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Messages - Rick Allen

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Main Message Board / Re: Moved up to C34
« on: May 21, 2015, 12:47:04 PM »
Paul, Congratulations!  :clap

As the C34 IA Vice Commodore, I welcome you to the wonderful world of the Catalina 34!  On this site youíll find some of the best information about your boat given by some of the most knowledgeable owners and former owners on the planet.  They will welcome your questions and give helpful advice.
Please feel free to explore the vast information already available on the site.

Welcome aboard!


Main Message Board / Re: 20 years with a misrun main halyard
« on: May 21, 2015, 11:35:25 AM »

This just means you'll be winning even MORE races in the Bay!

Main Message Board / Re: water pressure pump doesn't shut off...
« on: May 19, 2015, 07:23:58 PM »
Last time that happened to me it was a small leak at the deck shower faucet by the helm seat. Took me forever to figure it out. I forgot I even had a deck shower!!

Main Message Board / Re: Stuffing box -
« on: May 11, 2015, 04:30:02 PM »
Iím right there with you brother! I just did mine a few weeks ago while she was on the hard getting painted.  The oxidation was stupid. It took me 3 hours of polishing just to get the stuffing box to slide up the shaft!! Iím 5í-10Ē 260 and Iím still sore!!
Knocking myself in the head for letting it go this long..
Hereís a few pictures:
And even a fun little timelapse I call ďThe Hunchback of AlamedaĒ..

Main Message Board / SmartPlug Install. A few tips..
« on: May 05, 2015, 04:28:34 PM »
After noticing a few burn marks on my 10 year old Marinco shore power cord, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new SmartPlug 30A 50í cord and boatside inlet. Iím sure everyone has seen Mainsailís great article on this product.

I, of course, was too lazy to take advantage of the special C34 pricing offered earlier this year. So I purchased the cord and the inlet from Catalina Direct at a great price with no shipping as I live just down the road from their warehouse. (Will Call is Goood..)

A few comments regarding installation:
My particular Catalina had very little extra wiring length available after I removed the old inlet, and trying to squeeze my 250lb rear end into the port lazarette was a sight to behold. I ended up paying a kid walking by the marina 5 bucks to snip a cable tie holding the romex wiring away from the edge of the coaming to give me some extra purchase. So be prepared for a long reach!!
After trimming each of the wires to the required 5/8Ē (Do not trim back any more than this!!) the wire inserted quite nicely into the back inlet. SmartPlug could not have made this easier for amateurs. The instructions are very easy to follow and everything fit perfectly.
I then slid the inlet unit into the existing hole and realized I had completely forgotten the supplied Rear Mounting Gasket!!! You must slide this on BEFORE attaching the wires to the unit. Itís an easy step to miss.
So after installing the gasket and reattaching the wires, the inlet fit perfectly into the existing hole and was secured by the existing screws. No drilling!

My only tiny complaint was the screw for the Strain Relief Component on the back of the inlet. It could have been a little beefy-er as it could be easy to strip. Not a big deal.
Anyway, the SmartPlug is a great and long overdue product and I feel much safer with it installed.

A few photos (sorry the boat was dirty that day..)


Main Message Board / Re: Facet Fuel Pump Heats Up
« on: May 01, 2015, 09:55:09 AM »
So I managed to get down to the boat yesterday for more investigation.  After replacing the ĹĒ return line, I placed the tank end into a bucket and ran the pump with the knurled knob closed. No fuel flowed into the bucket. Cool. Opened the knob half a turn, some fuel flowed into the bucket. Cool. Opened the knob all the way, major fuel flow into the bucket. Very cool.
Re-connected all the lines, checked all the connections, opened the knob half a turn, started and ran the engine under load in the slip at 2000RPM for 30 minutes. Fuel pump stayed COOL to the touch the entire time and the engine ran strong. I checked the voltage to the pump per Robert Mannís suggestion and it seems to be within normal range.

Saturday I will install a new K&N air filter with a different breather route as I noticed the OEM filter is in pretty bad shape. ďMainsailĒ has a good write-up on it.
But thatís a whole different threadÖ

Is the problem solved? Everything points to yes, but Iíll shake her down over the weekend and see.

Thanks to everyone here for the helpful suggestions. This group has never failed to respond when help is requested.

Corinthian sailors all.

Main Message Board / Re: Facet Fuel Pump Heats Up
« on: April 28, 2015, 11:17:37 PM »
Rick, have you run a voltage check at the fuel pump terminals?  Could this be an electrical issue?  If after a period the pump is overheating and losing efficiency due to either under or over voltage heating it up it could give the appearance of a fuel restriction.  Just a thought, if the mechanical fuel system issues all check out OK.

Good idea Robert, I'll add a multimeter to my bag of tricks when I head back to the boat on Saturday.
Also, Thanks Ron for the encouraging news about the injection pump. I was not looking forward taking that beast apart!

I'll report my progress next week!

Main Message Board / Re: Facet Fuel Pump Heats Up
« on: April 27, 2015, 05:45:01 PM »
Good questions Stu.

You have put what I was wondering about into clear ideas. I am wondering too if Rick's fuel tank pick up may blocked and need to be removed. If that filter is still in place it can cause the engine to falter after running for an hour.


Yes, the PO removed the fuel tank pick-up tube screen already and I removed the tube and made sure it was clear throughout. I'm making the assumption that the pump becoming hot and the engine faltering are part of the same problem. The pump is doing its job. It seems like a problem in the suck side as opposed to the blow side.

I'm down to the following ideas:
Replace the 1/2" fuel return line or check for a blockage (I've replaced all other fuel lines).
Re-check Racor fittings and check valves for a blockage
Look at the engine fuel injection pump, per Mr. Hill's Wiki article. Yuck..
Re-check the fuel tank itself for sludge continuing to block the pick-tube, which seems unlikely as the fuel pump IS pumping fuel...

Main Message Board / Re: Facet Fuel Pump Heats Up
« on: April 27, 2015, 12:57:46 PM »
Thanks Gary, if the solution is that simple then you'll drink free in California forever!

I hadnít really considered that option before, I must have assumed that even with the knurled knob tightened down it still allowed some fuel into the return line. Iíll give it a try next time Iím at the boat.

And I used to think it was my kids that gave me grey hairÖ.

Thank you sir.

Main Message Board / Facet Fuel Pump Heats Up
« on: April 27, 2015, 10:13:16 AM »
During the last several cruises, after an hour or so at 2500 RPM, the engine (25xp) will slowly lose power and die. My initial thought was air getting into the fuel system so I would immediately bleed the motor and after a while the engine will restart and regain power but only for another half hour or so, and then die out again. I would repeat the process until we were safely in the slip.
Another thing I noticed was our Facet pump was very hot, almost too hot to touch!  This sounds like either a bad pump or an obstruction in the line. After inspecting all the usual suspects, including but not limited to, air from the primary Racor, installing a new Racor filter, installing a new secondary filter, checking the screen in the Facet Pump (Clear) and checking the fuel tank inlet for the dreaded pick-up screen (PO had already removed it), I removed the pump and took it my local parts guy for an opinion. He quickly did a bench test and indicated the pump didn’t sound right to him and we determined the pump was bad.
So last weekend I installed the new pump, checked the elec connections, installed all new 3/8 fuel line(Except the ½ return line), Installed all new filters, bled the system, checked and rechecked for air intrusion or any other blockages. I also added a fuel pump line switch as I did most of this work alone. Fired the motor up, ran up and down the estuary at 2500RPM for about 45 minutes with no issues. I pulled into the slip and now the NEW Facet pump is HOT!
Well crap…
I’m starting to run out of ideas here.
It’s time to consult the experts..
The filter and lines are installed correctly. Tank to Primary Racor to Fuel pump to secondary filter to injection pump.
I’ve read through much of Mainsail’s information and also Mr. Hill’s posts in the Tech Wiki and they’ve been very helpful.
I am going to replace the ½ return line next as that’s the only one I haven’t replaced yet. I even replaced the short line that runs from the secondary filter to the injection pump (Which I believe was original!) Hopefully it isn’t the injection pump itself. There is a PO installed fuel shutoff valve at the tank and it looks and works ok.
Any other ideas?
Am I missing something obvious?
What else could be heating up the fuel pump?
I’m not looking forward to the engine quitting again in tight quarters and having Stu shadow me back to my slip (Which he has graciously done..  Twice)..

A few pictures are here:

Any help would be appreciated.


Congratulations and welcome good sir, you'll find many friendly experts here that can help guide you through you refitting process!
Do you happen to know your sail number? It will determine which upgrades or fixes might need to be looked at.

Good Luck!


Main Message Board / Re: installing a masthead wind transducer
« on: April 13, 2015, 09:08:42 AM »
Here's a link to a photo album of when we removed the mast for new equipment.

Good pictures of the masthead before an after...

Fleet 1 / Petaluma Cruise, May 15, 16 & 17th. Attend? Yes? No??
« on: April 08, 2015, 02:54:00 PM »
As we move closer to our fun cruise to Petaluma on May 15-17, I wanted to get a feel for who would like to attend. Weíre looking forward to having as many boats as possible on this great cruise! It looks like we would be departing the Alameda area early on Friday the 15th and returning the 17th with more logistical information to follow. We'd all like to hit the D Street bridge in Petaluma at about the same time so there's just one opening.
Please contact me with your intentions as Iím trying to get an accurate attendee count to find us all a good place for dinner Saturday night.  With the ďAmerican GraffitiĒ celebration occurring that same weekend, restaurant reservations may be tough!
So please contact me, as soon as humanly possible to RSVP for this wonderful trip!
Rick Allen  :thumb:
C34 Fleet 1 Cruise Chair
Cell and Text: 916-718-3789

Main Message Board / Re: Strictly Sail-Oakland California
« on: April 01, 2015, 11:33:37 AM »
I'll be taking the train out of Sacramento to the show on Friday.  Should be a nice day!

Main Message Board / Re: Wood under mast step
« on: April 01, 2015, 10:50:12 AM »
Jon, here is the bilge repair instructions from Catalina, I'm still looking for the repair pictures.

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