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Pete37
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Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: August 23 2011 at 00:47 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Subject: Adjusting Gore-Tex Packing

I was reading some literature on Gore-Tex packing and ran across the following statement:

ďStopping leakage entirely at this point will cause the packing to burn up.Ē

Gore-Tex warns against tightening the stuffing boxes up so much that leakage is eliminated.  They recommend a leakage of 8-10 drops per minute per inch of shaft diameter.  On our 2.5Ē shafts thatís 20-25 drops per minute or about 1.5 gallons per day per shaft.  So an absolutely dry pristine bilge is not desirable.

Iíve seen similar statements by other manufacturers for their products.  For most packings water is an essential lubricant.  The only way I would want to cut off leakage entirely would be if the packing and packing gland manufacturer specifically stated that was acceptable.

The Murray Chris Craft Owners Manual says the folowing about packings:

"A very slight leakage is desirable as it helps lubricate the packing.  Over tightening may score the shaft."

We certainly donít want our shaft logs to be gushers but totally dry isnít good either.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 23 2011 at 01:04


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eshover
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Posted: August 23 2011 at 07:50 | IP Logged Quote eshover

http://www.boatus.com/boattech/Casey/StuffingBox.htm

The article above is a very good article on stuffing box
maintenance by Don Casey.

I have always been taught the "traditional" stuffing box drip
is supposed to occur when the shaft is turning. No drip
when idle is perfectly acceptable. My packing glands do
not drip when they are at idle (stopped) but only when
turning.

Emory




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David Ross
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Posted: August 23 2011 at 08:35 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Pete,

As mentioned I keep new sponges (large 3M commercial) in areas where wanted drips may occur. By keeping the sponges like new and clean I can also tell if anything else may be leaking by color and/or odor. The sponges should dry out after a run from the engine heat. I can tell by the sponge dampness, or lack there of, how things are working. The sponges keep water from building up and going into drain holes and help keep the bilge areas dry.

 



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David Ross
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Posted: August 23 2011 at 09:27 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Connie 500 sales and listings,

It appears there are about 11 of these boats currently listed for sale. Interesting that 6 of them are in Texas. From what I have heard and put together, about 10 to 12 500's have sold since spring 2010. I originally thought a lot of Connies where just taken off the market. From watching these boat prices drop from their original listing amount to much lower, they appear to have found the current market price... I'm sure at numbers that would not make any of us very happy. The good news is they are selling and the supply is decreasing.

I have seen a lot of activity with people looking at boats in our marina and the area and boats ARE selling. Some of those sellers and buyers are moving up. IF this recent stock market decline is just an over reaction to the uneasiness of current conditons and the government can get their act together, hopefully things will improve. I guess that is a big IF.



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Pete37
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Posted: August 23 2011 at 21:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave & All,

Subject: Stuffing Box Drip

The sponges are going to have to be awfully big to accept 1.5 gallons of water.  And that's only the first day.  After a couple of days they will be totally saturated regardless of what size they are.  Engine heat, if it works to evaporate the moisture, only works immediately after the engines have been run.  Very few of us run our engines every day.  Once every 10 to 15 days is more typical (based on the hours Connies are run).

I'm familiar with Don Casey's Library and he's got a lot of good stuff.  But in the article mentioned by Emory he gives absolutely no basis (other than his opinion) for most of his statements.  And some of his opinions are in direct conflict with the manufacturer's recomendations.  Before I would give them any credence I would have to see some factual basis for his opinions.  The trouble with opinions is that everyone has one.

I didn't create that comment by Gore-Tex. I simply reported it.  The manufacturer (Gore-Tex) warns against running the packing dry and specifies 20-25 drops per minute (for a rotating 2.5" shaft) as the minimal acceptable level of lubrication.  Casey recommends 1 to 2 drops per minute (less than 1/10th the manufacturer's minimal acceptable level).

You can ignore them if you wish but it would seem prudent to follow the manufacturer's recommendations. 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 23 2011 at 22:16


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Pete37
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Posted: August 24 2011 at 22:40 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Stuffing Box Boot Failures

The main reason I am not enthusiastic about obtaining a dry bilge by starving the lubrication of the stuffing boxes is that I think that I think that the stuffing box boot is the Achilles heel which may cause the sinking of some of our Connies.  The stuffing box boot is that raggedy old rubber tube behind the stuffing box which connects the stuffing box to the propeller shaft tube.

Itís 24 years old on my Connie and up to 27 years old on some of the older Connies.  Rubber doesnít last forever.  Iíve wanted to replace my stuffing box boots for several years but itís expensive.  The propeller shaft must be disconnected and pulled out in order to replace the boot.  So that job has been relegated to an inspect-it very carefully and often task.  And replace it immediately if any problems show up.

As our Connies age the shafts become more and more scored.  Thatís an unavoidable consequence of age and use.  And as they become more scored it takes more pressure on the stuffing box boot to keep them from dripping.  The boot is the only thing which keeps the stuffing box from rotating and age with the concomittant increased pressure increases the torque on the boot.  Three things may happen.

First, the boot itself may rip.  And once the boot starts ripping the torque will continue to rip the boot to shreds.  The leak that will cause will be in excess of 5000 gph which is far more than our bilge pumps can handle and the result will be a rather rapid sinking of your Connie.  The second thing that can happen is that the torque can simply exceed the amount of counteracting torque the hose clamps can produce.  The result is that the stuffing box will start to rotate causing the boot to get torn up and again a rather rapid sinking of your Connie.  And the third failure mode is that under the increased torque the hose clamps may simply snap.  Again causing a huge leak that will sink your Connie.

So all I can do is to monitor the condition of the boot and try to minimize the torque on the boot.  But minimizing the torque requires that the pressure on the stuffing box be kept low and that in turn means a higher level of leakage.  Itís a tradeoff.  Tolerate an increased leakage and remote chance of sinking or risk the chance of a boot failure and a very rapid sinking.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 00:10 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: We Survived the Earthquake and Tsunami's of August 23, 2011

Arlene and I had the boat out on Tuesday when the earthquake occurred.  We were anchored in 20 feet of water and relaxing on the FB at about 1:50 PM when it suddenly felt like the boat had hit the bottom.  There were several shocks and it felt lke we were running aground. 

The whole boat shook and rattled.  I was mystified; How can we be running aground when we are anchored in 20' of water?

About 5 minutes later we were struck by a miniature tsunami coming from the south.  A series of about 6" high smooth rounded waves with no apparent source.  And then a minute or so later a sharp breaking wave about a foot high from the west.  Again no apparent source for the wave.

We wondered; Whales, sea monsters, evil spirits?  It was only later when we got back to the dock that we found out that it was the earthquake.

Now if we can just survive the hurricane that's coming.....

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 25 2011 at 00:24


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David Ross
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 08:16 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Pete,

Depending on the type of material or set up used, age and degree of dripping from the rudder and shaft areas desired, I agree that there would or could be water entering the boat. However, with all other leaks taken care of, that would be a known issue along with the water flow path. That water flow should be monitored and in most cases could be contained by inginuity. Wet vac the shaft bilge area and/or the rudder area (including the channel in the the engine room next to the forward bilge pump, thru the circular hole, and then the bow bilge area) after taking the boat out will help in some cases, as there may be more dripping then when just in the slip. By knowing the pattern of these drips, any other one that developes would be easier to trace.



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David Ross
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 08:38 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

I was sitting in the car in a parking lot while my wife went into a store when the earthquake hit. I felt the car slightly start to move, then really rock and then a differant movement. Everyone ran out of the store and interestingly did not feel it anymore while I still did sitting in the car. I shouted to them if they could still feel it and none did. I experienced movement three times longer than they did. I lived in California for a few years but this one caught me off guard. 

An earthquake and now a hurricane heading our way all within a few days. Locusts next? Time to watch the weather and prepare the house and boat accordingly.....



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Pete37
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 09:49 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Subject: Drip Patterns, Etc.

If your stuffing box boot goes you probably won't get any warning.  Your first indication will be when the engines flood out.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 10:21 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Engine Gauge Problems

I took the boat out on Monday and shortly after bringing the boat up to a 1400 rpm cruise noticed that the port FB engine gauge was reading 190F.  Thatís 20F above the normal reading of 170F.  Not wanting to have an engine meltdown similar to Emoryís, I immediately went below and checked the port LS temperature gauge.  It was reading 150F.  This told me that it was an instrument problem rather than an actual engine overheat.  I also noticed that the port FB oil gauge was reading 15 psi rather than the normal 30 psi and the LS oil gauge was reading 45 psi.

The temperature and oil gauges each use a single sender mounted on the engine to measure the temperature or oil pressure.  So any time the gauge readings on the FB and LS have markedly different readings you know the problem is in the instrumentation.  Small differences, however, are possible because the gauges are not all identical.

That evening I went home and checked the instrumentation system wiring diagrams.  Based on the drawings I diagnosed the problem as a loose or corroded ground wire between the fuel gauge and oil gauge.  The following day I re-crimped the solder-less connectors for the ground wire between the gas gauge and oil pressure gauge and the gauge readings went back to normal.

On the FB the instrument panel uses chain connections.  This means that the ground terminal on each gauge is connected to the ground terminal of the gauge prior to it rather than directly to a common ground terminal.  This is very bad practice but weíre stuck with it.

Anyway if you see big differences between the readings on your FB and LS gauges look for an open circuit in the FB ground wires.  An open circuit on the ground wires of the LS gauges could do the same thing but is much less likely because the LS has better protection from the weather.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 25 2011 at 10:23


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Pete37
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Posted: August 25 2011 at 22:01 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Irene

Well, I guess most of us in VA, MD and NJ will be busy for the next few days preparing our Connies for Irene.  I plan on doubling all lines (with 1Ē lines I keep for hurricanes) and removing all canvas.  I live only three miles from my slip so Iíll probably go down a couple times on Saturday and Sunday to check out how my Connie is doing.

My marina is totally enclosed so I donít have to worry about waves.  But we do get the effects of storm surges which sometimes require slacking off on the lines.  And of course I have to worry about the covered dock coming apart and falling on my boat.  At present the forecasts are only for tropical storm winds (about 50 mph) which probably wouldnít damage the docks.  But if Irene changes course 115 mph is possible and anything could happen.  I hope thatís only remotely possible.

After Iíve prepped my Connie all I can do is wait, check the forecasts regularly and see what happens.   Hope that you all ride out the storm safely without any damage to your Connies.

Pete37

PS: www.wbaltv.com is a good place to track the storm.  They are presently (11:30 PM 8/25/11) predicting  30-50 mph winds (western shore) and 40-70 mph winds (eastern shore) on Sunday morning,  Peak winds should occur about 1:00 AM Sunday morning.  They don't say how far the eastern and western shore zones extend from the actual Bay shorelines.  Probably should figure 35-60 mph directly on the Bay.  High tide occurs around 6 AM Sunday morning so expect the maximum flooding then.



Edited by Pete37 on August 25 2011 at 23:58


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eshover
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Posted: August 26 2011 at 08:36 | IP Logged Quote eshover

@All - Sea trial went well yesterday in very foul weather.
Ran at 800/1000/1600 and finally 2000 rpm (too early for
full load test).   She was running 17kts coming down the
channel into Mill Creek. Going out we had heavy seas and
wind on the nose, lightning and rain! When I made my turn
to come back in from the middle of the Bay, I got
hammered by some rollers and all of us Connies folks
know what pigs these boats are turning around in heavy
seas.   Stuff went flying all over the boat, but no real
damage that I know of.

All-in-all, if it had to be rebuilt, I am extremely pleased
with the work and professionalism of Mr. Tom Hug of MR
Power Specialists. He is definitely my "go-to" mechanic
from now on.

Southern Charm will be on two anchors on Mill Creek
Saturday afternoon and Sunday I assume. Wish me luck!

I wish everyone good luck and God speed over the
weekend!

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: August 26 2011 at 10:39 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Congrats on a successful overhaul.  That was a pretty fast turnaround,  Engines crapped out July 31st and repaired by August 25; 25 days. Hope that kills all the gremlins that engine had before the overhaul.

Hope those anchors are big ones and the bottom is good holding ground.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 26 2011 at 10:44


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David Ross
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Posted: August 26 2011 at 13:35 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Glad the engine ran well, Emory!!

I'm off to the boat to prepare for the storm. Good luck to all.....



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: August 26 2011 at 16:41 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Storms -

Here in Central Florida we "dodged a bullet" with Irene.  It was too far offshore to give us any risk of damage.  However, the "checklist" for my Connie and us include:

Loose Items

         Remove all cushions from FB

         Secure chairs/loose items on FB

         Remove FB Canvas Ė fold and store

         Remove canvas and cushions from bow seating 

 

Window protection (if Cat 2 or higher)

         Place plywood covers over windows with duct tape (6 sheets thin plywood) Ė 

 

Tie downs and Lines

         Move boat forward out of slip for extra space at stern

         Secure spring lines on both sides - tie high on pilings

         Secure bow lines on both sides

 

Interior preparations

        move TV set and sat dish/internet gear to interior location away from windows

         Get boat documents and place all in zip lock bags

 

Other Items - Personal safety

         Both autos full of gas and readied as needed for evacuation if called

         Pack a "go bag" for 2 nights away

         Motel reservations or lodging in safe location

A comment about the "window protection" and covering with plywood.  At somewhere approaching 100 mph winds, flying debris becomes a significant issue.  Breaking a window with debris can make a big mess with blowing rain, etc.  I purchased this week before the storm some sheets of 1/4" plywood ($11 a sheet) which can be quickly cut and installed with duct tape. Most windows have a "ledge" to sit the sheet on and tape in place.  I think if I can protect the windows, I may significantly reduce any damage that might occur otherwise to the interior.

Be safe and we wish all our East Coast friends get through this storm OK.

Emory

I second the joy in hearing your great news on the rebuild!

Jim

 



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Pete37
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Posted: August 26 2011 at 18:34 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim, 

I just finished doing most of that stuff.  And now Irene seems to be heading towards a landfall near the SC/NC border.  If it goes ashore there it will be considerably diminished by the time it gets to the middle Cheaspeake Bay.  May not even be a hurricane,

But anyway, I'm prepared regardless of what happens.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: August 27 2011 at 11:22 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Looks like Irene was a big fizzle.  Highest winds are predicted at 40 mph (at least for Kent Island, MD) and a 1 to 3 foot tidal surge.  But at least I don't have to worry about the safety of my Connie.

Pete37



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eshover
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Posted: August 28 2011 at 11:35 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - Irene was a fizzle huh? You should have spent the
night on my boat! Especially between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m.
The wind was gale force according to the USCG.

To all: Shirley tried to stay up with me but I finally told her
to go on to bed. She slept through the entire night! Wish I
could sleep like that! I stayed up and mostly watched the
radar. I set up a boundary ring, anchor alarm and created
a 137 yard "route" between me and a raghauler which was
anchored directly behind me. So that gave me at least
four measurements, by which, I would know if my anchors
were dragging. My Fortress and my standard Danforth
held all night and kept me spot on.

Now, I am "dog-assed" tired and am trying to figure out
how to un-foul my anchor lines. It's not that bad but the
rope rode is wrapped around the chain once or twice. If
the stinking wind would lay down a bit, I think I could
handle this situation.

I hope everyone is safe and their homes, boats and
property are in one piece. The main thing, of course, is
your survival. Everything else can be replaced.

To Delaware Jim: you forgot an essential item in your
survival kit! A fifth of JD!   This, of course, is for medicinal
purposes only!

See ya'll soon.

Emory


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: August 28 2011 at 16:17 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Emory,

I said " Pack a "go bag" for 2 nights away"  ...  What do you think is in the bag?!  :-)

Jim

 



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eshover
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Posted: August 28 2011 at 17:15 | IP Logged Quote eshover

I should have known Jim! Great minds drink, er, eh, I mean
THINK alike!! ;)

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Pete37
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Posted: August 28 2011 at 21:35 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subject: Irene Experiences

Over here on Kent Island all we got was 30-50 mph winds with perhaps a 60 mph gust or two.  The ground was extremely wet so it knocked down a tree or two.  But there was no flooding or damage to houses.  As always there were power outages but service was restored within about 12 hours.

However, we had a very faint hearted county executive who ordered a mandatory evacuation of Kent Island.  I haven't found anyone yet who obeyed it.  It pissed off a lot of people.  Doubt he'll be re-elected.

The main thing we got was rain.  Rain, rain and more rain.

The wind whistled around the house a lot and the TV commentators had a field day commenting on the storm but nothing significant happened.  Nationwide, there were a lot of fatalities. However, most happened to people who did damned stupid things.

I doubled my lines and removed all canvas as a precaution but I didn't think it was necesary to stay aboard during the storm.  My Connie didn't get damaged and as far as I can tell none of the other 270 boats in the marina had problems.  I think there were a few boats in the yard that had some ripped canvas.  They could probably have avoided it by taking the canvas down.

I've had large boats that were kept in marinas for about 35 years and in that time my boats have survived about 70 hurricanes wiythout any significant damage.  Irene was not a memorable hurricane.

I even crossed the Chesapeake Bay single handed once in a 33' Egg during a hurricane.  A really dumb thing to do.  But I have never intentionally anchored out during a hurricane. And if I did, I'd never stay aboard.  In my opinion that's too dangerous.  You can never tell how an anchor is going to behave.  I'd rather take my chances with a few bumps and bruises tied up to a dock.

But I'm glad to hear that you survived Irene with no damage.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on August 30 2011 at 23:40


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Posted: September 01 2011 at 00:20 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: "Vintage Port", Hull 162

I was surfing the web today and found that "Vintage Port" was for sale again at $160K marked down from about $200K.  She is now owned by a Mr. Shays who keeps her in St. Michaels and has named her "Bella Betsi".

She used to be the Sargent's Connie but they sold her about a year ago,  Prior to the Sargents she was owned by a Mr. Sherritt, who named her "Vintage Port".  And prior to that she was owned by Daria Harris who named her "Daria".

All of this happened in the span of only 7 years from 2004 to 2011.  She's had four owners (Shays, Sargent, Sherritt, and Harris) who kept her for an average of only 1 year and 9 months each. 

She's a nicely decorated boat and appears to be in pretty good condition so it's hard to explain why she changed hands so often.  I guess it's just because some of the owners bought her and later found they couidn't afford her.

One thing that's a little strange is that she's advertised under the name "Vintage Port" while she is now documented as "Bella Betsi".  I guess the current owner didn't have time to change her markings.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 01 2011 at 00:23


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TStellato
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Posted: September 01 2011 at 17:33 | IP Logged Quote TStellato


This was Ron's boat in Baltimore.  He and Lexi sold her last year to move to FL.  He said that he sold her for about $135K and that the guy he sold her to, was new to boating.

They brought the boat down from Michigan and were first in Annapolis and then later went to Baltimore.  I do know that this is one of the boats that soots.


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1985 Constellation
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Pete37
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Posted: September 01 2011 at 19:44 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Vicki,

I'm beginning to suspect that the ad was simply a left over which the broker hasn't withdrawn from his site.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 01 2011 at 19:56


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Pete37
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Posted: September 06 2011 at 20:32 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Furman,

No the forum's not down.  But it's been rather quiet lately.  Last post was 9 days ago. Normally I'll make some posts to stir things up but I've been having health problems (bad hip).  Everything related to boating seems to be on the slide these days.

Connie owners, like most boaters, are having a hard time making ends meet in this sour economy.  And therefore they aren't making upgrades and talking about them.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: September 08 2011 at 16:23 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:FB Instrument Console and Alarms

The flying bridge instrument console is shown below:

There are 10 instrument gauges in the top row.  They are, from left to right, the port Fireboy display, the port engine temperature gauge, the port tachometer, the port oil pressure gauge, the port fuel gauge, the starboard fuel gauge, the starboard oil pressure gauge, the starboard tachometer, the starboard engine temperature gauge and the starboard Fireboy display.  At the center and slightly below the top row is a voltmeter.

In addition to the gauges and displays there are six rectangular red warning lights. The four warning lights above the top row of gauges display a dangerous condition for the gauge below the light;  excessively high temperature for the temperature gauges and low oil pressure for the oil pressure gauges.  In addition there are two warning lights to the right and left of the top row of gauges which warn of excessively high temperature for the port and starboard transmissions respectively.

The warning lights are completely independent of the gauges and when one or more warning lights are on a Son-A-Lert buzzer warns of the dangerous condition. The gauges, warning lights and buzzers are duplications of the units on the lower instrument consoles.  Lights, gauges and buzzers do not work unless the ignition switch for their respective engine is turned on.

When the engines are not operating there is no oil pressure for either the engine or transmission oil pressure gauges/alarms and therefore it is normal for the buzzers to sound when the ignition is first turned on.  But once started the engines should provide oil pressure and the buzzers should turn off.  If the oil pressure for either the engine or transmission drops to zero while the engine is operating the engine (or transmission) has lost oil pressure and should be shut down immediately.

The whole purpose of the gauges, warning lights and buzzers is to prevent the engines from being run at excessively high temperatures and/or excessively low oil pressures.  With the redundant gauges, warning lights and buzzers it is hard to understand how that can happen and yet it occasionally does happen and the outcome is usually a badly damaged engine.

Gauges are your first line of defense.  But it easy to become distracted and neglect to monitor the gauges while running your engines and it only takes a few minutes to fry an engine when the cooling system fails.  If lubrication fails the damage can be done in less than a minute.  Thatís why we have buzzers and warning lights.  Fortunately, the engines can only be started from the lower console and the low oil pressure buzzers go off the moment the ignition is turned on.  The loss of this automatic activation of the buzzers would be noticed almost immediately so the low oil pressure alarms are tested every time the engines are started.

Unfortunately, the engines are cold when started, and rarely exceed the normal operating limits during normal operating conditions.  So an engine can be operated for years without ever activating the high temperature alarms.  In the past, when we ran our engines at 2000 rpm we would occasionally exceed the temperature limits which would test the alarm system.  But now that we cruise at lower rpms (to save fuel) the engine temperature alarms never get tested.

So now if our engine cooling system springs a leak the first warning we get (if the alarm system malfunctions) is a high temperature gauge reading.  And if we fail to monitor the temperature gauge closely the first warning is when our overheated engine grinds to a stop.  I think that is what may have happened to Emory.

Burned out engines are expensive and therefore Iím sure we all want to avoid them.  One way to do that is to monitor the engine temperature gauges like a hawk.

Another way is to test the engine temperature alarm system frequently.  A simple momentary push button switch connected between the alarm system and ground will test all of the alarm system (except for the sender itself).  This is fine except that itís easy to forget to test it.

A more thorough way is to wire a second sender in parallel to the existing sender.  That way if either sender closes it will sound the alarm.  Now all I have to do is to get the specs of the existing sender.

Pete37

PS:  Think I found the sender.  It's made by Cole Hersee and costs about $10.  Not bad as extra protection for a $20,000 engine.

 



Edited by Pete37 on September 08 2011 at 16:45


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Pete37
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Posted: September 14 2011 at 17:48 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  The Connie Forum History

I bought my Connie way back in November of 1994.  She was 7 years old at the time.  Three previous large yachts with twin diesels had given me considerable experience with twin diesel motoryachts so I thought I had enough experience to move up to a 50 footer.

Remember those days when diesel was $1.15 per gallon and you could occasionally get it for $0.85 a gallon?   Everything was cheaper then and I could easily run the boat for under $8K per year (including repairs).  And in those days with a 7 year old boat there werenít many repairs.

Now diesel is nearly $3.00 per gallon and itís difficult to keep the yearly expenses below $16K.  Repairs are the wild card and now with a 25 year old boat the repairs are more frequent and more expensive.  I do nearly all my own repairs and maintenance (except for major engine work).  If I had yard people do it for me it would be at least $8K more.  I also own my own slip which saves me about $5K per year.  Without these advantages Iíd be looking at close to $30K per year to run the boat.

In 2003 I had a major engine failure caused by a ruptured exhaust elbow.  It cost $22,000 for repairs.  In retrospect, I realized that the exhaust elbow should have been replaced earlier and I resolved that I wasnít going to let that happen again.  I joined Boatdiesel.com and read everything I could find on 6V92s. It was useful but didnít cover all the systems you find in a motoryacht.

In 2004 and 2005 I joined and participated in several Chris Craft forums.  Again, they were useful, but they werenít specific to our Connies.  I decided that what was needed was a forum specifically dedicated to the maintenance and repair of Connies.  And in 2006 when Boat US started the Manufacturerís Forums I started this forum.

The forum has been pretty successful with about 4800 posts and an astounding 312,000 reads.  About 1850 of those posts (38%) were mine and now when I search the web for info on Connies I find that a lot of the hits are references to my and your posts.

In 2008 there were 5 Connies docked in or within 1 mile of my marina.  Since then four have been sold or are in the process of being sold.  The only one left is mine.  The recession has been very hard on boat owners and many of them are bailing out.  The marina itself, which prior to 2008 had a waiting list, now has only about 70% occupancy.  And many of the boats which are there are there only because the owners refuse to sell at give-away prices.

In 2006 I said that Connies were expensive toys and that the only way to control the costs was to be smart about maintaining and repairing your Connie.  In 2011 the costs have more than doubled and that comment is even more applicable.  This Connie forum is the only forum dedicated to the maintenance and repair of your Connies and participating in it is the only way to keep it going.

Pete37



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Grey Goose
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Posted: September 14 2011 at 18:01 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Where do you get Diesel for nearly $3/gallon, I want some of that
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Pete37
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Posted: September 14 2011 at 18:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allan,

Sorry, I had a brain fart. It should have read "nearly $4.00 a gallon".  Actually my last load was $3.889 per gallon.  Guess that makes things even worse than I stated.

It took only about 13 minutes for that errror to be picked up.  Guess folks are still prowilng the forum.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 14 2011 at 18:19


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David Ross
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Posts: 452
Posted: September 18 2011 at 08:33 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

I agree with Pete saying that many boaters who would like to sell their boats, are not putting them for sale because they refuse to let them go at give-away prices. I hear the same thing from brokers and they add many customers are looking at a tremendous amount of boats, making real low-ball offers (hear the same about the housing market) trying to find that steal, and/or that seller who is worn out or somewhat desperate. Then probably beating them up again after it goes to survey.

Hopefully those who are not listing are keeping inventory down somewhat and demand will increase especially if this rotten economy gets turned around.

I said in an August 23rd post that there were indications of more boat broker activity in our marina and area and gave some Connie 500 sale and listing info . I was very surprised that ther were no comments or discussion after that post. Maybe it was the small print and no one could see it.

Pete, you also mentioned you keep your boating expenses down by owning your own slip and there use to be a waitng list and now many are available. I assume the slip prices have come down as a result. How much have they declined?



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Pete37
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Posted: September 21 2011 at 21:37 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

I usually use the stock prices of West Marine (WMAR) and Brunswick Corp (BC) as indicators of the health of the boating industry. Both had a peak this year (WMAR in late March and BC in late April). But WMAR is now back at about what it was last year and BC is about half of what it was last year.  BC held high until August and then flopped by nearly 50% after that. Nothing there to indicate a strong resurgence in yacht sales.

The general feeling I get at the marina is gloom with a bit of panic building up.  What boats there are at the marina aren't being used.  Fuel sales to large boats are way down although small boat fuel sales have held pretty well.

I think the prices of slips have dropped about 30% but that's a rough guess.  It depends completely on the financial condition of the seller.  And in general that doesn't seem to be improving.

Pete37

 



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Pete37
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Posted: September 22 2011 at 10:53 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Marine Economy Outlook

I saw the following article in the paper yesterday:

This sort of indicates that the economy isn't going to improve until after next year's elections.  So the best we can hope for (based on this survey) is an upturn in boat sales sometime in 2013.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 22 2011 at 11:03


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Pete37
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Posted: September 25 2011 at 12:14 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Erratic Engine Temp Readings

For the past few weeks Iíve been getting erratic engine temp readings on the starboard engine.  On the way out from the dock to an anchorage the FB temperature gauge reads 190F but the LS gauge reads 150F (an average of 170F).  On the way back to dock after a couple of hours at anchor both gauges read 172F which is what they normally read at 1400 rpm.

There is only one temperature sender per engine which is shared by both gauges so there is no way to explain this other than defective gauges or defective wiring.  About ten year ago I had some erratic readings on the starboard engine temperature gauges and fixed it by replacing the ground leads on the FB instrument console.  This console uses spade type connectors for nearly everything and spade type connectors are notorious for their vibration and corrosion problems.

Another problem is that the console uses serial ground connections.  The fuel gauge is directly connected to the ground.  Then the oil gauge is connected to the fuel gauge, the tachometer is connected to the oil gauge and finally the temperature gauge is connected to the tachometer.  Therefore the temperature gauge readings are affected by all the contact resistances in all of the gauges in the chain from the fuel gauge to the temperature gauge.  This is very poor practice but thatís the way Connies were made so weíre stuck with it.

Ten years ago I corrected the problem by replacing all the ground wires.  But this time I decided to connect all the gauge ground wires with wires connected directly to ground.  I did this by installing a grounded power post on the console and then connecting all the gauges directly to the power post.  This eliminates the serial grounding problems on the FB gauges.  Serial grounding also exists on the lower console gauges but since these are much more protected from weather grounding problems donít seem to occur.

In the process of doing this rewiring, I found that the port FB alarm buzzer was defunct.  However, the alarm lights were all functioning.  In order to test the FB wiring I removed one of the lower station buzzers and installed it in the starboard FB console wire (replacing the buzzer that was defunct).  Once that was done everything worked correctly.  Replacing the buzzer is a simple four screw job.

Now the only thing I need to do is to replace the buzzer I stole from the lower console.  The buzzers are Cole Hersee Model #4099 Universal DC Alarm Buzzers.  Boat Owners Warehouse (1-800-262-8799) and Jamestown Distributors (800-497-0010) both carry them at about $17 but West Marine does not.  However, West Marine could probably special order them.  These buzzers are also sold by automotive parts distributors and can be had for as little as $9.59 each.

My plan is to buy four of these buzzers and replace all the buzzers in the boatís wiring system; total cost about $40.  The old buzzers that still work will be kept as spares.

One final comment; in doing this overhaul I found that one buzzer was defunct and that one buzzer had been replaced by a previous owner.  Thatís 50% mortality.  So thereís a pretty good chance that some of your buzzers are defunct too.

Run this test.  Turn on your port ignition and check to see if the lower console buzzer and alarm light come on.  Go to the FB and check to see that the buzzer and alarm light up there are working too.  Turn off the port ignition (to silence the port buzzers) and repeat the process for the starboard engine.

The whole test takes about two minutes and protects you from a potential $20K engine meltdown.

Pete37



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: September 25 2011 at 13:53 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Hi all,

Pete, you have a good idea to create a "power post" arrangement where you can home run all grounds to a common and known good ground.  Theprior owner(s) have made a bit of a mess on my FB wiring and I am planning this winter to work on cleaning it up, labeling and repairing.  I also want to add a cigarette lighter receptacle so I can run a portable mp3 player into the stereo.

On another note, a couple of months ago, I commented about the throttle linkage to the shutdown solenoid on the port engine had come apart... several commented this is a "common occurrence" so I want to replace both of mine... however, I cannot find any part number or source for that small part.  Can anyone who has purchased replacements offer any assistance?  In advance, thanks!!

Jim 

 



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Pete37
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Posted: September 25 2011 at 16:16 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Don't blame the FB mess on the previous owner.  Most of it came from the factory that way.  While lower station wiring is fairly organized the FB was an afterthought and the wiring is pure chaos.

I'm not quite sure what you are talking about.  The solenoid is attached to the stop lever of the governor.  The throttle is hooked to another arm of the governor called the speed control lever.

Can you identify the part on the picture below which is causing the problem?

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 25 2011 at 16:21


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DMark
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Joined: July 03 2007
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Posted: September 25 2011 at 16:47 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Saw Pete's post on the economy.  I do a lot of reading on the subject and would offer the following perspective as it may be helpful to those timing a sale of their Connies.

Far as I can tell ... the current recession is different from any most of us have had in our lifetimes.  Its a debt bubble recession, much more akin to the Great Depression, but not as severe ... at least not yet.  That's why its often referred to as the Great Recession.  Debt bubble's can result in as many as three recessionary periods at unpredictable intervals.  The markets can correct as much as 40% each time.  So its a period of severe economic and financial stress.

Economists are in the midst of judging whether we are currently in or about to enter the second recessionary period during this correction.  Suggest you take care as I suspect we are already there which means there is a lot of volatility present.  And the spark is more likely to come from Western Europe ... Greece, Italy, Spain ... etc.  But global economies are so interlinked that the US will not escape unscathed.

I would suggest that expectations for recovery be delayed into 2016 - 2018.  This is a time when the economy should be sufficiently healed to begin to grow robustly again.  But its a guess ... caveat emptor.

While its hard to predict when, its likely we'll go into a period of inflation.  I'm expecting that our politicians will not align on other means of restoring the economy to a healthy state and will choose to use inflation to solve the debt problem.  Not fair at all but over very long periods of history this has been the tool of choice.  At that point prices on our Connies may start to climb.

Of course brokers have told me that a well restored Connie that's mechanically in good shape tends to carry its value better than most.  So , as Pete cajoles ... lets keep at it!




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Pete37
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Posted: September 25 2011 at 22:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Mark.

I said that the earliest we can expect the marine industry to recover is 2013.  But it could certainly be later.  Hope you are wrong Mark but you could certainly be right. 

In an case, however, the recovery in 2013 would probably be mild.  Full recovery is likely to take several years more which is somewhat in line with what Mark says. Looks like we will have a long wait.  But let's drop this subject. It's too depressing.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on September 25 2011 at 22:15


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: September 26 2011 at 14:40 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete.

I mis-spoke a bit.  I am talking about the shutdown lever out of the governor.  The end of the solenoid shaft is a "ball" and the lever has a small fitting that snaps over the ball on the end of the solenoid shaft.  That small fitting is the issue... It no longer has enough tension to stay connected when the solenoid operates.  Tried squeezing it with a pair of vice grips to tighten (no luck) and adding a piece of paper over the solenoid shaft end to tighten the fitting... only partially successful.

I'd rather fix it properly so I do not have issues going forward. If anyone has a part number or source, it would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks.

Jim



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David Ross
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Posted: September 29 2011 at 10:01 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

For us in the north east, it's counting down to winterizing time (or heading south); enjoy the remaining weeks! It has been a very pleasant cruising season for our family, especially with no more soot problem!!! Enjoy!



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