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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: April 18 2013 at 20:28 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Water Tanks

After all these problems with multiple tanks it makes me feel that perhaps it would be better to settle  for a single 100 gallon tank under the office floor.  I certainly wouldn't want to tear that floor out two times.  If more capacity is wanted perhaps a second tank of about 60 gallons could be rigged at a higher location that could be drained into the under office tank if and when it goes dry. 

 Finding a location for that tank would of course be a problem.  One place would be in the under galley compartment although that would require a rather long pipe to the under office location.

Another place would be a saddle tank between the starboard wall of the office and the outer hull. There is quite a large space in there and that would also tend to counteract the list to port that most Connies have.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: April 18 2013 at 20:44 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Subject: Dry Bilges

We would all like to have dry bilges.  The problem of course is that most of us have shaft logs that leak (both engine and rudder).  Rudder shaft log leakage, however, is minor and could probably be fixed easily.  But the engine shaft logs are much harder to fix.  Several of us have been trying to get the old packing out and replace it with new packing without success.

One possibility would be to build catch basins under each shaft log and pump the basins out with a small bilge pump such as a shower sump pump.  This is a possible solution but rather expensive and messy. 

So far no one has felt that minor amounts of water in the bilge justify the expense and trouble.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 21 2013 at 23:45


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: April 18 2013 at 20:58 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - for every problem there's solution. The issue of
multiple tanks interconnected really wasn't a horrible job.
Just need the right tools on hand and do some research.
All that was needed was for one of us to tackle the job.
With the exception of the leaking inspection ports, the job
went pretty smooth and two of us completed the job in two
weekends. One to get it out and one to put the tanks in. I
folks can learn from my experience.

As for auxiliary tanks, they present problems of there own.
Where to put them and how much water capacity do you
end up with? I know Jim Rabey mounted tanks forward.
As for the outer office space, don't forget, there's an 8"
exhaust pipe in there wrapped in insulation. Not much
room for much of a tank in there.

I think the "thought" of cutting open the floor (and of
course pulling up carpet) was repulsive. However as we
moved along and "brain stormed" several of the roadblocks
, we were able to come up with solutions to all problems.

BTW - went to the boat today and flushed the water
system. Woo Hoo!! No leaks! That's two years in a row!
Since I started blowing the pipes instead of relying on "pink
stuff", I have had any issues. Bluewater Yacht in Hampton
told me a few years ago that they always blow out the big
yachts. Freezing isn't the issue there as it is in Annapolis,
but still exists.

Emory

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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: April 18 2013 at 21:09 | IP Logged Quote eshover

On another topic, how many of you have taken on the
odiferous task of cleaning either the Lectra San or Electro
Scan box? I'm sure I'm due, as last season I wasn't able
to attain the correct amperage reading. Sooooo, I'll put
the old clothes pin on and remove the top and see if the
plates are in good condition and worth of cleaning.
Installing the water tank looks appealing compared to this
job!

I tried the muriatic route last season and it helped but the
results were less than desired.

My system is the Electra Scan "hold-n-treat system.

Also, I'm still hoping someone has a "trick or two" I haven't
tried in pulling the old packing material out of the packing
gland.

Emory

Edited by eshover on April 18 2013 at 21:10


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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: April 18 2013 at 22:17 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subjects: Water Tanks, Lectra-Sans & Stuffing Extractors

Right now I don't have to install a new tank so this is all "what if" ruminations.  If my tank eventually ruptures I'll have to get busy and think all the options over again more seriously. 

The location I was looking at in the office wall was above the exhaust pipe.  There's an access port on the wall and I've opened it and looked in a number of times.  If I have to install a tank I'll look over all your stuff again.  It's all in my records.

Fortunately, I don't have a Lectra-San to fight with.  When my Galley Maid system went bad years ago I replaced it with a holding tank.  We have a marina head only a few steps away so while at the dock we usually use that.  So the number of pump outs isn't very great and I don't have to worry about the proliferation of "No Discharge" zones.

Years ago, when I had a wooden boat, I needed a caulking extractor. I took a small screwdriver, heated it up with a torch and beat it into a hook shape.  Don't know where it is now but I could probably do it again and miight be able to get a shape that would pull the shaft packing out.

BTW:  I've been using a compressor to blow out the fresh water lines for years.  Works great.  Best way to do it.  Just remember to keep blowing untill all the water is out

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 18 2013 at 23:58


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Pete37
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Posted: April 18 2013 at 23:47 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subject: Packing Extractor

Here ia a picture of some tools that look like my old hand-made caulking extractor:

Either one would probably work but I think the bottom one would be more effective.

You can find them at

http://www.packinghooks.com/rigid-packing.html

Just stick the pointed end into the packing as far as you can, rotate the tool so the shaft is parallel to the engine shaft and then pull the packing out.

No guarantees but it might work,

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 18 2013 at 23:54


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David Ross
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Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: April 19 2013 at 09:14 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Engine and rudder shaft leaks, Lectra Sans and water tank location:

Place multiple 3M commercial sponges under the engine shafts around the drainage hole area in the strut. They will absorb the water and keep it from draining elsewhere in the boat. While underway and upon reaching your destination, engine heat will help dry out the sponges. Depending on the leakage, you may ocassionally have to rinse the sponges into a bucket. When the boat is setting at the dock the sponges should take care of themself or again, may need an ocassional rinse out.

Remove the bottom drawer in the master stateroom and place multiple 3M commercial sponges around the rudder shaft area. Again, this should keep drainage from going elsewhere in the boat. 

Hopefully your boat is leaking a lot less dockside and the sponges will keep any leakage controled and be an aid in monitoring engine and rudder leaks. Using sponges, even temporarily, may keep the water contained for awhile, so you can see if your boat has any other leaks and will be an aid in determining where they are coming from. If your engine shaft and rudder leaks are overwhelmimg the sponges, it is time to get them fixed properly.

I have three Lectra Sans on board with the electronic control boards, not the old manual dial timer control. If you have the dial set up THE WHOLE SYSTEM SHOULD BE REPLACED. They will continue to operate and dump out raw sewage when you do not have the correct salt mixture or proper voltage to complete the treatment cycle or some other malfunction; therefore, the holding container box will not work properly, will need cleaning or element replacing. Not to mention odors. I have taken my Lectra Sans holding tanks apart many times and they looked almost new and have not had to clean them. In fact, I took one of them to Raritan for a macerator replacement and the technician was shocked; said the electropak was the cleanest he has ever seen (I think it was about nine years old). Upon leaving the boat I run each head three times through the treatment cycle. When I winterize, I run the system three to five times and then drain the heads, lines and the holding box. I use a wet vac to empty the holding box and the water comes out clear with no odors. I use sea water to flush the heads and do not have any odors. I can use the heads without using any water from the fresh water holding tank and the heads will work if there is a fresh water system breakdown. Spending extra time at winterization pays dividends for me for the upcoming season. If you need help on cleaning the holding box refer to the manual or call Raritan in Millvile, NJ. They are very good with walking you through any problem.

I would think you could use the area above the engine room fuel tanks for a fresh water tank. Of course being careful of installing it so not to cause any future problems for the fuel or water tank. The port side fuel tank has the hull side deck water fill right there. On the subject of water tanks, I do not use docside water for fresh water. I always use the holding tank. Seem to have less pump repairs and maintenance and feel safer. At most only 160 gallons will leak into the boat with a broken pipe or connection.     



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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: April 19 2013 at 09:59 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Pete - I have these tools (hard to own a Connie, do you
own work, and not have these!). Will try them when I next
tackle the re-packing. It would be easier if I could find the
"joint" in the packing. A technician suggested moving the
puller 1/4" at a time until I can find the joint and begin the
pull. Easier said than done.

Dave - thanks for the poopbox info. I have to wonder if
my electrodes are actually dirty or I have another issue. I
have to use the electronically controlled salt-feeder (water
is not salty enough on the northern part of the Bay) and I
have already replaced the pump once in five years. I also
have the Electro Scan. I agree with you that folks with the
old systems should have them replaced. But at the cost of
the electronic systems, it's doubtful they will. Like Pete, I
hope they get pump outs regularly and not dump into the
waters.
My plan is to clean and test the salt feeder, then perform
the muriatic acid cleaning of the box three or four times
and test the system. If I cannot get my amperage
readings back to the 17-19 amp readings, I will have to pull
the box top and examine. Not looking forward to that!

The last muriatic acid solution I purchased was for pool
cleaning and this is a diluted version. Can I find/purchase
and use the straight muriatic acid?

Emory

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: April 19 2013 at 11:02 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

Subjects: Packing Extractor and Muriatic Acid

The key to getting the packing extractor to work is that it must have a sharp point in order to penetrate the packing.  If you can get the point to bury in the packing I guarantee it will remove the packing.  If you can't it wont work.

The muriatic acid commonly sold to the public in stores has about a 32% strength.  This seems to be plenty strong enough for everything I have tried to do.  I would be very cautious about getting higher strengths.  There is a good reason why 32% is the highest strength sold to the general public.  Higher strengths are dangerous and burn the skin imediately.  They are rubber gloves only chemicals.

You can probably get higher strengths from a chemical supply firm but you wont find it at local hardware stores and shipping it may be a problem. UPS and other shipping firms dont want to handle it.  I checked on the web and it is readily available from multiple sources.  High strengths are available but at much higher prices than the 32%Unfortunately many of the sources don't mention the strength.  If they don't mention the strength it's probably 32%. I don't recommend using higher strengths and please dont recommend it to anyone on the forum.

Unfortunately, I think that an awful lot of what goes into holding tanks eventually goes into the bay.  I don't see long lines at marina pump out stations.  But our marina has a "honey wagon" that comes around to your slip on Wednesdays and pumps out your tank for free (actually the cost is built into your slip fees).  So maybe a lot more "honey" is properly disposed of than I think.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 19 2013 at 11:24


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Pete37
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Posts: 2317
Posted: April 21 2013 at 09:34 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Subject: Dry Bilges

When you say "Place multiple 3M commercial sponges under the engine shafts around the drainage hole area in the strut. They will absorb the water and keep it from draining elsewhere in the boat." I don't think you understand what the magnitude of the problem is.

My boat typically has a trickle of water coming out of the stuffing boxes.  Yes, I know how to tighten up the stuffing boxes and periodically do so.  And, when the stuffing boxes have been properly tightened up they only produce a couple drops per minute.  But after a few hours of running they go back to the trickle mode.

What do I mean by a trickle?  Basically it's a stream about 1/16" wide which is just about the point where the stream breaks up into individual droplets.

I did some testing today.  A trickle will fill an 8 ounce cup in about a minute. In an hour it produces about 4 gallons and in a day nearly 100 gallons.  I'm going to have to have a hell of a lot of "3M commercial sponges" to handle that.

The only solution is to repack the shaft logs.  I bought the packing quite some time ago but so far haven't been able to remove the old packing.  I believe Emory has the same problem.  Has anyone successfully removed the old packing and "if so" how?

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 21 2013 at 09:37


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eshover
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Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: April 21 2013 at 10:00 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Hi Pete,
My stuffing box doesn't leak at rest. The old adage that "all
stuffing boxes should drip" is only true underway. The are
not supposed to leak at rest. But we both know how these
are designed and having them perform optimally is a
struggle on old boats.
Of course, the perfect cure for our problem is pulling the
shafts and installing "dripless" style water cooled shaft
seals. I don't have the money or the inclination to do this.

So, I decided to query my surveyors forum and pose the
burning question. There are many, many highly skilled
marine professionals on this site who perform surveys to
augment a dwindling income.

Without cutting and posting all the responses, the overall
answer was; a) through trial and error, continually move
the pick or packing removal tool 1/4" until you find the
"cut" of end of the ring and once that is found it should
begin to pull out (yeah, right); b) try soaking with a solvent
prior to pulling out packing (comment: the only problem I
have with this suggestion is this, knowing what the old
packing material is made of, is there a possibility of the
solvent loosening up the fibers to the point the pick or
corkscrew will not "hold" and simply pull the fibers apart?)
c) suggested tools are; the heavy-duty flax packing
removal tools (important that you get a 90 degree pull
somehow); fashion an old screwdriver via a grinding wheel
and bending (NOTE: it has to be an old "quality"
screwdriver which will take heating and bending without
breaking); d) disconnect shaft coupling and flange, release
shaft and push shaft back far enough to access entire
interior of gland (not likely to attempt this. every time I
disturb something on my old boat, I end up with many
more repairs/replacements. I would only attempt this out
of water anyway).

Sorry for the length, but an old sage surveyor former
boatbuilder former mechanic, former, former, said; "Boy,
these damned things leak! Add a ring, stop as much as
you can and just run the damned boat!"

I'm thinking he has the best advice of all.

Emory

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: April 21 2013 at 13:05 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Emory,

What packing I got out of my stuffing box looked like flax.  Being a packrat, I kept it for future reference.  But I'm damned if I know where it is.  My old caulking removal tool is also missing but I think it's in one of my tool boxes in the garage.  That tool I found on the web looks very similar to my old caulking tool.

Unfortunately I'm busy getting the boat ready for the season and can't stop everything to work on the stuffing box problem.  It's annoying but hasn't worked itself up to an "A" rating on my "To Do on Boat" list.  I think when I get back at that job I'll buy a tool like the one in the picture and try it.  It's much simpler than most of your other alternatives.

Pete37

PS:  I did what your old sage suggested last fall and added a new ring of packing which did reduce the leakage quite a bit.  But in order to get down to Dave Ross's standard I'll probably have to remove it all.



Edited by Pete37 on April 21 2013 at 14:47


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David Ross
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Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: April 22 2013 at 10:58 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

To all:

Those who post here have to be Boat US members, so I assuume you have received in an e-mail from Boat US regarding the proposed $26 boat ducumentation fee. Everyone, including those who follow the chat and and are not Boat US members, should go to the the Boat US and/or Coast Guard web site for info, questions or input.

Pete: I did not realize your leak flow was 4 gallons per hour.... sounds like repacking time for the engine shafts and rudders. Next time your boat is hauled may be the best time to have a complete rudder check and repair. The engine shafts sound like your worst leak.

Emory: The "diluted" muriatc acid sold at local stores is fine for as needed cleaning of the Lectran Sans. I know the Lectra Scan system you have is the newer version, but I am not familiar with the it's operation or maintenance. I assume from what you stated, muriatic acid is sugested for your system also. However, I would trouble shoot the system first for loose or corroded connections or terminal boards, proper power, salt content, etc. Again, the manual should provide good information and Raritan in Millville, NJ has always given me good service and help over the phone. I disconnected my automatic salt feed. I use an empty Planters Peanut plastic jar and a Counrty Time Lemonade scoup from their large container. This has eliminated all the maintenance of that feed system. I keep a jar at each head and use 2 scoups with each use (and also 2 scoops with each of the three clear flush/treatments upon leaving the boat for awhile). I also set my system to flush independently of the treatment system. I have found this works out better and gives versitility during the season of use and at winterizing and commissioning time. These suggestions may not be applicable to your Electra Scan system, as mentioned, I am not familiar with that system. 

 



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Pete37
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Posted: April 23 2013 at 14:57 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: New Documentation Fees

I found a news item (dated March 4, 2013) on the proposed increase of documentation fees but not on the Boat US or CG sites.  Another unpleasant levy but I doubt there's anything we can do about it.  About all you can do is comment that you don't like it.  I doubt that cuts much ice.

I assume that the fees would apply to next years documentation renewal rather than this year.

Pete37



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Pete37
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Posted: April 23 2013 at 15:06 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Subject: Shaft Repacking

Yeah, unless I can find a way to get the packing removed while she's afloat it will have to wait for hauling.  It's too late to schedule it for this year so I guess it will just have to wait until 2014.  In the meantime she'll just continue to drip as she has for the last 19 years.  It's not a crisis.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on April 23 2013 at 15:10


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eshover
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Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: May 04 2013 at 21:35 | IP Logged Quote eshover

It is with great sadness that I report the sudden passing of
Jim Rabey. I am pasting the body of the email sent to me
by his daughter:

"For those of you who were not aware, my dad Jim Rabey
passed away on Wednesday. We have tentatively
scheduled a memorial service for Jim on Friday, May 10 at
5:30pm, at the Beach Funeral Home, 1689 S. Patrick Drive,
Indian Harbor Beach, FL. In lieu of flowers, we are
requesting donations to United Cerebral Palsy.

If you would like to attend the service, Orlando
International Airport is an hour west of Indian Harbor
Beach and offers the best selection of flights into the area.
The Radisson Suite Hotel Oceanfront in Melbourne, at 3101
North Highway A1A, is very convenient to the funeral
home.

If you notice any family or friends not included on this
email, please feel free to share this news with them. As
you could guess, we are all very shaken by Jim's sudden
passing and hope some of you will be able to join us to
remember him on Friday.

Feel free to contact me at this email address if you have
any questions. Thank you very much.

Melissa Rabey"

Melissa's email address is: dettiot@yahoo.com

I am stunned and saddened by Jim's passing. Jim "loaned"
me his "freshly reconditioned" props for a sea trial test two
seasons ago. Not only that, but he pulled out of his storage
compartments, lugged them to his truck and personally
delivered them to me. Thank you Jim. You'll be missed.

Emory

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Pete37
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Posts: 2317
Posted: May 15 2013 at 11:23 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,
Subject: Delaware Jim's Passing
I haven’t been on the Forum much in the last month.  Too busy getting the boat ready for the year. So I was very surprised and sorry to hear that Jim Rabey passed away on Wednesday May 1st.  His daughter Melissa emailed Emory Shover and Emory posted a copy of the email on the Forum on Monday May 4th
Jim, as many of you may remember, used the screen name of “Delaware Jim” and was quite active on the Forum from 2006 to 2008.  Jim started a forum call Chris Craft Constellations and worked very hard in getting it set up.  But he used a “book format” rather than a “newspaper format” and it never caught on.  In a “book format” the forum displays just the index.  In order to see the articles you have to open subdirectories.  In a “newspaper format” everything is displayed in one directory.  This is wasteful in terms of space but works better for a forum because it stimulates the interest of the reader more effectively.
Jim was disappointed when his forum didn’t prosper and dropped out of active participation in this forum as well in 2008 although he continued to make occasional posts through 2012.  Jim kept his Connie named “Still in the Mood” on the Eastern Shore in Middletown, Delaware until he moved to Florida in 2008.  His boat was unusual in that it had a reinforced transom and extended swim platform.
I would enclose some pictures of Jim’s boat but unfortunately he never posted any.  I get most of my Connie pictures from the broker’s ads but Jim’s boat was never in brokerage so I don’t have any pictures from that source either.  I suspect with Jim’s passing his boat will probably be sold and I should be able to get brokerage pictures at that time.  If I do, I’ll post a few.

I checked for Jim’s obituary at Beach Funeral Home in Florida and found the following:

James T. Rabey of Indian Harbour Beach, Fl passed away peacefully on May 1, 2013. Born September 11, 1952 in Washington, D.C., Jim attended Northwestern High School and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park. He worked in the finance or accounting departments for several companies, most recently AAR Airlift. He was an avid boater who was eager to learn and to share his knowledge.

He is survived by his wife of thirty-eight years, Marie, and their three daughters: Melissa Rabey of Ellicott City, MD; Meredith and Steven Reynaga of San Fernando, CA; and Elizabeth and Orpheus Vasquez of Richmond, VA. He was the proud grandfather of Maximillian Reynaga. He is remembered fondly by his family and friends.

A memorial service will be held on Friday May 10, 2013 at 5:30pm at Beach Funeral Home 1689 South Patrick Dr. Indian Harbour Beach, Florida 32937.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to United Cerebral Palsy 1221 W. Colonial Dr., Ste. 300 Orlando, FL 32804”.

I was surprised that he was only 60 years old.  That’s much too young to pass away.  I can see why his passing was called a “sudden passing”.  We’ll miss you Jim!

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on May 15 2013 at 11:35


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Posts: 2317
Posted: May 15 2013 at 11:30 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Good News

I saw the following on the web on May 14th:

The IEA has projected that the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's biggest oil producer before 2020, and will be energy independent by 2030.

I'm sure that Obama's windmills had a lot to do with that.  Perhaps we will see some reduction in fuel prices in the future.

Pete37



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: May 17 2013 at 13:53 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: How to Cut you Fuel Bills in Half

Fuel bills are one of the biggest expenses in running a yacht.  And all indications are that even though the US is on the road to becoming energy independent, fuel costs will probably increase.  Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to cut your fuel bills in half?

Well there are ways to do that.  The first is simply to slow down.  When fuel shot up from $1.00 per gallon to $4.00 per gallon in the first decade of this century Connie owners got the message and slowed down from cruising at 2000 rpm (18 knots) to cruising at 1400 rpm (10 knots).  At 2000 rpm the fuel consumption was about 42 gpm while at 1400 rpm it is about 14 gpm.  In terms of nautical miles per gallon that reduces the fuel consumption from 42/18 = 2.33 gpm at 2000 rpm to 14/10 = 1.40 gpm.   That increases the miles per gallon (mpg) by 2.33/1.4 = 1.66 times (a 66% improvement).  In terms of cost, the cost to go a mile ($/m) 1.40/2.33 = 0.60 (60%) of the former cost (assuming constant fuel price).  Of course it takes longer to get there but yachting is supposed to be a leisure time activity

But fuel price has not remained constant.  It has increased by 4X.  Even with slowing down, our net fuel costs have risen by (4.00/1.00) x 0.60 = 2.4 times (240%).  So fuel costs are still a major PITA and yachtsmen have been trying to figure out additional ways to cut fuel costs.

Well there are ways to do that.  Most of us have developed the habit of day-tripping.  By that I mean that we start out on Saturday morning, cruise to our favorite anchorage, stay there 8 hours and then return to the dock. At 10 knots (the speed most of our going these days) it takes one hour to reach an anchorage 10 miles away.  On a day-trip 10 miles is about as far as most of us would want to go.  It takes 1 hours to get to the anchorage, we spend 8 hours there and we spend 1 hour getting back.  Plus we spend 2 hours  getting to the boat and prepping it before we leave and a similar amount of time tying up and getting back home.  So a day trip works out to about (2+1+8+1+2) = 14 hours.

So we’ve cruised 20 miles at 1.4 mpg and consumed 28 gallons which costs us about $112 (assuming about $4.00 per gallon).  On a typical weekend, if we enjoyed our first trip and if the weather is still good many of us will repeat Saturday’s cruise on Sunday.  This brings our weekend fuel costs to $224.  Not a killer, but annoying.

Of course, if we had made our destination a marina, we could have overnighted at the marina and returned home the next day.  That way we only spend $112 for one round trip.  Typical dockage at $2.00 per foot would be $100 with about $20 for TV and power hookups.  Total cost would be ($112+$100+20) = $232 (almost the same as day-tripping for two days).  So marina- hopping saves fuel costs but really doesn’t cut overall expenses much. But, if our destination is a marina more than 10 miles away, overnighting at a marina can actually be cheaper than two days of day-tripping.

The next obvious thought which comes to mind is; Can we eliminate the marina costs by anchoring out?.   The answer of course is yes if we are willing to run our genny 24 hours per day.  Fuel consumption for the genny at half load is only about 19 gallons per day or at $4.00 per gallon $76.  This is a potential saving over the marina of about $44. But do we want to listen to that genny rumbling and growling all night?

Also marinas have amenities such as Cable TV, power, restaurants, Laundromats, nearby stores, swimming pools, etc.  Do we really want to forgo all of that for $44 per day?  The answer of course is “maybe” if the amenities outweigh our attachment to our favorite anchorage.

And the next obvious thought is; can we do something to reduce the amount of time and load on the genny?  The answer again is “yes” but at this point the subject becomes more complex.

The only items on our Connies that require AC power 24/7 are the refrigerator and icemaker.  The icemaker is redundant since the fridge also has an icemaker.  But the fridge must be kept going morning, noon and night unless we want to have spoiled food.

During the day powering the fridge isn’t much of a problem.  Meals come at about 5 hour intervals and at those times the genny must be run.  No inverter can handle the galley loads.  And, if we assume two hour meal periods with the genny running, the 60 amp battery charger most of our Connies have should charge the house battery banks with about 120 ampere hours (Ah).  During these periods we can use any and all AC loads up to the capacity of the genny (20kW).  So if you have any heavy duty AC jobs to do, these are the times to do them.

During the 3 hour periods between mealtimes all AC loads must be powered via an inverter deriving its power from the house battery bank (HBB).  Most of our HBBs are 450 Ah banks.  These batteries are usually of the automotive type which can only be used from 50% to 80% of full charge. 

My fridge uses about 140 watts at 120 volts.  At 12 volts this is a draw of about 12 amps. During 3 hours this would amount to 36 Ah leaving only 100 Ah for other loads.  At 120 volts this is only 10 amps or 1200 watt hours (Wh). So during the 3 hour period the maximum average AC wattage which could be supported would be about 400 watts. 

Unfortunately the HBB has other 12 volt systems to be supported which probably use up about half of the batteries power so the AC wattage which could be supported would only be about 200 watts; about the load of a small solid state flat screen TV.

From the above we can see that using the HBB to power AC loads isn’t a very smart idea.  It can’t power much even over only a three hour period and if overloaded could run the batteries down to the point where the critical house DC loads (such as bilge pumps) wouldn’t operate.

During the 9 hour night period (10 PM to 7 AM)  the fridge uses 108 ampere hours which when combined with the HBB’s DC loads is more than the useable capacity of the HBB so that kills any hope of using the HBB bank to supply other AC loads.

Therefore, an additional battery bank which I call the Inverter Battery Bank (IBB) is required.  Batteries are expensive and therefore you want to use as few as possible.  After some analysis I have selected four six volt 225 Ah deep discharge batteries for the HBB. 

When combined in a series/parallel configuration they produce a 12 volt 450 Ah HBB.  Deep discharge batteries can be repeatedly drawn down to as little as 30% of full charge without damage.  Automotive type batteries used in the same mode would fail in less than a year.  So we have a IBB with a useable capacity of 450(0.8-0.3) = 225 Ah.

One might question why the capacity between 0.80 and 1.00 isn’t used in these calculations.  The reason is that a battery can be charged from 50% to 75% in only about an hour.  But charging from 75% to 100% takes 5 to 7 hours more.  In a repetitive charge/discharge mode there simply isn’t enough time to charge to 100%.

During the 3 hour day periods when the genny is off the fridge uses 36 Ah and if the IBB starts at 80% of full charge (360Ah) it has (360-36) = 334 Ah (74% of full charge) and still has 44% (198 Ah) for miscellaneous loads before reaching the low end of its useable capacity.  This would allow an average load of nearly 800 watts at 120 volts to be supported.

During the 9 hour night period the fridge still uses 108 Ah and if the IBB starts at 80% of full charge (360Ah) it has (360-108) = 252 Ah (56% of full charge) in the morning to work with and still has 26% (117 Ah) to for miscellaneous loads before reaching the low end of its useable capacity.  Fortunately the miscellaneous nighttime loads are small and intermittent.

At this point in the design of the system to provide 24/7 AC power I have completed the design of the HBB.  But the total system will require an inverter and battery charger.  I have selected the Wagan 3000 watt unit for the inverter It will supply 3000 watts continuous and 6000 watts intermittent. 

The existing 60 amp battery charger on most Connies is inadequate for the rapid recharge of the HBB batteries.  Therefore the Power Designs 100 amp battery charger has been selected.

All that remains is to buy the components, mount them in the boat and wire them up.  I have selected the compartment under the galley (UG Compartment) for the location of the inverter system.  I have also worked out the wiring but that’s too messy to discuss here.

Unfortunately, the fresh water system for the boat was located in the UG Compartment and had to be removed and reinstalled in the Generator Compartment.  This was scheduled for two to three days but has taken more than 10 days.

The total cost of the system looks like about $1000.  I use about $3,300 worth of fuel per year.  If the inverter system allows me to anchor out and save half of my fuel costs it will save about $1,650 per year and will pay for itself in less than a year.

Two final obstacles remain to be solved.  First, find the money for the system.  That’s done.  Second, get my wife’s permission to do it.  Happily that’s done too; she’s enthusiastic.

I’ve got a lot of other things to do on the boat and we’ll be taking a short vacation.  Hope I’ll finish the inverter installation by July.

Pete37

PS:  After re-proofing my post I found a couple of mathematical boo-boos and corrected them.

I also thought a little about what the inverter system would save me.  In ten years @ $1,650 per year it would $16,500 and with the inflation of fuel prices it might well be over $20K.  That's some serious cash!  But I'm not sure I'll have my Connie for anothe ten years.

 



Edited by Pete37 on May 18 2013 at 16:22


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DMark
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 03 2007
Posts: 131
Posted: May 17 2013 at 16:33 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Pete,

I know I haven't posted in a while, but your last is an
excellent article. I've seen pieces of it many times in the
past, but this compilation will be very helpful. Thanks.

Best,
Mark

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"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
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DMark
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 03 2007
Posts: 131
Posted: June 24 2013 at 14:00 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Found this switch/button, behind a TV that just broke in the
lower saloon TV cabinet. Anyone know what its supposed to
do or what it connects to?



Edited by DMark on June 24 2013 at 14:19


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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: June 24 2013 at 14:24 | IP Logged Quote eshover

This is a thermistor (temp sensor) that was installed to
automatically activate a muffin fan to cool the TV and or
stereo equipment. I have one on my Connie as well.

Emory

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DMark
"Deckhand"




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Posts: 131
Posted: June 24 2013 at 14:25 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Found this very small impeller in a dar corner.  Still looks good.  What's it go to?




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DMark
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Posted: June 24 2013 at 14:29 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Thanks Emory, any idea how it was supposed to work.  I don't see a fan anywhere and I don't get the button.  I'm replacing the older digital TV with a new flat panel TV.  Should I just take it out or find a muffin fan and try to reconnect it?  Where would I find the muffin fan???

Also I'm having trouble with  the step light down to the lower galley and the outlet for he TV in the cabinet - as in they stopped showing current (I'm not electrical...)  Is there a relationship to this thermistor assembly?  Any idea how to chase down the broken circuit?


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"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
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DMark
"Deckhand"




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Posts: 131
Posted: June 24 2013 at 14:31 | IP Logged Quote DMark

I'm going to start posting "a gazillion" questions and pictures.  I hope somebody is still out there!   I know you are Emory ... at least we'll have some fun...  At least I will ...  

Edited by DMark on June 24 2013 at 14:32


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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: June 25 2013 at 00:05 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Mark,

The impeller looks like an old genny impeller.  The owner probably kept it as an emergency spare when he replaced it with a new impeller.  In the past I've fixed both the step down light to the galley and the outlet in the TV cabinet.  It's late and I don't have my wiring diagrams out right now but the fixes are pretty simple.

Yes there are people still out there but by restricting posting to only Boat US members Boat US has effectively killed the forum.  There simply aren't enough Connie owners who insure with Boat US to make the forum viable.  However, I still have the addresses of most of the Connie owners and have found another forum on which we could post without any membership requirements.  We could restart the forum if anyone is interested.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on June 25 2013 at 00:08


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DMark
"Deckhand"




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Posted: June 25 2013 at 08:14 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Pete37,

Thanks for the help.

Would really appreciate guidance on trouble shooting the step
down light and TV outlet.

I only have a Boatus membership. I don't insure with them,
but seem to have on-going access to this forum - as an FYI.

I have gotten a lot of great use from the forum and your
DVD's. I'd hate to see all that good work go by the wayside.
I'd be very supportive of finding a good alternative site to
continue this forum. Do you need any help with this?

Last can you comment on my thermistor question? Should I
leave it alone, remove, or fix it?

Best,
Mark

Edited by DMark on June 25 2013 at 08:16


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"NANCY CAROLYN" ('86, CC500)
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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
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Posted: June 25 2013 at 09:42 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mark,
With the digital flat screens most of us have gone to today,
there is really not such a big need for the muffin fan. I
have removed mine (inluding the fan). the fan was
mounted to the right and pulled air away from an original
tube-type TV and forced it out of the cabinet and into the
smaller cabinet to the right. Is there a hole there where
the fan could have been? I'm sure many boaters did this
to lengthen the life of their electronics of that era. Many of
our boats also had older type stereo systems in those
cabinets (mine did) and there heat-sinks needed cooling as
well. Or at least someone thought so.
Today, it simply isn't needed. Today, with iPods, iPads,
Bluetooth, etc,etc. These bulky stereo systems simply
aren't necessary. We mainly watch a flatscreen TV at the
upper salon. I bought the biggest Sharp I could that still
offers built-in CD player and bought a good quality
computer speaker system which included a subwoofer.
Wow! I have all the stereo I need now! Plus, I mounted a
shelf in the cabinet under the bar (where an old tube tv
was) and added a BlueRay DVD player and it give me a
nice spot for the sub woofer and CD/DVD storage.

As for your galley courtesy light. I am sure you have a
multi meter. If not, get one. You'll need it as an essential
tool on these boats. Normally, it is simply corrosion or a
bad bulb. If you do not have any 12 vdc power at the
socket, go to the 12 vdc panel at the lower station and
make sure the breaker is on (if it is on, you should have
power to the aft step lights as well as the galley step light.
Check both!) If not power there, check the connections
behind the 12 vdc panel and make sure one hasn't come
loose or fallen off. If they are secure, check to see that
power is coming into the breaker. If power is coming to
the breaker, then you have a bad breaker. These are still
available and you'll need to save it and make sure you
make a note in your ships log of the part number for the
breaker. NOTE: these breakers are not all the same
voltage allowance, so don't assume you can always order
the same breaker.
These don't often go bad but can and occasionally do. I've
replaced two on my boat.

As for the TV outlet. Are you talking about the one next to
the refrigerator? On many, many Connies, the owner's
opted to eliminate any TV sitting on top of the frige and
mounted one in the cabinet where the heat sink is. So, as
was the case on my boat, the owner had disconnected the
cable connection at the main cable junction fitting and
added a cable that ran from there across the engine room
(or around the engine room) to the other side and
connected it to the TV. Check and see if you have a cable
coming into that cabinet for a TV.

During recent surveys, I have noticed some folks are
putting a BIG screen TV at the dinette where the mirror is
and utilizing the forward cabin cable connection to give it a
signal. The one I personally saw really looked nice and
just about everyone in the lower salon can view it.

I hope I've helped just a little bit. I've been through every
square inch of my boat at one time or another, so feel free
to ask questions. Always happy to help.

Emory

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eshover
"Deckhand"




Joined: July 02 2011
Posts: 205
Posted: June 25 2013 at 09:44 | IP Logged Quote eshover

@Pete - if you've found a source for another forum....go for
it.

BTW- you only have to be a BoatUS club member. That
comes with the towing service. Why anyone would not want
the towing service on a 30 year old boat is beyond me.

Emory

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eshover
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Posted: June 25 2013 at 09:50 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Mark - BTW - the "button" is the temperature sensor.

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posted: June 25 2013 at 10:28 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Hi folks. I had mentioned that I would get back to
everyone regarding the modifications I would make to
stem the leak I was getting at my "new" water tanks due to
the utilization of inspection plates to seal the cut-outs
necessary to interconnect the tanks. I finally got around to
this fix due to two of the polybute fittings behind my tub
flooding the office floor padding and carpet! Ain't life grand
when you have mid-80's polybute fittings?! Thank God for
Eagle Claw replacement fittings. But that's another story.

I pulled out the carpet and padding pulled up my floor
(which is now more easily accessed after the removal of
the settee facia).

I had a couple of contractors replace all the wood trim on
my home with plastic and some of that was large enough to
make two 8" x 8" patches. It is softer and easy to put
screws through and seal.   I removed the old inspection
plates and thoroughly cleaned all the old sealant off the
tank. NOTE: you'll want to empty (as much as you can)
the water tanks. That way, once you've finished, you can
clean the inside of the tank of any debris you've knocked in
there.
After everything was cleaned, I cleaned the area with
Acetone.
I then applied a ring of 3M 5200 around the original cut-out
just outside the original screw holes. You'll want the bead
at least an 1/8" high and 1/8" wide (even a little more
won't hurt). Then apply another ring an inch outside that
one.
Then on the other plate, place a bead on the inside edge of
the screw holes and on the outside of the screw holes.
(You only want to do this once, right?)

Center-up the plate over the hole by sight and place the
plate down and press lightly. Do not use all you weight!
You do not want to squeeze out too much sealant.
However, you do want to create a nice seal.

Now here's where the patience takes place! GO HOME! Or
at least walk away for the rest of the date and spend the
night on the boat.   The next day, put in the screws and
secure. Hopefully, there will be no leaks upon test. And
YOU DO need to test.

I had a very, very slight leak at the upper corner near the
sender. This is possibly due to the fact that I forgot to
place an outer bead of sealant on the plate! (My bad) But
by adding a few more screws and placing a nice bead
around the edge with my finger, it seems to have stopped.

I am posting a couple of pics. Pete, if you can add this
modification to the CD that would be nice.

As I have said before; I may have been one of the first to
attempt changing out the water tanks and replacing with
interconnected tanks. While it may seem daunting, it is
not. The worst part is the removal of most of the settee for
the extraction of the original tank.

I still have about 130 gallon capacity by doing this. If
anyone attempts this, I'm here for you and can help with
advice. I was the guinea pig!
25_102320_Water_tank_mod..jpg">

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posted: June 25 2013 at 11:29 | IP Logged Quote eshover

25_112811_Water_tank_mod..jpg">

Hope this opens. This is the view of the middle tank. Took
me a while to remember how to size the darn picture. So not
posting the forward tank. Essentially the same fix.

Emory

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eshover
"Deckhand"




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Posted: June 25 2013 at 11:30 | IP Logged Quote eshover

Ok, that didn't work. Email me at:
easternmarineservices@gmail.com and I'll send the pics.



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DMark
"Deckhand"




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Posted: June 25 2013 at 13:55 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Hi Emory,

All you're doing is trying to upload an image greater than
100KB. Even if it gets close, you'll need to cut it down below
say about 80KB. I had the same problem yesterday. I'll
email you...

Mark

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: June 25 2013 at 16:04 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject: Membership Requirement/New Forum

I mis-spoke.  You don't need to insure with BOAT US to make posts, you just have to be a BOAT US member.  But the distinction is moot because even if you include all owners who are BOAT US Members there aren't enough owners to make the forum viable.

It's regrettable because the forum was very useful.  I think that BOAT US just opted out because there wasn't any tangible benefit for them  I wrote a letter to Brian Azar suggesting that he ease up on the membership requirement but never got an answer.  Sort of an indication that BOAT US doesn't give a rat's butt about the forum.

If you are interested in reinstating the forum at another location please post your interest on this forum.  If I get enough positive responses I'll set up a new forum.

Pete37

 



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Posted: June 25 2013 at 16:16 | IP Logged Quote DMark

Count me in! Don't want to loose this.

Mark

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Capt.Wayne
"Seaman"




Joined: October 31 2007
Posts: 63
Posted: June 25 2013 at 17:49 | IP Logged Quote Capt.Wayne

Pete,

You probable have a handle on the the number of Connie owners we have lost because they are not members of Boat US, and there addresses as well. The late Delaware Jim had proposed a forum a couple of years ago. I believe he lost interest due to lack of  participation from our Connie group. If you start another Connie Form, I'll be apart of it.

I know Brian Azar reads our posts and is interested in the activity and the content of our forum. Hopefully, he will consider reopening Boat US form to all boat owners who are interested in finding solutions to the day to day problems they encounter. It could even add to the membership

If you open the store only to people that buy, you've limited your ability to expand, and provide more opportunities for the other guys.

Capt Wayne



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Pete37
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Posted: June 25 2013 at 18:13 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Capt Wayne,

Subject: "Browsers" and "Posters"

About two months after the posting rules were changed I made a plot of the number of posts made per day.  We went from a steady two to three posts per day prior to the change to a fraction of a post per day after the change.  And the Chris Craft Catalina forum suffered similar losses.

The cost to become a BOAT US member is rather nominal and I'm surprised that requiring membership to post made such a drastic change; but it did.

Several years ago, Delaware Jim made a valaint effort to start another forum but it failed mainly because he chose a book format for his forum.  In a book format you have to use a table of contents or index to find what you want.  Most casual readers don't bother to browse through a table of contents. 

The BOAT US forum, in contrast, uses a newspaper format where everything is right on the front page.  This catches the readers attention and gets him involved.  If you compare the number of people who browse the forum to those who actually post on it you'll find it's about 85:1 (not far from 100:1).  In order for a forum to thrive you have to turn "browsers" into "posters".

"Browsers" tend to be ignored but they are important because there are so many of them (nearly a half million for this forum).  And they talk to their friends.  It's good advertising for the forum sponser.  And, of course, the "browsers" are your main source for future "posters"

It takes about a dozen "posters" to make a forum function.  Thirty is a much better number and makes for a very active forum.  Thanks for your offer to participate.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on June 25 2013 at 18:43


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INTERLUDE
A Murray Chris Craft Constellation 500
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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: June 26 2013 at 16:23 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Ahoy all,

I would whole heartedly support an alternative initiative that continues a similer format. I always read with great interest all postings on this thread. As a smaller 280 owner, I can only point out the the excellent monologs/dialogs that occur here are the most powerful and frankly meaningful stuff I have encountered on the net. I do not want to delute subjects pertaining to the Connies, but there are so many crossover subjects that have helped us on Lorelei.

One subject that seems to be making the rounds in the publications these days is 'tools aboard'- a somewhat huge subject. In fact, these articles inspired me to rethink and orginize our kit on the 280. Seems time- (10 years) since we basically emptied the boat for re-provision and updating the tool kit with it's many appendages and stuff packed into forgotted corners.  The excersize has proved affective at reducing fulltime weight aboard and has increased space availible. We have actually raised the waterline almost 2 inches. I found that the assumptions I made years ago on what's necessary has evolved. To my chigrine, the view is now more realistic based on our experiences underway, over time. Dealing with what's 'real' has evolved. I getting old and lugging stuff is'nt as fun as it used to be.

These days, on our smaller boat and with our short trip lifestyle, calling Boat US via Cell for a tow has allowed for reducing the load we carry- That said, we have called them twice in the last 13 years.  

Our profound gratitude to the contrubutors to this thread with a hats off to Pete37. 

respectfully, Diver  

 



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Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: June 28 2013 at 10:41 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Subject:  Fuel Polishing

The north channel to Piney Narrows has been silted in for about a year now.  In spite of numerous complaints the State hasn't dredged it out yet.  We get promises (which are broken) but no action.  And since I can't get through the channel my boat hasn't been used much.  Therefore about half of the fuel I purchased last year is still in the tanks and going sour.

Thr starboard engine quit while I was out about a week ago and I had to chug back to the dock on one engine.  I took out the fuel filter and found it was badly clogged with debris from the old fuel.  I replaced the fuel filters on both engines but I'm wondering whether there will be additional problems with this old fuel.

Therefore I called Clean Fuel (a fuel polishing company) to ask for an estimate on polishing the fuel in my tanks.  Ten years ago a loose fitting on the deck allowed water to leak into on of my fuel tanks.  I had the fuel polished for about $250.  They did all four tank tanks saying that once they were on site the additional costs to do all the tanks wasn't very much.

This year their estimate to polish my fuel was $770.  I declined saying didn't want to buy their fuel polishing system, I just wanted to use it.  For $770 I can buy 40 Racor filters.  That should be enough to solve the problem.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on June 30 2013 at 12:07


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