2017 Week two hoo hoo !

Well almost week two…

Saturday 16 Dec 2017 was our day six in Mazatlan and working on the boat.  Shopping and laundry day.  “Laundry Day” means dropping it at the lavandaria and picking it up 5 hours later. A couple loads for $180 peso total or around $9.50 USD.

“Shopping” was wondering around Homedepot for a bit then down to the Mercado  in town center for a sandwich a couple liquados (smoothies) $60 peso, and grocery shopping.  Not much achieved on boat chores.

Things are shaping up (slowly) the list remains:

  1. Finish up fridge work, Mike at Rescue Refrigeration has gotten busy and we are hoping to see him again Monday.  We saw some foam insulation material and need to find some aluminum tape and I think we can get the fridge sorted out.  At present it is freezing everything and we need to isolate the evaporator box a bit with some insulation around it, maybe add a door to the front?  Mike needs to bleed off a bit more Freon in order to reduce the icing of the copper from the compressor to the evaporator.  The icing is worse when we have a little higher line voltage and the compressor kicks in to a higher speed.
  2. Shopping today and we got some potable water hose for the potable water tank, we will change it out asap.
  3. Still need to power up the new sonar transducer, we plan to try and mount it as a in-hull  temporarily to see if it will work that way first.
  4.  We have a new rudder feed back transducer and SHOULD install it, the old one was intermittently cutting out while on autopilot sending boat in circles. Circles are not BAD, rocks are BAD.  I really SHOULD replace it, even though it IS intermittent…
  5. Check the new GPS/Chartplotter with radar and AIS
  6. Check prop shaft alignment to motor again, it has been around 600 hours run time and we need to loosen the coupling and make sure the shaft and motor are still lined up.  Adjust if needed
  7. Make sure dinghy motor runs
  8. Fill fuel cans
  9. Check out charge on forward windlass battery, it is solely charged with a small 1.0 sq-ft solar tender. ( http://products.batterytender.com/Solar/5-Watt-Solar-Tender-Charger-With-Built-in-Controller.html )

We may be here a while longer!

Later this week – Progress:

#9 – Got out volt meter and checked the battery voltage at the remote charge port about 10 foot (20 total distance for voltage drop calcs.) from the battery and got 13.22 Volts, the analog gauge 2 foot from the battery reads like 13.0 ish…  So it is a GOOD CHARGE from the Battery Tender solar unit, new just last year…


#5 – AIS and Radar are working fine with the new Garmin GPSMAP 840xs.  Took a bit to find the serial port NMEA 0183 communication setup page, can you believe Garmin hides it in the menu under SETTINGS – COMMUNICATIONS – Serial Port 1 ???  Go figure!

#2 – Changed the potable water hose and moved the carbon filter housing to under the sink from in the bilge and Jess says the water tastes better!  A win!

#7 – Jess fired up the 5 HP 2 – stroke Mercury dinghy outboard and it ran great!  We finally made a gift of the 2 HP Honda 4 stroke to a friend here in Mazatlan.  I hope he can get it working and use it to it’s fullest…

#4 – The RUDDER feedback transducer is changed and like all 3 screws and one 4 lead wire connection projects, this took most of the day.  One of the 3 screws sheared during removal so the drill/tap and new screw box got pulled out.  Then the wiring from the transducer back to the Raymarine Autopilot Computer had to be made nice and neat along with half a dozen other wires and hoses which were not tied up exactly right….

#1 – The fridge…  Well Mike at Rescue Refrigeration took his tools back and invoiced us.  He is convinced that we just need to keep letting a little Freon out daily until the line from the compressor to the evaporator quits frosting and icing up.  We are trying.  We did get some  rigid foam and insulated both the evaporator box and then the inside of the ice box lids.  Mike came back one last time (cross our fingers)  and we led the vacuum pressure in the system down to about 5 psi running, drifts up to maybe 8 psi when cycled off.  His theory is that we purchased a FREEZER box and not a refrigerator box and that it is balanced to run the evaporator at a much colder temperature.  So we are trying the lower coolant pressures and a little lower thermostat setting.  If we can get it to NOT SHORT CYCLE and still keep ICE and the box around 40 degrees F.  We will be happy campers.  Last night it only used 20 Amps over 8 hours.  It had been at around 30 Amps over 8 hours when we first put it in so we have our fingers crossed.


There are lots of variables in this system:

  • The control system was from the Isotherm ASU 4107
  • Where to place the thermostat tip, on the ASU it is attached to the cold plate.
  • 2255.20  Isotherm ASU chart
  • The ASU trys to gauge system VOLTAGE and adjust the compressor motor speed accordingly.  The Danfoss  BD50F 12/24 volt compressor can run at 2000 to 3500 rpm depending on the resistance in the thermostat circuit.  With this in mind, the smart MIND of OUR ASU controller is sooooo confused:  Lithium batteries run at a higher voltage than EXPECTED in a 12v lead acid battery marine installation.  The cold plate has been replaced by the Nove Kool R4 evaporator box…  SO we put the SMART CONTROL settings on MANUAL and expect it to work more like a standard thermostat, we put the thermister from the ASU system against the evaporator body where Nova Kool says to place a thermostat probe.  Time will tell…


All work and no play….

Lunch at a NEW restaurant across the street from the marina, Cargo Pulpa.  Excelent seafood!!!  And I took a photo of the proceeds of the shopping trip to the liquor store also across the street from the marina.  For $33.57 USD stocked the boat with tequila  + tequila+ brandy + Controy (Contreau ish) …  The cheese called “CHESTER”  well some things in Mexico just make us laugh!

More Progress –

#3 – New sonar installation.  A study of the Garmin websites turned up the statement that the GT-21 can not be mounted on the inside of a hull and shoot it’s sonar sound magic through the fiberglass hull and back again in order to determine the depth as well as the bottom contour…  That made no sense so we tested the unit inside the hull sitting in water dammed up with some clay we found in the toys section over at the Walmart and it seemd to be a working correctly. We have other transducers installed like this and operating operating properly.


So I cut the blue end wire on the GT-21 transducer wire and tried to use the spare leads from the old GPSMAP 3206 already run down through the binnacle tubes, same as I used to run the power and NMEA 0183  leads to the new GPSMAP 840XS.  The strategy worked for the GPSMAP 840XS but not so well on the GT-21.  BAD IDEA!

So as time wound down we decided to leave the fishing transducer installation for a later day.  Good news, mounting for shoot through the hull worked, cutting the cable not so good, but before putting it away for a later day, I did verify that soldering the cut connectors back together and adding a little foil which was removed when I had cut the cable made the cable functional again…


#6 – The propeller shaft alignment looks GREAT.  I loosened the 4 bolts holding the drive plate from the transmission (in B/W photo below you can see the 4 pads clearly) to the flex coupling (Color photo is of a typical flex coupling).  I worked the two apart slightly and brought them back together, the first pad to touch the coupling is tightened so that a 0.003 inch feeler gauge will NOT GO into the gap between the pad and the coupling.  The other three pads are checked with a 0.003 inch feeler gauge and they were also NOGO to the feeler gauge insertion.  We call this motor to shaft alignment GOOD!


Image result for marine transmission shaft coupling   

#8 – We fill the fuel cans today.  Taking them over to the El Cid Marina We check the depth at the Fonatur Marina on the way, just to check access to the fuel dock to make sure we can utilize that dock when needed…

Maybe we will be ready to go cruise the Mexican coast to the south of Mazatlan… Isla Isabela, San Blas, Chacala, Puerto Vallarta then on south if the wind blows that way.

Soon as we get over the effects of tonight’s margaritas!!!


Just for fun:

Reference sites:

  1. http://www.mawsweather.com/  or
  2. http://www.mawsweather.com/elnino.html
  3. http://www.suremarineservice.com/ISO-44701HE100000.aspx
  4. https://www.indelwebastomarine.com/us/products/cooling-technology/isotherm-exclusive-cooling-technology-asu/
  5. http://products.danfoss.com/productdetail/commercialcompressors/compressors-for-refrigeration/secop-reciprocating-compressors-for-danfoss/secop-direct-current-compressors/r134a-10-45v-dc/101z1220/#/
  6. http://files.danfoss.com/technicalinfo/dila/06/bd50f_101z1220_r134a_12-24vdc_07-2013_dehced100f702.pdf
  7. https://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Couplings.aspx



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