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Messages - Jim Fitch

Hi Raymond -

I use the pink stuff to flush the raw water cooling system for the winter.  If you use real antifreeze like Ron suggests please be careful and you'll have to find someway to catch and dispose of that toxic stuff.  It tastes sweet to dogs and it will kill them.  I assume all the animals would drink it.  The pink stuff is non toxic.

Have fun with the new boat.  Mine's still in the water South of Boston and we actually took her out Saturday.

Main Message Board / Re: Prop shaft "twanging" sound
November 06, 2023, 01:24:32 PM
Hi Paul -

No, it should not.  When you do your engine alignment, which is done every year (a week or two after you launch so the hull has time to settle back to shape), you separate that flange near the transmission.  The stuffing box is then "supporting" that end of the shaft but there shouldn't be any load on it.  Then you align your transmission half of the flange with the shaft half of the flange so that the load is carried by the transmission and the cutlass bearing and not the stuffing box.

This is where I have to admit that I don't really do the alignment every year but we are supposed to.

I'm guessing the imbalance of that growth probably caused your "twang".

Hi Shehant -

The only dumb question is the one you don't ask.  I haven't tried this myself but someone once told someone I know to take the boat out on the water, bring the sheets forward so you can wrap them around the mast and then drive the boat in circles letting the change in wind direction unfold the sail.  I think this advice was to take pressure off to unwind a bound up furler like you experienced but maybe something like that would unfold your sail.

I'm not sure I understand exactly what's going on but are you sure your swivel bearings aren't jammed up and that's what's stopping the sail?  Or maybe one of the "bearing" inserts in the tube dropped down, keeping the bottom swivel from turning?  Both those things have happened to me with my old furler.

Main Message Board / Re: raw water intake filter
June 14, 2023, 05:33:24 AM
John W -

I have to ask what the hand pump is for under the head sink and what that bracket is that holds it?  I'm sure it's something ingenious but I can't figure it out.

Also remember if you let the engine turn over for more than 30 seconds or so you can be pumping raw water into the engine via the muffler system.  If you crank for a while you have to drain the muffler or you'll have really big problems.  There should be a warning about this on your start panel.

Hello Kocyk -

I sent you a PM.  I'm definitely interested but I'm up just south of Boston.  How far down in CT are you?  Can you text me a picture of the lower furling section including the bottom feed tube?  I have a working furler but the feed tube is broken and Hood doesn't carry the part any more.  My cell number is in the PM I sent.  Just check "MY MESSAGES" after you sign in.  I'm assuming this is a Seafurl 900?

Thanks,  Jim
Noah -

Where did you get that double right angle jamb cleat block that mounts to the stanchion?  I definitely want one of those.

You got me thinking about how I would maintain my new 8 plait rope to chain splice and New England Ropes has a PDF on how to do this.
Main Message Board / Re: Rudder Movement
April 03, 2023, 04:39:12 PM
Now that I see your picture, I remember I replaced the washer/spacer that the fitting on top of the rudder shaft swivels on (Catalina Direct part T1917).  It was worn a bit.  You might want to order one of those before you start the project so you aren't waiting on it if you decide to replace it.

Good luck and let us know what you decided to do.

Main Message Board / Re: Rudder Movement
March 22, 2023, 09:34:16 AM
Before you do anything, I'd find a way to get down inside the boat and have someone do the rudder wiggle for you just to make sure the rudder tube isn't moving inside and to see what's going on with the top rudder bearing (which is just a shorter piece of rudder tube).  That way you can also look to see if there's any cracking around the rudder tube inside the hull.  I assume everything is solid and your gel coat cracks are just gel coat cracks but you could grind the biggest crack down a little to make sure it ends when the fiberglass starts.

I checked mine and I have a little side to side wiggle but your wiggle looks bigger.  I didn't feel I needed to do anything about that so I haven't tried Catalina Directs solution or the mylar sheet solution.  Both those solutions make sense to me.  If you can get a sheet of mylar in there, that sounds easier and less messy but it may not last as long.  I had dropped my rudder to repair the rudder and that's when I found my big issue of the missing top bearing.  Adding the top bearing cut down the wiggle I had.  There wasn't much of anything holding the top of the rudder shaft in place so my issue was different than yours.

The only difficult part of dropping the rudder for me was the quadrant bolts were so jammed in the quadrant with salt and corrosion that they didn't want to come out.  I bent the bolts and I think I even broke one doing it and the PB Blaster couldn't get in.  I eventually worked them out with leverage and maybe my impact gun.  I covered the new bolts with ridiculous amounts of Never Seize when I put the quadrant back on so that couldn't happen again.

Everything else was easy.  I had to dig a hole in the ground to drop it all the way out but my boat was over dirt so it was easy enough to dig a little trough for the rudder to drop into.  I did it all myself without help by putting boards across the trough I dug so the rudder couldn't drop when I released it inside.  It is pretty heavy but I managed to carry it after I removed it.

I think Edson says we're supposed to replace all those cables every 10 years and mine were 30 years old so I actually replaced all that while I had everything apart.  I think those instructions gave details on tensioning the cables.  You certainly don't want them rod tight and you should be able to deflect the long part of the free cable a little by hand.  The idea is just to get rid of any slack so the rudder can't turn unless you turn the wheel.

The other thing I did while the rudder was out was fill the inside of the rudder shaft with foam (as Ron and others have suggested) to keep out water.  Water freezing inside the bottom of the rudder tube is what caused my rudder damage.  I used some two part foam and it expanded way more than I expected, making a mess.  If I had to do that again, I'd do a couple of small pours down the shaft instead of one big pour.

I also replaced the packing in the packing glad while everything was apart.

I did all this 3 years ago so I may be missing something but everything was straightforward and I don't remember any big issues except the bolts.  Of course, all that was after removing the back wall of the aft cabin and pulling out the rear water tank to get access.  I have the 1990 MK1.5 and there's no good access to work back there without removing the tank.  Maybe your newer boat has better access?

Main Message Board / Re: Rudder Movement
February 20, 2023, 06:55:22 AM
You may also want to open the emergency tiller plate behind the wheel and see what's going on there.  Several of us didn't have the upper rudder bearing installed on our "MK1.5" hulls.  The shaft/post rubbing with the fiberglass deck enlarged the hole a bit and allows a wiggle.  I added one two years ago because there wasn't really any support at the top of the rudder shaft.  That's Catalina Direct part A8292, if you don't have one.

Main Message Board / Re: Rudder Movement
February 20, 2023, 06:49:08 AM
That's definitely the washer/spacer that is moving with the shaft (Catalina Direct part T1917).  The new ones are black.  To repair the wiggle, Catalina direct also sells a kit (Catalina Direct part Z5285).  I attached the Catalina drawing for the rudder support.  It doesn't show the washers.  I'm not sure yours moves any more than mine does.  I'd have to go give it a wiggle.

Paul -

Call Garhauer.  They'll make you a better stronger one with the correct angle so it isn't being peeled away and it's not that hard to install.  Just try not to drop the backer washers on the inside of the hull down inside as you pull the bolts.  I had to send them the old one but I think they turned it around in less than a week.  I think it was between $200 and $300 in 2020 but I'm not sure.  I ended up with a little bit of gap underneath the part the would rest on the deck but I just filled it all with epoxy thickened with one of the fillers and it came out great.

Hi Steve -

My understanding from tracking my son the same way, is that the AIS is just a radio signal and Marine Traffic is only going to show a location when your daughter has the radio on and it's in range of whatever tower Marine Traffic is pulling signals from.  Even when my son was in the ICW there were times when I didn't get a location for long periods.  When they'd head offshore there was nothing.

I don't know anything about a satellite version of Marine Traffic but the boat would have to be transmitting a signal that a satellite would pick up and you'd both have to subscribe to the service.  There are definitely satellite tracking services and transmitters available and the schooner may have one but I'm not sure that shows up on Marine Traffic.

Main Message Board / Re: Clogged raw water intake...
September 21, 2022, 05:40:49 AM
Hi Waughoo -

I've had this happen before and I just pulled the hose, spun off the filter and ran a big long #3 philips head through the open valve to clear the thru hull.  I think I had her back and running within a minute or two.  I keep a dowel near the thru hull now just in case it ever happens again.