transmission to prop shaft coupler are loose and spin easily.  I think one of the nuts was actually able to be spun off.

I don't think this is normal!

What is the correct tightness or torque, and shouldn't these nuts be Loctite'd (i.e. low strength purple 222 so they can be removed if needed) to prevent this situation?

In the photo you can see the gap where the arrow points.

I noticed a leak in the aft berth that has required the recovering of the aft berth mattresses.

It looks like the seal around the pedestal to cockpit floor that allows the wiring to the instruments to pass thru is leaking.

Is there another area to rebed other than this connection?

Also can someone recommend an approach to clean the connectors?  They rusted due to the (fresh) water, however all the instruments and VHF are working.
Last season I had no speed and therefor no true wind either.  We sail on a river with steady current, so it is useful to see what the current is relative to SOG.

-Boat is in fresh water
-Paddle wheel spins freely making a fun 'zing'! sound, paddle wheel shaft looks good
-Able to get speed to indicate on instrument with someone spinning the paddle wheel
-Pulled speed transducer and found a split O ring at the base closest to the paddle wheel
-Transducer showed signs of dampness on body as shown in photo

From other reading I've done on this topic the transducer may not be a sealed unit and the failed O ring allows fresh water to get into the transducer and short it out when the boat is in the water.

Assuming this is correct, what is the best approach to correct this?

I'm assuming I should dry out the transducer, possibly spray it with some kind of hydrophobic solution to clear out the water trapped in it (WD 40?) and replace the O ring, re lube the O ring seals (3 of them on the transducer) and reinstall.

Is it possible to get a new O ring or am I stuck with having to purchase a whole new transducer..?

Considering how questionable the design of this unit is with 1 O ring between the outside and the internals of the transducer I'm hoping there are readily available parts!

Main Message Board / Engine loosing coolant
March 17, 2021, 01:48:46 PM

Boat is on the hard from last season.  I live in Ottawa Canada so we haul out every winter.

-Port lazarette has signs of coolant leakage from the coolant recovery tank.  Can be kept tidy with a shop cloth changed every few days.
-Engine had low coolant at beginning of year last year
-Current level of coolant in engine is low
-Coolant is in the bilge

Can anyone point me in the right direction as to where to start looking for leaks? Last season I kept topping up the recovery bottle, and checking coolant level in the engine before every sail.  I'd like to get this solved. 

Hopefully the pictures can help.  I haven't done my spring cleaning yet so the boats a bit manky!
Main Message Board / Grease for feathering prop
March 14, 2021, 09:47:02 PM
I searched the forum, and I found 2 references to Variprop and neither were what I needed so I thought I'd post!

I have a Variprop, and I need to grease it.  The below is from the manual, but ABMarine sells this stuff for a $60 USD plus shipping.  I find it hard to believe that it's that special.  Canadian Tire sells 'Marine Grease' that states it is for wheel bearings, trim systems, etc at nowhere near that price.

Can anyone tell me if the ABMarine product is the same as the CT stuff, or point me to similar?

"The propeller body must always be completely filled with a high viscosity grease. We recommend
synthetic grease typ TW.2 GEL or mineral multi-purpose grease EP/SAL 8 (see servicing page 10 )"
Main Message Board / Shore power electrical shock
August 31, 2020, 08:59:55 PM
Plugged into shore power I got a good shock when my hand connected the midship cleat and the holding tank stantion.

I used a voltmeter to investigate and I measured 130V AC. 

This only happens when the breaker on shore power is On. Panel is still set to off for AC.

Any thoughts? The wiring is factory no mods to AC.

Main Message Board / Anchor fit
July 21, 2020, 07:20:08 PM
New to me MKII.  Anchor will not retract onto roller without shackle getting stuck and I have to reach through the pulpit to fiddle around and get it through.  This is not easy to do at the best of times, and very difficult for smaller crew!

The issue is pretty clear, however I could use some recommendations on how to make the anchor and rode I do have work.  I'm not well versed on what makes up a good anchoring system.

I'm also open to suggestions on a new anchor etc, however I'm hoping there is a way to reuse the existing setup.

It's around a 1 1/2 inch chain, and 3/4 inch rode.

On my 2001 34 MKII, the U shaped coachroof piece that wraps around the companionway hatch has split underneath on the port side 'U' that covers the rail. 

The gelcoat has delaminated and split with moisture in it.  I'm assuming one of the screws has leaked over time.

Is there a fix or a way to replace the coachroof piece? 

I don't know where to find a parts catalog...