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Posts posted by penumbra

  1. 1 hour ago, danstanford said:

    For you folks who have been using it for years:


    1-What is the best solvent to wipe the bottom down with prior to application of VC-17?

    2-How long before getting her wet can you apply the paint?

    3-What is the lower temperature range for application?

    4-Understand I should not put it on saildrive, what should I put on it for fresh water?


    I used it for years on the Great Lakes and then a few years in NY harbor, because coating over it is damn near impossible.

    1- doesn't matter, as long as it is clean. 

    2 - again, shouldn't matter, but I never went more than a couple weeks, wet sanded with 220 and then splashed.

    3- I've laid on in the 40s, was probably aggressive but never had issues.

    4- Propkote is the best option, zinc spray pain is the cheap option, from my perspective. but you don't want copper over aluminum. 


    • Like 1
  2. 15 hours ago, George Dewey said:

    I have tried several, including the Galaxy Active Tab, which is supposed to have the brightest screen available. Even that one was not viewable in direct sunlight. We were constantly having to shade it to read it. It didn't take long to give up on tablets in the cockpit or on deck. 

    Ours lives under the dodger. Our chartplotter is down below and could use replacing. Instead, we've adopted the iPad as the primary device and have had no complaints. Offshore or on crappy days, it lives in a waterproof case. We've sailed ~4k nm with this boat in 18mos and don't even turn the plotter on anymore. 

    But, if you don't have a protected place, I could see where that program wouldn't work. 

  3. We have a fire on board as a backup. It's not a terribly pleasant to use device. Very cost effective, though.

    If the app isn't in the Fire store, there are some tricks you can play to get the Google Play store on it.


    • Like 1
  4. I suspect the price and relative rarity of the Lavac is the reason only two people mentioned it. I swore I'd put them on my next boat, but it won't work for our aft (primary) head due the pump location. They are the best situation I've ever seen.

  5. 16 hours ago, Rain Man said:

    I did appreciate being able to speak directly to the sail designer on the phone on several occasions, and look at a 2-D rendering of the sail overlaid on the rig and backstay.  We went back and forth on a few items.   I think we arrived at the right design and materials in the end.  It is the build that worries me. 

    I can't help but wonder which loft they are using to actually build the sails.  I'm assuming they come from somewhere in Asia, which is common for all sailmakers these days.  Anybody know?  I didn't bother asking.

    This is a cruising boat, and this does not need to be a fantastic sail, it just needs to be a decent sail.  We bought what should be a fantastic sail for our SC 27 and paid almost double what the mainsail is costing for my cruiser.

    I think the build is pretty much the commodity. The design and the finishes are where the the value appears. As a comp, most US sailmakers centralize the designs (the brand maintains a design team) and the build (sometimes at an unaffiliated shop). Then, finish local.

    While I didn't love that last main from Rolly, the build was never the concern and I think the finishing was mostly because the sales rep didn't give me the levers to pull.

  6. Sailmakers hate @cianclarke's spreadsheet. They want someone to try the latest and greatest, at the highest margin so they can spend their time with them. It's not a negative story, it's a matter of service. 

    I've owned many Rolly sails on cheaper boats. If you know what you want/need, know how to ask the technical questions and not bother them too much, everyone wins. 

    Precision offers the promise to access the sail designers themselves and upgrade over Rolly. The top lofts don't even do that for the basic buyers. I don't know their work well enough, but the structure of the business proposition is far more transparent than you're going to get with a local guy who doesn't care that much. Too often with sailmakers, you roll the dice that it will fit and actually match the boat. Precision at least tries to level the field.

    I shopped for a genoa for my '88 Tartan 34-2 and was recommended to speak with a venerable WLIS sailmaker. His quote was 3x the average and when I politely replied that his number was out of my budget, I got this amazing and delightful response (copied directly from the 2014 email):

    Venerable sailmaker:  I have no idea who the "others" you refer to are but I would leave you with the following as food for thought. "There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person's lawful prey."

    Bold is mine.

    For our latest boat (Sweden 42), I wanted a proper damn main. I looked at 4 lofts, made the spreadsheet, annoyed them all and picked one I felt would work out. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't pick the most expensive and jesus is that the best sail I've ever owned. At the end of the day, sails are still a bespoke product. You can get a good one or a bad one and forecasting it with a given loft is damn near impossible.


    On 3/22/2021 at 1:35 PM, cianclarke said:

    Lots of shitting on Precision, anybody with experience of the other offshore lofts, Rolly Tasker or Far East?
    I've had some very tempting quotes for a genoa from both. 

    I did the rounds last season in New England, here were the numbers FWIW:

    Important to note my `regular, mid, fancy` summaries don't even remotely compare like-with-like - reefs, battens may differ quote to quote. 
    I've since gotten some serviceable used sails from a sister ship, but still in the market for something. 


  7. 8 hours ago, Keysrock35 said:

    Would it be more conservative to go south of long island. What do you use for keeping track of tides? Book? App?

    Definitely easier to go through the sound and to Hell Gate. There are not many good options to tuck in on the south side. 

    Hell Gate was seemingly scary, and as a Great Lakes sailor that was new to keeping a boat out here, there was trepidation the first time I did it. But, it's really no drama and I've done it a 100x since. Mind the tide, hug the starboard side for traffic and you'll be fine. Coming around the south end of Manhattan, you need to watch out for the Staten Island ferry (does not alter course for anyone) and you'll be spared of the million tour boats driving like dicks due to COVID as you sneak over to buzz the statue. 

    Eldridge the the traditional book and includes helpful diagrams.

    http://tidemaps.com is a good visual. 



    • Like 1
  8. 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
  9. 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 (https://www.indelwebastomarine.com/us/products/cooling-technology/isotherm-intelligent-temperature-control/) 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.


  10. 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. 

  11. 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.



  12. 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.


  13. 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
  14. 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.

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

    I use this https://www.fisheriessupply.com/scanstrut-rokk-mini-for-tablets-and-phones

    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
  16. 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.



  17. 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.

  18. 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
  19. 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.

  20. 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.


  21. 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.

  22. 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
  23. 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. 


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