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Messages - Dave Spencer

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 28
Main Message Board / Re: Rudder misaligned from factory?
« on: Today at 09:34:14 AM »
Rudder post for hull number 1279.  1994 model built October 1993. 
I'm envious of Jim's stainless steel rudder post access cover on Shamrock.  I see that CD doesn't have them anymore.  Does anyone know a source?

Main Message Board / Re: Autopilot malfunction
« on: Yesterday at 07:44:51 AM »
Here are a few ideas and musings to help diagnose your issue.
1.  A GPS / Chartplotter cannot know the "Heading" of the boat.  It only knows its position and can determine its Course Over Ground by comparing change in its position over time.  COG is not the same as Heading although they are often very close. 
2.  The Heading of the boat can only be determined by a compass.  In your case, you have your binnacle compass that doesn't "talk" to the chartplotter or autopilot, however, your autopilot certainly has a fluxgate compass that "talks" to the autopilot brains to keep the vessel on track. 
3.  It isn't a certainty that your autopilot is connected to your chartplotter although many are.  It sounds like yours is likely connected to your chartplotter if you say the Heading shown on your chartplotter can be off 180 deg.  Does this happen suddenly or does the heading accuracy on your chartplotter gradually degrade? 
4.  Is the autopilot functioning when the heading on the chartplotter falls off by up to 180 deg?  If so, does the autopilot command the boat to alter course to follow the degraded heading?  It sounds like it does based on your comment.  And it sounds like it happens suddenly rather than gradually based on your comment.  "Its not that big a pain, except when I am trying to sail with my which times I suddenly find myself way off my intended course."
5.  Do you know what kind of Autopilot you have?  Is it an Autohelm ST4000 or a newer Raymarine SPX or EVO or another brand?
6.  I had an Autohelm ST4000 when we bought our boat in 2010.  It had worked for many years before 2010 however in 2012, it started to misbehave and do what I called "Crazy Ivans" (after the Russian submarine manoeuvre in "The Hunt for Red October")  i.e.  After holding course for an hour or so (sometimes more, sometimes less), it would suddenly veer off course by 30 degrees or more.  Stopping and then starting the Autopilot would allow it to resume normal operations until the next "Crazy Ivan".  I lived with it for a year and then replaced the Autopilot.
7.  If your equipment is modern, there may be software downloads available as Ken Juul suggested.  Check Here.  Jon is also right on to double and triple check connections before pulling out your credit card.
8.  If the equipment is older, there won't be s/w updates available and if the connections all look good it may be time for a new Autopilot.  If you are patient, you might be able to find someone who can troubleshoot and repair legacy equipment but there's no guarantee that it will be fixable. 
9.  In your comments you said "Every so often the GPS malfunctions"   I suspect the GPS/ chartplotter is working fine but is simply displaying the heading that is incorrectly reported by the Autopilot.

Good luck with your detective work.  Let us know how it turns out.

Main Message Board / Re: Installing a New Vent for Waste Tanks
« on: July 10, 2020, 07:50:18 PM »
I added a second holding tank vent in 2012.,6861.msg45888.html#msg45888
I think there are some other projects like this documented on the site... do a search and you'll likely see a few samples.  Some have suggested running the hose farther forward into the chest of drawers in the V berth but that seems unnecessarily complex to me (plus I didn't think of it at the time.) 
Good luck with your project.  Let us know how it turns out.

Main Message Board / Re: size of the slide for the mainsail clew
« on: July 05, 2020, 05:52:52 PM »
It’s shown on P25 of the Mk1.5 manual. Figure 4.1.4 Detail B. The clew slug is 1/2” diameter and 3 1/4” long. Height from the base of the slide to the top of the loop is 1 1/4”.

Main Message Board / Re: Outboard gas/oil leak
« on: June 08, 2020, 05:24:35 PM »
If the leak is below or near the waterline, it’s the gear oil in the unit leaking. Usually 80W90 gear oil or something close to that. You may wish to snug up the lower and upper fill ports on the lower unit. I think Tohatsu recommends changing the washer with each lower unit oil change. Maybe a $0.10 washer will fix it. (Except a special “marine” washer will be $1.75!)
Or it might be a bit of oil that dripped into the upper housing during the last oil change that is slowly dripping out.
Ron’s advice is also good. If the outboard was stored on the wrong side, oil may get where it shouldn’t be (or won’t be where it should be) and drip in the most inconvenient manner.

Main Message Board / Re: Capping a thru-hull
« on: June 08, 2020, 04:35:26 PM »
If you do a holding tank cross flow, there’s lots of discussion about that here. I did it several years ago and documented it in this post - Reply 17.,6861.msg45889.html#msg45889

Another option would be to relocate the bilge pump discharge to higher up on the hull. I’m not too happy about my discharge just inches above the waterline (and usually submerged under power) under the swim platform on my Mk 1.5.   The flimsy bilge hose is fine for bilge discharge but I get nervous when I see it underwater. A “to do” project is to replace the bilge discharge flange with bronze or stainless and replace the hose with something a bit more robust.

Main Message Board / Re: chain plate studs and bolts; coax cable
« on: June 01, 2020, 03:37:15 PM »
R59 is definitely not the right  coaxial cable for your antenna. RG8x (not sure about “mini”) would do the job but the run is quite long and the loss will be significant. Last year, I replaced my coax with RG213 which is excellent but has a large OD making running it more difficult than a skinnier cable. However, the losses are insignificant compared to RG8x. LMR400 is supposed to be the best but as I dug into the specs, it looked like its water resistance was not as good as the RG213. (I found that tidbit on the Internet so it must be true!:D)
Here’s a good technical overview on coaxial cable by Steve D’Antonio.

Like everything, there’s no free lunch. Smaller cables have higher losses and bigger cables have lower losses.  In addition to the article above, there’s lots of data on the Internet comparing different cables and the losses associated with each.   

Main Message Board / Re: hx 7/8" to 1" mod
« on: May 26, 2020, 04:11:41 AM »
I respectfully disagree with Ken that 7/8" coolant hose is common.  It's available but when I changed my hoses, I found 7/8" was not usually stocked as commonly as 3/4" or other hose sizes.  You likely won't find it in stock at your local auto parts store nor in all chandleries.  However, Mr Google or Mr Amazon will certainly provide you with sources for your 7/8" hose.  After briefly looking around my city, I ordered mine from a marine store 350 km away.  I wouldn't recommend "sleeving" to make a 1" hose fit.  it sounds like trouble waiting to happen. 
Make sure you source the molded 90 degree elbow that goes from 7/8" to 1" at the water pump.  It too is "uncommon" but people have found it matches a Toyota part.  I bought mine at Napa Automotive.  Info here.  Save the copper (or looks like copper) elbow.,10238.msg78868.html#msg78868

Good luck with your project and keep asking questions. 

Main Message Board / Re: Return from the dark side
« on: May 21, 2020, 04:26:52 AM »
Our marina too takes LOA very seriously and they measured boats while on the hard with plumb bobs etc. Our Mk 1.5 is under 36 ft with an aftermarket bow roller extension included. (But not the extra few inches of the anchor which I stow in the anchor locker off season.)  We pay for 36’ and would pay that if we measured 35’ 1” or greater.  If we were 36’ 1”, we would be paying for 37 ft. Unless you have overhanging dinghy davits, you can be certain that any C34 is less than your marina’s limit of 36’ 5”

Main Message Board / Re: Sling markers for travel lift
« on: May 01, 2020, 02:31:41 PM »
Page 61 of the MkII Manual shows the lifting points.
The aft sling always looks too far forward to my eye but I've lifted this way twice per year since I've owned the boat; usually with a crane instead of a travellift which means the boat is lifted slightly bow down.  A travellift can hoist the boat dead level.  If you look closely at the picture, you will see a small piece of tape that everyone at our marina puts on their lifelines showing someone unfamiliar with the boat where the slings go. 
The second picture shows there is lots of room between the recommended sling location and the prop shaft. 

Main Message Board / Re: Solar Arch
« on: March 02, 2020, 05:43:06 PM »

Main Message Board / Re: Martec Folding Prop Pitch
« on: February 16, 2020, 10:01:44 AM »
I think a pitch of 14 will be far too much for your engine.  You will be significantly over-propped and won't be able to achieve the engine rpm required for efficient operation.  Expect significant smoking from the engine.  Search the forum and Tech Wiki to see what others have done.  Better yet, the C34 Tech Notes have some good information in them if you are a member of the C34IA.  Membership is a bargain - rare for anything to do with boats!

Main Message Board / Re: Low voltage from my batteries.
« on: February 16, 2020, 08:29:52 AM »
I agree with Mark that your batteries sound fine based on the information you’ve provided. 
I’m no battery expert and others will likely jump in with their views but here are a few things to think about:
1.  Rolls is a premium battery.  When you bought them, you paid for technical support so I wouldn’t hesitate to give them a phone call to get their views on your observations.
2. You haven’t identified your charging regimen.  As Mainesail says in the post that you linked, most batteries don’t die a natural death, they are murdered.  Insufficient charging voltage (or too much) will shorten the life of your batteries significantly.
3. The 11.5 amp steady load that you are applying sounds like a lot for a 230AH battery bank.  Is this a test load to conduct the 20 hr test or does this represent your house loads.  If the latter, I think your battery bank is too small.
4. How did you determine the batteries should be at 70% capacity?  If you’re counting Ah consumed, it’s quite possible that you weren’t starting at 100%.

Rather than concentrating on if you’re getting the battery’s full capacity (or close to it based on the 20 Hr rating), do the batteries meet your house demand needs?  If so, keep focusing on good charging practice and enjoy your boat.  If not, you may need a bigger battery bank because getting 17 hrs at 11.5A instead of the rated 20 hrs doesn’t sound like a problem to me.  You are a very patient sailor if you’re willing to conduct your own 20 hr test.  I’m sure others have done it but I doubt I could stay on my boat for ~20 hrs drawing against a calibrated load.

Before condemning your batteries, I would recommend a lot of research and reading, particularly on charging protocol… there’s lots out there, some is valuable and some is useless.

Let us know how you make out.

Main Message Board / Re: Davits... do you have them?l
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:50:30 AM »
Hi Jim,
I've attached 2 pictures of our Highfield 290 RIB stored on deck.  You will likely recognize the location as Killarney Mountain Lodge.  In this case, I hoisted the dinghy on deck the night before in preparation for the next day's 0400 departure for our 60nm journey across Georgian Bay to our home port.

The inflated dinghy is 2.9m LOA with a beam of 1.71m  (9'6" & 5'7" respectively) 

You can see from picture looking forward that I tie the aft lifting handles to the cabin top rails.  I place another line on the towing eye and run a V shape to the pulpit thereby preventing a jib halyard from catching under the dinghy.  This V shaped line is just barely visible in the picture taken from the dock.   I usually take the tail of the line tied to the cabin top rails and run it over the hull criss crossing the two lines thereby securely holding the dinghy down in case of a serious blow.  This isn't shown in either picture. 
The transom is snugged up to the mast and the pontoons rest on the line organizers.  I place a pad between the dinghy and the deck organizers to prevent wear.   The V berth hatch can open partially allowing for some ventilation.

There is plenty of room forward of the dinghy to allow me to open the anchor locker and manage the ground tackle.  I haven't sailed our cruising spinnaker with the dinghy on deck but there is no reason I couldn't.

The owner's manual say the dinghy weighs 44kg but I think it's 50+ kg.  I found it a chore to lift using the spare genoa halyard or spinnaker halyard so I made up a 4 to 1 block arrangement making the dinghy very easy to lift.  Working by myself, it's about 10 minutes to get the dinghy from the water to fully secured on deck. I've also attached a picture of my dinghy lifting and tie down kit showing the 4:1 blocks, tie down lines and pads to protect the pontoons from the deck organizers.  This isn't something I would want to do every day but for the 4 or 5 times I do it each season, it works well for me.

I've never considered davits on our boat although the Atlantic tower on Mas Tequila's Positive Lattitude looks great!

Main Message Board / Re: Davits... do you have them?l
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:11:22 AM »
I have a 9 1/2 ft aluminum RIB with a 4 hp 4 stroke Yamaha.  I pull the engine off and stow it on the rail every time we move the boat. I usually tow the dinghy but for longish passages, I haul it on deck and stow it fully inflated upside-down forward of the mast.  I also stow it on deck on the rare occasion when we are tied up at our marina since our slip is tight and leaving it floating off the stern intrudes in the fairway.

Check with your marina but by adding davits, you may be unwittingly adding 4 ft or so to the LOA of your boat that you'll have to pay for.

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