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33 minutes ago, debonAir said:

Hmm, just read the manual on the new raritan super flush and for winterizing it says to attach a short hose to the intake and suck in.... pink antifreeze. 

Maybe they've reformulated the seals?

Couple things-

First, I have no experience with Raritan toilets, only Jabsco and Wilcox-Crittenden.  Second, my friend and I winterized with "engine" pink antifreeze which we learned has anti-corrosives in it, which might be the real cause of the problem. RV plumbing pink antifreeze doesn't have this additive. PS- if you winterize your drinking water systems, I advise against the anti-corrosive additive version of the propylene glycol antifreeze. I have no idea how toxic it may be to hoomans.

Still, the warning for the bilge hose just said not to use propylene glycol (pink) antifreeze. It didn't even mention anti-corrosives.

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After a long weekend... The wax will probably hold for 30 days before it fails and everything turns to chalk again.

The pan that holds the gauges was disintegrating after 40 years.  Since all the gauges blew up in the Great Alternator Debacle of '21, I just replaced it all. Added an hour meter for maintenance track

Well here's a new and interesting problem: As many of you know, I experienced a driveline vibration during my trip to Maine. I hauled out this week to replace the cutless bearing. The strut

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2 hours ago, debonAir said:

Hmm, just read the manual on the new raritan super flush and for winterizing it says to attach a short hose to the intake and suck in.... pink antifreeze. 

Maybe they've reformulated the seals?

I'm having trouble reconciling Ajax's experience with the pyramids of the stuff at West Marine.

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Yeah, maybe Ajax is right that corrosion inhibitors kills toilets.  Jabsco manual says not to use antifreeze since it might not make it into every crevice, but that if you do use it, to use the non toxic (pink) glycol stuff.

The hoses on the other hand specifically say "no alcohol" so letting them sit in the pink stuff is definitely going to kill them. The white hoses actually turn pink on the outside as the stuff seeps through apparently.

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 1:01 PM, SemiSalt said:

I'm having trouble reconciling Ajax's experience with the pyramids of the stuff at West Marine.

I know. It seems that many people have no problems at all, pouring that stuff into every wet system on their boat, but my friend and I experienced multiple problems. Although it seems anecdotal, read this warning that I found too late, about my bilge hose:

https://www.fisheriessupply.com/sierra-shields-multiflex-bilge-hose-series-141

Shields Multiflex Hose has a clear FDA formula PVC with a heavy black or white vinyl helix. It is abrasion resistant, flexible, and is resistant to mild chemicals and saltwater. This hose uses 147 right hand thread cuffs. Do not attach to thru hull fitting below the water line. Do not use glycol based antifreeze in hose.
Smooth interior, heavily corrugated outer surface.

After only 2 years, the entire run is rock hard. The worst sections are down in the bilge where the pink stuff pooled in the hoses. The high sections where the pink stuff only lingered briefly, still have a bit of pliability.

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In other news, I just installed a remote mic for the VHF at the wheel.

The Standard Horizon mic also gives me GPS and AIS on a small display on the mic itself. This gives me redundancy in case the chart plotter craps out. The VHF and the chart plotter use separate antennae for their GPS reception.

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I was shopping for an AIS capable VHF as well. I liked the SH GX2200 . I already have RAM3 wiring to the helm, but I haven't bought it yet because it is still just NMEA 0183 (instead of 2000) .  I suppose the GX6000 would tap into my SeatalkNG network OK but is more money.

Which SH did you get? The SH upper end model GX6500 also transmit AIS which might be a nice safety feature addition, Just have to get over my desire to not spend $1000 on a radio.

 

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5 minutes ago, debonAir said:

I was shopping for an AIS capable VHF as well. I liked the SH GX2200 . I already have RAM3 wiring to the helm, but I haven't bought it yet because it is still just NMEA 0183 (instead of 2000) .  I suppose the GX6000 would tap into my SeatalkNG network OK but is more money.

Which SH did you get? The SH upper end model GX6500 also transmit AIS which might be a nice safety feature addition, Just have to get over my desire to not spend $1000 on a radio.

 

I have an old, Raymarine C80 plotter so NMEA 2000 wasn't a priority. Also, the GX6500 wasn't out yet. the GX2200 was the newest thing SH had at the time.

I plumbed the radios's NMEA 0183 AIS output to the Raymarine input. I kept the Raymarine on its own Seatalk GPS antenna while the VHF uses the whip for GPS. At some point, I'll end up upgrading to B&G or something but that's in the future.

Hell, I even have a Raymarine 2.4kw radome to get working. All I need, is the cable.

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Falling more into the category of "routine maintenance" rather than "restoration," I changed out the transmission fluid yesterday and changed the engine oil today.

The old Hurth HBW50 is supposed to have the fluid changed annually or 500 hours, I believe. The old fluid looked fine, just a bit tired. You could still see through it. I think we're ready for sailing.

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8 hours ago, GMiller said:

If anyone's considering an upgrade to a NMEA 2000 at any time, Defender is "blowing out" the Simrad RS35 AIS capable radio for $172.  https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=5383844

I took a look at it last night, as far as I can work out it needs an external GPS input, they are not clear in the product specs but it’s a bit of a trap.

My Standard Horizon AIS VHF has a GPS built in.

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Yesterday reminded me of why I don't want a boat anymore complex than the one I own. Systems of convenience and comfort beget extra work, money and profanity. Here's a brief refresher:

I installed a Whale shower sump kit to catch the ice melt from the icebox and shower water from the head, some time ago. I attempted to have the shower sump share the primary bilge pump discharge line for simplicity. What a laugh... "For simplicity..."  This resulted in the shower sump discharge blowing out through the electric bilge pump into the bilge, instead of going overboard. I installed a check valve (which is against good practice) in front of the bilge pump.

I learned that when a check valve is not under pressure, it relaxes and allows water in the line to dribble past it anyway, into the bilge. I also learned that when the bilge pump operates, it blows water into the shower sump box as well as discharging overboard. The shower sump would then activate and discharge some water overboard and the rest would drool past the check valve, through the bilge pump and into the bilge.

The whole thing led to me experimenting with an ever-growing list of T-fittings, check valves of various styles and manufactures and anti-siphon loops. Finally, I realized how stupid the whole thing was, and segregated the shower sump from the bilge pump entirely.

The shower sump box is now T'd to the head sink drain (above the water line). The primary electric bilge pump and Henderson Mk V manual bilge pump share a very large discharge line with check valves or anti-siphon loops. I came away with two fists full of T's check valves, hose clamps and other assorted parts to recycle.

It took an entire day of jamming my arm up to the shoulder into an interconnecting void under the head that leads to the keel sump trying to route the new shower sump hose. Eventually, I got a bit smarter and used a metal fish tape to snake the hose through but even that was a pain in the ass. I had to bend the tape so that it would follow the convoluted path to the bilge and when I tried to pull the hose through, I got hung up on other hoses, wires and electrical bonding straps. It took several tries.

Everything tested out perfectly yesterday and I will finally have that bone dry bilge I've been striving for.

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

Everything tested out perfectly yesterday and I will finally have that bone dry bilge I've been striving for.

You seal up your masthead?

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This is a bit late but I was taught many years ago that bilge pumps should not share a through hull - they need to be completely independent.

Looks like it was good advice.

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57 minutes ago, chester said:

you can be very cruel, Istream...:D

Sorry. I fought, lost, and accepted the results of that battle. Just trying to save you some frustration!

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

Sorry. I fought, lost, and accepted the results of that battle. Just trying to save you some frustration!

Ok! Yes! Some water comes down the mast when it rains. At least it's clean water that I can just sponge up. Way to ruin it for me.

The ice melt and shower water was nasty.

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  • 1 month later...

3 year anniversary...where does the time go?

While I forged ahead with repairing things and improving things, I ran a year behind on some basic maintenance- the haul out.  2018 had record rainfall for Maryland, 6 literal feet of rain as I have bitched repeatedly about, in other threads in Cruising Anarchy. I saw no point in hauling out when I couldn't count on even a couple of dry days for hull work.

As time wore on, uncertainty scratched at me like a persistent itch. What if something bad was going on down there? Little repairs I'd made, not holding up. Was the hull a reef of barnacles?  This year has had better weather so I booked a haul out at the Naval Academy's yard across the Severn River, the benefit carrying the "crusty, crotchety, Navy retiree privilege card."  It's a significant cost savings over other yards.

This was pretty interesting. I motored 7 miles in shitty fog. The yard doesn't use a pit with a travel lift.  It's one of those mega hydraulic trailers that picks you up at an old seaplane recovery ramp. Following the operator's signals, I powered into the trailer, he lifted us up and we trundled through the yard to the marina office. Once at the office, they wheeled up a tall ladder and I disembarked, almost doing the "pee-pee dance" because I was so anxious to see below the waterline.

All's well, with no drama.  That cheap, West Marine paint held up far better than I expected. No hidden damage anywhere, prop and rudder just fine. Although there's no substitute for drilling a weep hole in the rudder to check for water, I refrained. I rapped on the rudder with a hard, plastic mallet and got back a consistent sound everywhere with no dull thuds.

The hull is scraped and freshly painted, also the running gear. Seacocks lubricated with Marelube. Fresh zincs, cleaned the stripe with FSR to get rid of the tea stain. I compounded the stern and finally applied the name and hailing port, then waxed the stern. The rain is intruding AGAIN, so I may not get time to compound and wax the rest of the hull. I supposed I could burn another vacation day and do it on Monday...

This pic is after 3 years in the water and BEFORE the yard pressure washed the hull. I used a pole brush to clean the hull during the summers and would swim on the rudder when I could, but that's it.  I expected a lot worse.

The AYC race to Oxford is Saturday.  At least the hull is ready.

Haulout1.jpg

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12 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

So I guess the good news about all that rain is she has been sitting in fresh water a lot of the time...

Fresher than normal, yes.  I'm not sure how low the salinity gets. We're getting zebra mussels in the far northern Chesapeake I hear, but I don't think it's that fresh where I'm at.

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After a long weekend...

The wax will probably hold for 30 days before it fails and everything turns to chalk again.

stbd.jpeg

stern.jpeg

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@Innocent Bystander

I'm going to try. Fresh water washdowns after sailing. Also, @IrieMon gave me a bottle of AwlWash which might help. I have an extendable pole with a terry cloth head on it.

Wife met me at the dock as I arrived yesterday afternoon. She gave it a glance and said "It looks good."  I said "No way, you come over here and LOOK at it for a few minutes. I need you to really see this before it turns to shit."

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

@Innocent Bystander

I'm going to try. Fresh water washdowns after sailing. Also, @IrieMon gave me a bottle of AwlWash which might help. I have an extendable pole with a terry cloth head on it.

Wife met me at the dock as I arrived yesterday afternoon. She gave it a glance and said "It looks good."  I said "No way, you come over here and LOOK at it for a few minutes. I need you to really see this before it turns to shit."

I was married young and should've worked that into my vows. 

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Looking really good.

I'm considering returning Pathfinder to her original dark green hull color when I repaint. Looking at your hull pushes me a bit further in that direction. Really nice classic combination of colors. 

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On 5/4/2019 at 9:45 PM, Ajax said:

Fresher than normal, yes.  I'm not sure how low the salinity gets. We're getting zebra mussels in the far northern Chesapeake I hear, but I don't think it's that fresh where I'm at.

I was reading yesterday that they have been found in the Sassafras River.  

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On 5/7/2019 at 8:45 AM, Ajax said:

After a long weekend...

The wax will probably hold for 30 days before it fails and everything turns to chalk again.

stbd.jpeg

stern.jpeg

Damnit, I'm about to spend a perfectly nice sunny afternoon polishing due to you.  Looks great.

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Awww yeah... after a respectable placing in my first race of the year, I'm fucking up the boat's sailing qualities by placing weight in the ends of the boat!  Yyyyyyeahhh!!!

When we raced last weekend, I stripped all non-essentials from the boat and kept all the tanks empty. I'm hoping to do some cruising this year so I finally commissioned the new water heater I put in during the winter. I filled the bow water tank and ran the water from the hot side and filled the water heater...which is aft of the engine. After snugging up a half-dozen drippy hose clamps throughout the boat, the hot side holds pressure and I can now enjoy showers and do the washing up in the galley.

Just in time for the hot weather to move in and negate the need for hot water...

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39 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Awww yeah... after a respectable placing in my first race of the year, I'm fucking up the boat's sailing qualities by placing weight in the ends of the boat!  Yyyyyyeahhh!!!

When we raced last weekend, I stripped all non-essentials from the boat and kept all the tanks empty. I'm hoping to do some cruising this year so I finally commissioned the new water heater I put in during the winter. I filled the bow water tank and ran the water from the hot side and filled the water heater...which is aft of the engine. After snugging up a half-dozen drippy hose clamps throughout the boat, the hot side holds pressure and I can now enjoy showers and do the washing up in the galley.

Just in time for the hot weather to move in and negate the need for hot water...

Congratulations. You just graduated from racer/cruiser to cruiser/racer.

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I am learning that on boats, snugging up hose clamps with a screwdriver is a poor second to tightening clamps with a socket and ratchet. 

After a weekend of sailing, some of my connections began weeping again. I realize that a ratchet gives the mechanical advantage of a long lever but even with the lever, some of these clamps seemed pretty loose. So...another round of tightening has stopped the leaks. There aren't many connections that I can eliminate. These T's and unions are necessary in order to split the hot water output between the head and galley, etc.

I was happy to note that the water stayed hot overnight with no boost from the engine. This water heater is only 6 gallons vs. the old 12 gallon tank. I thought that the decrease in mass would mean shedding heat more quickly. I also noted that 6 gallons of hot water is plenty. I haven't run out.

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+1 on socket for hose clamps. mostly so the screw driver doesn't slip and cut your fingers.. but I use a handle with socket, not a ratchet.  If you have to really crank down on the hose clamp you might have over-sized hose or undersized barbed adapters?

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4 minutes ago, debonAir said:

+1 on socket for hose clamps. mostly so the screw driver doesn't slip and cut your fingers.. but I use a handle with socket, not a ratchet.  If you have to really crank down on the hose clamp you might have over-sized hose or undersized barbed adapters?

Good call on the handle and socket.  I don't think I'm really cranking down hard on them, I think I just had poor tightening ability with the flathead screwdriver. Awkward contortions in tight spaces combined with an improper tip popping out of the slot on the clamp, etc.

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The amount and type of insulation on that old tank of yours was laughable. The replacement looks like a Seaward, which aren't great from an efficiency standpoint but probably still way better than your old one.

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I replaced some hose around my hot water heater and had some leaks.  Everything was fine till the water heated up and the hose heated up.  Tightened the hoses up when hot and no more problems.

 

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

The amount and type of insulation on that old tank of yours was laughable. The replacement looks like a Seaward, which aren't great from an efficiency standpoint but probably still way better than your old one.

Yeah, I knew the Seaward was a cheap-o. That's another reason why I was surprised that the water was still hot the next day. I went with it because the size and form factor made for an easy swap.

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I've got a Seaward 11 gal installed by the previous owner. It gets the job done at a good price and it'll keep the water warm overnight. However, mine doesn't play well with the new ELCI shore power systems. When it finally dies, I'm gonna put in an Isotemp Basic six gallon unit. 

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1 hour ago, IStream said:

I've got a Seaward 11 gal installed by the previous owner. It gets the job done at a good price and it'll keep the water warm overnight. However, mine doesn't play well with the new ELCI shore power systems. When it finally dies, I'm gonna put in an Isotemp Basic six gallon unit. 

Ah, no problems for me on that score. I declined to wire up my water heater. It's strictly engine waste heat. I figure if I'm somewhere that I can plug in, then there's most likely a shower available within walking distance and there's also a good chance that we'll be dining ashore and not making dirty dishes.

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Between the boat and the Tesla solar array on my home, I have now gained some real world experience with solar panel systems and I may have discovered that my boat's Solbian panel has been defective since I bought it.  The output seems a good deal lower than it should be.

I have been exchanging PM's with VALIS who is well acquainted with this stuff.  He has given me some items to test, which I will try to do within a week, time permitting.

The panel is a Solbian CP125 (125w panel.)  I'm using a Victron Blue Solar 75/15 MPPT controller.  The battery *was* a cheap-o, Group 27 Sears Die-Hard marine battery (M-3 designation) rated at 150 minutes of reserve capacity.

The bottom line is, I've never, even under the best solar conditions observed a panel output greater than watts in the high 40's and I've never seen panel amps output greater 3.5 amps with voltages around 15-16 volts, even with a partially depleted battery and fridge running.  I should see higher than that.

A recent example is that this weekend, I ran the fridge over a 24 period. Coincidentally, I took on a bunch of fresh water into the bilge from a torrential rain combined with water system leaks. The bilge pump float got stuck for a few hours. This totally killed the house battery.  I fixed all of that stuff, shut off the fridge and let the panel charge the battery. I only got 250 watt hours on an ideal, sunny day out of the panel. The next day yielded 210 watt hours. The 3rd day yielded 130 watt hours and the controller finally indicated that the battery was full and entered "float" mode.

About the battery:  When I bought the boat, I intentionally bought a cheap-o house battery so that I could figure out what my loads and inputs would be without murdering an expensive or exotic battery.  In 3 years, I've discharged it well past 50% several times. I know I've completely killed it at least 3 times with the fridge and a couple of malfunctions like a stuck bilge pump float.

Yesterday, I replaced the "Died Hard" with a Deka Group 31 wet cell battery rated at 225 minutes of reserve capacity.  With a new battery, I can start my tests with a clean slate. 

Just for fun and education, I'd like to perform Maine Sail's load tests to determine what the remaining capacity of the old battery is.

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If this is a defective panel, I sure hope Solbian makes it right. For the money they charge, the damn things should be bulletproof and, if not, replaced by the vendor without much hassle. 

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28 minutes ago, IStream said:

If this is a defective panel, I sure hope Solbian makes it right. For the money they charge, the damn things should be bulletproof and, if not, replaced by the vendor without much hassle. 

Well...here's the rub-  I bought this panel from a local distributor on sale, because it was lightly used as a demonstrator unit on tours around the country. That probably voided any warranty. :-/

That's what I get for being cheap.

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2 minutes ago, olaf hart said:

You should be getting around 30 Ah or 360 watts a day on average, the rule of thumb is between a fifth and a quarter the watt rating in Ah 

per day.

Crap. I've never done that well, that I can recall.

VALIS wants me to conduct some "open circuit" tests on the panel, which I will do.

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On 5/22/2019 at 8:45 AM, IStream said:

If this is a defective panel, I sure hope Solbian makes it right. For the money they charge, the damn things should be bulletproof and, if not, replaced by the vendor without much hassle. 

 

On 5/22/2019 at 10:03 AM, olaf hart said:

You should be getting around 30 Ah or 360 watts a day on average, the rule of thumb is between a fifth and a quarter the watt rating in Ah 

per day.

Hi gents,

I've performed several tests and opened a thread in Fixit Anarchy to get the widest possible views.  Please take a look, especially near the bottom and chime in:

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The boat is in pretty good nick, now.

In 2018/19 I've:

  • Replaced the original water heater
  • Replaced the toilet with a Lavac
  • Installed a Balmar SG200 battery monitor
  • Installed the Froli sleep system to improve our quality of sleep:  https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|2276179|2276185&id=3970168
  • Segregated the shower sump from the primary bilge discharge onto its own discharge line
  • Upgraded the house battery
  • Cleaned up all the ground connections and installed a higher quality bus bar for grounds inside the locker behind the breaker panel
  • Hauled out and performed a close inspection of the hull, applied fresh anti-foul, compounded and waxed the topsides

I'm fairly convinced that my solar panel is either inadequate or simply not operating at rated power output.  After an initial fumble in recording the output current, here's the short story:

Voc: 17.75 volts and  Isc: 7.5 amps which is a bit low for this panel. (Should be 20v)  When directly connected to a heavily loaded battery, the best current output that I measure from the panel is 3.5 amps. It's the same if I use a PWM controller.  Panel output voltage measured at the PWM controller terminals is 12.8 volts which seems low.

I think it's time to stop fettling with "systems" and buy the boat the one, big thing that it really needs-  a new mainsail.

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

The boat is in pretty good nick, now.

In 2018/19 I've:

  • Replaced the original water heater
  • Replaced the toilet with a Lavac
  • Installed a Balmar SG200 battery monitor
  • Installed the Froli sleep system to improve our quality of sleep:  https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|2276179|2276185&id=3970168
  • Segregated the shower sump from the primary bilge discharge onto its own discharge line
  • Upgraded the house battery
  • Cleaned up all the ground connections and installed a higher quality bus bar for grounds inside the locker behind the breaker panel
  • Hauled out and performed a close inspection of the hull, applied fresh anti-foul, compounded and waxed the topsides

I'm fairly convinced that my solar panel is either inadequate or simply not operating at rated power output.  After an initial fumble in recording the output current, here's the short story:

Voc: 17.75 volts and  Isc: 7.5 amps which is a bit low for this panel. (Should be 20v)  When directly connected to a heavily loaded battery, the best current output that I measure from the panel is 3.5 amps. It's the same if I use a PWM controller.  Panel output voltage measured at the PWM controller terminals is 12.8 volts which seems low.

I think it's time to stop fettling with "systems" and buy the boat the one, big thing that it really needs-  a new mainsail.

With the low open circuit voltage, seems likely that you have a bad or poor performing cell in your panel.  One bad cell in a series configuration can limit overall current as well.

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1 minute ago, sbman said:

With the low open circuit voltage, seems likely that you have a bad or poor performing cell in your panel.  One bad cell in a series configuration can limit overall current as well.

Yeah. Disappointing, considering what it cost. 

I bought it on sale from a local vendor. Literally, on my way out the door I was told "This was a demo unit that we used around the country, so we know it works."  So it was well used, and who knows what kind of mechanical abuse it was subjected to.  I've owned it for 2 seasons now, so I'm sure it's too late to take it back and complain.  Nowhere on their website was the reason for the "sale" price described as it being a used unit. Ah well, live and learn.

I want 7 amps from a single panel. Next time, I buy new with a warranty.

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:37 PM, Ajax said:

I am learning that on boats, snugging up hose clamps with a screwdriver is a poor second to tightening clamps with a socket and ratchet. 

After a weekend of sailing, some of my connections began weeping again. I realize that a ratchet gives the mechanical advantage of a long lever but even with the lever, some of these clamps seemed pretty loose. So...another round of tightening has stopped the leaks. There aren't many connections that I can eliminate. These T's and unions are necessary in order to split the hot water output between the head and galley, etc.

I was happy to note that the water stayed hot overnight with no boost from the engine. This water heater is only 6 gallons vs. the old 12 gallon tank. I thought that the decrease in mass would mean shedding heat more quickly. I also noted that 6 gallons of hot water is plenty. I haven't run out.

I try to avoid worm drive hose clamps wherever possible. T clamps are a hell of a lot stronger. They don't come with a screwdriver slot so you have to use a socket or spanner on the tightening bolt.

FKT

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3 hours ago, olaf hart said:

You could just take it back and use the “can you help me?” line...

on the mainsail front, why not list the dimensions and see if the assembled multitude can find you a nice used sail?

I've already exchanged email with the solar panel vendor. They're happy to chat with me all day as long as I don't point the finger at their panel.

Regarding sails, I've gone the used sail route many times with my Pearson 30. In a pinch, it's fine. For a long term solution, it's a false economy.  The local shop, Bacon Sails has an online calculator that searches their entire inventory and poops out a list of everything they have that would fit my boat with a detailed description and condition.  Currently, they have a slew of Tartan 10 sails I could try.  J/105 sails are also close but require a little cutting to fit well.

My genoa is still pretty new.  I'd like to match it up with a new mainsail. Just a tri-radial Dacron sail, nothing fancy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
8 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Got a quote from my preferred sailmaker for a cruiser-race mainsail.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull the trigger.

Going to wait to the fall for the  "boat show discounts"?

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8 minutes ago, slap said:

Going to wait to the fall for the  "boat show discounts"?

My sailmaker is a small, local operation and I don't believe he offers boat show discounts. He does offer lower prices during seasonal lulls in production and he does come to my boat and measure, and will bend it on and sail with me if I request it, and will make the sail right if it doesn't fit.

My past experience at the Annapolis boat show is that the large lofts that offer boat show discounts don't do this. They build sails based on measurements that you provide, or maybe with the help of your old sail if you give it to them.  I did that once- provided raw measurements for a new mainsail for my Pearson 30. It was low cost and came out OK, but it really didn't fit as well as I would have liked.  Somewhere, I have a photo of my P30 next to another, successful P30 (Heyday) on the starting line for the Governor's Cup.  It was a perfect illustration of the flaws in my sail.

I'm not a sailmaker.  If I provide bad data to a discount sailmaker (or a big loft at a discount), then it's my fault and the sailmaker takes no responsibility for the product and I'm stuck with it.  "Hey, I built what you asked me to build."  If I work with a loft that provides full service, measures my boat themselves and they screw it up, then I have a leg to stand on in terms of getting them to honor the agreement to provide a sail that fits properly.

I'm cheap and I cut plenty of corners on projects but after trying to cut corners on sails on previous boats several times, I've come to the conclusion that it's a false economy to buy used sails for any purpose other than temporary/emergency/goofing off and you take a big risk with "raw data" sail orders unless you know *exactly* how to measure everything and you know exactly what you want in a sail.  I just don't have the understanding of sail construction to successfully do this.

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that I'm a loser, and I need professional help.

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being in the middle of the prairies there is no such thing as a local sail maker.  as ajax suggests getting a new sail will mean getting it built to published dimensions and/or the existing sail.  i bought a main a few years ago and was about to have it built to sail plan dimensions when i randomly ran into the previous owner. He told me that he raised the boom a couple of inches when he built the dodger :o :o.  that would have been a cluster fuck...me: it doesn't fit.  them:  we built it to spec.  me: it dosen't fit....I sent the sail and the result was nice but for dumb luck i would have been very pissed off and disappointed.

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Ajax, I'm not sure what you said above about the bigger lofts is universally true. I've been speaking with a larger loft about my new headsail and the sailmaker will come to the boat to measure it. He has insisted on it even. He also indicated that pricing historically has been the best at the boat shows, but the pricing structure has changed over the past few years and they are giving better discounts throughout the season if there is a lull in production. 

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5 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

Ajax, I'm not sure what you said above about the bigger lofts is universally true. I've been speaking with a larger loft about my new headsail and the sailmaker will come to the boat to measure it. He has insisted on it even. He also indicated that pricing historically has been the best at the boat shows, but the pricing structure has changed over the past few years and they are giving better discounts throughout the season if there is a lull in production. 

Let me clarify-  I'm not saying that large lofts won't come to your boat "Full Stop." 

I'm saying that when talking with large lofts at the boat show, when offering discounts, they weren't interested in coming to the boat.  Now granted, this was a few years ago and who knows what they're doing now.  In fact, one of my friends purchased a sail at the boat show at a discount, using provided dimensions because visiting the boat was not part of the package.  He took the risk because it was a tubby little cruiser that could barely get out of its own way and he wasn't overly concerned about perfect fit and performance.

I've never had a large loft refuse to visit my boat outside of the boat show, and when paying full price.  But then, their prices are 20% higher than my man on the Eastern Shore for the same level of service and the same product, so there is nothing to be gained by using them.

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Fair enough. I didn't get the impression that the level of service dropped off with the boat show discount, but I didn't press him on it either. Mainly because I really don't want to wait that long for the new sail. 

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19 minutes ago, Slick470 said:

Fair enough. I didn't get the impression that the level of service dropped off with the boat show discount, but I didn't press him on it either. Mainly because I really don't want to wait that long for the new sail. 

Like I said, it's been 3 years since my friend and I made those inquiries at the boat show. Things may have changed.

If I had any confidence in my measuring abilities, I'd use North Direct or Bacon Sails.

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I think the Fall boat-show discounts have more to do with Fall than boat-show. My experiences with large loft is "call me in the Fall/off-season for a better discount".  Most "regular" sails (like cross-cut dacron genoas) are made in Asia.  Especially for the large lofts. They don't have a season there so the discount is probably more about how busy the loft is dealing with custom things with higher margins. Makes more sense to be working on a $20k carbon race main job vs. driving an hour each way to measure for a $1k 4ksb main.

This Spring I ended up getting a used genoa on craigslist for $300. (44' luff, 21' foot, heavy Dacron from a well known loft) It was clean and in great condition, still a little crispy, so you can get lucky.  Yeah it won't last as long as a new sail but it'll buy me time until that new sail is the priority.

In the past I've bought new "discount" sails online (think Rolly-Tasker, etc.).  I have to say I'd rather have a well used brand-name sail than these. It works in a pinch but after a few seasons your new sail might look more ragged than the one it replaced. That was a false economy.

 

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Well. it was really more like a year of daily combing the entire Easy Coast on craigslist, ebay, Bacon, etc. looking for sails that fit vs. pure luck.  The lucky part was that the sail was in NY and me in Boston, and the owner's kid happened to be driving from there to Boston that week.

Last season I got a brand new fully battened name-brand main on eBay. The seller had ordered the sail online to-spec for his boat, then found out he had a tall rig but he had checked the std. rig. box (oops!), but his boat's std rig happened to match my measurements nearly exact. I paid a local loft to swap the logos and add my hull number and saved at least $500.

The plan:

1 - write down your actual/desired sail measurements based on your actual sails/boat and keep them near your keyboard so you can grab deals when you see them.

2 - write down all the other types of boats that have sails that'll match your own.  I know a CC 35 jib will likely fit me and a Catalina 34 Mk2 main fits me well, etc. Even a J109 jib is a close fit, so used 109 PHRF racing genoas are a possible source of cheap sails. If you see "used xxx sails" you can pay closer attention

3 - search for sails every day.  good cruising sails go quickly, like within day(s) or hours. racing sails seem to move very slow. even fairly nice ones at deep discounts.

For Ajax,  this one https://providence.craigslist.org/bpo/d/westport-uk-racing-sail-genoa/6876576002.html looks like a good fit for your boat if you have the larger fore-triangle version

 

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do not take measures for a new sail from an old sail - it has already deformed. measure your hardware (mast, boom, headstay, etc) instead.

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On the topic of self-measuring,  A Sailing Uma episode popped into my feed (tell me that the web isn't constantly listening) that is all about self-measuring for sails. Precision Sails apparently provides a detailed guide on how to take the measurements so that even noobs can measure their sails properly.

The big "pro's" are obviously significantly lower price and convenience. Sort of like ordering sails through Amazon, I guess.

The big "con's" in my opinion, is that it's still a business model of "We built it to your specifications. The shitty fit is your fault and your problem."  Even if that's not their attitude, it's sail-by-mail. No one is coming to your boat to help you fix the measurements and fix the sail. You have to mail it back to them and wait for alternations and pray that they get it right.

Has anyone here used Precision?  I'm still pretty set on using my local loft but I'm open minded enough to listen to reviews of other vendors.

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8 minutes ago, Ajax said:

On the topic of self-measuring,  A Sailing Uma episode popped into my feed (tell me that the web isn't constantly listening) that is all about self-measuring for sails. Precision Sails apparently provides a detailed guide on how to take the measurements so that even noobs can measure their sails properly.

The big "pro's" are obviously significantly lower price and convenience. Sort of like ordering sails through Amazon, I guess.

The big "con's" in my opinion, is that it's still a business model of "We built it to your specifications. The shitty fit is your fault and your problem."  Even if that's not their attitude, it's sail-by-mail. No one is coming to your boat to help you fix the measurements and fix the sail. You have to mail it back to them and wait for alternations and pray that they get it right.

Has anyone here used Precision?  I'm still pretty set on using my local loft but I'm open minded enough to listen to reviews of other vendors.

I bought a North 3di dacron main for my boat.   There were two problems with the sail so I had to take it back to the local North loft to have them fix it.   The sail had been built in Nevada and shipped to the Annapolis North Sails loft to have the Dutchman hardware added.   While at the Annapolis loft no one had checked to see that the sail insignia had not been installed and the slits in the foot of the sail for the reef lines to pass through had not been installed.  And even though they had my old main there as a reference they put the Dutchman lines in a different location than on the old sail so the sailcover didn't fit properly (zippers in the cover were now in the wrong location).  I've patched the sailcover for now and will get a new one (make or buy) over the winter.

It's one thing to buy a sail for a relative low price and put up with problems, it's another to pay top dollar and not have it done right.

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7 minutes ago, chester said:

I got a quote from precision which was less but not markedly so than what i paid Evolution.  Evolution said the sail was built in Toronto.

"Evolution" made my current genoa. I use the quote marks because their loft in Easton, Md did not last long. Something about business disagreements.

The Easton Evo loft messed up a few sails and word got around in the local community. They hired someone to straighten things out on the production floor. That's when I had them make my genoa, and they got it right. Better than right. The level of service was awesome. It was made locally. In fact, I visited the loft while they were stitching it all together.

So the fellow who got the Evolution production floor re-organized has struck out on his own since the loft separated from Evolution. He's still over in Easton, Md making sails as Force10 Sails. He already knows me and knows my boat, so I've got that going for me. He's still coming out to measure everything.

@slap I did think really hard about a Nordac sail but it was more expensive and I'm too skeptical to be a "first adopter."  Your story on top of those matters does not improve my confidence in North.

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13 minutes ago, chester said:

I think evolution itself rose from previously quantum lofts?

I'm not sure. I don't know the history that far back.

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There is local loft here in the DFW area that I am going to have build me a new main and a 130 headsail. And like @Ajax I get to watch them put it together. Pretty fair prices as well. Just me 2 cents worth. Oh, the loft is mariner sails. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The trigger has been pulled and the hammer is falling.

Had the sailmaker visit last week for measurements and I'm cutting the 50% deposit check today. It'll be ready in 4-6 weeks.  It's about time. I spent a morning patching a blown out batten pocket with repair tape and my Speedy Stitch stitching awl.  The cloth is getting mighty thin and the leech has a permanent hook to it.

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

The trigger has been pulled and the hammer is falling.

Had the sailmaker visit last week for measurements and I'm cutting the 50% deposit check today. It'll be ready in 4-6 weeks.  It's about time. I spent a morning patching a blown out batten pocket with repair tape and my Speedy Stitch stitching awl.  The cloth is getting mighty thin and the leech has a permanent hook to it.

What kind of a sail is it? 

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19 minutes ago, Just A Skosh said:

What kind of a sail is it? 

A white, flappy kind of sail.

Ok, ok. It's a performance oriented cruising sail.  Tri-radial, made from Challenge's Newport Pro-Radial cloth.

I wasn't ready to take a risk on a Nordac 3Di sail, though they've probably been on the market long enough to prove themselves. The Nordac still cost more than the tri-radial.  I told the sail maker that I wanted a sail good for getting along the Atlantic coast but that would also have some performance for my occasional point-to-point shorthanded racing.

I've been threatening it for years, but I really want to sail to Block Island and maybe Maine so I wanted a sail good for that.

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Ahh...that satisfying feeling of repairing something that's been nagging at you for an extended period of time...coupled with disappointment in yourself for letting it go on longer than necessary.

My starboard water tank was determined to have a slow leak into the bilge. Initially, I had so many little leaks from various points that I wasn't even sure that the tank was leaking.  Once I whittled the leaks down to this one remainder, I wasn't sure how to fix it.  The tank is plastic and has threaded bungs at the forward end where the PAR water pump resides. Everything there is accessible.  At the aft end of the tank, I observed another bung by viewing into the clean-out port of the tank. This bung supplies the galley foot pump, but the aft end of the tank is obscured by the large, wooden cover panel that makes up the settee.  I couldn't access the hose connection.

Thoughts of major furniture disassembly kept me from attacking this problem and I just used the bow tank.  Then, I had the opportunity to observe how the settee is built on a sister ship during my vacation. 

Turns out that it was nothing more than a few wood screws to remove the cover, so I tore it up yesterday.  As expected (and hoped for),  the problem was nothing more than aged pipe dope and a deformed, threaded hose barb and old hose.  A quick trip to the hardware store for a better quality hose barb, fresh dope and a clean clamp and I'm back to a dry bilge.

I have some useful pictures of the disassembled settee that I'll post later today.

My sistership also gave me the great idea to install an RV water pump accumulator to dampen the water pump surges just as you would in a home with a well pump:

https://www.amazon.com/SHURFLO-181-201-ACCUMULATOR-TANK/dp/B00E5UULBO/ref=asc_df_B00E5UULBO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=241969781511&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7606915997997391722&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007741&hvtargid=pla-574527263694&psc=1

This model is very compact, about the size of two fists. Aside from the annoying pump noise, my ammeter swings wildly when the pump runs which can't be good for the pump or the electrical system. This will cure the water and electrical surges.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While the new main is being made, I've been at work on other little details;

The OEM anchor chain lock was a fragile little thing held in by stubby wood screws, screwed directly into the deck. They finally gave out. I filled the holes and I'm almost finished installing a very beefy replacement. This is good because the previous chain lock was placed too far forward to work with new generation anchors like the Spade/Rocna/Manson.

New jacklines have arrived and will be installed for the upcoming St. Mary's College of Maryland Governor's Cup. I'm entering the doublehanded class.

I bought some larger, twin-wall, polycarbonate sheeting to support the overhanging edges of the new solar panel, which is slightly bigger than the old one.

Lastly, I've discovered my first winter project-  The exhaust elbow is looking pretty sorry. The Universal OEM elbow appears to have rotted out eons ago, replaced by a pretty decent home-fabricated elbow made of ordinary iron pipe...but it too, is nearing the end. I've found an excellent selection of mixing elbows from toadmarinesupply.com for reasonable prices. The hardest part of the entire project will be getting the old iron pipe unscrewed from the exhaust flange without ruining the flange...which I suspect is no longer available.

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58 minutes ago, Ajax said:

<SNIP Excellent progress report>  The hardest part of the entire project will be getting the old iron pipe unscrewed from the exhaust flange without ruining the flange...which I suspect is no longer available.

I don't know if your situation is similar enough for this to apply, but, I'd had to do something similar in which the female flange HAD to be saved, or a much larger re-plumbing job would be required.   What I was advised to do was cut the pipe near the flange, and then w/a hacksaw, make 2 cuts to form a notch inside the pipe, down towards the female threads. I was told to not cut all the way thru TO the threads, but enough to weaken the notch so that it could be "tapped out and broken off" w/a hammer and drift.  Once that was out, it was easy to tap the male pipe back/forth until the corrosion on the threads  was loosened, and it unscrewed by hand.  

 

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3 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

I don't know if your situation is similar enough for this to apply, but, I'd had to do something similar in which the female flange HAD to be saved, or a much larger re-plumbing job would be required.   What I was advised to do was cut the pipe near the flange, and then w/a hacksaw, make 2 cuts to form a notch inside the pipe, down towards the female threads. I was told to not cut all the way thru TO the threads, but enough to weaken the notch so that it could be "tapped out and broken off" w/a hammer and drift.  Once that was out, it was easy to tap the male pipe back/forth until the corrosion on the threads  was loosened, and it unscrewed by hand.  

 

Thanks for that.  Your method is on my list of things to try if the less intrusive methods fail.  I'm pretty sure I can remove the flange itself to bring back to the garage where I can clamp it into my vise.  The attaching studs and nuts don't look bad at all.

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Good luck. I wasted a lot of time trying to save any of my old exhaust.  Everything was inexorably bonded together, including the union joint and the flange.  Even clamping it in a vice (after sawzalling the union) and applying a six-foot cheater bar with generous application of the rosebud torch was of no use.  Moyer's price for a new A4 flange seemed high, but probably less than the value of the time I'd already wasted.  Later, a parts guy told me "oh, that's just the same as the part on an old flathead Ford!" And indeed, the gaskets seemed interchangeable.  These marine engine builders apparently didn't (always) bother to reinvent the wheel for stuff like this.    

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