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Thread: "Pro" Tips

  1. #1
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    "Pro" Tips

    I should have done this a long time ago, but I have been thinking about trying to collect all the little tricks and shortcuts that everyone develops for various boat maintenance activities in one place so that all may benefit. So what do you have?

    Here is the first one I have to contribute

    Affixing ring terminals to terminal strips

    Problem- Fat fingers and stiff wires lead to lost terminal bolts in the bilge
    Solution- Use a drill bit driver to hold and tighten bolts

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

  2. #2
    Principal Partner bigd14's Avatar
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    Working with G10

    Problem: Cutting and sanding G10 ruins tools and creates clouds of toxic dust
    Solution: Cut g10 with a jigsaw using a diamond abrasive blade. Minimal dust and clean cuts.

    For sanding and shaping the sharp edges place several strips of 80 grit longboard sandpaper on a flat surface. Work the piece over the sandpaper to smooth sharp edges and achieve final shape. Works also to rough up flat surfaces for epoxying into place. Takes a few seconds and no clouds of dust from electric sander.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bigd14; 09-13-2018 at 09:56 PM.
    1984 Ericson 30+
    Hull #651

    Formerly 1972 Ericson 27

  3. #3
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    On #1, right on. Furthermore...

    Older boats have slotted screws on the panel; if so, change them all to Phillips, with spares. Phillips-heads stick on a driver much better. They will only stick if the driver matches--and for $6 we should all have a selection of driver bits.

    Also, use spade connectors on wires. I know, I know, ring connectors are "best" and "recommended." But spades slip on and off terminal posts, where three wires may reside and rings will drive you nuts. And spades are plenty secure.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  4. #4
    1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
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    Put a dab of grease or Vaseline on a screw head to help it stick to the screwdriver and avoid falling into the bilge. Even more secure, push the screw through a piece of masking tape, bring the tape up to stick on the screwdriver, rip off the tape once the screw is in place, before final tightening. All this works with bolts too!!

    If you don't want to drill a hole too deep, wrap a piece of tape around the drill bit at the depth you want to drill, and stop drilling when you reach that depth.

    If your oil filter wrench is slipping on the filter, wrap a piece of sandpaper around the filter and try again.

    If clear or semi-gloss Varnish is too shiny and satin is too dull, a mix of semi - gloss and satin may be just fine, but stir regularly to keep the mix consistent across the whole area. This has worked well on my cabin sole.

    Frank
    Last edited by Frank Langer; 09-14-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  5. #5
    Sustaining Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Tip for installing impeller ring-clip

    Most of us have decided by now that the ring-clip that goes on the shaft in front of the impeller isn't really required. It seems to work fine without it. However, if something about your personality just demands that the clip be there, here's the trick I learned.

    After the impeller is installed, pull it out slightly, maybe a quarter inch at most. The shaft will pull out along with it. Don't go too far, or as we know, the shaft disengages at the spline.

    Now you can insert a long flat-blade screwdriver into one of the cavities near the back of the pump. This will hold the shaft and place as you push the impeller deeper onto the shaft--deep enough to install the ring clip. After the ring-clip is on, push the impeller shaft back in as far as it will go.

    I also thought about using a long brass wood screw rather than a metal screwdriver to hold the shaft in place.Click image for larger version. 

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    If you must.....
    Ken
    '85 E32-3 "Mariah" #641
    Universal M-25

    "Saltwater is the cure; sweat, tears, or the sea......"

  6. #6
    Innocent Bystander tenders's Avatar
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    I’ve found that carbide blades work fine on G10 in my table saw and small battery-powered hand saw. As for dust...yeah, I wear a mask for that.

    My “pro tip” is to throw away those crimp butt connectors, both the cheap ones and the expensive ones, along with the crimper, in favor of Posi-Lock Connectors. They’re quite a bit more expensive, but they’re reusable. I bought a bunch of them quite reasonably in red, blue, and yellow flavors on eBay - they are fabulous for all electrical connections, including stereo/speaker connections, that aren’t sitting in water, where there is really no substitute for solder and shrinktube.

    This isn’t where mine came from, but it’s clear what they do:
    https://www.radiantz.com/Posi-Lock-p/223.htm
    1969 Ericson 32 #112 • Atomic Four
    City Island, NYC
    “Muxie Duxer”
    Hair by Mr. Gigi

  7. #7
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    My favorite new connector

    I have only used a dozen of these so far so I can't speak for longevity, but, these are slicker than sliced bread:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wh5gM8GM70

    I only posted the Summit video for reference. You can find them from various suppliers on Amazon. Google "solder seal wire connectors".

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    Other pro tip: hang your ignition key on your raw water through hull handle, you will never forget to open or close it.
    Matt
    1984 E35-III
    Former Partner S/V "Wind Chaser" #187
    Long Beach, California

  8. #8
    Advanced Beginner bgary's Avatar
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    definitely no "pro", but... I put a switch in the circuit between the engine panel and the electric fuel pump and mounted it down below near the pump.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now when bleeding the fuel system, I can energize the circuit at the switch on deck, but turn the fuel-pump off and on close to where I'm working when opening bleed-valves. Minimizes the amount of contortions and mess.

    Haven't tested this yet but, as a bonus, I can put the fuel system into an "anti-theft" mode. My boat doesn't have a key at the panel, just a switch, so anyone could climb onboard and motor away. In theory, I could turn off this switch - which is neatly hidden by the engine-compartment panel in the v-berth - and make it so a boat thief couldn't get very far.

    In theory.

    Bruce
    Last edited by bgary; 09-17-2018 at 02:44 PM.
    "Makana" (ex-Thelonious)
    1985 Ericson 32-III #604
    Makana blog: here

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question To lift pump or not to lift, that is the question

    Quote Originally Posted by bgary View Post
    definitely no "pro", but... I put a switch in the circuit between the engine panel and the electric fuel pump and mounted it down below near the pump.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now when bleeding the fuel system, I can energize the circuit at the switch on deck, but turn the fuel-pump off and on close to where I'm working when opening bleed-valves. Minimizes the amount of contortions and mess.

    Haven't tested this yet but, as a bonus, I can put the fuel system into an "anti-theft" mode. My boat doesn't have a key at the panel, just a switch, so anyone could climb onboard and motor away. In theory, I could turn off this switch - which is neatly hidden by the engine-compartment panel in the v-berth - and make it so a boat thief couldn't get very far.

    In theory.

    Bruce
    Hi Bruce,
    One bit of Universal diesel trivia is that our former 3 cylinder engine used to run -sometimes- without the Facit electric lift pump energized, and sometimes it would also start without the electric pump (warm weather).
    In 2017 I had that pump wired separately with its own toggle switch to bypass the old high-resistance wiring in the harness and then sometimes would forget to turn on the switch.
    I did notice that the engine would mysteriously stop running sometimes when the electric pump was not energized.

    Diesels are simple engines, but there are odd little subtleties in their behavior.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  10. #10
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    Extra long soft shackle

    Make up some extra long dyneema soft shackles (from the instructions on animatedknots.com).

    These can be used with 2 inch steel rings to make dog-bones for reefing the main. The advantage is that the open shackle can be slipped through a cringle on the luff of the sail, the rings attached, then the shackle closed, all without having to sew anything in place.

    Here's picture of another use of a long soft-shackle with a furler cam-block idea stolen from Loren Beach
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Mike Field
    "Jenny" E35-3 #251
    San Francisco

  11. #11
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMLOGAN View Post
    I have only used a dozen of these so far so I can't speak for longevity, but, these are slicker than sliced bread:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Wh5gM8GM70

    I only posted the Summit video for reference. You can find them from various suppliers on Amazon. Google "solder seal wire connectors".

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    Other pro tip: hang your ignition key on your raw water through hull handle, you will never forget to open or close it.
    Just about an instant sale here. I hate, hate, hate crimp-on butt connectors, which seem to have an extremely high failure rate for me. I note that several Amazon reviewers say they can't get the solder to melt before the heat shrink chars. The video suggests that some special heat gun or adapter is needed. What did you use and how well did it work?
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  12. #12
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Beach View Post
    Hi Bruce,
    One bit of Universal diesel trivia is that our former 3 cylinder engine used to run -sometimes- without the Facit electric lift pump energized, and sometimes it would also start without the electric pump (warm weather).
    In 2017 I had that pump wired separately with its own toggle switch to bypass the old high-resistance wiring in the harness and then sometimes would forget to turn on the switch.
    I did notice that the engine would mysteriously stop running sometimes when the electric pump was not energized.

    Diesels are simple engines, but there are odd little subtleties in their behavior.
    The injector pump does create a little suction - often enough to draw fuel with moderate throttle, but not enough to keep it running at idle or low speed. That's one of the symptoms that you need a new lift pump!
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  13. #13
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfield View Post
    Make up some extra long dyneema soft shackles (from the instructions on animatedknots.com).

    These can be used with 2 inch steel rings to make dog-bones for reefing the main. The advantage is that the open shackle can be slipped through a cringle on the luff of the sail, the rings attached, then the shackle closed, all without having to sew anything in place.

    Here's picture of another use of a long soft-shackle with a furler cam-block idea stolen from Loren Beach
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not "borrowed" from me, but clever all the same. Those soft shackles are starting to appear on some boats around our little YC.

    (There have been so many great ideas presented on this site since Sean rolled it out many years ago that we could almost make a book of them!)
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by mfield View Post
    Make up some extra long dyneema soft shackles (from the instructions on animatedknots.com).

    These can be used with 2 inch steel rings to make dog-bones for reefing the main. The advantage is that the open shackle can be slipped through a cringle on the luff of the sail, the rings attached, then the shackle closed, all without having to sew anything in place.

    Here's picture of another use of a long soft-shackle with a furler cam-block idea stolen from Loren Beach
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	25129Click image for larger version. 

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    Works great for jib sheets. Almost eliminates catching on the rig during tacks

  15. #15
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Right. There is no reason to twist the cringle of a stiff mainsail over a reefing horn when a dog bone can be made up in five minutes. Use spare shackles and scrap of line to get the dog bone length right before making up the permanent version.

    Better yet (sort of) are reef cringle downhauls, led back to the reefing line brakes on the cabin house. Allows reefing, or shaking out a reef, without ever leaving the cockpit. I was skeptical (more gear, more lines) but now am sold.
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 09-19-2018 at 08:07 AM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

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