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Topics - Ron Hill

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Main Message Board / Scupper Hose Size (standard transom) ?
« on: September 11, 2010, 01:00:24 PM »
Does anyone know the size and length of the scupper hoses?  

Main Message Board / Mk I Companion way hatch squeak !
« on: July 23, 2010, 06:40:15 PM »
I was asked by one of the Message Board readers about the aluminum strips that I put under that hatch to stop the squeak/squeal when you open or close that hatch.

I decided to answer his question with a new topic, because that was my 1st attempt(aluminum strips) -that only worked for a short time before the noise started up again.

The real fix that now has lasted 10/15? years is the lexan strips that replaced the aluminum strips - they "silenced the beast" and do last.  My original lexan strips are still in place.
I took some 1/8" - 3/16" lexan (NOT acrylic as it can crack) and cut two 1 inch wide and 5 foot long strips.  I placed them under the companion way hatch inside the track the hatch rides in.  I drilled a small countersunk hole in each of the cockpit ends of the strips and screwed them (dab of caulk) to the inside of that track.  The lexan(polycarbonate) is "slippery" enough that the hatch glides over the strips with out the shriek that can "wake the dead".  
Problem solved

Main Message Board / Interesting situation - almost sunk the boat!
« on: July 04, 2010, 02:16:28 PM »
My slip mate next to me has a Westerly 34 (center cockpit) about the late 1980s vintage.  He has a Volvo engine and a Volvo drippless packing gland. 
Before he left the dock he ran his normal "preflight", which included squeezing the billows of the packing gland.  All was found to be OK.
He'd traveled (motered) about 2 miles down river when he asked the 1st Mate to get his chart that was down below.  The 1st Mate came back and said the water was just above the floor boards !!  He called out a MAYDAY and several people responded. 
Coming to his aide was Tow Boat US, a local Sea Rescue and a some other individual boats.  Someone thru him a line which he secured to his boat and was under tow.  The boat was eventually being towed to the travel lift by the Sea Rescue from the original "tower".  After the boat was lifted the 1st tower claimed SALVAGE !!

The moral to this story is two fold :
1. The first question to ask when someone throws you a line is "is this a tow or salvage" !!  Then you have to decide if you will accept or decline.
2. If you have a bellow for your drippless packing be aw here that when the bellows breaks, you better find a travel lift fast.  I've never been an advocate of the bellows.  As I've sad many times you can use a shoe string to stuff in a regular packing gland if you have nothing else.

As I find out more I'll keep you posted.  Why he didn't beach the boat is beyond me, as we only have a 3 ft tide?

In the Jan 2010 issue of Seaworthy, Boat US talks about towing vs salvage.  You might want to read it!!

A few items to think about. 

Main Message Board / C34 Displacement (weight)
« on: March 23, 2010, 05:26:44 PM »
Guys, Susan and D. Gill : There have been a number of posts on the weight of a C34.
In a recent post Paul Leible is going to have the yard weigh his boat when it goes back into the water in May. 
I have a word of caution: All State laws require cranes and other such heavy lifting construction equipment to have their strain gage/s calibrated every year or two - for safety reasons.  This calibration insures the operator doesn't overload the lifting device and cause an accident (ie. crane topples over!)  Apparently this law doesn't apply to travel lifts (that I know of or it isn't being enforced).  Most boat yards (in Virginia anyway) have broken strain gages or they have never been checked.  So the weight that they give you for each sling could be suspect. 

The bottom line is if you want to really get a good weight for your C34, you need to get a son-in-law State Trooper to arrive at the marina - with a TRUCK Weigth Scale!!  They use those gadgets to weigh trucks and impose overload $$ fines!!  That's as close as you can get to a correct weight. 
A consideration.    :wink:

Main Message Board / Mk I propane hose length ?
« on: January 15, 2010, 08:34:22 AM »
Does anyone know the propane hose length from the LPG tank box to the stove? - STANDARD transom with the propane locker box on a plywood platform over the steering quadrant in the center of the aft lazerette. 

Main Message Board / Insuring self locking nuts are installed properly!
« on: January 06, 2010, 05:44:30 PM »
I was looking at some some posts of pictures (critical updates) with self locking nuts on this Message Board.  To my surprise I found some nuts that although they are of the self locking style were installed and the self locking mechanism was NOT engaged - therefore they are not locked!!!

First of all there are two types of self locking nuts. One has thin vertical serrations which are slightly bent inward (operating like a spring) and the other has a nylon "bushing" embedded in the open end.  The all metal (no nylon) are the expensive type.  Another style, but not a true self locking nut is a nut that has a peen (hammered indentation) to make the threads bind rather than turn easily. 
The reuse of self locking nuts is another discussion all in itself!!

To make any self locking nut LOCK, the standard is to have a portion of one thread showing above the nylon mechanism or open end of the nut.
If you can't have that thread showing you are fooling youself and might better use a thin nut with a lock washer.  There are thinner self locking nuts available, but they are usually special order items.

"Check your Nuts!!"   A few thoughts

Main Message Board / Hose Selection
« on: January 03, 2010, 05:43:50 PM »
Guys : I posted this in reply to a long string of answers to "Overheating" posts and the "same colored hose as your engine", but thought it should be information that all should read. 

The problem that you get into is that a hose usually starts to break down from the inside and at the outside radius of a bend.  So you really don't know how good/bad old hoses really are.  I usually change out hoses about every 8-10 years, but you need to inspect each hose every season looking for cracks and chaff spots.

The factory tended to use the expensive wire reinforced hose for every connection (they buy in bulk).  That isn't necessary and in one case I know of may have been detrimental !!  You only need wire reinforced hose for connections that go INTO the suction side of a pump or the hose makes an acute turn roughly 45 degrees or more.  That insures the hose will not collaps from suction or be restricted inside by the bend. 
The hoses that go on the OUTPUT of a pump only need to be nylon reinforced.  There are some exceptions such as preformed hoses to make tight or screwy turnes, fuel rated hoses and exhaust hose that needs to be exhaust rated.  Most of the hoses wire/nylon need to be of high quality and temperature rated (heater) hoses.

The determinital wire hose I mentioned is the hose from the HX anti syphon to the nipple on the exhaust riser (raw water mixes with the exhaust gases).  After I replaced the factory wire reinforced hose with a nylon (MORE flexable) hose, I didn't have any more nipple welds cracking. Too much engine vibration transmitted thur that stiffer wire hose, I suspect !!!
A few thoughts

Main Message Board / Extended Life Antifreeze/Coolant
« on: August 12, 2009, 06:14:26 PM »
When I got back home I checked my Prestone Extended Life Antifreeze bottle.  It says:

1. May be added to the antifreeze/coolant of any make or model auto or light truck on the road today,     foreign or domestic.
2. May be added to ANY color antifreeze
3. Protects aluminum and all other engine metals
4. Provides extended life protection for up to 150,000 miles or 5 years

This is definitely not Dex - what ever that brand is!!
I first ran across the Prestone extended life (orange in color) when it was in the new C35 (M35BC engine) that came from the dealer. 

I wouldn't immediately rush out an change my antifreeze, but if you were to change a hose, replace a riser or have some other reason to drain the antifreeze - I'd replace it with the Orange Extended life.  Also remember to dilute with distilled/rain water, so the chemicals in tap water don't change the chemistry. 
A few thoughts

Guys : I believe that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to a topic subject and sticking on that same topic !! 
I wanted to re look at a particular topic, but the search turned up BLANK.  I never know the correct title to look for so I have to guess.  Then was it might be in another title, but the discussion wondered and it was in an unrelated topic ?!?  So :
1. Make your topic title specific
2. Don't wonder off that topic within that discussion
3. If you have an unrelated question - make a new topic, don't ask it in an unrelated topic

Main Message Board / 1988 Adler-Barbour Fuse size & Tips
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:17:37 PM »
I checked my Cold Machine Operating Manual (copyright 1985) on page 15 states:
"If you connect in reverse (wire polarity), the fuse will blow and the system will not operate.  Should this occur, correct your wiring and replace the fuse.  A spare fuse is bagged and stapled to the compressor wiring harness (Buss GLN-10 or AGC-10 )."

I checked mine today and I have a red 10amp fuse in place.  As I said on this message board and in a Mainsheet article years back, too large a fuse (15amp) was installed in my unit.  A bundle of line fell down and blocked the cooling fan causing the fuse to blow - that's when I found that the fuse was too large.  I replaced the 15 amp fuse with a 10 amp (about 10years ago) and haven't had a problem since. (the dock lines are secured now!!!)

Someone asked about the thermostate settings.  #1 is the warmest and #7 is the coldest.  I took some red finger nail polish and made marks on the dial    a dot by #4  , a "-" at #1 and "+" at #7.  Now you don't need to see the numbers anymore!!

A few thoughts for what it's worth. 

Main Message Board / Alert - Engine Crankshaft Lipseals
« on: June 29, 2008, 02:15:12 PM »
I'm in the process of writing an article for the Mainsheet Tech notes on this topic. That seal just spoiled Pete's recent sail when he found engine oil "all over the place".  It sounds like this is the second time as he pulled the engine and thought that seal was fixed.
It's ironic, but the same thing happened to me (spoiling my fall cruise this past year).  Pulled the engine, fixed the seal, reinstalled the engine and it leaked again!  In my case it was also the rear seal.  As I recall that seal is about $30(from Kubota), but a GIANT pain to get to it.  My first seal had a 1 " tear in the lip.  The second problem was that the replacement seal did not remain sealed and was coming out (not seated) on the starboard side.  I'd guess that it was just a matter of time till it would have popped  completely out. 

This past week I also got a call from a friend with a 1989 C34.  In his case the front crankshaft lip seal had a split in it, but the results were the same!  I'll go into more detail in that Mainsheet article.

I believe that what's happening is that age of our engines (20years) is starting to enter into the equation.  Even though 10,000 hours is touted for a diesel, the seals are getting old and at our usage (>200 hrs/yr) will never last to reach that number!!! The owners that use their boats all year around may get closer to the 10,000 hr number, but old age will eventually catch up with them!!

I don't believe that there is a magic preventive, but you should be alert to what's happening to your engine and overheating doesn't help matters any:
I caught my leak with a fuel diaper under the engine.  It was a small drop at first so I decided to watch it and still go on a 6 week cruise.  I check the engine every 30 min or so (religiously). It finally got to the point that we had started home after 5 weeks, but had to shut off the engine (couldn't keep oil in it) and accept a tow for the last few miles (less than 15 NM from the slip).

What to look for every 30-45 min:
Look at the raw water pump weep hole and make sure that no oil or water is coming out.  Pete would    have caught that leak had he done that check -- as I wrote in the Mainsheet Tech notes mid 90s -"Wouldn't it be a shame if a raw salt water leak that was let go caused the oil pan to rust out"!
Look thru the alternator door in the head (MK1 only) and observe the oil sender, starter and bell housing.  Also look at the alternator (a friend looked in once and the nut on the main + lead had backed off!)
Look thru the starboard access door and you can also see the packing gland and some of the white fuel diaper.  You can also see if there are any fuel leaks from the lines, injector pump, injectors and filter.
Look at the raw water strainer (MK1 only) thru the door under the head sink. Also note the racor filter
All in all, inspect your engine while it's running to make sure everything is OK.

You won't be hearing from me too much on the Message Board anymore.  Most of the questions have already been answered and they are well documented - you just have to read them. 
I plan on spending more time writing new Mainsheet Tech note articles.  So those of you that like to see what's new in the solutions area, should Join the C34IA and stop getting free info off our web site Only 700 members out of over 1700 hulls is not really a great showing!

Fair Winds, Ron   



Main Message Board / Happy Father's Day
« on: June 15, 2008, 06:29:51 PM »
For all you guys that are Captains and Fathers, may you have Fair Winds and a Happy Crew!!   :thumb:

Main Message Board / Towing WAKE - UP !
« on: October 13, 2007, 07:08:13 PM »
Guys : Ran into a problem today that meant shutting down the engine (more on that some other time).  Then the wind quit!  I checked into being towed 12.8NM with Boat US towing.  I was not in an isolated area.  The costs were between $800 and $1100 - No I didn't make a typo!!!

Guess that with inflation and the increased fuel costs, the bottom line is that anthing less than "unlimited towing" is worthless - so don't bother with any lesser programs !!!!!!   :cry4`

Main Message Board / Gone Sailing !!
« on: May 03, 2007, 07:30:23 PM »
Guys : I plan on throwing off the dock lines tomorrow for a 6 week cruise (wherever the wind takes us on the Chesapeake Bay).
Plan on enjoying "the hell" out of my newly installed windlass (INSIDE the 2 door anchor well).  It's amazing what a double hernia surgery last fall will cause someone to design!!

You won't be hearing from me a often.  The web site has too many graphics and takes too long to download.  When I get to a place with WiFi - I'll log on.  Otherwise I'll not chew up cell phone batteries - too cheap to pay for a 12 month hi speed that I'll only use 2 months out of a year.

Hard to believe, but 99% of all your questions being asked have already answered on this web site.  My student and librarian will feed you the proper link (smile). 

Have fun  :clap

Main Message Board / Re Visit - Cracked Engine Mount Brackets
« on: March 20, 2007, 05:46:45 PM »
Thought I'd start a new thread. 
I thought it strange that I hadn't heard about this problem on the M25XP engine before.  I had heard that the M35Aengine had some cracked engine mount problems - a friend had one.  The pictures in that post were from a M35A engine.

Rick sent me a copy of the Westerbeke Service bulletin #214 (17 May 1994) which outlined the problem which I thank him for.  The key is in Westerbeke's wording that "fracturing across the bracket just forward of where the lower support gusset for the bracket terminates."   The M25XPAengine has NO gussets on their engine mount brackets!!  I checked 5 M25XP"A" engines and my parts manual, and found NO gussets (the 45 degree support bracket welded on the underside).  The M25XPA engines appear to have a "thicker" bracket.

I believe that the problem is isolated to the M25XPB engine (26hp) and the M35A engines (30hp).  The M25XPB engines were installed in the later C30s while the M35A engines were limited to the early 1990s C34 & C36 Catalina's.

Always inspect your engine mount brackets, but my limited research indicates that the Front Mount Cracking Bulletin is not referring to the M25XPA engines in the C34s!!  This might well be a topic for a Mainsheet Article!!   :clap

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