Monday, March 29, 2021

Shout out to Prop-speed



We had our boat's prop and shaft coated with Propspeed when we had Eximius out of the water in January. I mentioned, in a post at that time, how pleased we were with our boat's performance due to the prop-speed finish.

Since then we have had 3 weekend trips out, a couple up and down the ICW and one outside on the Ocean. All involved working our way up and down the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

Why 'Wow' ?

Because we had never seen 8 knots over the water before, never. We had gone just over 8 knots over the ground when we had a 3 knot gulf stream current carrying us along, but never over still water.

This weekend was a great example: We were coming in to Hillsboro Inlet close to low tide - I know, not the best time to come in through that bridge - well, at 2,000 rpm we were doing 7.6 knots through the water but only 4.4knots over the ground, which meant that we were going against a 3.2 knot current - BUT WE WERE DOING 7.6 KNOTS AT 2,000 RPM ! That's 'Wow' !!

On our return trip from Lake Boca, we were rushing to catch the bridge, but we had a 2 knot current against us, I pushed it, raised the rpm to 2,200 and we were doing 8.3knots, we were doing 6.3 knots over the ground- that's beyond 'WOW' !!

I contribute this wow to having our prop and shaft painted with Prop-Speed and the nice job Patagonia Services did on the boat's bottom.

So, a well deserved Shout out to Lehandro of Patagonia Services.

Thanks Guys!

See you on the water.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Alternator tach failed

 Alternator Tachometer failed.

Our Alternator Tach failed on our trip out a couple of weekends ago. I guessed it was probably the wiring at the alternator. A quick look at the back of the alternator I could see that the white wire (tach) was broken. After removing the plug I also found the the sense wire (blue) was hanging on by a thread.

IMHO  - the wires from the Alternator plug are too short so the connections to those wires are subject to a lot of vibration strain.

We spent an entire afternoon searching local auto stores trying to find the standard auto part, eventually we found a store that had two. Looking at them both, one appeared to be defective, so I only purchased one. The wires are longer !!

It only took about 30 minutes to install the new plug and connect it to the engine harness. The new plug connector was $39.

With everything wired up, we did an engine check and all was fine. We're ready for our trip next weekend.

When I got home I did a search on Amazon for the connector. Most of the online auto supplies were the same cost. 

But this is for a Dorman 645-906 Blower Motor Resistor Pigtail $14.95 Same item!!!

Now I have a spare.

See you on the water.

Sunday afternoon and I could do with a Beer.

 Fixing the Head

This is our Jabsco Head Pump. We are very careful when it comes to taking care of our head system.

This pump is normally used to pump the poop out of the bowl and to flush the bowl with water, however, I disconnected the water supply to the pump (it was a salt water supply) and we keep a flushing jug in the bathroom. We've tried various jug sizes, turns out the best so far is a 2.44 quart OJ container, we fill it to the 2 qt mark and that helps us keep track of how much is in the tank.

Back to the Pum fix.

Peggy complained about the pump being too stiff last weekend we were out, and it really was. In the past a quick lube with teflon lubricant did the job. But this time there was black sealing rubber coming out of the top of the pump shaft (under the grey handle)

Time to pull it apart and fix it.

The top of the pump is secured in place with 6 screws. But why on earth do they still use Flat Head screws  on anything ??

But they do, so I carry the tools.

The flapper valves are getting old, and I carry a repair kit for the toilet on board.

It only took a few minutes to remove the whole valve assembly, clean up the surfaces beneath that and put the new flapper valve in place.

The big hole in this pic is where the pump does it's job. It looks cruddy but cleaned up with a few Chlorox Wipes got it done.

The big "O" ring on the end of the Pump shaft was next, two pairs of pliers quickly removed the nut on the end of the shaft, but then I found there's no need to remove the O-ring holder. There's a flat on the lower side of the holder that allows for easy removal and replacement of the O-ring.

Before putting everything back together, copious amounts of Teflon lube was slathered on the pump O-ring, and the seal where the pump shaft exits the top of the pump casing. That needs to be replaced, but the kit I had did not include that seal, time to get another kit - with that seal.

Works a charm now.

This is the wrong kit! Ours looks like the center of those 3.

Although the handle is Gray. And the boat was built in 1987, but perhaps the head is newer that that.

Another Sunny Sunday Afternoon, listening to the Beatles Fixing a Hole - how appropo!

Head's fixed. 

See you on the water!

New Bathroom Lighting Pt. 2

 New Bathroom Lighting

What do you do when at Anchor early and there's time to twiddle your thumbs?
Complete the install of the new lighting for the bathroom (head).

Very happy even though I only installed one of the White LED strips and one Red Strip.

The two switches are mounted on the bulkhead just inside the bathroom door with the wires running inside a heat shrink tube that is double sided tape glued to the bulkhead.

Just like in the galley lights, the switches are setup to be Red (Rear), white is the forward of the two switches.

The video shows the None - White - Red lighting.

Oh, and just in case you wondered when I type up my blog posts, Peggy snapped this while I was setting up this post.

It's about 5:45pm Sunday March 28th, 2021, On the boat at anchor at Sunrise Bay. My laptop is networked with my Phone's Hot Spot. Love my T-Mobile service.

The install was completed when we were on Lake Boca yesterday.

What else did I do this afternoon after we motored down the Intra Coastal Waterway from Lake Boca, Florida to Sunrise Bay Florida - I'll post that next - someone has to do it.

See you on the water.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

New Bathroom Lighting

Updating the lighting in the Bathroom (head)

I installed LED lights in the bathroom several years ago with some LED Puck lights

They were a lot better than the original Festoon lamp but I would not install them again. 

The light switch was located on the aft bulkhead of the bathroom where the original power cord passed from the other side of the bulkhead, that's the Port Side Cockpit locker.

After installing the Red and White Galley lamps in 2019, we both agreed that they would be better suited for the lighting in the bathroom and having the Red option would improve our night vision if we had to go.  Go - get it?

This past weekend, Peggy reminded me that we needed to change out the lights, a quick reorder on Amazon and the new lamps arrived this week.

These 12" LED strip lights will mount beneath the cabinets in the bathroom.

I purchased 2 packs, one Red the other White, each pack has 4 strips of lights.

I'll use two of the whites and two of the red strips with switches for each color.

I should be able to mount the switches close to the bathroom door or at least convenient to reach when entering.

The simple on/off switch has VHB tape on the back, so easily mounted, the challenge is to run the wire so that as little as possible is exposed, both aesthetically and so that the switch is out of the way when we take a shower.

I might even mount the switches outside of the bathroom.

The switches were available in various lengths of wire, I chose the longest, 78" that should be plenty.

Of course, I'll have to pull out all of the contents from the Port Side Cockpit locker in order to get to the original wiring.

I'll run new wiring back to the electrical panel which is another project that is getting closer and closer.

We might get this project underway this weekend, looks like a storm is heading our way and will leave our weeklong trip to Biscayne Bay in jeopardy, baby steps.

Part II of this post will be the actual installation. If we do get to go down to the Bay, then I guess the install will be while we are on the water.

So, see you on the Water.

Speed Transducer failed after just 2 weeks.

 Speed transducer doesn't work

After just 3 weeks, our brand new Garmin DST810 transducer failed - at least, it didn't report our speed through the water - that counts, right?

When we got back to the dock, I pulled the transducer out and inserted the plug.

Looking carefully at the speed transducer paddle wheel, it would turn but obviously had something slowing it down to a crawl.  Looking even closer, we would see a yellow gummy stuff that appeared to be sticky and stopping the paddle wheel rotating on the spindle. 

A quick 'how does it work' ... The four bladed paddle wheel has magnets that when the wheel rotates, the magnetic force is detected by the electronics inside the transducer, the faster the wheel spins the greater the transducer signal to the NEMA 2000 network, the boat electronics translates that into speed.

So, back to the Paddle wheel. The sticky yellow muck looked like it could be washed off, as we looked even closer we noticed that it moved! It was alive! 

A quick wash with some very diluted bleach water and then a rinse with fresh water and the paddle wheel spun easily. A quick test spin and the Chartplotter showed that we had speed. Woo Hoo!

Last weekend, we did an in the water test, it matched our gps speed (taking the current into consideration)

Now? Well, we're pulling the transducer out every time we get back to the dock.

Another reason not to go swimming in the canals! 

See you on the Water.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Companionway Board Storage Solution

Eximius' Companionway Boards

C34 Companionway Board storage

We have tried several different ways to store the Companionway Boards on Eximius, but most involved in storing them in the aft berth or beneath a salon cushion. All were a pain.

Then I figured out this idea of making a baggy that holds one board on each side of the cabin steps. 

The bags are made to measure as the boards are different widths. They are currently secured to the bulkheads with Stainless snaps, they do unsnap a bit too easy, so I'll change them out for Lift the Dot Snaps.

If I need to get access to the engine, simply unsnap the covers and stow the boards elsewhere until engine work complete.

The Baggies have a piece of plastic sponge sewn on the inside of the bottom just to avoid wearing through the lower edge.

Now we can unlock the boards, slide the top open, and lift out the top board, insert it in the Port side Bag (they store on the same side as the handle), repeat the same for the lower panel and we're all set. No boards dropping into the salon and no rattling around when under power.

The bags were made from off cuts of Sunbrella.

See you on the water.