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Bennett
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Posted: November 30 2011 at 15:03 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

Jim,

I too have always heard that engine runaway is possible
and that the shut down should be on the air side, but this is
not what I have. My engines are marinized by J&T and
there is little room to mount an air shut down between the
Turbo and the air intake (unless this was designed into the
air intake housing). The units that I have seen are round
elbowed inline flappers.

In the case of a runaway engine, I always thought that I
would grab a piece of plywood or something rigid, remove
the Airsep filter and block the airflow. Of course, when under load the engine is not likely to over speed.

Bennett

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Delaware Jim
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Posted: November 30 2011 at 15:13 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Runaways...

I also have J&T engines and the air flappers are in the air intake before the turbo... I'll see if I can get a decent pix and post it.

I have a friend who keeps a couple of plastic garbage bags in the bilge to cover up the airsep and stop a runaway engine.

Jim



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eshover
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Posted: November 30 2011 at 16:32 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mine are Covingtons and do not have air dampers.  The emergency shut-down cables are attached to the same fuel shut down lever that shuts down fuel to the racks. 

Re: runaways.  I would not hang around in an engine room very long with a runaway situation.  I have heard of blowers lifting completely off the block.  If you are lucky enough to be present at the right moment (meaning; in the engine room when the runaway occurred)  with some material that would block the air, it would be worth the effort I'm sure. But I would not waste a lot of time hanging around!

Emory



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Pete37
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Posted: November 30 2011 at 18:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

The picture below shows the shutdown air flapper valve:

It's at the very center of the picture between the two inner hose clamps. This view is looking aft.  To the left is the turbo and to the right is the air cleaner so we are looking at the starboard engine. Most of it is covered by the hoses and it's therefore nearly invisible. The flapper itself is inside the hoses and therefore not visible at all. But if you look very closely you can see the name tag.  It's activated electrically by a solenoid connected to the Firebouy system and/or mechanically by a Beldon cable to the lower helm.  I think a lot of owners have these systems but just dont know they are there.

Looking forward at the aft side you can see the black manual reset lever hanging down from the flapper valve.

The lever is used to reset the flapper valve in the event that it is tripped.  This must be done by crawling down into the engine room and moving the lever by hand.

The following picture may help you understand what the valves actually look like:

These valves of course are not from the same manufacturer as those on our Connies but the general construction is the same.

It's important that you know about the manual reset lever because if it trips accidentally you'll never get your engine started again until you manually reset the valve.  And most people don't even know it's there

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on November 30 2011 at 19:04


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 10:50 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Emory,

I agree you really don't want to be anywhere around a runaway when it starts disassembling itself. That's why the emergency shutdowns are remote from the engine...

Pete,

I am out of state this week (actually in Delaware as the handle states!), so I appreciate your posting the pix before I got back.

Jim



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Pete37
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 11:18 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Emergency Engine Shut Downs

I've got a bunch of engine pictures in my files so I looked through them to see how emergency engine shutdown was handled on various engines.  Most had the flapper valve air shutdown but one used a Beldon cable hooked directly to the fuel shut off lever on the governor as shown in the picture below:

It seems to be hooked up in parallel with the shutdown solenoid.  Not a good idea because it could cause the engine shutdown solenoid to malfunction.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 02 2011 at 20:06


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eshover
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 12:00 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - your picture is how the emergency shut-down linkage appears on my Covington DD's.

Emory



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Bennett
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 13:20 | IP Logged Quote Bennett

Ditto - this is how my J&T looks also - note that Pete's last
picture, there is J&T decal.

If I remember correctly, there's not an issue with the solenoid
and the shut off cable interfering, i.e., the shut down cable
does not move with the actuator.


Bennett

Edited by Bennett on December 02 2011 at 13:23


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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 14:10 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Interesting of all the different locations of the emergency air damper.  Mine is located on the air intake just above the root blower.  Also, it is controlled through a solenoid (no cable) with the activated by switches on both helm stations.

I had a run-away on my last boat.  It was a very frightening drill.  The emergency cable didn't work.  I had to open the engine room hatch and manually throw the air dampener.  The engine was screaming at over 3000 RPM on a 6-71TI.  Wound up being a stuck injector which in-turn held open the entire rack.  I now check the emergency shut downs regularly.

Allen

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scottflys2
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 16:08 | IP Logged Quote scottflys2

Mine is like Allens I do regular checks no problems with these. I had
the diesel in my 300TD run away pretty scary.

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Pete37
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 20:36 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Solenoids are not very reliable components.  I've had to replace one fuel shutoff solenoid already.  Fortunately, it wasn't in a runaway situation.  The solenoid simply wouldn't shut the engine down at the end of the day.  I had to go down in the bilge and flip the fuel shutoff lever manually. 

Belden cables have their problems but they are a hell of a lot more reliable than a solenoid.  And of course if you have a weak or dead battery or a bad electrical connection, the solenoid won't work.  But the diesel engine doesn't need electrical power so it will keep running.  Solenoids are fine for fuel shut off systems but not for emergency shut down systems.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 02 2011 at 20:43


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eshover
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 21:20 | IP Logged Quote eshover

That's why there are emergency shut-down cables attached to
the fuel shut-down lever. I have replaced both solenoids
within the last 8 years. I guess that isn't too bad.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: December 02 2011 at 22:59 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Measuring Transmission Oil Levels

I did some testing on my transmissions today.  The results may of interest to you.  I have Twin Disc MG509 transmissions which were somewhat standard on the DD 6V92s installed in Connies.  If you donít have these transmissions stop reading now.  Sorry that I canít help you.

I started the engine and let it run for 15 minutes at idle to let the transmission warm up a bit.  The outside air temp was about 60F so I doubt that it got up to the 180F that Twin Disc likes to use for its pressure specs.  But it certainly was higher than the 60F ambient.

I then shut the engine down and used a Moeller oil extractor to pump oil out of the transmission.  During the warm up the dipstick had read about half full.  I inserted the pick-up tube and slid it down as far as it would go.  I was able to remove about 6 qts.  I then inserted the dipstick and read the oil level.  It was basically at the empty mark with just a tad of oil on the bottom of the stick.  I then added 4 qts of oil to the transmission and took another dipstick reading (with the engine off).  The dipstick read ďFullĒ. 

Then I started the engine again, ran it at idle and made a third dipstick reading which turned out to be ďEmptyĒ.  I had to add another quart of oil before I saw any reading on the dipstick.  It read just slightly above ďEmptyĒ.  Two more quarts (a total of 7 quarts) brought it up to ďFullĒ.  So the range from ďEmptyĒ to ďFullĒ is about two quarts.  The capacity of the transmission is 2.2 gallons (8.8 quarts) so the ďFullĒ mark is at about 8.8 quarts and the ďEmptyĒ mark is at about 6.8 quarts.  ďEmptyĒ doesnít really mean empty, itís just the lowest level the designers want the transmission to be run at.

With the engine off, ďEmptyĒ comes at about five quarts less than with it running at idle so an ďEmptyĒ reading made with the engine off means that you will actually be running the engine five quarts below the minimum level the transmission is supposed to be run at. 

With the engine off, ďFullĒ comes at about four quarts less than with it running so a ďFullĒ reading  made with the engine off means that you will actually be running the engine at (8.8-4.0)  = 4.8 quarts which is two quarts below the minimum level (6.8 quarts) the transmission is supposed to be run at. 

This demonstrates the importance of measuring the transmission oil levels with the engines running at idle rather than off.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: December 04 2011 at 11:02 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Battery Life & Oil Prices

I was looking over my 2011 engine log and noticed that my house batteries have been getting 9 years of life.  My engine batteries donít do so well.  They only get about 8 years.  And the generator batteries at only 4 years of life seem to be the worst.  Donít know why the generator batteries do so poorly.  Perhaps itís because they are in an out of the way area and donít get serviced as much.  So far in the 16 years since 1995 Iíve spent $2,245.24 for batteries or about $140 per year.  Thatís about one battery failure per year.  Not bad for a boat with 5 batteries.

Itís time to change the oil again.  I do it every two years which is usually about every 120 engine hours.  Iíve been using Castrol Assuron 40W and my memory says that the last time I bought some (2009) it was about $4 per quart.  Now itís $7 per quart.  Since my main engines need 5 gallons each thatís 40 quarts of oil or $280.  So Iím looking around for a less expensive brand of oil.  Chevron Delo 100 which is recommended for older 2 cycle diesels sells for $100 per 5 gallon barrel ($5.00 per quart) at West Marine and if it sells for $100 at West Marine I can probably get it for $80 on the web or at a discount store.

What are you guys using and paying for diesel motor oil?

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: December 04 2011 at 18:18 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Connie in the Netherlands

I found a Connie in the Netherlands.  A picture is shown below:

She's a 1989 Connie and is listed as a 56' model.  But that includes the swim platform and bow sprit which are not normally included in US measurements.  You can find her on the Yachtworld brokers pages.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 04 2011 at 18:19


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Fantasy
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 07:31 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

I've been using Napa brand 40w oil for many years.  It is Valvoline oil packaged for Napa and has a CF-4 and CF-2 designation for two strokes.  The price varies depending on where you purchase it and since Napa stores are everywhere, I have no problem getting it if I call a day or so ahead.

If convenient, I get it in Delaware where the product is less expensive and there is no sales tax.  It is currently about $73 and I pick up 3 or 4 five gal pails at a time.  If you go to the napaonline dot com site and put in product number NOL 75118 you can get the price but you need to first select an area store by zip code.

John



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 08:08 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

As John indicated, the auto parts stores are infinately less costly than West Marine!  I purchased 12 gallons of Delo 100 (for spares) and both engine oil filters and the on board genny filter of recent discussions for $248 total in March 2011.  If a store (Autozone, Pep Boys or the like) doesn't stock the oil, they can typically get it in 1-2 days. The AutoZone in Virginia stocked the engine oil filters and one day for the genny filter and oil. 

Jim



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eshover
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 12:01 | IP Logged Quote eshover

The BUC Book has always listed the 500 Connie as 56' 4".  The Power Boat Guide lists it as 50' 6". 

When booking a transient slip, my boat is ALWAYS a 50' boat.  However, I actually had a Balitmoron pull out a tape measure on me!  I gave him the WTF look, but he said that the marina was now requiring measurements on many large boats.   Personally, I feel they get us for enough as it is, but measuring with a tape measure is simply "over the top".

Emory



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Pete37
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 14:26 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subjects:  Motor Oil and Antifreeze

Well, I took John's & Jim's recommendations and bought 10 gallons of NAPA brand 40W diesel oil for $155.56 ($77.78 per drum), two NAPA 1970 oil filters at $32.49 ea. (for the engines) and one NAPA 1592 at $14.49 (for the genny).  Total cost (with 6% MD tax) $249.13.

And then before leavings the store I said "Oh, by the way I'll need 10 gallons of antifreeze too."  The clerk said "Fine your bill will be $124.90 plus 6% ($132.39) more for a total of $381.52, pick it up in the morning."  This winterization business is getting very expensive.

So I'm considering replacing the $12.49 per gallon regular antifreeze with Extended Life Antifreeze.  It costs $14.49 per gallon but is supposed to last for five years rather than the two years regular antifreeze lasts for.  Do any of you guys use Extended Life Antifreeze?

Pete37



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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 14:44 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

I am not positive, but I believe that napa oil is Chevron delo 400.  I was told if using Chevron oil to only use delo 100.  You may want to check it out.

Here is a release note from Chevron telling not to use delo 400 on 2 cycle detroit 52, 71, or 92 series engines.

http://www.samsmarine.com/Manuals/Chevron/Chevron/Delo%20400 .htm

Allen

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Fantasy
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 16:52 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Allen,

The napa fleet oil I cited is made by Ashland, the parent company of Valvoline.  You can buy the same oil under the Vavoline label for about $25 dollars more.

The most important spec when buying for 2 strokes is to make sure it has a CF-2 designation, which is specifially formulated for 2 stroke (compression ignition = "C") engines and is required in Detroit oil service bulletins.  CF-4 and CH-4 are for 4 strokes.

I used to use Delo 100 but I change oil 2 or 3 times a year and it gets expensive.  So I did some research and the Napa brand is all I use now.

I also like that Napa sells the filters and oil analysis kits, so it's one stop and cheaper.

John



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Grey Goose
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 19:22 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Thanks John

I'll have to go check it out.

Allen
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Pete37
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Posted: December 05 2011 at 20:06 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Diesel Motor Oil

Allen has sort of opened a can of worms by inferring that the NAPA 75118 diesel oil is really Chevron Delo 400 and that it shouldnít be used on 2 cycle diesels.  The reference he gives is very old (dated Feb 22, 2002) so it probably doesnít apply to the oil being sold today.

Both Delo 100 and 400 are listed in the West Marine catalog (p. 590) and while 100 is specifically recommended for 2 cycle engines the 400 has API certifications for CF, CF-2, CD and CD-2 applications so one would think it could be used for 2 cycle diesels.

To make things messier, API has recently discontinued new certifications for CF, CF-2 and CG-4.  Yet a quart bottle of Castrol Assuron I recently bought is clearly rated for CF and CF-2.  And most of the other diesel oils I looked at in the store still carry CF and CF-2 API Certifications.

There are rumors that NAPA 75118 diesel oil is really made by Valvoline and of course there is Allenís comment that it is made by Chevron.  But the frustrating thing is that in spite of a lot of searching on the web I canít find any solid evidence on who makes it or even what its API specifications are.  On the basis of what Iíve been able to find out they may siphon it out of old wrecks in a junkyard.  Iím sure they donít but I canít find any evidence to prove it.  Does anyone have any solid evidence?  No rumors please.

Pete37



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Fantasy
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Posted: December 06 2011 at 09:50 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

If you look at the label on the oil you bought, you will see it is made by Ashland.  Google "Ashland oil" and you will see they are the parent company of Valvoline.  The same label shows that it meets the CF-2 specification.

NAPA markets both Valvoline 40W oil and NAPA 40W oil.  If you check the Material Safety Data Sheets (at napaonline) you will see that they are both manufactured by Ashland.  Valvoline is sold as "ALL-FLEETģ PLUS SAE 40."  The NAPA brand is sold as "NAPAģ UNIVERSAL FLEET PLUS SAE 40."  Although they sound the same, I have no idea if they are the same formula.  However, I am confident that he NAPA brand meets the CF-2 requirement.

API is moving toward a new emissions classification system and our old engines with CF-2 requirements don't fit very well.  However, many oils, including the NAPA brand, are not actually certified by API  anyway, it's an expensive process.  They are merely manufactured to API standards.  It is only certified if you see the API "donut" on the label.  Whether or not the certification is worth the added price is a personal decision.

John



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Pete37
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Posted: December 06 2011 at 12:08 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim & All,

Subject: NAPA Oil Ratings

Actually, I bought my oil yesterday but it wasnít delivered to the store until today.  So I didnít have a label to look at.  But when I picked it up today the label said it was made by Ashland Oil (their Russell, Kentucky plant) and was rated CF-2.  It is specifically recommended for Detroit Diesels.  However, I didnít find any Material Data Safety Sheets on http://www.napaonline.com.

My brother (John) called yesterday.  He worked for Ashland Oil at one time and confirmed that Valvoline was part of Ashland but noted that didnít necessarily mean that the NAPA oil was made by Valvoline.  He used the analogy ďGM makes Cadillacs and Chevys but just because you have a car made by GM it doesnít mean itís a CadillacĒ.  Here in MD the ďFleet Plus SAE 40Ē label isnít used.

However I found the following in a hot rod site:

ďYup it's true.  Even the part numbers are the same (almost),

Valvoline 10W30 = #129 (or VC129)

NAPA 10W30 = #1290Ē.

 

At least some NAPA oils seem to be made by Valvoline.  The number string 118 appears in the type number of most Valvoline diesel motor oils while the NAPA oil has the number 75118.  So the relationship of the NAPA oils to Valvoline oils seems to have some credibility.  But there doesnít seem to be any relationship to the Chevron Delo motor oils (100 or 400) so Allenís reference from samsmarine.com doesnít appear to apply.

 

In summary, I canít see any reason not to buy the NAPA 75118 diesel motor oil.

 

Pete37



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Posted: December 06 2011 at 14:33 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Pete,

Just in case you are interested, the NAPA MDS sheet links are on the page describing the products.  Not a lot of information but the manufacturer and retail product name are clear.

This is the link for the Material Data Safety Sheet for the Valvoline oil, taken from the NAPA site.  https://partimages.genpt.com/partimages/725992.pdf

This is the link for the Material Data Safety Sheet for the NAPA oil, taken from the NAPA site.   https://partimages.genpt.com/partimages/725901.pdf

This morning I went to the NAPA store here in Marsh Harbour and they had both brands on the floor.  The wording describing the specifications was identical on both pails.  The NAPA brand was $168 and the Valvoline brand was $209.  I'm happy not to be buying it here!

John



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Posted: December 06 2011 at 15:22 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John.

The Material Data Safety Sheets (as you say) don't really tell you much.  Even the name is different than the name on the can.  I've been to Marsh Harbor and wish I was there now.  I guess you aren't worrying very much about winterization. 

It's cool here in MD but not really winter yet. The month I'd really want to be in Marsh Harbor would be February.  But at least Arlene and I will be in Fort Lauderdale overlooking the beach which isn't too bad.

Gee, that $168 pail of oil in Marsh Harbor costs only $78 here in MD.  Guess I should remember to change the oil before leaving for the islands.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 06 2011 at 15:30


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Posted: December 13 2011 at 20:22 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Winterization

Well, itís December and thatís Winterization time in Maryland.  Winterization is one of my most un-favorite tasks but it has to be done.  And Iíve done it 16 times so far.  You might think that Iíve done the job the same way 16 times.  But thatís not the case.  Iíve done it about a dozen different ways over the past 16 years.  Itís only in the last few years that Iíve really got things organized into a standard procedure.  My procedure is shown in the diagram below:

 

As you can see the table consists of 50 boxes arranged in 11 columns.  Yellow boxes are simply title boxes and donít represent any actual jobs.  There are 15 title boxes which leaves 35 task boxes (colored blue and white) which represent jobs that have to be done to complete the winterization.  Blue boxes represent jobs which have been done while white boxes are jobs which still have to be done.  As you can see Iím presently about40% of the way through winterization.  Unfortunately on the forum the box labels are too small to see so Iíll just have to describe them in this article.

The first column is the batteries which involves checking the charge and voltage on the batteries and adding water as necessary.  The batteries include the engine starting battery bank, the house battery bank and the generator starting battery (5 batteries in all).  This job is not order critical.  It can be done before or after the jobs in the other columns.  However, I usually do it first because itís a simple job.

You can vary the order of most of the columns doing the engines first or the generator first or the heads first.  But if you do the jobs from left to right, the important items get done first and the less critical items later.  In the winter, potable water, heat and toilet facilities are nice creature comforts to have around so I tend to do them last.

Columns 2 through4 are generator winterization jobs.  The 2nd column is prepping the generator fresh water system and basically involves changing the antifreeze.  Itís broken down into draining, refilling and checking the freeze point.  The 3rd column is changing the oil and involves draining the old oil, changing the oil filter and filling with new oil.  The 4th column is the last generator related column and involves closing the thru-hull, filling the raw water parts of the cooling system with antifreeze and checking the freeze point.

Columns 5 through 7 are similar to the generator but are for the main engines. The 5th column is prepping the generator fresh water system and basically involves changing the antifreeze.  Itís broken down into draining, refilling and checking the freeze point.  The 6th column is changing the oil and involves draining the old oil, changing the oil filter and refilling with new oil.  The 7th column is the last main engine related column and involves closing the thru-hull, removing all the raw water drain cocks and draining all the raw water parts of the cooling system.  The drain cocks are then cleaned by placing them in a muriatic acid bath for 15 minutes, rinsed and then stored for replacement in the spring.  There are seven drain cocks.  If I find only 6 in my storage container I know I have missed one.  An extra box is added to remind me to make sure the fuel tanks are full before the engines are winterized.

The raw water parts of the engine cooling system are not back filled with antifreeze.  Zincs are removed checked and replaced as necessary at this point. 

Columns 8 and 9 are for winterizing the heads.  Column 8 is for the holding tank and involves pumping it out and closing the thru-hull.  The heads are then winterized by pouring a gallon of pink (propylene glycol) antifreeze into the bowl and then pumping it out.  Water input from the boats fresh water system must be turned off before the head bowls are pumped out.  The overboard discharge thru-hull valve should be turned off after the heads and holding tank are pumped out.

Column 10 is the procedure for winterizing the potable water system.  I use a portable compressor and blow the water out of the water lines.

And finally column 11 is the procedure for winterizing the air conditioners.

The important thing though is not the details of the winterization procedure.  Itís that you have a written procedure that reminds you of all the important steps so that you donít overlook something.  I found 35 separate but essential tasks.  Itís easy to overlook one of them.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 13 2011 at 20:23


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Posted: December 22 2011 at 16:10 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

To all:

Marie and I want to wish all in the "Connie Community" a very Merry Chrismas, Happy Holidays and a Joyeous New Year!

To Pete et. al.,

I believe you have said that you have a blueprint of the AC electrical system.  My elf spy has indicated there may be a gift card under the tree to acquire an inverter/charger for the boat. I know my boat has been somewhat modified in the main AC panel (different switching arrangements for the AC-in), but a copy of the prints would be a most welcome help in tracking down how to wire into a 3 buss system.  Could you get the prints copied and advise what the costs are so I can be working on it over the winter period?  I would be most appreciative! 

[BTW, "winter" here in central Florida is nearing 80* today (average is 71*... kinda hard to get into that Holiday spirit!]

Thanks to all and to all a good night!

Jim

 



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Posted: December 22 2011 at 22:34 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and/or any other pleasant holiday of your choice to you and Marie.  I took my drawings out and found the two drawings relating to the AC electrical panel wiring.  They are PDE 1019 and PD 1248.  They are both full scale Ozalid copies of the original drawings.  Ozalid was a chemical copying technique which produced a slighty damp blue and white copy with a strong smell of amonia.  It was very common in the 80s but isn't used much anymore.  The drawings aren't beautiful but they are legible.

When I first got my boat I had copies made in a more modern black and white process. I'll probably have to go over to Kinkos in Annapolis to have some more copies made for you so it will probably be a week before I have them.  The cost is very little so don't worry about the cost. 

Sorry the weather is so bad down there in Florida but someone has to make the sacrifice.

Pete37



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Posted: December 23 2011 at 11:07 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

Thanks for your offer... it is greatly appreciated!  Mail to:

Jim Rabey

PO Box 372376

Satellite Beach Fl 32937

As an student in Engineering school in the 70's I made many Ozalid prints. and yes you could get a bit "high" on the amonia vapors :-)

Yeah, the weather here is even worse today... at this time (11AM on 12/23) it is sunny and 77" and the humidity is about 65%.  Awaiting  the afternoon ocean breeze to make it more bearable.  Had to turn on the AC in the aft cabin last night to get to sleep. As a native of the mid Atlantic, as we approach Christmas it is supposed to get colder - with the weather here, it is MUCH tougher to get into the Christmas Spirit... oh well, someone has to do it!  ;-)

I will accept the barbs next May when it starts 90*-90%  everyday until October.  Merry Chruistmas to all!

Jim 


 



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Posted: December 23 2011 at 21:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Off-Shore AC Power

Instead of all this messing around with inverter/chargers, huge battery banks and messy rewiring of your boat why not just bite the bullet and buy one of these babies:

3.5 KW of steady super quiet power for as long as you want it at only 0.2 gph.  Plenty of power for anchoring out.  You could probably even run one of the air conditioners. Small (only 28" by 15.5" x 15") so you can find plenty of places to mount it in the engine or generator room.  Water cooled, with remote electric start, hush cover and remote instrument panel.  What more could you want?

Oh, BTW, it's cheap too; only $5,500.  Now don't all you guys rush out to buy it.  They've got plenty of them available.  Ask your spouses to include one in your Christmas stocking.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and/or a pleasant holiday of your choice to all.

Pete37

P.S. It's a Kubota generator.



Edited by Pete37 on December 23 2011 at 21:11


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Posted: December 24 2011 at 12:40 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Shore Power Independence

Reading Skipper Bobís book on cruising on a budget made me take another look at how I cruise.  The biggest expense is not fuel although thatís high on the list.  The biggest expense is marina dockage which typically runs $120 per night.  The way to avoid that is to anchor out; or as Bob calls it ďCamping OutĒ.  And that requires a yacht equipped to be independent of shore power.

The two sources of power on a Connie are its generator and its house battery bank.  But a battery bank doesnít create energy, it just stores energy created by the generator.  So the generator is the only source of energy; unless you include the engine alternators, solar cells, a wind driven generator or propane fired devices.  Solar cells and wind driven generators are both ineffective and too expensive for most of us so Iíll ignore them.  Engine alternators are fine but they assume that the engines are run for long periods each day.  And that doesnít work when we are anchored in one place for several days.  So the alternators donít work for ďcamping outĒ and we are back to the generator and propane fired devices as the sole sources of power.

In my opinion, propane fired devices are too dangerous for use on a boat so I wonít discuss them in this article.  But they are effective and legal (if they meet marine standards) so you may want to consider them.

There are three types of power loads on a Connie.  The first is ďDC loadsĒ which are loads directly connected to the house battery bank.  These include pressure water, electric toilets, shower sump pumps, anchor lights, interior DC lighting, bilge pumps and refrigerator/freezers (if DC powered).  They would also include any other DC load you have which is connected to the house battery bank and is required for normal camping out activities.  Navigational devices are not included since they are not required when in the camping out mode of operation.

The second type of power load is any AC device which is connected to an inverter/charger and derives its power from the house battery bank.  These include permanently installed AC interior lighting, AC reading lights, fans, desktop computers, TVs, refrigerator/freezers (if AC powered) and any other AC devices plugged into the AC convenience outlets supplied with inverter power throughout the boat (provided they are needed for camping out and can reasonably be powered by an inverter charger).  These are also devices that are needed 24/7 although mostly only on an intermittent basis.

The third type of load is the heavy duty AC load.  These are the AC loads that cannot reasonably be supplied by batteries or inverter/chargers.  They include heating, air conditioning, battery charging, water heaters, most galley appliances, and the clothes washer/dryer.

This is a long document and it's obvious this web site doesn't like long documents.  So I'm going to have to continue it in several posts.  My apologies to the web site.  I'll try to avoid this in the future.

Pete37

To be continued:

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 24 2011 at 12:56


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Posted: December 24 2011 at 12:42 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Continued from previous post:

These are the loads that can only be supplied when the generator is running.  Basically, unless you are prepared to run your generator 24/7 heating and air conditioning are luxuries that cannot be provided on a Connie.  If you require 24/7 heating or air conditioning, find a marina where shore power is available. However, temporary ďcool downsĒ can be supplied when the generator is running.  And by running the generator at all meal times the galleys needs can also be handled.  The house battery bankís charging needs can also be supplied during the generatorís operational periods

In order to estimate how to operate independent of shore power Iíve split the day up into three five hour periods and one nine hour period as shown in the table below:

Power Periods

Period

Start

Finish

Length

1

7:00 AM

12:00 AM

5

2

12:00AM

5:00 PM0

5

3

5:00 PM

10:00 PM

5

4

10:00 PM

7:00 AM

9

I made up the following table of DC power requirements for my Connie:

Source

Amps

# of

Units

Total

Amps

Pressure Water

DC

15.0

1

15.0

Electric Toilets

DC

20.0

1

20.0

Shower Sump Pump

DC

4.5

1

4.5

Anchor light

DC

2.0

1

2.0

Bilge Pump

DC

5.0

1

5.0

DC interior lights

DC

1.0

2

2.0

AC interior Lights

Inv.

2.0

4

8.0

AC reading lights

Inv.

3.0

2

6.0

Fans

Inv.

0.3

2

0.6

Refrigerator/Freezer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

Desktop computer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

TV

Inv.

10.0

1

10.0

After breakfast the generator will be turned off.  The DC loads from most of the permanently installed DC devices mentioned above will continue and in addition we will have to add the loads of any AC devices that are run using the inverter.  The loading for the 5 hour period from 7:00 AM to 12:00 Noon is shown in the table below:

Period #1 (7:00 AM to 12:00 AM)

Source

Amps

# of

Units

Total

Amps

Hrs

AH

Inverter

Gen

100

1

100

1

100

Pressure Water

DC

15.0

1

15.0

0.2

-3.0

Electric Toilets

DC

20.0

1

20.0

0.05

-1.0

Shower Sump Pump

DC

4.5

1

4.5

0.1

-0..45

Anchor light

DC

2.0

1

2.0

0.0

-0.0

Bilge Pump

DC

5.0

1

5.0

0.05

-0.5

DC interior lights

DC

1.0

2

2.0

1.0

-2.0

AC interior Lights

Inv.

2.0

4

8.0

2.0

-16.0

AC reading lights

Inv.

3.0

2

6.0

2.0

-12.0

Fans

Inv.

0.3

2

0.6

4.0

-2.4

Refrigerator/Freezer

Inv.

12.0

1

12.0

4.0

-48.0

Desktop computer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

2.0

-5.0

TV

Inv.

10.0

1

10.0

2.0

-18.0

-7.45



Edited by Pete37 on December 24 2011 at 13:00


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Posted: December 24 2011 at 12:45 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Continued from previous post:

Iíve assumed that the inverter loads are not on continuously.  The DC and inverter loads are values I think are reasonable estimates.  We did pretty well in the first period with only a 7.45 AH drop in the battery charge:  Now letís consider what happens in the second power period (12:00 AM to 5:00 PM).

Period #2 (12:00 AM to 5:00 PM)

 

Source

Amps

# of

Units

Total

Amps

Hrs

AH

Inverter

Gen

100

1

100

1

100

Pressure Water

DC

15.0

1

15.0

0.2

-3.0

Electric Toilets

DC

20.0

1

20.0

0.05

-1.0

Shower Sump Pump

DC

4.5

1

4.5

0.1

0.0

Anchor light

DC

2.0

1

2.0

0.0

-0.0

Bilge Pump

DC

5.0

1

5.0

0.05

-0.5

DC interior lights

DC

1.0

2

2.0

1.0

-2.0

AC interior Lights

Inv.

2.0

4

8.0

2.0

-16.0

AC reading lights

Inv.

3.0

2

6.0

2.0

-12.0

Fans

Inv.

0.3

2

0.6

4.0

-2.4

Refrigerator/Freezer

Inv.

12.0

1

12.0

4.0

-48.0

Desktop computer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

2.0

-5.0

TV

Inv.

10.0

1

10.0

2.0

-18.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

-7.9

 

During the first hour we had lunch so the generator was running and all AC loads were handled by the generator.  The inverter/charger was running during this period and cranked out 100 amps to the house battery bank.  Again, the DC and inverter loads are what I consider reasonable estimates.  So everything is about the same as in the first period except that since we took our showers in the morning the shower sump pump load is assumed to be zero.  Again, weíve done very well with a battery charge loss of only 7.9 AH.

The third power period is pretty much a repeat of the 2nd except that since it is evening the lighting power loads jump up considerably as shown in the following table:

Period #3 (5:00 PM to 10:00 PM)

 

Source

Amps

# of

Units

Total

Amps

Hrs

AH

Inverter

Gen

100

1

100

1

100

Pressure Water

DC

15.0

1

15.0

0.2

-3.0

Electric Toilets

DC

20.0

1

20.0

0.05

-1.0

Shower Sump Pump

DC

4.5

1

4.5

0.1

0.0

Anchor light

DC

2.0

1

2.0

5.0

-10.0

Bilge Pump

DC

5.0

1

5.0

0.05

-0.5

DC interior lights

DC

1.0

2

2.0

5.0

-10.0

AC interior Lights

Inv.

2.0

4

8.0

5.0

-40.0

AC reading lights

Inv.

3.0

2

6.0

5.0

-30.0

Fans

Inv.

0.3

2

0.6

4.0

-2.4

Refrigerator/Freezer

Inv.

12.0

1

12.0

4.0

-48.0

Desktop computer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

2.0

-5.0

TV

Inv.

10.0

1

10.0

2.0

-18.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

-67.9



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Posted: December 24 2011 at 12:48 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

 

Continued from previous post:

Finally we reach the nine hour 4th power period from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM the following morning.  It might b assumed that due to its length this would have the greatest power deficit but there are very few inverter operated devices running (except the refrigerator).

Period #4 (5:00 PM to 7:00 AM)

Source

Amps

# of

Units

Total

Amps

Hrs

AH

Inverter

Gen

100

1

100

1

100

Pressure Water

DC

15.0

1

15.0

0.1

-1.5

Electric Toilets

DC

20.0

1

20.0

0.1

-2.0

Shower Sump Pump

DC

4.5

1

4.5

0.0

-0.0

Anchor light

DC

2.0

1

2.0

5.0

-10.0

Bilge Pump

DC

5.0

1

5.0

0.25

-1.25

DC interior lights

DC

1.0

2

2.0

0.0

-0.0

AC interior Lights

Inv.

2.0

4

8.0

0.0

-0.0

AC reading lights

Inv.

3.0

2

6.0

0.0

-0.0

Fans

Inv.

0.3

2

0.6

.0.0

-4.8

Refrigerator/Freezer

Inv.

12.0

1

12.0

8.0

-96.0

Desktop computer

Inv.

5.0

1

5.0

0.0

-0.0

TV

Inv.

10.0

1

10.0

0.0

-0.0

-15.55

Again we have assumed a one hour period of generator operation prior to retiring to get the batteries charged up for the rest of the night.  The loss of battery charge for the whole day is:

Period

AH

1

7.45

2

-7.90

3

-67.90

4

-15.55

Total

-83.90

However, the 83.9 AH deficit could easily be made up by just running the generator for 15 minutes longer in each power period or by economizing on some of the power loads.

In summary, it appears that if one is willing to run the generator for four hours per day and has an inverter/charger capable of charging at 100 amps it may be possible to achieve complete independence from shore power.  Three of those four hours are really no sacrifice in convenience since the galley power loads are too high for an inverter and the generator probably has to be run at those times anyway.

I may have made some mistakes in this analysis but I think shore power independence is possible with a good inverter/charger and a durable set of house batteries.

Merry Christmas to all,

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 24 2011 at 13:04


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Posted: December 25 2011 at 12:01 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Good analysis, Pete.

Thought I'd pass on a couple notes from my Xantrex manual if you are interested in fine tuning your numbers:

Inverter loads need to be calculated at 110% of actual to allow for inverter power losses.

Three stage charging is limited to 25% of battery capacity and the max charge input is only maintained until the bank reaches 14.5V under charge (bulk stage), then it reduces to 15 amps (acceptance stage).  So, whether or not you could get 100 amps in the bank in an hour would depend on the size of the bank and it's charge state when you started.  That's been difficult for me, in part because the alternators only bring the batteries to about 85% while underway, which, according to Xantrex, is normal.

John



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Posted: December 25 2011 at 13:48 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Shore Power Independence

Having said in my previous post that complete shore power independence was possible if you had an inverter/charger capable of charging at 100 amps Iím now analyzing how practical it is to charge the house battery bank at 100 amps.

Going to page 383 of this yearís West Marine catalog there is a table of the various inverter/chargers available which shows there are at least a half dozen models that will do that.  Most of them cost about $1600.  You can even go to charge rates as high as 200 amps (at a cost of $4,000).  So itís possible to charge at 100 amps.

Letís consider the probable house battery bank.  West Marine offers a golf cart size 6 volt deep cycle flooded marine battery which has an ampere hour capacity of 215 AH.  It weighs only 62 lbs.  After lifting my last two 8Ds at 135 lbs. into the boat and nearly killing myself doing it Iíve sworn off 8Ds.  So my plan would be to use four golf cart size batteries in two parallel strings of two 6 volt batteries each for my house battery bank.  This produces a 12 volt house battery bank with a capacity of 430 AH.

Letís assume that at the end of one of the time periods mentioned in the previous posts the battery charge has been run down to 50% of its full charge of 430 AH or 215 AH.  What happens next when the inverter/charger starts charging is shown in the figure below:

The charger starts charging at a rate of about 25% of the Full Charge AH rating of the battery or in this case, 0.25 x 430 = 107.5 amps.  It continues at that rate until the battery is about 75% of its full charge; this is 322 AH.  Since the charge has increased by (322 AH-215 AH) = 107 AH at a charge rate of 107.5 amps the time necessary to increase the charge from 50% to 75% is about one hour.  Above the dashed line marked ďBĒ in the range from ďBĒ to ďCĒ the charge rate drops dramatically and it takes three to four hours more to reach the 14.4 volt fully charged float state.  Our selected inverter charger limits the charge rate to only 100 amps so it takes a little longer to reach 75% of full charge but after that it takes hours to reach full charge. 

So basically, since weíve limited our charging time to an hour of perhaps a little more all we can expect to achieve is about 75% of full charge.  And since we wish to finish each time period with 50% (or more) of full charge that limits the power we can use in each time period to 107.5 AH.

The table below shows the amounts of power actually used in each time period.  We are fairly close to our goal of 107.5 AH in all time periods except #3.

Power Periods

Period

Start

Finish

Length

AH Used

1

7:00 AM

12:00 AM

5

107.45

2

12:00AM

5:00 PM0

5

107.90

3

5:00 PM

10:00 PM

5

167.90

4

10:00 PM

7:00 AM

9

115.55

One way to increase the power available would be to go to larger batteries.  West Marine also offers a 370 AH 6 volt deep cycle flooded marine battery but at $370 its cost is much higher than the 215 AH battery previously selected.  A set of four would cost $1480 versus the $840 for the smaller batteries; a cost increase of $640.  And even with these larger batteries the charge would be limited to 100 AH with the 100 amp inverter/charger presently selected.  The next step up would be a 150 amp charger for about $300 more.

Another possibility would be to add another hour of charging at about 8:00 PM.  But while three charging periods is annoying and four charging periods is obnoxious, five charging periods would probably be infuriating.

Iíve used West Marine Catalog prices in all the cost estimates but as you know they are not the cheapest place in town.  Iíll leave it to you to shop around for lower prices.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on December 25 2011 at 13:50


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Posted: December 25 2011 at 14:00 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

Yeah, the only way to get the batteries to accept 100 amps is for them to start at 50% of full charge (or less).  That would be unacceptable for starting batteries but would probably be OK with deep cycle batteries.

Pete37



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Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: December 25 2011 at 23:47 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Shore Power Independence

It's interesting that it costs about $2,500 for the bare minimum shore power independence system when you use the existing generator (run intermittantly), a new deep discharge house battery bank and a 100 amp inverter/charger.  That gives you about 100 AH to play with over four hours or an average of 300 watts.  To get that up to 500 watts it costs something like $3500. 

But for $2,000 more you can get that Kubota diesel generator which will give you a steady 3500 watts for as long as you want.

A basic 5000 watt diesel generator with electric start can be had for about $1000.  But the starting battery is extra, it's air cooled and it has no hush cover. Why does it cost so much to water cool it and add a hush cover?

Pete37



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