Two Mermaid AC units - one 30 amp line!

We just were talking to Mermaid AC support and they said that we will only need one 110 volt line. This is good news! We were thinking these tow AC units would require two separate lines.
Not so and they could even start up at the same time and not b low a breaker.
Things that make life easier are nice, and these will make life more comfortable also!

Now we would like to replace the 120  volt wires in the boat but it is time thing. Could be that will be done in Mexico :).

Mast climbing 4-1 takle

 We got our mast climbing gear out of our storage shed. It was purchased to climb the mast on our Catalina 30. It was used with a Boson’s chair. Works great but it is tiring. I get pooped at the spreaders and that was on a 30 footer. We should have maybe got a 6-1 instead of the 4-1. Rigworks at the time said it would take too long to climb the mast with a 6-1 and you would need even more line. OK now I think I would have paid the price. The guys at Rigworks were in their 20 's at that time,  I was and am in my 60 es. Makes a bit of a difference :)

The gear uses Harkin blocks with a cleat attached to the ratcheting block. It all works well. 
We got line long enough for a 42’ boat. Thought we might go that way at the time. Any way the line is big enough to be easy on your hands.

 So who cares now we have mast steps! All installed and we can just climb up. This gear will be used with the harness for a safety tether. This is a nice setup because you can go up alone and tie off any time with the cleat that is on the block.

 Hook the block to the main halyard and hoist it to the top of the mast. Hook the ratchet block to the harness and there you go.

 The plan is to pull Debbie up to the first mast step using the anchor windlass and this block and tackle. This will get her past the boom and the sail in the stack pack. Why work so hard climbing over the boom and sail?

 While in a Boson’s chair when you get to the top of the mast you can not reach the top because of the gear getting in the way. You do not get high enough. Not that way with the mast steps. We positioned them so you can stand on them and be working on the very top of the mast head no problem.

 This also doubles for a MOB retrieval system when hooked to the boom.
 We have also used it to hoist the dingy up to the for deck using on the Catalina. Works great.

Mast Deck\Steaming Light specs

 Aqua Signal 3106012000

This is the light we purchased from Marine Exchange and put on our mast.

Article number 3106012000 
Description Masthead / foredeck combination 
Type of lamp Special (masthead), BA 9S Halogen (foredeck) 
Housing material Polycarbonate, shock resistant, non-corrosive, non-magnetic, seawater resistant. 
Housing color Black 
Protection degree IP 45 
Approvals USCG, IMO, RINA, MCA, GL, A16, CE 
Light sources included yes 
Ship type sail/power 
Ship size  12 m / 39 ft. 
Electric With 2 wire lead. Bulb is included. 
Voltage 12 V 
Wattage 10 W (masthead), 20 W (foredeck) 
Visibility 2 nm 
Mounting Mast only 
Optics Fresnel, plastic, shock resistant, seawater resistant. 

Force 10 stove cleaning

 We checked out the Force 10 stove FAQ's on this and I ended up calling them.
 What i got from that is below.

Q: What maintenance should be done to maintain performance?
A: The burner orifices should be cleaned once a year to remove carbon deposits and grease

  The answer here is take off the burner tops and use a 7 mm socket to remove the brass fitting. Do not poke it with any metal objects as it will then be scared and produce un-even heat. Use a tooth pick or something if need be. Use rubbing alcohol to soak the fitting in and then a tooth brush to clean it.

Q: How should I clean the Stainless Steel on my Range?
A: Do not use abrasive pads; they will scratch the surface. Use the mildest cleaning procedure that will do an effective job. Always rinse thoroughly with clear water and dry completely. Frequent cleaning will prolong the service life of stainless steel equipment and help maintain the finish. Ordinary deposits of waste and fluids can usually be removed with soap and water. More stubborn deposits or stuck on debris may require harder rubbing or the use of commercial cleaning products acceptable for use on metal surfaces. When using any cleansing agent, the rubbing should be in the direction of the polish lines or "grain" of the metal.

 So this seems that Easy Off on the grill part will be fine.

Stateroom AC\Heat- bilge work

 The stateroom AC\Heat got some work done on it. I We had a little time and wanted to do something that we did not need to tear up the boat to do. This fit the bill. This really would not take all that much time to do but we just do not have all that much time considering all the projects.

To the left with an old hose fitting  in it for sizing up the distance for the strainer install.

  We started with the March pump. It and the strainer should be on an incline towards the AC unit. This is to prevent air locks. Of course like everything else this meant engineering the system. This is a system in itself.

 We left enough room at the top of the March pump for some sound insulation under the floor board hatch if we decide we want some later for noise dampening.

You can imagine wanting to turn on the AC after being in the heat all day and it not working because of an air lock. Then spending time while dripping sweat trying to bleed the system. This prevents that.

 So we first tried mounting the pump by drilling the top hole and screwing in the screw. No deal as the bottom screw is barley visible and the hole cannot be drilled after the fact. No access. So the top hole had to or we decide to fill with the easiest thing at hand 3M 4000 UV so water would not penetrate the rib of the boat in the hole. The marked a hole for the bottom screw and drilled it in. Mounted the bottom and then was able to drill the top hole and get it mounted. There is a110 volt 10/3 wire coming off that we snaked to the hanging locker.

The bronze hose fitting will come out. We use plastic to plastic and bronze to bronze fittings if at all possible.
 The shower sump is the yellow piece, we had to move it.

 We then chose a little lower location for the strainer where we would have access to clean it and drilled the holes for the mounting bracket.

 As a side note this through hull and valve we may decide to try to also use for the anchor wash down pump. And that pump could also be used for a stern wash down. We may not get the stern wash down completed before we leave but we can get it setup for one.

 This means installing a “T” on the through hull valve for later use.
 Now the basic little system is in place and the real plumbing is ready to be installed here.

 We stopped at Marine Exchange and picked up some more plastic fitting (for the plastic pump and strainer fittings) and some ¾ inch water hose for these connections. Now to plumber tape them up and heat gun the hose to fit it all together. 

Riles Marine Radar Mount – Do NOT Buy

 Riles Marine Radar Mount – Do NOT Buy

 It is a long story and I will only go into some of it but the bottom line is f you can and I think you can find a  stainless steel radar mount from another manufacture I would be wise to choose them instead of RileyMarine.
Rigworks recommended we purchase the radar mount from Riley Marine.

 We had our mast sitting on the ground in the boat yard and Rigworks went to install the radar antenna and the radar mount and we found the radar mount did not fit the antenna. Bummer.

These brackets are 3 1/2 inches off

When I ordered the radar mount directly from Riley Marine I specifically said it was for a Garmin 18” HD radar antenna.

 The Radar mount is expensive and with tax and shipping is more so.

Ray from Rigworks tried calling Riley Marine at that time (Thursday afternoon during business hours) but there was no answer. We had to make the decision to send it to Thomas Welding as they were the only welder who could get it done right then or abuts.

Rigworks got the mount back From Thomas Welding and it was installed.

Debbie and I went to the boat yard on Saturday and Sunday working on the mast and Monday the mast went back into the boat.

 The mast cost $100.00 a day lay time (M-F).

Rigworks asked Riley Marine to pay for the fabrication work done by Thomas Welding.

Riley said “because Ray at Rigworks did not leave a message they could not react to the problem and that Thomas Marine charged too much”.

Rile covered only part of the repair cost.

To us, the customer this is not right. The mount did not fit! We ordered one exactly for our radar. Riley screwed up. It was costing us $100.00 a day to wait for Riley and we could not see paying that. Riley is in L.A and we are in San Diego so no matter how you figure it was not going to be a same day deal.
Riey was not easy to deal with and made lots of excuses and the hole thing was a lot of drama to get them to pay what they did. Not a good experience for a simple mount that has now coast use over $550.00!

 Riley has bad customer service. They had the chance to just make it right and did not. They haggled and complained and had a chance to be a top notch supplier but fell flat.
 So we give Riley Marine a Do-NOT-Buy because of their poor customer service.

 They shipped the wrong radar mount and would not make it right. Riley Marine turned purchasing an expensive radar mount from a good experience into a bad experience.

New + stern anchor windlass cable ordered

We just ordered our new 12’ 2 gauge red cable for the stern anchor windlass from This will replace the old automotive one.

Old cable

5/16 on one end and ¼ on the other.
Next is the black ground but  it is longer and needs measuring.

In hull transducer

  We will also want an in hull (drill no holes) transducer for depth.

Plastic In-hull Mount Transducer with Depth - Airmar P72 

Debbie went up the mast!

Our goal was to climb up the mast to the first few mast steps that were left open. About ¾ the way to the spreaders. 

Spinlock Mast Pro Harness
 The Spinlock Mast Pro Harness is compact and easy to store. Not like a comfortable Bosnian chair. A good  Bosnian  Chair is bulky and we do not have all that much space. Of course if we chose to use a Bosnian Chair we would find the space. The Spinlock Mast Pro Harness can be used as a Bosnian Chair also and has attachment points for tools etc. So if Debbie needed to swing out onto the far end of a spreader this Spinlock Mast Pro Harness would work great for that also.

Debbie the hand model :)

First Debbie took the Spinlock Mast Pro Harness and adjusted it to fit here. This may need more tweaking for the next time but worked fine for this run up the mast. She said it felt really comfortable but could be adjusted further.

Debbie the Spinlock Mast Pro Harness model :) Yeeeep

  1. We wanted to test our new Spinlock Mast Pro Harness as it is being used by us as a safety harness.
  2. We also wanted to test the general setup and use of the mast steps. There are other items not in play here yet so we did not want to make this a full blown mast climb. One is we were home from work meaning it will not stay light out all that long.
    •  Our halyard is in not-so-good of shape. It is old and too short. It also has a splice for the shackle that is coming apart. This ties to the harness as a safety line for now. We are about to order a new main halyard.
    • We do not have our mast climbing block and tackle on the boat. We purchased this from Rigworks years ago to climb the mast on our Catalina. This we can use with the capstain on our anchor windlass to pull one of us up the mast to at least the first mast step when the sail's on. The sails are not on nor the stack pack so getting to the first step is easy now.

We then took the main halyard and tied a bowline knot in it around the loop in the Spinlock Mast Pro Harness.

We then did a test sit down with Debbie in the Spinlock Mast Pro Harness so she could get a feel for the harness and the halyard holding her. Just in case anything happened she would have a clue what it was going to feel like.

No fear here!

And she is still smiling!

Debbie then stepped on the starboard mast winch as I pulled up all the slack out of the main halyard. She then pulled open the first port mast step and stepped on it pulling herself up. I took the slack out of the halyard. Then she opened the first starboard mast step and stepped on it and then up the mast as I kept pulling the slack from the main halyard. The main halyard and Spinlock Mast Pro Harness gave Debbie the safety net in case she slipped off the steps or some other bad thing happened.

Our next test will be using the 4-1 block and tackle setup we have for climbing the mast along with the main halyard and using the rope captaion on the windlass to pull Debbie up to the first mast step.

So this test was a success.

Dingy cover

After replacing the boom we freed up the big piece of Sunbrella we had. The boom was wrapped in it to protect the boom while the mast was out of the boat. It was originally used for a tent over the cockpit before we had a dodger\bimini.
 Debbie re-purposed the Sunbrella for a temporary dingy cover by using some bungee chord and imagination.. 

Specking out Auto Pilot

 Brad at Shelter Island Marine Electronics came by the boat and climbed into the lazerett to check out our steering system.

 So far what we have found out from Brad at Shelter Island Marine Electronics is that the Garmin auto pilot should not limit our steering at all. There are some steps to take that can make the install easier and also we will not lose any rudder motion.
Also while talking to Garmin support they said the auto pilot comes with the basic NMEA 2000 network so we would not necessarily need to NMEA starter kit.

Garmin GHP12 SailPilot Core Pack

Garmin Class A Autopilot Drive Unit (SailPilot)

Machine Shop to modify Tiller Pin to fit

Garmin NMEA2000 Starter Kit??

Solar hot water!

It is February 22-2012 still in the deep of winter. 
 The Sun had been shining all day and the refer is running off shore power. There is not much if anything running off the batteries. That means the batteries are on float and fully charged. That means the dump load (water heater) is getting its full amount of AMPs.

  Still if the refer were to be running off the batteries and we were using a water maker off the batteries (inverter) and instruments were running we still would have this kind of hot water. Plus we will not run a water maker every day.

We have 485 watts of solar power in four panels.
Our Blue Sky controller actually amplifies these AMPs
In Mexico the sun will be even hotter. The sun will be out even more.

 So we got home (to the boat) and I decided to do the left over dishes (shame on me for leaving them) and fired up the hot water. Man it is hot. Too hot to touch. As the time passes and the days turn longer we are seeing how great this system is.  
  • At anchor we will not need to fire up the diesel engine for hot water!
  • No need to start the Honda 2000 generator for hot water.
  • No need to bring in say the sun shower to dump hot water into the sink.
  • No need to heat it on the stove.
  • No using any fuel or making any noise and the power making the water hot would just go to waste if it were not making the water hot. Got to love it.

Just turn on the tap and bingo, there is hot water!!

Fuel tank gauge - installed

San Diego 2012
 Our fuel gauge has been working fine now.
We looked all over for a spot to mount this gauge but came up empty. The nav station was not a good choice as we have other items needing mounting there and this is a gauge we do not need to look at that often. Just putting it into a plywood panel like behind the nav station would not work because  the back would have to be covered. The solution became installing it stand alone where it could be mounted and moved if need be. We mounted it in a teak box and placed it on top of the charger inverter. Debbie plans on gluing Velcro onto the charger\inverter and the bottom of the fuel gauge box. This way if need be we can just move it out of the way. This may also be a method to install a couple LED AMP meters for the solar panel and wind generator.
 It has a light and on\off switch as we do not need it on all the time.
Interesting picture at night.

Shelter Island Electronics coming by the boat

We are having Shelter Island Electronics come by the boat today to see if our autopilot choice is a valid one before plunking down the big bucks for an under deck autopilot. We may even have them do some of the install after we do the grunt work.
GHP 12 Autopilot System
Class A Drive Unit for GHP 12

Shelter Island Marine Electronics
2330 Shelter Island Dr. #101
San Diego, CA   92106
Ph (619) 223-2182
Fx (619) 221-0910

Stern anchor windlass wiring

We are about ready to order our new stern anchor windlass cables. We are first getting the power (red) cable. This requires deciding on keeping this breaker below and fusing etc.

This picture is of a 2 gauge cable and a copper or bronze maybe strip and then a 40 AMP breaker and then a #10 wire and it goes to a buss which connects an old stern anchor windlass. We have purchased a spare windlass of the same kind and are replacing the old automotive 2 gauge cable with a new marine one. The other wires will be replaced also. This breaker is hard to get at berried under the cockpit deck.

This 2 gauge cable will be ordered 12' long with a 5/16 on one end and a ?? on the other.

After doing some research:
 The flat piece of metal is technically referred to as a "Bozocator", it confirms the presence of a Bozo during system design and installation. Probably kludged into place to prevent the larger cable lug from shorting out against the breaker's body, not a very elegant way to do it.

We will get rid of this little breaker and order our new cable. Then measure the full load and install a breaker by the nave station for the cable and windlass that will allow a bit of overload for the windlass. Also a fuse to protect the cable. 

We will get a clamp-on DC ammeter and measure the full load from the winch, then pick wiring and breakers that are proper for it. Breakers all allow a certain amoung of overload for a certain time, so we will select one that trips out before the winch can overload and overheat internally. 

The boom was put back onto the mast.

San Diego February 2018
We put the pin in the boom where it holds the boom onto the mast and added the new cotter pin.  
Then I switched places with Debbie and (she was holding up the boom) and I held the boom while she attached our new topping lift to the boom.

 Debbie then re-attached the boom big blocks and the traveler to the boom. I cleaned up the boom with some compound and the boat was looking like a sail boat again. 
 Now to polish up the boom for the new sails!

Our mast head sheaves

 Our sheaves were plastic and for line but for one and it was steel and for the SS wire jib halyard and or line. You can run line on the jib sheave itf it is not sacred up. Then you could remove it and clean up any scaring and replace it then run the line. We got lucky and found a replacement sheave at Sailing Supply in San Diego and it was their last one. They need to be the same width and the center hole need to fit the pin good.
Our jib steal sheave was in good shape so we left it there as the rigger (Ray at Rigworks) said it would work just fine with line. We will get a new line jib and main halyard soon for
We replaced the plastic main Hayward with a steel one. We also removed all the sheaves and cleaned the head and etc etc.

New 120 volt wiring from dock to nav station

 It would be nice to be talking about sailing and napping but it is re-fitting time and the sailing time will come.

  We installed one of our two new 30 amp shore power outlets and ran a 120 volt 10/3 wire from the outlet to the nav station. 

 Lets start at the 30 shore power inlet. We really needed to do this project as our inlet was badly worn and had smoked once before. It is a scary thought to have a fire destroy the boat.

 As they say it was an anticipated motor out of the slip and I was really wanting to leave the slip. Debbie was at the helm and we had disconnected the shore power and the starboard stern line. I went over our usual procedure of letting go lines so we would be on the same page. We do this each time so we know what each other is doing. As we were inching out we heard the strain and the snaaaap of something! Ok forgot the cable TV cable. Nothing to do now but keep going. I went to the stern and pulled into the boat.
 We went to the boat yard and got our mast.
We made a new check list of items to run through before leaving the dock!

Returned to our slip and plugged in shore power. Now we wanted to go out for dinner I think it was and were tired. Oh wait, as I sniffed around. Smells like smoke. As we search around we found it to be the shore power connection to the 30 amp shore power inlet in the lazerette. That’s a wakeup call. The TV cable had put strain on the 110 volt wiring as it was wire tied to it (not a good idea by the way).  The wire connection on the back of the inlet was old and corroded some, it was now bad and at time hissing and smoking. We cut it and put a new terminal end on it and tested it out to be safe.
This 110 volt wiring was on the list to get replaced.

 We bumped up the project.

Epoxyed a tab to the side for a wire tie where my hand is.

Will add some more wire tires and chafe protection.

Same orientation as last one and it covers the old screw holes nicely. The previous one was square.

 The new 30 amp shore power inlet is nice as it is all white plastic and the lid stays open. It snaps close and is easy to open. It is quiet and does not bang on the wrist like the old one. It is new and modern and nice.
The back has a protective cover and a strain relief clamp so the same thing may not have happened.
The hole was not quite the same size. The hole was a bit smaller. Having no electricity as I removed the old inlet one and having an electric corded drill the rasp was the tool of choice. The hole was not that much smaller and with some rasping the new one fit in nicely. There is a bar on the new one to keep it from spinning I think. We used a small hack saw to cut a notch into the coming in the hole to accommodate it. Now there was the usual cleanup of the coming and the filling of the old holes. We just put in some 3M 4000 UV to keep the water out.

We later fastened the wires to the bulkhead and in behind the nav station so they do not move.

Along the way we re-installed the Galvanic Isolator. During this process I had a mental lapse and cut all three strands of wire. I only wanted to cut the green ground wire! This upset me and I did not want to proceed. I wanted to say take my tools and go home. Problem is I was home and it was not the end of the, well you know. This project of the day needed to be finished so we could have 120 volt power.

The wiring to the nav station was not easy. The small #10 screws in barley see-able places and not so easy to get at spots was difficult. Dropping them into the nav station from the top of the lazerette was common.

 So the 120 volt power is done to the nav station.

Old power chord

 We also purchased a 30 amp 50' replacement power chord from West Marine (on sale) and the power is now clean from the dock to the nav panel breaker.

New white power chord with LED

 Now to fix up a couple more 120 volt wires and we can start on the 30 amp breaker install.