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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: July 06 2011 at 23:23 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Bennett and Pete,

I also found the Groco and Anderson Brass 6 port valves on their web sites. The Groco FV 65038 and Anderson SK 1036 appear the same in the pictures. They also appear like a close match (hopefully the same) as the ones on board. I have pretty much decided the best way to go is replace both fuel tank change over valves.

Bennet, the prices you quoted are lower than I found and Pete, you said you found even better prices. Where did you guys find those prices? I'm leaning toward the Groco valve because they are local and I am more familiar with that brand, but am open to suggestions.  



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DAVE
GOOD SPIRITS
500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: July 06 2011 at 23:47 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Bennett and Pete,

Just found a Groco at JMS Marine Supply for $134 but the site showed it was out of stock and said to call. They are in Texas and getting the valves promptly may be the deciding factor. I'll see what I find as the project continues and wait to hear where you found the valves available.



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DAVE
GOOD SPIRITS
500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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Bennett
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2007
Posts: 121
Posted: July 07 2011 at 08:26 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

David,

I do not remember where I saw the price, it was just
through a quick search, sorry.

If you are going to replace the valves anyway, then you
might considering taking a valve off first and try to
disassemble for repair/cleaning. You could also keep using
the boat by plugging one line and couple the other two with
a barb fitting.

I imagine that the taper is gummy and/or you have a burr.
A Scotchbrite pad and some solvent may just do the
trick......you have nothing to loose.

Bennett



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Christine 1986 Chris Craft 500
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 07 2011 at 08:27 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

How much torque have you put on those valves?  With the handles you'd be lucky to get 10 ft. lbs.  With a socket wrench you can get about 40. If you strip the heads it doesn't make any difference since you are going to replace them anyway.

I'd go with Groco since they are local.  You can remove a valve from the boat and then take it over to Groco to see if their valve would work.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: July 07 2011 at 10:25 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Turbo Failure Summary

Recently, the turbocharger on my port engine failed.  We had a lengthy discussion about it on it on the forum with numerous theories as to what caused the failure.  Unfortunately many of those theories were proposed by people who had not even seen the turbocharger.  Because all these theories clouded what actually happened I think I should summarize the situation.

The actual cause of the failure was a buildup of carbon on the interface between the turbo exhaust fan housing and the exhaust elbow which jammed the exhaust fan blades.  I saw it; my mechanic saw it and we have sample pieces of the carbon which are more than an inch in diameter by 1/4 inch thick.  The cause is documented in the mechanicís report.

The exhaust elbow and turbo were seven years old and had about 500 engine hours on them.  About 200 hours were at cruising speeds of 2000 rpm and 300 hours at 1400 rpm.  A turbo should not break down at 500 hours and actually it didnít.  It was shut down by an accumulation of carbon.

The obvious question is ďWhat caused the rapid buildup of the carbon?Ē  In the analysis of the problem we found that because marine 6V92s have water cooled exhaust manifolds the temperature of the exhaust gases from the cylinders (normally at about 1000F) is substantially reduced before they reach the turbo.

The turbo in this case was an Air Research XT18A model.  I checked with the manufacturer and this turbo is only made with aluminum or cast iron turbine housings.  The housing was checked with a magnet and found to non-magnetic so the turbine housing had to be aluminum.  It also appeared to be aluminum.

The upper temperature limit for aluminum turbos is 750F so that would place the maximum temperature at the turbo input below 750F.  Data from the J&T Ownerís Manual indicates that the temperature of the output from the turbo is only 690F.  All of these temps are at full throttle (about 2000 rpm).

From experience we know that the 690F turbo temperature output seems to be high enough to prevent carbon buildup at the turbo. But most of us have been running at reduced rpms to conserve fuel.  At 2000 rpm I burn about 38 gph but at 1400 rpm only 14 gph.  This is only about 1/3rd of the full throttle burn rate so the exhaust temperatures are much lower; perhaps as little as 350F.  This is far too low to burn off any carbon or soot.

So we have a situation which seems to be very conducive to soot deposits and these soot deposits will eventually develop into carbon.

To this point everything is documented.  And we know that carbon deposits developed and interfered with the turbo exhaust fan blades.  We donít know why but it did.

Today I met with my mechanic to pay his bill.  This made me poorer and him richer.  But while I was paying him I figured I should pick his brain a bit and asked him ďIs the development of carbon at the turbo exhaust fan common in diesels?Ē  He said ďYes, very common; particularly in some Japanese diesels.Ē  I probed further and asked ďHow common is it in 6V92s?Ē.  He answered that he didnít do too many 6V92s anymore but that percentage wise carbon was very common.  Digging a little deeper I asked him whether he thought low speed running had anything to do with it.  His answer was ďYesĒ.

Iíve done some checking and found that carbon deposits on the turbo is a very common cause of turbo failure and that low speed running accelerates these failures.  A few months ago, I posted an excerpt from Nigel Calderís Marine Diesel Engines (page 221) in which he describes the dangers of low speed running.  Part of it reads as follows ďValves may stick in their guides, while carbon will plug up the exhaust systemĒ.  Note that he specifically says that carbon will plug up the exhaust system.  This is exactly what happened to the turbo on my port engine.  So we now have the first solid evidence that low speed running does damage engines and our engines in particular.  And now my evidence is not limited to Nigelís statements.  I can show bills for the damage.

The upshot of this is that we can expect many of our 6V92s to develop problems with turbo blockage due to buildup of carbon after as little as 300 to 500 hours of low speed running.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 07 2011 at 12:52 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: What Is This Connie DVD Library?

Well itís a DVD with about 2.2 GB of Connie data on it in 3,300 files. Itís recently gone on a diet.  I removed about 700 files that I didnít think were particularly interesting.  And no itís not 2.2 GB of my diatribes.  The forum posts amount to only about 86 megabytes (3.9%) of the Library.  And my posts are only about 1/3rd of that (29 megabytes) or 1.3% of the Library.

A 2.2 GB Library may sound like a lot but it really isnít.  The 2,236 files in my Interlude Library use 2.58 GB.  These two Libraries (Connie & Interlude) are mutually exclusive and files in one are not included in the other. Together they use 4.78 GB and have 5,536 files on Connies

Engines are one of the most important and expensive components of your Connie; and one of the most troublesome too.  So nearly a GB (929 megabytes) is devoted to engines.  There are two complete engine ownerís manuals.  These consume the bulk of the engine section (789 megabytes or 85%).  When your engine breaks down these dudes are invaluable (even if you call in a mechanic anyway).  The remaining 15% (140 megabytes) is devoted to engine accessories such as batteries, Racors, Airseps, Gendenning Synchronizer, transmissions, etc.

The plumbing system is also a troublesome component.  About 50 megabytes is devoted to that.

And the electrical systems (both AC and DC) are complex ratís nests that you will need some help in understanding.  About 216 megabytes (10%) are devoted to the electrical systems.

The ďMisc. ConniesĒ section is an interesting and unusual section.  It consists of the brokerís ads for all the Connies (at least all we can find).  These of course include pictures of the exterior and interior of each boat.  Itís useful for planning the interior decoration of your Connie or to figure out how to mount that dinghy.  This section uses up an impressive 544 megabytes (25% of the Library).

The forum posts section (mentioned above) constitutes only 3.9% of the DVD but it is a complete history of everything that has been said on the forum.  Of course this data is also available on the forum but on the forum there is no way to do a search for a specific post.  But the Library folder can be quickly searched with the Windowís search engine to find out what someone said and/or when he said it.  You can also do a search for all posts relating to a specific topic.

And thereís a whole pile of data on other topics.  Itís organized in the standard Windowís format of Folders and Subfolders.  The title of the folder tells you whatís in it.  For example the ďEnginesĒ folder contains information on engines and the ďPlumbing SystemsĒ folder contains data on the plumbing.  The full list of topics is shown below:

Note that the folders are listed by size rather than alphabetically in the table above.

You can leave all the data on the DVD and just pop it into your computer when you need it.  But hard disks are much faster than DVDs so copying the contents of the DVD into a folder on your computerís hard disk will provide much faster and more convenient access to the Library.

If you want a copy just send an email to pminott@aol.com.  Include your name, address and the name of your Connie. 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 07 2011 at 22:20


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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 07 2011 at 23:33 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: The Cost of Turbo Breakdowns

In my last post on turbos I concluded that your turbos were likely to break down due to carbon accumulation every 300-500 hours (depending on the amount of low speed running).  Does this mean that you should go back to 2000 rpm cruising?  No, I donít think so.

Cruising at 1400 rpm uses about 14 gph while cruising at 2000 rpm uses about 38 gph. In an average 60 hour cruising year you will burn 840 gallons if you cruise at 1400 rpm and 2280 gallons if you cruise at 2000 rpm.  At $3.00/gallon the respective costs are $2,520 and $6,840.  So you save about $4,320 per year in fuel costs by cruising at the lower speed.

If the turbos have to be rebuilt every 500 hours thatís about every 8 years.  It will cost about $1,500 per turbo for a rebuild or $3,000 for a pair.  Plus it will cost about $1000 in labor for a total of $4,000.  Amortized over 8 years thatís only $500 per year.

So you save $4,320 in fuel costs per year but you incur $500 per year in additional engine repairs.  The low speed running still saves you $3,820 per year.

I donít include the cost of replacing the exhaust elbows (which also occurs about every 8 years) because this is not affected very much by the engine speed.  They burn out about every 8 years regardless of engine speed.

So the obvious answer is to continue with the low speed running except, of course, if there are other problems with low speed running.  There probably are but we wonít know how bad they are until a couple years from now.

Pete37



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Grey Goose
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 25 2009
Posts: 200
Posted: July 08 2011 at 10:06 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

This post is not meant to be taunting in any manor. I am giving my opinion. 

 

I donít feel a turbo should be considered a disposable piece of our engines.  A turbo can and should be maintained. Removing of carbon and other build up is rather simple, with the exhaust elbow removed the exhaust chamber of the turbo is exposed.  I start with the use of a hammer and chisel to gentle tap away the carbon and other build up in the chamber.  Then finish with smoothing the housing back to its original shape with a die-grinder, make sure you have a shop vac because it does give a lot of dust.  The entire process from elbow removal to replacement takes me under 3 hours with fewer than $50 in parts  A torch may be needed to remove the elbow bolts.  To check if you have excessive build up in your turbo, remove the air filter, reach in to the turbo and give it a spin.  If there is any drag at all, the exhaust side needs to be cleaned before the turbo becomes out of balance and wastes the bearings or damages the blades.

 

Allen

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 08 2011 at 10:35 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allen,

Subject: Turbo Overhaul

I agree a turbo is not a disposable element of the engine.  The $1500 is for a professional cleaning and rebalancing.  It's a rebuild not a new unit.  And yes you can remove it and clean it yourself but a rebuild only happens once every 6 years so the cost to rebuild two turbos works out to only $500 per year.

I've never seen an article on do-it-yourself turbo cleaning and I think I'd want to get some guidance before I'd mess with the turbo.  It would be easy to do more damage than good. 

It's strange, just a week or so ago I was being told by some forum members that there was no such thing as carbon buildup on the turbos.  And now I find that you are merrily chipping, hammering and grinding away the carbon. And apparently there's enough carbon that you need a shop vac to clean it up.

Do you have a mechanics manual on turbo overhaul you could recommend?

Pete37



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Grey Goose
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 25 2009
Posts: 200
Posted: July 08 2011 at 10:51 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Nowhere in my post did I mention turbo overhaul.  I am talking about cleaning out mostly rust but also some carbon buildup in the turbo to ďavoid an overhaul." With the exception of aluminum turbo which must only have carbon build up.  Then again I probably not want tho chip away at aluminum in the fear of distroying it, so this should only be done with a turbo with a cast iron exhaust housing.  It is common practice to clean out the buildup in the turbo when the elbow is off.  There is nothing in the shop manual that says to clean the bolts and grease them before replacing them, but that should be done also.

 

Allen

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DMark
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 03 2007
Posts: 131
Posted: July 08 2011 at 10:58 | IP Logged Quote DMark

All thanks for the leads on chrisparts.  I talked to the owner and he didn't know about the BoatUS Forum or our thread.  I asked him to join up and post so others could find him.

As you might guess I'm not an engineer, but I do want to keep my Connie in top condition without exposing myself to un-necessairly high replacement or maintenance costs...

So, onto a possible alternate way to think about Turbo/Exhaust Riser carbon maintenance. ... If we could reframe the problem...  Lets take Pete's concerns and eliminate debate and assume carbon buildup is going to happen.  Lets also assume with the price of diesel that we are going to prefer to run at slow 1200 RPM "most of the time" and so will subject ourselves to carbon accumulation.

If we also assume for simplified mathematics that a typical year's hours on the engines equals 100 ... How many of those hours would we run at 1800+ RPM to have a chance to clean out accumulated carbon deposits?  If this is possible, then how frequently should this be done?  Based on prior discussions I would also assume that 5-20 minutes at the end of a daily run will be ineffective.  So, I would assume that there would need to be a periodic "planned run" at higher speeds and temps to accomplish the "clean-out."

Again based on past comments, I assume that this will be imperfect?  But, is it a "good enough alternative solution" and "better than" running slow all the time and servicing the parts more frequently or replacing parts? My question is how imperfect and is it worth considering this approach?

Mark


Edited by DMark on July 08 2011 at 11:02


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"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
Home Port - Four Seasons Yacht Club, Cincinnati, OH; Wintering at Washington Marine.
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 08 2011 at 11:32 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Turbo Cleaning

I sort of wondered what the real price of a turbo overhaul was.  The $1500 probably is the retail price and I suspect that the mechanic gets a substantial discount; perhaps as much as 50%. 

So I started checking the web for companies that rebuild turbos.  Most of them are reluctant to talk with owners.  They are used to talking with the mechanics.  But I found one company "Quality Turbocharger Components" that will deal on a retail basis with owners.  They charge $790-$890 for an Air Research XT18A turbocharger (the one used on my boat).  I've even found one company that charges $275 for what they call a basic rebuild (cleaning, new bearings, etc.).

So apparently if you you are willing to remove and reinstall the turbos yourself you can save a lot of money. 

One of the rebuilders said "Installing a new or remanufactured unit is probably the safest way to repair a sick turbo."  Of course this guy is obviously biased but in spite of that I think there may be some truth in his statement.

I run at 1400 rpm not to prevent carbon from building up on the turbos but to prevent damage to the main engine parts (valves, cylinders, pistons, rods, etc.).  The turbo isn't temperature controlled so it probably doesn't make much difference whether the engine is at 160F or 170F.  But the engine is and that 10 degree difference does make a difference to the damage done to the engine parts.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 08 2011 at 13:27


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Bennett
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2007
Posts: 121
Posted: July 08 2011 at 12:47 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

The exhaust housing could be cleaned as Allen has indicated.
I would, however, use extreme caution around the turbine - a
nick could make for an imbalance which would lead to a
failure.

Bennett

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Christine 1986 Chris Craft 500
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 10 2011 at 21:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Where Have All the Boats Gone?

Arlene and I took the boat down to Shaw Bay (one of our favorite anchorages) today.  It was a bright sunny day with light winds and temps in the high 80s.  It was Sunday and a perfect day for cruising.  On a typical Sunday in mid-July there are 10 to 20 boats anchored there.  Today we were the only boat at Shaw Bay.  Have any of you guys had similar experiences?

Pete37

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Delaware Jim
"Navigator"




Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: July 11 2011 at 11:02 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

My somewhat limited observations around here in Central Florida is only smaller boats (under 30') and sailboats are doing much of anything.  I pass near three different anchorage spots on the Indian River daily and the cruiser traffic/ anchor out population is very limited.  Admittedly, this is not the season for cruising in Florida, but (per our dockmaster) there is less traffic this summer than in the last 11 years he has been there.

Jim



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Delaware Jim
"Navigator"




Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: July 11 2011 at 11:08 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Bayonet base light bulbs...

Had the need to get several sizes of bayonet base bulbs this weekend and had a $10 certificate from West Marine to use... I found their current supplier is making the bulbs by moulding the pins out of the base metal, rather than a separate discrete pin.  These moulded pins are too fat to fit into the socket base and rotate into position - making them worthless.  I will go to an auto parts store tonight and pick up some usable bulbs.  Be forewarned...

Jim



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: July 11 2011 at 17:27 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

I've had two friends tell me they were giving their boats to charitable organizations because they didn't think they could sell them.  There also seems to be a dwindling of boats in the brokerage yards.  Fuel sales at our marina are very slow.

But on the bright side West Marine stocks are steady at $10 per share.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 11 2011 at 19:38


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: July 14 2011 at 11:37 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: No More Boat Zoap

Some of you owners who are also greenies (tree huggers) have probably been buying Boat Zoap (a product specifically designed for washing boats).  Boat Zoap is a proprietary label sold by Sudbury which sells for $38 per gallon.  Its main claim to fame is that it is phosphate free.  But now all dish and clothes washer detergents are phosphate free.  So now all you tree huggers can buy your phosphate free Cheer (or other brand) at Safeway without feeling guilty about polluting the environment.  At about $7 for a 100 oz. jug that works out to $8.96 per gallon.  Thatís less than 1/5 of the price of Boat Zoap.  And sometimes you can get it on sale.

West Marine no longer carries Boat Zoap.  They now carry various boat detergents (labeled soaps) at $30 per gallon.  Thatís still about four times the price of Cheer.  Of course they claim their soaps clean better but did you ever hear of a soap that didnít make that claim.

There have been a lot of complaints that phosphate free detergents donít work as well as the old detergents.  This has led some users to suggest that you buy some tri-sodium phosphate at your local hardware store and add a half cup to each load of laundry. In other words, re-phosphate the phosphate free detergent.  Now thereís progress!

Pete37

PS:  I believe that Boat Zoap is still made for those who want it at about $38 per gallon.



Edited by Pete37 on July 14 2011 at 11:43


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: July 14 2011 at 22:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  My Connieís Dirty Little Secret

The bilge of my engine room is relatively free of water and oil.  Some water leaks out of the shaft logs but frequent tightening stops that.  There probably are some oil leaks too but thereís nothing obvious.  Most of the shaft log water runs into the bilge and runs forward to the bilge pump at the front of the engine room.  I donít see a lot of oil there so I guess the oil leakage isnít major.  And Iím not seeing any major drops on the engine oil dipsticks either so I guess the engines are reasonably tight.

But somehow, part of the bilge water flows forward to the bow compartment and is pumped overside.  The bow bilge pump seems to be the most active bilge pump.  And with the water a small amount of oil is also transported to the forward bilge compartment.  But the bilge pump sucks the water from the bottom of the bilge so most of the fluid pumped overside is water not oil.  Therefore, over time, the forward bilge develops a thick black layer of oil.

The only ecologically acceptable method I have found to get rid of the oil is to use a couple of those Seafit Bilge Absorber logs at $11 per unit.  Iím using about four per year now.  Theoretically, you can wring them out and use them again.  But in practice the wrung out logs donít seem to absorb much oil and wringing them out is a very messy job.

Do any of you guys have this problem?  And how do you handle it?

Pete37



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LPLikas
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: May 30 2010
Posts: 10
Posted: July 17 2011 at 07:21 | IP Logged Quote LPLikas

Pete,
I do not have the same problem now but when I first got the boat there was an oily type liquid, and water line in the forward bilge.
I cleaned it up with Dawn dish washing liquid mixed with a little bleach in a pail of water poured into the bilge.
Dawn is the liquid used to help clean oil slicked animals. Environmental friendly
If you can't find any oil leaks, possibly residue from a previous oil leak ended up in one of the drainage channels.
To cure the source of the problem, maybe sending the same mixture down each bilge opening.  Almost all water will end up in the forward two bilges.
Len


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Solomons Island, Maryland
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Pete37
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Posted: July 17 2011 at 11:09 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Len,

Subject: Oily Bilges

Thanks for the tip.  Iíve used this method in the past but Iím trying to be more environmentally friendly now.

Mixing the bilge water with a detergent and then pumping it over the side is a solution as old as the hills.  Itís also illegal even if the detergent is great at washing off birds.  The EPA says mixing the oil with the detergent produces a sludge that falls to the bottom and is bad for all the little creepy crawly bottom dwellers that live down there in the muck and slime.

Having all the oil go to the forward bilge is probably a good thing.  At least it gives us only one location to clean up.

According to most folks I have talked to, Tide is the king of bilge oil killers.  But it really doesnít make much difference.  Most detergents have about the same ingredients (in spite of what their advertising says).  And all the detergents are now phosphate free.  Phosphate was the main objection that all the tree huggers had to detergents.

I suspect that most folks resort to the mixing detergent with the oil approach to get rid of their bilge oil.  Just donít get caught doing it.  Thatís probably unlikely but possible.

In my Connie oily bilges are a continual problem.  And in all my previous boats it was also a problem.  In the past I have used the detergent approach but now Iím trying to be more environmentally friendly.  Unfortunately most of the environmentally friendly approaches also seem to be impractical.

It's probably a good idea to have one of those oil absorber logs in the bilge.  Even if it reached its saturation point a long time ago, if a complaint occurs about pumping an oily bilge it shows that you were concerned and tried to do the right thing.

There is a movement afoot to require that all bilge pumps have oil removal systems on them to prevent bilge oil from being pumped overboard.  So far not much has been done but donít be surprised if they require a $1000 gizmo on your bilge pumps to remove bilge oil in the future.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 17 2011 at 11:19


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DMark
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 03 2007
Posts: 131
Posted: July 17 2011 at 15:18 | IP Logged Quote DMark

All,

Not the least bit interested in a debate on the topic because
I can not and will not. In my line of work, I know the
performance characteristics of Tide and Dawn. All
detergents are most definitely NOT alike. These can not
guarantee that you will deposit environmentally friendly
stuff in the water but are better than depositing oil by itself.
I also know about how oil and gas recycling are done. The
processes are not necessarily regulated, nor are they
necessarily good for the environment. In order to get a
good environmental outcome you'd have to deposit it in
location/containment system that was managed by a
certified enviro company. Many marinas say they "recycle"
but actually do not. So you can see that the world is full of
trade-offs.

Net, net If you are using one of these detergents assuming
that you keep your bilges under control and are not
dumping your crisis into the water and unless you know
your alternatives for certain, I wouldn't loose sleep over it.

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"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 17 2011 at 15:44 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Len and Mark,

Subject: Oily Bilges

I have only limited knowledge of the chemistry of detergents.  But I do know that mixing detergents with oil and then dumping the result over the side is illegal and punishable with a substantial fine.

However, its probably unlikely that the EPA police will catch you.

I don't think any of us are interested in recycling our bilge oil.  We just want to get rid of it. And I certainly don't want to debate the merits of Tide versus Dawn.  What we are talking about amounts to only a few ounces of oil.  It makes a mess in our boats but this is definitely not an Exxon Valdez crisis.

Four of those oil absorber logs per year (at a cost of $40) seems to take care of it.  I was just looking for a simpler, less expensive way to solve the problem.

For example "Is there some chemical we could add to the bilge water that is not on the EPA's hit list"?  I've heard there are microbes that eat the oil. Has anyone tried "WonderMicrobes" or something like it?

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 17 2011 at 16:00


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Pete37
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Posted: July 17 2011 at 17:47 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  GPS Problems

Well, itís been about 6 years since I bought my last GPS Chartplotter.  It was a Lowrance Globalmap 3500c.  Its major attraction was that it had a 480 x 480 resolution while other units at similar prices had only 240 x 240 resolution.  Of course today (six years later) 480 x 480 resolution is no big deal.  But then it was.  Resolution wise it works as advertised but from a display standpoint it stinks.  The pictures below are a 3500c screen display of the Bennett Point Shoal (on the left) with an OpenCPN display of the same thing (on the right):

In the right hand upper corner of the picture you can see the tip of Bennett Point and below it you can see the contours of the shoal.  At the lower end of the shoal there is a small green square representing daymark #3 which marks the southern tip of the shoal.  You can see the tracks my boat has made for the last month or so in the 3500c picture.

The 3500c picture has more information and to a higher accuracy but the OpenCPN picture is far more understandable.  The major difference is, of course, the blue shading of areas with depths of less than 6í.

This made me reconsider the tradeoffs between chartplotters and navigation programs displayed on daylight readable monitors.  The navprograms are obviously more sophisticated and flexible.  And they can give better displays.  But the problem which came back was the cost of the daylight readable display.

The Garmin 4008 Chartplotter, for example, has an 8.4-inch, 4096 color capable VGA sunlight readable display (640 x 480 pixels) with 1200 Nits of brightness.  It comes with all the software included and costs about $1700.  I canít even buy a decent daylight readable monitor for that price.

The Garmin cartography is light years ahead of my old Lowrance 3500cís cartography.  Of course that may not be a fair comparison since the 3500c is a 6 year old unit.  Now $1700 is a bit of cash, but if you overlook a shoal due to poor cartography you may do damage far in excess of that price.  Running with second rate chartplotters can be an expensive exercise.  Makes one wonder how we survived in the days when all we had was paper charts.

Anyway, unless someone knows where I can get a cheap daylight readable display, it looks like a 4008 or something like it is in my future.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 17 2011 at 17:54


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Pete37
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Posted: July 17 2011 at 23:59 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Mark,

Subject: Oil Recycling

Our marina recycles oil.  We have a large 500 gallon tank over on the south side of the marina into which the oil is deposited.  It then sits there until the recycler's truck comes by and pumps the tank out.  I dump all the oil from my oil changes into this tank and have seen the truck.  It says something about oil recycling on the side so I think it's legit.  We don't pay for the recycling service.  He pays us on a per gallon basis for the waste oil.  I've seen it on the marina budget.

I doubt that many marinas actually recycle the oil themselves.  It's not economical on a small scale.  They just store it until the recycler's truck comes by.  It's unlikely that anyone at the marina cares what he does with it.  They just want to get rid of it and to get paid something for it.

I think that this is what most marinas mean when they say they recycle the waste oil.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 18 2011 at 00:05


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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: July 18 2011 at 19:48 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

I purchased two of the groco six port valves for the fuel tank change over system and they are installed and working. If any interest in the installation I will fill you in later when I have time. The boat was hauled today for bottom painting, zincs, polishing, carpet cleaning, etc. Hopefully everything A-OK for our cruise this Saturday. Spending a few days each at Herrington, Cambridge and Annapolis.

Regarding bilges, as I have said many times before, Connies can have dry, bright white ones. Once you get the fresh water system leak free, oil leaks under control, rudders sealed properly, shaft drips contained, etc, it will be fairly easy to spot and repair any future bilge liquid problem.



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GOOD SPIRITS
500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 18 2011 at 19:59 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Glad to hear that your valve installation went OK.  I guess you'll fill us in on any problems later.  Mine are working OK now but I might have to replace one sometime in the future.  Try to document it for the benefit of others in the forum.  It's probably a problem that will eventually occur on most of the Connies.

This week it's supposed to hotter than blazes but perhaps by next week it will cool down. Have a pleasant trip.

Pete37



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Bennett
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2007
Posts: 121
Posted: July 18 2011 at 20:10 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

Fuel Valve Wrench

I checked my fuel valves after all the talk of valve problems,
thankfully they operate fine. However, I had forgotten that
there is a wrench stored under the valve step which makes
turning the valves very easy. The wrench is basically a small
cylinder that has cutouts to straddle the valve's handle and an
extension arm for leverage.


Bennett

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Delaware Jim
"Navigator"




Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: July 19 2011 at 10:20 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Bennett,

This is the first time I've heard of a handle or wrench to turn the fuel valves.  As the 4th owner, obviously I never found any described tool.  Can you elaborate on this item so those of us who have "tight" but working valves know the "rest of the story".  In advance, thanks!

Jim



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Bennett
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2007
Posts: 121
Posted: July 19 2011 at 10:53 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

Hand Sketch of wrench


19_105101_scan0006.jpg">

If this does not load (I seem to have problems uploading
pictures - just PM me with your email and I will forward.

The next time I go to the boat, I will take some pictures of
the wrench.

Bennett

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Bellavita3
"Seaman"




Joined: July 28 2008
Posts: 63
Posted: July 19 2011 at 14:28 | IP Logged Quote Bellavita3

Hello all,

Re: Sticky fuel valves

My fuel valves used to be difficult to turn but that's not the reason I ended up replacing them.  We were getting "champagne" bubbles swirling around in the Racor bowls and after replacing EVERY fuel line on the boat it was still happening.  I believe that overworking those valves caused the seals in the stem to fail which allowed air to be sucked into the system.  Maybe my theory is wrong, but everything else in the whole fuel system had been replaced and by sheer process of elimination the valves were the only remaining culprit allowing air to get into the system.  Also, the valves are high enough that air could potentially be sucked in when under vacuum, but fuel wouldn't leak out at rest.  Again, just my theory, but after replacing the valves with a whole new fuel manifold system the problem went away.  The moral to the story here....  Use extreme caution when forcing sticky fuel valves!

Re: Oily dirty bilges

I agree 100% with Dave when he said, "Connies can have dry, bright white ones. Once you get the fresh water system leak free, oil leaks under control, rudders sealed properly, shaft drips contained, etc, it will be fairly easy to spot and repair any future bilge liquid problem. "

Having clean bilges is one of the best ways to monitor what's happening and immediately spot problems.  If you suddenly see oil, fuel or even a little extra water you know something is amiss.  About 6 years ago we cut out all the plywood floors down the center of the engine and generator rooms and replaced them with diamond plate sections that can be lifted up for cleaning.  It wasn't a fun project, but I was tired of the giant "sag" caused by the weight of four 8D batteries and the inability to get underneath and clean the oily mess left by the previous owner.

Here's the process we use to avoid dumping dirty bilge gunk into the harbor.  Using a small 1 gal. "stinger" wet/dry vac, a Hudson pump sprayer (like an exterminator would use) and a biodegradable orange oil cleaner.  Fill the Hudson sprayer with hot water and orange cleaner and have at it.  (We also used this method to clean the engines before painting)  Most sprayers have an adjustable tip that allows you to create a focused "mini-pressure washer" stream.  The cleaning power of the hot water, orange cleaner and pressure works quite well, uses very little water and minimizes scrubbing effort (a cheap toilet brush works well)  Suck up all the gunk with your wet/dry vac and dump into a 5 gallon paint bucket.  After a few minutes, any oil or fuel will rise to the top of the bucket where it can be easily skimmed off leaving just the filthy soapy water behind.  Finish with a fresh water rinse from the hose using a fine mist sprayer.  If you've got two people it's not as bad as it sounds.  You need one person working in the bilge and the other one filling the sprayer with hot water/cleaner and dumping the little 1 gallon wet/dry vac into the 5 gallon bucket.  It's amazing how many zip ties, nuts, bolts, screws and unidentified bits of junk you find down there.  I'm sure the "skimmed" filthy water is still slightly toxic, but at least it doesn't leave an obvious slick on the water when I dump it overboard and I feel like I've done as much as possible to minimize it.

Well, that's my two cents for the day.  I hope everyone is enjoying the summer aboard their boats.  We're headed for the back side of Catalina Island this weekend.

Regards,
Ron




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Bella Vita
1985 Chris Craft 460
Laguna Niguel, CA
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: July 19 2011 at 21:37 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Bilge Cleaners

There are a number of proprietary bilge cleaners made that claim to be environmentally friendly.  However, it's hard to tell whether they are EPA approved. They cost about $30 per gallon  (but can be as high as $60 per gallon).  They can be had in lemon, pine or orange scents and there doesn't seem to any difference (costwise) for your scent preference.

However, the cost tradeoff between oil absorber logs and  proprietary bilge cleaners is slim.  If it takes only one gallon of proprietary cleaner to do the job the cleaner is less expensive.  But if it takes two the absorber logs are cheaper.

Now that most detergents have no phosphate, even household detergents might be OK.  But I don't have any solid statement on that. The cheapest solution is ordinary household detergent (if that's legal).

Things that would make it illegal (according to the EPA) are

"Phthalates, known reproductive toxicants, known mutagens, known neurotoxicants, alkylphenol ethoxylates, carcinogens (known, probable, or possible), ethylene glycol ethers, chlorine bleach and inorganic phosphates". 

My bottle of Tide specifically says it has no phosphates and that it uses a bleach substitute (not bleach itself).  I don't think it has any of that other stuff either so it's probably acceptable.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 19 2011 at 21:55


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: July 19 2011 at 21:47 | IP Logged Quote eshover

If I may offer the following; I am a strong believer in
absorbent pads and logs as a means of keeping bilges clean
and also for detecting leaks, etc.
I use the following company:

http://www.newpig.com/us/

The local store prices are simply too high for me. If you are
willing to make a little investment in buying bulk, you can
save quite a bit on the items.

Thank you.

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: July 19 2011 at 22:17 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Fuel Valve Wrenches

I went through this fuel valve business and found that what I needed was a better valve handle with greater leverage.  I removed the valve handle and found that the top of the shaft had a 5/16" four sided head.  I used a 5/16" 12 point socket wrench and that worked well.  But I don't like using 12 point sockets on 4 sided heads because of the danger of stripping off the points.  I've been looking for a 4 sided socket but haven't yet been able to find one.  In the meantime the 12 pt socket works (with care!).

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 19 2011 at 22:21


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: July 20 2011 at 21:40 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: What the EPA Has in Store for You

Congress passed the Clean Boating Act (CBA) in 2008 as an amendment to the Clean Water Act (CWA).  At present the EPA is developing new regulations to control the discharge of polluting substances from recreational watercraft.  These substances, however, do not include the regulation of vessel sewage which has already been implemented by the EPA.

The target of these new regulations is what is sometimes called graywater and in particular for this article includes oily bilge water discharge.  These regulations will probably be implemented in 2015.

It is very early in the development of these regulations but there are hints as to what the final regulations will be.  The EPA has developed a draft of how bilge water discharges from diesel powered motorboats less than 65í in length will be handled.  It has considered three methods to handle these discharges. 

The first is to simply filter the discharges (FD).  No method for handling the pollutants is mentioned but I assume the pollutants would be separated from the clean water and stored somewhere on the vessel; later to be discharged to an onshore processing facility.  Your boat would be required to have a graywater tank similar to your present sewage holding tank but presumably much larger since the amount of bilge water is much greater than the sewage.  No details on this method have been presented to this date.

The second method is in-situ biological (ISB); not very practical since it only works in warm climates.  The EPA appears to have passed over this method.

The third method is called Collection, Holding, and Transfer (CHT).  This method envisions collecting all the bilge water and storing it aboard the vessel for later transfer to an onshore processing facility.  This method requires very large storage tanks aboard the vessel.  It also requires expensive onshore processing facilities.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages.  FD sounds simple but the task of finding a suitable filter that will capture all the pollutants may be quite complex and the filters quite expensive.

All of these methods would be quite expensive to implement on an older boat.  Connies, for example, have five bilge pumps.  The overside discharges of all these pumps would have to be shut off and the output hoses routed to a single collection tank. 

In the FD method the tankís contents would then be separated by the filter with the pollutants going to a storage tank and the clean water going overboard.

In the ISB method the bacteria would have to work on the pollutants in the tank for quite a time before they would be ready for discharge.  This may require a very large storage tank.

In the CHT method all bilge water must be stored aboard.  This places a premium on making your boat completely watertight in order to minimize the bilge water, reduce the size of the tanks and maximize the time between trips to the pump out facility.  The engine and rudder shaft logs are usually the major sources of leaks.  In addition to these sources, there would also be the deck leaks and all the drainage from the vesselís fresh water system.   Sewage would presumably be handled by the existing sewage holding tank.

If all the boats in a marina had to dump their bilge water at the fuel dock, the facilities would be overwhelmed.  The marina would have to install a new plumbing system on each dock with a master pump to pump out the bilge water from all the boats on the dock.  Hoses similar to your water supply system would connect from each slip to the boat in that slip.  And the marina would also have to build a rather expensive treatment system to process the pollutants.  The cost of these facilities would also have to be passed on to the boat owner. 

The main problems with the CHT are the huge storage tanks required, the expensive shore plumbing system and pollutant processing system.  Bilge discharges contain large amounts of oil not normally present in onshore sewage processing plants.  Some pre-processing of the boat discharge would probably be necessary before it could be passed on to municipal sewage systems.

In spite of these difficulties the CHT method has been the one selected by the EPA for preliminary trials.

One factor which seems to have been entirely overlooked by the EPA is that our bilge pumps are not there just to facilitate the pumping of pollutants into the bay.  They are there primarily to keep our vessels afloat.  All the plumbing necessary to route the bilge pump outputs to a single point of collection as much as 50í away severely reduces the output of the pumps.  And the single point output also creates a single point failure mode which can sink our boats

Pete37

 



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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: July 21 2011 at 11:09 | IP Logged Quote eshover

The A/C unit under the bar has given up on Southern
Charm. It is the compressor. Appears that a valve has
broken with int he compressor and I am getting equalized
readings across the gauges. The compressor is louder
than normal, making a metallic sound when running and
producing now cool air.
I have discovered that the folks I have called have no
interest in fixing A/C units with regards to installing a new
compressor in a very old unit. While I understand that
reasoning, it is an issue which is now pervasive within our
community. Much like the automotive industry, everything
is now plug n' play.

If I must purchase a new unit, I am considering bumping
the btu to the 16K range.

However, as a last ditch effort I would still consider repair
of the existing unit (I recently installed a new digital
thermostat on this unit).

If anyone knows of a repair service in the
Annapolis/Baltimore area that will install a new compressor
on these units, feel free to contact me direct at
eshover47@gmail.com

These boat units are very simple and it wouldn't take a
brain surgeon to repair them. It's just that no one wants
to.
I will remove the unit from the boat and take it to them.

Thanks for your time.
Emory

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: July 21 2011 at 16:31 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

We used to have a refrigerator man named "Casey" over here on Kent Island.  He's semi-retired now but still does work.  You might give him a try.  I have two numbers for him:

410-496-1249

410-758-3232

One is probably his cell phone.

Good luck,

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on July 21 2011 at 16:45


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suwanneered
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 15 2006
Posts: 165
Posted: July 21 2011 at 17:20 | IP Logged Quote suwanneered

Hi Emory: I see where your have a need for a compressor for your a/c unit.I also needed one and found them at a steal on -bay as the company who has them  said they were clearing them out off the warehouse.On our older units they require R-22 freon which is not being used any longer due to EPA. Any way I am posting the E Bay # for you and you may check it out.Any marine A/c Place wants 700.00 so check this out as they are brand new still in the original boxes.  E-Bay #150597655342. I think you will like what you see there.
I am on the Chris Craft Commander Club Forum, Good Luck.Bill Smith
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: July 22 2011 at 09:54 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Suwanny - here's the part two to the situation. Once you buy
the compressor for $700 (plus shipping I presume) you must
find someone to install the thing. I have found no one willing
to even do this (I cannot) and the folks who have discussed
the issue stated; "you will have a new compressor surrounded
by 25 year old parts and no warranty." So the possibility
remains that one could throw good money after bad. I am all
for fixing things and do so constantly to save money.
However, sometimes it is best to install new equipment with a
full warranty and go on with life. I only wish to pull this unit
out once!   I will perform the removal and install which will
save me considerable labor costs.

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posts: 205
Posted: July 22 2011 at 09:57 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Oops - hit the send button too quickly;
The labor costs quoted to me have been anywhere from $500
to $800 to install the compressor, and that's with me pulling
the unit out!

Might as well buy a new one. And there are options galore out
there.


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