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Messages - Patches

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Main Message Board / Re: Composting head
« on: Today at 06:14:34 AM »

Unfortunately the Corona virus has affected plans.  The charter business closed between about mid-March and the end of May due to lockdown.  Since then, the priority has been generating business and I had a two week interruption for a haul out/maintenance in early June.

I did install a new water heater in the locker between the head and chart table.  It is a "Quick" model, 4 gallons, cylinder-shaped, which is only about 12" in diameter and fits through the door opening of the locker.  I put in a platform and mounted the new water heater to it.  The difference for access is so much better, and I really like the freed-up space under the sink where I was able to mount  a new carbon water filter and manifold for the water tanks.  I should also say that I think the 6 gallon model would also fit in that space, as the 12" diameter of the tank does not change, only the length.  I added a thermostatic mixing valve kit from Quick to control the temp once the heat exchanger is hooked up, and this adds about 5" to the depth of the water heater.  So the 6 gallon will certainly work without the optional mixing valve kit, and I think it will also work depth-wise if you decided to add it.

Right now, the new water heater operates only under shore power.  I'm waiting to connect new engine hoses to the water heater--for heat exchanger heating-- until I can remove the existing Jabsco head and waste line (which runs along the bottom of the locker to the holding tank).  Once I do this, there will be a convenient pathway for the new engine hoses from the engine, under the cabin sole, forward to that opening for the waste line, and then aft through that opening to the fittings on the new water heater.

Incidentally, I installed 3/8" barbed fittings on the new water heater. That will allow me to run 3/8" hose all the way from the engine to the water heater and back.  No stepping up to 5/8" hose just to accommodate the 5/8" inlet/outlets on the Seaward unit.

Because I'm trying to maximize revenue right now for the charter season, I've decided to wait to remove the Jabsco head and go to a composting head. I should add that I think I've convinced myself that the Airhead is the model of composting toilet that will fit best in our Catalina 34s.  I built the cardboard mock-up of the C-head (which I really like) and I found that it just wouldn't fit as well in the existing space given over to the Jabsco.  In other words, the footprint of the Airhead, especially with its rounded footprint in the back, would seem to  fit better.

I look forward to being able to post about the conversion to a composting head in the future--likely the fall when the charter season slows down.


Main Message Board / Re: Sealing Mast Partners
« on: July 03, 2020, 07:22:38 AM »
Many thanks to the brain trust!  I thought I might be overthinking this and appreciate the simple solutions recommended.


Main Message Board / Re: salon table pedestal rebuild?
« on: June 30, 2020, 09:12:21 AM »
I just scrapped my original table and started from new.  Let's face it:  the original table was designed to act as a platform for an additional berth.  It was always an uncomfortable "bumshuffle" to get any one around the table.  And over time, the old Zwaardvis telescoping post had broken at the place where the clamp tightened the post.

I purchased the Zwaardvis fixed table base with a tapered post through Fisheries Supply (maybe $90).  I had concerns that it would be "wobbly" but that hasn't been the case at all.  The base is a big enough diameter that with the new (smaller) table top being moved outboard slightly, it still covers the old hole though the sole.  I opted for a teak table top which folds in half (on sale at Defender) so that it will either seat 3 for dinner or 4 for drinks in the dinette (maybe $160 on sale).  The top is clamped (top clamp/table support for 2 3/8" post was $35) to the top of the post and swivels through 270 degrees.

The advantages are (1) the whole thing can be removed, (2) much easier to get in and out of the dinette even when in place, and (3) versatility.  The disadvantage is that you can't drop it to make a berth, but that was never going to happen anyway.


Main Message Board / Sealing Mast Partners
« on: June 27, 2020, 09:00:43 AM »
I have purchased some new flexible "mast tape/wrap" to replace the more rigid "boot" which seals the opening where the mast penetrates the deck at the partners.  As designed, rainwater is able to follow the continuous sail slot below deck and leak on the floor boards below.  At least on my boat, the rain doesn't follow the sail slot all the way to the bilge.  It wicks about 1-2" aft of the underside of the partners and then plops on the floorboards.

The more ideal solution would be to use a Spartite-type product to pour in the gap between the partners and the mast to seal the area from water intrusion.  But with a mast boot or the wrap I'm going to use, you're left with plugging the sail slot above deck where it meets the boot or tape or it will leak during every rain.

I'm trying not to overthink this.  But I'm wondering if there are preferred ways of plugging the sail slot above the boot/wrap to eliminate the leaks?

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.


Main Message Board / Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« on: June 17, 2020, 12:54:47 PM »

Your experience with Seaview North sounds like my last experience with them at Seaview Shilshole about 5 years ago.  After receiving several assurances about the cost to do things, I was presented with a bill roughly $1500 more than what they quoted me.  Luckily, my boat was already in the slings and was to be the first boat to launch that morning.  No new boats could be hauled until they launched mine.  The sign on the wall said:  "No cash, No splash."  So I decided to use that to my advantage.

I refused to pay more than quoted, which turned into some pretty pathetic back and forth offering to "settle" the bill for somewhere in the middle. "Nope, remember how I asked you about how much it was going to cost to the work and you said 'at most'?"  Meanwhile the Travelift operator kept coming into the office saying "the 9:00 haulout is here, what do you want to do?"  Finally, I paid what was quoted and they splashed me.

Very refreshing to go to the DIY yard in Port Townsend and avoid these kinds of issues.  And glad you got good work at a fair price by Top to Bottom.


Main Message Board / Re: Prop and cutless bearing
« on: June 16, 2020, 10:32:36 AM »
Another successful cutless bearing replacement with Dan's (Indian Wells) loaner tool.

The work was pretty straightforward.  Dan's tool differs from a Strut-Pro in that it pushes the cutless bearings in only only direction.  It pushes the old bearing onto the shaft forward of the strut, which you then have to cut off.

I used channel lock pliers to hold the old cutless bearing with one hand.  I then used a Dremel EZ Lock metal cutting disc in me other hand to carefully cut the outer brass casing lengthwise.  The Dremel made it very easy to make a very precise cut and to even stop short of cutting through the rubber bearing surface underneath.

Once I cut through one side, I rotated the bearing 180 degrees and made an identical second cut.  Then I inserted a large flat head screwdriver tip and twisted the two sides apart.  This served to tear the remaining rubber on one side of the bearing.  I then forced the bearing open far enough to slip it off the prop shaft in one piece.

An unintended benefit of bisecting the old bearing this way is that I now have two "halves" of the old bearing which should come in handy when inserting new rings of GFO packing into the packing nut on the stuffing box.

When re-installing the prop, I "lapped" it per Mainesail's excellent guide on his "marine how to" site.  I found both Prussian Blue and Permatex Valve Grinding compound at my local NAPA dealer.  I also decided to try Pettit's Barnacle Barrier spray-on zinc product on the prop, strut and shaft.  Thought I would give it a try here in the PNW after mostly positive reviews.

If anyone needs Dan's tool, please contact me and it is yours to use for the cost of shipping.  Big shout out to Dan for his generous loaning of the tool.  No need to remove the shaft (or rudder) to replace the cutless bearing.


All is well.  It turns out the cracks caused by the improper blocking were actually superficial and confined to the outer fairing material on the keel.  These were ground back, filled with G flex epoxy, and a layer of fiberglass cloth added. Then fairing, sanding, barrier coat and bottom paint.  Results look very good.

Hung in the slings for about 2 hours before launch yesterday.  No new cracking and everything looks tight.


Re "banding the whole joint."  This did not come up.  Again, there is one hairline crack, about 6 inches long on the leading edge of the joint.  So I gather it makes sense to explore the continuous nature of that crack by grinding it out and then decide whether to "lap" the joint.  Actually, he will be using a larger dremel-type tool with a cone shaped bit which, as he showed me on another boat, makes a pretty tidy "v" shaped opening of the crack.

The other two cracks are at the front and back edges of where the keel meets the hull (not on the keel/hull joint), and show as 1" hairline cracks.  I take it "lapping" is not appropriate here.  I am familiar with lapping of the hull/keel joint as I could see this was done by a prior owner of a prior boat of mine.  It would seem this is overkill, but I guess he needs to get into the crack to determine whether it is appropriate in this case.

Many thanks for your prompt responses as I've got to approve work today.

When I hauled out on Thursday, I was anxious to see what kind of scrape I put on the bottom of the keel last fall when I did a very slow "touch and go" on a rock.  Right after it happened, I sent a diver down to assess things and he was largely dismissive. Well it was definitely a gouge that needed some filling and epoxy.

While pressure washing, the keel otherwise looked great. No cracks in the hull/keel joint.  Everything looked tight.

When they went to block the boat in the yard, I specifically said to the lift operator to make sure the keel wasn't supported/blocked too far aft.  I recall reading that this can lead to cracks developing in the hull/keel joint.  So I specifically asked if the placement of the blocking--aft of where the gouge was on the bottom leading edge--was sufficient to support the keel while allowing access for the repair.  "No problem."

30 minutes later I was taping up the waterline when I noticed 3 cracks:  (1) Forward/leading edge where the hull meets the keel (above the hull/keel joint (one inch), (2) at the forward end of the hull/keel joint (about 6 inches long), and (3) at the aft end of the keel where it meets the hull (one inch).

I immediately had them come over and re-block the boat.  By this time I had a pretty foul mouth.  To their credit, they owned it and said they would take take of it.  They put me in touch with a local keel repair guy who had the following recommendations:

1.  grind out the cracks

2.  check the keel bolts for tightness and applicable torque values

3.  apply West System or "G Flex" resin and biaxial cloth to the cracked areas, fair, sand, barrier coat and paint.

Anyone been through this and can comment?  He was ready to go today, but I told him to wait until I was able to educate myself a little but more on the long term performance of this proposed fix.  My call to another yard in the area essentially agreed with this proposed fix.

Would appreciate the input of any who have been down this road. I really don't want to haul out again in two and have new cracks--assuking no more "touch and gos."

Thanks in advance.


Main Message Board / Re: Prop and cutless bearing
« on: June 07, 2020, 06:24:19 PM »
Thanks to all for the prompt responses.

I indeed have a set screw on each side, and removed them today.  I will reinsert these after I press the new bearing in--just in case.

Thanks also for the feedback on the castellated nut  I guess I'll try to reuse it with a new cotter pin. Note:  the cotter pin I removed is stainless.  Should I be looking for a bronze cotter pin?


Main Message Board / Prop and cutless bearing
« on: June 06, 2020, 12:02:37 PM »
I'm hauled out right now and intending to do paint the prop (Pettit Barnacle Barrier) and replace the cutless bearing.  A couple of questions:

1.  Prop is off, and was secured with a bronze (?) castellated nut and cotter pin.  Is it normal to re-use these nuts but with a new cotter pin?

If so, how do you line up the hole in the nut and shaft for the new cotter pin?  Or would it be preferable to replace with a two nut (locking) system?

2.  Finally able to eyeball my strut and cutless bearing.  I appear to have two set screws in the strut, one on each side.  For the life of me, with readers on, I was unable to tell what kind of screws these are.  Are the typically allen head screws?  If so, they look pretty worn.  Anyone try to source these for replacements? 

Anyone just press the new bearing in and forget about the set screws?

Thanks in advance.  This is all new stuff to me!


Main Message Board / Re: Replacing Cutlass - this seems outrageous
« on: May 29, 2020, 08:35:26 PM »
Wow.  This pisses me off.  Its why I'm taking my boat all the way from Bainbridge Island to Port Townsend for my haul out on Wednesday.

I had my boat scheduled to haul for paint and a cutless bearing replacement in Seattle on the assurance that the yard had a strut pro tool to remove the cutless bearing.  Same deal:  can't do your own work, can't change your own zincs, can't buy your own paint.  OK, you got me.  When they sent me the contract to sign, I asked that they confirm they had the tool--even though I wouldn't be able to use it, it had to be done by a Mechanic at $110.00/hour.  Turns out they didn't have it, but they offer to pull the shaft to remove the cutless bearing.  I said thanks, but no thanks.

I have Dan's cutless bearing tool en route to me as we speak from Virginia.  Cost:  shipping.  Port Townsend is one of the last DIY yards in Puget Sound.  Bought my own paint saving $100/gallon, can use my own tools, the people at the yard are friendly and I can rent a vacuum sander for $25 for 4 hours.

If there is nothing wrong with your shaft, and you can postpone your haul out until after June 11, you can pick up the cutless bearing tool from me in Port Townsend.  Park on the Whidbey side and ride the ferry over and I'll hand off the tool.

If the only reason you're dropping the rudder and pulling the shaft is to change a cutless bearing, its both mission and money "creep."  If you need to change out your dripless, that's a different story.


Main Message Board / Re: New Furler Recommendations
« on: May 24, 2020, 07:14:39 AM »
 I think the 1/2" pin was commonly used when installing the original Mark 1 furlers because it fit the furler--not the stem fitting.  I'm guessing Harken didn't make the lower attachment with a 5/8" hole.  When I replaced mine with the Mark 4, I expected to find that the 1/2" pin had "walked" within the 5/8" hole in the stem fitting.  But after 29 years, that really wasn't the case.

The Mark 4 is a welcome upgrade, and the furler is a separate unit from the forestay. So I have a new forestay as well.  With the Mark 1, the furler is actually part of the forestay.

Main Message Board / Re: U stack installed
« on: May 24, 2020, 07:05:28 AM »
Thanks for the photos Glenn.  Interesting installation.  Same windlass design as mine (although mine is an "Italwinch"--likely either a predecessor to the Lofrans or a clone).

I expected to see either a hause pipe in the deck to route the chain below, or the winch positioned more forward  (with some protective ss plating/strips to route the chain over the edge of the anchor locker and into the anchor locker).  By the looks of it, the prior owner likely used it mostly for line rode.  He also mounted directly to the deck instead of on a piece of epoxied wood or Starboard to spread the load.

Thanks again for the photos.


Main Message Board / Re: U stack installed
« on: May 21, 2020, 09:16:36 AM »

Also not trying to hijack your thread, but would appreciate a photo or two of your manual windlass installation when you're able.  I also have a manual (horizontal) windlass which I have been thinking about installing and, as a 1990 Mark 1.25, have the same anchor locker lid and layout as you.

I sail and cruise in the Pacific Northwest and would like to go all chain because of the reduced scope required in many of our tighter anchorages.  7:1, or even 5:1, isn't realistic around here most of the time.

Thanks in advance,


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