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Messages - pablosgirl

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Main Message Board / Re: Davits... do you have them?l
« on: March 13, 2020, 08:00:51 PM »
We have the Forespar Nova folding davits. They came with the boat. I would love the Atlantic tower, but can't seem to come to terms with spending the money when there are so many other items on the upgrade list. The Forespar are OK for around the bay sailing and light to med winds. But when the wind gets over 16 they creak and grown as they have a small pendulum swing to them with the 9.5' Carib and the Nissan 8HP 2 stroke, even when hoisted all the way up.  The sound drives me nuts.  It puts me on edge that they might fail when things are swinging around back there.  Also, we find the bow rides a little higher with the dingy+OB on the davits.  The dingy is 95 lbs and the OB is ~70lbs so bellow the 300lbs rating on the davits.  I would say that the tips of the davits are 2.5' above the stern toe rail. 

For short trips we will tilt up the motor and tow the dingy.  I attache a second line to the dingy as a back up.  I broke a bowline is a ship wake once, but that is another story.

For open water crossings we put the outboard on the Stbd stern rail and hoist the dingy onto the foredeck using the spare jib halyard.  The boat sails better and I don't have the davit noise spoiling the sail. We secure it to the hand rails and the bow cleats.   It sits like Dave and Mick's pictures.  With the longer dingy there is just enough room to slide past it to get to the anchor locker which is free of the bow of the dingy.  One trick we have learned is to have a 6' extra bow line with a spliced eye in the end that the halyard attaches too.  If you use the eye on the bow of the dingy you can't attach/detach the halyard from the deck.  Before I made the short painter I tied a knot in the dingy bow line to do the same thing.  I use a velcro strap to attach the short bow line to the longer bow line.  So when we pull the dingy to the bow to hoist it to the deck the eye or knot in the bow line is just above the lifelines.  Just attach the halyard and hoist!

It takes my wife and I 15 min. to launch or retrieve the dingy and load up the motor and other dingy stuff.

While at anchor we attach the spare jib halyard to the bow eye and pick the bow of the dingy up of the deck 2-3' to allow air flow and provide an escape path.  The stern stays tied to the hand rails and I have a stiff foam pad the is "L" shaped that protects the deck and mast from the OB bracket. The dingy also helps funnel the wind into the hatch.

Main Message Board / Re: Shore Power Cord connector replacement
« on: May 17, 2019, 09:41:24 PM »
Hi Ken,
It is not so much the amps but the small surface area of the contacts and some salt/corrosion that works its way into the connection driving up the resistance of the connection and causing it to heat up.  Same problem that occurred at the boat end of the cord before I replaced it with the SmartPlug kit.  I have been checking the "Y" connections about once a quarter.  Another contributing  factor is the long run time.  With the full boat cover up shading my gray deck I can keep the boat at 70 deg.  And the unit will cycle on/off up till about 2pm after that the AC will run continuously till about 7pm.  But it will keep the boat at 70.  Without the boat cover, the AC struggled to get down to 79 deg and slowly climb above 80.

When I had the AC unit serviced a few years back, the tech put an amp meter on the supply wire and said it was pulling 18 amps running.  Well within the limit . The SmartPlug at the boat end does not show any signs of corrosion or over heating and the plug/cord does not feel warm when the AC is running.

The other cord is still the original twist lock connector but does not show any signs of overheating.  But the current draw is low.

Main Message Board / Re: Shore Power Cord connector replacement
« on: May 16, 2019, 08:29:22 PM »
Hi Ken,

The Marina has 240v 50A at the dock.  I use the Marinco 250V 50A male to 2 x 125V 20A Female "Y" adapter to the two shore power cords that connect to our boat.  One is dedicated to the 16,000 BTU AC. and the other is for the rest of the boat ( 110v outlets, battery charger, water heater, etc.).  We are on the Texas Gulf coast and live aboard.  Because it is hot the AC gets a lot of use.  Previously I installed the SmartGuage kit for the boat end of the AC shore power cord due to corrosion induced over heating of the female cord end and the male end fixed to the boat.  Now the male end of the cord that mates with the female end of the "Y" adapter is showing signs of overheating.  It is not bad yet but I want to replace it soon before I really start using the AC in the dog days of summer. 

In a previous job I managed a large data center where we had hundreds of L6-30 (208v 30A single phase) power cords feeding the server racks.  When it came time to replace equipment at the end of life/lease, invariably we would find the male plug fused to the female receptacle boxes.  We started converting those connections to the IEC pin and sleeve connectors. The size of the connection does not bother me as long as it is not going to burn up the cord or dock.

My first though was that SmartGuage would have long thought of this problem/opportunity for them and built a plastic housing that would incorporate the male components of the shore power inlet fixture.  You can purchase a replacement gasket and male insert kit, why not a plastic hood to go with it?  I even thought of buying the kit and 3D printing the plastic hood myself.  But I would rather spend my time sailing than re-engineering their product.

Thanks for the hope that they might have figured this out by now.  I just hope that it happens sooon.

Main Message Board / Shore Power Cord connector replacement
« on: May 11, 2019, 12:35:37 PM »
Hi All,

Six years ago I replaced the shore power inlet and boat cable end with the SmartPlug kit for 30A 125v single phase.  I was checking where this cable meets the 50A "Y" adapter and found that those pin connections are starting to discolor despite my regular maintenance of cleaning and applying dielectric grease to slow down the corrosion.

I was hoping that SmartPlug would have made a male cable end that would go with their female cable end and I could just replace the cable ends on the shore power cord and the "Y" adapter.  I don't want to replace the connectors with the replacement twist lock cable ends because I will end up back in the same position.

I have been looking at pin and sleeve connectors as a possible replacement.  These are what I was considering:  and  They are IP6y rated as "watertight".  Has anyone else tried this or have you just replaced the cables or the cable ends with the standard NEMA twist lock marine connectors?

Paul & Cyndi

Main Message Board / Re: Clearwater to Carrabelle FL; Any advice?
« on: April 23, 2019, 09:06:21 PM »
Hi MQ,

My wife and I made that trip both ways in 2016 on our trip to the Bahamas and back to Texas.  We traveled the GICW from Galveston to the Pensacola Pass then across the Gulf to Destin.  From Destin to Port St Joe to get back into the ICW to Carrabelle.  From Carrabelle straight overnight to Tarpon Springs and then down the ICW to Ft Myers Beach. On the return trip we left Tarpon Springs and entered the ICW at Apalachicola. Why did we go this way?  Our 88 is a tall rig with a fin keel, so air draft is 53' and draft is 5'-7" plus an inch or two for all the cruising gear ;-)  The ICW stretch from Pensacola to Port St Joe has three bridges with 50' clearance at strategic points requiring that we go out in the Gulf.  We took the ICW because we were not in a hurry and wanted to stop and visit the waterfront towns along the way ( Plus we like to sleep 8 hours at a time at night).  Saw a lot of bald eagles in the LA ICW.

First I would recommend that you pick up a copy of Skipper Bob Cruising the Gulf Coast.  It has two sections dedicated to the path between Carrabelle and ClearWater/Tarpon Springs.  It is one of the best guides I have read for this particular stretch of Florida coast.  One section is on the straight across path (what we took both ways) and the longer skip along the coast path.  The water along this part of the Florida coast is particularly skinny and we wanted to avoid it if possible.

Second is look for a good weather window for your crossing.  This part of the Gulf is realitively shallow and you get a short period sea when the wind picks up.  We used Buoy Weather and found it accurate in both wave height and wind direction strength.  You want a forgiving window with a day of good weather on either end in case  the weather prediction is off.  We waited in Carrabelle for 5 days (early April) for the right wind conditions ( a weak front with NW wind at 12-18kts and seas less than 3 feet).  Like wise on the trip North (first week in Sept), we waited three days for a fair SE wind of 0 building to 18Kts seas 3 feet. 

The straight across distance is ~160 miles, which a C34 with good wind can travel in 24 hours.  We used a 5 knot average as a planning tool which was a good measure of actual progress.  So with a conservative estimate 160/5 = 32 hours.  So plan on some where between 24 and 32 hours on the water.  I don't like to make landfall in a new place in the dark.  So we adjusted our departure time so that we would arrive before dark.  On the trip South we left at 9AM and arrived at off Ancolote Key at 7AM and were tied up in Tarpon Springs by 9AM.  An average of as little over 7 knots and I rolled the jib up to slow us down so we would not get to the coast in the dark.

As a side note, on the trip South, when we were motoring in flat water in the Gulf about 30 miles offshore, we say what appeared to be a big puff on the water heading our way.  It turned out to be a pod of about 50 dolphins moving together at speed heading North.  About 20 pealed off and joined us for 20-30 minuets playing about the boat.  It was a great day to be on the water!

Hope this helps.

Paul & Cyndi
Pablo's Girl

Main Message Board / Re: Transmission replacement
« on: April 12, 2019, 04:55:22 PM »
I have an 88 with the M25XP also, where did you buy the flex plate from?  I have a noisy output shaft bearing and this is in my future.  I suspect when the PO had the cutlass bearing replaced that they used a slide hammer to take the prop and shaft out and hence damaged the bearing.  No slippage in forward though just a little noisy.

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« on: February 27, 2019, 04:53:31 PM »
We replaced our fuel tank 5 years ago with one fabricated at a local machine/welding shop.  At the time CD wanted $540 + shipping and a 3-4 week build/ delivery time.  I was concerned about shipping damage and that swayed me to use the local shop.  The new tank was $600 and I had it in a week.  I took the shop the old tank and they made an EXACT copy but with thicker walls and a working sending unit!  It came with an additional inspection port.  It lined up perfectly with all the mounting holes from the old tank.

My point is that there are plenty of high quality welders / shops out there.  And you avoid the shipping Samsonite gorillas that can destroy a quality tank on its way to you.   Just need to do your homework on who to go with.  Ask around in your boating community.  The shop I used has built a reputation for building quality marine fuel tanks and I found that out by asking the local boaters and fishermen.


Main Message Board / Re: Aft tank leak
« on: September 08, 2018, 11:36:45 AM »
We had a leak in are aft tank from th PO putting long screws in the "dog hous" .  The screws were just long enough to touch the tank. A few years of scratching back and forth made two holes you could slide a popcicle into.  Blamed the leak on the ports till one day I had the cushions out to adjust the stuffing box and just happened to fill the aft tank to overflowing the deck fitting.  A little while later I went to replace the cushions and found water leaking from behind the aft bulkhead.  I took the bulkhead out and found the two holes within an inch from the top of the tank.  Only leaked when the tank was mostly full.

I did some research and found that the only way to properly repair the tank was to plastic weld it.  I found this out by calling the manufacturer of the tank.  They quoted me $40 to repair the tank by "spin welding " it.  I just had to bring the tank in.  They are in CA and I am in TX.  The shipping to and fro was going to be about half the cost of a new tank.  They then recommend using a heat gun and some scrap tank material which they set me for $20, to weld the tank.  I watched a few YouTube videos to get the technique down .  It took about 15 minutes to make the repair.  I did not have to remove the tank.  That was over a year ago and the tank is leak free.  The hardest part was living with the aft cabin in disarray while we waited for the tank scraps to arrive.

Main Message Board / Re: Mast Vibration
« on: July 17, 2018, 06:45:05 PM »

Forward mast bend is not really out of column and will not impact the mast pumping one way or the other.  The pumping has to do with the mast cross section shape and how the air flows over that shape, it's length and where the stays attach all working together to create a harmonic vibration.  It is more pronounced when the broad shape of the mast is facing the wind, like what happens when you have the boat in a slip.  The only way to prevent this is to detach the laminar flow of the wind over as much of the mast as possible.  I have had great success with taking the spin pole toppling lift line and centering it up at the block on the mast and warping each end around the mast as many times as the length of the line will allow, crossing each line in an "X" pattern at the forward and aft section of the mast.  The more the line wraps and hence the more crossing of the line the more you break up the laminar flow, the less pumping you will have.  Just doing the lower portion of the mast is enough to break the harmonic range for our rig setup and stop the pumping.

Also, forward mast bend can be a good thing when you are trying to de-power the mainsail in heavy air.  Mainsails are cut with a forward curve in the luff to provide part of the shape(draft) in the sail. When you hoist that sail on a straight mast this is what provides the belly/draft in the sail.  When you bend the mast forward, the bend of the mast approximates the bend cut into the luff of the sail thus flattening the shape of the sail thus producing less power and heal.  Forward mast bend is usually produced by increasing the back stay tension, but on mast head rig such as ours the forward lowers can be use as well. If you are interested in learning more about sail shape do a Google search on "book on sail shape" and you will have your winter reading list for years to come.


Main Message Board / Re: Alternator alignment issue
« on: June 29, 2018, 04:27:50 AM »
I had a similar problem with my alt bracket.  I placed a metal straight edge across the pulley faces and determined that the alt needed to move aft 1/4''.  Since there were no shims used between the bracket and the front of the engine there was no way to slide the bracket further aft on the engine.  I took the bracket to a machine shop and had them cut off the alt mounting ears and weld them 1/4" further aft on the bracket.  This fixed my alignment problem.  I also had the SAE bolt and swapped it with the metric bolt and had to drill out the alt a little to use it.

Hi Mark,

I see that you refunded my paypal account.  This must mean that you don't have any more strips?  Are you going to process another sheet?  If not, where did you purchase the sheet?  I still want to eliminate my screeching hatch.


Hi Mark,

Just used your PayPal Link to order a set, hope you have a set left.  They seem to be selling like hot cakes!


Main Message Board / Re: Ice box gasketing
« on: May 01, 2018, 05:49:00 PM »
I forgot to add that though it did make the compressor run less often, the biggest improvement was in the accumulation of frost on the evaporator box really slowed down after I installed the "D" gasket.  We use the boat on the hot & humid gulf coast and before I added the gasket we were defrosting the fridge every two weeks.  After we were only doing it every 6 weeks.


Main Message Board / Re: Ice box gasketing
« on: May 01, 2018, 05:32:40 PM »
I installed some "D" shaped foam insulation around the lip of the counter top just bellow the bottom of the counter top. The "D" shape is hollow so as to compress some and allow it to deform easyly to make a tight seal.  I found at the home improvement/hardware store.  It is 1" on the straight side and 5/8" thick from the straight side to the curved side.  The straight side has an adhesive strip that you peal a tape off of to expose the sticky stuff.  I experimented with a short length to determine the height in which to install it from the top of the counter top.  You want it high enough to contact the bottom of the lid but not high enough to keep the lid from fully seating into the counter top.  You miter the corners.


Main Message Board / Mounting buss bars in battery compartment
« on: February 15, 2018, 08:37:38 PM »
I have been upgrading my wiring and have reached the point where I have 4 wires attached to each of the positive and negative batery terminals and need to atach my new SmartGauge directly to the batery terminals as well.  I need to add bus bars to shift two of the wires off the battery terminals but the space is already tight with 4 GC2 6volt bateries.  I am looking for sugestions and pictures on where to mount them.  I considered placing them under the sink on the wall common with the batery compartment but that would require driling holes through the bulkhead.

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