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LOL 12 to 15 years till retirement... OK I will beat you then. But our big boat is still on hard so I will hate you for that. Who did you go with for the new main?

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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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3 minutes ago, Wess said:

LOL 12 to 15 years till retirement... OK I will beat you then. But our big boat is still on hard so I will hate you for that. Who did you go with for the new main?

Force 10 Sails over in Easton.  He actually makes the sails on-site.

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While trialing the new sail, I failed to tell the entire story of the day.

I've been operating on the same tank of fuel since December 2018. Long race deliveries in light air force some heavy motoring this summer. I knew I was low but the tank said "1/4" so I figured I was OK, but was still careful not to run the engine too long these last few weeks.  I sailed pretty close to my dock, only firing up the engine for the final 1/8th of a mile. As I was flaking the mainsail, I noticed the RPMs beginning to wander.  The time was 9pm.

About 30 yards out, the engine abruptly quit. I had just enough way on, coasting into a headwind to round my dock and come to rest gently against my slip's outer pilings. I used my dock lines to manhandle the boat into its slip.  God really does look after fools and sailors.

My fuel gauge now read 1/8th of a tank. I suddenly remembered a statement in the Tartan operator's manual that says "Due to the curved shape of the fuel tank, the fuel sender will always indicate slightly more fuel than is actually in the tank."   Tartan sure didn't lie.  I have no concerns about sucking in sludge or biologics as I cleaned the tank when I bought the boat 3 seasons ago and generally use my fuel rapidly enough to prevent algae growth. The Racor still shows clean. I refueled and purged the air from the system yesterday, which is a bit of a PITA. I will now write in my logbook 1000 times:

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

I will not fuel starve the engine

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11 hours ago, longy said:

Now you have the chance to actually scale the gauge properly. Just add fuel in 5 gallon slugs & mark the needle position as you go!

Damn good idea!

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27 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Does your installation allow the use of a dipstick? Good backup for a gauge if you can fit one down the filler tube.

Unfortunately, no.

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  • 5 months later...

I doubled my house bank yesterday. Actually, I've slowly grown the house bank like a bonsai tree.

First, I thought the battery trays were only sized for Group 27 batteries. I had one start and one house battery. This was totally inadequate for running the ice box during the summer. Then, I discovered that the trays actually fit Group 31 batteries so I put a G31 in for the house battery. This was much better but not quite adequate for the hottest of summer.

Yesterday, I doubled up the G31's and moved the G27 starting battery to an unused box that will only fit a G27.

Now I have a 210ah bank, which is still puny compared to you big-time cruisers.  Unfortunately, that's all that will fit in the allotted space and it causes a noticeable list to port because all the fuel and batteries are on the port side.  Even storing my cast iron cookware in the starboard galley and filling the starboard water tank doesn't quite level us out. I make my wife sit on the starboard settee while I cook breakfast to keep the pancake batter level.

I'm not going to be able to cram in larger batteries without performing radical surgery and if I do, the boat will list even more unless I start scattering batteries through the boat with long interconnections...or shift to expensive, exotic battery chemistries with complicated BMS's.

Well, we'll see what happens this summer. I think it'll be enough. I'd also like to add 3 small, additional panels to the deck. One will be dedicated to maintaining the start/reserve battery and the other 2 will work with the main panel to charge the house bank.

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That sounds pretty ,much like our set-up.  Two group 31s for the house and a group 27 to start the engine.  With our 140w panel we are pretty much independent from shore power while running the fridge /freezer (with less than extraordinary insulation)

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17 minutes ago, py26129 said:

That sounds pretty ,much like our set-up.  Two group 31s for the house and a group 27 to start the engine.  With our 140w panel we are pretty much independent from shore power while running the fridge /freezer (with less than extraordinary insulation)

Awesome, glad to hear. We have a 160w panel.

For really lean times, we carry these small hiker's solar panel kits which can easily recharge tablets, smartphones and handheld VHF radios without vampiring on the house bank. We just toss them up on the cabin top or foredeck. They have a spider with nearly every conceivable type of connector attached. We also carry a couple of small power bricks.

https://www.goalzero.com/shop/last-chance-gear/nomad-7-solar-panel/

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I just got a Xantrex echo charger to maintain the starting battery from the house bank (which is just one g31 at this point). Trying to remember to switch 1/2/both and keep track of charging times got old especially when kid uses the boat.  Wiring the new 70A alt and the 100W solar + MPPT direct to the battery 1 should keep both batts fully charged without caring if the selector is 1/2/off (not sure how to lock-out "both" yet, because I might want that for emergency starting)

 

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Sounds like you're set for a while.  Not sure what got into me, but last summer I splurged on two LiFePO4 batteries.  Halved the weight, doubled the power, same space occupied.  

If I use them for engine start, there's still a big voltage transient - enough to reset the electronics.  I guess the "one bank to rule them all" strategy has its drawbacks.  

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Another option is a second larger solar panel that you can deploy when needed. The new semi rigid panels can be tied down to the dodger or deck and stored under berth cushions since they are strong enough to walk on.

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On 2/9/2020 at 11:32 AM, toddster said:

Sounds like you're set for a while.  Not sure what got into me, but last summer I splurged on two LiFePO4 batteries.  Halved the weight, doubled the power, same space occupied.  

If I use them for engine start, there's still a big voltage transient - enough to reset the electronics.  I guess the "one bank to rule them all" strategy has its drawbacks.  

Inline capacitor needed?

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On 2/9/2020 at 10:32 AM, toddster said:

Sounds like you're set for a while.  Not sure what got into me, but last summer I splurged on two LiFePO4 batteries.  Halved the weight, doubled the power, same space occupied.  

If I use them for engine start, there's still a big voltage transient - enough to reset the electronics.  I guess the "one bank to rule them all" strategy has its drawbacks.  

Interesting. What'd you get?

A couple of 100Ah BattleBorns or equivalent in parallel should be able to delivery 200A instantaneously without undue voltage drop but that may be just a bit too low for starting loads. Did you make sure your wiring was all up to snuff at the same time you did the batteries?

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I've been eye-balling this pair of brand-new, Solbian flexible 48w solar panels at Bacon Sails (the local chandler) for about a year now.

They were a bit pricey and no one ever bought them. Bacon's had a big President's Day sale so I finally snapped them up for 20% off.  These panels are narrow rectangles which will fit snugly on the cabin top inside the aft set of grab rails. I've discovered that I almost never step in that area so it's a safe place.  I can safely step on them while barefoot if I really need to.

In order to route the cables to the electrical distribution cabinet, I can drill holes in the cowl vent boxes and install gland seals to waterproof them. Inside the cabin, I temporarily remove the aft-most overhead panel to route the cables to the electrical cabinet and mount another Blue Sea controller, then run the output of the controller to the batteries. This arrangement will give me a maximum of 260 watts of solar capacity but in reality, one panel or the other is likely to be fully shaded most of the time so I'm really looking at 208 watts with the fan tail panel and one cabin top panel.  I think I can get the whole 260 watts at anchor when the sun is high, on a clear day.

Although still puny by blue water cruising standards, I found that my new 160 watt panel and single house battery could *almost* keep up with the 'fridge during the summer. I think doubling the house bank and an extra 48 to 96 watts of solar capacity will get me where I want to be. I think the installation will be clean and tidy and not be aesthetically unpleasant.

 

 

100w.png

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Excellent. As you pointed out, having panel placement diversity is important. Make sure to wire them in parallel with each other and relative to the existing panels to take advantage of that.

However, don't kid yourself. You won't get the full 260 watts at anchor. Except very briefly with the winds and the currents are swinging you from one shaded position to another. :lol:

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49 minutes ago, IStream said:

Excellent. As you pointed out, having panel placement diversity is important. Make sure to wire them in parallel with each other and relative to the existing panels to take advantage of that.

However, don't kid yourself. You won't get the full 260 watts at anchor. Except very briefly with the winds and the currents are swinging you from one shaded position to another. :lol:

Whoa, you just hit on something important that I think I missed- Wiring in parallel.

When I parallel'd two G31 batteries, I put the solar panel leads on just one battery.  I should put the positive solar lead on one battery and the negative on the other battery, yes?

Edit:  Wait, I guess it doesn't matter because everything is connected:

image.png.d3c18dfd87530d354d2407bd92c164af.png

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The batteries will stay better balanced if you parallel across the batteries.  I try for it, but on some boats it’s challenging (especially if the batteries aren’t in the same locker). 

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1 hour ago, Alex W said:

The batteries will stay better balanced if you parallel across the batteries.  I try for it, but on some boats it’s challenging (especially if the batteries aren’t in the same locker). 

Everything is easily in reach so I'll move the negative lead over to the other battery. Thanks.

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I was speaking about paralleling the panels before they get to the charge controller(s). That way, if one panel gets shaded it doesn't knock out the other(s). 

To Alex's point, it's best practice to connect the loads and charge sources across the paralleled batteries such that you minimize the difference in wire run length that each battery "sees" full circuit. In the case of the drawing you posted, that would mean moving either the positive or negative lead from your charge controller to the opposite battery. With low currents, thick cables, and clean connections it's not a big deal but in the real world, it can be.

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14 minutes ago, IStream said:

I was speaking about paralleling the panels before they get to the charge controller(s). That way, if one panel gets shaded it doesn't knock out the other(s). 

To Alex's point, it's best practice to connect the loads and charge sources across the paralleled batteries such that you minimize the difference in wire run length that each battery "sees" full circuit. In the case of the drawing you posted, that would mean moving either the positive or negative lead from your charge controller to the opposite battery. With low currents, thick cables, and clean connections it's not a big deal but in the real world, it can be.

Yeah, I got your message about the panels, it's just that the discussion reminded me of how I connected the controller.

Fark me. This means that I also *should* move one of the leads for the Balmar battery monitor across the batteries as well. Ok, I'll take care of this real quick after work this afternoon.

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Ahhhhhh!  Joke's on me. Those damned solar panels I bought are only rated for 6 volts.

Sure, I could wire them in series but one of them will end up shaded 90% of the time so my output will be nil. I'm going to return them. My fault for not Googling the model number and specs first. I just never thought anyone would buy or sell 6v panels.

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49 minutes ago, IStream said:

Dude, am I remembering right that you previously also got fucked by a cut-rate panel?

That was a discontinued Solbian panel sold by a reputable(?) dealer.  On their website it was listed as "on sale."  The reason for "sale" wasn't listed (i.e. used, blemish, damage, floor model) I paid for it thinking that the panel was brand-new and as I was exiting the store some employee saw me carrying it and said "Oh, that was our demo panel. It's been all over the country."   The panel never output more than 25%-ish of its rated output. Obviously damaged in some way.


These 6v panels are also Solbian panels but they were being sold by my local chandler. They were out of the box but still had the protective film on them, never used. No description on them. This time, it was totally my fault for not verifying the model number and checking the specs first.  These panels work perfectly, I just failed to spec them.  If I could put them in series and keep them both in the sunshine, it wouldn't be a problem.

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The panels are Sxp48 's.

Ratings: Voltage 6.0 VDC; Current 8.1 Amps; Peak Power 48W

So, if I serialized them, that would be 12v at 4amps of current, best case.   With one panel fully shaded on the low side, sailing upwind, I would only get 1-2 amps. In my opinion, the juice isn't worth the squeeze.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wrapping up my final winter project- A new exhaust mixing elbow.

The original(?) was nothing more than cast iron pipes and elbows and welded nipples. I've seen the exact same setup on other T-33's. I'm guessing this is a common replacement for the expensive, Universal/Westerbeke mixing elbow.

Anyway, my iron pipe looked like it had a weak spot. It wasn't leaking but I'm proactive. Sure enough, the injector elbow snapped right off the pipe with little effort. The pipe itself was NOT coming out of the exhaust flange. I very carefully worked the nuts free and removed the exhaust flange. You see, the flange and mixing elbow are available. The exhaust manifold is a friggin' unicorn. I'll never find another one if I ruin the manifold.  The studs are solid, and in excellent condition so I'm confident that I can bolt up the exhaust flange again without breaking anything.

As expected, no amount of heat or penetrant would break that pipe out of the flange. I nearly flipped my work bench over.
I cut the pipe remnant short, and threaded a hacksaw blade through the pipe and carefully sawed down to the threads. I did this in 2 places.
A moment with a screwdriver and a hammer collapsed the iron pipe and I dug it out of the flange, saving the flange. 2 hours' effort saved me $100. 

The iron pipe was getting pretty clogged so I'm sure I was missing some horsepower.

pipe.jpg

flange.jpg

elbow.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

It's finally time to re-bed the ports. I have those plastic, opening Beckson ports. I have no complaints with them other than they're plastic.

They barely, barely weep and only under pressure such as a driving rain or really snotty sailing. The interior is wood, and I don't want the water to ruin the interior panel.  We did one port yesterday. It all came apart easily and the white sealant (4200 or Lifecaulk or something) peeled and scraped off easily enough. In fact, it may have just been white silicone.

As @Steam Flyer says, sealing with goop from a tube is some form of self-flagellation. I'm trying butyl tape. I have the good stuff from Compass Marine. In every application I've tried, the butyl tape has sealed stanchion bases and deck fittings water tight, the first time, forever.

I think the technique for bedding ports may be a little different from bedding cleats and stanchions though.  The port doesn't have screws equidistant, all around the perimeter so the port frame wasn't equally compressed all the way 'round. There are spots on the corners and the center where the stuff didn't fully compress. I had to manually press very hard with a broad, flat object to squish the tape bead in those high spots to get the port frame to flatten out where there were no screws.

The great news is, if it leaks, it'll only take a few minutes to peel off the butyl tape to try again, because it's not goop.

The normal technique is to roll a cylindrical bead and to make little cones around the screws. On the next port, I think I'm going to try just laying the tape flat along the frame without rolling it into a cylinder. I'll still make cones around the screws. Also, I think I'm going to blast the tape and frame with a heat gun to make it more pliable just before screwing it back down.

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Aj,

When I re-bedded my Tartan's ports I left the butyl tape flat, it worked great. The ports were aluminum not plastic so I had a little more stiffness to work with. I did put extra butyl on the the bolts.

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My port-replacement project got delayed into the bad weather, by various misadventures, so I slapped some (flat) butyl tape in at a couple of places as a "temporary measure." Then forgot about it.  The butyl has held up as well as the goop, and it's sure a lot easier if one has to do a re-set.  For that matter, that was the condition that I found when I pulled out all the ports - some with butyl, some with adhesive, and no clear correlation with leakage.  

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Ok, it didn't work. I found evidence of leaks when I checked.

@steele Did you put tape on the inside and outside, or just the outside frame? We found some of the white silicone on the inside but it looked more like excess squish-through, rather than a deliberate attempt to seal the inside.

Obviously I need to re-do the port. I'll lay the tape flat this time. More rain later in the week, so ample opportunities to test.

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Be careful - the tape requires pressure to make it seal & flow out everywhere. An old plastic port with non symmetrical fasteners could bend & crack (esp if the surface is curved at all)

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1 hour ago, steele said:

I just put it on the outside. I figured if it leaked on the outside and the inside was sealed then the water would be "trapped" and could rot out the wood or core. 

Exactly - if the outside seal breaks you want to know about it.

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Ok, pulled and re-bedded the port again. This time, I heated up the butyl with a hair dryer to make it good and pliable. The warm, flat tape bead flattened out a lot better but still required a lot of hot air and manual pressure in the centers and corners of the frame to squish it flat.

Here's another issue: Normally when bedding hardware, you counter-sink the hardware holes so that the cone of butyl is captured and shaped around the bolt for a water-tight seal. The cabin top glass is kind of thin in this area so I'm nervous about chewing into it with my countersink bit. I have skipped that step in the past and still had success but it definitely helps to have the countersunk hole.

We're having a ferocious rainstorm right now, so I will check the port again as soon as I get home from work and we'll see if I did it correctly this time.
If it still leaks, I'll take it apart again and I'm countersinking the holes.

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After you re-bed the ports, if you still see water intrusion look carefully.  Is the water coming from the port to coach roof or from the port light to rubber gasket area?

I had a issue where after only 40 years of use, the port lights had developed a groove where they contacted the rubber gasket.  Being a FLA boat, I replaced them with tinted port lights.  Stopped the leak and made the cabin cooler.

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37 minutes ago, Snore said:

After you re-bed the ports, if you still see water intrusion look carefully.  Is the water coming from the port to coach roof or from the port light to rubber gasket area?

I had a issue where after only 40 years of use, the port lights had developed a groove where they contacted the rubber gasket.  Being a FLA boat, I replaced them with tinted port lights.  Stopped the leak and made the cabin cooler.

It's definitely coming from the port to coach roof.  I was hoping it was the lens gasket because I felt that would be easier to deal with, but unfortuantely that's not the case.

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On 2/18/2020 at 9:13 AM, Ajax said:

image.thumb.png.0442bad0ff32846c1589857a2f98884e.png100w.png

Ajax, I didn't know that a Tartan 33 is a fractional rig, single spreader. Are they all fractional? How do you like it?

My principal sailing buddy has a 34-2,. It has a masthead rig, double spreaders and a jack stay. It was a beast to tack with a 140 genoa, at least for a couple of old farts. He has a 120 now and it's better.

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There are a handful of T-33R's that are masthead, double-spreader with a deep, fin keel.

As a singlehander, I love the fractional rig. My genoa is 135% and it's way easier to handle that my Pearson's 155%.  Yes, the T-33R and the 34-2 are faster but not enough to make me regret my choice.  I worried that the boat would be a dog during Chesapeake summers but if I keep the bottom clean, it's no problem.

I do think the 34-2 has a nicer stern. It looks a little more sleek than the 33.

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34-2 is an "evolution" of the 33R. Stretched the stern out, went with a more contemporary interior.  33R's masthead rig is mostly to gain spinnaker sail area off the wind (33R was intended to improve the boat's competitiveness).  Upwind it only has 8 sq ft of additional measured sail area.  So the regular 33 should go upwind almost as well (might not point quite as high due to keel).  

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Posting here to get some feedback.... I put a new  North 135 radial cut 7.5oz on last year and am now looking at a new main.  
 

Right now I am looking at a cross-cut, 7.8oz, 2 reefs and 2+2 batons.   Any thoughts, suggestions??

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4 minutes ago, Snore said:

Posting here to get some feedback.... I put a new  North 135 radial cut 7.5oz on last year and am now looking at a new main.  
 

Right now I am looking at a cross-cut, 7.8oz, 2 reefs and 2+2 batons.   Any thoughts, suggestions??

I had a loose footed tri-radial main made, with full battens. 2 reefs, but the second reef is deeper than normal, between 2 and 3 using 7.1oz Challenge Newport Radial cloth. (My old main was boom footed.)

A tri-radial really isn't necessary but the cost differential was trivial ($170).  I was highly skeptical of full battens but trusted my sailmaker. He was right. The battens are light and don't weigh the sail down that you'd notice. The full battens are a great choice for those very light, Chesapeake summer days.  He gave me a little more roach but I'm not flicking the backstay to get the main through.  I feel like I could still have some more roach but he warned me of unintended consequences once the breeze gets up, so I deferred to him.

What's good for me may not be good for you. :)  I don't think there's anything wrong with what you spec'd.

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I had a similar tri-radial Dacron main made for my Express 37 and it’s been great. The cloth is DP Pro Radial.  It has full battens and they’ve been good after I got a lighter batten for the top — prior to that the roach was hanging up on the back stay during jibes in light air. I kept the stiffer one for heavy air days. 
 

The sail shape overall is great.  It can get very flat (even with reefed) with some back stay and has plenty of depth with the back stay eased.  It’s a big upgrade from our previous main. 
 

We have two reefs but haven’t rigged the second. I got it because it’s a lot easier to add it at initial construction than later.  I’ve attached a photo that Ballard Sails took of it in 10 knots true wind. 
 

D6733F45-42D4-4F61-9303-C222FCC70F8D.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Ajax said:

I had a loose footed tri-radial main made, with full battens. 2 reefs, but the second reef is deeper than normal, between 2 and 3 using 7.1oz Challenge Newport Radial cloth. (My old main was boom footed.)

A tri-radial really isn't necessary but the cost differential was trivial ($170).  I was highly skeptical of full battens but trusted my sailmaker. He was right. The battens are light and don't weigh the sail down that you'd notice. The full battens are a great choice for those very light, Chesapeake summer days.  He gave me a little more roach but I'm not flicking the backstay to get the main through.  I feel like I could still have some more roach but he warned me of unintended consequences once the breeze gets up, so I deferred to him.

What's good for me may not be good for you. :)  I don't think there's anything wrong with what you spec'd.

$170 difference??

 

I got a bid of $3 for cross cut and $4k for radial. 

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4 hours ago, Snore said:

Posting here to get some feedback.... I put a new  North 135 radial cut 7.5oz on last year and am now looking at a new main.  
 

Right now I am looking at a cross-cut, 7.8oz, 2 reefs and 2+2 batons.   Any thoughts, suggestions??

Batons have an appeal and four could be interesting at anchor but I think battens would make the sailing better.

image.png.2a330d61940b4fbfc781a4eea08c9812.png

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3 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Batons have an appeal and four could be interesting at anchor but I think battens would make the sailing better.

image.png.2a330d61940b4fbfc781a4eea08c9812.png

The problem with being a wiseass- is you have to be right!!!!  Those are pom-poms.

Sorry for the typo battens....

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1 hour ago, Snore said:

$170 difference??

 

I got a bid of $3 for cross cut and $4k for radial. 

Yeah,  I don't know how he does that. It's a local loft. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In case anyone else following along.  Once I stepped away from  North Sails and got a bid from Sail Technologies, a very competent local sail loft, prices dropped.  $3200 radial cut, 8.1Oz 2 full 3 partial, reefs, etc.

Sail Technologies have made sails for at least one super hardcore racer I know. And if that guy is happy....

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Just now, Ajax said:

@Snore 8.1 oz. is stout cloth.  Will you be sailing offshore?

 

North was making it with 7.8, so this is not that much heavier.  

The biggest reason to go lighter is performance in light air.  Being retired, I do not sail in winds under 10-12.  I can check the winds at "Cut J", if acceptable, it is a 10 minute walk to the boat.  So the penalty for heavier fabric is not an issue.  The advantage is it will hold its shape through a wider range of wind.  And being frugal- it will have a longer life expectancy.  

Other reason, this loft has made sails for another T-33 down in Punta Gorda. Allegedly that guy is doing well with the sails.  I know someone who races (and does well) with an Alerion 28 using a head sail from this firm and likes it.   Probably like the guy you found up there, this loft is run by a sailmaker.  We will see...  

 

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@Snore  Sounds good to me.  I definitely sail in wind under 10kts, and not just for racing. That's just how the summers are up here.

I'm going to hijack my own thread for a discussion about the icebox-

The icebox was originally just that- a box you put ice in.  A previous owner upgraded it with an A-B Cold Machine freezer bucket. The lid is quite thick, with a lot of insulation. I have no idea how much insulation is in the sides. I know one side is up against the hull. During hot summers, that's a hindrance to cooling.

In the summer, I supplement the Cold Machine with ice to keep everything cool. If I do everything right, the ice lasts a full week. The Cold Machine draws a god-awful amount of power. 4.5 amps on a 45% duty cycle during the summer.

I don't want to tear apart the cabinetry to re-insulate the icebox. As a pandemic lock-down project, I lined the interior of the icebox with thick, pink insulating foam board.  I cut all the pieces so that they are friction-fit. They stay in place without adhesives and can be removed in a few moments. I managed to cover pretty much the entire interior surface area of the icebox.

Summer is still a ways off, so I'm unsure of the efficacy of this solution. Anyone care to hazard a guess? Was it a fool's errand or do you think there will be some benefit?

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I did the same thing!  Added the pink foam- then someone said I really should have used something with a foil.  Oh well. 
 

Right now I have the Owens-Corning pink boards, with the joints covered by duct tape (Foil-type used on AC ducts) and have a partition to close off the back shelf of the cooler. The partition is made two separate pink boards.  This made it easier to get in, and makes it easy to remove.

Since  I do not use ice, there is a wine cork in the foam on the bottom covering the old drain hole.   Should I do a multi-day trip and use ice the cork can come out, so ice water can drain. 
 

Regarding efficacy, previously the refrigeration unit ran almost non-stop.  Now it cycles would not venture a guess as to how much less- but it is significant.   
 

Next- insulate the overhead!!!!

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I used the pink stuff, then glued some corrugated plastic sheeting on top of that, for wipeability.  

Then ended up getting a new (Isotherm) refrigeration unit that took up half the space and a quarter the power. (My old AB was cobbled together from eBay parts.)

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I had my counter-top off this Winter and saw that the OE insulation was not great so I added expanding foam. Next effort will be some pink foam. My fridge currently drinks amps like an alki drinks Wild Irish Rose. 

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3 hours ago, Elegua said:

I had my counter-top off this Winter and saw that the OE insulation was not great so I added expanding foam. Next effort will be some pink foam. My fridge currently drinks amps like an alki drinks Wild Irish Rose. 

Was this on an old Tartan?  If so how did you get fiddle off? 

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Just now, Snore said:

Was this on an old Tartan?  If so how did you get fiddle off? 

Sorry, it wasn't not a Tartan. I was just participating on the basis of old iceboxes. 

Oh crap! What have I done!  

 

nQIu0uNEchO97n9aIC073udLQAKJFe3fHf3o03WG

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A quick update on the icebox improvements-

Last weekend had temperatures in the high 70's/low 80's. Water temperature was still around 60F though.  The ColdMachine froze everything solid, even stuff that was not stored in the ice bucket.  I had accidentally left it set of maximum because that's the default setting on the Chesapeake. I had tossed ice packs into the main icebox just to help with the initial cooling. They were frozen solid at the end of the weekend.

I have also doubled my house bank. The bank never got below 91% running the fridge all day combined with the anchor light at night. The 160w solar panel brought the house bank up to 100% on a sunny day and 97% on a cloudy day.

I really do think the additional foam in the icebox helps, but these are somewhat unfair test conditions. Long days help recover the battery and the cool water against the hull probably reduces the duty cycle of the fridge compressor. I'll report in again if summer ever shows up. We've been running 10-15F below average since the beginning of March.

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4 hours ago, Ajax said:

A quick update on the icebox improvements-

Last weekend had temperatures in the high 70's/low 80's. Water temperature was still around 60F though.  The ColdMachine froze everything solid, even stuff that was not stored in the ice bucket.  I had accidentally left it set of maximum because that's the default setting on the Chesapeake. I had tossed ice packs into the main icebox just to help with the initial cooling. They were frozen solid at the end of the weekend.

I have also doubled my house bank. The bank never got below 91% running the fridge all day combined with the anchor light at night. The 160w solar panel brought the house bank up to 100% on a sunny day and 97% on a cloudy day.

I really do think the additional foam in the icebox helps, but these are somewhat unfair test conditions. Long days help recover the battery and the cool water against the hull probably reduces the duty cycle of the fridge compressor. I'll report in again if summer ever shows up. We've been running 10-15F below average since the beginning of March.

That's a lot of juice out of that panel. Nice!

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@Elegua I've seen close to 140 watts (actual) out of the panel. I know I'll never see the full 160 watts (theoretical). Also, the cooler temperatures allow the panel to be more efficient. I do expect to lose some efficiency when day time temperatures are in the 90's even though the days will be at their longest.

It will be interesting to see what the situation is like when the fridge is working its hardest and the panel has lost some efficiency. I may find myself falling short again.

I'm prepared to pull all the 1 inch, pink foam panels out and re-cut them in 2 inch thick foam, doubling the insulation. The stuff is dirt cheap, so experimentation is low cost, no risk. The loss in storage volume is made up by not filling it up with ice in the first place.

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I took a wine cork and plugged the drain hole.  If cold air settles,   Logically it would flow down through the drain. 
 

Not sure how much it helps, but I feel better :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ooooohhh...looking good so far.  My creek is like a plastic kiddie pool- No water exchange, small and shallow. The water heats up and cools down quickly.

We had a warm day where the creek water got up to 81F degrees during the day and 74F at night. On a medium setting, stuff in the freezer bucket stayed frozen and the rest of the ice box kept the contents well refrigerated.  I tossed a couple of ice packs in the bottom for good measure. They stayed frozen the entire time. I used no water ice. Using cabin lights, pressure water and anchor light at night, the battery still doesn't get below 89% by morning and fully charges before sunset.

I think I've found the sweet spot of insulation, battery capacity and energy production.  If a brutally hot summer finds me shorted again, I'll upgrade all the pink foam panels from 1 inch to 2 inches.

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2 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Ooooohhh...looking good so far.  My creek is like a plastic kiddie pool- No water exchange, small and shallow. The water heats up and cools down quickly.

We had a warm day where the creek water got up to 81F degrees during the day and 74F at night. On a medium setting, stuff in the freezer bucket stayed frozen and the rest of the ice box kept the contents well refrigerated.  I tossed a couple of ice packs in the bottom for good measure. They stayed frozen the entire time. I used no water ice. Using cabin lights, pressure water and anchor light at night, the battery still doesn't get below 89% by morning and fully charges before sunset.

I think I've found the sweet spot of insulation, battery capacity and energy production.  If a brutally hot summer finds me shorted again, I'll upgrade all the pink foam panels from 1 inch to 2 inches.

Now you have gone and done it.  The Gods will get even somehow.  

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5 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Now you have gone and done it.  The Gods will get even somehow.  

Probably by failing my solar controller and boiling my new batteries while I'm not looking.  :rolleyes:

 

My fall project has a slight degree of urgency-  Replacing the shaft log hose.  I don't like the look of it and it seems...spongy. It's not leaking or anything.

I'm fully prepared to destroy the shaft coupling and replace it with a split coupling but I really, really want to save the shaft.

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12 minutes ago, Ajax said:

... .... Replacing the shaft log hose.  I don't like the look of it and it seems...spongy. It's not leaking or anything.

I'm fully prepared to destroy the shaft coupling and replace it with a split coupling but I really, really want to save the shaft.

Did my log shaft hose a few years back.  I also had the yard replace the coupling.  It was old and rusting, every so often when holding for a bridge, when going from reverse to forward, I got a HARD “clunk”.  Figured figured out it.  Good news was it was not the transmission...... bad news- it was the shaft pulling out of the coupling.

 

PS- plan on redoing countertops end of the month, will post pics here

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27 minutes ago, Ajax said:
36 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Now you have gone and done it.  The Gods will get even somehow.  

Probably by failing my solar controller and boiling my new batteries while I'm not looking.  :rolleyes:

Now you've given the Gods ideas on how to do it........

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22 minutes ago, Snore said:

Did my log shaft hose a few years back.  I also had the yard replace the coupling.  It was old and rusting, every so often when holding for a bridge, when going from reverse to forward, I got a HARD “clunk”.  Figured figured out it.  Good news was it was not the transmission...... bad news- it was the shaft pulling out of the coupling.

 

PS- plan on redoing countertops end of the month, will post pics here

Now that's funny. Most people can't get the shaft out of the coupling and end up cutting the shaft. Yours was trying to pull out.

Edit:  My existing coupling has a rubber damper built into it. The split couplings I'm seeing are solid metal with no damper. What did you end up buying/having installed?  Got a photo or parts source?

 

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I replaced shaft log hose last year - hard to find the really small-diameter stuff for 70's era A4-driven boats. Also hard to find stainless t-bolt hose clamps in that size - I went with an automotive exhaust part that barely seems to tighten enough - I hope. But they look darned impressive.  

 I replaced the old coupler with the Moyer split coupler on the previous haul-out, about six years prior.  So the split coupler has a shaft key, four square-head 1/4-inch bolts AND two little black set-screws.  Somehow,  down in the dark recesses of the engine compartment.  Without going back to the house for a pair of cheaters. I totally missed/forgot the set screws.  They were basically invisible to me.  Consequently, I never got the shaft properly back in place.  Until weeks later, I found the key in the bilge.  I guess it squirted out when I pushed from outside the boat until I thought that the shaft was bottomed out.  Not.  I sat there with the key in my hand staring at it for quite a while, waiting for a clue to pop into my head... :huh:

Damn.  Sucks, getting old...

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I just got back from attempting to have my stuffing box adjusted. Access to it is almost impossible because they installed the engine with a V-Drive - no reason for it other than some sort of microscopic "maybe it will centralize the weight 0.0001% better" (it's an extreme custom racer). There was lots of space & clearance for a conventional installation but instead and forever more the owners will suffer for that bit of shortsightedness.

Anyway, the second guy I tried got everything to move but it looks like the stuffing is at the end of its days so I have to haul.

It needs a new cutless, shaft hose, stuffing - everything. It also means pulling the V-Drive because of the impossible access but it has a weeping seal so...

One saving grace is that someone was smart enough to use S/S fasteners for all the coupling bolts and the access to it is great so it should come apart O/K.

The other saving grace is that the trans is cantilevered off the block, not hard mounted to the beds so it will be easy to pull as well.

While it's all out I think I'll cut back the engine beds to create some access in future. The beds are excessively long IMO so it should work fine.

I'm sure there will be a lot of "As long as we're... we might as well" things that will pop up - cleaning and painting the space that becomes accessible for sure.

Wish me luck or a broken leg or something.

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6 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I just got back from attempting to have my stuffing box adjusted. Access to it is almost impossible because they installed the engine with a V-Drive - no reason for it other than some sort of microscopic "maybe it will centralize the weight 0.0001% better" (it's an extreme custom racer). There was lots of space & clearance for a conventional installation but instead and forever more the owners will suffer for that bit of shortsightedness.

Anyway, the second guy I tried got everything to move but it looks like the stuffing is at the end of its days so I have to haul.

It needs a new cutless, shaft hose, stuffing - everything. It also means pulling the V-Drive because of the impossible access but it has a weeping seal so...

One saving grace is that someone was smart enough to use S/S fasteners for all the coupling bolts and the access to it is great so it should come apart O/K.

The other saving grace is that the trans is cantilevered off the block, not hard mounted to the beds so it will be easy to pull as well.

While it's all out I think I'll cut back the engine beds to create some access in future. The beds are excessively long IMO so it should work fine.

I'm sure there will be a lot of "As long as we're... we might as well" things that will pop up - cleaning and painting the space that becomes accessible for sure.

Wish me luck or a broken leg or something.

Given the poor access, it sounds like this is a good application for a dripless seal. Especially since you're tearing it all apart anyway, so the incremental pain is small. Also, you might want to consider a prophylactic replacement of the drive plate.

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

Given the poor access, it sounds like this is a good application for a dripless seal. Especially since you're tearing it all apart anyway, so the incremental pain is small. Also, you might want to consider a prophylactic replacement of the drive plate.

Both under consideration.

From what I've seen there may not be enough space for a dripless seal.

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Both under consideration.

From what I've seen there may not be enough space for a dripless seal.

Try a Volvo seal, they are a lot shorter and seem to hold up well.

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14 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I'm sure there will be a lot of "As long as we're... we might as well" things that will pop up - cleaning and painting the space that becomes accessible for sure.

Wish me luck or a broken leg or something.

Good luck with it all - I'm on the hard ATM doing a pretty serious going-over as it's the first time the boat has been out since we splashed it. It's all looking pretty good but as you say - 'as long as we're out......'

I found some loose bolts on the steering gear but it's so massively overbuilt that it was in no danger of failing. Might have settled in a bit or I might have forgotten to do the final torque on them. Whatever.

Thing is I'm in no rush and the yard fees are reasonable so it's all good.

FKT

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8 hours ago, olaf hart said:

Try a Volvo seal, they are a lot shorter and seem to hold up well.

Do I have that kind of money?

May some crowdfunding?

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