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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: January 16 2013 at 22:29 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - slow for me too.

Did you see my line re: hull 112? Do you want any info on
that boat? I lost your email address.   Send it to me at
easternmarineservices@gmail.com

Emory

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1986 Connie 500
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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: January 17 2013 at 10:30 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,
Yes, the form is slower, but works. The Tank manufacture of our fuel tanks is Miami Tanks, still in operation in NC. The CC 460 has two 200 gal ( actually 195 gal) 65' long 30' wide and 24.5' deep. The hall to the lower state room is 26'. If the door and frame was removed, along with hard wear on the head doors and the hand rail. Then the hand rail up to the upper salon and out the window. Ive got the tank empty and cleaned, and need to set it on it's side to inspect the bottom. So far it looks like just the forward starboard corner has the leek, and not in a weld seem. I should know more when I flip it (what a horse to move around)

Emory,
Check on the 501 tank replacement to see if the ceiling has a dotted line to cut out to remove the tanks. I know the lower salon has a dotted line to remove the engines. I might be cheaper than removing the rails and door to the state room.

Everyone,
Just some back ground on this problem, and hope it doesn't happen to anyone else. I returned from a trip to Maine, rounded the transom and smelled diesel fuel outside the boat. Upon inspection, I found the carpet in the state room was red in spots near the corner of the bed. First removing the carpet and pad, you could see the fuel leaking across the the plywood toward the closet. Immediately pumped the fuel into the other tank and and placed absorbent pads over the area. The bed frame had to be removed to get to the strap screws, ( not much space).  Some of the fuel made it's way through the plywood into the bilge under the water tank heading forward. Sopping up as much possible with pads then kitty litter. The smell is hard to get out, and I live aboard, just another problem. Moved bed up to the lower salon onto the pullout, work well. 


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: January 17 2013 at 10:57 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Wayne,
I wasn't involved in the 501 issue and don't even know
what boat it was or where located. Allen Aronstein passed
that info on.

If you have carefully measured the openings with the door
frame removed in the hall and all hardware removed and it
will fit through there and up through the steps, past the
helm, then that's the way to go.

Cutting the floor/ceiling will be an expensive job. Removal
of headliner, repairing the floor = $$$

I have removed my forward head door frame for a flooring
job I did in the head. You must drill out the bungs and be
very, very careful to around and around the door getting
the seal to break without cracking the wood. And you
won't have much room to work with on that passageway
door. I would get some very thin (as thin as I can find) pry
bar, possibly even fashion some and work it slowly around
and around the door until it comes loose.

The stair rail isn't not difficult to remove. There are screws
inside the storage under the steps and the upper screws
are behind the thermostat and A/C vent. (if it's like mine)

I replaced my refrigerator and to remove the rail.

On another note: if you are going to this level of effort, I
would HIGHLY advise you to have inspection plates cut into
the tank and the interior of the tanks (BOTH TANKS)
inspected for corrosion! You would not want to fix one tank
, re-install and have to go through the entire process again
if the other tank was bad.

Good luck and keep us posted. I would love to talk with
you some time regarding living aboard these boats, as I
may be headed that direction in the near future.

Emory

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1986 Connie 500
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: January 17 2013 at 13:14 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Wayne,

Subject: Fuel Tank Leaks

The name of the company that made the fuel tanks in my Connie was Florida Marine Tanks.  They are also still in business.  Your tanks were made by Miami Tanks so apparently Chris Craft used tanks from at least two venders.  The moment you think something is standard on a Connie you find that it isn’t.

Removing the hand rail on the companionway between the lower and upper salon is easy.  Just remove the speaker on the port side of the aft lower salon bulkhead and you’ll see the bolts that hold the hand rail.  My boat doesn’t’ have a hand rail on the companionway between the lower hall and the lower salon.  If your boat does you’ll have to find out how to remove it.  If you can get the tank into the lower salon you might be able to get it out through one of the windows.  I don’t have the height of those windows at my fingertips but I think it’s a little more than 24” high.

As Emory points out there may be more than one hole and there may also be numerous places where the tank walls are thin which could develop leaks later.  You definitely don’t want to fix this tank more than once and the other tank may also have problems.  A key factor here is to not only fix the leak you have but also the leaks you are likely to have in the future.  Inspecting the inside of the tanks thoroughly requires some sort of inspection port.

You will probably have to cut an inspection port into at least the tank which is leaking to get a good look.  I would recommend cutting a port in both tanks so that you can check out the other tank as well.  Cut the ports in the top where they are unlikely to develop leaks.  Weld in patches when you are finished.

Fixing the tank in the boat would probably be the easiest if you can find a welder who will do it.  Unfortunately I can’t help you much on finding the welder.

Apparently when the boat is at rest the bottom of the tank slopes forward and therefore water (being heavier than diesel fuel) accumulates at the bottom of forward end of the tank.  Since most Connies list to port its surprising that the leak didn’t develop on the port side.

For those of you who doing major fuel or oil spill cleanup in your bilges you will probably be using oil absorbent pads.  These are made by 3M and sold in most marine stores.  West Marine has them for about $1.00 each.  Last spring I had an oil spill which required a lot of clean up.  After buying a bunch of pads at $1.00 each I decided there must be a cheaper source.  I used “The Find” on the web to search for all companies that sold the pads and found one which had them for 30 cents each.  I bought a package of 50.

The name of the company was GOV Group, 5858 Edison Place, Carlsbad, CA 90028.  They are not a marine supplier but the pads were identical to those I bought from West Marine.  There are dozens of other firms which sell the same pads at substantially lower cost than marine suppliers.

Remember “The Find”.  I do and use it regularly whenever I buy anything expensive for the boat (or home).  It doesn’t cost anything and the savings are sometimes in the hundreds of dollars.  I just saved about $320 on the purchase of some batteries.

I believe there are some chemicals specifically designed to remove diesel oil odors.  I’ll do a search for them.

Pete37

PS:  Before cutting any inspection ports you should get a drawing of the tank from the manufacturer.  There may be internal baffling which will block your view of the critical areas (forward wall) of  the tank.



Edited by Pete37 on January 17 2013 at 13:32


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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: January 17 2013 at 15:54 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Wayne,

Hope you can get your fuel tank leak repaired in the easiest and most cost effecient manner. As you are well aware and others have mentioned, I sure would check it's conditon thoroughly, what caused the leak and check the other tank before deciding which repair route to take. I am a strong believer in replacing (or at least performing preventative maintenance) on both units when they are in pairs on a boat. However, multiple fuel tanks may require a different approach.

A couple years ago two boats in our marina each had one of their fuel tanks (located in the engine rooms) replaced. Both owners decided to have them removed via a hole cut in the side of the hull. I was amazed that you could not tell any signs of the hole or blended in paint! I was told the hull was structurally stronger then before. The fiberglass repairman is known for his incrediblile workmanship. The point is, with engine room tanks the way to go is check the other tank out as best as possible and if ok wait and repalce as needed. In your case, with both tanks side by side and not in the engine room, it may be worth considering doing something with the "good" tank after thoroughly checking it out along with method of repair and removal of the leaking tank. Definitley consider adding inspection/cleanouts.

We did not go to Florida again this year and decided to return to the Western United States. Perhaps next winter we will go back to Florida and work out a get together. Good luck on that repair. Keep us posted.

PS to all: I have not had a problem with slow reaction time here on the Forum.



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




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: January 17 2013 at 15:59 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

To all,

Sorry about the small font size on my last post. Forgot to adjust it up.



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GOOD SPIRITS
500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: January 18 2013 at 07:44 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Emory,
looks like the rail going to the master state room is screwed from behind the wall, between the shower and wall, so that might not be the way to go, still looking at it though. The rail to the upper salon is easy to remove.
My present tanks have two inspection plates and two baffles, Florida marine tanks has the specs for the same tank, haven't checked the price yet. Getting the diesel sopped out to the plywood is going slowly, the smell is hard to remove.
On board living is great, you'll love it.

Pete,
As usual. you are right, the Tank Manufacture is Florida Marine Tanks Inc based in Miami, probably the only tank vender for our Connie's. The window is wide and tall enough to remove the tank just getting it there is the problem. Coming up from the master state room will be a lot to remove, and tight fit.
I'm not sure why my Connie list starboard, but with the starboard tank empty, no list. I have been buying my 30 gal pads from Dawg, Inc $65 per hundred plus shipping, you got a better deal. I'll try The Find next time.
I'd be interested to here what you find to remove the smell.

Dave,
Thanks for the post, what a mess. I thought about cutting the hull, but cutting the floor in the upper salon would be easier, no finish work on the glass, justa new head liner. Where is your boat these days.
Next time you're in the area, stop in.

Capt Wayne


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460 Connie
Isle of Capri, FL
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Grey Goose
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 25 2009
Posts: 200
Posted: January 18 2013 at 09:32 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Capt Wayne

So sorry for the mess on your hands. Yours is the second
Connie fuel tank I have heard fail this year. My center
tanks failed several years ago and were replaced at a
previous owner’s expense. I have thought about replacing
the stern tanks on “Goose” just for preventive
maintenance, after hearing of the other 1987 501’s tank
failure. There were two ideas I had of going about this.
One was to fiberglass a tank around the outside of the
existing tank to create a catch basin and hopefully stop any
future corrosion of the existing tank. Second idea and
more money and work is to cut-up the tanks inside the
boat, take them out in pieces. The new tanks would be
smaller for two reasons. First, I could get the smaller tank
down the companion way. Second, I could make the bed
6” or so lower and easier to get in and out of. Of course, I
would carry less fuel. But cruising 8 knots my now normal
speed, I don’t need all the extra fuel.

Pricing on the tanks

Walt at Kent Narrows Yacht Yard (410-643-4400) just
replaced the Stern tanks on a 501 a few month ago. I don’t
know if your tanks are identical, but I’m sure he kept the
drawings of the tanks and has the cost of the new tanks.

Best of Luck
Allen
Grey Goose
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: January 18 2013 at 10:20 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Wayne - I did not realize the 460 had a hand rail going
down to the aft cabin. Get a magnifying glass and look
closely to see if there are "bungs" in the hand rail for lag
screws. Make sure it is not lagged into the wall. It may
not be, but it is worth making certain. If you can
determine for certain that the tanks will come out with that
rail removed, then I would remove the rail before I would
ever remove that headliner and major FRP cuts.   
Obviously, you can see where the screws pass into the
wall. There will be space between the wall and shower
stall. With some careful measuring you should be able to
use a hole saw and cut small enough holes in the shower
stall wall to gain access to the rail screws for removal. As
for repair, you could either install a "new" panel over the
old one, sealing well of course (maybe purchase a large
plastic mirror which would give the shower a "look" of
being larger. Our 500's shower/tub has an entire wall of
plastic mirror), OR just patch the existing holes with some
off-white starboard (which can be screwed and sealed but
NOT glued).
Just throwing stuff on the wall and seeing what sticks. I am
sure, as we all are, that you are used to that process.
I would take the path of least resistance and expense and
if the damned rail is the one obstacle, then it would have to
go!

Would you send me you email address to:
easternmarineservices@gmail.com ?   Just for purposes of
discussing your lifestyle of living aboard.

Thanks!

Emory

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1986 Connie 500
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: January 18 2013 at 10:50 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Captain Wayne,

Subject: Oil Absorbent Pads and Diesel Odor Eliminators

I checked out Dawg and their pads (Dawg Maxx-Heavy Weight) are 26 gallon pads (per 100 sheets).  But they only cost $40 per case.  If you've been paying $65 somebody has been ripping you off.  However, the same thing from West Marine costs $134 so you didn't do too bad.

I checked out diesel odor removers and got a pot load of answers.  Too many to show here.  Just go to the web and search for "Diesel Odor Eliminators" and you'll get too many answers to make any sense out of it. There are a whole bunch of ordinary household products that work to a degree but to what degree is questionable.

One item that continues to pop up is "ozone generators". They work but aren't allowed to be used in occupied spaces.  They're illegal in most states.  Ozone does nasty things to your lungs.  The general rule of thumb is "If you can smell the ozone it's unsafe."  Of course all the ozone generator manufacturers will tell you their products are safe but that's not what the doctors say.  We installed some in the heads of our marina but had to take them out.

If you wanted to put an ozone generator in your boat while it was winterized and not occupied that might work.  But it also screws up plastics including the insulation on wiring and plastic seat cushions.  The plastic gets brittle and cracks.

Glad to hear that your tanks already have inspection ports.  That will save some time and money.

Pete37

 



Edited by Pete37 on January 18 2013 at 10:59


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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: January 18 2013 at 15:24 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Thanks Allen,
I left a message for Walt to call me he should have some first hand information on changing out these tanks. Cutting them up is a good idea also, such a shame to waste an almost perfect tank. I've got it clean and up on end, found one pin hole on the hole tank, looks like electrolysis. hole is top left of tank.







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460 Connie
Isle of Capri, FL
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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: January 18 2013 at 16:40 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,
you're one step ahead of me, just talked to Walt, he says you've already disussed the tank issue with the 501 in your Marina. Droped the headliner, cut a hole in the floor and out the door. $15,000 then sold it for $120,000. Walt got the best of that deal.

Check out the pics I sent to Allen, and here is another one. Just one little pinhole caused all this problem. This is the bottom of the tank, top left is the hole. I'll check the diesel oder removers on line, Ozone Generator may work, just not sure about the plastic issue.




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Isle of Capri, FL
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: January 18 2013 at 17:26 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Wayne - given the way these tanks are installed it is not likely
electrolysis or galvanic corrosion. I suspect pitting due to the
location of the pin hole.

Here is a good link to aluminum tank issues.

http://www.boatsurveyor.com/Articles/aluminum_fuel_tanks.h
tm

Emory

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: January 18 2013 at 17:46 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Wayne,

Subject: Tank Replacement

I’m sure you don’t want a repeat of Walt’s solution.  $15,000 is a pot load of money.  Allen’s idea of cutting up the old tanks, removing them and putting in slightly smaller tanks seems to make a lot more sense.

You could probably cut up the old tanks with a sawsall and take them out yourself.  Cost $0.  Then buy two new tanks.  You would need to reduce the depth by about 6” to get them through the door.  That would leave you with a tank of about 150 gallons.  I did some checking and a stock 150 gallon tank would cost about $1000.  Buy two of these and install them yourself.  Cost about $2000.  That’s a hell of a lot cheaper than $15,000.  Even if you go to a custom tank at about $1500 each the total cost would be only $3000.

You would lose about 100 gallons of capacity this way.  If you want to keep your fuel capacity you could install new 200 gallon custom made tanks for about $3000.  You would have to remove the door in the hall and replace it but I’m sure that for a couple $K you can get it replaced so that it looks better than the original.  One thing for sure; at $15,000 you don’t want to cut a hole in the ceiling.

Plastic tanks are cheaper but in general they don't have internal baffles which allows the fuel to slosh and create bubbles.  Diesels don't like bubbles in the fuel. 

Anyway, the cost of the aluminum tanks is not the cost driver.  It's the way you install them that counts.  And they won't be any smaller than the aluminum tanks.  At the age of your boat it's doubtfull that new aluminum tanks would ever fail while you own the boat.

Pete37. 1/18/2013

PS:  The cost of Walt's job was probably driven by the fact that on a 501 there is no way to get the tanks out other than the circular staircase leading to the master stateroom.  The tanks are too big to go out through the staircase.  So in his case cutting a hole in the ceiling may have been the only way to do the job. 

On a 500 you can take the tanks out through the hallway.  This is a totally different job.  You may have to remove the hallway door and its frame but that's much cheaper than cutting a hole in the ceiling.



Edited by Pete37 on January 19 2013 at 11:58


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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: January 19 2013 at 12:45 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Emory,
Good link for aluminum tanks, thanks. The corrosion on the tank was sitting on the rubber strap used to cushion the tank on the floor. The aluminum was not shinny in the area of the hole, sort of a light gray color, and a couple of spots to the right the same color, but no holes.

Pete,
I am not going the $15K route, and can save considerable trouble by adding new smaller tanks. I was thinking about installing wood floors in the Master State Room, so this is an opportunity to upgrade the floor covering. I just upgraded all the water lines to PEX Tub and Gator Bites with new regulators. Before I get through I'll have every part of this boat upgraded.


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460 Connie
Isle of Capri, FL
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David Ross
"Navigator"




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Posts: 452
Posted: January 20 2013 at 11:05 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Allen,

You mentioned your new cruising speed is 8 knots. Just wondered what temperature your engines are running at and if you kick it up ocassionally to "clean" it out. 

 



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Grey Goose
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 25 2009
Posts: 200
Posted: January 21 2013 at 10:47 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

David

I don’t want to open a can of worms here. I took 3” of
pitch out of my props, so that I can run at a slightly higher
RPM while still staying at hull speed. It is an experiment at
my expense and I don’t have enough data to give
conclusive results or advise anyone else to do this.   I now
cruise at 8+ knots while spinning 1200 RPM. Engine temp
is in the 150 degree (read by info-red temperature gauge
at the thermostats) range.   Goose, which always took
much more power to get up on top of the water than a 500
(from data reported on this forum), still will cruise nicely at
16.5 knots but requires 2150 RPM to do it. My exhaust
temperature (read by pyrometers before turbo) at 16.5
knots is now
actually cooler at 2150 (I don’t remember the exact
exhaust temperature the chart is on the boat) than it used
to be at the same speed before the 3” were removed (2000
RPM @ 16.5 knots). I am happy with my results, but once
again I want to say this is an experiment at my expense
and I don’t have enough long term data to recommend this
to anyone.

Allen
Grey Goose


Edited by Grey Goose on January 21 2013 at 10:49
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: January 21 2013 at 13:41 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Engine Lifetime

There seems to be a common myth going around that you can run your engines at idle for a long time and do no damage to them provided you just blow them out with a half hour of high speed running.  To test that theory I went to Yachtworld and did a search for 43’ 1986 to 1988 Egg Harbor Sport Fishermen.  I picked the Egg Harbors because they are boats specifically designed and used for sport fishing. 

They’re somewhat smaller than our Connies (43’) which makes their displacement about half of a Connie but most of them use 671s rather than 692s.  This makes their horsepower to weight ratio somewhat higher than a Connie.  Almost all of them are used for ocean fishing.

The typical modus operandi is to cruise out to the fishing spot at high speed, troll for fish for most of the day and then cruise back at full speed to get back to the bar in time for Happy Hour.  So they are exposed to long periods of idle operation followed by high speed running which should be plenty long enough to “blow them out”.

Let’s see what the Yachtworld search shows us:

#

Boat Description

Years to MOH

MOH Year

1

43’ 1988 EHSF, Brunswick, GA

24

2012

2

43’ 1988 EHSF, Stratford, CT

17

2005

3

43’ 1988 EHSF, Wildwood, NJ

15

2003

4

43’ 1988 EHSF, Seattle, WA

15

2003

5

43’ 1987 EHSF, Branford, CT

15

2003

6

43’ 1986 EHSF, Toms River, NJ

25

2011

7

43’ 1986 EHSF, Atlantic Beach, NC

17

2003

 

I had hoped to get a larger sample but there were only seven for which the broker’s ad had engine data.  Although this is a small sample the remarkable thing is that all seven have had major overhauls and the typical time to first MOH was only about 15 years which with typical yearly engine hours would be about 1000 hours to major overhaul.  It’s remarkable that four out of seven failed in 2003 at a life of only about 15 years.  A long time ago I did a study of the lifetime of 6V92s and found that they too when in sport fisherman service had lifetimes of only about 1000 hours.

The old wives tale that you can burn out all that carbon by just a short high speed run doesn’t seem to hold up in practice.

Pete37, 1/21/2013

 



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David Ross
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Posted: January 21 2013 at 16:39 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Allen

Thanks for your boat running info. No can of worms should be opened; we all have heard the various scenerios, opinions, manufacturers input, etc. I enjoy civil input from the forum and have benefited from many of the suggestions. We are each our own captain and can consider the data and make our choice.

Wayne

Our boat is currently winterized in Georgetown, Md.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Pete37
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Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: January 23 2013 at 00:14 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Engine Lifetime

In my last post on engine lifetime I tried to avoid any theories, opinions or scenarios.  The results are just the facts taken from "Yachtworld" on January 21, 2013 for a group of diesel powered Egg Harbor sport fishermen.  The sample was completely unbiased.  All 43' Egg Harbor Sport Fishermen in the 1986-1988 period which had broker's ads with data on engine hours over 1000 hours or engine major overhaul dates were included.

The result is pretty clear.  If you run your boat like a sport fishermen with long hours of low load, low temperature trolling you will probably not get more than 15 years (about 1000 hours) before your first MOH. 

The Detroit Diesel Series 92 Operators Manual on Page 3 of Section 4 tells you to "Avoid Unnecessary Engine Idling" and tells you the reasons why long idling periods are bad for your engine.  It also defines 800 rpm as the low end of the normal operating range.  Anything below that is idling.

Presumably Detroit knows what they are talking about and their statements seem to be confirmed by the short engine lifetimes found for sport fishermen on "Yachtworld".

Pete37, 1/23/2013



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Pete37
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Posted: January 24 2013 at 00:43 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Bilge Heater Test

My Connie came equipped with three thermostatically controlled bilge heaters.  Two are in the engine room and one is in the generator room.  They are 500 watt AC units with a thermostat that can be set to anywhere between 40F and 80F.  Their main use is to keep well pumps on farms from freezing during the winter and they are usually called “pump house heaters”.  On boats they are used to keep the engine rooms warm enough to prevent things from freezing.

During the winter I flip them on in late January and turn them off in early March.  They burn about 1200 ampere hours per winter at a cost of about $150.  That’s expensive but far less expensive than freezing up a diesel.  My diesels and boat are of course fully winterized but the heaters give a little extra protection against freezing. I’ve always felt that the extra protection was worth the cost.

But I never knew what temperature the heaters could maintain in the engine room at during really cold weather.  Today the temp dropped to 24 degrees after a night in the teens so I decided to find out what the engine room temp was and went down to the boat to measure the temp.  Outside the boat the temp was 24F, in the upper and lower salon 27F and in the engine room (with two heaters on) it was 32F (just freezing).  The heaters seem to bump the engine room temp up by about 8F which is just enough to protect the engines down to 24F assuming that the engines have no antifreeze.  But I usually use an antifreeze mix with a -10F freeze point so the heaters give an extra margin of 8F protecting them down to -18F which is much colder than anything we get on the Chesapeake Bay.

The heaters also seem to keep the bilge water from freezing and jamming up the bilge pumps.  I’ve never seen any ice in the bilge even in the coldest weather.

One of my heaters was damaged this year and I had to replace it.  I found a replacement thermostat at Home Depot and the heater on the web for a total cost of about $120.  I may add a third heater in the engine room next year.

Pete37, 1/24/2011



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Pete37
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Posted: February 09 2013 at 11:17 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Just Testing

Haven't logged in recently and apparently my password had changed.  So I'm testing the new password.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on February 09 2013 at 11:18


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Grey Goose
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Joined: October 25 2009
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Posted: April 12 2013 at 07:39 | IP Logged Quote Grey Goose

Welcome to warm weather everyone

I am planning on repacking my stuffing boxes. Does any one
remember what size packing our stuffing boxes use? I was thinking
1/4", is that correct?

Thanks
Allen
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: April 12 2013 at 17:42 | IP Logged Quote eshover

My shaft packing is 1/2".   I bought the Duramax Ultra-X
from Hamilton Marine. It's supposed to be the best stuff on
the market. Use this stuff and you'll probably never
change it out again.

If you do this yourself (and I now you will), let me know
how difficult it was to get the old packing out! I bought two
heavy duty packing removal tools (not the dinky one at
West Marine) I ordered them from Hamilton Marine, along
with the packing material.

If you find an easier way to get the old out, I'd like to know
what it is!

Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: April 13 2013 at 18:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

 

Subjects: Shaft Packing and Inverters

 

My shafts take 1/2" packing. I bought Duramax Ultra-X but so far have not been able to get most of the old packing out, Best I was able to do was to get in one ring of the Ultra-X. Need a better packing removal tool. However, even one ring of the Ultra-X has cut the leakage down drastically.

 

My water tank also seems to be leaking so I got out your old post on the water tank removal and read it over. Really don't want to do that job so I'm going to do a thorough check of the tank before I do anything.

 

I did some checking and found out why the old forum died out. It was because they changed the rules so that only Boat US members can post. It knocked out almost all of the other forums at the same time our forum died.

 

As long as Boat US requires membership in Boat US to be able to post.I think this forum is effectively dead.  You and I are members anyway so it doesn't affect us but most of our forum participants weren't Boat US members.

 

I've looked around and found a few boating forums out there that don't require any special membership and seem to be fairly sophisticated.  I've got addresses for nearly all Connie owners so I could send out letters to announce the new forum location but I'm not sure how much interest there is. 

 

My Connie continues to have problems and I'm sure yours does too.  Having a forum where you can explain your problems and often get responses from other owners who have had the same problem and solved it was and is a valuable asset.  I miss it.

 

During the past winter I've designed an inverter system which will allow my Connie to operate independently from shore power. It provides up to 700 AH (8.4 KWH) per day.   Peak power during times when the genny is off is about 3000 watts and average power about 500 watts.

 

It requires only 7 hours of genny operation per day consisting of 2 hours at breakfast, 2 hours at lunch and 3 hours at dinner tiime. Since you have to run the genny at those times anyway to prepare meals the inverter doesn't really require any extra genny time.

 

The two major problems, getting the money and persuading the wife that we need an inverter have been solved.  On the latter, I did a great job.  She's actually enthusiastic about the inverter system and wants to know when it will be ready. 

 

It's expensive (about $1,500) but cheaper than any other solution to off shore power independence we've looked at, produces no hazardous fumes, is reasonably compact and is nearly silent.

 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 13 2013 at 18:34


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Furman1
"Deckhand"




Joined: November 27 2006
Posts: 227
Posted: April 13 2013 at 20:29 | IP Logged Quote Furman1

Hi All,
I had a starboard saddle tank go bad. I cut it out and discovered a serial # on the tank written in black marker. I contacted the manufacturer and they had the drawings on the tank. I ordered the replacement and had it installed WITHOUT taking the engine out. We did have to take a few items off the outboard side of the engine but not a big deal. Tank and installation was about $2,500.00. Tank was $1,500.00.
Pete I had a water tank go bad also. To make sure it was the water tank, I put food coloring into the water tank and once I saw the color in the bildge water I knew the tank was bad. I then cut it up and replaced it with 2 poly tanks. If you want to talk in more detail give me a call.

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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: April 14 2013 at 08:03 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne



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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: April 14 2013 at 08:29 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Hi All,

I've just taken the water tank out, and cut it up. Since I had my fuels tank empty and disconnected, I removed it from the master stateroom. I cut a small section of the floor under the couch in the mid state room, and an access hole in the floor of the mid state room. I'll put in poly tanks when I configure the best possible solution for size and connection, not in any hurry for now. The water tank bilge is empty now, if you want to see what is in there before you start the job, I'll take some pics.

Capt Wayne




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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: April 14 2013 at 11:01 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Further Info on the Water Tank

I opened up some panels in the guest stateroom next to the forward bulkhead and was able to see (and work on) the area of the water tank where the fill hose from the deck enters the tank.  I then decoupled the fill hose from the tank and was able to fill the tank right up to the top with water from a dock hose.  I've waited for two days now to see if the water level would drop (which would indicate a leaking water tank).  It hasn't dropped and I haven't lost even an ounce from the tank.

So now I know my water problems definitely aren't caused by a leaking tank and I won't have to remove the tank.  That's an enormous relief.  I'll concentrate now on the pump and the pipes.  Fixing those should be pretty easy.

For anyone who thinks he has a leaking water tank I would recommend that he determine whether it really is the tank that's leaking before rippng out the tank.

Emory Shover of "Southern Charm" wrote an excellent paper (with pictures) on removing the water tank.  He did it back in April of 2009.  Anyone contemplating a water tank removal should read his paper first.  I have copies and I'm sure he does too.  But he didn't have any drawings of the tank.  If anyone has drawings of the water and/or fuel tanks I'd like to get copies for the Forum archives.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 14 2013 at 11:03


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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




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Posted: April 14 2013 at 19:05 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,

You're a lucky man, not to have a leaking water tank. It's almost impossible, the way the boat was designed, for the water tank not to be corroded. The Drain holes are on the bottom of the stringers at the forward baulk head, which will not allow the bilge to drain, leaving the tank lying in salt water until it evaporates. That is if you get salt water in the water tank bilge. Here is a picture of the bilge with water sitting in the center. I cleaned out most of the 25 years of salt deposit, but you can still see some.




I've also replaced all of the old gray pluming with plex pipe and shake bits, and that was not an easy job. but it's done and no more worries about leaking pipes. Also the sink faucet with a more modern model, another 30 minute job that took all day.

Thanks to you Pete, I have all the documentation on removing the water tank from this form, and the CD's you have produced. I am a member of Boat US and can Post here. I would hope anyone could read and post on this form without membership. Hope that is not the new policy.

Capt Wayne



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Pete37
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 00:52 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Capt Wayne,

Subject: Water Tanks

Yes, I'm lucky (for now) that I don't have a leaky water tank.  But I sort of suspect that the tank will eventually develop leaks.  Today I found that the problem was leaks in the pipes which I fixed.

Your picture shows water puddling at the back of the cavity from which the water tank had been removed.  But in a Connie at rest in the water, the bilges all slope forward.  And therefore all bilge water flows towards the bow.  So bilge water shouldn't accumulate there. However, if your boat was blocked up on land at the time the picture was taken the bow may have been higher than the stern and therefore water could accumulate at the aft end of the cavity as shown in your picture.

Water in the compartment in which the water tank rests flows forward to the bulkhead between the guest cabin and engine room and then stops there.  So corrosion should be most pronounced at the forward corners of the tank. 

I did some tests a long time ago which indicated that while there wasn't any large drain hole in the bulkhead to allow water to drain out there were some small leaks which allowed the water in the compartment to drain into the engine room. 

At one time I tried to drill a hole in the bulkhead to enhance the drainage but I was only partially successful.  The tank rests directly on the bulkhead and I was afraid that if I drilled too far I would puncture the water tank.

There appear to be two blocks of wood protruding from the bottom of the water tank cavity.  Do you know what they are for?  There also seems to be a grounding strap on the back wall of the cavity.  Was it attached to anything?

While I was in the guest stateroom today I noticed that there are two wall switches (in separate locations).  Both appear to be AC switches.  I know that one controls the ceiling light but I can't figure out what the other switch is for.  It doesn't control any lights in the stateroom and there aren't any fans in the room.

Is the bottom of the tank flat or is it V shaped to conform to the bilge?

That old gray pipe is polybutylene pipe.  Back in the 80s and 90s it was widely used in household (and boat) plumbing.  The pipe is fine and I've never had any pipe failures in the 18 years I've owned my Connie. 

But the pipe fittings (elbows, tees,  etc) are made of acetal plastic (a darker shade of grey) and frequently crack.  The fittings gave the whole polybutylene plumbing system a very bad reputation.The original fittings where held in place by swaged aluminum or copper bands.  If you see any of those in a normally inaccessible location I recommend that you replace them. 

The newer fittings (which don't have bands) are OK. but a purist would probably like to replace all of the old plumbing. However, there are hundreds of pipes and fittings in a Connie so complete replacement just isn't practical.

The new stuff you installed is PEX pipe and it is held together by Shark Bite fittings.  The Shark Bite fittings are one of the better lines of fittings although there are a whole bunch of companies that make reliable but less expensive fittings.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 15 2013 at 01:12


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Capt.Wayne
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 08:24 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,

The picture is showing the cavity forward to the bulkhead at the mid stateroom. I removed the water tank from the master state room. Not often do you get to see this bulge from aft to forward since the fuel tanks are over the water tank

The tank is flat on the bottom 26 3/4 inch wide, flat on the top 28 inch wide. The bilge is V shaped so the tank sits on the edges. The blocks are covered in fiberglass, the tank fits between them for stability, there are three on each side. The grounding strip is not a grounding strip at all, it's a rubber strip that the tank rests against on the forward bulkhead.

In my guest stateroom there is one ac switch on the starboard wall that controls the florescent light above the window. the ceiling light is DC. You may have an ac plug on your other switch.

I changed out the pluming because of all modifications that were done before I owned the boat, and to get clean pipes, there was a calcium coating throughout the system. I also changed the pressure regulator, and flow regulators. With the PEX tubing you don't need as many elbows, since the pipe bends around corners.

Capt Wayne


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Pete37
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 12:24 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Capt Wayne,

OK, if that's a picture looking forward, the puddling against the forward bulkhead of the guest staterooom makes sense.  And what looks like a hole in the ceiling (next to the bulkhead ) must be the hole through which I can access the tank plumbing.  The picture makes a lot more sense now..

I sort of suspected the bottom of the tank was flat and that the tank rested on it's port and starboard edges.  That leaves most of the bottom of the tank above the bilge water.  So corrosion would be most severe at the forward corners of the tank.  Now would be a good time to drill a hole in the bulkhead to let the puddle drain into the engine room.

Does the width of the tank taper in the fore and aft direction or does it have a constant wiidth?  My idea of drilling a hole in the bulkhead to drain the water into the engine room was probably a good one.  But unfortunately it's too risky.  You could easliy drill through the tank wall.

Over the years, I've removed many small sections of the pipe while doing plumbing modifications but I've never seen a calcium coating inside the pipes.  I have a number of these pipe sections laying around the boat in storage boxes.  I'll take a second look at the inside of the pipes.  Maybe it's the water in your area.  Does your system have a water filter on it?

What type of water pump are you using?  Mine has a pressure switch but no flow regulator.

Your right. The ceiling light is a Thin Lite fluorescent which is a DC light but the switch looks like an AC switch.  I don't remember a fluorescent over the window but if there is one it isn't working.  That could be what the switch is for. I'll look. 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 15 2013 at 12:28


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eshover
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 12:54 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Capt. Wayne,
As you may already know, I have also replaced my water
tank. The issue is as you described. Water collects and
pools at the bulkhead. I wish I had taken Pete's suggestion
and drilled a weep hole at that time but I did not.

(Pete - regarding drilling a hole in the OEM tank. These
tanks are pretty think gauge aluminum. One would have to
exert a lot of pressure and drilling time to get through the
thickness of the bulkhead and then on into the tank! I
think you'd feel the bit hit the tank once you punch
through, what appears to be, two sheets of 5/8" to 3/4"
plywood! Good idea though.)

I also replaced the tanks with three poly tanks from the
Tank Depot which I had to interconnect. In order to get
three tanks in (all three were different height to allow for
taper), you'll have to knock out the glassed in "stop"aft.
Not a difficult job. I used a wood chisel and it knocked out
pretty easily. Once installed you can "block" the tank in
easily by the use I lost some water capacity but still have
at least a 70 gallon supply. Nice and easy job, huh? :)
Never again.

My 500 is like yours regarding the office lighting. The 12
vdc fixture is activated at the fixture and the florescent
fixture has a light switch. I'll swear no two Chris Connies
were built alike!

Sounds like you don't need any advice from me but if you
do, don't hesitate to contact me:
easternmarineservices@gmail.com

Happy boating! Who knows? Maybe I'll actually leave the
slip this year.

Emory Shover
Eastern Marine Services, LLC
Centreville, VA
Survey - Delivery

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eshover
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 12:56 | IP Logged Quote eshover

THICK gauge (not think gauge)!
Emory

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Pete37
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 14:29 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

I have some of the specs of the tank as shown in the table below:

Item

Data

US Gallons

160

Lot

14

Thickness

0.125”

Date of manufacture

6/1986

Model Number*

FMT- 160W-CCS

Type of fuel

Gas or diesel

Material – Aluminum*

5052H32

Length*

130” (10’ 10”)

Depth*

Forward

12”

Aft

9.5”

Width*

Top

27.75”

Bottom

26.75”

 
Items with asterisks came from the manufacturer.  Other data came from the on-tank label.
 
As you can see the wall thickness is only 0.125".  The width is about the same as what Wayne says and as you say the depth tapers fore to aft from 12" to 9.5".  So we have a pretty good description of the tank.
 
If I was drilling through the bulkhead I would probably notice the change in resistance when the drill came out of the wood and moved forward to the aluminum tank wall.  But if the tank was right up against the bulkhead you might not notice any change until you noticed some water coming off the drill. The penalty for screwing up is just too high to take the risk.
 
I checked the offfice (guest stateroom) lighting.  The overhead light is a DC Thin-Light and is controlled by a switch on the light.  The breaker for it is on the lower console.
 
One of the two wall switches controls the fluorescent light over the window.  At the moment everything works like it's supposed to.  But the second switch is still a mystery. 
 
By taking out one of the cabinet drawers I can see the wire from the switch box coming out of the back of the box and running off to somewhere on the starboard side.  But where I haven't found out yet.  However, the wire looks like a two conductor wire indicating that whatever it controls is probably DC.  I can verify that by taking the cover off the switch box.  I'll check to see if the box has any power to it.
 
There are two DC spotlights over the bunk that are used for in-bed reading.  They both have on-device switches and don't seem to be controlled by the mystery switch.  The mystery switch remains a mystery.
 
Pete37

 



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Capt.Wayne
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Posted: April 15 2013 at 21:18 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,

Your idea of drilling a hole through the bulkhead to the engine room would have saved us all the trouble of replacing the water tank. Live and learn.

You have a regulator on the port and starboard, and a one way valve on both. They are on the starboard wall under the helm and behind the panel port side of the helm. they are installed to regulate the water to 40 psi from the dock to keep the pluming connections from bursting. The one way valves are to keep the pressure at 40 psi when using the AC or DC pumps away from the dock. If the one way valve fails, you would pump your water holding tank overboard out the dock intake. your AC/DC pumps should be regulated for 40 psi also.

The tank width is constant front to back. Your tank chart is accurate I read your post back in 09 with the same chart, also on the 09 CD

Emory,

I've read all your notes for tank removal, I had planned on the same procedure, but since I had the fuel tanks up, I thought I would remove the water tank from the aft stateroom. I did need to cut out the filler, grounding post, pump out connection flush to the tank, and remove the level indicator before moving the tank toward the aft stateroom. Only 12 inchs clearance in the aft stateroom. I'm thinking I need one of Ferman's water counters instead of a level indicator one less hole. Prices have gone up at the tank depot, pull out another hundred or two.

Thanks for all you help,

Capt Wayne


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Pete37
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Posted: April 16 2013 at 22:19 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Wayne,

I think I wrote a post mentioning the idea of drilling a hole in the bulkhead.  I also suggested using an old PAR type bilge pump to keep the area dry.  And I had a third solution which involved  using a very small centrifugal bilge pump of the type used for aereating fish tanks to keep the area dry.  I bought the small bilge pump but never installed it because it was a bitch to get it into the very limited space next to the tank.

But I never followed through on any of those ideas and apparently no one else did either.  Procrastination is the path to hell!

In rethinking the idea what I should have done was to slide a metal plate in between the tank and bulkhead to protect the tank and then drill.  I didn't know it at the time but I later found an access path to the area between the tank and bulkhead.

Pete37



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eshover
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Posted: April 18 2013 at 09:42 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Capt. Wayne,
I would like to pass on some more advice on the water
tanks. I you use the propylene tanks, you can interconnect
three tanks but you will have to knock out the glassed in
"stop" at the aft end. No big deal and it is lightly glassed in
and can be knocked out with a 2" wood chisel.

You cannot interconnect the tanks without cutting a hole in
the top. The fewer the better, but you will have to cut a
hole in the middle tank and the forward tank due to the
installation of the water fill and outlets, both supply and
vent. If you chose the water counter, that will eliminate
the hole for the gauge.

MORE IMPORTANTLY! How you close and seal the cut-outs
is most important. I have learned this the hard way.

I thought that simple deck plates would suffice. Afterall,
they have rubber seals, don't they? I even through bolted
the screws and sealed the deck plate with high quality
sealant. The issue is the hydraulic pressure created as the
tank fills. With these tanks, they will expand to a certain
degree and build quite a bit of pressure prior to forcing
water out the vent. As my document describes, you must
vent the rear tank. But the middle tank will build pressure
as it transfers water to the forward tank.   (NOTE: I vented
the aft tank in order to get as much water possible in that
tank. The vent line was tee'd into the main vent line
forward, so that as water is pushed into the aft tank vent
line, it will simply move forward into the main vent and fall
into the forward tank)
Now; back to the issue. All this pressure creates an issue
for the deck plates! They don't work! Water will be pushed
out past the rubber gasket. I thought I had solved this
problem by putting a goodly amount of sealant around the
threads of the deck plate cover and sealing again. But it
didn't work.
So far, my solution has been to fill my tank near full but
not full to the point of forcing water out vent. I also
installed a WEMA sending unit and it is very accurate when
near full.

I've had too many other issues to fix (as we all seem to
have with old(er) boats) to go back and pull that darn floor
up!

But I will and here is my more permanent solution.

There are two way to go about this.
1) There are expensive brass heavy duty inspection plates
that can be purchased and will certainly do the job. They
are made for diesel tanks, holding tanks, etc. Usually for
commercial boats or high-end yachts or trawlers.
2) And this is the way I will go. I am going to make
circular plates (or square will certainly work) will will be at
least 3" larger in diameter than the original cut-outs. They
will then be sealed with 3M 5200 and screwed down (no
way to thru-bolt, but it shouldn't be necessary) snug but
not to squeeze out all the sealant, wait 20 minutes then
secure. Wait over night for curing, then perform a full test.
I also need to seal, in a better fashion, the sending unit. I
think there is a slight amount of leakage there as well.

The larger covers will give adequate square inch coverage
to allow for proper sealing and will eliminate the inner
cover issue completely.

This is all doable, just have too many things to get to this
Spring prior to adding that to the list.

In no way do I regret replacing this tank completely and
using the original location. I still have an adequate water
supply for my use and boating style. I mainly run the boat
off the tank and not dock side. That way my water stays
fresh. Given you've already installed all new water pipes,
this will be a nice feature! I have water filters on all my ice
makers and use the ice for drinks! I'm still alive.

I haven't even had time to set foot on my boat yet due to
business commitments. Low interest rates has cause a lot
of folks to buy boats early this year and I have been very
busy with surveys. I guess that's not a bad problem to
have.
Contact me if I can help in any way (except installing the
damned thing! HA!)

Emory Shover
www.easternmarineservices.com

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1986 Connie 500
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David Ross
"Navigator"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: April 18 2013 at 13:30 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Wayne, Pete, Emory and all,

I have been following the chat concerning the water tank. It appears water accumulating under the tank is a big part of tank deterioration. As covered before, I have eliminated water from getting into any bilge area. If there is fluid anywhere I know something has to be checked out. Also, as I said before, I consider a messy bilge a hindrance to preventative maintainence checks and a safety issue; it keeps you from being able to observe any new leak of water, fuel, oil, etc.

To the point of water getting under the fresh water tank, there are a few ways water can get there. If you have a master ensuite head on the srarboard side, with a tub (three total heads on board), there is a drain sump for the tub/shower usually located in the den state room (ours is under the desk). A factory installed  sump system could overflow when underway. This water will go right under the  water tank; the shower drain sump in the head across from the den may also overflow to under the water tank depending on location. It would be a good idea to replace the sump with a newer unit with a covered top (along with all the shower sumps). A McGiver fix is to put one of those clear cheap shower caps over the sump with an elastic stretch cord around it.

Some of the Connies have air conditioning condensation overflows draining into the bilge; if the upper saloon and/or master state room ac drains this way, it probably ends up going under the water tank. You may be able to reroute those hoses to the shower sump.

Of course, any water leak from those notorious bad fresh water line connectors can be hard to locate and could end up under the tank. Another reason to keep a dry bilge... it will much easier to locate even a small leak. 

 



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500 CONSTELLATION (1987)
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