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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: September 29 2011 at 11:03 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Dave - is this attributed to the turbos? Didn't you replace
your turbos? Or am I thinking of someone else?

To All: Well, there's nothing like having an engine rebuilt
and not having decent enough weather to take the boat out
and break in the engine! I've had about all the rain I want
for a while. Of course we are now going to go from the
mid-70's to a high of 60 degrees in 48 hours AND I've
come down with a cold. But that won't stop me from
watching the Mid's beat Air Force on Saturday! GO NAVY!

Will be going to Trawler Fest in Baltimore in a couple of
weekends and sure hope the weather turns balmy. It was
nice last year, a bit windy but very nice in the afternoon.

Everyone have a nice weekend.

BTW - for those of you who have VDO gauges. If you
replace your sending units, you must use VDO senders.
Any other senders will not work properly. Just replaced
both transmission oil senders on my boat and found that
out the hard way.

Emory

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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: September 30 2011 at 18:13 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Emory,

The center section of the port turbo was replaced. Oil was laying in that part and I got lucky to be able to just purchase that part without buying the whole turbo (the rest of the turbo appeared to be fine). Since then no soot.



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DAVE
GOOD SPIRITS
500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 01 2011 at 08:28 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subj: No Soot!!!

Yeah, I guess the biggest news of the year is that we now know where the soot was coming from.  It was from defective turbos.  I rebuilt my port turbo this spring and since then the soot has been drastically reduced.  I think the starboard turbo is still producing a little soot.  That will be rebuilt next spring.

Dave also rebuilt his turbo and the soot went away.  Looks like we have pretty solid evidence that defective turbos were causing the soot.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 01 2011 at 11:16 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Alarm Buzzers

I purchased four engine alarm buzzers from Jamestown Distributors (401-253-3840) for $70.80 ($17.70 each).  Here's what they look like:

The old one on the left is made of steel while the new one on the right is made of plastic.  I'll be replacing all four of the old buzzers today.  It's good insurance against accidental engine meltdowns.  I recommend that all of you test your engine alarm buzzers and replace any that are defective.  On a 25 year old boat replacing all of them is probably a wise move.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 01 2011 at 13:08 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject:  Ball Socket for Engine Shutdown System

I’ve done a little research on the part.  It should be called a rod end ball and socket joint (or simply ball joint).  But not everyone uses that name.  I’ll go down to the boat and take a look at the part.  I’ve found plenty of ball and socket rod ends but they are all 90 degree rod ends.  You want a 180 degree rod end which seems to be very difficult to find.  I think J& T added that system to the engines so they may be the best source of info.  I’ll check with them on Monday.

Normally they are called "straight" ball joint rod ends.  I've found some but you have to buy 1000 pieces.  This is going to take more work.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 01 2011 at 13:19


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: October 03 2011 at 19:44 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Finally getting around to painting the old engine room. It's only taken me 10 years to get to this point.

   

As you can see, the downside to painting everything nice and white is that everything else then looks like crap.  Now I've got to get out the old wire brushes, etc and clean all the rust and old paint off the trannys and motor mounts. 

One may ask; "Emory why didn't you do those parts first."  Easy, doing the bilges first serves two purposes; 1) it, more or less, will now force me to the "rusty things"; and 2) once this bright white paint drys hard, it will be easier to see and remove the crap that falls into the bilges.

I wish I had sense enough to have taken "before" pictures, but alas, I did not.

I am actually getting a little excited about how things are coming along especially with the engine finished and all.

Going to Trawlerfest in Baltimore next weekend but won't arrive at Inner Harbor East until 9 a.m. Sunday morning.  We'll be spending the night and then go somewhere for Monday/Monday night.  Have to be back on Mill Creek by noon Tuesday as I have to work that evening.

The trip to Baltimore will be the "break-in" for the "new" engine.  Wish me luck!

Emory



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 03 2011 at 19:51 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Temperature Gauge Errors

I’ve noticed that my temperature gauges having been reading a bit low lately.  They’re VDO gauges and of course since they’re original equipment are 25 years old.  At 150F to 170F they read correctly but at 190F they read 180F which is about 10F low.  I’ve replaced the FB gauges with new VDO gauges to correct the problem.  Since I rarely run at the lower station a 10F error there isn’t a problem.  And since I know there is an error I mentally adjust for it when reading the gauges.  All four of the original gauges seem to have this problem.

This isn’t a major problem but keep in mind that if they’re reading 200F that’s really 210F which is nearly boiling.  And 6V92s really aren’t supposed to be run at temps above 190F which would read only 180F on the old gauges.

I finished replacing all four of the temperature alarm buzzers yesterday.  Took about an hour (15 minutes per buzzer).

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 03 2011 at 20:02


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: October 03 2011 at 19:57 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Painting the engines is on my list too.  But I think it's too late to start now.  Temps are dropping too fast.  Will probably have to do it in the spring.

What type of paint are you using and how are you prepping the metal?  Your paint looks good but I can't recognize the parts.  I guess your Cummins engines are different.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 03 2011 at 20:03


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Pete37
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Posted: October 05 2011 at 21:32 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: The Costs of Running a Connie

It looks like the next two or three years are going to be recession or recovery.  Financially, a motoryacht (particularly a 50’ motoryacht) is going to be a strain on your budget.  I keep fairly accurate records of what it costs to own and run a Connie so I made up a table of the costs for the past ten years (2001 to 2010).  The costs of course vary depending on how you use and maintain your Connie.  Your costs may be quite different than mine.  I tend to be conservative and a penny pincher.  And I do most of my own first echelon maintenance.

I was going to put everything in numbers but it’s not a good idea to discuss your expenses on an open forum.  Therefore, I’m putting everything in percent form.  If you want my yearly expenses in dollars, email me.

My condo slip costs about 19% of the total.  Electric power costs about 6% of the total.  Fuel costs about 13% of the total.  That’s a ten year average.  In recent years it has jumped to nearly 20% of the total.

Insurance costs about 14% of the total.  But it too is a 10 year average.  In recent years it has jumped to about 17% of the total.

Maintenance and repair at about 48% of the total is the biggest expense and also the wild card which drastically swings from almost nothing to nearly 70%s of the expenses. In looking at the maintenance and repair I find that the engines are the major cost drivers.  But each year I spend about 12% on hauling and bottom painting so the engine repairs have averaged about 30% of the total costs when hull maintenance is subtracted from the maintenance total.  I do nearly all of my topside waxing, varnishing and painting.

More than 70% of all my engine maintenance expenses have been due to problems in the exhaust system.  This includes everything from the exhaust manifolds to the exhaust pipes.  I have replaced my exhaust risers (twice), my turbochargers (twice), my exhaust pipes and my after coolers.  If something goes wrong in your engines the odds are better than even that the problem is in the exhaust system.

If you have the original stainless steel exhaust pipes replace them.  By now they are rusted out.  The rust is usually under the rubber hoses where it doesn’t show.  Replacing them with first class stainless steel, costs about $6000.  Less expensive rubber hose costs about $3000.  But regardless of what type of pipe you use remember that right angle bends aren’t allowed in exhaust pipes.  They cause too much back pressure.

If you have cast iron risers (exhaust elbows) more than 7 years old replace them.  They could blow at any moment and create enormous repair expenses.  If you have stainless steel risers more than 7 years old remove them, inspect them and repair any pinholes.

If your boat is creating copious amounts of transom soot the problem is that the turbochargers are probably compromised by soot buildup.  Remove and clean the turbos and risers.  Replace or overhaul parts where necessary.

Check your alarm system lights and buzzers.  When your engines are started four lights and four buzzers should go off.  There are two lights and two buzzers on the lower console and two lights and two buzzers on the flybridge.  Replacing them (if necessary) is a quick and inexpensive job (less than $70 for all four buzzers).  If these alarms fail you may not be warned of an impending engine meltdown in time to prevent disaster.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 05 2011 at 21:51


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Pete37
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Posted: October 11 2011 at 10:33 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Ball Joint Connector to Stop Solenoid

I think I've found the part you are looking for.   It's a JTAV13606 and costs $12.  It can be obtained from the J&T parts department.  A photo of it is attached.  At the moment I'm waiting for confirmation from J&T but I'm 99% sure its the part you want.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: October 11 2011 at 20:18 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Anchors for Connies

Introduction

This is a paper I wrote back in 2009 when I was having trouble with my anchor windlass.  It sort of summarizes the anchor situation for Connies.  It’s based on the normal system that came with Connies but I’m sure that many of you have made changes.

The purpose of this paper is to design an anchoring system for a 50’ Chris Craft Constellation 500 motoryacht suitable for use in winds of up to storm force (42 knots) over average bottoms.  This system would also be applicable to Constellation 460s and 501s.

Steady-state Horizontal Anchoring Loads

The starting point for any anchor system design is estimating the horizontal force on the boat caused by the wind.  Table 1 below, shows the typical horizontal design loads on a 50’ powerboat. This table was developed and is recommended by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) as a basis for estimating steady-state horizontal wind loads..

Table 1 – Steady-state Horizontal Anchoring Loads for a 50’ Powerboat

Wind Speed

15 Knots

30 Knots

42 Knots

ABYC Type

Lunch

Working

Storm

Load

400lb.

1,600lb.

3,200lb.

On page 19 Hinz states “The general run of sportfishing and cruising powerboats should have ground tackle designed to withstand 42 knots of wind which is a common gale condition on either coast of the United States as well as in the Great Lakes.”  So we’ll take 3200 lbs. as the steady state horizontal anchoring load for our anchor system design.

Surge Loading

In addition to the steady state wind loads, wave motion causes the anchor system to experience much higher loads due to the surging of the boat as it rides over the waves.  There is no precise way to calculate the surge loads but experience has shown that the surge loads range from 50 to 100% higher than the steady state loads for most motoryachts.  Therefore, we will increase the horizontal anchoring load range to 4800 to 6400 lbs.

The next step is to decide the amount of holding power you can expect.

Horizontal Holding Power

Table 2 below, shows the typical horizontal holding power of Danforth High Tensile anchors as a function of their model number.  For the Danforth High Tensile anchors the Model Number is the same as the anchor’s weight.  This is not true for all anchors.  Danforth was selected just as an example.  Other anchor manufacturers have their own tables of holding power versus model number.

Table 2: Danforth Holding Power

Model

Holding
Power*

Weight
(lbs)

Boats Up To:
(20k Winds)

5H®

1000

5

31 FT.

12H®

1800

12

42 FT.

20H®

2500

20

50 FT.

35H®

3800

35

64 FT.

60H®

5500

60

73 FT.

90H®

6300

90

75 FT.

150H®

7000

150

80 FT.

190H®

7700

190

83 FT.

Note: Tested for average bottoms.

 

Selecting the anchor from the table above we see that since (from Table 1) we want a holding power of 3200 lb. we need a Danforth 35H or larger.  Notice the note at the bottom of the table which says the anchors were tested using average bottom conditions.
 

Bottom Conditions

Just what is an “average” bottom?  Bottoms run from soft gooey mud to hard sand.  Unfortunately there are so many grades of mud that you cannot define the holding power in mud.  But fortunately hard sand is a reasonably uniform type of bottom and holding power can be defined in terms of the holding power found by testing the anchors in hard sand.

The “working “(or “average”) type bottom is arbitrarily defined as a bottom which has 30% of the holding power in hard sand.  The “soft mud” bottom is further arbitrarily defined as a bottom which has half the holding power of a working type bottom or 15% of the holding power in hard sand.  The table below shows the holding power of our Danforth 35H in various types of bottoms:

Table 3 - Horizontal Holding Power of a Danforth 35H Anchor

Bottom Type

Soft Mud

Working

Hard Sand

Holding Power

1,900lb.

3,800lb.

12,700lb.

Based on the Table 1 we need a holding power of 3200lb. for storm (42 knot) winds and based on Table 3, the Danforth 35H is more than adequate for storm winds up to 42 knots, for working (average) and hard sand bottoms.  But get caught over a soft mud bottom in winds over 30 knots and you may have trouble.

Anchor Rode Component Strengths

Now that we have a suitable anchor, the next step is to connect it the boat with some type of rode (anchor line or chain).  Since almost all Connies have anchor winches the obvious answer is a chain rode and the most common type of chain is known as BBB chain.  The strengths of 5/16” BBB chain and a compatible 3/8” anchor shackle are given in the table below for breaking strength, Proof Load and Working Load.

Table 4 – Anchor Rode Component Strengths

Component

Breaking Strength

Proof

Load

Working

Load

3/8” Anchor Shackle

8,000

4,000

2,000

5/16” BBB Chain Rode

7,600

3,800

1,900

What is the working load wind speed?  If the chain reaches its proof load of 3800 lb. at a maximum wind speed of 42 knots then it will achieve its working load of 1900 lb. at about 30 knots.  On the basis of Table 3 above, the anchor rode is adequate for all winds up to 30 knots without exceeding the working load limits (25% of the breaking load) for its components.  But for storm conditions (42 knot winds) the loads would increase to almost 85% of the proof load on the 5/16” BBB chain.  This is more than recommended for routine use but is acceptable for emergency conditions.  Hinz (p. 128) indicates that in emergencies anchor rodes can be used to their proof loads (50% of breaking strength).  This still provides a safety factor of more than 2 over the breaking strength.

Maximum Anchoring Depth

Anchor systems are normally designed to allow a boat to anchor in water equal to its own length.  In the case of Connies that’s 50’.  And chain normally requires a 4:1 scope.  Therefore the rode should be at least:

L=4 x (50’+6’) = 224’

The 6’ takes into account that fact that the bow is 6’ above the water.

Chain Snubbers

One final component of the anchor system is the chain snubber.  When an all chain rode snaps tight in a rough sea it puts enormous shock loads on the anchor windlass.  These loads can be enough to damage the windlass or even pull it out of its mountings.  And it is difficult to attach a chain to the cleats on the bow.  For both of these reasons a device known as a chain snubber is commonly used to take the strain off the windlass and provide a good interface with the bow cleats.

A chain snubber is a bridle used to take the strain of the chain rode off the anchor windlass. This reduces wear on your boat from the chain and also acts as a shock absorber and silences the chain. The snubber consists of a chain grabber which is connected to two nylon lines about half the length to the boat.  The lines are then tied off at the bow cleats.  This takes all loads off the windlass.

The chain snubber may seem like a minor item in the anchor system but it is extremely important.  Without the chain snubber, the shock loads caused by a steel chain repeatedly snapping tight in rough weather will tear the anchor windlass and/or bow cleats out of your boat.

Conclusions

The anchoring system described above seems adequate except for two defects.  First, on soft mud bottoms the anchor could drag in winds over 30 knots.  But generally anchoring over a mud bottom is always risky because while a mud bottom may have half the holding power of a working bottom it may also, just as easily, have only 1/10th the holding power.  Anchoring over a mud bottom is never safe.

Second, in winds of 42 knots the anchor rode has to be rated at nearly proof load strength rather than working load strength.  This is acceptable for occasional use but it should not be a normal or common loading and if the anchor system is loaded to that level it should be checked after the loading.

Therefore, the existing anchor system is suitable for working load winds (30 knots) with average or firmer bottoms.  Even with average (working) bottom firmness the 35 lb. Danforth has 3800 lbs. of holding power so even in 42 knot winds the anchor will not drag.  In firmer bottoms it has much greater holding power.  In summary, the existing system is adequate for all winds up to 42 knots (storm winds) for all bottoms with average (working) or better firmness.

Other Systems

The original equipment anchor system I received with my Connie “Interlude” seems to have been pretty well thought out.  It consists of a Danforth 35H with 200’ of 5/16” BBB chain attached to the anchor with a 3/8” shackle.  This is pretty much what I have described above.

But if I were doing it over, I think I would pick a 35lb. (or perhaps 44lb.) Lewmar Delta anchor with 250’ of 3/8” BBB chain and a ˝” shackle for my system.  The cost of such a system would be about $350 for the anchor, $1250 for the chain and $8 for the shackle for a total cost of $1608. And probably a new wildcat for the anchor windlass would be about $200.

A more probable upgrade would be to switch from my 35lb. Danforth to a 44lb. Delta for a total cost of $350.  That I can afford.  My present Danforth has given very good service but it’s poor on weeds or hard bottoms.  And they are prone to fouling.

I use the Danforth mainly because it came with the boat.  I would avoid the aluminum Fortress and Guardian copies of the Danforth because, although they work nearly as well a Danforths in sand and mud, they are worthless in grass and on hard bottoms.

The Bruce and Horizon claw anchors are interesting but they need to be almost 66lb. to equal the holding power of a 44lb. Delta anchor.  This is a lot to be handling even if most of the work is done by the anchor windlass.  However, they are the cheapest thing around.  The CQR also has a lot of advocates and it has an admirable record.  But it has some resetting problems, is a much older design and costs twice what the Delta costs. 

References:

The Complete Book of Anchoring and Mooring, Earl R. Hinz, Cornell Maritime Press Inc., Centreville, MD, 2001.

The Complete Anchoring Handbook, Alain Poiraud, Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt, & Erika Ginsberg –Klemmt, International Marine/McGraw Hill, 2008.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 12 2011 at 19:07


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: October 11 2011 at 20:55 | IP Logged Quote eshover

It appears that I was wrong regarding my gauges. They
are NOT VDO but with a magnifying glass I can clearly see
Medallion Instruments Inc. I googled that name and found
that they are still in business but make specialty type
gauges for motorcycles, hot rods, retros, etc. Nothing on
the site remotely looks like what they made under that
name back then.

Anyone have the same gauges? What type can you
replace them with? Teleflex?

Bottom line: anyone have VDO gauges? I have two
"almost new" tranny pressure senders for you!

Emory

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posted: October 11 2011 at 21:03 | IP Logged Quote eshover

One thing I meant to mention. There is a "blue" emblem in
the middle of the gauges just below the needle which has the
appearance of the Teleflex insignia. Is it possible that
Medallion Instruments Inc. produced gauges for Teleflex?
Sure looks like it.

ES

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DMark
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Posts: 131
Posted: October 11 2011 at 22:17 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Pete,

We had "big winds" here in Ohio a couple years ago as a lagged result of one of the Florida hurricanes.  Gusts got up to 60-70 MPH.  I took all the fly bridge canvas down and tied the boat for hurricane winds.  Several of the boats in the marina lost biminies, but there was very little other damage.  My Connie weathered the storm just fine.

I wish you well.

Mark


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Pete37
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Posted: October 11 2011 at 22:50 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Mark,

Subject:Wind Damage

My experience with both my Connie and previous boats is that they survive very well if properly moored.  Collectively my boats have survived about 30 hurricanes over the past 30 years with no serious damage.  Canvas, however, is a different story.  The best thing to do is take it off before the storm.  If you don't, damage is very likely and can be very expensive. Biminis are high on the likelyhood of damage table.  Glad you survived with no damage.

Pete37



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Posted: October 11 2011 at 23:02 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Temperature Gauge Problems

During the past few weeks I've been battling a very peculiar temperature gauge problem.  When I leave dock, the port FB temp gauge goes to 190F after a little running while the LC gauge only shows about 140F.  A 50 degree temperature spread and these guages read from the same temperature sender so the readings should be nearly identical.

After anchoring out for a few hours those same gauges read 172F (the correct reading for 1400 rpm) on the way back to dock.  It did this for about 6 trips and after each trip I tried to figure out what was wrong.  I changed gauges, changed the sender and triple checked the wiring.  But this weird behavior continued.  I even rewired parts of the FB console that I thought were questionable.  Nothing seemed to fix it.

Quite a while ago I photgraphed all of the terminal blocks under the lower console and compared them with what the CC drawings show.  Sometimes it's the same and sometimes it's not.  The photo below shows terminal block #8 which corresponds to CC terminal block #5 on their drawings:

This is the lower console  terminal block which controls the distribution of signals from the instrument gauges to the senders.  As shown the tan wires are the temperature gauge wires.  They all checked out.  But in examining the +12V wires on the #11 terminal I noticed that the screw on the right side wasn't down tight.  I tightened the screw and all the problems went away.  Knowing where the wires are and what they do is the key to fixing the electrical system.  The pictures are a great help.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 11 2011 at 23:37


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Posted: October 12 2011 at 20:52 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Anchor Windlasses

I think that we all have windlasses.  On a 50’ motoryacht they are necessities.  And as long as they work we don’t pay much attention to them.  But if they break down they put your Connie “Out of Commission” almost as thoroughly as engine failure.

On 25 year old motoryachts windlass failure is a common occurrence.  My windlass just broke down for the 8th time.  That’s about one failure for every two years I’ve owned my Connie.  And this time I suspect that the windlass can’t be repaired.  So that sets my mind toward the question “Where can I get a replacement?”

I hope that you don’t have windlass problems but after 25 years they shouldn’t be considered unusual.  Most of the Connies had Maxwell VWC 1000s installed as original equipment.  They were a custom built versions of the VWC 1000 designed to work with 9” thick decks.  Why 9”; because the windlasses were mounted on the surface of the 4.5 inch thick bow pulpit.  And the pulpit was then mounted on the 4.5” thick deck for a total distance from the top of the bow pulpit to the anchor locker of 9”.  This distance in windlass manufacturer’s jargon is called TDC (Total Deck Clearance).

The VWC 1000 is what is known as a vertical windlass meaning that the drive shaft from the gearbox in the anchor locker to the chain wheel on the deck is vertical.  This is very important because it allows the motor to be located in the relatively protected (from salt water) anchor locker.  In horizontal windlasses the drive shaft is horizontal with the motor and chain wheel both located on deck.  Unfortunately, this is an area of maximum exposure to salt spray and therefore the motors (and gears) of the windlass don’t last long.

So it’s obvious you don’t want a horizontal windlass if you can avoid it.  You’re probably thinking “No problem, just Break Out Another Thousand and buy a new VWC 1000 when the old one craps out. Actually though, it’s more like several thousand dollars.  You’ve probably seen the advertisements in the boating magazines and know that Maxwell is still in business and still manufacturing a VWC 1000.  But when you check into it you’ll find that the new VWC 1000 is a totally different animal than the old one.  And one key factor is that it will only handle a 6 inch TDC.  Now a three inch difference doesn’t seem like much but from the standpoint of finding a replacement for your old VWC 1000 it might as well be on the other side of the moon.

So you start looking for something from another manufacturer.  Lots of Luck, I’ve been down that road.  You aren’t going to find any vertical windlass, made by any manufacturer, at any reasonable price with a 9” TDC.  There simply isn’t any demand for a windlass with a 9” TDC.  Our old custom built VWC 1000s are orphans which Maxwell totally disowns.  They won’t supply parts or even advice on these old beasties.

So the obvious answer is “Make the deck thinner”.  But the decks are cored construction.  You can’t just shave off an inch or two from one side; at least not at a reasonable price and with a certainty that the watertight integrity of the core isn’t compromised.

I pondered this problem for several days and at first it didn’t look like there was any solution other than to use a horizontal windlass.  Now I think I have a solution but it isn’t without some compromises.  What are your ideas on the problem?

Pete37



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Fantasy
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 08:49 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

Since it's the end of the season for you, you might try removing the windlass and getting someone to diagnose and work on it over the winter.  That will allow you to verify the shaft length, too.  You could also remove just one of the deck through bolts for measurement.

I am surprised that you have a 9" deck.  It is not configured that way on my boat because the bottom of the deck mold raises up in the area of the switches.  Looking from below, it does not appear to be a modification.  I have an original equipment Ideal and they rebuild everything they make back to the 1940's and also customize new units.  Unfortunately, replacements are expensive, probably in the $5k range.

These people http://www.seachestmarine.com/windlasses/index.htm do rebuilds on Maxwell's, so you might check with them if you have an idea of what parts you need.  They might even have a boneyard.

John

 



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Posted: October 13 2011 at 11:14 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

I've removed that windlass a dozen times, disassembled it to it's smallest components and reassembled it.  In most cases (about 7 so far) I've been able to repair it.  I don't have to measure the shaft.  I've done that before and it couldn't be any shorter.  I've had the windlass out before and measured the depth of the deck.  It's about 9.25" thick (as close as I can measure).

I'll check the web site you mentioned and see what I find out.  Thanks for the tip.

Pete37



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 12:09 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,
First, thanks for the homework on finding the J&T Part...
I'm on vacation now but when I return, I'll call J%T and
order a couple of them.

As usual, I guess, but I am the odd man out on Windlasses.
I have an Ideal vertical winch in mine and he only issues
I've had is the bow foot switches to operate it. I have
wired a switch on the FB, which operated fine, but both
switches on the bow were shot (or so I thought. Turns out
a butt splice on one wire went away - a simple repair. I did
replace the other switch ($13) which fixed the other side.

The only issue I've had with the windlass itself is in
wrestling up the 66# claw anchor. I got to the point where
the driven rope capstan was turning, but not the chain
gypsy. Found there is a easy to tighten friction disk
between the two... less than 5 minutes to tighten and now
the Ideal is just that - ideal.

thanks again.

Jim

Edited by Delaware Jim on October 20 2011 at 21:26


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eshover
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:19 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Jim - don't think you are odd-man out. If you'll read John's
post, he has an Ideal. I have an Ideal. I have seen and
surveyed 460's and 500's and they all had Ideals.
However, I'm sure these were options installed by the
dealers and some folks obviously chose the Maxwell.   
Back then, our boats were considered big boats and heavy
boats. Ideal (as you know) manufactures a lot of heavy-
duty windlasses and related products for high-end yachts
and commercial vessels. They do not appear interested in
the small boat market anymore but, as you said, still
support our windlasses totally. Mine did not work and was
frozen when I bought the boat 10 years ago. One of the
first things I did was to overall (and have plated) the
windlass. I have never had a problem since.

I'll talk about the so-called foot switches next.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:21 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

Subject: Windlasses

I talked with that guy on Seachest Marine about the Maxwell Nilsen Windlass they have advertised.  Unfortunately it doesn't have enough deck clearance.  But he does have a rebuilt Ideal BHWR windlass which has more than 15" of deck clearance.  It's pretty expensive though ($2450) plus I'll have to pay for the shaft to be shortened and for a new wildcat.  And of course all the mounting arrangements on the deck will have to be changed.  He's sending me an email with photos.

Interestingly, I talked with the Ideal rep at last years Miami Boat show and he says he can adapt one of their gearboxes to the bottom of my Maxwell windlass shaft for about $2000.  That way I can keep the same mounting arrangements but I wouldn't have any source for replacement parts for the top end of the Maxwell windlass though.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 13 2011 at 14:22


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Bellavita3
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:25 | IP Logged Quote Bellavita3

Hi Everyone,

For the record, Bella Vita has an Ideal windlass also.  There's been a couple foot switch issues, and I seem to remember rebuilding it when we first bought the boat in 1998, but no trouble since.

Ron


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eshover
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:33 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Regarding the horrible foot switches. I have replaced so
many of those push-button switches it is ridiculous. No
matter how well you seal them (and they are dip-sealed
already) they become intermittent and finally die. I was
going to add a wired remote button (I still have it) to the
lower or upper station in hopes of making life easier for my
anchor gal. But that's a lot of wire and a lot of work.

The final answer was a remote control. I have posted this
earlier.   I bought one from a maker in England called
Coastline Technologies. The price was very, very
reasonable and the system was also extremely easy to
install. The "brain box" is installed in the anchor locker
high up on the shower bulkhead and simply wired to the
solenoids. I liked it so much that I order a second hand-
held remote. They come with mounts. I keep one at the
lower station and one on the upper. Needless to say, the
anchor officer loves the thing! No more bending over and
pushing a dozen times to get the windlass to respond (if
then). Their site is: http://www.coastlinetechnology.com/

I have spoken with them several times and they are very
pleasant folks to deal with and seemed very pleased that a
Yank was buying one of the products. :)

You won't regret the purchase. Makes anchoring so much
easier. Remember to take out the batteries over the
winter. A leaking battery can, and will, ruin electronics.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:38 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Windlass Foot Switches

The standard deck foot switches for windlasses are a PITA.  They claim to be waterproof but water gets in and they corrode out.  I open them up and scrape out the corrosion and they are good for another couple months.  But it's a nuisance.  If someone has deck switches that are really waterproof, I'll buy some.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 13 2011 at 14:39


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eshover
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 14:51 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - you mentioned painting my "Cummings" engines in a
post. I assumed you were joking. But a nice pair of QSM's
would be nice, huh?
The post was in regards to painting. I have not painted my
engines (just touched them up a bit) but painted the engine
room out to the outer-most stringer. I used a Z Spar
topside enamel paint I found on a half-price table a few
years ago with this thought in mind. Finally got around to
using the stuff. I did have to finish up with some
Rustoleum white and will use that for painting the motor
mounts and transmission. They are in bad shape and will
require a lot of elbow grease with a wire brush and drill
brush, but I will get it done now that the floor looks so
good.
On that note: we took the boat to Baltimore for Trawler
Fest over the weekend and she ran wonderful! No soot
when I arrived at Bmore and none when I returned to
Naptown. Good feeling. Coming back and ran up to 2150
at 18 kts. (not interested in full load on that new port
engine), and cruised at 2050 and 16 kts.

What a great weekend! We had a wonderful time.

One advantage to painting the engine room bright white (as
was expressed by another forum member) is that once we
docked on return, a quick look was all it took to determine
if there were any leaks, oil, coolant or otherwise. And
guess what? There were none! Oh what a feeling! I am
now actually looking forward to using the boat and going
somewhere next year.


Emory

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Posted: October 13 2011 at 15:08 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Sorry, I misunderstood.  I thought you were talking about painting your engines. I'll look into those remotes for the windlass.  But that's going to have to wait until the windlass problem is solved.

Pete37



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Posted: October 13 2011 at 15:11 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

I got a response from Seachest Marine on the Ideal windlass they have.  Doesn't look like a good deal.

Pete37



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scottflys2
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 15:19 | IP Logged Quote scottflys2

Quote: eshover
Regarding the horrible foot switches. I have
replaced so
many of those push-button switches it is ridiculous. No
matter how well you seal them (and they are dip-sealed
already) they become intermittent and finally die. I was
going to add a wired remote button (I still have it) to the
lower or upper station in hopes of making life easier for my
anchor gal. But that's a lot of wire and a lot of work.

The final answer was a remote control. I have posted this
earlier.   I bought one from a maker in England called
Coastline Technologies. The price was very, very
reasonable and the system was also extremely easy to
install. The "brain box" is installed in the anchor locker
high up on the shower bulkhead and simply wired to the
solenoids. I liked it so much that I order a second hand-
held remote. They come with mounts. I keep one at the
lower station and one on the upper. Needless to say, the
anchor officer loves the thing! No more bending over and
pushing a dozen times to get the windlass to respond (if
then). Their site is: http://www.coastlinetechnology.com/

I have spoken with them several times and they are very
pleasant folks to deal with and seemed very pleased that a
Yank was buying one of the products. :)

You won't regret the purchase. Makes anchoring so much
easier. Remember to take out the batteries over the
winter. A leaking battery can, and will, ruin electronics.

Emory


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Pete37
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 16:32 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: The Windlass Problem

So far the only solution to the windlass problem that seems to have come up is to buy a new custom-made Ideal windlass which will have the required Total Deck Clearance (TDC).  Unfortunately, that’s probably going to be in the $5K and up range.  I want a cheaper solution; if I can get it.  So here is my plan.

First, I’ll remove the bow pulpit and mount the windlass to the bow pulpit.  The pulpit is only about 4.5” thick so there are a lot of windlasses that will handle that TDC.  Installation should be routine.  But, when finished there will be a large embarrassing part of the motor dangling down below the bottom of the pulpit.  The pulpit could obviously not be reinstalled with that hanging out.  So I will cut a rectangular (about 6” x 14”) hole in the deck so that the motor can dangle down below the pulpit.  When reinstalled, the pulpit will be resealed to the deck so that no leakage will occur.

The arrangement will look as shown in the figure below: 

The picture shows a Maxwell VWC installed but just about any windlass could be installed this way.  The deck thickness in this is 8” but 9” or 10” could easily be accommodated.  TDCs of up to 6” can be accommodated by many windlasses.  And with this arrangement the TDC is basically the thickness of the pulpit (4.5”).

Since the holes in the pulpit and deck are only 4.5” deep they are much easier to cut than if they were 9” deep.  The sides of the holes in the pulpit and deck will obviously have to be buttered and sealed with epoxy to prevent water from getting into the cored pulpit and deck but this is a job that has to be done on any installation. 

With the new Maxwell windlasses, the motor and gearbox assembly can easily be removed from below without disturbing the top end of the windlass.  And all the top end parts are completely accessible from on deck.  So the system should be very easy to maintain.

The major concern I have is “How easy will it be to remove the bow pulpit?”  I have heard of several owners removing the pulpits of their boats.  So apparently it’s possible.

I started out planning on the VWC 1000 windlass.  But it’s a $2,500 item and I found that the new Maxwell RC8-8 windlass is available for only slightly over $1,100.  In checking the specs it seems to be just as good as the VWC-1000.  In view of the lower price and similar specs I suspect that sales of the VWC 1000 will drop and that it will eventually be discontinued.  So I am inclined to buy the RC8-8.  But either windlass will work very nicely with this scheme.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 13 2011 at 16:35


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eshover
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 16:46 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - I have wondered about the difficulty in removing the
pulpit as well. I am certain that the core material in mine is
very wet but not dangerously so. At some point in time, I
would love to remove the platform and re-core it.

Emory

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Grey Goose
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 16:51 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Pete
You sure your deck is 9" thick? I have the same windlass as you. My
deck is around 2" thick with about 7" of plywood spacers.

Allen
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Pete37
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 17:38 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Allen,

Yes, the combined thickness of the pulpit plus deck is about 9"  +/- 1/4" thick.  I've measured it several times. I can't comment on your boats deck thickness because it's a 501.  Of course from the standpoint of installing a windlass the 7" of spacers add to the TDC so you wind up with 9".

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 13 2011 at 17:51


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Posted: October 13 2011 at 17:46 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

I just went down to the boat to check how the bow pulpit is fastened to the hull.  It's held down by four 1/2" diameter stainless steel bolts with aluminum backing blocks.  Looks like it should be very easy to remove provided that the pulpit and deck aren't also bonded together.

I've also heard that the wooden cores on some of those bow pulpits are badly rotted.  I'll find out when I take it off.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 13 2011 at 17:47


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eshover
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Posted: October 13 2011 at 18:14 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Allen - the 500 has the pulpit laid over the existing hull then
bolted down. The 501 had the pulpit as part of the hull
mold (a much preferred design in my opinion) and
therefore the thickness would/should be affected. On my
500 with the Ideal windlass, I still have to use wooden
spacers (maybe a couple of inches).
The down side though would be if/when moisture intrudes
around the windlass over the years and the core rots it
makes replacement much tougher. Hopefully, that is not
an issue for you.

Windlasses are a primary cause of deck issues on many,
many boats.

No such thing as a perfect boat, huh?

Hope all is well.

Emory



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Pete37
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Posted: October 19 2011 at 14:40 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Progress on Anchor Windlass

I finally got down to the boat and removed the windlass.  I took it home to my garage workshop and disassembled it to see what had broken.  Somehow, a thrust washer had broken and was jammed between the worm and worm wheel.  But amazingly the only damages to the worm and worm wheel were a few scratches.  Of course the thrust washer will have to be replaced and Maxwell no longer has any parts for the old VWC 1000s.  However, I have found a thrust washer that I think will work.  It’s not original equipment but its hard steel, the right thickness and the right diameter.

With luck, I should have the windlass reassembled and installed in a few days.  Apparently when the washer jammed the windlass it also burned out the motor.  I took the motor over to Mamock’s Electric Motor in Annapolis for a rebuild yesterday and should also have that back in a couple days.

However, I kind of have a hunch that in a year or two I’ll be back looking for a new windlass again.  But since the repair is much cheaper than a new windlass the repair will have to do for now.

In all this rushing around over the windlass repair, I found out that the Nilsson part of Maxwell Nilsson is still in business as a separate company from Maxwell and that they have some spare parts for the old VWC 1000s.  They can be contacted at

Debbie@jamesnilsson.co.nz,

Don’t get too excited.  The parts available are limited.  But if you need parts it’s worth an inquiry.

When I tore the old windlass out, I found that the previous owner had installed a three inch shim under the windlass making the deck thickness 9”.  The actual deck thickness with the shim removed is 5.9” which should make it possible to use the new Maxwell WVC 1000 and RC 8 windlasses without any major modifications to the deck.  If my old VWC 1000 craps out I’ll probably install one of these windlasses.

Pete37



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: October 20 2011 at 21:41 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

Interestig that you found a 3" shim under the deck... now things make more sense to me (and maybe others).  A "standard" shaft size is much less expensive than a custom deal as you've discovered.  Now the question may be "where did the windlass you presently have come from if it was shimmed like that "by a prior owner".   Maybe yours is NOT original equipment? 

Given the much lower cost of a "standard" sized unit, I would think I'd try opting for a replacement unit as you indicated. Tearing it out 7 times is about 5-6 more than I would have done :-)   Also, if the Maxwell unit has caused as many breakdowns as you've stated, I wonder  about the wisdom of investing significant $$ in the same company/product again??  Just a thought...  

Jim



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Posted: October 20 2011 at 23:44 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Subject: Windlasses

Maxwell/Nilsson and Maxwell Marine are two entirely different companies. They split way back in the 80s. And the new VWC 1000 is a substantially different windlass.  Most of the problems with the old Maxwell/Nilsson unit have been corrected.

I've looked at every windlass on the market and except perhaps for the Ideal windlasses the Maxwell windlasses seem to be the best.  Ideal, of course, is basically a custom built windlass unit at a much greater price.

A new Maxwell VWC 1000 costs about $2600 plus fitting it to the boat probably costs a couple hundred more.  So it costs about $2800.  Repairing the old windlass costs about $100 in new parts and no new fitting is required.

Most of the repairs have been simply rebuilding the motor about every three years.  Water works it's way into the motor and screws up the windings.  An investment of about $200 at Mamock's Motor Electric gives me a basically new motor which on the average lasts about 3 years.  So it would take about 42 years to recover the cost of a new windlass.

However, reliability is important.  If the windlass becomes less reliable with age I will replace it and the replacement will probably be a Maxwell (not Maxwell/Nilsson) VWC 1000.

My Connie has had only two owners so the previous owner was the first owner and the windlass was probably installed at the factory. I've talked with Maxwell and Chris Craft ordered special long shaft VWC 1000s for installation in Connies back in the 80s.  The 64$ question is why did they order 9" deck clearance when 6" would have done the job?  Perhaps it was because 9" was the standard extended deck clearance model.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 20 2011 at 23:55


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Posted: October 21 2011 at 09:36 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

If water intrusion is the issue with your windlass and motor, maybe you should focus on that.  You haven't mentioned that the gear case oil is milky, so I'd have to think that the water is working its way in around the windlass bedding and through bolts or some other seam or deck fitting and then dripping on the motor case (as opposed to intruding through the motor shaft seal).  What have you used to bed the windlass when you have removed it before?

A sealed motor isn't totally waterproof but you would think a lot of water would need to be present on a regular basis to work its way in.  Strange for a shed kept boat.  If you can't find the leak, maybe a bead of silicone around the motor casing seams would buy a little extra time, but not finding the leak can't be good for your deck coring, as you know.

John



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Posted: October 21 2011 at 12:43 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

The grease in the gearcase never seems milky so I don't think the gearcase is leaking.  There is a seal around the main shaft which is defective.  Didn't know where to get a replacement.  Now that I've found that Nilsson is still in business, I've ordered a replacement seal.  There is also an "O" ring which shows on the Nilsson drawings which I don't have.  Didn't know that there was supposed to be one.

Frankly though the motor doesn't seem to be a sealed motor.  I'll add any "O" rings and/or seals that I can but I suspect it will leak anyway.  The problem is that the water gets into the motor as a liquid. The only way for it to get out is evaporation but the motor is too well sealed for evaporation to be effective.

The deck plate is sealed with ordinary sealant such as you use for cleats, etc.  The boat is in a covered shed but the bow pulpit is near the edge of the roof and gets plenty wet in any kind of driving rain.  So far I don't see any deck coring problems.

The motor is attached to the gearcase by an adapter plate.  Water may be getting in between the adapter plate and motor.  I'll try caulking that.  But if I can get three years out of a motor I'm not really worried about the leaks.  The windlass normally gives advance warning that it's about to crap out.

This latest crash was caused by a faulty thrust washer which in turn was probably because I wasn't using an original equipment bearing.  It's very difficult to maintain something when you don't have a source for parts.  Now that I know where to get an original equipment bearing I've ordered it from Nilsson.

Pete37



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