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Messages - Matthew Balch

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Systems / Re: Shore power inlet
« on: March 20, 2018, 11:20:17 AM »
Hi Mike, locating it near to the electrical panels is good.  Mine was placed on the inside of the cockpit, stbd  side, forward.  Matthew

Interior / Re: Hatch dogs diameter?
« on: January 30, 2018, 06:10:15 PM »
Hi Martin,  the ones on my boat are 5/16, and 2.5" long including the knob.  I compared it with a normal 5/16 stainless bolt you can buy at a hardware store and it has the same thread.  The only difference is that these dogs have a pointed end as compared to the blunt end on a bolt.  Matthew.

Underway / Re: Hurricanes Irma and Maria
« on: October 24, 2017, 08:53:29 AM »
Yes, the Spade and the Vulcan look very similar, with the exception being that the Spade is two pieces and could be stowed down below if desired.  I will report back later on the Vulcan after I have tested it a few times.

Underway / Re: Hurricanes Irma and Maria
« on: October 23, 2017, 10:16:41 AM »
 I agree with that about the newer scoop type designs being better all around anchors.  I have swapped out the Delta 88 anchor  for a Rocna Vulcan anchor.  The Spade was also a finalist, but there was a better deal on the Vulcan, so I went that route.
I really like the Rocna 55 for everyday use on the port side, but for the starboard roller tray a roll bar type anchor could not be easily accommodated.

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.


Systems / Re: Lightening grounding strip mounting flush or with a gap?
« on: October 08, 2017, 05:04:46 PM »
In addition to the mast being grounded to the lightening plate on the bottom of the boat, I recently ran heavy wire from the chainplates, bow pulpit and arch to that point also.  This was done to get any lightening surge out of the boat as quickly as possible.  Hope it helps, but you never know!

Systems / Re: Purchasing 10 -130 watt flexible solar panels from China
« on: September 27, 2017, 10:12:52 PM »
My comment was about the transparent film deteriorating, but the panels were not delaminating at that point.  There was no danger of the panels coming off in the wind or seas.  The deterioration of the top film would only be a concern if you intend to collect rain water off of them, then you would need to filter the water before putting it into your tanks.

Systems / Re: Lightening grounding strip mounting flush or with a gap?
« on: September 27, 2017, 10:05:24 PM »
That is true!  Chilly Pepper has the same thing, and it is offset from the hull by about a half inch.

Systems / Re: Purchasing 10 -130 watt flexible solar panels from China
« on: September 25, 2017, 05:25:57 PM »
Hi Martin,  On the Amel Maramu, these flexible solar panels were mechanically fastened with screws into the hardtop.  They did not lay completely flat because there was a connection with wires at one end.  We were shaking down the boat for a transatlantic crossing and it has sailed from Grand Bahama to Bermuda to Azores, Spain, Algeria and Cyprus since then.  We were being very careful to filter the dirt and plastic residue out of the water BEFORE letting it flow into the boat's tanks.  This was too much residue to allow into the tanks and be handled with the pump and domestic water system.  Matthew

Systems / Re: Purchasing 10 -130 watt flexible solar panels from China
« on: September 25, 2017, 08:59:31 AM »
My only experience with the flexible panels comes from a friend who purchased 6 for mounting on the hard top and deck of his Amel Maramu.  They had been mounted for a year when we cruised through the Bahamas together earlier this year.  The panels worked, tho not as well as the hard ones mounted on the arch.  The only problem I noticed was that there was a peeling of the plastic film covering the panels.  When we collected water off the hard top, the water needed to be heavily filtered before putting into the boat's tanks.  Matthew

Hull and Rig / Re: External Round Chainplates Design
« on: August 22, 2017, 09:22:06 AM »
Hi Martin,  I would think that chainplates should last at least 25 years.  Yours have already been replaced so they could go less or longer depending on how much the boat was used, where it was used, how well maintained, the quality of the materials & design, etc.  They are easy to give a cursory inspection, and as long as you do not see an issue, they are probably just fine for a number of years, in my opinion.  Mine were replaced about 10 years ago and they are still perfect.  Matthew

Hull and Rig / Re: Csy 44 cored + rotten decks.
« on: August 14, 2017, 09:45:36 AM »
Hi Alex, one other thought.  In addition to what Sherry said about information on how to repair cored decks, there are many threads about this on Cruisers Forum, and I have also seen articles in Good Old Boat, etc. 

I was also thinking that the gooey stuff in the joint may have been butyl rubber, which is excellent stuff, and can still be procured online and in some RV shops.  You probably don't have RV shops in the Carib, tho.

Hull and Rig / Re: Csy 44 cored + rotten decks.
« on: August 14, 2017, 09:20:25 AM »
Hi Alex.  So your boat is #218.  Mine is #214, and it definitely has solid fiberglass decks. So at least up to that point, 12/1980, the decks were solid glass. According to the PO, mine was "removed" from the production facility right after it was closed down and everything being locked up, so yours was most likely finished by another entity with different methods.  It is my understanding that what followed was the Antigua 44, which had wood cored decks.

In answer to your other question, the PO of my boat did replace the forward part with the slotted aluminum rails, but he left the teak toe rail on the aft decks.  That part is still without leaks, and it looks OK, not contrasting poorly with the aluminum forward part.

Good luck with your repairs and renovations.  It's a great boat and I am having a lot of fun with mine!

Interior / Re: Port Light - Dogs
« on: May 26, 2017, 09:35:56 AM »
Hi Peter,

I was missing one also and couldn't immediately find the dog bolt so I made it myself.  I fabricated it from a 3/8" bolt.  The wing nut you show in the photo you can find easily by doing an internet search for "bronze eye nut".  The size should be 3/8 also to match the threads of the rest of your dogs.

There's also the possibility that you can find the dog bolt at one of the companies that manufacture bronze and stainless portlights like NFM or one of the others.


Hull and Rig / Re: Transparent hatches
« on: May 21, 2017, 12:45:43 PM »
Hi Peter, that's an interesting approach.  But how will you deal with the nut end of the bolts and the top of the opening?  Seems very close, and that part needs to be waterproof.  Matthew

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