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Topics - Matthew Balch

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Engines and Drive Train / Fuel tank cleaning & fuel polishing
« on: October 28, 2020, 07:36:59 pm »
Not too long ago, I came back from a 7 day cruise in the Keys on the oceanside. While returning home we were passed by a huge powerboat in the channel. The wake rolled my boat around and stirred up all the sediment in the bottom of my tanks.
Sailed into a port and blew out the fuel tank pickups the next day with the air pump from the dinghy.  The fuel was clean otherwise, and the dual Racors
 were also clean.  The clog was in the fuel pickups.
Afterwards, I hired a tank and fuel polishing service to do the job.  Since they used clear pipes, I was able to see the amount of gunk and asphaltines they cleaned off the sides and bottoms of the fuel tanks.
Now I can rest assured this won't happen again for a number of years.
Happy cruising!

Systems / Propane Locker
« on: September 03, 2020, 07:07:35 pm »
It's rainy season where I live, and I noticed that the propane locker on my boat was collecting water, (CSY 44 WO).  I keep 2 aluminum tanks there plus a few of the steel 1# tanks for the BBQ.
I found the thru hull drain to be plugged.  It has a very fine screen in the thruhull that can collect bits of corrosion and other stuff.  It's very dangerous to have the drain plugged because it was designed to vent any propane leaks overboard.
The easiest way I found to clear the thru hull and pipe was to get in the inflatable dinghy alongside and use its foot pump to push the blockage out of the thru hull and pipe with compressed air.  Afterwards, some vinegar can be run downhill to clear it out completely.
Finished the job with a new gasket on the locker lid and new caulking on the sheet winch and cleat.
Good to check on this every now and then.

General Discussion / What are the best batteries for small devices?
« on: October 26, 2019, 04:51:47 pm »
I am looking for a brand and battery chemistry to purchase for small devices such as clocks, thermostats, flashlights, CO detectors and testing tools.  I have been using Duracell for these, but find that even the very "fresh" batteries hardly last a year before they begin to leak and ruin these devices.  Perhaps this is due to the high temps, humidity and salinity here in So. Florida.
I normally change these small batteries out once a year at about this season when the time changes.
I was thinking of switching over to the Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries because they are guaranteed not to leak and corrode the device.
Does anyone have a better suggestion to remedy this issue?

General Discussion / Zippers
« on: April 22, 2019, 07:47:47 pm »
I thought I would share this tip I learned from some other sailors.  When your zippers on the dodger, cushions, screens, etc., start to get stuck and unruly, you can apply Chapstick to them on both sides, and they will run smoothly again.  Of course you could purchase more expensive sprays and treatments from your local chandlerly, but this works well is usually available on all boats for other uses, and it's very cheap.  Should last a year or so in the sun.

General Discussion / Battery Power Tools
« on: September 22, 2018, 06:24:43 pm »
Hi Members,
Back when I was cruising in the Caribbean many years ago, I used hand tools to do all the jobs.  Now you have the options of using shore power if you are at a dock or an inverter if you are anchored.  Nowadays, I am at a dock but we are on solar power only with no hookup to shore power.
I have purchased a number of Ryobi 18 volt one + appliances that work very well around the boat and home.  These pieces of equipment can be purchased cheap on Amazon, but the batteries are more expensive.  The same batteries are good for all the one + labels.
For example, I have a Cockpit fan to cool the wife off on these summer days.  I have a vacuum cleaner that picks up all the hair and dust in the cabins.  I have a LED flashlight that replaces all those old standard flashlights that go bad over time. I have a sander that's good for small jobs and a drill that's good for most of the day.
If interested, i would recommend l that you invest in some extra batteries, especially the 4 AH ones so you get extended time on these tools.
I also have other of these tools around the house that use the same batteries:  weed wacker, leaf blower, nail gun, etc.
I have no interest in the company, but I am a very satisfied customer and wanted to share this experience with you.

Engines and Drive Train / Painting a Folding Prop
« on: July 18, 2018, 04:58:54 pm »
I recently purchased a Flexofold propeller and discussed applying bottom paint to the prop with the factory technician.  He said not to do that, and I figure he thought the paint would gum up the gearing mechanism and cause the blades to not deploy.  That makes common sense to me.  I was thinking perhaps to paint the blades only and apply something like Lanacote to the gears.  Some folks believe that the greasiness of Lanacote also provides some temporary antifouling properties.

I wanted to ask the members if they have experience with this and what they did to protect the folding prop from fouling.  Thanks, Matthew

Underway / Hurricanes Irma and Maria
« on: October 13, 2017, 10:35:10 pm »
Dear Friends and CSY Forum Members,

I wanted to reach out to our friends and CSY members in the Eastern & Northern Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida Keys and Southern Florida after these bad hurricanes we have been experiencing this year.  I hope you and your families got through this well and your lovely CSY boats were unscathed.  Even here in Miami Beach, there were scores of wrecked and dismasted sailboats, and we only experienced winds of about 105 mph.  It was much worse in other places.

It was a good thing that I put my boat out with 3 anchors.  The larger anchor, a 88# Delta on chain dragged, but the Rockna 55# and the Fortress FX37 held her fast in thick mud bottom.  My dock was ruined from the storm surge, so I needed to leave her at anchor for a few weeks until the dock was rebuilt.  We are starting to put things on the boat back in order again at this time and should be sailing again in a week or two.

Miami was missed by the brunt of hurricane Irma, but other places in the Caribbean, Keys and the west coast of Florida were not so fortunate.  I hope the folks and boats in these places are doing well.  I would love to hear how you are doing, when you have the time.


Engines and Drive Train / Experience with Yanmar 75 HP installation?
« on: June 14, 2016, 08:38:41 pm »
A friend of mine in the anchorage nearby with a CSY 44 W/O is considering replacing his Perkins with a Yanmar 75.  We have discussed the Cummings and the Beta as being an easier replacement, but he prefers the Yanmar.  He was told by his mechanic that the Yanmar tranny would not work on the CSY, and he would need to have his existing Velvet Drive, (straight drive), adapted to this Yanmar installation.  I have looked thru the history on this site and have not seen anything new on the Yanmar 75 since 2009, and nothing dealing with this exact question.

What he would like to know from this group is what to expect from this type of engine replacement, and if the velvet drive can be modified to mate with the Yanmar 75.


Interior / Refinishing the Square Hatches
« on: August 01, 2015, 02:07:52 pm »
The square hatches on the CSY, like fiberglass hatches on all vintage sailboats with the translucent center, tend to deteriorate in the center from the sun and the elements over the years.  Those of mine that were exposed to the sun got bleached out and the fibers got exposed.  A couple years ago, I gave them a light sanding and coated the centers with polyester resin.  That worked well for a couple years, but now the same thing is happening again.

I was wondering if anyone on this forum knows the trick to restore these hatches in a more permanent way.  I don't want to paint them or cover them with canvas because I like the light that comes thru them into the cabins.  Perhaps an epoxy resin or a clear awlgrip would work better and longer?  I would appreciate any suggestions.  Thanks, Matthew

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