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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: March 06 2008 at 01:12 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave & All,

Yes, I think I am getting a plan but I doubt I'll execute it this year.  I already have too many projects lined up for this year.

I've had four dinghy's on my boat so far.  The first was the 13'3" Boston Whaler I've mentioned before.  But it was really never on the boat.  It was towed and towing didn't turn out to be very practical.  The collapse of the roof at the marina destroyed the Whaler

Next I mounted an 11 foot Zodiac on the transom with a pair of St Croix Model 400 davits.  This dinghy lasted about 3 years until sunlight overpressured it and ripped out the seams. This is very common in Zodiacs.  They can be used with care but just don't have the strength of hypolon inflatables. 

The third dinghy was an 11' hypalon Apex RIB.  It was mounted on the transom with the same pair of St. Croix Model 400 Rotating Davits.  The Apex held its pressure and had no problems with overpressure.  Overall, the Apex rig was satisfactory but weighed about 300 lbs with its 15 hp outboard and was very unwieldy to launch and retrieve. Therefore wasn't used very much.  The Apex was mounted at the height of the stern railing yet still picked up considerable soot and had to be cleaned regularly. Furthermore my wife didn't trust it.  Eventually, I removed it and sold the inflatable, engine and davits for about 70% of what I paid for them.  It was not too expensive a learning process. 

Our fourth dinghy is a 1991 Jet Star Model 1200 jet boat.  It is not a jet ski.  You sit in it, not on it and it it sits three abreast.  One of its major positive features is that my wife, Arlene, likes it. It is 13'1" long, with a beam of 5'9" and weighs 615 lbs.  It is about the same size as a 13' Boston Whaler but weighs much less and packs a 60 hp. engine which scoots it along pretty well.  But it's bulky and fairly heavy.  Our plan was to tow it thinking that now, due to the fuel situation, we are running a lot at 10 knots.  At this speed towing is quite practical.  But tight quarters in our marina make it very difficult to dock and undock with a dinghy in tow. 

It could probably be mounted on a cradle attached to the swim platform if we made the swim platform about 2' wider.  And since the boat would be cradle mounted (rather than hanging from the crane) an Atkins & Hoyle Model 6000 davit would probably be adequate to lift it.  But the disadvantages of the Jet Star is that it would require a larger and stronger extended swim platform which would drive the price up.

Therefore, I'm considering selling the Jet Star and buying a smaller and lighter (about 300-400 lb.) jet ski which could fit on the existing swim platform.  This would be our 5th dinghy.

Will our 5th attempt be a winner?

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 07 2008 at 15:31


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Delaware Jim
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Joined: December 27 2006
Posts: 381
Posted: March 06 2008 at 17:59 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Dave,

I have found out that my assignment here in Baltimore is extended until this fall, so I am expecting to be in Baltimore through the summer.  The old boat is still in Georgetown and it is likely I'll be there at various times through the spring until I can get it sold.

 

Jim



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
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Posted: March 07 2008 at 15:14 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

To: Ken27

Subject: Satellite Phones

Hi Ken,

I was browsing in West Marine today and found that they have a factoid sheet (#35) on High Seas Communications.  It's free and has some good information on satellite radio systems.  Looks like Iridium ($500-$1,500) and Globalstar ($1,200) are the best deals if you want to buy one. 

There are also places that you can rent them. I did a search for satellite phones, rental and found a company call RentCell that rents satellite phones for $50 per week plus $1.50 per minute of air time.  That's just one example.  There are a lot of other companies that rent satellite phones.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 07 2008 at 15:24


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Ken27
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Joined: December 12 2006
Posts: 138
Posted: March 07 2008 at 15:42 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Pete,

Thanks Pete, I hope you realize how all of us here appreciate your quick responses and attention to detail.

I hadn't mentioned but we already have use of a Sat. phone.  However, we would also like to improve on cel availability.  There are a few areas with high bluffs and also remote areas like south of St. Louis that have little or no coverage.  I've been stuck at anchorage or whatever in those areas without coverage, and now that we're all so dependant on our phones it would greatly add to the comfort and security level to have it.

Be assured, I will check out your tip however.

Thanks again,

Ken



Edited by Ken27 on March 07 2008 at 15:43


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TStellato
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Posts: 206
Posted: March 08 2008 at 11:30 | IP Logged Quote TStellato


Ken,

When we were at our last marina we were down a bluff and had a weak cell signal.  We use the Verizon cards in our laptops.  Tony ordered an exterior antenna that he mounted on the rail and then plugged into his verizon card.  It improved the signal dramatically.  I will find out where he got it from.



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FIVE STAR
1985 Constellation
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Ken27
"Deckhand"




Joined: December 12 2006
Posts: 138
Posted: March 08 2008 at 14:30 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Vicki,

I've decided that's what I'm going to do.  We're having a radar arch fabricated and mounted as we speak.  I plan on mounting a dedicated cel antenna on the arch as soon as it's completed.  I'm trying to find one that doesn't need a physical connection to the phone.  Some of the amplified antennas don't need a physical connection.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Ken



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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: March 14 2008 at 11:57 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Guys,

Traffic on the forum has dwindled to a trickle.  Don't know exactly why.  I guess it's because it's the end of winter, interest in boating has dropped to a minimum and spring hasn't made its presence felt enough to stimulate our boating juices.  Or perhaps it's just because we all have all the problems on our boats fixed so there really isn't anything else to talk about.

But anyway, daylight saving time has come and tomorrow is March 15th which is the official start of the dewinterization season in MD.  BTW dewinterization season officially starts March 15th and ends May 15th.  That's two months in which you are supposed to get everything on the boat up and running in order to be ready for boating season. 

So as soon as I finish this post I'm going down to the boat and survey the work to be done.  I've got a whopper of a list of things to be done this year.  I'll have to sort the list out and prioritize the items.

I've found a few boating items which may be of interest.  The first is a source of replacements for the intercom phones that were original equipment on some of our Connies.  The intercom isn't a high priority item and I suspect that most of the intercoms on you boats are now non-functional.  But they are handy when you want to call your wife in the galley when you are at the FB helm to see what's holding up the sandwiches and beer.

Anyway many Connies were equipped with a ten station intercom which had stations on the FB, lower helm, galley, master stateroom, guest stateroom and forward stateroom.  There may have been a few more stations.  The interconnecting wiring was part of the boat and is probably still there.  But most of the phone sets, particularly on the FB. are probably defunct.  I have been looking for replacements for quite a few years but never found them.  But at the Miami Boat Show I picked up a 2008 Consumers Marine, www.consumersmarine.com catalog and found them on page 84.  They are made by Newman and are $64.99 per hand set.

Another item which came as original equipment on many Connies was a Cybernet CTX-1000 Marine Hailer and Intercom System.  It has a lot of features such as a 25 watt hailer output, 4 station intercom, yelp position, foghorn, simulated bell, listen function, burglar alarm function, etc.  It's a nice system and works perfectly even after 21 years.  But it's mounted on the starboard side of the lower helm console and I never operate the boat from the lower helm so it's essentialy useless.  I turn it on once and a while just to make sure it works and ponder whether I could remount it on the FB.  But it's not waterproof or even water protected so I don't think it would last long on the FB.

While browsing through the Consumers Marine catalog I found a Standard Horizon VLH-3000 30-Watt Loud Hailor (also on page 84) which sells for $269.99. It has all the features of the CTX-1000 and is also waterproof.  Perfect for the FB application. 

But on page 75 I also found the Standard Horizon Matrix GX3005 VHF radio.  It too also has the horn and hailer functions, is waterproof, has the VHF radio functions and sells for only $199.99.  My FB VHF is about 10 years old and doesn't have DSC or many of the newer VHF features.  So I figure that the logical thing to do is to replace my old VHF radio with a new one which has built in horn and loudhailer functions.  It's cheaper and I pick up a lot of new features.  The selection isn't limited to the GX3005.  There are a lot of modern VHFs with built in horn and loudhailer functions.

Another useful item I found, in the Boater's World Catalog, was stainless steel trailer winches.  These are very useful for any application where you want to mount a boat trailer type winch on the boat.  Most boat trailer type winches are made of ordinary steel and rust like the dickens.  You definitely don't want to mount an ordinary steel winch on a boat.  Applications, would include, outboard engine lifts, dinghy lifts, cranes to lift stuff onto the FB, etc.  The prices were quite reasonable.

Oh well, so much for the chatter.  It's time to go down to the boat.  Hope you have all survived the winter and are healthy, wealthy and wise.  Or at least two out of three would be good.

Pete37



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 23 2013 at 15:10


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Ken27
"Deckhand"




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Posts: 138
Posted: March 14 2008 at 16:13 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Pete,

Didn't your mother ever tell you to be careful for what you ask for because you might get it (or something like that).  Now that all of us are getting more anxious by the minute to get back to our boats, I, and I'm sure most of the others, have a lot of questions and info to post, so the forum will probably get bombarded soon.  This is my two cents worth for a start.

Baysalor

Last November I asked if anyone had any of the original on board TV antenna equipment, specifically the wall outlets and remote units.  You mentioned you did and were willing to part with them.  I dropped the ball and didn't follow up with you.  If you're still willing to help me out, please contact me.

To everyone,

Our project boat is nearing completion and will be moving on to unknown destinations.  Naturally fuel prices will be at record levels now that we're ready to do some long range cruising.  In the past we moved at close to top cruising speed and used a lot of fuel.  Now we will be looking to be a little more economical.  Will anyone or everyone please advise me on the various fuel usages at various RPM's?  I know a lot of you have this knowledge and experience and it could save us a lot of money to draw this information from you rather than waste a lot experimenting.

FYI to everyone.  West Marine has Micron CSC on sale PLUS $50 per gal. rebate right now.  It's only for a short time so get on it now if you need some.  We've blasted all the old stuff off the bottom and need to apply three coats, so this rebate/sale happened a the perfect time.

Ken

One more thing I almost forgot.  Sometime ago, someone mention that the DD manual says to clean the blower bypass valves every 60 hours or so.  Banjoman, I think it was you.  Are we sure our engines have these?  If so, where in the manual can I reference to see them?  Someone told me that if I had them then my engines would be "T.I.B.'s" or "T.A.B.'s", "B" for bypass.

 

 



Edited by Ken27 on March 14 2008 at 16:21


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Pete37
"Commander"




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Posted: March 14 2008 at 20:06 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Ken27,

Your manual is ready.  Email me on where to send it.  Glad to hear you finally got you radar arch.  All things eventually come to those with patience and perseverence.

At 1350 rpm you will do about 10 knots and get about 0.75 Nmpg.  The engines will be running at about 170 F which is about as cold as you can safely run them.  This is now my standard economy cruise speed.  It seems to be a comfortable cruise speed and the autopilot works beautifully at that speed.

Pete37



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David Ross
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Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 452
Posted: March 14 2008 at 21:31 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Hi Pete and all,

I've been trying to get through to this Boat US site all evening. It would not log on for the longest, slowest time, blank screens, etc. Finally when I got through it said I wasn't a member and had to register (reregester?). The system still was slow. All the other sites worked fine, just the Boat Us site was acting crazy, yet other posts were being added.... frustrating. I assume this will get posted because I now have the post reply page showing.

Pete I have the intercom system on my boat, but I don't have units in the den stateroom or in the forward stateroom. It doesn't look like they were ever there unless someone did a great job of removing them. Where are yours located in these two staterooms? Do you think the wires might have been run if indeed the intercom units were not originally installed?  I have all the other units you describe. You think they would have been an all or nothing option. Also the replacement units you found you noted were Newnan. I think they are Newmar. All my intercom units are working fine.

I hadn't heard of the Cybertec CTX 1000 marine hailer and intercom before. Do you have both intercom systems? Why would the original owner want to differant intercom systems on the boat? Are their two phones and/or mic's at each location?

I think everyone is getting the itch to get their boats ready! It sounds like a lot of projects beside the normal commissiong are in the works.

Dave



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GOOD SPIRITS
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Banjoman
"First Mate"




Joined: July 02 2007
Posts: 553
Posted: March 14 2008 at 21:58 | IP Logged Quote Banjoman

Ken - I cannot speak for the TIB's, but the TAB's have the bypass valves and I believe the necessity for them would hold true for the TIB's as well.  The valve is located under the blower snout and I believe that the snout has to be removed to get the valve out.  I think it hits the snout but I'm not sure.  I haven't removed mine to check them, but will soon.  According to the research I've done, symptoms are:  if the valve is sticking or stuck closed, you will not achieve full rpms, the rpms may drop from and then return (or not), of course, there will be smoke at full or cruise rpm while none at idle or hull speed.  Don't know yet if this is my problem, but the symptoms are those as stated.  I'll keep everyone apprised.  The opposite is somewhat true if the valves stick open.  The smoke will occur at slow or hull speeds. 

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Pete37
"Commander"




Joined: November 12 2006
Posts: 2317
Posted: March 15 2008 at 00:46 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Dave,

Sorry to hear of your problems logging on.  I don't know why you had them.  Haven't heard from any others with these problems.  Let's hope it's some sort of one time glitch.

The intercoms were original equipment on at least some boats and the wiring for them is shown in the wiring diagrams.  I think how many sets were installed was probably a customer option.  The intercoms were listed on the 1984 CC price schedule as Part #404 Intercom, 2 Station @$385.  By 1986 the itercom had grown to a 4 station system @ $795. The literature on the intercoms shows that they could be set up for as many as 10 stations.  One of the unique features of these intercoms is that each phone has a set of 10 buttons so you can ring any one of the other stations to alert them that a call is coming in.  Few of the other intercoms have this feature. 

You can set up as many of the 10 phones as you want.  I think the guy who was the original owner of my boat may have been a bit overzealous when it came to intercoms.  The wires for each phone on my boat seem to have been run to a master terminal block located under the lower helm console.  I think all the Connies probably have the master terminal block but many probably don't have the wires leading to the block.

I had one phone on the FB, one on the lower helm, one in the master stateroom next to the bed,  one in the den next to the bed, one in the forward stateroom and one in the galley on the bar next to the refrigerator.  That's all I can remember but I've always thought one in the engine room would have been nice.  You're right the name was Newmar not Newman and the new units are also made by Newmar.  You're lucky if they're all working fine.  I only have three still working and some of them are marginal.

The Cybertec hailer/horn also has a primitive intercom (without ringers) but there are no signs it was ever hooked up.

For Ken's information, the CC radar arch was Part #025 and cost $6,290 in 1985.  I don't think I've ever seen a Connie 500 without a bow pulpit but it was Part #050 @ $2,490 and the L shaped dinette was $3,290.  I've seen a number of Connies without the dinette.  Some the most overpriced options were the windshield wiper system @ $865 and the upper salon miniblinds @ $1,495.  Bimini tops were $6,195 and depthsounders $1,375.

But diesel fuel was only $0.80 per gallon.

Pete 37

 

 



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Pete37
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 01:05 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Ken and Emory,

I wouldn't put too much faith in solving your engine problems by cleaning the mini-bypass blower valves.  They were only added late in the life of the 6V92s and as the Detroit manual says, they were installed only to reduce the amount of horsepower necessary to drive the roots blowers.  They produce a slight increase in horsepower and a small reduction in fuel consumption.  But most 6V92s work fine without any blower bypass so I doubt cleaning the valves is going to change your engines from pussycats to tigers.

On the other hand though, it certainly won't hurt to clean them and the cost is very slight.

Pete37



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Banjoman
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 09:48 | IP Logged Quote Banjoman

I was only relaying the info as given to me from Tom Hug (MR Specialists) and boatdiesel.com.  According to both, if the valve(s) stick closed, you may have loss of rpm (read: not able to attain full rpm at full load) and produce unacceptable smoke and soot at top cruising rpms.  Keep in mind, my problem is not simply smoke and soot at cruise, but I can only attain 2000 (approx) rpms Full Load.  Not acceptable.  So, I view my issue as more than simply a bad injector, etc.  I've had one issue after the other with my port engine.  I've performed everything that every mechanic has suggested to include havig an experienced DD mechanic tune the engine in July of 2006.   As of June of 2007 I have had the problem of not reaching top rpm.  While I agree with you sentiments that it probably won't solve my problem, I'm at the point of an emotional breakdown with these damned Detroit Diesels! 

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Delaware Jim
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 10:48 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Hi Gang!

As liveaboards all winter in Balitmore Inner Harbor, we've been kinda "hunkered down" for awhile and doing some small jobs inside. Marie has almost completed new curtains for the lower and upper salon, I repaired the 12V lights in the day head and installed a 110V light strip under the vanity.  We need to repair a couple of seams and a zipper in the bimini canvas and get that waterproofed - gonna need to nurse it along for a while longer.

Purchased a new 16K Ocean Breeze AC unit (off season special $) with a separate 2K resistance heat unit in the discharge duct.  The 1500 watt electric oil radiator heater in the aft cabin kept it pretty nice in there, so the 2000 watt unit in this unit should do nicely.  Now to get it installed under the desk in the office will be the next big project!

Today I turned off the bilge heaters -about 60* forecast and nothing below freezing for awhile anticipated.  Water has warmed up to 42*, which will also protect the bilge/pipes.

I anticipate being down for a couple of days due to more eye surgery Tuesday...ugh!  That and a couple of tax returns to get completed soon (A CPA during tax season is NEVER without work!!).  FYI, the CCConstellation website is about ready and will be going live as soon as I get a few bugs removed.

Let the Spring dewinterization processes begin!

 

Jim & Marie

 



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Ken27
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Posted: March 15 2008 at 14:02 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Hello everyone again,

Pete, thanks for the info on fuel economy.  Will you and anyone else give me a little more detailed info on fuel usage please?  I believe our engines should reach a maximum of 2300 rpm's, correct? And from what I understand our maximum cruise speed should be 2100 rpm's.  If we want to make a little better time, understanding we will use considerably more fuel, what rpm/speed/fuel usage can I expect to see?  Also, when you folks want to make better time, what rpm do you run?

I know it sounds like I've asked the same question a half dozen ways, but I want to make sure I can fully understand the various scenarios.

Thanks,

Ken



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Delaware Jim
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 11:49 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Hi Ken,

I'll try to explain a couple of interrelationships between speed, engine RPM and fuel consumption.  I am refering to my J&T manual fuel consumption curves for a 6-92TI (535hp).  The 6-92 TIB engine (565hp) is very similar...

In diesels, fuel burn is almost purely a function of RPM, which can make it pretty easy to figure the burn rates.  Caveat:  this assumes a clean botton and running gear and ability to make 2300 - 2350 RPM at WOT (wide open throttle).  More about this in a minute...

Reading the graph, it is almost a straight, sloped line over the normal operating range.  These are for single engine - double for our boats. The graph indicates:

Engine RPM                 Gallons/Hour

1200                              16

1400                              19

1600                              21

1800                              24

2000                               26

2200                              28

2300                              29

As you can see, fuel burn is relative to engine RPM.  SPEED of boat is based on the props, bottom condition, running gear cleaniless, winds, currents etc.  My personal observations are that my boat with 29x29 3 blade props (some say are "undersized") will get my boat onto plane at about 1850RPM, and I can them hold plane at about 1750RPM.  I can (usually) get 2350 on both engines OK. On plane, I am doing about 17-18 knots speed.

When you figure economy, you are either desiring to be on plane, or well below planing speeds (under 10 knots).  In that "middle area" you are pushing a lot of water with more RPM (AND MORE FUEL) without any increase in speed.  I observe that at 1000-1100 RPM, I run about 10 knots easily.  Going to 1500 RPM does not get me onto plane and my speeds increase only 1 knot or so with the higher fuel burn.  Try to stay out of that "middle area" if you can.

Pete did raise an excellent point about engine temps at slower speeds. Ideally, you'd like to keep them at least 170* to promote clean burning and less soot.  If you cannot maintain this kind of temps, either consider changing out the thermostats or run it a bit harder.  Also, I would run the engines about 15-20 minutes every two hours at a higher speed (say on plane at 1800RPM or more) to get them fully warmed up and clean out any residues that may have accumulated over the past couple of hours slow running.

Jim

 

 



Edited by Delaware Jim on March 16 2008 at 11:53


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Ken27
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Posted: March 16 2008 at 12:12 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Pete and Jim,

Thanks a lot, your responses really help me to have a clearer understanding of the fuel usage.

If anyone else has anything to add, shoot it my way.

Ken



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Pete37
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 00:41 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Ken & All,

Iím surprised that only Delaware Jim responded to Kenís question about 6V92 performance.  I thought everyone would chime in with many and disparate sets of data.  Jim picked the right source (The J&T Ownerís Operator Manual) and found the right graph for engine performance.  Unfortunately, he wasnít familiar with the format of engine performance graphs and picked the wrong curve.  He used the Fuel Consumption Curve when he should have used the Propeller Load Fuel Consumption Curve.  Thereís a description on how to read engine curves on page 4 of Dave Gerrís Propeller Handbook. 

Itís a damn good thing we donít burn 16 gallons per hour (gph) @ 1200 rpm.  A Connieís speed @ 1200 rpm is only about 10 knots so you would be getting only (10/16) = 0.625 nautical miles per gallon (nmpg).  In the data below youíll see that you actually get about 1.11 nmpg.

Anyway using the propeller load fuel consumption curve for the 6V92TI the fuel economy is as follows:

1200  9.0  10.0  1.11

1300 12.0 10.3  0.86

1400 14.0  10.9  0.78

1500 16.5  11.2  0.68

1600 20.5  12.0  0.58

1700 24.0  13.2  0.55

1800 28.5  15.3  0.54

1900 33.0  17.1  0.52

2000 38.0  18.4 0.48

The numbers in the rows above are in order of rpm,  gph, knots and  nmpg.   The speed in knots was measured with a gps at the various rpms.  Rpms were from the FB tachometers which were calibrated to about 10 rpm with an optical strobotach.

I donít cruise at speeds below 1350 because the engines run too cold (below 170 F).  And I donít cruise @ speeds above 2000 rpm because you shouldnít run your engines regularly at more than 85% of their rated capacity.  There is also a tendency for them to overheat (over 190 F) in hot midsummer water.

Runs were made in water of a depth of approximately 12í which is the controlling depth of the ICW.  For other depths the speed @ 2000 rpm should be decreased by the following amounts:

12í  0.0

15í  0.8

20 Ď 1.0

25í  1.6

30í 2.0

35í 1.8

Data in each row is in the order of depth in feet and correction in knots.  The correction should be subtracted from the speed derived in the first table.

For speeds less than 18.4 knots the correction is less and at speeds less than 11 knots the correction is actually positive (speed increases).  Use the corrections for 18.4 knots but no correction for speeds around 10 knots.  Sorry I donít have the correction factor for all speeds.  My engines have 2:1 transmissions and drive 30Ē diameter by 31Ē pitch four bladed bronze props.  If more accuracy is needed I can make speed estimates for other props.

Prior to 2004 I cruised mainly at 2000 rpm burning 38 gph at a cost of $152 per hour.  Iím using $4.00 per gallon as my best estimate of the coming seasonís cost of diesel.  Today, Iíve seen the error in my ways and run @ 1350-1400 rpm getting 10-10.9 knots and burning 14.0 gph at a cost of $56 per hour (just slightly more than 1/3rd the hourly cost of 2000 rpm).

Of course I donít go as far but my guests seem to rate their enjoyment in hours rather than distance as long as you keep the food and booze in good supply.  Itís easier on me too because I can use Iron Mike (my autopilot) to do the steering.  I still have to keep a close lookout though.  And at that speed the noise is much less and the motion of the boat more sedate so you can carry on a leisurely conversation with your guests.  And finally at 1400 rpm your engines last 43% longer than they do at 2000 rpm.

 So there are advantages to slowing down.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 17 2008 at 00:44


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Ken27
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 15:51 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

To everyone,

I just wanted to say thank you to all who have shared information and advice not only to me specifically but in general on the forum.  I've learned a lot and gotten some great ideas from all of you.

We're hoping to finish up on the major projects on the Good Life early this season, the arch, radar, new bimini and enclosure, electronics,  etc., and then start some long range cruising, now that the fuel prices are high enough.

I will continue to monitor the forum and give updates on our progress.

I'm still trying to find the wall outlets and remotes for the onboard TV antenna that our boats have.  The outlets haven't been made for sometime now and the original company was bought out, so no one has them on the shelf anywhere.  I know this sounds like a small thing, but when cruising it comes in handy at anchor or whatever, to catch up on local news and get the local weather.  It also keeps the grandkids occupied for a while when it's raining.  If I could find just a couple outlets and remotes it would help.

Ken

P.S.  Pete, in your post above you're guessing diesel will be $4/gal. this season.  Here in MN it's already $3.99/gal. on the street.  That should put it around $5/gal. or more on the water.  BTW, gas on the street has been around $2.90/gal. but just jumped to $3.15/gal.



Edited by Ken27 on March 17 2008 at 16:44


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Pete37
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 19:33 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Ken & All

It's hard to predict oil futures.  If I could do it accurately I'd be a broker on Wall St. and making a bundle.  Generally though, diesel drops early in the spring when the home heating season is over.  Heating oil and diesel fuel are nearly the same thing and compete with each other.  This drives prices up.  But when spring comes the demand for heating oil drops freeing up crude for diesel fuel.  This usually causes a slight drop in diesel fuel prices.

Right now diesel for highway use is going for $3.99 per gallon here in MD.  Our marina has it for $3.79 but we sell so little diesel in the winter that this is probably an old load.  When we have to refill the tanks the price will probably be over $4.00.  But I would not be at all surprised to see it going for $5.00 per gallon by fall.

Wish I could be more optimistic.

On the subject of TV for the boat, I think you would be wise to trash the old TV antenna system and start with new.  You can get a whole new active antenna system for about $200 and the wiring is pretty simple.  Remember that next year there will be no more broadcast analog TV signals so you will have to upgrade to digital anyway. 

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 17 2008 at 19:47


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David Ross
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 21:40 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Ken, Jim, Pete and all,

Hi Ken, regarding your tv antenna, you may be better off getting a new Shakespeare SeaWatch antenna. They come in differant models with features for various concerns. Also the Follow Me TV (they just recently changed their name to something similar) is a good satellite system. As I understand it if you have a satellite dish system at home you can order a second receiver (or take your existing second home receiver to the boat) you are charged $5 for each extra  receiver. From what I heard you just do it and don't ask the dish company. It will work at the boat. You should check around as this might have changed. A couple people on my dock have this and I could check with them. The Follow Me system cost about $895. You just add a dish and receiver that you can find on line very reasonable. The dish will adjust to the direction of the signal automatically. This system works great at anchor and at the dock and varies underway depending on condtions.

Hi Jim, if the lights you were working on are the original single tube flourescent fixtures you can update them with a dual tube fixture. It is much brighter and only slightly longer and wire up at the same ceiling connections. I replaced the ones in all three staterooms, three heads and galley. They are in the West Marine catalog and can be ordered through the store.

Hi Pete, your speed, rpm and fuel consumption info are right on. I only hope your feeling of potential $5/gal is off. However the way the financial situation is heading if something doesn't happen soon to turn it around you may be right.

Dave



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David Ross
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 21:48 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Ken,

I got interupted for awhile before I was able to send my last post. After I sent it I saw Pete's post. Obviously we agree.

Dave



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David Ross
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 22:00 | IP Logged Quote David Ross

Ken,

Pete's last post did not come through on my email notification with his last paragraph that included his comments on your antenna. I just noticed it was included on our Boat US site but didn't notice it untill after I sent you my last post to you. If this doesn't make any sense just forget it. I swear I have not been drinking but after re-reading this I think I will go get one.

Dave



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Ken27
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 23:20 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Pete, David, and maybe Jim,

Yes, we've considered the SAT option along with a new antenna system.  TV isn't that important that we want to invest too much money or time.  In both marinas, Bayport MN and Nashville, we have cable in the slips.  We just thought if we could find a few parts we could get the old system up and running.  A couple of the outlets to the original system have been damaged and the remotes need replacing. 

Jim and anyone else, I noticed David mention something about fluorescent lights needing replacing or repair.  If needed, I have found an RV supplier that sells the ballasts for the Slim Line lights that were original equipment in most if not all our boats.  I have replaced a few of my own, even the ballast, which is different from the rest, in one of the red/white lights at the lower helm.  I don't remember the cost but it was a much cheaper than replacing the whole unit.  If interested, I will post the link.  Let me know.  A side note on this subject; I found a half dozen of the double fixtures that someone had, replaced a couple of the ballasts, and mounted all of them in the engine room.  After mounting them and repainting the engines and engine room white, I won't ever need a flash light or trouble light down there again. 

Ken 

Here's the link for the ballasts, but check out the site for other stuff. 

<link removed>

OK, I've mentioned before I'm a computer rookie, so someone tell me why, when I edited my post and added the link, I can't click on it?  David, now I'm ready for a martini.

 



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 23 2013 at 15:02


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Pete37
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Posted: March 17 2008 at 23:55 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Ken & All,

Satellite TV:

I wasn't suggesting hooking up to satellite TV.  I was just suggesting that you install a new TV antenna system such as some of those on page 127 of the 2008 West Marine Catalog for $199.99 plus a small amount of your time.  They won't give you TV in a blackout region but they will enable you to pull in TV stations a lot farther away than a pair of rabbit ears.

Home Depot Style Flourescent Light Fixtures:

Home Depot and a lot of other hardware stores sell double tube flourescent light fixtures for use in the shop or other parts of the home.  They are basically two 40 watt fluoresent bulbs and a metal box in which the ballast and wiring are housed.  They run on 115 volts and are intended to be hung from metal chains attached to hooks in the ceiling. On a boat metal chains aren't practical because the light fixture would swing around and destroy itself in heavy seas.  Therefore owners fasten the box containing the ballast directly to the ceiling with bolts or screws. 

This places the box directly against the ceiling and if the ballast blows it can get hot enough to ignite the ceiling if ithe ceiling is made of a flammable material (such as wood).  That's why the these flourescent fixtures always carry a warning to hang them from the chains.  The separation supplied by the chains keeps the ballast box far enough away from the ceiling to prevent a burned out ballast from setting fire to the ceiling.  The chains are not just a means of hanging the fixture they are also a safety feature.  If you insist on bolting these fixtures to the ceiling use some sort of non flammable filler blocks about 1/2" thick between the fixture and the ceiling to prevent a burned out ballast from igniting the ceiling.

Built in Original Equipment 12 Volt Flourecent Ceiling Lights:

The biggest problem with the built in 12 volt flourescent light fixtures that are all over the boat is that the plastic lens turns yellow with age and blocks most of the light.  Rather than replace the whole light I just replace the the lens which can be purchased as a part.  The fluorescent tubes can be bought at a local hardware store (if it's well stocked).

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 18 2008 at 00:34


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Pete37
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Posted: March 18 2008 at 10:38 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi Guys,

Replacement lenses (diffusers) for Thin-Lites can be obtained at www.solarseller.com and http://store,solar-electric.com.  They typically run $6-$8 while a complete new light costs about $50.  There is also a manufacturer's site www.thinlite.com where you can ask the manufacturer for info.

Pete37



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 25 2013 at 10:15


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Ken27
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Posted: March 18 2008 at 14:07 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

To everyone, please take a look at this and act, or not, which ever way your conscience tells you.  This could start costing us much more to operate our Connies.  Here is the link for the entire explanation.  It'll take you less than 5 minutes.                                    

S. 2766 Preserves Recreational Boating & Protects Environment

Recreational boating is one of the most enjoyable American pastimes for 73 million boaters nationwide to spend time together outside enjoying our natural treasures with friends and family.  But, unless Congressional action is taken soon to pass S. 2766, the Clean Boating Act of 2008, the estimated 18 million recreational boats in this country could be subjected to sweeping new regulations and permit requirements intended for commercial ships with ballast water tanks, preventing boaters from enjoying this great past time.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 20, 2007, that they will begin moving forward with a new and unprecedented permitting scheme for recreational boats to comply with a September 2006 landmark ballast water court ruling.  Under the ruling, EPA will have to devise a permitting scheme by September 30, 2008, for engine cooling water, bilge water, gray water, and deck runoff from recreational boats previously exempted under the Clean Water Act.  ...



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 19 2013 at 14:22
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Pete37
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Posted: March 18 2008 at 16:18 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

Please read Ken's letter above and pay heed to it.  If we let this one slide through you may not have to worry about the price of fuel becaue you will be so busy filling out federal permit forms that you'll never have time to take the boat out.

Pete37



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BAYSALOR
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Posted: March 19 2008 at 08:08 | IP Logged Quote BAYSALOR

To Ken27

I still have the tv outlets and controller. I have no desire to watch tv when at anchor or cruising.

Call me at 443-254-9917

Baysalor

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Fantasy
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Posted: March 20 2008 at 14:08 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Ken,

 

A few pages back, you asked about operating speeds and efficiency.

 

Our boats have different engines but I think have similar fuel use, particularly at low speeds.  The 46 is slightly slower than the 50 and I think the 50 may also have a small efficiency advantage at slow speed because of a greater water line length.

 

For the last few years, I have been cruising at 10 mph (about 8.5 knots) because my fuel use, in terms of miles per gallon, is about 1/3 of the fuel consumed at 15 to 16 knots.  However, we are now on our way north from Florida and because of the high fuel prices, I decided to back off to 8 mph and measure the results.

 

My engines top out at 2400 rpm under load.  At 1350 rpm in slack current I get 10 mph.  At 1250 rpm I make about 8 mph (my instruments are set up for statute miles because the ICW is marked off in statute miles). The engines come up to minimum operating temperatures pretty quickly at both speeds. 

 

I made the 251 mile trip from Fernandina in north Florida to Ft. Pierce, Fl at 10 mph and the return trip from Ft. Pierce to Fernandina at 8 mph.  I filled up at Fernandina on the way down, at Ft. Pierce before returning and at Fernandina again on the way back.  This enabled me to precisely calculate the fuel used on both legs.

 

At the 1350 rpm 10 mph rate I achieved 1.32 miles per gallon.  At 1250 rpm, 8 mph rate, I got 1.81 miles per gallon and used 50 gallons less over the 251 miles.  That resulted in a fuel savings of over $200 for this leg, alone.  Since I have more than 1000 miles to travel each way--- and because I find that I have more time than money, I think Iíll continue to travel at turtle trawler speed.

 

I should also mention that traveling at hull speed takes some adjustment.  I remember that it seemed painfully slow when I first decided to come off plane and cruise at 10 mph.  Reducing to 8 mph caused additional discomfort but after a couple of days, it was second nature.   We anchor out most nights, so putting in an extra hour or so of travel time to achieve the same distance, does not seem to matter; except that happy hour starts a little later.

 

Don't know when I'll have an internet connection again but I'll check in again soon.  We're visiting Savannah YC where I hope to see Furman.

 

Trawler John

PS  You will also find that visibility at the lower station is much better at slow speed when the boat is not crouched.

 

Fernandina to Ft. Pierce

Ft. Pierce to Fernandina

1350 rpm

1250 rpm

10 mph

8 mph

251 statute miles

251 statute miles

215 total gal. used

165 total gal. used

(26) less generator gal. used

(26) less generator gal. used

189 net propulsion gal. used

139 net propulsion gal. used

1.32 mpg

1.81 mpg

7.5 average gal. per hour

4.4 average gal. per hour

 

Savings @ $4.09 p/gal.= $204.50



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Ken27
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Posted: March 20 2008 at 17:59 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Fantasy,

Your results aren't surprising, however they are awakening when laid out the way you have presented them.  I think most of us will be taking a long hard look at our cruising styles this season.  Here in MN diesel is $4/gal. on the street.  I won't be surprised to see $5/gal. or more at the fuel dock. 

Thanks for the info and I'll keep watching for any updates.

Pete, I received the manual yesterday.  I wish I had had it 6 years ago.  I didn't know it existed until this forum was started.  Thanks again.

Ken



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Pete37
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Posted: March 20 2008 at 18:27 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John & All,

Yes, going slower pays big dividends in reducing fuel consumption.  You point out that going from 10 mph to 8.0 mph reduces the fuel consumption by the ratio (1.32/1.81) which is 73% for a 27% fuel cost saving.

  But the flip side of these fuel cost reductions is that the engines run cooler and cooler and at some point they begin to develop tar and carbon particles which rapidly destroy the pistons and cylinders. 

There is myth that if the engines are run for a short burst of speed to bring them up to full operating temperature after a long period of low speed operation all of the tar will be burned off and no damage will be done by operating engines for long periods at low temperatures.  As with most myths, it is partially true.  The tar will be burned off but the damage done by the carbon particles will not disappear.  And the particles will remain in the oil doing damage for long periods afterward.  Frequent oil and filter changes can reduce the damage but do not eliminate it.

How cold can you run a 6V92.  Detroit says not lower than 170 F.  I've found that my engines reach 170 at about 1350 rpm.  I have the fairly accurate VDO engine temperature gauges and I have done some calibration of them but in spite of that I can not be really sure that when the gauge reads 170 the engines are not actually running at 160.  Therefore, I set my minimum cruising rpm slightly higher at 1400 rpm to ward against possible gauge errors. 

I run my boat about 70 hours a year at 14 gph for a total of about 980 gallons per year.  At $4.00 per gallon it's going to cost me $3920.  A 27% savings would be $1,058.  But on the other hand major overhauls cost  a minimum of $20,000 per engine or $40,000 per pair.  Should I risk $40,000 in overhauls to save about $1,000 per year?  So far my answer has been, NO!

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 20 2008 at 18:39


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Fantasy
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Posted: March 20 2008 at 22:57 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Hi Pete,

I hear what you are saying and I guess we have talked about this to death.

I can only relate my own experiences.  My engines run at the recommended temperatures within 10 or 15 minutes of startup, as low as 1250 rpms (I haven't tried lower).  I verify the temps with an infrared gun against the digital display helm gauges.  They run no cooler at 1250 than at 1350.  I have an annual oil analysis done and there is no evidence of contamination or excessive wear.  We'll see if that holds for this year.  I have more than 1750 hrs. on the engines.

My Detroit operators manual says not to idle for long periods and to keep the engines above 1000 rpm if running below cruise speeds.  There is obviously a difference between idling (500-600 rpm) and running at low speed.

Coming north from Florida, I noticed that virtually everyone was running at slow speeds, even the sport fish boats.  It will be interesting to see if Boat Diesel and others start reporting problems from slow running.

I'm not sure why your engines seem to run so cool.  With the thermostats closed, they should be coming up to temperature in a short period of time at anything above idle speed.  Maybe it's a difference in our engines.

I certainly don't recommend that anyone operate their engines below minimum operating temperatures.  I would recommend that you bring your engines up to temperature and then back off and see at what lower rpm they start to run too cool.  Someplace above that would then be your minimum cruise speed.

Obviously, I'm of the opinion that lower speeds and a costly engine rebuild is not an "either or" proposition but sooner or later I recognize that a rebuild will be necessary.  A strong argument can be made that higher rpms are more damaging than low rpms at higher hours.  You can only get so many cumulative revolutions out of the beast.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying the hell out of every revolution I can get.

John



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Pete37
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Posted: March 21 2008 at 00:47 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi John,

I can't testify as to how 671s work since I don't have them.  I can only say what 6V92s do.  And 6V92s (when equipped with accurate temp meters) don't reach 170 F (the minimum recommended operating temperature) until somewhere between 1350 and 1400 rpm.  I found that out by testing them.  Of course if you're working with Teleflex temp gauges you really can't tell what temp you're running at and a lot of early Connies had Teleflex gauges.

I could probably back off to 1350 and still get away with it but I don't think the savings would be worth the risk.  I too recognize that rebuilds will be necessary sooner or later but I'm very much in favor of the later option.

There is a school of thought that says that major overhauls are required every 300 million revolutions.  That's 2500 hours at 2000 rpm.  If that's the case I've reached about about 192 million revs in the first 20 years running 1600 hours at 2000 rpm.  It will take me 108,000,000/(1400 x 60) = 1286 hours to reach 300 million revs.  And at 70 hours per year that will be 18.37 years to reach my 300 million revs for overhaul.  And that's a lot longer than I expect to own the boat.  But of course we all know that they can break down much earlier if abused.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 21 2008 at 00:55


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Delaware Jim
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Posted: March 21 2008 at 10:26 | IP Logged Quote Delaware Jim

Hello all!

On Pete's comments about fuel consumption, he is exactly on target when talking about SPEEDS and LOADING factors that are implicitly built into the Propeller load factor tables.  (I read Dave Gerr's book and discussed personally with him in the past...) I was trying to segregate the engine performance at various RPM versus fuel burn.  The later curve does likely better approximate "real world" experience ASSUMING proper propping, clean gear and bottom and all those related variables. Aslo, the transmission gear ratios play an important part of the prop loading tables... I was focusing on only one variable - engine RPM... and the related fuel burn.  It is the RELATIVE change between RPM levels and fuel burn  that I was trying to illustrate. 

Delaware Jim



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Pete37
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Posted: March 21 2008 at 21:35 | IP Logged Quote Pete37

Hi All,

When reading engine performance curves remember that the "fuel consumption curve" has nothing to do with the fuel burned in a marine application.  Use the "propeller load fuel consumption curve" for estimating fuel consumed by an engine attached to a propeller.  The "propeller load fuel consumption curve" assumes that the propeller has been properly matched to the boat so that it loads the engine to maximum horsepower at maximum rpm.

Most boats come quite close to this condition when they leave the factory and the "propeller load fuel consumption curve" is as close to the real world as you are going to get from an engine curve.  My experience with J&T indicates that their data is very close to what I actually get using fuel burned versus time tests.

But after inexperienced owners have screwed around with the original props this may not be the case.

Engine curves don't tell you anything about speed, props or transmissions.  For that you need to do tests of the boat's performance.

Pete37



Edited by Pete37 on March 21 2008 at 22:08


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Fantasy
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Posted: March 25 2008 at 10:57 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Hi all,

We saw fuel prices lower once we got out of Florida.  Picked up a load near Charleston at $3.47, which is a darn site better than the $4.18 we paid in Ft. Pierce.  We are in Southport, NC for a couple of days and expect to refuel in Swansboro where they tell us diesel is $3.59.

Pete, those Teleflex gauges you mention were really poor.  I swapped mine out late in 2006 and have been happy with these digital displays.  I was concerned that the readings would change too much but they don't.  I also changed the voltmeters (out of the picture) to the same gauge and replaced the momentary toggles with fixed position toggles so they display all of the time.

In this picture we are underway at our new "cruise" speed.  Note that 6-71's have 173* thermostats and their minimum operating temperature is 165*  (I believe 92's have 180* thermostats, but I could be wrong).  The display gauges stay around this level at any speed above idle and below plane and my infrared gun consistently shows the temps about three degrees cooler, which may be because it is measuring engine pipe surface temperature, whereas the gauge senders are actually in the coolant.  In my case, the thermostats should be partially open at this temperature and fully open at 173*.

My apologies if this photo distorts the page margins.

John



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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Ken27
"Deckhand"




Joined: December 12 2006
Posts: 138
Posted: March 25 2008 at 13:23 | IP Logged Quote Ken27

Greetings everyone,

Per John's and Pete's comments on the old Teleflex gauges, both now and much earlier in the forum, I thought I'd share with you what we've done.  We all agree the original temp gauges were basically useless.  In restoring/updating the Good Life, we completely rebuilt both stations.  In the center where the tachs and "idiot lights are, we mounted a Raymarine E-120 display which is a chart plotter, depth, radar, and camera display.  We replaced ALL the gauges with Teleflex Omega series, (read updated and more accurate).  The tachs, which you might agree, aren't observed as much as the temp and oil pressure, were remounted in the cabinet directly above the helm.  I was somewhat concerned about this location, but there was nowhere else to put them and they have worked out fine there.  The six "idiot lights" were somewhat confusing in that they weren't obvious to which system they related.  I mounted the oil pressure, water temp, and trans gauges on either side of the E-120 horizontally and in that order from the center outboard.  Above each respective gauge, I remounted the "idiot light" for that system.  I had custom panels, all with original labeling and accents fabricated for the three sections at the lower helm and the one in the flybridge.  I will try and get some pictures soon and get them posted.  Right now the E-120's are back at Raymarine for a software issue and an upgrade so they will handle the High Definition radar that will be installed as soon as the arch is complete.

Ken



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"The Good Life"
'85 500, Home port Nashville, TN,
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Fantasy
"Navigator"




Joined: November 30 2006
Posts: 324
Posted: March 25 2008 at 13:46 | IP Logged Quote Fantasy

Ken,

That sounds like a great display.  I especially like the idea of mounting the idiot lights next to the gauges.

I'm hoping that someone comes up with an inexpensive conversion kit that allows you to display all of your vital signs on a single computer screen, like the newer yachts have.  I'm envisioning three screens on our helm, with engine gauges in the center and radar to the left and chartplotter to the right.  I'm not sold on the radar/chartplotter overlays yet but maybe it's something I could get used too.

John



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"Fantasy"
460 Chris Craft Constellation
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