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Topics - John Langford

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Main Message Board / Backup regulator
« on: March 12, 2007, 09:32:20 PM »
Has anyone ever identified a cheap automotive regulator that can be used as a short term backup if the "smart" external regulator packs it in while on a cruise and far away from a marine electronic store?

Main Message Board / Cored or not?
« on: October 09, 2006, 09:09:53 PM »
I have searched but I can't find much information on whether or not the stanchion pad bolts and chainplates on the MKII are through cored deck or pure fibreglass. Does anyone know for sure?

Main Message Board / Moving genoa sheet winches aft
« on: September 07, 2006, 08:31:29 PM »
I have searched and not found any threads on moving the foresail winches on MKIIs aft along the coaming so that they can be easily accessed from behind the wheel by a single hander. I have done some measuring and it looks feasible as long as the port side winch is positioned to provide enough room for the locker cover. Both winches would have to be placed on "Starboard" pads high enough to allow the winch handle to clear the lower lifeline. On the starboard side it looks as if the optimal position might even allow for accessing the attachment bolts through the aft overhead light fixture in the aft cabin. The sheeting angles look pretty good and it would also be possible to get rid of the deck blocks on both sides thus reducing friction when sheeting in.

Those are my thoughts so far. If anyone else has done this or thought more clearly about it I would be delighted to hear from you. This is not the kind of thing you want to do until you have worked it out completely.

Main Message Board / Galley flooring
« on: September 06, 2006, 09:08:50 PM »
Does anyone know the brand name of the grey industrial rubber floor covering used in the galley of the MK IIs?

Main Message Board / Going faster
« on: August 11, 2006, 08:55:17 PM »
I have traded my three blade Michigan wheel for a feathering Kiwi prop, tweaked the rig and the stock sails, downsized to lighter sheets and replaced the stock deck turning blocks with Ronstan track blocks to reduce friction and sheet hang up. The results have been spectacular. I am going much faster, keeping moving in light airs and tacking much quicker. The C&C 99 that was leaving me in the dust is now in my gun sights especially if we are slightly off the wind. This, BTW, is all in friendly racing among cruisers sailing from anchorage to anchorage.

Now I want to kick it up a notch and the question is will I get a suitable return on an investment in a new sail. The stock foresail is still in reasonably good shape except that the sunbrella UV cover needs work. But it feels heavy and I lust after a new UK dacron possibly with spectra reinforcing if that is an option. Should I save my money or go for it?

Main Message Board / Main sheet at wheel
« on: May 08, 2006, 01:46:57 PM »
One design flaw of the C34 from a single handers perspective is that you are a long way from the main sheet especially when you are going down wind in strong weather, the autohelm is not up to the job and a jibe looms. So, I am just about to purchase a block with cam cleat and becket which I will attach to the aft starboard cleat with a couple of turns of kevlar line. When it looks like I might need instant access to the mainsheet I will leave one turn of the sheet on the sheet winch drum under the dodger, lead the sheet through the block and take control of it from behind the wheel. The run of the sheet does not interfere with the starboard sheet winch. It ain't pretty but it should work when off the wind.

Any thoughts?

Main Message Board / Heat exchanger zinc
« on: May 07, 2006, 09:40:09 AM »
I noticed a complaint in another thread about how hard it is to change the heat exchanger zinc. It reminded me that a very knowledgable (navy electronics guy) boating colleague  recently told me about his very novel (to me anyway) approach to heat exchanger zincs. His view is that most of the erosion of the heat exchanger zinc is due to the rush of water over the zinc and not from any electrolysis problems. He never uses normal zincs in his heat exchanger. Instead he threads a suitable length of soft steel bolt into the bronze zinc holder and substitutes it for the normal zinc. he argues that the soft steel is suitably less "noble" to handle any electrolysis issues and will not be subject to water erosion. It sounds convincing and I would love to stop buying zincs every 6 months. Any thoughts?

Main Message Board / Reefing the main
« on: March 06, 2006, 09:48:49 PM »
Has anyone else noticed that when you put in the first reef in the main there is considerable stress on the sailcloth and the second slug? The reefing line forward wants to pull the sailcloth all the way down to the boom but the track stop on the mast does not let the first and second slugs come down to the boom.  The first slug is loosely connected to the sail by a line running along the luff of the sail but the second slug is more tightly fastened with sail webbing. Would extending the line arrangement to the second slug make a difference? If this has been an issue for others, has anyone come up with a solution?

Main Message Board / Hurth reduction ratio
« on: February 16, 2006, 09:25:13 PM »
I did a search (pace Stu) but can't find the reduction ratio for the Hurth gearbox on the Universal M35B. I think it is 1:79:1 Can anyone confirm that?

Main Message Board / Replumbing and relocating macerator pump
« on: February 07, 2006, 10:19:33 AM »
Further to the excellent exchange on holding tank replacement I thought there might be some interest in my recent replumbing and relocation of the macerator pump - at least on the part of owners who are allowed to have a macerator pump.

While replacing all the original black Shield sanitary hoses with new expensive smooth walled white stuff from West Marine I decided that I didn't like having hose at the lowest point in the system leading to the macerator pump. My sense was that most of the smell came from this hose as it was always in contact with the stuff in the bottom of the tank. So I replaced the hose from the tank to the macerator pump with solid ABS black plumbing pipe and fittings. Here is how I did it. A 1 1/2”ABS coupling connects the T at the bottom of the tank to a short piece of pipe then a 90 degree coupling which leads to a second short length of pipe and two couplings that allow me to go back to a 5" length of  hose and onto the end of the Jabsco macerator pump. I also moved the pump up off the hull so that it is located almost level with the top of the tank and attached to a cedar block on the inside of the settee base. This would facilitate replacing it without a mess if it ever failed. It is Murphy's Law that the pump will fail when the tank is full and a pumpout station is nowhere to be found.

BTW, I also noticed that the tank is not evenly supported underneath. I have used a piece of cedar cut to size to support the whole of the aft end of the tank. Not perfect but it will do until I have to pull the tank. I also intend to redo the teflon tape on the inspection port. With the help of the deity I will beat back the evil pong!

Main Message Board / A much better story
« on: August 24, 2005, 08:39:53 PM »
I have had a Standard Horizon CP150C chart plotter in a pod at the helm since I bought the boat. Last week I got caught in a strong rain storm and the plotter was pelted for about 30 minutes. The next morning it didn't turn on and a day later condensation became visible in the screen. So I opened it up and it had a lot of water inside. I dried it out and sprayed the board with contact cleaner but it never worked again.

I got back on Sunday and Monday brought the plotter into my local West Marine where I had bought it. Here is where the story gets good. I had misplaced my receipt but they had a record of the purchase from 2003. So there was no fuss about date of purchase. The unit has a three year waterproof warranty so the folks at WM offered to send it to Standard Horizon for repair/replacement OR they said I could upgrade to the newer CP155C for the difference in the price. I chose the latter. When we discovered that the newer model was less than the price I had payed originally, they refunded me the difference! :clap It just doesn't get better than that.

Now all I have to do is figure out if the leak was a one off event or if this is a structural problem. I have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the fit of the gasket when I opened my original plotter and found the water.

Anyway, three cheers for West Marine. They made my day.

Main Message Board / Another stanchion story
« on: August 24, 2005, 08:24:18 PM »
Awhile back I mentioned in a posting that I had a gelcoat crack under the furthest aft port stanchion (where the lifelines open) and noted that it looked like I would have to remove the medicine cabinet in the head to get at the nuts and washers.  Since no one mentioned it at the time, let me now affirm that there are no nuts and washers under the medicine cabinet. Both legs of that stanchion base are bolted into glassed in plates. I haven't checked everywhere, but it looks like this is the only stanchion fastened in this manner.

BTW, taking off the medicine cabinet requires only the loosening of the four BIGGEST screws in the back of the cabinet (not all of them) and the release of the wire tie holding down the 110v electrical cable into the outlet in the cabinet. But now that you know about the stanchion, you won't need that information.

Main Message Board / Tufted topper
« on: August 11, 2005, 02:50:11 PM »
Has anyone tried the "tufted topper" which is a cover for the mattress designed to enhance the comfort of 4" of foam? Is it worth it? Can you bend it easily to gain access to lockers under one side of the bunk? Anything else I should know about this product?

Main Message Board / drawer pulls
« on: August 03, 2005, 09:03:44 PM »
Has anyone had to find a source for the drawer pulls on the 1999 Mark II? The manufacturer seems to be Mosela in Sweden but I can't find them on the web. The pulls have a black plastic thumb and finger twist handle in a ss or chromed brass circular frame. They fit in a 1 1/2" hole. Are they still being used in the new boats? If so i can probably get them from Catalina.

Main Message Board / Engine overheating
« on: July 31, 2005, 09:23:35 PM »
I blew the belt on my engine yesterday on the last day of a three week cruise and I am not sure if I should be doing further tests to determine if the overheating caused any permanent damage.

I was motoring out to the wind line and I noticed that I had no tach reading and the voltage registered about 12 volts. I went below to check the e-meter and look at the smart charge regulator. When I opened the engine compartment I saw that the belt (Gates Green Line) was shredded and I shut down the engine. The temperature reading was just above 200 degrees at that point and I had coolant and steam bubbling out of the radiator cap. I changed the belt (great fun in a seaway) and two hours later fired the engine up again to get into my slip. It worked fine for over 30 minutes. I have replaced about a cup of coolant. Everything else seems fine. Should I be looking further for problems? BTW, the engine is an M35B.

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