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Delaware Jim
"Navigator"




Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: October 21 2011 at 13:15 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete, et. al.,

Your economics are sound, but as a "retired" person your time isn't valued in the same manner as those of us who still work 50+ a week... in my case reliability and time expenditures are important as well - just a difference in perspectives.

A couple of thoughts based on your last notes... I understand the motor and not the gearbox appear to be the primary issue.  You stated the motor is enclosed, but not sealed, and liquid water in significant enough quantities appears to be the motor destruction culprit.  Some thoughts:

  • Like John's comments above, there appears to be a possibly serious leak somewhere to get that much water inside the chain locker area.  How damp is the locker floor underneath the chain?  Being under a shed, I think that rain may not be the primary issue, but maybe snow/ice and/or thermal contraction in winter may be opening a caulked seal someplace allowing melted snow/ice water to enter the area.
  • Significant amounts of water is getting into the chain locker, and is collecting inside the motor case.  Your comments suggest it is much more than condensation inside the motor case... or is it?  Does you bow area get sun/shade daily.  Moisture already in the anchor locker may be entering the motor case where cooler metals condense it.  Do you regularly use the forward shower/head? How about leaving the chain locker door open to allow air circulation and reduce the closed space condensation.  Even a couple of bags of "Air Dry" (an investment of under $10) may help. 
  • Another thought is a "water shield" (maybe thin sheet aluminum) be constructed to divert water (and maybe condensate too) off the top and sides of the motor case.  This might reduce the amount of water entering the case.
  • Consider drilling a couple of small weep holes in the bottom of the motor case to allow any water/moisture entering the case to drain out - hopefully before causing damage.  This may help either the more direct wetting of the case exterior or condensation.
  • A capstan cover (small canvas bag with a drawstring) may keep out most water entering via a worn or missing shaft seal.

Everything you've stated indicates the problem is water intrusion related.  Stop the water/moisture and the problem should be "permanently" solved...

Jim 



Edited by Delaware Jim on November 04 2011 at 15:15


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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 21 2011 at 18:30 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Jim,

There isn't much water getting into the motor.  Probably less than an ounce.  The problem is that once it is inside the motor it stays there. Forever!

Don't know how much water gets into the chain locker.  It has drains.  But usually it is dry when I open the locker.  And the chains don't seem to rust indicating a reasonably dry locker.  We don't get a lot of snow here in MD.  Probably one major snowfall a year plus two or three minor snowfalls.  Some of it stays on the bow pulpit but most of it gets blown off. 

The bow area gets about 8 hours of sun daily on clear days.  I rarely use the forward shower.  I prefer the master or guest showers.

I've thought about bolting an inverted aluminum pie pan to the ceiling to divert water away from the motor.  Might work but I haven't done it yet.  I think most of the water from the deck comes in along the hole for the shaft.

Weep holes might help too.  But the motor case is about 3/8" of very hard steel and I'd have to be careful not to hit the motor coils.  During the winter I leave the chain locker door open.  But not during the summer.  The walls of the motor are solid 3/8" steel and the outboard end of the motor is completely sealed.  So water isn't getting in there.  The leak has to be around the area near where the shaft enters the motor.  I can and will seal the front end of the motor to the gearcase with an "O" ring as shown in the Nilsson drawings I have recently obtained.  That should help.

A canvas cover over the bowpulpit is definitely a cure for windlass leaks.  Interestingly a lot of Connies have them.  They work great in the winter when you aren't using the boat but are a PITA in the summer when you are anchoring out frequently.  A turned over plastic bucket held in place by some bungee might also work.  Not beautiful but probably practical.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 21 2011 at 18:39


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

Hi All,

Subject: Shelving Boats

I met a friend who makes his living from repairing boats.  He has a mobile repair truck with stuff that he can fix just about anything with.  He's got a lot invested in the truck and its equipment but he said he was dropping out of the business because owners were simply "shelving" their boats.  By that he means they are putting them out of service into dry or wet storage and are not using them.  Boats that aren't used don't need many repairs.

Another friend who teaches a course on getting  professional CG Certified Captain's licenses said he used to teach reasonably large classes but in the last three years it's dried up to a trickle.  Owner's just aren't interested.

I can see a lot of these shelved boats at our marina.  You probably have a bunch at your marinas too.  You can't tell whether boats have been shelved or not by just looking at them but you can tell by the empty parking lots (even on summer weekends) that not many of them are being used (or even maintained).

We are three years into this recession and most of us have survived.  Perhaps if we get a change of government next fall, things will pick up in the marine world.  Hang in there; a change isn't too far away.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 23 2011 at 23:47


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Delaware Jim
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Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: October 24 2011 at 16:16 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete, et. al.,

I share your desire for a "change of government" as well, but unfortunately do not think things will turn around very fast.  Even if the Fed Government can get it's spending under control, which I strongly doubt, it'll be several years before meaningful positive change will be "noticable" in the current spending patterns.  The "Euro block" countries are generally in a bigger mess than we currently are in. There still is a glut of housing which folks can't qualify for loans, and continually increasing foreclosure rates.  People are building debt, (at least credit cards, which went up $3Billion last month), etc.

History 101:  During the depression in the 1930's, banks had lots of cash, but would not lend it out, which greatly prolonged the depression.  Last month, the Federal Reserve System banks (not counting brokerage accounts, corporate cash hoardes, etc) had over $1 TRILLION in cash more than their required reserve balances.  Having been burned by the bad mortgages problems (significantly caused by the Government), humans (and bankers) retreat into their "shell".  When a government can give reasons for optimistic outlooks, funds will begin to flow again (see: pre-World War II military spending). 

Once these specific areas are "cleaned up" (if they can be...), it'll take a significant period of time before employment noticably picks up, homes begin selling again at reasonable prices and the US debt curve flattens out (we can only dream about starting to REDUCE the US debt...). 

My "best guess" is 2-4 years before we start "feeling better" about the economy and the overall state of affairs.  Sorry to be the gloomy counterpoint here...

...off soapbox now...

Jim 

 

 



Edited by Delaware Jim on October 24 2011 at 16:18


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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: October 24 2011 at 19:43 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Connie Expenses

Just finished up my Quicken analysis of my Connie expenses for 2011.  Here is a graph of the result:

It's a bit hard to read the results with the 100 kB limit on pictures but I think it's readable.  Red is "Engine Maintenance and Repair". As you can see it was a high engine repair year.  Yellow is "Electric Power" for the slip.  Green is "Fuel" and surprisingly is the #3 expense. Blue is the dockage.   Purple is "Hull Maintenance";  basically the yearly hauling for bottom painting. Grey is insurance.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 24 2011 at 20:00


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Delaware Jim
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Posts: 381
Posted: October 25 2011 at 13:05 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Pete,

The chart is interesting.

Opposite your "shelfing boats" comments a couple of days ago, the "bottom line" question possibly is something like "Given all other personal expenses and personal net income, can I continue to afford increasing boat costs (fuel, M&R, slip, electric, etc) in total?  Obviously, this is a very different equasion for every individual... someone who has a significant mortgage and other debt, has a finite income level that isn't keeping up with inflation (or shrinking due to the market declines) may well be "in trouble" when adding the cost of boat ownership costs.

Bottom line is everyone is different!

Jim

 



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Pete37
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Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: October 26 2011 at 11:45 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: The Economy

We’ve recently had some rather dismal posts on the state of the economy.  But every cloud has a silver lining.  Since operating your Connie is expensive and cash is short you may not want to run your Connie too much.  So this is the time to make all those modifications and repairs you've been planning but haven't had the time (and cash) to do.

With the economy in the toilet, there are a lot of people out there trying to pick up a little extra cash by doing some part time work to pay for some of their expenses.  Many of them are willing to work for less than $10 per hour.  And I’m not talking about hiring some alcoholic street bums.  These are fine upstanding, church going, family men whose regular income has dropped off due to the recession.  They need the extra cash to pay their bills.

You’ll find them in the newspaper classifieds and on bulletin boards.  There are also probably web sites where their advertisements can be found.  Naturally you’ll want to check their references, etc.  Most of them are highly skilled but unfortunately usually not highly skilled in boat maintenance.

But, if you have some grunt work that needs to be done on your boat, and have the cash, now is the time to do it.  They are particularly handy for two man jobs.  You provide the management and they provide some of the grunt.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 26 2011 at 11:51


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Pete37
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Posted: October 26 2011 at 16:15 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

To All,

Subject: Dimensions of the Saddle Tanks

Last summer I measured the size of one of the fuel tanks in my engine room.  The tank was what is normally called the starboard saddle tank and is located on a shelf on the starboard side of the engine room between the starboard engine and the starboard side of the hull.

The tank is 68” long by 26” high.  The inboard wall is close to vertical and is 68” long by 26” high. The top wall is 68” long by 21” wide.  The bottom wall is 68” long by 10” wide.  The top and bottom are approximately horizontal which makes their surfaces perpendicular to to the inboard wall.  The outboard wall is 68” long and connects to the outboard edges of the top and bottom surfaces.  It is about 29” high.  The tank is basically a parallelepiped with its axis parallel to the keel.  The cross section perpendicular to the axis is a trapezoid with the top and bottom horizontal and the inboard edge vertical.  The outboard edge slopes downward and inward from the 21" wide top to the 10" wide bottom.  The volume of the tank is 27,404 cu in = 15.85 cu ft = 118.63 gallons.

These dimensions are correct to about an inch but its probably hard for many of you to understand them. I'll try to make up a drawing and append it to this post.

Emory will probably be measuring the main tanks in the near future and maybe we can post those too.  Eventually they'll go onto the Connie DVD Library disk.

Pete37

PS:  Here is the drawing I promised:

Sorry, I noticed an error in the drawing.  Will post a new drawing in a day or two.



Edited by Pete37 on October 28 2011 at 09:07


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Fantasy
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Joined: November 30 2006
Posts: 324
Posted: October 28 2011 at 08:46 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

A recent article posted at BoatingIndustry.com:

John

Exhibitors optimistic following Annapolis powerboat show

October 24, 2011
Filed under News

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Powerboat dealers are reporting good boat sales and expanded lead lists following the 2011 U.S. Powerboat Show in Annapolis. This year’s show welcomed nearly a dozen 65-foot boats and more than 250 other boats of all sizes and styles, according to the show’s producers, United States Yacht Shows Inc.

U.S. Yacht Shows reported that this year’s industry presence at the U.S. Powerboat Show is the largest that it has seen since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

“We are pleased with our two great fall shows. Exhibitors put their best feet forward, consumers came from great distances, and best of all they spent money. It bodes well for manufacturers who put forth huge effort to participate in our shows and get out in front of large audiences,” said Ed Hartman, president of United States Yacht Shows.

A number of dealers also felt that the show was a success, with many closing sales and leaving with expanded prospect lists.

“Attendance on Saturday and Sunday provided us with several qualified buyers and exceeded our expectations,” said Dave Shields, president of Ocean Club Yacht Sales Inc. “As a matter of fact, we sea-trialed the Sunseeker 50 Predator yesterday and I have three new clients interested in our new Sunseeker 63 Manhattan, all as a result of the show.”



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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TStellato
"Deckhand"




Joined: August 12 2007
Posts: 206
Posted: October 28 2011 at 23:14 | IP Logged Quote TStellato


Pete,

That Chris that I asked you about, just hit Yachtworld as a repo for $115K.

Vicki


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FIVE STAR
1985 Constellation
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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: October 29 2011 at 01:51 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Vicki,

Considering the condition of that Connie the price is about right.  Cosmetically she looks OK but considering that the engines have 2700 hours and have been out of service for ten years she would be a very risky buy.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 01:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: The 2011 Boating Year

Well the 2011 boating year is effectively over in MD.  We had a couple inches of snow (though not here on the Eastern Shore) and high winds today as a northeaster went through.  As I write this the temps are in the 30s.  We might get a couple days of warm weather in November but I doubt I’ll take the boat out again this year.  It’s time to think about winterization.

The season started out on a sour note this spring when I developed a very sore right hip and I wasn’t able to get around to do the normal work on the boat.  But I did get the yard work done early this year and the boat was ready by May 6th.

But by June 6th the port engine was blowing black smoke and I had to call in my mechanic (Bob Granados).  Unfortunately he was occupied with another repair job and couldn’t get to my boat for about two weeks.  Bob arrived on the 20th and after a few hours of disassembly he had the answer.  Too much slow speed running had caused a carbon buildup on the turbo exhaust which was jamming the turbo.  The exhaust elbow (which was 7 years old) was also in rather poor shape.  No surprise there, it was scheduled to be replaced in the spring of 2012.  By June 28th the repair was finished and on the 29th I took her out for a test run.  She ran fine and with very little soot.  Now we know what causes that nasty transom soot.  I’ve run her all summer and haven’t had to clean soot off the transom.

At the end of the season there’s a slight soot mustache on the transom.  You can see it’s coming from the starboard engine (the one which wasn’t repaired).  In the spring the starboard exhaust elbow will be replaced (I’ve already bought it) and I’ll probably need to have the starboard turbo overhauled.  The elbow replacement was scheduled for next spring.

July started and the boat was in fine fettle.  Engines ran fine.  I hired a neighborhood kid to help with the varnishing and polishing (since I couldn’t get around too well with my bad hip).  The boat was in fine shape by the end of July.

But on August 5th the generator battery and port house battery died.  With my bad hip there was no way I could remove and reinstall a 135 lb. battery single handed.  And no one seemed to want to install heavy diesel batteries so it took me until the 12th to get someone to install the batteries.  By then (without the bilge pumps working) nearly a foot of water had accumulated in the bilge.  The boat wasn’t in any danger of sinking and we pumped it out in about 45 minutes but it sure was a surprise.  If it had gone up another foot it would have begun to do damage.

Everything worked fine for about two weeks and then on the 22nd while on a short trip to Parson Island, I noticed that the port FB engine temp gauge was up to 190F.  I immediately checked the port lower station gauge and found it was reading about 150F.  So the FB gauge was 20F high and the LS gauge was 20F low.  Looked like some sort of electrical problem but in order to be on the safe side I never let the FB gauge get above 190F.

On the 23rd we were anchored out on Prospect Bay when that earthquake occurred.  It felt like we had run aground. But how could we have run aground when the boat was anchored and standing still?

The temperature gauge problem went on for over a month.  In the process I rewired part of the FB instrument console and tested everything in the temperature gauge circuits.  Finally in early October I found that the problem was a loose wire on one of the terminals under the lower console.

And finally on that same day (October 8th) the anchor windlass jammed.  It took me the rest of October to find a solution to that problem.  It looked like I was going to have to lay out the better part of $3000 for a new windlass and that even with that cost it would be difficult to find a windlass which could be used with the Connie’s rather thick decks.  But miraculously I found out that some spare parts for my old Maxwell/Nilsson VWC 1000 windlass were available from Nilsson (in New Zealand).  Nilsson separated from Maxwell/Nilsson way back in the 80s and Maxwell doesn’t even acknowledge that they exist.  A present, I’m waiting for parts from New Zealand.  With luck I may have the windlass back together by Thanksgiving.

So it’s been a hectic year, but I survived it.  Except for the turbo overhaul it hasn’t been very expensive.  And during the past six months the doctors have got my hip working reasonably well again.  It isn’t 100% but it’s a lot better.

Winter’s starting and that’s when I do the interior cosmetic work.  This year I’ve got to overhaul the venetian blinds and replace the lower salon carpet.  There are also dozens of odds and ends jobs to do.  With a geriatric 25 year old motor yacht you’re never going to get bored.  Tired perhaps but not bored.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 30 2011 at 01:09


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DMark
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Joined: July 03 2007
Posts: 131
Posted: October 30 2011 at 16:15 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Hello All,

Below is a picture of a filter I bought for my Onan genet.
Embarrassingly ... I can't figure out where it goes. For the
first couple years I had a local mechanic do the oil changes
and filter replacements as I was building knowledge and
comfort with the maintenance on the boat. Now, I've taken
over most of it. But, I have this problem I've changed the
fuel filter but can't find the oil filter. And I found this filter
listed on an Onan document but can't figure out where it
goes. I'm beginning to think I bought the wrong thing.

Can anyone fill in the gaps here? Where's the oil filter,
what's the model number and what's this filter and where
does it go?

Its a Hastings FF 854



I've tried multiple times to up load a 23 KB JPEG and the
server won't take it.

Would still appreciate the help.

M30_164332_IMG_1302.jpg">

Edited by DMark on October 30 2011 at 16:49


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Mark & Nancy Dawes
"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
Home Port - Four Seasons Yacht Club, Cincinnati, OH; Wintering at Washington Marine.
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 17:22 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mark - your picture did not come through. I see you have a
86' Connie. Mine is an 86' also. If you have the 20 kw Onan
that was originally installed from the factory, it has only one
oil filter and that filter is spin-on type similar to the one on
your car. It is located near the dip stick. If you have any
other type of filter, it may be aftermarket relocation of some
type. The engine mounted filter is very easy to get to and
change, so I doubt that someone would mount it in a remote
location. Sure wish that picture came.

Emory

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posted: October 30 2011 at 17:24 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mark - can you send the picture to   
www.easternmarineservices.com ? I would like to see what
you bought.

Emory

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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 17:58 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mark - thanks for the picture. What you have is a
Hasting box type secondary fuel filter.
"HASTINGS FUEL FILTER -- OEM Direct Fit Replacement
Box-Style Secondary Fuel Filter, 4 5/8 x 2 27/32 x 2 7/16,
Replaces GMC 14061623; Roosamaster 23775; Baldwin
BF855"   

My generator only has one Racor primary fuel filter. I
have never seen one like the one in the picture. I got the
description from a website. I am not privy to the Onan
document from which you gleaned the info. You said that
you changed the fuel filter, so I assume you have a Racor
fuel filter like I do. It is possible that you do not have a
secondary filter at all and this document simply referred to
it in some manner.

Again, if you open the side panel, as though you were
checking the oil level, you'll find a spin-on oil filter. (Or at
least you should.

As this forum has proven over and over, there seems to be   
that no two Connies are alike!    Let us know what you find
out.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 18:40 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Mark,

Subject: Oil Filter

Assuming you have an Onan MDL 4 the filter looks like this:

It's a screw on canister filter on the right hand side directly under the dipstick and near the water pump.  It's a Wix 51592, Fram PH 3616 or NAPA 1592.  Any of these will work.

Apparently the filter you showed Emory was the secondary fuel filter. I have one on my Onan and it looks like this:

Priming the system is a little tricky.  I can give you a picture and instructions from the manual if you don't know how to do it.  If you have the Onan MDL4 Operator's Manual the instructions are on page 24.  You should have the Operator's Manual and two parts manuals which came with the generator if a previous owner hasn't lost them.

BTW: the On-Engine fuel filter is both a primary and a secondary filter.  The Racor is in addition to the On-Engine filter and isn't even mentioned in the MDL4 manual.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 30 2011 at 19:20


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 18:53 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Mark,

The "on engine" fuel filter on my 85 Onan 20Kw is a rectangular box, about 2" x4" and 2" thick that has two small steel tubes about 2" long  that push into rubber "grommets".  There are spring clips that hold the filter in place.

I had old fuel in my tanks when I bought my boat in 2007 and the genny quit at 3AM one day from home.  Changing the primary Racor 500 filter did not not get it going.  We slept fitfully with no AC that very warm night as was not even aware of the secondary on engine filter!  

When you replace this filter (which I ould do if you don't know the use of the one in service), the genny will require priming, which entails opening the fuel line slightly at a joint before the high pressure pump and priming using the pump lever on the low pressure fuel pump.  Not hard to do with two wrenches and a couple of minutes.  I believe I have the instructions to do this if needed... just give me a yell.

Jim

 

 



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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 19:02 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Well, this just simply makes my point about no two
Connies....etc, etc.
I do not have this secondary filter but Jim does. How bout'
dat? You learn something every day. I love it!

Emory


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DMark
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 19:45 | IP Logged Quote DMark

All,

Please send me instructions and the diagrams that you have.  I will take more pictures and try to post them a I don't think my set up is exactly like these, but, as always we'll all learn something useful.

My email address is mdawes2@cinci.rr.com.

Thanks so much for your help!

Best,
Mark


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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 20:47 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Jim - I have a feeling I need to take a closer look-see at my generator.  Where, exactly, is this filter located? 

Emory



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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 21:04 | IP Logged Quote eshover

A few posts ago, Pete offered the saddle tank measurements.   I measured the aft fuel tanks and here are the measurements:

65" long x 29" wide x 24" deep (height). 

The are rectangular.

That's about as complicated and I can make it.

The reason I need the measurements is my sending units suck!  US Marine Products makes an electronic type sending unit which, once installed, allows you to change the electronic portion without opening the tank.  Simply put, it looks just like the type of tube type with sliding float.  The difference is, the fuel sensors are on a flexible strip which fits inside the tube.  As the float moves up and down on the outside of the tube, the sensors on the strip located inside the tube detect the motion or level of the float.  The tube never has to be removed from the tank.  If the sensor strip should malfunction, simply remove the strip via a twist-lock on top of the fitting and with only 3" clearance, one can change the sensor strip.

The other good part of these electronic sensors is that they can be programmed to accurately measure irregular tanks such as our saddle tanks.

I saw these at IBEX in Louisville KY a week ago and was impressed.

Their website is:  www.usmarineproducts.com  if anyone is interested.

Emory

Emory



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David Ross
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 21:09 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

To all,

My Onan generator has the the same unit mounted rectangular fuel filter as Jim and Pete describe. However, I've never had to prime the system after replacing it as they indicate they do. I fill the filter with diesel fuel and let it soak in and then top it off before installing. The genie starts right up. The system also has a 500 Racor filter which of course I also top off and let the filter fully absorb fuel.



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Pete37
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 21:34 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

I found an error in the drawing of the saddle tank I posted earlier and will make up a new drawing. Be patient. 

I would agree that the fuel tank float gauges aren't super accurate.  Mine seem to be good to about 5 gallons however and that seems accurate enough.  Why would I want to spend a lot of time and money to make them more accurate?  I have never run out of fuel due to inaccurate fuel gauges.

I have a lot of things on the boat that are more important and I never run out of things that need to be done.  But I do have a limit on what I want to spend.  A new chartplotter, for example, has much higher priority than better fuel gauges.

Just curious.  Am I missing something?

Pete37

BTW:  The float moving up and down on a tube filled with sensors is the same method as used by the gauges on your holding tank.  Not exactly new technology.  My original 1987 SanX sanitation system used that type of guage.  But I guess by coupling that to a computer it can be made better.  And perhaps the sensors are more exotic.



Edited by Pete37 on October 30 2011 at 21:48


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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 21:45 | IP Logged Quote eshover

My chartplotter works, my fuel gauges do not. I have
replaced the floats on the port saddle tank and one of the
aft tanks previously and both have crapped on me. As of
last weekend, I noticed that the port aft gauge does not
register at all. The port saddle only registers to 1/2 tank
and below 1/2 tank drops to empty.   If I have to replace
two of the senders, I'm going to replace them all. I favor
non-mechanical senders such as these.

I could do like a guy I saw at the fuel dock the other day
and carry a long stick with me and "stick the tanks". I
haven't seen that in 20 years.

You didn't miss a thing Pete. There are some folks who
have some expensive and foolish things on their boats. To
which I say; to each his own.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 22:08 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subject: Fuel Gauges

I guess if your old gauges are kaput thats a good reason to replace them.  But after 25 years just about anything can crap out.  Failure at 25 years is not an indication of a bad system.  Survival for 25 years, however, is a pretty good indication of a good system.

My inclination would be to just replace te original gauges with new ones of the same type.  That's probably the cheapest and simplest solution.  No rewiring required and if the replacement lasted 25 years I wouldn't be around to complain.

But you've already tried that and apparently the new sensors crapped out in only a couple years.  It's very strange that the first sensors lasted 25 years but the replacements lasted only a couple years.

Did you replace the entire sensing unit or just part of it?  It's also possible that there's crud or algae in the tanks that's jamming the sensors.  If that's the case it might jam your new sensors as well.  Perhaps a tank cleaning is needed.  But the "float on tube" type sensor is used for holding tanks so apparently the new type is pretty resistant to crud.

If the new "float on tube"system works better and doesn't cost too much more I'd be inclined to use it too. But I'd be worried that whatever screwed up the old sensors (and  their replacements) might screw up the new "float on tube" type sensors as well.

As far as I can tell my gauges are working OK but perhaps I should check them more carefully.

Good luck.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on October 30 2011 at 22:39


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eshover
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 22:26 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - just to clarify, I am replacing the senders in the
tanks, not the gauges. Of course the aft tanks are a piece
of cake, but having to pull up the flooring to get to the
saddles tanks is not much fun. So, my goal is to replace
the senders with a more modern design and one that,
hopefully, will last for years. I have had a goal over the
last few years, if I have to pull up the floor to replace
something, I will attempt to replace with an item that will
last for years. I have had to pull up my floors in recent
years, probably much more than anyone else on the
forum. Now that she's running well, I want to break that
habit.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 30 2011 at 23:06 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subject: Pulling Up the Floors

A long time ago I realized that it was going to be necessary to pull up the floors frequently in order to properly maintain the engines.  So I rebuilt my engine room hatches to make that easier and rearranged my carpeting so that it can be quickly pulled out of the way.  All this with no tools of any kind.

Now I can have all hatches and carpeting out of the way in ten minutes allowing full access to the engine room.  Faster, if I'm in a rush.  Pulling up floors is not a problem for me.  And because it's easy I think my engines get better care and maintenance.  And the mechanics love it because it makes it easier for them which in turn reduces the mechanic's bills.  And I plan all my work based on the fact that I can easily access the engines through the engine room hatches.  This saves me a hell of a lot of time too.

Having to plan all your repairs so that they last for years because you can't easily get into your engine room is a very inefficient mode of operation.  Of course having repairs last for years is great but it shouldn't be dictated by a lack of engine room access.

Pete37



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Posted: October 31 2011 at 09:26 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subject: Flexi-Sensors

I looked at the Flexi-Sensors and they look pretty good.  The price is reasonable too.  The only problem I can see is that if something grows on that stainless steel tube it could jam the float.  At that point you would have to pull the tube and clean it.  Don't remember exactly where the sensor position is on the saddle tank and whether it would be easy to pull the tube for cleaning.

I might buy one of those Flexi-Sensors for my holding tank.  And my water tank needs a new sensor too.  Can these things be calibrated to work with the existing meters on the instrument consoles?

Your initial posts left me thinking you were looking for more accuracy on your fuel gauges.  But what you mainly wanted was something that worked.

Pete37

PS:  I checked the location of the existing saddle tank fuel gauge sensors on some of my engine room photos..  It's about at the middle of the tank (fore & aft) and near the inboard edge.  Replacing it (regardless of the type of sensor used) should be pretty easy once you get the engine room hatches open.  But without the hatches open it would be rather difficult and if you've got algae growing in the tank you might have to clean that stainless steel rod a couple times a year.  It's something to think about.



Edited by Pete37 on October 31 2011 at 11:36


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: October 31 2011 at 14:26 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Couple of items,

Emory, I sent you an e-mail of what I sent Mark last night on the genny filter question.

Fuel gauges - over the last two long trips, I observe my gauges show slightly LOWER readings than actual.  When the tanks are reading 1/4 full, I refill.  The refilling process indicates the saddle gauges are maybe 5-8 gallons less than the refll requires and the stern tanks take ~10 gals less than the gauge reports.  I can live with this quite easily, as it gives a small "reserve" I do not need to think about.

Jim



Edited by Delaware Jim on October 31 2011 at 14:30


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TStellato
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Posted: October 31 2011 at 16:49 | IP Logged Quote TStellato



Jim,

We had the same thing happen to our Genny this year.  We had an extra filter and replaced it and it lasted a few minutes and that was it.  We had thought that the fuel in the saddle tanks was good, but it wasn't because it clogged the Genny.  Could you please send the email to us so we can know what to do.  Along with Pete's drawing we should be able to find the secondary filter.  Since we are an 85 also, we should have a second one.

Thanks!  Vicki


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eshover
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Posted: October 31 2011 at 20:06 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Vicki - are you sure Tony didn't get air in the lines after
replacing the filter? Even with dirty fuel, that filter should
have lasted more than a few minutes. Especially given how
you and T use the boat. If you air locked the fuel line, it could
run a few minutes and would then stop once the fuel is
blocked by air.   Just my thoughts. What did you do to "fix"
the problem? Was it determined to be the fuel?

I've definitely got to take a look at my generator. I may have
this filter and not even know it.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: October 31 2011 at 22:48 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Genny Fuel Filter

For any of you who are still wondering where the on-engine genny fuel filter is here is a side view of the genny from the MDL4 Owners Manual:

I've marked the filter on the drawing.  This is the side of the genny that faces aft.  This is the only on-engine fuel filter on the genny.  It serves as both a primary and secondary filter.

I replaced mine once but with the genny Racor mounted in the engine room already filtering the fuel, the on-engine filter should rarely plug up.  The Racor would really have to be badly plugged up before anything would get to the on-engine filter.  Maintain your Racor and you should never have to mess with this filter.

Pete37

PS: Correction, as Emory has pointed out the view shown above is the forward side of the genny.  What I meant to say that this is what the genny looks like when you are facing aft.



Edited by Pete37 on November 01 2011 at 14:17


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Fantasy
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Posted: November 01 2011 at 09:09 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Vicki,

I think I remember that your fuel manifolding system is different than most but, for what it's worth, my generator fuel comes only from the main port side tank.  The saddle tanks are not plumbed to feed the generator and I believe others have reported the same thing on their boats.

John



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: November 01 2011 at 11:20 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Vicki,

My genny behaved the same way after changing the Racor when the on engine filter was bad - it would fire and run/labor for 15-30 seconds, then quit.  Once the on engine filter was changed out, it ran very well.  Pete subsequently posted a good diagram... I do not have your e-mail due to a prior crash - pls send me email at jimrabey@yahoo.com  and I'll forward the instrictions for priming, etc.

As far as I know, the 500's draw fuel from the aft port tank, not a saddle tank as David indicated (unless someone changed it).

BTW, the on engine filter is available from Autozone or other auto parts stores using the Onan filter number.  MUCH less expensive than from Onan directly.

Jim

 

 



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eshover
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Posted: November 01 2011 at 11:28 | IP Logged Quote eshover

John - you are correct re: the aft port tank feeding the
genny.

Pete - you state that the view you showed from the Onan
manual is the AFT facing part of the genny. On my genset,
that view is the FORWARD facing side of the genset. My
Onan is plumbed with a Racor primary, so I have to
assume the on-engine filter is meant to be, or should be, a
secondary filter. I would hate to think that little filter
serves as both primary AND secondary. As it is, I have
only changed the Racor primary once a year for the last
ten years and the genny still runs like a charm. I only had
the primary clog one time and that was due to my
forgetting to change the thing during Winter service.

I am now assuming that this filter exists on my genset as
well. So, one more damned thing to change! But I am
glad this has been pointed out.

Emory


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Pete37
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Posted: November 01 2011 at 14:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Emory is correct.  The view of the genny I gave in a previous post is what you see when you are facing aft which makes it the forward side.  Anyway, it's the side you see when you open the hush cover door which makes it the only side you can see on most Connies.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on November 01 2011 at 14:19


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Posted: November 01 2011 at 14:44 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Emory measured the main fuels tanks and gave his measurements in a previous post.  They are

65" long x 29" wide x 24" deep (height)

That makes the volume 45,240 cubic inches which is 195.84 gallons.  That's a little surprising since tanks usually hold about 10% more than their advertised gallonage but its somewhat consistant with Jim's statement that the tanks hold about 10 gallons less than the 200 gallons stated in the Connie specs.

Here are the corrected dimensions of the saddle tank I promised you:

The only difference from the previous drawing is that the top on the left hand side is 18" rather than 21".  The volume is 26,078 cubic inches which is 112.9 gallons which makes the tank 12.9 gallons larger than the 100 gallons specified.  This is somewhat consistant with what Jim's statement that the saddle tanks take 5-8 gallons more than the gauge says.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on November 01 2011 at 23:02


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Posted: November 01 2011 at 20:10 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Things are Winching Right Along

I picked up my repaired windlass motor from Mamock's Motor Electric today and received an email from Nilsson Co. that my windlass parts are in the air (3 to 15 day delivery).  So it looks like I might have my windlass back together and installed by Thanksgiving.  Total cost about $250.  That's a lot better than a new windlass.

For a while I was looking at the better part of $3K for a new windlass. Plus a lot of modifications to the boat. Not sure why it would take 15 days for air mail to get here but perhaps that's delivery by dirigible.

Now this old windlass may break down again but if I can get 5-10 years out of it I'll be satisfied.  Most of the previous failures have just been due to salt water getting into the motor.  That seems to happen about every three years but it costs only $150 to $200 for an overhaul. 

I can live with that. With the new parts I may get 4 or 5 years between breakdowns.  And I now know where I can get a replacement windlass for a little over $1100 if it ever comes to that.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on November 01 2011 at 20:12


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David Ross
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Posted: November 01 2011 at 22:32 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Jim (and all),

I never said my generator draws from a saddle tank. I know it draws from the aft port. The only post I sent on the current generator fuel filter discussion is I have a rectangular fuel filter on the genenerator also and fill it with fuel and let it absorb and top it off, than install and it always has started right up with no priming.... contrary to those who have said it has to be primed. 



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