Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BoatLogger - Android log app woes

Magical flying boat track

There's not too much positive to say about my experience so far with the BoatLogger app on Android. Buggy is an understatement. I'm not giving up hope yet but I sure hope they fix some of the persistent issues before my renewal time comes up.

On a positive note, as demonstrated in the picture above, BoatLogger has empowered my boat to fly. Awesome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Landfall 38 Resource Page

Old Landfall 38 Page

I had toyed around with a dedicated Landfall 38 website with resources for owners. In the end, it wasn't getting much traffic and I wasn't spending much time updating it. So, I've decided to simply move that content to my main blog site.

All of the content has been moved here for future reference.

General Landfall 38 Information

Landfall 38 Technical Information

Monday, June 1, 2015

Pram overhaul - Part 2

Front seat top installed and bow reinforced 

To see the first post for this rebuild, see here.

I installed a new seat top because the old one was kind of beat up. It was just easier to cut out a new one rather than fix the old one.

Almost ready for paint
I screwed it in and glued it to the seat from and around the edges with thickened epoxy. I then glassed, with epoxy, the whole way around the seat. My goal was that the seat would become a structural component and take some of the pull from the front ring.

I also added extra reinforcement to the top rail of the bow and I glassed this in to the front and side panels to, again, make it stronger and tie everything together.
Finished side with no stringer

Finished bow and lift straps
Since my new boat has davits on the back I also wanted to add lifting points on the dinghy. I bought some 1" galvanized rings at the local hardware store. I put hardwood mounting plates on the inside of the hull and used 1/8" aluminum plates on the outside for backing. I thru bolted these.

I placed the lifting points as close to the seat frames as possible so that they would take some of the squeeze that I expect will happen in the lifting.

I haven't quite perfected the lifting straps to work on the davits but I'll add an article later once I've gotten those figured out. The lifting straps did make it convenient for painting since I could do both top and bottom in the same session!

I finished her up with four coats of Rustoleum and she seems to be working out well.

Diesel tank cleanout

Replacement filter


It started innocently enough. Actually, to be accurate, it didn't start.

It was a peculiar thing. Shackleton performed brilliantly on my delivery cruise up the river two weeks ago. Eight hours of cruising with several stops and starts and it worked flawlessly.

Two days later, I crank her up and she runs for 20 seconds and dies. Odd.

My first diagnosis was that there was probably something (either water or dirt) clogging the fuel filter. It had been a particularly rough day on Grand Lake when we came in to the harbour and I figured that it had probably just soiled the filter when the sediment in the tank sloshed around.

I drained and cleaned the primary filter. No luck.

I replaced the secondary filter...no luck.

I bled the system. I bled the system. I bled the system. No luck.

Since I am new to the wonderful world of diesels (previous engine was an Atomic 4) I figured that I was doing something wrong in the bleeding process (even though the manual on the Vetus M4.15 says that it is "self bleeding".

After many hours of unsuccessful bleeding attempts I decided to actually think through the problem...

Lesson #1 - Stop and think. (sure, it seems obvious now!)

A bit of experimentation finally lead me to figure out that I wasn't getting any fuel from the tank. (another sailor had actually mentioned this as a possibility early on...and I had quickly forgotten about it).

Lesson #2 - Really pay attention to what the experienced sailors say!

I removed the access hatch for the tank and quickly realized the root of the problem.

Goo filled bucket
Lesson #3 - Make sure that whatever you use for a gasket on your fuel tank is actually compatible with diesel fuel. The previous owner had not. He had used some sort of a rubbery material that had since partially dissolved. This partially dissolved goo was now all through my tank. Little black jelly bean sized goo pieces had lodged themselves into my intake hose.

The fix

  1.  I removed all 40 gallons of fuel into jerrycans. The last 2 cm at the bottom (where the sludge was mostly), and the sludge, was removed into a separate container for disposal. I used a borrowed diesel lift pump hooked to my battery to pump out the fuel. This was a slow process. I used cheesecloth over the end of the suction tube to keep it from getting clogged. 
  2. I cleaned the tank. I scrubbed it with rags and used a porous sponge to sock up the grime and sludge. I rinsed the tank with more diesel using the lift pump in reverse. 
  3. I disconnected and blew out the intake hose. Not to self...bring an air pig for this. Diesel tastes terrible!
  4. Tested the engine...and it worked!
  5. I made a gasket out of 2mm cork.
  6. Using a Sue Grafton novel of my wife's (haven't told her this yet) as a drilling backer I pre-drilled the gasket holes.
  7. Re-installed access plate
  8. Sue Grafton brand drilling backer
  9. Cleaned up all of that diesel that I had carefully tried not to spill.

Hopefully my cork gasket will last for a few years without turning into another mess. The inter-webs assure me that it will be ok.

The positive outcome from this ordeal is that I now have a much better understanding of my fuel system. 

Completed access plate with gasket
Asian strainer with cheese cloth for removing chunks