penumbra

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About penumbra

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    WLIS (ish)
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    On my boat I'm the captain. On your boat I'm the crew. When someone asks, I'm a yachtsman.

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  1. penumbra

    AIS Vessel Tracking Sites

    There are two options, technically, for such things: terrestrial and satellite. As memory serves, 3 companies have terrestrial networks of any size and they swap data between them. While many would like to think the network is the asset, the satellite data is rapidly becoming more cost effective for the square miles covered for commercial use cases. The problem with satellite, as you might expect, is separating the noise is in noisy places like harbors where lots of radios are broadcasting at once. The local receivers send the traffic from the host location to the server over the internet. The companies then build a database based on the traffic they see and augment that with user submissions to get pictures and such. There is also fake AIS where the apps send your location to them. That data, as far as I'm aware, is not usually shared between the platforms and I'm not sure how popular it is. You can build a listening station for yourself pretty easily. I had one in my office in Manhattan and it was kind of fun to watch the traffic fly by. I had planned to build a real time viz of sorts and never got around to it.
  2. penumbra

    3.5hp 4 stroke Mercury

    I, too, have a Merc 3.5. I picked it up used late last season and used it extensively this summer. I had the 2 stroke version and someone absconded with it. I had made some mods to it, most notably a metal prop instead of plastic. It made a significant difference and I was able to get my AB 9 AL to plane with it. Having done all the same research noted above, these things are rebranded Tohatsus and the parts are interchangable. The lower unit is exactly the same as the 2 stroke and impeller kits from one or the other should interchange. I was excited by the 5 hp "conversion" kit @Meat Wad mentioned and put it on, having had success with similar projects in the past. I didn't find the motor to run materially faster - does not get my dinghy on plane like the high revving 2 stroke would. It also idled uncomfortably high, resulting in very hard shifting and an annoyed wife when pulling away. After having the fuel tank break, exactly as another poster mentioned, I got water in the tank and needed to clean the 5 hp carb. The gasket is exceptionally hard to get into place and didn't seat properly. Of course, I didn't figure that out until the tank had emptied itself after having motored out to my boat. In the course of a week, I broke the fuel tank, smoked the impeller and made a humungous fuel slick. I cleaned the original carb, put it all back together and it's run flawlessly ever since.
  3. penumbra

    Garmin or Raymarine interface with Volvo Penta

    It could be varying the resistance and relying on positive voltage on that wire, then restricting to the ground. I'm not much of an EE, but that would be my guess.
  4. penumbra

    Garmin or Raymarine interface with Volvo Penta

    You didn't say what model Penta or other details on the boat. Our D2-55 is an '05 and in that era full instrumentation was an upgrade. Not sure about now. The sensors in the base model (as it were) are switches instead of variable output. For example, the temp sensor is either on or off to indicate alarm or no. There was, at one time, a kit, including new sensors, to be able to generate the data. I looked into the Yacht Devices N2k bridge, as previously mentioned, and then figured out the sensor issues and shelved the project for now.
  5. penumbra

    AIS Transponders

    Another +1 for the Vesper XB-8000. I'm also using it as an NMEA 2k to 0183 bridge. I wish I could control which sentences it would relay, but very nice. Very baffled why the previous owner didn't take the extra 20 min to wire it up when he got it installed it. The anchor alarm works great. It went off when the wind shifted, we dragged 10-20' and then reset - was nice to know. However, identifying when it's setup or not is a little annoying in the app.
  6. penumbra

    Manhasset Bay

    Good protected harbor. Two club options - one very low key and generally in the shallower draft end of the bay, the other a little fancier and in the deeper end. Eat at Louie's for good seafood. None of the marinas in there are stellar nor particularly bad.
  7. penumbra

    Best way to get code zero luff tension?

    I have tried damn near everything. I dropped it, dragged it behind the boat for 5 miles and rehoisted it. It was the only thing that reduced it. Cleaned the swivel, sacrificed rum to Poseidon, and still nothing. Undoing is also a bit more work as it's luggage tagged rather than pinned. Max's idea of putting a swivel at the bitter end seems inspired. Need to think about that.
  8. penumbra

    Best way to get code zero luff tension?

    I've been struggling with our 2:1 spin hal twisting with our Code this season as well. It's definitely the halyard. This thread inspires me to find a way to get a 2:1 tack situation going. Thanks for the great thread!
  9. penumbra

    What to use on a teak deck?

    Our Sweden 42 has teak decks - was the biggest downside of the boat, in my view. The previous owner had a strong love of Semco and similar products. All, and I do mean all, of the caulking failed as we were buying the boat. It all turned into greasy chewing gum and left permanent stains on clothes. Super annoying. PO was replacing sections of it himself when we bought it. It's a tedious process to reef it all out and replace it. We had Marty Munch of Osmotech in Annapolis replace all the caulking, give it a light sand and will never touch it with chemicals again. Highly recommend him and his team. In researching maintaining them, I saw a quote that teak should never be treated with something you wouldn't put on your face. Seems like great wisdom. We gently spray it down, give it a quick scrub across the grain with a large car washing sponge and let it be. The only downside is being recently sanded, it's a little slippery when dry and barefoot.
  10. penumbra

    Air conditioning

    We have a Flagship Marine FM18 (might be wrong about the letters, but 18k btu). It works well and seemed to be compact and efficient. Previous owner put it in and we haven't used it in a year. Only complaints are the size of the control panel - it's like a 10" diameter, and the condensate collection and pump is in an inconvenient place, which I think may be an installation choice.
  11. We just got back from a week out: Portland, Mitinicus, Isle au Haute, Blue Hill (YC was super accomodating, can't say enough positive there), Castine, Tenants Harbor, Linekin Bay and back. Launches were operating at the couple places that had them. Masks required. We were not asked for any paperwork (Newport hailing port). We ate all but one or two meals on the boat. Overall, exactly as I expected: most things open, masks prevalent. The only surprise was many places posted they weren't accepting trash. One location had a flyer with that clearly stated this as part of the rules, but when asked, it was rather that staff would not handle trash. You were welcome to take the short walk to the dumpster while fueling, etc. The RI situation is super annoying as we're headed south in few weeks. The possibility of a cocktail on the hill in NPT or mud slide at the Oar sounded tempting.
  12. penumbra

    Air conditioning

    The previous owner of our boat installed a Flagship Marine FM18R. My understanding was the build quality was on the higher end, size on the smaller end and generally uses less wattage than comparable. My only two complaints is it doesn't seem to have a dedicated dehu mode and I don't love the rather large controller. It cools our 42' boat well.
  13. penumbra

    Shallow bilge and cleaning

    I used a flavor of this mix as recommended by Practical Sailor. It left a crusty residue everywhere and I was quite displeased. Also, I recently learned you can get high test vinegar - up to 45% acidity versus 5% found in the supermarket. If your rage towards growth is reaching the same point where mine is regarding that in my sail drive, it may be an option if you, like me, believe in the nuclear option.
  14. Our circumstance is slightly unique, perhaps. We are based around NYC and generally keep the boat moving - Chesapeake, LIS, Narragansett, etc. With school/camps canceled and not needing to turn up to offices, we struck a deal on a house outside Portland and a mooring in the harbor. We work from the house during the week and cruise on the weekends. We had a 35 hour, mostly motor, from WLIS to Portland. Breeze was the prevailing SW/S, when anything. We cut through Plum Gut and shot through the canal. Easy ride, if a bit boring. The weather has been great. The first week was sunny, mid 70s, since then a high in the mid 80s this past weekend, but mostly 70s. The bottom day time temp was mid 60s. Fog has definitely been inconvenient, but hasn't really killed anything. We had some issues with mussels growing inside the sail drive (fuck you, Volvo and your stupid intake design) that held us up for 4th of July weekend. Seems like we've got it resolved. We did a big lap of Casco Bay last weekend and had a blast. Definitely a fair amount of rain, though all been during the week. This is only our second time cruising Maine, so your mileage may vary. Water temps have been mid to upper 60s, which some have claimed high. A glance at historical indicates it's more average than not.
  15. We're in Maine - came up from Annapolis-ish since June, spent a month on LIS. MD was somewhat locked down at Memorial Day. Marinas were opening up for transients, but shore-side facilities etc were not. LIS was essentially closed in June. Clubs were not welcoming transients for moorings and from what I can tell, are still not. Shore-side facilities remain closed. RI seems relatively open, despite former quarantine rules. Friends have been in Narragansett and Block in the last two weeks and report things are back. Maine is open. Restaurants are operating either reduced capacity or outdoors only. Masks required indoors, and around Portland, many people wear them outdoors in community spaces as well. Marinas and such are open, the rare launch service seems back. Clubs, however, do not seem to be welcoming guests. However, all of this is in flux. The moment things spike again, you can expect a return to lock down.