All posts by Philip Krueger

primer pump and o-rings

My trusty dingy motor, a 1987 Evinrude E4RCUD, started to give me trouble in the spring. I traced the issue to worn o-rings in what I thought was the choke, but is actually a fuel primer pump and fuel petcock all in one! Apparently this was a short lived idea of squirting more fuel into the carb rather then starving it of air to enrich the mixture. These pumps, as one web author noted, work great until they don’t! At least now I understand why the “choke” lever was so strange – its not a lever, it functions like a syringe and pulling it squirts fuel into the carb.

I replaced the o-rings with ones I got from the nice service technician at Crappy Tire – assuming they were automotive. The shut off o-ring swelled and fell apart. I thought I got all the bits but apparently didn’t. As the primer pump is between the fuel pump and the carb, the fuel doesn’t get filtered. I thought the o-ring bits were just in the pump/shut-off valve and I replaced the o-rings again with OEM rings. The engine still wasn’t happy and I left it home for the bulk of the summer. It wasn’t that bad rowing once I got the oarlocks sorted out.

Determined to get this motor running, I pulled the carb for a 3rd time and found what was clogging up the main jet and float needle. As pictured there were large chunks under the float needle and under the main jet.

I also serviced the fuel pump as it had never been touched and I thought it might be a fuel starvation issue (it was but not from there…!).

Better late than never, I finally got the engine sorted on Labour Day weekend!

Come visit us!

This summer we are up in the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay. Our home base is in  Penetanguishine at Dutchman’s Cove Marina (2 hour drive) but we like to anchor off Awenda Provincial Park or head up to Beausoleil island (Georgian Bay Island National Park). This post will give you an idea of what the beaches and parks are like.

Awenda, view of our boat from the beach.

You are most welcome to visit for a day, or two or three… however accommodation on the boat is somewhat limited we are open to  creative arrangements!

 

There are lots of hotels and b&b’s in the area if you want to do daytrips.

Camping is available at the parks but might be booked at this point, however there is  unreserved camping available on Beckwith Island which is an uninhabited island is part of an Ojibwa reserve. $25/night/tent.  Did I mention the islands have spectacular beaches!

Miles of shallow beach!

We’d be happy to shuttle you to the islands or do day trips out to the beaches/parks/woods.

Don ‘t be shy, the girls love visitors as do we!

 

 

LED bulbs

I’ve slowly replaced most of my bulbs with LED. All the cabin lights were switched over two years ago and I finally properly installed the LED strip lighting in the main cabin. I’ll work on the bathroom with a dimmer this summer. I can’t believe how much nicer indirect lighting is.

The navigation bayonet bulbs in the bow and stern were replaced last summer before we left on the trip, leaving only the navigation and anchor lights at the top of the mast. I didn’t replace these because I couldn’t easily access them. (see bosun’s chair post), ok, I could have gone up on a crane but it wasn’t that big a deal. Continue reading LED bulbs

Dinghy transom fix

I killed an afternoon fixing a crack in the hard-bottom dinghy transom. It looks like someone removed the backing plate and motor mounts have cracked the fiberglass. It didn’t really need to be repaired,  but is seemed silly to not patch up the crack as water will continue to get in and if left outdoors for the winter, it will eventually split the transom with freeze thaw cycles (maybe). So I guess it did need to be fixed.

Continue reading Dinghy transom fix

Small Projects 2017

I tend to forget how many little things I do on/to the boat. In my mind, most of them are opportunities, not maintenance as such, but if I really think about it, a lot are actual maintenance! A friend of mine remarked when I told him I was swapping gauges while underway – “Phil, you need a fidget spinner.” I did some of these projects before we left, others en route, and some up in GB at the end of the season.

glove box & trim

The glove box was an awesome update to the binnacle. Somewhere to safely store cell phones, sunglasses, keys, and sunscreen. Now we can put 4 drinks in the cup holders! I fit it into the binnacle where the VHF radio, and later an older chart plotter, was originally located. I constructed the box out of quarter-inch Corian type material (old mouse keyboard shelf). I made a teak bezel around the glove-box out of some teak scraps, slapped a few coats of gloss Epifanes and glued the bezel on. The trim is purposely slightly larger than the opening so it doesn’t get abraded. There is a small drain hole at the back bottom of the box as it sits on a backward slant, but it really didn’t collect any water over the summer and kept things secure and dry.

There is a funny/boring video of me gluing the trim. I left the camera running by accident and it is from the vantage point of the cup holder looking straight up.

fixed retractable boat hook

I used our retractable boat hook to take the boat’s weight last year pulling it closer to the mooring ball. The hook got stuck and didn’t want to retract or extend. I could just get it to turn if I put one end in a vice.

The fix was to cut the outer sleeve off with the inner fully extended. This revealed that the problem was simply that the plastic tape (provides friction to the inside of the inner walls of the sleeve) got rolled-up in the tube. This made locking and unlocking somewhat moot as the rolled tape was wedged between the locking mechanism and the outer tube. I removed the tape, put some new tape on and reassembled the pieces. I used a punch to re-crimp it.  It was a 5-minute fix and the pole was only 4 inches shorter.

We promptly lost the boat hook in the first days of the trip and bought (yet) another in Peterborough.

dripping arch bolt

This bolt was responsible for a persistent leak down the back of the liner in our aft cabin, right behind our pillows.
The fix was simple, remove nut and washer and apply some sealant. Wait…. the washer doesn’t sit flush to the fiberglass! Take washer home, grind and then reinstall with butyl.

freshwater float

The freshwater gauge was always a bit spotty, but last season it continually red empty.  I assume the sensor float has become waterlogged, and this proved true when I tested it. I wrapped some foam packing around the old float – now it works.

replace LPG valve

It took a while for me to clue into what the issue was with the original LPG safety solenoid valve which leads to the pork-loin incident.

These solenoid valves are opened by current through an electromagnet, as they age they overheat causing the magnet loses its “grip” and the needle slowly slides back, closing the valve partially. You may start out with full gas, but after 10-15 min you are back to a small trickle of gas ( leading to a very slow cooking roast on a cold spring cruise…). My workaround was to pour cold lake water on the valve to cool it and it worked quite well. I did this for a season and it was easy to do as the propane locker is located on the sugar-scoop transom, usually one splash for a kettle to boil.

I ordered a solenoid from Aliexpress a year ago as the price was right ($9 including shipping!!) but it rattled around my toolbox for a full year. I finally installed it this year along with a new sparker battery. The stove works perfectly now!

  • Model: 2W-025-08
  • Working Medium: Air, Water, Oil,Gas
  • Operating Method: Direct action
  • Type: Normal Closed
  • Flow bore: 2mm
  • Pipe Size: 1/4″
  • Working Pressure:  0.15~0.8Mpa
  • Max Pressure:1.0Mpa
  • Working Temperature: -5~60 Celsius
  • Voltage: DC 12V
  • Material: Brass

installed compass

 

Not too much to say about this one. I’ve given up on trying to refurbish old leaking compasses. I bought the compass (yes it is rebuildable….), enlarged the hole in the binnacle with a jigsaw and rasp and connected the wires. I still need to swing it and adjust the compensation, but it reads pretty accurately to the fluxgate so I’m not worried or in a rush. It does give the cockpit a nice finished look. I cheaped out and didn’t get a sun cover, but the compass doesn’t get any direct sunlight under the bimini and the boat is covered for the winter.

mahogany binnacle cap

If you look at the top of the binnacle you’ll see a hole in the fiberglass right about the word Autopilot on the left gauge (see top photo on page). The previous owner had wires coming out of there and had stuck on a couple pieces of teak with some 4200 which were growing moss when I bought the boat.
I spun a nice bung and fitted it with an o-ring to give it some grip.

LED strip lights

I love indirect LED lighting, spots are so harsh, I could fill the boat with these.  I finally got around to properly installing the starboard side.

These lights are cheap Ikea strip lights LEDBERG (same as I installed above the sink). I originally just plugged them into the cigarette lighter and let them lie in the bottom of that ledge several years ago. The lights got covered with books and brick-a-brack, so I installed them using clips and industrial velcro and wired them to the DC panel properly.

  • LEDBERG $14.95 CAD
  • LED life approx. 25,000 hours.
  • Light color: warm white (2700 Kelvin).
  • 3 pieces, 10¼” each
  • Power: 2 W
  •  wire directly to 12 volt- no controller needed

I also re-routed the speaker wire. For some reason, the previous owner had the wire coming out of the old speaker, behind the seat cushions and up the bulkhead?! I ran the wire out the back of the switch cabinet and behind the curtain valance. I got rid of the old-lady-Florida curtains too, oh so much tidier…

Dinghy cleaner

before

I was curious if I could use my recent purchase of Vim bathroom cleaner ($1.99!) on my new/old/new again Hypalon dinghy and the self-destructing PVC dinghy. I looked up what were the active chemical ingredients on the MSDS.

The main ingredient in the cleaner is something hideous sounding, Ethoxylated C9-11-alcohols. These are very effective surfactants – interestingly it shows up in a dinghy specific cleaning product from Polymarine, one of the leading dinghy paint/cleaner brands.

As it turns out, Polymarine Duo-clean (duo=PVC & Hypalon) is comprised of :

  • Ethoxylated C9-11-alcohols
  • Sodium hydroxide – aka lye or caustic soda
  • Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate – a salt used as a buffering agent (A buffering agent can be either a weak acid or weak base,  which only slightly changes its pH in response to other acids and bases being combined with it)

Dinghy materials are very resistant to alkalines, but not petrochemicals/solvents. So I used it….!  There are still some tannin stains on the floor in the fiberglass, but the dinghy looks much better. This is the dinghy we used on our Thousand Islands trip and is now permanently ours.  Thanks Malcolm!

after

Trent Severn Waterway: part 1-Toronto to Trenton

Last summer we escaped a flooded Toronto and headed north, we had planned on leaving Toronto for Georgian Bay last year, with the heavy rains and flooding shutting down our favourite cruising grounds, beaches and amusement park (aka the Toronto Islands) the decision to leave was even easier. What was supposed to be a lazy meander through cottage country, with afternoons spent swimming with loons, ice cream in quaint towns, turned out somewhat different thanks to the unseasonably cold and wet July weather. As for the quaint towns, well there was Bobcaygeon, which could be accused of trying a bit too hard.

The trip fell into 4 stages and took us most of July. We only lingered a few places, three days in Peterborough, one in Sutton, but when we moved we moved pretty quickly because of the weather. A total of 18 days in a boat that does about 5.5knots underpower.

  1. Toronto to Trenton July 7 – 9
  2. Trenton to Peterborough July 10 – 12
  3. Peterborough to Lake Simcoe July 16 – 20
  4. Simcoe to Georgian Bay July 22 – July 24

Continue reading Trent Severn Waterway: part 1-Toronto to Trenton

Converting old winches to self tailing

My cabin top desperately needs a second winch on starboard where the mainsheet, jib sheet, outhaul and main halyard are located. I usually resort to cross winching the jib sheet to the port winch but this results in the occasional “clothes-lining” when coming up the companionway.

I was lucky to source some older Barient winches, and while they are in perfect condition it would be nice if they were self-tailing, although I do have clutches close by so it isn’t a deal breaker. Continue reading Converting old winches to self tailing