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Posts posted by penumbra

  1. 38 minutes ago, George Dewey said:

    What other manufacturers should I look at?

    For retro fits, I don't see much difference between them. Controllers (which Isotherm does have slightly nicer ones, but for my research above) and water exchangers are the differences. They all use the same compressors and unless you are looking at holding plate systems, the condensers are about the same. 

    For drop in units, I think the variation appears a bit more.

    But, I'm a DIY guy. Maybe the pros have more thoughts.

    • Like 1

  2. 8 hours ago, Alex W said:

    Isotherm “ISEC” does this. It’s a cheap upgrade or came stock in my unit. 

    Have you noticed it actually moving compressor speed around? Does the overcooling kick in properly?

    I find it disappointing that it remains a mechanical thermostat instead of digital, doesn't take advantage of the relatively cheap ability to measure the condenser temp to optimize speed and doesn't allow for a quick switch between fridge and freezer. 

    This led me to digging into their ITC module ( which all reports indicated didn't overcool automatically - you have to manually hit the button, despite what the manual says. There was a fair bit of disappointment from folks on CruisersForum about the discrepancies in functionality.


  3. We have the SPs on our Sweden 42. They are really nice and a worthy consideration. They don't require a strainer, but their zincs will protrude a bit - like 1/2". If you goal is a perfect bottom, air cooled would be a better choice and an easier install. 

    My only thought on sizing is larger just means getting the box colder, faster. Presuming it's reasonably well insulated and there is no reason not to think that, either will likely be fine.

    One thing I am disappointed by are the Isotherm and other digital thermostats. None of them are smart about changing compressor speeds or "overcooling" when the engine is running or solar charging. 

  4. On 2/10/2021 at 9:45 PM, crankcall said:

    what is a 'clipped' ham radio? 

    The Man restricts with frequencies radios can broadcast on. Simple answer, hams can't talk on marine bands and vice versa. You can unlock radios today via software, but in the era of through hole boards, one could "clip" the components.



  5. You might have a look at Alexseal. Somewhere between Awlcraft and Awlgrip in terms of hardness, more repairable / polishable. We had Alexseal and then due to Hurricane Sandy, had Awlgrip, thinking the hardness would be better. However, we much preferred the Alexseal. It seemed deeper.


  6. American YC is planning a full season. RC posted the yachtscoring, etc for Spring Series - looks like a good one. IC37s coming down from Newport for their east coast champs on the second weekend, handicap the first.



    • Like 1

  7. Atlantic Highlands is a nicer town location - easy to walk in for dinner, etc. Racing at the club quieted down a lot after Sandy (had been in decline for a while). It's also a little more protected if you stay aboard and I think deeper water. 

    Raritan is definitely the better racing scene, better clubhouse.  

    Keyport is an interesting club as well - very low key, DIY, smaller and less protected. Probably not what you're looking for, though.

  8. On 1/22/2021 at 11:48 AM, Alex W said:

    I use this

    All that remains when you aren’t using the tablet is a 30mm square piece of plastic that sticks out about 5mm. 

    They also have a nice USB power port for cockpit use that remains sealed while in use.  

    We have the same. One mounted above the companionway, another at the helm and like them very much.

    • Like 1

  9. Thanks, guys. My old vac can't accept bags, which was one of the reasons I was thinking of the separator, but the separator with a bag in it would be even better as I wouldn't need to buy a new vac.



  10. 1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

    Whatever you get, get a dust separator that mounts on a 5 gallon bucket. You'll almost never have to change filters, and will keep full suction for much, much longer


    Has anyone tried these with bottom paint dust? I finally got one in the woodshop and it works great. I have a hot date with a bottom job this spring and am waffling on whether to drag it up.

  11. I have the Selden system on our Sweden 42 and can vouch for all of tDot's comments. It's civilized for cocktailing and short handed (particularly offshore), but the shape is less than stellar.

    My biggest annoyance is in light to moderate air, it frequently sticks when tacking to port. Someone needs to go up and kick it to move it over. I keep thinking I should replace the bearings, but it's probably the track itself, given it sticks in the same spot.

    We do have vertical battens in the jib, which add a bit of area and seems to help the shape, or at least I like to pretend it does.

    Swedens can be ordered as self-tacking or with 115%. The self tackers have further outboard chainplates and shorter jib tracks. I rather wish mine had been ordered with the 115%, given the light air I see. Also, the stainless frame for the self tacking track slides into the normal jib tracks. Many Sweden owners experience galvanic corrosion at that joint and have a bear of a time replacing the jib track.

    If you don't like the Hoyt setup and are looking for more area, I wouldn't continue down the self-tacking path. Figuring out a 115 or similar will give you more area and more control of the shape. 

    • Like 1

  12. 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.

  13. 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.


  14. 11 minutes ago, Black Dog said:

    Interesting. I have a D2-40 with a temperature gauge that is plugged in the back of EVC tachometer but only one temp sensor on the engine that has only 1 terminal on it.
     I am thinking this must be an alarm/no alarm output sensor. It is the only temp sensor on the engine.
    Some newer schematics show an additional thermal sensor with 2 terminals the right below the single terminal temp sensor, but mine has a factory plug in this hole. There is no additional wiring I can see for it.
    I am wondering where my temp gauge is getting its temp info from. Any Ideas?

    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.

  15. 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.

    • Like 1

  16. 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. 


  17. 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.

  18. 23 hours ago, longy said:

    Start by un-twisting the halyard. Every time the halyard is wound around a winch, you are puttin 4-6 full turns in the rope. These travel up the halyard (by some magic) and concentrate at the bitter end. Go up the mast, un pin the dead end, and un twist the rope. Watch the outer cover/tracer lines to see the twists. Undo all & continue to counter twist about ten turns. Re- pin the dead end. Your 2:1 will now get all the way to 2 block without twists.

    Note: this rope behavior occurs on any line that goes on/off a winch - each cycle adds twists

    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.

  19. 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.

    • Like 1

  20. On 8/10/2020 at 5:13 PM, Sail4beer said:

    Looking to install an a/c unit in a Catalina 42 this month and was wondering who like what and why. 

    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.


  21. 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. 

    • Like 1

  22. 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. 

  23. On 7/18/2020 at 8:32 PM, Oceanconcepts said:

    I've used this formula- grabbed from PS years ago- can't find the reference, but the original was I think from a chemist- at least he seemed to know what he was talking about. It's been very effective, can be left on without rinsing and seems to do a good job of preventing mildew from returning.  I've used a garden type tank sprayer to apply & scrubbed a bit. Warning was not to assume a higher concentration would be better- it isn't.

    1 quart hot water

    1 tablespoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

    2 tablespoons washing soda (sodium carbonate)

    2 tablespoons trisodium phosphate (TSP)

    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.