Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
14 July 2017 | st marys, ga
04 July 2017 | st marys, ga
02 July 2017 | st marys, ga
25 June 2017 | st marys, ga
19 June 2017 | st marys, ga
10 June 2017 | st marys, ga
08 June 2017 | st marys, ga
06 June 2017 | st marys, ga
03 June 2017 | st marys, ga
30 May 2017 | st marys, ga
27 May 2017 | st marys, ga
25 May 2017 | st marys, ga
17 May 2017 | st marys, ga
15 May 2017 | st marys, ga
15 May 2017 | st marys, ga
13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
07 May 2017 | St. Marys, GA
07 May 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Recent Blog Posts
14 July 2017 | st marys, ga

Sail Away

Work has to be done early in the morning when it is around eighty degrees, then later it quickly jumps up. At 11 it’s 96. At noon it breaks 100 and at 1 104. This is a heat wave within the summer weather pattern that will normally hit the mid 90‘s with thunderstorms in the afternoon, oddly in [...]

04 July 2017 | st marys, ga

4th Celeb ration

The boatyard is still without internet, ever since a lightning storm that took out other things and left half the boatyard dark. It looks like the Comcast router’s ports are fried.

02 July 2017 | st marys, ga

Rocky's 55th

Imagine my chagrin when the Yamaha outboard manual finally came in - a 2 cycle engine manual instead of 4 cycle. I double checked and the seller did list it as a 4 cycle manual, so he either sent the wrong DVD or incorrectly listed it on eBay. I requested a refund, but maybe he does have the correct [...]

25 June 2017 | st marys, ga

Brown Farm

The America’s Cup racing began with a four race trouncing of Oracle by Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwi’s lead at every mark and were able to sail less than perfectly and still win 4-zip. The speed differential between the boats was more marked than the Kiwi’s advantage over the Swede’s. [...]

19 June 2017 | st marys, ga

Pure Sine Wave

I missed out on the final race of the Louis Vuitton competition and it was the Kiwi’s who seemed to have come up with the boat speed to finish off the Swede’s who had looked so fast. The Swede’s had been the only team to dominate Oracle in the round robin series. The talk is that Iain Percy will [...]

10 June 2017 | st marys, ga

Carb Die It

The big day of Louis Vuitton racing arrived with both pairs of semifinal competitors at 3-1 and three races scheduled for each pair. It was possible for both semifinal races to be decided today.

Sail Away

14 July 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/100 degrees F.
Work has to be done early in the morning when it is around eighty degrees, then later it quickly jumps up. At 11 it’s 96. At noon it breaks 100 and at 1 104. This is a heat wave within the summer weather pattern that will normally hit the mid 90‘s with thunderstorms in the afternoon, oddly in the heat wave the thunderstorms are few. It is high pressure weather with clear skies, blazing sun, and almost no breeze to cool things off.
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One item that needed to be addressed was the mainsail. The battens were either missing or splintered. The batten pockets were chafed through where the round rod battens came in contact with the shrouds or running backstays. The sailcloth would be pinched between the batten and shroud and the chafe would be in a single line along the batten. In some places this line would be chafed right through, as clean a cut as scissors. Where I had glued on seat belt material to protect against the chafe, the glue would sometimes glue the batten pocket closed.
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I wanted to change from round rod battens to flat battens, which would help with the chafe problem, but although the batten cars at the mast and the battens straps at the leach of the sail could accommodate flat battens, the batten pockets that had been glued wouldn’t allow flat battens to pass through.
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The rigger at the boatyard gave me a reference to a sailmaker who had fixed his batten problem at a reasonable cost, so I called the sailmaker and made arrangements to bring the mainsail. I took the sail off the boom and folded it. It was a large bundle. In the Miata it took up so much room that I would not be able to drive. A couple who had a boat in the yard were going to the sailmaker to pick up their jib sail, so I offered to chip in for the ride and bring my sail along. The trip was about an hour and the sailmaker, Wind Dancer Sails, made a very reasonable estimate for all the work that had to be done. I let him know that I would be away in Hawaii and back in about a month, so there was no rush to do the job.
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The photo is of thunderstorm clouds West of St. Marys along route I-95.

4th Celeb ration

04 July 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/100 degrees F.
The boatyard is still without internet, ever since a lightning storm that took out other things and left half the boatyard dark. It looks like the Comcast router’s ports are fried.
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The hot weather, heat index of 123 today, means working in the shade. Too hot on deck and too hot down below in the hulls, looking for small projects that can be done under the crossdeck in the shade.
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The recent America’s Cup racing has everyone talking about foils, just like last time. I googled L’hydroptere, the French foiling trimaran that set a few ocean sailing records. I was surprised to find out it had been abandoned after a record attempt transpacific to Hawaii. Not abandoned at sea, abandoned in Honolulu, out of funds to pay dockage and port fees. It is also surprising that the boat is over 20 years old.
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Instead of the complicated L, J, or inverted T shaped foils that we’re seeing on other sailing craft, L’hydroptere was using simple slanted boards that are on about a 45 degree angle to the water. This arrangement had opposing foils, so the thrust of the port foil, for instance, would be towards the middle of the boat and upward, while the starboard foil would be thrusting from the opposite direction, but also upwards. The port and starboard components of the foils’ lift would cancel out, leaving the upward components of the force raising the boat out of the water.
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The downside of this arrangement is lift that is wasted, only part of the lift of the foil is actually lifting the boat. And since lift always has an amount of drag associated with it, the drag of the two foils is much greater proportionally than the drag of the type of foils used on the America’s Cup boats. Also the angled foils are generating lift all along the length of the foil, and the section near the surface of the water is susceptible to ventilation, what some call cavitation, when the low pressure surface of the foil sucks air down and then the foil suddenly loses lift, it is no longer using water pressure, it is partially covered in air.
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In the old days of windsurfing a racing technique for working to windward with a course racing board was to tip the board slightly to leeward so that the lee rail was in the water. This surface of the rail would help develop some leeway prevention. This tipping of the board also tipped the fin at the back enough that it would generate a bit of vertical lift. At high speeds the board would go faster and faster as more of the board was lifted out of the water, reducing drag. When the amount of lift generated grew to a high level, the fin would ventilate, and the feeling was that the fin had broken off. The first time it happened to me I dropped into the water as the board washed out to leeward. I was sure the fin was gone, but when I checked, there it was. I learned after that to pull the tail of the board under me when it slipped out, then steer a bit downwind taking the pressure off the fin. The flow of water would reattach to the fin and I could add more pressure.
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I haven’t yet made the rudder/daggerboard blades for the BFB proa. Now I’m thinking, what if I added a bit of angle to them. The proa is light and meant to sail fast. Perhaps it could generate some lift and go a bit faster.
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The image is of July 4th heat in the town of St. Marys, heat index of 119. A large turn out of folks braved the heat waiting for the massive fireworks display later. We can see them from the boatyard, so that is where we will be. Rocky, boatyard owner, manager, and chief crane operator was digging a ditch to bury new electrical cable. They were not in the shade doing this backbreaking work. They did take a break for a soda.

Rocky's 55th

02 July 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/100 degrees F.
Imagine my chagrin when the Yamaha outboard manual finally came in - a 2 cycle engine manual instead of 4 cycle. I double checked and the seller did list it as a 4 cycle manual, so he either sent the wrong DVD or incorrectly listed it on eBay. I requested a refund, but maybe he does have the correct manual and can send that one.
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The America’s Cup racing wound up with another Kiwi win, but this time Spithill had a clean start and lead at the first mark. Both boats sailed very well, but it was obvious that the Kiwi’s have a faster boat, maybe a half knot faster.
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The joke was that the engine manual hadn’t come in because I wasn’t done with the engine yet. I decided to make a DIY choke linkage. I used a strand from 1X19 rigging wire and made a small hook at one end and pounded the hook flat so that it would fit the button on the choke linkage. Then I bent the wire and terminated the other end by wrapping it around a screw driver shaft, making a loop. The slug of the choke solenoid has a tiny threaded stud coming out of it and had a coiled spring threaded onto the stud. The other end of the spring had an eye with its own little stud threaded into the spring. The eye would not fit the choke linkage button, so I removed the spring off the stud on the slug and used a 4mm nut and small 4mm fender washer to attach my DIY piece of wire to the solenoid’s slug. When the solenoid was attached to the carburettor assembly I tested it with 12 volts and the solenoid choked the carbs. When I removed the 12 volts the choke remained closed, but by cycling the throttle to wide open, the choke was released. Now I had a choke mechanism halfway between Yamaha and Farmer Brown. It wasn’t a mechanical choke, but an electric choke that could be activated with a remote switch.
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The next day I began wiring the choke solenoid into the engine wiring. +12 volts was taken from the direct battery feed to the starter solenoid and tilt solenoid and connected to the choke solenoid. The other lead was run out of the engine through a rubber seal, cable tied to one of the throttle mechanical controls that ran up to the remote control unit. Here it will be connected to a switch which will get negative ground from the ground buss near the mast. This buss bar provides a ground point for all the mast wiring and electric devices on the centerline of the boat, like the ship’s horn, windlass control, nav lights, etc.
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At this point more work has to be done to rewire the old wiring that used to be switched at the on deck helm station. The panel of switches mounted there did not last very long in the salt air of the ocean. On Chesapeake Bay the water is less salty and corrosion is a lot less. The new switches will be mounted in the pilothouse. The choke switch however will be mounted right next to the engine remote control.
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We are in the summer weather pattern which starts the day in the 70 degree range, then quickly builds up into the 80‘s by midday. Today’s heat index when it was 84 fahrenheit was 104. This is due to lots of moisture from the daily thunderstorms. One thunderstorm of the pop-up variety built up just to the southwest. We could see it forming and expanding over us, bringing lightning and rain. It did not clear out, it stood over us stationary. There was no other storm except this one, our own personal thunderstorm.
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There was so much storm activity that there was little direct sunlight and Kaimu’s new solar installation was starved for power. Eventually I had to shut off the inverter and let the batteries recharge with no load.
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An exceptionally active lightning storm hit us and there were several direct hits in the boatyard, knocking out the power in half the boatyard, and frying the internet gear. This makes everything that much harder, tracking orders, researching parts and supplies. The smart phone was a poor substitute for the computer.
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With the engine complete needing only to be started, oil changed, idle set, and cooling water flow verified, I began working on the nav lights. Surprisingly they still worked but needed cleaning and plastic lenses rebedded with hot melt glue. I had made new brackets out of epoxy and fiberglass, mounted the lights on them, and began mounting them on the hulls. The original Aqua Signal incandescent lights were mounted on the hulls, then later I mounted LED lights on the old solar panel mounts, now they go back to the original locations. The wiring runs were rerun to the new locations from the pilothouse instead of the on deck steering station.
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The Fourth of July weekend started with 103 degrees in the shade. The message from Kristian and Bill, who had set out for Boston about a week ago, was that they were in Georgetown, SC with Kristian heading into hospital with a staph infection and Bill heading to Morocco to help his son deliver a boat to Norway.
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With a heat index of 122 most of those remaining in the boatyard went to the local Longhorn Steakhouse to celebrate Rocky Smith’s 55th birthday along with Rocky’s many friends. The photo is of a compass rose made by a local artist and signed by everyone for Rocky. More photos can be found in an album on flickr at:
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/8728395@N03/albums/72157685777197785

Brown Farm

25 June 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/100 degrees F.
The America’s Cup racing began with a four race trouncing of Oracle by Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwi’s lead at every mark and were able to sail less than perfectly and still win 4-zip. The speed differential between the boats was more marked than the Kiwi’s advantage over the Swede’s. The snide remarks on the Sailing Anarchy forum included observations that the Swede’s would have also walked over Oracle, and even one that said the Japanese could have beaten them. It looks like Spithill and Barker, the helmsmen who battled in America’s Cup 34 will be the losers this time. Barker is already out. Spithill looks like a dead man walking.
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I think I have all the carburettor parts on hand to get the electric choke operational again, but I need the shop manual to help me put it together correctly. It is a very complicated mechanism.
The manual will come in on CD, but if I could have downloaded it, I would have had it a week and a half ago.
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The solar charge monitor replacement arrived from Seattle and it seemed like I ordered it just yesterday. I was easily installed with only a screwdriver and said “5.6 A” into the new batteries at 12.8 volts, this before noon after an overcast day running the fridge, fans, and lights. The dead monitor it replaced did not show any obvious toasted components inside.
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I continued with work on the engine, getting my advice from the internet, including you tube videos. One video showed a part that I had never guessed its use, it was a stainless rod with threaded ends that twisted away at 90 degrees and opposite from each other. It turned out that this is called a “turning guide”. On the outboard in the you tube video, which wasn’t even a Yamaha, the stainless rod was attached to the front of the engine and the other end to a fitting on the end of the horizontal pivot of the engine. Thus, when the engine tilts forward and up, the stainless rod is pivoting along with the engine, keeping the engine pointed straight ahead. I did not have the Yamaha attachment to the horizontal pivot, so I made a DIY turning guide out of a very long 1/2“ bolt and a piece of scrap aluminum pipe. The bolt passes through the horizontal pivot where it attaches to the aluminum scrap. The aluminum pipe was flattened at one end, radiused and drilled for the bolt, then flattened about 2 3/4 inches from the bolt hole and bent there at about 90 degrees. The remainder of the pipe was cut off just past the attachment point on the front of the engine and flattened to mate flush with the attachment point and drilled for a bolt to attach it. When it was put together the engine stayed pointed in a straight line. The previous arrangement used dynema loops to eye bolts on either side of the engine and on the attachment point. When the engine was down the loops were tight and maintained the straight ahead position. When the engine was tilted up, it would flop over to one side because the loops were now loose.
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To get a compression check I tried to turn over the engine with the spark plugs removed. It did not turn over. Troubleshooting the starter and starter solenoid with a clip lead and multimeter showed voltage at the +12 terminal on the solenoid, but no solenoid action when the key was turned. Either the solenoid was bad or its wiring. The testing with a clip lead to jumper 12 volts to the positive actuating terminal on the solenoid did nothing. I did some testing with the meter and found the positive actuating lead was open. Also the clip lead was open! I carefully removed the bad alligator clip from the clip lead, cleaned it, and recrimped it. The actuating lead did not fare so well and I had to go out to the auto parts store for wire and crimp terminals. A new lead was made up and everything reassembled. The solenoid now clicked when +12 was jumpered to the actuating lead.
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The key still didn’t actuate the starter. The remote control was disassembled again and the meter said there was no continuity through the neutral microswitch. This switch prevents starting the engine unless it is in neutral. Further disassembly revealed the microswitch was cracked and there was a missing part. The shift lever could not trip the microswitch without the missing little black button that must have fallen out when the switch cracked when I had the remote apart to replace the tilt switch. I looked around and found the part, replaced it in the switch, then taped the switch back together with scotch tape, reassembled the remote, and was able to turn the engine over.
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The compression readings were low, about 120 psi per cylinder, but the engine had been sitting for a year and a half, so the cylinders were dry. I expect to get higher compression when oil is circulating in the engine.
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A quick look back at last year’s blog entries around this time of year and one posting has temperatures over 100 degrees and heat index into the 100 teens. I had left Georgia at the end of June to go up to the Chesapeake where it was cooler. My plan this year is to stick around a bit more. It has been hot, but not as hot as last year. July will probably make up for it.
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At the end of the week, the service manual still hadn’t come in, only coming from Mississippi and now a couple days late, but approaching 2 weeks from when I ordered it, way too long. I need it to find out how to attach the choke solenoid to the choke linkage. I can always make up something that will work.
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The second weekend of the America’s Cup had a bad race by Spithill, incurring two penalties and losing. The second race of the weekend was very close and Spithill got his first victory from the Kiwi’s. The next day was two losses by Spithill. The first race, which was bad, was better than the second. In the first race he mistimed the start and backed off to make sure he didn’t go over early, while the Kiwi’s hit the line perfectly and just kept going, continuing to build their lead all around the course. The second race, the last of the weekend, began with a botched start by Spithill. It looked as though he was baiting the Kiwi’s to come and hook him, which they did. At the moment that he should have been doing his counter move, Oracle was almost dead in the water. As far as the race went, it was dead in the water. He also incurred a boundary penalty, but he was so far behind it didn’t matter. This leaves the Kiwi’s one win away from the cup, and unlike last time, when Spithill and Oracle came back to win 8 straight, it doesn’t look very likely. He has won only one start and has been humiliated by young Peter Burling and the Kiwi’s.
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Work was possible in the heat, but not up on deck, down in the shade. I spent some time looking at the carburettor assembly and the choke solenoid. I had found pictures of an engine like mine on a site called, I believe, Yamaha Outboards. net. I also found I had a user name there and my generic password got me logged in so I could look at the posted pictures. It was the same linkage as mine, but the choke linkage was obviously monkeyed with, and the Norwegian commentary indicated the engine was very badly misadjusted. The poster had accurately described his choke’s operation, which should have been normal, but he could only get the engine to idle by forcing the chokes closed. Unfortunately the photo that showed the choke linkage in detail showed a really cobbed up work around to keep the choke closed all the time. Not good.
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I looked for images of Yamaha choke solenoids online and saw that I indeed had one, but how did it connect to the linkage? The joke in the boatyard is that when I say that my engine manual hasn’t shown up yet, they say, well, you haven’t finished the engine yet.
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What is peculiar about this choke solenoid and linkage is that the solenoid is pointing at the carburetor plate, not at the linkage. The linkage is hiding off to the side, along with the throttle linkage. From my experience with solenoids in many other applications, it is good practice to not have the solenoid actuating off center. If off center, the iron core starts to wear on the armature body, and soon the solenoid sticks and is no good. However, this is how Yamaha has apparently engineered this linkage. There are several different images online that show perhaps an evolution to cure a sticky solenoid problem. The solenoid has a bracket on it that aligns the plunger and linkage in a straight line, but the linkage bends off to the side afterwards, so it will rub on the bracket. Very poor.
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Another problem with the whole set up is that the Japanese want to solve all your problems for you, just turn the key and everything will be taken care of. This is more easily accomplished with fuel injection, also cheaper, simpler, and more fuel efficient. Most gasoline engines run at less than full throttle, so the throttle plate is always restricting the air flow through the carburettors and engine. Fuel injection does not require restriction to introduce fuel into the air flow, so it saves a bit of power at lower speeds. To get a carburetted engine to do everything without thought or additional settings by the operator, the carburettors have to accommodate an engine that’s cold or hot, running under various loads, and sometimes responding to sudden demands by the operator. If you need to start a cold engine, then you need to choke the carburettors, if the engine’s hot it probably will flood if the choke is activated. A sudden jab at the accelerator will also cause the engine to stall unless a device such as an accelerator pump can add the needed fuel to the suddenly increased air volume, conversely, if the engine is suddenly shut down from high speed, the intake vacuum will increase and draw liquid fuel right from the carburettor jets, so another device is used, a pneumatic diaphragm that cushions the throttle from closing too quickly. It’s no wonder that the carburettor linkage for 4 carburettors with automatic function is so complicated. In the old days Farmer Brown used the manual choke knob to start his tractor and then didn’t use it the rest of the day as he plowed his fields. He was cautious not to tromp on the gas pedal or shut down the throttle too quickly. The same with the family cars of long ago.
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The convenience of an automatic choke was usually accomplished with bimetal thermal spring that would open the choke as the engine warmed up and of course closed it again when the engine cooled off. A lot of the complexity of modern engines is due to emissions requirements that required automatic control that is more accurate. This is easily accomplished with fuel injection and the sensors that monitor exhaust gases, air flow, and throttle settings.
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If I can’t get the electric choke to work, even if I wire it to a pushbutton, I will install another manual choke. I’ll Farmer Brown the Japanese engine. The image is from saatchiart.com called “The Farmer and the Elements” by Cobus Bosman of the Netherlands. It is up for sale with several other nice works by him.

Pure Sine Wave

19 June 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/100 degrees F.
I missed out on the final race of the Louis Vuitton competition and it was the Kiwi’s who seemed to have come up with the boat speed to finish off the Swede’s who had looked so fast. The Swede’s had been the only team to dominate Oracle in the round robin series. The talk is that Iain Percy will find a new job as tactician with Ben Ainslie’s next challenge. That would be formidable.
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The carburetor work continued with an attempt at getting the complicated linkage sorted out. There is still a fuel input spigot to repair on carburetor #2 or #3, plus the choke arm on #3 needs to be firmly attached to its chewed up choke butterfly shaft, probably by bedding it with epoxy thickened with glass fibers.
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The tilt solenoid was replaced but the tilt function was still not operative. I confirmed the motor turned a bit when connected to the battery directly, but then it would not do anything more. The solenoid clicks when activated by jumper clip to voltage available in the motor, but the switches on the remote and motor chassis don’t activate the trim/tilt. They feel funny, like they are corroded inside, so removing the tilt switch from the chassis and ohming it shows that there is no internal continuity, probably the sea has found another victim. The switch on the remote control is more difficult to remove and test, plus there is a lot of wire between it and the motor. It might be still good, but I ordered a replacement for both switches and both came at a price of about $30.
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Further troubleshooting of the tilt mechanism means manually hoisting the engine up into its trailing mode. I have to verify I am doing the right things to get it up, it is possible to break more than I fix. My service manuals for the engine are probably dissolved in seawater, so I ordered a pdf manual on CD for about $15. These nickel and dime expenditures will add up to some money, but a new engine is around $6000.
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Work has to be organized around the rain schedule. It is that time of year with humid weather and daily thunderstorms. If I uncover my work tables, the thunderstorms will strike. If I sit around doing other things, the work will sit there and I will start to feel guilty, then uncovering my work tables.
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There is a fellow on the Wharram builders web site putting his boat up for sale following his house burning down. The boat is not totally complete, but he has new sails that have never been exposed to the sun, and most of the boat is unaffected by the house fire. He needs to sell it and now there is an opportunity for a builder to get a nearly complete project for a bargain from someone who will be glad to get some cash to start over.
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I have often written that building your own boat from scratch is probably the worst way to get a boat. It is economically unfeasible, and the sweat equity these days will not return anything, and a professionally built boat from a manufacturer will be well built and when these boats come on the market after 10-15 years if use, the price these days is very attractive. Many people turn their noses up on the Wharram wooden catamarans, so the resale value is low. We who sail Wharrams know they are very good boats, not marina queens, but good solid boats when built to plan. You have to know what you will be happy with and then make your choice.
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There were a couple of smaller monohulls available both in this area (Northern Florida and Southern Georgia) and on Chesapeake Bay, for about $25k that were obviously well maintained and suitable for coastal cruising, or maybe even more. Captain Radio Bill sends us his positions every day and sometimes includes a short message. He is up Northeast of Bermuda on about the same latitude as New York, going North to get more wind. He reports a proud 24 hour mark of 107 miles. For his little overladen Triton, that is good going.
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My friend Kristian who is about to launch his traditional ketch, has French apprehensions about his prospects. I said to him it will all be resolved once he is at sea. I am probably the opposite and don’t have as many apprehensions, and I think that gives me more energy to get into more trouble. He will probably not get into trouble, except worrying.
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Returning to the tilt system I looked online and eventually found someone who was working on my model, the T50TLRX. I found out that there was no bleed screw, which I had been looking for, and the one fact that had escaped me, to add hydraulic fluid to the pump reservoir while it is pumping the motor into the raised position. The electrical control of the pump was sorted out, except for the switches on the remote control and motor housing, by going around with a meter and confirming voltage and current from the battery to the start solenoid, where it is passed on the the tilt solenoid. Likewise, the ground path is just as important, so suspicious looking connections were wire brushed. The hydraulic procedure would seem to add enough fluid while the motor was rising, but the fluid foams inside the system and it needs to rest for a while, then continue, it will take more fluid.
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The AGM batteries came in, finally, after about 2 weeks of transit by truck from Nevada. They weigh about 65 lbs. each, so it was a chore to hoist them up on deck and get them down into the galley/dinette where they were installed under the dinette seats. When I connected the solar charge controller and its monitor, I went by the book. I disconnected the solar panels, then moved the charge cables from the temporary battery to the new battery bank. At this point the monitor read the battery voltage - 13 volts. Then the solar panels were connected and strangely, the voltage went up to 30 volts and after that the monitor was reading the same on volts or amps, and the reading was way above the actual charge voltage. I disconnected the monitor from the charge controller and reconnected everything. Now the charge controller was working normally and the batteries were brought up to the high 13 volt range. Voltage readings taken before, during, and after, showed that the charge controller had been operating normally all along, but the monitor had bit the dust. A new monitor was ordered for about $25, it is model SM25000 made by Sunsei, and it mates perfectly with the CC25000 charge controller. I was anxious to see what amperage the new batteries were accepting, but that will have to wait about a week when the new monitor comes in.
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The Tiger Claw inverter was connected an now the microwave oven in the galley is on ship’s power. The refrigerator that I bought last year for use in the boatyard, which found a place in the pilothouse, the only place where it would fit, was also put on inverter power. The batteries sagged to around 12.6 volts for a bit, then charged right up to 13.4. We are independent of the boatyard’s electricity.
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This inverter comes from China, of course, and I bought it after much research. It produces pure sine wave power up to 1500 watts. The photo is of the top of the inverter. The batteries that came in from Nevada are also Chinese. Their total capacity is 400 amp hours which converts to 5200 watt hours at 13 volts. It is recommended not load the batteries more than about 1500 watt hours per day, but that does not include the excess solar power available during daylight. The panels put out at maximum about 260 watts at 13 volts. They are rated at 344 watts at maximum power point, which is somewhere around 17.5 volts, but we are not trying to get every last bit of power from them.

Carb Die It

10 June 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/May Showers
The big day of Louis Vuitton racing arrived with both pairs of semifinal competitors at 3-1 and three races scheduled for each pair. It was possible for both semifinal races to be decided today.
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The race between Sir Ben and Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed by Peter Burling, started out with Burling not able to get the Kiwi boat foiling in the prestart. Ainslie sailed away at speed. It looked like the Kiwi’s had damaged their boat so badly in the heavy weather two days ago that now it had big problems.
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After the Kiwi’s got going they slowly reeled in Sir Ben and finished ahead. Now the series was 4-1 and Sir Ben was in sudden death elimination if he should lose. In their next race Sir Ben held the lead all the way round the course. They celebrated.
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In the last race of the day the Kiwi’s dispensed with the usual prestart maneuvers and powered away leaving Sir Ben in their wake. It was a comprehensive victory and Sir Ben was eliminated from further competition.
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The other pair of semifinalists, the Swedes and the Japanese, raced their three races with the Swedes trying to wipe out their 1-3 deficit. They won all three races with good boat speed and now hold a 4-3 lead heading into the next day of racing. The main thing to take away from their performance is mastering the prestart against one of the greatest, Dean Barker of Team Japan. Perhaps he will come back and beat them tomorrow.
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OK, it’s tomorrow and a pair of races were scheduled for the only two competitors left to decide who would face the Kiwi’s for the Louis Vuitton championship. We had admired Dean Barker’s work so far, except for the previous day when he lost 3 races, and we liked Iain Percy on the Swede boat who called out tactics while grinding away on the winches. The Swede helmsman Nathan Outteridge was showing his skill in the prestart, but they had lost two races on a blustery day, and the day now is blustery, just under the wind limit.
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If the Swede’s won either race, they would go to the finals. Dean Barker had to win both races with no losses. The beginning of the race showed canny tactics by both boats and they headed off to the first mark with Barker on a direct line to the mark and Outteridge on the outside, but with equal speed. Both boats were showing speeds in the mid 40 knot range. As they bore off to the leeward gate, there appeared to be no advantage, they split at the bottom and as the racing ensued, it was a flub-up by Dean at the left hand boundary that sealed his fate. Outteridge was a little ahead and had to turn at the boundary first. Barker could turn inside of him, earlier, and work a lee bow position to force the Swede’s into a luffing match, then bear off and leave them in their wake. Instead he chose to delay his tack to pivot his boat right on top of Outteridge’s wind and disrupt their air, take the lead, and keep hitting them with bad air all the way up the course. On paper it looked like a good move, but as it happened, Outteridge carried his tack in a larger arc which kept their boatspeed up, so when he was directly in Barker’s wake he bore off a bit, accelerated, and luffed Barker up and the rest was like he had knifed Barker in the heart. The Swede’s kept on going while Barker struggled to get up to speed, and soon he was far behind, never to challenge again.
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So, the semifinals were over. The finals will have the Kiwi’s against the Swede’s, but it’s really Kiwi vs Kiwi. The fact that Barker’s boat was modeled along with Oracle’s boat might indicate that Oracle will have to contend with a potent challenge, after the Louis Vuitton championship is complete. In the mean time we have no excuse to not get back to our work in the boatyard. The weather is perfect.
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I had the choice to start work on the bottom of the hulls at the waterline and later do the lowest part of the hulls after they are reblocked higher to allow access, or to start work on the engine. I decided to take a look at the engine first and then continue onto the hulls. Then I would have a couple of projects that I could switch back and forth when I felt like doing so.
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It looks like the throttle mechanism is frozen, so I blasted it with penetrating spray. I removed the mechanical choke cable which had become a fossilized rust object. I decided to go back to the electric choke, even if it meant buying the expensive solenoid, which had been about $85 about 10 years ago. It might be higher now. The other electrical component, the tilt solenoid, or trim solenoid, Was $211 in Yamaha’s parts book. Ouch. The fuel lines seemed rigid and the squeeze bulb to prime the carburettors was like a rock. After I cut the hoses off the rusty fuel filter I had a hose to the tank fitting with the squeeze bulb in the middle, and the other hose that simply ran to the engine fitting. All was fine except the squeeze bulb. For some reason it was rigid like a piece of stone. I was looking at a fair tally of expensive parts. There was also the fuel hose for the little Honda dinghy motor which would be fine except for 3 or 4 slices through the hose, I suspect a weed-eater had chopped it up. The hose was $3.99 a foot at Defenders Marine, and the squeeze bulb for the main engine line was $24.99. Someone should tell the Chinese what prices their products are getting over here.
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The main engine had got us to the boatyard, but that was a year and a half ago (gulp). I’m sure it will run, but the carbs need service, and the electrical parts and fuel hoses have to be reassembled. I’m sure it will run.
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My search for parts also included a search for the tracking information about the battery shipment. They will come on a 300 lb pallet. They do weigh over 60 lbs each. I finally was able to get the information, the batteries were on a truck in Reno Nevada. My other searches for parts ended up with me buying from West Marine. Their prices were better than Defenders (the fuel filter was on sail and two of them netted me about $14 less in charges). The fuel hose and squeeze bulb were also a bit cheaper, but the clincher was free shipping on an order over $49.
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When I asked the boatyard owner, manager, and principal crane operator if the Windex reference tabs had come in from Port Supply, he acknowledged that he had not yet ordered them. Port Supply is the professional arm of West Marine, servicing marinas and boatyards with no shipping charges and no tax if delivered in Georgia. Of course if the head honcho doesn’t order the parts, there is no tax savings. It is possible to get your own Port Supply account, and many builders of larger designs do so. Buying in bulk also saves money.
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I needed expensive electrical parts for the Yamaha engine and found eBay got me the choke solenoid, used but guaranteed, for about $29 vs $85 plus shipping, and the trim or tilt solenoid for $79 vs $211 plus shipping. I did not choose any product that used China Post because my time line couldn’t stand a delivery more than a couple weeks away. I paid about 5 dollars more because of this.
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A long time ago I went on a motorcycle jaunt from the coast of Connecticut, up through the dairy farms of eastern New York State, through the glacial terrain north of Plattsburgh and Lake Champlain, to Montreal to be at the Formula One Gran Prix of Montreal. Today I could watch “free practice 2“ on the same channel that had the Louis Vuitton racing. I only watched a little. Tomorrow I will watch the qualifying.
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Well tomorrow came and once again I was wrong about the America’s Cup, Louis Vuitton portion. They were racing the very next day after the semifinals were done. I had to peek at Formula One qualifying in between the races.
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It was the Kiwi’s who dominated the first race and the heroics of Nathan Outteridge the previous day, taking the Swedish boat to 3 out of 3, seemed to be absent. Then in the next race the Swede’s worked their way to victory. I had predicted that the Kiwi’s pedal powered grinders would overcome the Swede’s gorilla grinders, but the Swede’s carried on and seemed to be headed for a second win of the day. Then Nathan fell overboard! End of race for them, without their helmsman and in the confusion they fell well back and conceded the third race of the day to the Kiwi’s. So the Kiwi’s come out of the day 2 for 3, but they were in trouble and about to go down 1 for 3. This is very interesting racing because of the speed of the boats that makes decisions and tactics split second, like a prize fighter that reacts before anyone could think. When I finally looked at the week’s schedule, this challenger series will be over on Monday and the rest of the week will have super yacht racing and a J boat regatta. Then the America’s Cup itself will start next weekend.
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The carburettors came off the Yamaha TRX50 much more easily and quickly in the boatyard on the hard than when the boat was in the water at the dock. The intake assembly was separated from the carbs and then the plates that join the carbs together were removed. This engine is much like a 4 cylinder motorcycle engine, 4 cylinders and 4 carburettors. The carbs are stacked vertically and typically the damage from ethanol fuel happens progressively worse from top to bottom. It looks like the heavier fraction of hydroscopic ethanol separates out of the fuel and ends up in the bottom carb and maybe in #3.
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These carbs were frozen, the throttles and chokes would not move. It was not this way when the engine was bringing the damaged boat up the North River in Dec. 2015. I usually have to service the carbs once a year anyway, so after a year and a half of inactivity, what should I expect.
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As I took apart the linkages I remembered to mark the float bowls by scraping roman numerals on them. The top was I, and so on. Once they were separated, the top one had functioning throttle and choke, the second had functioning choke, all the rest were locked up. I went to the local auto parts store and bought a gallon can of carb cleaner. This looks like a paint can, but inside is solvent and a basket to hold the carburettor. I was able to get the two lower carbs in at the same time. They will soak for 24 hours, or maybe more. I also bought a can of aerosol carb cleaner. This is a more volatile thin solvent to spray off the thicker solvent from the soaking can.
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We are in the climate phase where it is humid as anything, but only going up to about 85 in the afternoon. It would be nice to have an air conditioned boatyard.
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The #1 carb, the one on top of the stack, was quickly disassembled, cleaned, and had its mechanisms working like new. This meant that the throttle and choke butterflies opened and snapped shut by a return spring with no sluggishness. The jets inside the carb had been sprayed clean and the float boat cleaned out.
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#2 needed more attention. I used a penetrating lubricant called Blaster that helped. It seemed to work best to spray with aerosol carb cleaner, then spray with the lubricant. The butterflies can be removed from their shafts to help get the shafts free. Stainless dental tools from Harbor Freight helped pick out gunk from tight areas. After getting the throttle shaft to move, after a while it was moving freely and the carb was reassembled. Now I had two good carbs (I hope).
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The photo is of Nathan Outteridge plunging along the deck of Artemis Racing Team Sweden.
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