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Topics - Mark Sutherland

I recently replaced 3 lines (Outhaul, Furling and Topping Lift) with New England Sta-Set, and they are all slipping in my winch crowns.  They seem to have a very slick feel to them.  Is there a way to "rough up" these lines without damaging them? 
Main Message Board / Rules Of The Road Question
October 02, 2017, 09:13:22 AM
I've had two, nearly identical situations occur in the past month or so, with the same vessel.  I'm sailing on a broad reach, port tack, pointing 300 degrees.  Unknown to me is a tug, pushing a barge (maybe 75 -100' long), aft of my boat, to port, pointing 330-340 degrees, moving about 12-15 knots.  I'm sitting on the port side of the cockpit, so this tug-and-barge is behind me, out of my field of vision.  I notice him when I see him to port out of the corner of my eye.  His heading will lead him across my bow, and I didn't wait to determine if we might be on a collision course.  He's close enough to my port side that I'm not certain I have enough room to tack (turning to port, towards the barge), so quickly jibe to a starboard tack.  I understand that a working vessel with limited maneuverability has the right of way, but doesn't this tug have an obligation to alert me, either by horn or radio? 
I have a purchase pending for a C350 and will be selling my 1986 C34 very shortly.  It is located in Long Beach CA (Shoreline).  I'll write up a full info sheet on my boat when the sale on my new boat closes.  The short version for now is that my boat is well above average condition.  Some quick highlights are:
*New upholstery (contemporary, custom forward cabin matress) (2015)
*New cockpit cushions (2016)
*Full electronics, including radar
*New primary winches (2015)
*300 +/- hours on rebuilt engine
*New standing rigging, mast and boom painted (2009-ish)
*New running rigging (2016)
*New Raymarine windvane (2017)
*New LED mast/deck lights (2016)
*New Engine panel and updated wiring harness (2010)
*Fresh Varnish, 2B detailed in 2 weeks
*All toilet parts new (except bowl) (2017)
*Extremly well maintained

I'm looking at buying a near perfect, 2006 350 to replace my 1986 C34'.  The only item of question for me is the in-mast furling.  I've read many of the posts about a modest performance loss, which I'm okay with it if it is indeed modest.  I'm most concerned about the occasional "jamming" of the main and the consequential inability to furl it in, especially if the conditions are adverse.  What is the likelihood of a jam, and what do these jamming scenarios look like, worst case?  There's no way I'm going up the mast to cut the main down, I'm too old for that.  The only solution I can envision is trying to roll the main vertically, from the clue towards the mast, then wrapping the spinnaker halyard around the mast like a maypole, essentially vertically slabbing the main against the mast????  There are no battens in the existing main.  I've gotta resolve this scenario in my head before I buy this boat.  Would very much appreciate your great counsel on this one!  Thanks.

Clarification: I may not have been concise enough with my question which is, what are the best options for dealing with a main sail that has become jammed and won't furl back into the mast, especially under adverse weather conditions?  Thanks.
Main Message Board / Rain Running Down Mast Into Cabin
January 02, 2017, 03:41:14 PM
On my mast (as I suspect with yours as well), there's a recessed channel in which the main sail cars travel up and down the mast.  My mast is keel stepped, so this channel runs all the way down into the cabin and into the bilge.  So too does the rain run down this channel and into my cabin, where it deflects off of a stop-screw, and splashes down on my dinette table and on the floor.  Does anyone have any neat ideas of how to block this channel above deck so the water runs OUT of the channel before it enters the cabin?  All I can think of is maybe stuffing some backing rod and silicon in the channel.  Thanks All  8)
I'm considering a top-down furler for my Asym, and was wondering if anyone has any experience and maybe a recommendation of a particular brand or model?
I've noticed a lubricant of some sort on my Raymarine speed transducer unit when I pull it out of the through-hull sleeve to clean it.   Does anyone know, or can recommend the type of lube to use for this purpose?  I'm guessing it might be the same lube as what is used for through-hull valves?  Thanks.
I'm having my halyards replaced, and some other above deck routine maintenance done by a rigger this week.  I asked my contact at the rigging company to replace the sheaves at the mast head while he was up there.  They said they could only do that while the mast was down.  Is that correct and why? Thanks.
I have a dripless shaft seal (aka PSS?) on my '86.  I've never had an issue with it, and hence never spent much time down there looking at it.  There is a hose coming off of the unit.  Looking at photos online, I've seen this hose referred to as a "Water Pickup Hose", which, in the photos online, disappears out of the photo, seemingly to some water source.  In my case, BEFORE my last bottom paint job, my PSS had a hose on it that was about 4 or 5"(?) long and sealed with a plug in the end of it, pointing straight up. My bilge has always stayed dry when it's not raining out, so my PSS was apparently not leaking. After my last haulout, my invoice stated, "Replaced the vent line hose with new longer hose".  Seems they removed the existing 4-5" sealed-end hose and replaced it with a hose lead all the way to the space under my head sink.  Their new hose had a brass plug at the end, said plug having a small hole drilled in it to allow water to bleed out of it.  They mounted it high on the wall directly above my main power switch (under the sink), which really ticked me off because it bled water down on the main switch when I ran the engine.  My questions: 1)Was my original short, sealed hose an incorrect installation because it was below the water line or was it ok?  2)Is it proper/necessary for this new hose to bleed water out of it when I'm running the motor?  3)When I reroute this new, longer hose away from my main switch, can/should I install an anti-syphon fitting on it so I can run this water-bleeding line back down to the hull level so it's not spitting water indiscriminately?  Thanks much for any advice you can share.
Main Message Board / Haul Out Suggestions?
December 17, 2014, 11:10:13 AM
Hi All, I'm hauling my boat out for the first time since I've owned it for a bottom paint job.  Because I have VERY little spare time for repeat haul-outs, and down time, I like to fix or replace anything that is suspect, or near the end of it's life cycle, whenever I'm already paying someone to be working on a specific area on the boat.  I think this is a pretty good practice, especially when I don't know the age of many of the components on my boat.  That said, is there anything you think I should pay special attention to or that I would want replaced while I've gone to the time and expense to do the bottom job?  Should I have moving the parts of the rudder replaced (bushings, etc)?  Should I replace the cutlass bearing?  I appreciate the advice.  Merry Christmas Everyone!
I've recently begun flying my Asym.  I'm using a sock and the "Tacker" device at the forestay, which is working nicely.  I'm not totally happy with the effectiveness of my procedure for dropping the Asym.  Here's what I'm doing and the issues I'm encountering.  The Tacker site demo video suggests over-sheeting the Asym sheet, then blowing/releasing the tack from the tacker device at the forestay, then hauling down the sock.  My goal is to bring the sock and sail down on the bow, adjacent to the forward cabin hatch.  The problem I'm encountering is that when I release the tack, the entire sail and sock ends up aft of the spreader and the sock gets bound up against the aft side of the spreader as I'm trying to bring the sock down from my bow position.  The sock ring/collar actually gets stuck when it gets down to the spreader, after which it only comes free after a lot of fuss.  I tried having the cockpit crew ease the sheet/clew as I bring the sock down, just BEFORE I release the tack, hoping that I could get the leach forward of the spreader/shrouds, but easing the sheet just allows the Asym to fill and power back up which makes lowering the sock very difficult.  My next idea is to over-sheet, release the tack, and almost simultaneously quickly ease the sheet 10-15 feet, allowing the leach and clew to move forward of the spreader and shrouds.  My planned point of sail during the take-down would be about 120-130 degrees.  If any of you have any advice, I'd sure appreciate it.  Thanks much.
I just replaced my pencil zinc the other day.  The old zinc was a YEAR OLD and when I pulled it out, about 90% of the material was still intact.  (*Note, I waited a year because every 3 months that I checked it, it was good...).  In the past, my zincs have lasted 3 to 6 months.  I put about 50 hours on the engine last year.  Why would this zinc last so long?  Are there different kinds of zincs?  Did I use the wrong one?   
Main Message Board / Interior photos (batch 4 of 4)
February 15, 2014, 01:03:42 PM
Batch 4 of 4
Main Message Board / Interior Photos (3 of 4)
February 15, 2014, 01:01:54 PM
Batch 3 of 4
Main Message Board / Interior photos (batch 2 of 4)
February 15, 2014, 12:59:44 PM
The job was done by Barnes Upholstery in Orange CA.  Great job, great service. 
Main Message Board / New Interior Photos (batch 1)
February 15, 2014, 12:56:04 PM
Here some photos of my recent re-upholstering project.  I'll upload more photos after I get this first post right.
Main Message Board / Bottom Blisters
September 04, 2013, 10:00:32 AM
My diver informed me on my last dive report that I have "...about 20 dime size blisters", and that my paint condition is "Good: 70-85% Anti-Fouling".  My question is, should I be concerned about the blisters NOW, or should I wait until the diver tells me that I need new bottom paint?  Thanks.
I was planning a trip to Two Harbors Catalina on July 11-14th.  Coincidentally, the Catalina Yachts Rendezvous is the same weekend.  I've never attended this event and am wondering how big of a crowd the rendezvous draws.  I don't know whether I should be concerned about finding a mooring when I arrive or not.  Anybody know how many boats generally attend these events?  Thanks.  :D
Main Message Board / Chain Plate Bolt Size?
February 08, 2013, 09:56:03 AM
Does anyone know the size of the chain plate bolts for an '86?  I believe it is 3/8-16, but I don't know the length.  Thanks.
Main Message Board / Need Chain Plate Re-bedding advice
February 03, 2013, 01:25:52 PM
I have an '86 C34.  I want to preserve and protect the value of my boat as much as possible and I believe that protecting the core of my decking is crucial to this goal.  I've read all of the content on "potting"(with epoxy) the chain plate openings.  Potting is a time consuming process, which I'm willing to do if necessary.  However, if I open up the chain plate deck opening and observe that the core is solid and free of rot, am I taking sufficient preventive action by simply "coating"(with a brush and epoxy) the walls of the opening in order to seal the core surfaces that may become exposed to leaking between periodic re-bedding intervals?  Also, if the core is solid, but perhaps a little wet, does the application of rubbing alcohol help in drying the core surface before coating it with epoxy?  Any other suggestions on drying would be great. By the way, I opened up one chain plate hole yesterday just so see what my core looked like.  I needed to close it back up quickly, so I rebedded it with Butyl Tape.  I gotta say that Butyl Tape is pretty awesome stuff.  SUPER easy to work with and cleanup was an absolute breeze.  Thanks All.
Today, my mechanic was performing routine annual maintenance on my engine.  He started and ran the engine earlier in the day, and it(and the fuel pump) ran fine.  After changing the fuel filter, he wanted to bleed the fuel line, but said he could not get the fuel pump to turn on(I'm assuming the fuel pump turns on when you roll the ignition key over into first position).  He says he checked the connections at the pump and all seemed okay.  He also substituted a spare/new fuel pump, which also did not work. I'm assuming that the fuel pump gets it's power directly from the ignitions switch, correct?  If so, is it possible that there is a blown fuse? Any ideas what might have happened to cause the pump to stop working?  Thanks.
Main Message Board / New Chain Plate Source?
November 22, 2012, 08:59:17 PM
I'm planning to re-bed my chain plates on my '86 and want to know where I can buy some new chain plates?  Could not find any at Catalina Direct.  Thanks.
Main Message Board / Need Sail Brand Recommendation
August 24, 2012, 08:28:40 AM
I may be in need of a new sail for my '86 soon but I'm not sure who to buy from(I'm in So. Cal.).  A friend recommended "National Sails", who appear very price competitive, but they are in Florida.  If I have a service issue, my boat will be "dead in the water" for days or weeks if the sail is getting serviced out of state.  There is a Doyle Sails and a North Sails loft near where I live.  I'd like the board's input on Doyle vs. North, or any other recommendations.  Thanks everyone.
I have not used my anchor.  My windlass has a smooth barrel with a lower gypsy for the chain probably pretty typical. I envision winching in the rode with the rope around the smooth barrel section of the windlass.  When I get to the chain section of the rode, do I stop the windlass before the chain reaches the windlass, or can I bring the chain section of the rode in a few feet with the chain ON the barrel, then maybe put a snubber on the chain(to bear the weight of the chain and anchor) while I transition the chain off the barre and on to the gypsy?   I have a bad back so I won't be able to stop the chain short of the windlass and "pull" the rode whatsoever to get the chain the last few feet to the gypsy.  Thanks.
Main Message Board / Need Lewmar 46 Jaw Kit
February 08, 2012, 05:03:10 PM
The jaws on my Lewmar 46 self tailing winches on my 1986 C34 are worn and need replacing.  I tried the 44st/46st kit, but it doesn't fit my older winches.  Lewmar says they don't make the jaw kits any longer for my winch.  Does anyone have a source for these older jaw kits?  Thanks.
Main Message Board / Windlass Wiring
January 13, 2012, 06:23:37 PM
My '86 has a Simpson Lawrence windlass(Probably 5 yrs old?).  It's not working properly, but I think it's because the P.O. put a small length of 12 guage wire where there should have been 2 guage.  I'm replacing that tomorrow.  However,  I notice the tech articles all show the use of a solenoid or a contactor between the breaker an the windlass motor.  My wiring goes from the battery, to a breaker, directly to the footswitch then to the windlass motor.  No solenoid or contactor.  The owner's manual shows this as the proper installation for this unit.  Should I be concerned that I don't have a solenoid/contactor configuration?  Thanks.
I'm having a mechanic replace my engine panel on my '86 next Monday.  I gave him all of this site's info and instructions pertaining to the engine wiring harness "Critical upgrade".  My question is, does ALL of the existing wiring between the engine and the panel necessarily need to be replaced or is it possible that 25 year old wiring could still be in satisfactory condition?  I told him to "use his judgement" as to whether to replace entire wire runs.  Would appreciate your input.  Thanks.
Does anyone know where I can buy a replacement "T" handle for the engine shutoff for my '86?  Cat Direct has them with the entire cable kit, but I don't need the cable(or want to spend $105 to get the handle.  Alternatively, does anyone know the thread size and count?  Thanks.
Can anyone in the So. Cal. area share their list of local service providers?  Need referrals for General repair and installations, Electrician, Diesel maint,  Rigger, Teak work, Canvas, Boat Yard/bottom painter,  whatever you've got....  Thanks Much. 
Main Message Board / Need Haulout Checklist
October 07, 2011, 10:57:59 PM
Does anyone have a checklist of service items I should address during my next haulout for bottom paint?  Thanks much. 
I have an '86 with the tiny bow roller.  I'd like to use a Bruce type anchor, but I don't believe the existing roller will work without pulling the anchor into the hull and damaging it.  So I think I need a longer roller, perhaps like the unit I've seen at Catalina Direct. 
I'm concerned about the amount of leverage that could be put on the longer roller unit in rolling seas where the bow is pitching up and down....  I've seen some of the great roller designs here, but these are beyond my capabilities to construct.  I have an idea of how I might relieve the pressure on the roller, but wanted your opinions(these ideas always sound great on paper or when sitting at home right?).  Once anchored, can't I relieve the pressure on the roller by grabbing the rode just BELOW/in front of the roller, manually haulling in about 5-8 feet of it(or motoring forward a few feet), and tying it off to the bow cleat?  Now when the boat pitches, won't the pressure be on the cleat and off of the roller?  Granted, when I haul the anchor in, I'll need to transition back to the roller, which will now need to bear the tension/weight of the rode, chain and anchor....  Your thoughts?  Thanks.
Mark Sutherland, Palomar
I have an '86 and it seems quite a challenge to move the aft mattress to allow access to the rear hull area(under mattress) where the engine battery is located.  Any tips on how to make this any easier?  Thanks
Main Message Board / C34 Maintenance Schedule
October 09, 2010, 05:50:03 PM
I just bought a 1986 C34.  Can anyone tell me where to find a good, thorough maintenance schedule before I spend the time to create one myself?  The manual seems a bit weak.  Thanks everyone. 
I'm looking at buying a 1986 C34.  The owner says the hour meter does not work, but says he thinks the boat has around 1500 hours on it.  The troubling thing is that the "thousands" digit of the hour meter is on "3", seeming to indicate that the motor has at least 3,000 hours on it.  Is it possible that the hour meter could be erroneously showing 3,000+ hours when actual hours are only 1500?  I don't know enough about the mechanics of an hour meter to know if this is possible, but it seems far-fetched to me.  Thanks.