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Topics - Randy and Mary Davison

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Fleet 5 / Zincs gone on D dock - Anacortes Marina
« on: April 12, 2008, 09:27:54 PM »
Fellow D dockers - Gorbash is on the hard for two year maintenance.  All my zincs were gone and there was a a bit of starting electorlysis on the prop.  Just a heads up to check sooner rather than later.  There may be some extra current flowing this spring.  I had a diver put two on 9 months ago.

The fellow painting my (well Gorbashes) bottom suggested digging a used zinc plate out of the toss barrel and droping it over the side at the dock - tied to the block - when the boat is at the dock for a long period.  Old fisherman trick to save the shaft zincs.  I dug out a large plate and am going to try it.


Main Message Board / Exhaust flange thread sealant?
« on: November 04, 2007, 06:25:40 PM »
Ron, Stu or others,

My riser started moving again when gripped at the top end of the blue hump hose.  This means the riser is moving slightly in the exhaust flange again.  I've tried two different types of muffler paste but it still coming loose.  I've examined the threads in the flange and on the riser and they appear to be in good shape.  The hump hose end moves about a sixteenth or so so the motion at the threads is pretty small.  There doesn't appear to be any unusual vibration, nor is the riser up against anything that would induce a side load.

I remember Ron saying he used a high temp RTV.  Do you remember what you used?  Any other suggestions for something that will really cement the riser in the flange?



Fleet 5 / Upcoming trip notices
« on: July 29, 2007, 02:19:30 PM »
Hello all,

I've been reading through recent threads to see who's doing what and thought it might make sense to start a thread for the purpose of providing a place to announce trips or trip progress.

To kick it off...We're headed out tomorrow, July 30 from Anacortes to spend until August 10 drifting around the Gulf Islands.  No time for a long trip this year.  General route will be Bedwell, Saturna, Montegue, Ganges, Thetis, maybe Silva Bay, problably Port Browning, and then home - all subject to daily revision!

Randy and Mary on Gorbash plus assorted relatives at various times and places

Main Message Board / hump hose moves - why?
« on: May 01, 2007, 08:27:34 PM »
I was working on the raw water pump today and happened to grab the hump hose.  It moved about 1/16th inch at the top and appears to be pivoting at the engine exhaust flange and is definitely loose.  The nuts on the flange are tight.  After searching and reviewing postings in the usual places, I can't picture how it can be loose without loss of coolent.  There is some powdery carbon deposited on the heat exchanger upper surface.  I can't build a mental picture of what's going on as I don't have a diagram of how that assembly goes together. 

I sprayed penetrating oil on the exhaust flange nuts and will pull it apart tomorrow.  Meanwhile, any info you can give me will be very helpful.

Can't remember if my signiture has full info so:  M35A, Hull number 1268.



Now here's a neat piece of software I've been playing with for a week or so.  As of late 2004 all ships over 300 tons have to carry AIS (Automatic Information System) transponders.  These send a complete description of the ships actions and status including location, speed, type (tug, ferry, tanker etc.), name, ident number and so  on.  There's a software package that grabs this info off marine channels 87 or 88 and plots it on imported charts or satellite pictures.  See for complete info and software download.  It's free for 21 days and then 25 Euros for individuals.

This data is sent every few seconds on both channels so you only need to listen to one of the channels to see all the ships.  When the program knows a ship location, it enables you to download a satellite picture of the area from the internet.  The picture is already scaled and just shows up as the background for the ship plots.  In fact, you can select from among a number of different sat pics incoluding some shot the day before!  It also imports BSB format charts that you can download free from  These are also autoscaled and require none of the usual screwing around to get them running in the program.

Shipplotter also draws a line in front of each ship showing where it will be in ten minutes and a track showing where it's been.  Ships can be color coded by type.  I've set ferries to be red, tugs to be yellow, tankers to be orange etc.   There's also a radar format display.  Both it and the chart/sat display autocenter on standard NMEA GPS input.

There is a rub.  The program needs to get its data signal directly from the discriminator output of the receiver.  This requires running a shielded wire from the discriminator of the receiver to a new jack.  See the link on the web site for how to mod most of the common scanners available.  I've modded a Radio Shack Pro-2006 and a Bearcat 245XLS.  Both work fine.  The signal from the reciever runs into your soundcard input (mono).  The instructions in the program show how to set it up.  The web site says the software will also work with commercial products that output the data in digital form but I didn't look into that as I had scanners around to use.

Scanners that will work can be picked up on e-bay for a song.  See the mod page left edge for ones that will work.  I can vouch for the ones above but not the rest.

I'm going to run this software on my navigation laptop on Gorbash as standard practice even though I have radar.  It won't solve the small boat problem but there won't be any of the unhappy surprises with big, fast ships that happen at Turn Point or through Active Pass in BC here in northwest waters.

You can listen to the data on channels 87 and 88 but won't hear much.  The data bursts are only 1/30th of a second long and sound like very short noise bursts.  I'm not sure I'd have noticed them by casual listening.

Hope you find this interesting and/or useful.  It's a very slick piece of software.  I have no association with these folks in any way - just an addiction to trying new ham and marine software packages. 

Fleet 5 / ham radio nets
« on: June 24, 2005, 06:28:58 PM »
Some of you who are planning longer trips might be interested in the daily amateur radio marine nets that are active in our area.  Cruising hams check in and report on conditions from Anacortes to Alaska and arrange to meet up on occasion.  You'll hear weather conditions and often how crowded anchorages are.  I'm a regular check in when out as I have a lot of friends on both nets.

Here are the details:


The Great Norther Boaters Net starts at 8 am pdt on 3870 khz and is run by Barbara, VE7KLU in Sidney, BC.  At 8:30 am net control switches to Darlene, KL0YC on 7285 khz.  Darlene and her husband caretake a lodge in Misty Fiords National Monument SE of Ketchikan.


The West Coast Boaters Net starts at 6 pm pdt on 3855 khz and is run by Ivan, VE7IVN from Cape Beall lighthouse at the entrance to Barkley Sound.  Ivan is one of the lighthouse keepers there.

Both nets are lower sideband SSB so you'll need a receiver that's capable of Single Side Band reception and can tune the ham bands.

Main Message Board / Ritchie SP5 compass leakage
« on: March 03, 2005, 05:50:21 PM »
My 11 year old Ritchie SP-5 compass leaked all it's mineral spirits last week.  This is a known fault resulting from a poor choice of sealing material at the base of the compass.  The topic was covered in the November 2002 tech notes but hasn't been mentioned since.

I bring it up for two reasons.  First, it seems most, if not all, of these compasses with the bad material will fail sooner or later.  The diaphragm at the bottom of my compass was completely rotten.  It would seem like a good idea to get the diaphragm replaced up front rather than have it happen on a long trip.  New owners of used boats might not be aware of the problem.

Second, the owner of the service company that's going to replace my diaphragm told me that Ritchie is trying to track down and repair these units because of the damage this fault is doing to their reputation.  The repairs are covered under a special extended warrantee.  I don't know how long this material was used or how Ritchie might respond to being asked to repair a "not yet failed" older unit but it might be worth checking out with them.  Perhaps someone on the board has discussed this with them already??

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