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Messages - John Langford

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Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: October 01, 2019, 06:54:30 PM »
Happy to start the conversation you suggest Jim. Iíll marshal my thoughts and post in a new thread. Iím sure that other Catalina 34 owners have made a move like this, or are at least thinking about it.

Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: September 29, 2019, 04:48:44 PM »
So that I could sort out which, if any, off the shelf mufflers might be used as a replacement if my original muffler gave up the ghost.

All moot, Iím afraid. We recently trade Calypso in as part of the purchase of a Ranger Tug. While we miss the sailing, motoring along at 8 knots in our shirtsleeves in the always cool and often rainy Pacific Northwest is proving to be a real treat. Calypso is in the good hands of Jim and Allison Lucas who, ironically, are moving from a powerboat to sail. I hope they become active members of the Association.

Finally, thanks to all of the active members of this list for your informative analysis, ideas, and even sympathy as we worked together to keep these fine yachts in great shape. Itís the best boating list in the world and I feel privileged to have been a member for over 16 years. Give the MV Surprise a wave if you see us out there. I guarantee no peace threatening wakes!

Main Message Board / Edson pedestal cable yoke
« on: June 01, 2019, 12:24:51 PM »
Another day, another weird boating incident.

Leaving Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island, in the San Juan Islands, I noticed that the throttle lever moved slightly when I alternated the gear lever between neutral and forward. By the time I cleared the Harbor, I could not move either the gear or throttle control without the other lever moving around a lot. Effectively, I could not use the gear lever without firmly gripping the throttle lever and couldnít shift into neutral or reverse at all without the the throttle lever forcing up the revs. No fun at all.

Since I had always thought of the two functions as being independent, I couldnít figure out what was going on. Instead of trying to reanchor and work on the problem I left the motor ticking over in forward and sailed back to my home port, 13 miles away.  But when I approached the marina I couldnít sort out how I could get into it and down the passage to my finger and then stop the boat. In the end, I turned the motor off and on while in forward and at the end Ďdead stickedí into the slip without too much fuss. Luckily the wind was light.

I took apart the binnacle and the Edson pedestal cable cover in the aft cabin but couldnít see what was going on inside the pedestal. The throttle and gear shift cables were both properly connected at the motor end. It was my neighbour who saw me staring at the problem and suggested that there was a yoke halfway up the pedestal that secured the pedestal end of BOTH cables. Thus, the unusual interaction between them. We removed the guts of the engine panel lower down the pedestal and found a nylock nut and a washer and the hole for the bolt securing the yoke to the pedestal. But no sign of the bolt. We took off the wheel. I manipulated the two cables from below until he could see the end of the bolt. Then, putting a long screwdriver down into the pedestal from above I was able to push on the loose yoke until eventually he was able to capture the bolt as it poked through the hole in the pedestal wall. This was a lengthy and frustrating experience that left me with a few choice words I would have loved to share with the Edson pedestal designers. Deployed a healthy dose of loctite, tightened down the bolt and put the whole mess back together. Status quo ante.

Further thought. If you have your engine panel apart for any reason, you might want to put a wrench on the nylock nut visible at the back of the panel.

Main Message Board / Re: Finding the waterline
« on: February 26, 2019, 12:50:35 PM »
Thanks for the replies. I guess you thereís no easy way so Iíll just start drilling holes in the hull until water comes in. Photos to follow. 😬😬😬

Main Message Board / Finding the waterline
« on: February 19, 2019, 03:17:34 PM »
I would like to accurately establish how far above or below the waterline the engine raw water outflow joins the exhaust riser in the engine room on the MK II with the M35BC. There must be a simple way to do this that is less trouble than attaching a clear hose to the raw water intake and observing how high the water column rises inside the hose. Any suggestions?

Also, by rough measurement I estimate the capacity of the M35BC aqua lift muffler to be about 12 litres. Has anyone actually done a more accurate measurement?

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 27, 2019, 11:43:04 AM »
One further thought on orientation of the gauge. If you use an oil-filled Durachoice gauge then vertical orientation allows you to rezero the gauge by pulling out the plunger without losing oil. Any other orientation would make adjusting the gauge problematic I believe.  BTW, I chose the oil filled gauge because it helps steady the action of the gauge if it is subject to vibration. Since I ended up installing it to the wall of engine box it shouldnít be vibrating along with the engine. So perhaps I could have chosen a gauge model that wasnít oil filled.

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 26, 2019, 04:50:28 PM »
Thanks to all. A drag needle would have been good. I sail mostly alone so leaving the helm, removing the steps and lifting the companionway engine hatch for a look while running at 2200 rpm isnít without its challenges. So far I have only checked it at the dock running at 1500rpm.

Main Message Board / Fuel line vacuum gauge
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:45:14 PM »
Inspired by a Cruising World piece, I recently installed an oil filled Durachoice 0-30 inHg vacuum gauge between my primary Racor filter and my fuel pump. I installed it vertically against the wooden frame for the engine compartment on the starboard side with gauge facing forward. It can be read by lifting the companionway access hatch under the upper set of steps. The installation was straightforward and the engine works fine. So fuel supply is fine. The odd thing is that there is no deflection of the gauge when the engine is running. I have recently changed filters so I wouldnít expect much deflection. But none?

Any thoughts?

The Cruising World article can be found at:

Main Message Board / Re: Manus swivel
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:08:12 PM »
I have just installed a Mantus swivel between 150ft of 1/4Ē G4 chain and a 33lb Rocna.  I havenít used it in anger yet but l am totally impressed by the design of the swivel and the integrity of the installation itself. Itís a lot more robust than any other swivel I have encountered. Iím using it with a Maxwell 500 windlass.

Main Message Board / Re: Maxwell VW800
« on: November 21, 2018, 07:42:04 PM »
I have the VW 500 in an earlier (1999) mkII. Because it is installed horizontally, I couldnít check the oil using the viewing window on the body of the motor. So I felt the need to check and replace the oil about 10 years ago. I did have to remove one ledge and trim to take out the wooden bulkhead. Even though I had anchored out almost every night, averaging 50 plus nights on the hook each summer, the oil was fine. I donít recall needing a new seal kit to reassemble the unit. As Ron recommends, I donít intend to try to change the oil again unless I hear strange noises coming from the windlass or see evidence
of a leak. But I do take apart the drum and gypsy each year and grease the shaft.

Main Message Board / Westerbeke 30C Three
« on: November 21, 2018, 07:04:28 PM »
For a second year in a row, Westerbeke is offering this engine (25hp and 2.5:1 transmission) via distributors in Canada as a Christmas present for $7995.00 (Can) or about $6000.00 (US). Has anyone used this engine as a replacement for the Universal 25XP or 35B. Facing a rebuild or a cranky old age engine it looks like it might be an attractive alternative.

Main Message Board / Re: Jib Fairlead Track
« on: November 21, 2018, 06:52:22 PM »
More applause for Garhauer adjustable Genoa track cars. After the foresail furler and the autopilot, the adjustable Genny cars are the very best friend of the solo sailor.

Main Message Board / Re: Mk II oil pressure alarm
« on: November 12, 2018, 02:06:38 PM »
I installed a new oil pressure alarm switch over the weekend. It turned out to be not nearly as difficult as I anticipated. The key is removing the front wooden panel on the engine compartment. I then could get a box wrench on the nut used to tighten or loosen the oil pressure sender. Once it was out of the way, I could get large adjustable pliers on the body of the alarm switch and break it loose. I tidied up the small amount of oil that leaked out, installed the new switch and then the old sender, attached the wires to both units and tested the engine.

Unfortunately the new alarm switch didnít make much difference. The oil pressure gauge works fine, but the alarm buzzer still does not sound when the engine key switch is turned to the first position. When the key is turned further just briefly to engage the solenoid and glow plugs, and then returned to the first position, the alarm buzzer sounds. It does not sound after the engine is shut down and the key is left in the first position. I have no idea if the alarm will sound if I lose oil pressure underway. I suspect not.

Ah well, at least with Kenís help  I now know how the alarm system works and I feel more confident about dealing with its various components. I will improve the wiring at the oil switch terminal as Ken recommended and then lick my wounds...literally, as the wrench work in very tight quarters is not easy easy on the old bod.

Main Message Board / Re: Whatís on top of my water tank?
« on: November 04, 2018, 11:34:23 AM »
It is an inspection port. Most owners use Teflon tape to make it leak proof. Try one of those big plumbers wrenches but be gentle.

Main Message Board / Re: anchor chain on Maxwell VW 50windlass
« on: November 04, 2018, 11:32:23 AM »
An additional note. Before buying the Rocna I tried the Vulcan. It didnít fit nearly as well as the Rocna.  I would have needed a bigger bale. In addition, because of the shape of the shank it was harder to get the anchor to sit down on the roller. Finally, because of the shape the Vulcan would immediate launch itself if it wasnít properly tethered. I imagined the Vulcan, 150 ft of chain and 200 ft of rode piling into the water while I was beating to weather in 600 ft of water. The Rocna needs to be secured obviously, but it does sit quietly on the bow roller. Case closed.  BTW it does set immediately and dig in as advertised.

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