Wallace Island

We stopped by Wallace Island for a visit last week.

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We added our Tolly Roger sign

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We’ve been to Wallace Island before and really like the history behind it.

Recently our friend Steve Monrad posted this short video about the island.

 

We also signed the Tollycraft Burgee in the shack!

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2016 Cruising

Summer Cruising 2016

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We started at SUCIA for the Canadian May long weekend.
We were quite surprised that Fossil Bay was not very busy.

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We’ve walked from Fossil to Shallow many many times and I’ve never really looked at this tree stump. It must have a story behind it.

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Fossil Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seems like a tradition to have the first boating weekend at Sucia every year .
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The next cruise was the annual “N DOCK” Pirates Weekend ….
great fun but a a bit hard on my liver!

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Next we were  out for a couple of weeks at the end of July with our good friends in their “new to them” Tollycraft 44 now named  “HAT TRICK” (it’s their 3rd Tolly) but actually if you include their dog, who’s name is Tolly, it’s their 4th Tolly !

 

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We traveled first to Reid Harbor, then to Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island.
We like it there. Great hikes!
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Of course we had to make the annual shirt purchase!
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Turn Point Light Station is a great hike. This year we had a tour of the small museum and the caretakers house that has is hosted by members of the Turn Point Lighthouse Preservation Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is an unmarked path (maybe trail is a better word) that leads from the Lighthouse to another Viewpoint that looks to the NorthWest.
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We travelled to Tod Inlet for some warm water swimming and a few walks.
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From there we headed to Pender Island and Poets Cove.

We dinghy’d over to the beach at Beaumont Park and hiked the trail to Mt. Norman.
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The trail winds around the back side of the park and then ascends through the forest and then up a steep road to the lookout.
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The lookout

It’s a good hike and definitely got the heart beating!
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Along the way we found time to explore some beaches in the Dinghy’s

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Lots of fun and soon another Summer Cruise was ending.
We finished off the cruise in Shallow Bay back at Sucia

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Roger That

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Shallow Bay Sunset

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Teak Window Valances

In 2011, when we first got the boat, one of the first things we did was to remove the “flowery” curtains.

Original Interior

Original Interior

First we replaced the curtains with with  blinds. It dramatically changed the look of the inside and helped make the teak sides”pop” but the original window valances on the boat were covered with a cream colored vinyl and it looked dirty, dated and drab.

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We  wanted to change these and update them to teak.

So this past Winter the valances were removed , stripped of the vinyl and  1/8″ teak plywood was glued to them.
We wanted the grain to run vertically to match the sides and this meant adding a molding to the bottom of the valance. A custom curved molding had to be made for the forward end of the valance.
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After sanding they were finished with several coats of teak oil.
We used the original trim “piping” on the upper edge

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Here’s how they turned out

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A purely cosmetic project this time but we think it looks way better !

 

Posted in Boat Projects, Tollycraft 34 Projects | 2 Comments

Cruising Update

We’ve been neglecting our blog entries for a while so it’s time to catch up.

The pictures below are random samples from our destinations so far this year that include;
Sucia, Sucia, Sucia, Reid Harbor, Roche Harbor (Tollycraft Rendezvous), Steveston, Captains Cove, Secret Cove, Desolation Sound, Tenedos, Pendrell Sound, Laura Cove, Grace Harbour, Gorge Harbour,  Smuggler Cove, Point Roberts…. click on a picture to enlarge.

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We’ll update with more pictures soon

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Replacing a Starboard Port…….. wait…… what?

The portlight on the Starboard side was looking a little “worse for wear”
The portlight was ugly, the trim ring was cracked, the bug screen was broken, the lens was cloudy and the outer silicon seal was falling out, so….
It was time to replace it.

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It looked like the outside edges had been sealed with silicon at some point and that was failing.
The outside trim ring was brittle and came off in several pieces.
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I ran a knife blade around the edges of the portlight and with very little pressure it literally fell out (or actually in, crashing into the sink in the head)

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Next I cleaned up the outside surface and sanded down the high spots.

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Although there was no sign of it on the inside, I discovered that the portlight had been leaking.

The inner wall is teak plywood and the outer is  fiberglass but in between is 1/2″ plywood and the lower aft corner was WET!  Luckily it was just the inner core of the plywood that was wet and damaged.
Good thing this project is getting done!

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I dug out the wet wood with a small screwdriver and used the shop vac to help clean out the debris. Then I dried out the cavity with a hair dryer and let it sit open for a day or so.

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After it was completely dry, I sanded the entire opening. I mixed a small batch of epoxy resin and applied it with a brush around the opening and using  a syringe I filled the cavity, level to the bottom edge of the opening.
I let this cure for a couple of days.

Next, I dry fit the new portlight in position to measure the fit and the outside edge.

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The new portlights come with a full 2″ depth spigot. The old one was flush mounted to the trim ring.
I think that the flush mounting actually caused the seal to fail and leak, so I opted to extend the spigot out  3/8″.
The  spigot was easy to trim using a table saw. (sorry no pictures of that step)

The old portlight was mounted with the trim ring screwed on from the outside.
I  like the look of the trim ring without the screws so I chose to use 4200 to attach it.

I opted for the BECKSON Self Drain Port. I think it looks better than the “rain drain” style with the two cut outs on the bottom.

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Beckson SELF Drain Port

 

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Next,  I installed the trimmed portlight. The inner flange is screwed to the cabin wall from the inside.
Then I taped around the outer edge outside of where the trim ring will sit to make it easier and neater to clean up the excess 4200.

I then sealed the gap between the spigot’s outside flange and the cabin side and the old screw holes with 4200.

I applied a generous bead of 4200  around and under the trim ring and gently clamped it in place.

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After a short set up time I removed the clamps and tape and cleaned up any excess 4200.

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I re-taped the trim ring to keep a bit of pressure on it and left it to set up overnight.

………..and here is how the Finished Port Light looks

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Another needed project done !

On to the next one…………………………..

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Battery and 12V DC Upgrade

This project began last Fall and has turned into an almost complete upgrade and update of the 12 Volt DC system

First a little background

As far as I can tell, the boat came from the factory with 3 – 8D batteries located between the stringers centred in the lazzerette. One 8D was wired just for the port engine the other 2 were wired for the starboard start and house bank. We had a house bank of about 650ah or so and yes we did drain that down while anchored last year.
It was then I started to seriously think about a new set up

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Charging these 8D’s (while cruising) came from both engines wired to an old charging combiner and then to each battery. This seemed to work OK but I do not think the batteries were ever fully charged with this method.

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last 8D in place. There were 2 more in front of this

 

At some point the previous owner added a Xantrex Prosine inverter/charger and powered this with 4 – 6V Golf Cart batteries. These were located between the outside stringers, 2 on each side.
This was wired as a complete seperate battery bank.

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Old Location for GC 6V batteries. 2 on each side

 

Everything seemed to work OK   but we lacked the ability to charge the Golf Cart batteries with the engine alternators (remember we don’t have a generator) and we lacked the ability to properly monitor either battery bank. Another issue was we could not completely isolate the “House” bank from the “Start” bank.

The 8-D’s were 8 years old and were on the list to be replaced, so this all led to a re-design and upgrade of the entire system.

I started thinking that if we combined the inverter batteries and the “house bank” and added a separate stand alone “start” battery that would be better. I had recently changed the 4 Golf Cart Batteries and my supplier felt that adding an additional 4 so soon was no problem.( Usually you would not want to combine new and old batteries but these should be just fine.)

None of the cables or wires connected to the batteries were labelled or marked, so the first step was to trace them all back and mark them. That took longer than I had expected but I was then able to see how the boat was wired and I ended up changing the main power switches to dedicate one as the “House Bank” and one as the “Start Bank”

By increasing the new “house bank” to 8 – 6Volts this will give us just over 900ah of standby power, should be plenty!

This new combined House Bank will use the inverter/charger for AC charging and I could eliminate the OLD – GIANT – NOISY pro mariner.  Some people call these old chargers “battery cookers” because they are single 60 amp chargers that just BLAST a charge at the batteries. More modern chargers are 3 stage and not will make batteries last longer. Well, we have one of those, so why not use it !

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Old Pro Mariner Battery Charger

 

Next I thought If I could move the location of these batteries, 4 on each side, to the outside stringer space this would free up a huge amount of storage space where the 8D’s were.
I constructed heavy duty plywood shelves to fit the batteries on . The shelves are fixed and are quite solid. The batteries in their boxes slide in place from the lazzerette and are held in with cleats and nylon tie downs.

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Testing out the new loaction

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Batteries in place ready for cables

 

I wanted to isolate the entire house bank circuits, dedicate a new alternator for the new house bank , add new wiring with the proper fuses and add a  Blue Sea ACR. This will combine and then isolate the Start Battery from the new House Bank. I found and removed a few wires that were unused and a added few runs that needed an upgrade. I was able to re-use most of the heavier cables by shortening them and crimping new lug terminals. Shrink tube was used on all cables and wires. I did increase the size of the main house bank alternator and it’s cable. I added fuses where there were none to bring the wiring up to today’s standards.

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Wiring Begins

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Almost Finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wiring Almost Complete

 

 

As usual, there were a few more things to add.

To be able to monitor the House Bank I added a Xantrex Link-Pro. This will give us all the information we need to properly keep track of our usage and battery level. It even monitors the Start Battery Voltage.

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Link Pro Battery Monitor

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Wiring showing the Xantrex Shunt

 

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One thing leads to another……..

Unlike many other models of Tollycraft, our 34 did not have a separate 12V distribution panel. Many of the circuits were simply fused from a main fuse panel. Some had single switches but many were not switched at all.

I wanted to clean this up and be able to switch circuits, so I added a Blue Sea 8023 panel.

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New DC panel and LinkPro mounted

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New 12Volt Distribution Panel

 

To make room for the new panel I removed the old water tank level gauge (it never worked) and re-located the Espar Thermostat  Control.
While identifying and changing circuits over to the distribution panel I tested each device and circuit. I found that the LP Gas sensor was not working correctly. We’ve had several false alarms and I suspected that the solenoid was not closing properly.

So…..

I installed a new LP gas sensor and solenoid control and relocated it from the cabinet wall in the head to a more convenient location easily reached while in the galley. This solves 2 issues and updates the solenoid and alarm! Perfect !

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New propane switch and alarm panel added

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New Propane Switch and Alarm

 

 

Of course this left a huge hole in the vanity cabinet in the head….

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Giant hole and old switches to fix

 

So………………. I made a custom aluminium panel.  This houses the VacuFlush control, a switch for the shower light, the shower drain pump and I  added a “night light”.

It covered the hole nicely .

 

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New Control Panel

New Vacuflush panel

New Vacuflush Panel covers the giant hole

 

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“Well, you’ve got the whole boat ripped apart and tools everywhere… you might as well keep going. This project is taking a long time”…….

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I thought it would be nice to have a working monitor for the Water Tank so…. I found a company that makes a sensor and panel system that gets great reviews.
Ferriello make these sensors under private label but sell for a few dollars less on their website.

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Solo Tank Level Monitor Panel

 

This panel reads the tank level from a sensor mounted on the outside of the poly water tank. 2 strips of aluminium are attached vertically spaced 3″ apart and 2 copper contacts are adhered to the strips.

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External Sensor Kit

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Sensor Installation Drawing

 

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Sensors attached to water tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Control Panels

New Control Panels

I have a feeling that this project is not over just yet but that’s it for now at least.

Check back in a few weeks and see if I have added anything else….. you never know what I might find at the BOAT SHOW !!!!!!

 

Posted in Boat Projects, Tollycraft 34 Projects | 4 Comments

Desolation Sound

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We’ve wanted to go to Desolation Sound for some time. This year it finally happened.

We started by cruising over to Gabriola Island on the first leg, then to Pender Harbour on the 2nd leg then to Grace Harbour, a total of 106 miles. The skies were clear and the seas were calm. Just the way we like it!…………………..

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Half way up Malaspina Straight there was a passenger transfer between Nordic Scot and Breakaway

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Rounding Sarah Point and the first sight of the towering peak of Mt. Denman was every bit the excitement  that we had heard about. Just amazing….. click on any of these pictures to enlarge.

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Our 2 week itinerary included Grace Harbour, Tenedos Bay, Prideux Heaven and Laura Cove, Squirrel Cove and Gorge Harbour but as usual the final float plan evolved along the way…

We were cruising with the crew from Breakaway and  Adagio  and we met up with Desolation Veterans Nola Dene and Nordic Scot who were great tour guides and teachers!

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Rafted in Grace Harbour

Rafted in Grace Harbour

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Around every corner and down every inlet the scenery is simply awesome!

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Tolly Roger Cruising in Desolation

 

Karly joined us half way through the trip by flying into Prideaux Haven.

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Arriving in style Arriving in Style thanks to Corilair !

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We had a great time in Laura Cove! So much we stayed an extra couple of days !!

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Stern tied in Laura Cove

Stern tied in Laura Cove

A Big “Hit” on the trip was the “RELAXATION STATION”
Thanks Bob for transporting it!
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We hiked in to many of the fresh water lakes inland from the anchorages.

Unwin Lake at Tenedos Bay and Black Lake from Roscoe Bay were excellent swimming for people and the dogs!

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Looking for Tolly

Looking for Tolly

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There were many Dinghy Rides and Floating Happy Hours along the way……………

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Bow Party

Chillin’ in Squirrel Cove

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We left Prideaux Haven and headed to Squirrel Cove

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We hiked over to Van Donop inlet. It’s a great hike, well marked trail and good trails.

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From there we headed to Gorge Harbour

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Gorge Harbour Marina is an excellent facility. Great docks, a very good store and a fantastic restaurant.

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They even had a Yoga Class every Morning !

 

We dinghy’d over to Mansons Landing to dig a few clams for a delicious dinner !

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We left Gorge Harbour and headed straight down ending up in the Gulf Islands for our last night.

It was a long run but the sea was calm so we decided just to go for it.

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Such a GREAT trip ! We can’t wait to go back up and explore again…………

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#desolationsound          #Tollycraft       #Laura Cove  #Laura Cove  “Tenedos

Posted in Cruising with Tolly Roger | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Catching up

Well, it’s been a while and we probably need to catch up on some of our cruising notes.

We’ve had 2 long weekends in May this Spring at Sucia including the annual N Dock Pirates weekend. What FUN!

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Then it was the annual Tollycraft Rendezvous in Roche Harbor in June.

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The theme this year was WESTERN ROUNDUP so we costumed up and even Roger got into it

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Then it was off to Reid Harbor for a Birthday Party and more fun. We counted 16 Tolly’s gathered after the rendezvous. Some stayed just overnight some stayed for a few days.

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We spent 10 days cruising around the San Juan’s….


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We left Reid and headed to Friday Harbour to meet up with a few friends. Spent July 4th there and saw the fireworks diplay!

 

Ross applies yet another coat of Liquid Glass

Ross applies yet another coat of Liquid Glass

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

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Roger celebrates July 4th

Dinghy rides are a must……….

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Best Friends and Lap Dogs…. Roger and Tolly

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We stopped in a Sucia on our way home. What a great trip to start the Summer with!

 

 

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VHF Radios with DSC …. Connections make all the difference

Recently, I upgraded my VHF Radio Operators Certificate to include the endorsement for DSC (Digital Selective Calling)

Digital Selective Calling and DSC VHF radios have been around for a while now but there seems to be some information out there that is vague,  incomplete or in general is misunderstood by the average boater.

While taking the course I found  more than a few things and details that I didn’t know about DSC.

This might be obvious, “old news” and straight forward to some of you, but in an attempt to share the information I thought it was worth blogging about.

 

First, here’s a short video on DSC and how it actually works.

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You can tell if you have an up to date DSC radio by the little door that flips up or opens and it has a “distress” button under it.

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Thousands of these new DSC equipped radios are sold and installed every year to new boaters and to those wanting to upgrade or replace existing VHF’s

Now here’s where it gets interesting………………..or at least where you need to take it 2 steps further…

It’s Important to understand that just connecting the power, ground and antenna for your new DSC radio does not mean that the “Distress” function (under the red door) will dispatch the Coast Guard to help you.

There’s more to it than that! You need to take a few more steps to make it all work for you.

Before that  shiny new DSC Radio will work you must obtain and enter a  Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number in  for it to properly function and activate the DSC side of the radio.

Unless you have entered your MMSI number, the radio will very likely not actually send a digital message at all!……… In fact if your new VHF does not have a built in GPS function or has not been connected to your chartplotter, you will need to manually enter your GPS co-ordinates into your radio BEFORE it will successfully send a digital distress call.
That would take quite a while to enter all those numbers. Time you might not want to waste in the event of a DISTRESS.

So…… in addition to the MMSI number it is well worth it to connect your new VHF to your chartplotter.
Usually this connection is via the 0183 or NMEA 2000 network.

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In the picture above notice the left bottom corner of the screen shows the “lat and long” and time. This information is taken from your chartplotter and seeing it on your radio screen, you know it’s connected .
Its an easy connection just 2 wires in most cases!

Below is a typical RADIO to VHF connection but you should consult your manual for full details.

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These are 2 important steps (along with wiring the 12V DC  power and proper install of the antenna) to make sure your radio functions like you want it to in the event of an emergency and to be able to take advantage of the full DSC capabilities. Some newer radios will alert you (when you first power it up) that you need to input the MMSI number so that the Distress function will work but on some models this message is easily skipped and will not show up again.

A note on older radios….

Some older radios have a red “EMERGENCY” button (without the flip up door) but they may not be able to take full advantage of today’s DSC features including the primary reason you may want it….DISTRESS.
These older radios may lack the ability of sending the GPS co ordinates and your MMSI information, dramatically slowing down response time.

The new radios actually have 2 receivers. One that you select the channel or frequency and the other monitors the digital channel 70 ALL THE TIME.

Many new radios even incorporate their own GPS and AIS systems as well as  DSC. These will still need the MMSI number programmed into them but have additional features that make them even better.

Here is an example of a screen on a newer Standard Horizon model:

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Below are 2 links to register and get your MMSI number :

Canada:
CANADA

http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf08138.html

USA:
BoatUS MMSI
or
http://transition.fcc.gov/Forms/Form605/605.html

It should be relatively painless to apply for your MMSI (It’s free in Canada) It looks like it’s a bit more complicated in the US if you will boating North of the 49th

 

Another important thing to remember is that IF YOU HAVE PURCHASED A Previously Owned BOAT that already had a DSC radio installed, you WILL want to double and triple check that it is wired in properly but more importantly, it will need to be reprogrammed for YOUR MMSI number.
If the radio still has the old owners MMSI programmed that’s not a good thing! You may be able to amend an MMSI number that belongs to you but you should check with who issued the number to make sure.

In some cases you may need to remove the radio and take it into a dealer to be reprogrammed or it may be easier to purchase an updated radio and start from scratch.

The same is true if you SOLD a boat and did not delete and cancel the MMSI number that was in the radio. You would want to make sure this was done as well.

 

Additional  information on DSC

 

Here’s a few short videos explaining a bit more about DSC.:

How DSC Works

Icom Video

The DSC system is fully operational in BC and WA State and all new VHF radios sold now should have the ability to utilize DSC. Essentially this DIGITAL communications system can not only aide in a distress situation but will also act as another way to “hail” another vessel or a group of vessels and have many other additional features like position polling and group calling, all done digitally on Channel 70.
While the “DISTRESS” function of DSC seems to be the most important, the “Individual Call” feature is designed to free up the “calling chatter” on channel 16 ….in the future we all may need to use this feature
Here’s a video of how that works

Individual DSC Call

Most people want the new radio for the security of that RED DISTRESS BUTTON. I have one of these newer radios. When I fist installed it I programmed my MMSI number into it and hooked it up to my chartplotter  but I will freely admit that until recently, I did not know exactly how to make Digital Distress Call or how to use some of the other features of the radio !

Short of taking the complete radio course,( which I do recommend), here’s a video from the UK that explains how to make a DSC Mayday / Distress call. It seems to be the same protical  here in North America

Making a DSC Mayday Distress Call

 

Here is a current Coverage Map showing the DSC system up the BC Coast

DCS Coverage Map

Click on the picture to increase the size.

 

One last bit of useful information…. most of these new radios are reported to be power sensitive and apparently need good clean 12V power to function properly. The radio will appear to be working but both VHF and DSC transmission can be prevented by low power from a poor connection, low battery or simply power from another device drawing the load down. Worth checking how your radio’s 12V DC is wired.
If possible  wire it directly to a properly fused power point and not just “scotch locked” onto a random ignition or hot wire somewhere under the dash.

 

Your radio’s manual will have complete installation and complete operating instructions regarding both VHF and DSC features.

 

Hope this information was useful to somebody.

See you on the water!

Posted in General Boating Topics, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Early Winter Project…….New Flooring

First Winter Project this year is new flooring.

For a couple of reasons we wanted to replace the flooring in the galley, head and stateroom in Tolly Roger.

When we got the boat the “head” had been tiled with a 2×2 white tile but the job was not properly done and some tiles were badly cracked. It was difficult to get the floor really clean and the Vacuflush Toilet was not properly seated and sealed,

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Head with OLD Tiled Floor

The Galley and Stateroom were engineered wood flooring that was in great shape until I damaged it (beyond repair)  installing the new fridge earlier this year. The new fridge was slightly taller and it was a tight fit. The bottom had some very sharp edges and while sliding it in place the sharp corner scratched through the flooring. Big Mistake!

floorbefore (1)

Old Flooring in Galley

So…. the hunt was on to find flooring .

Some time ago we found a product by LONSEAL Marine. They sent us a few samples and we really liked it.

Lonseal is a very heavy duty vinyl flooring product that comes in a few styles.

We chose the mahogany and teak as it matched the colour of the Tolly Interior best.

EnlargeW73SE

Lonseal 73SE

I was a bit surprised to find that there is no local dealer for the product and the best place I found to buy the flooring (and the special glue) was on-line at  DEFENDER

Prep work was relatively minimal although I did add a new subfloor in the head and under the fridge to make it level with the other floor.

Now the challenge was to find someone to install it!        It’s a very small area with way too many angles for me.

It’s a challenge to get a lot of thing done in Point Roberts so it was no surprise that there was nobody at “The Point” that installed vinyl…. carpet yes but not vinyl.

After a few calls and an internet search  I found an installer in Bellingham that would come up and install it.  You buy it we install it flooring….. perfect! just what we need!

Glenn is a great guy and did an amazing job of the installation and really “went the extra mile” to make sure there were no seams and every corner fit perfectly! I highly recommend Glenn if you need any kind of flooring done.

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Here is Glenn cutting out the Lonseal using his paper templates that he painstakingly crafted. Note that he brought a roll end of carpet underlay to roll out on the dock to keep the new flooring clean and dry. Smart trick I thought…

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Above is the flooring just after gluing and rolling.

Below is the “head” with the new floor

Head New Floor

Head with New Floor

Next was to re-install the  doors and trim pieces and finally the fridge.
This time I have covered the bottom of the fridge with felt pads and was EXTRA careful sliding it back in.

Galley Floor

Galley Floor

We really like the look of the new flooring and I am glad this project is wrapped up !

Posted in Boat Projects, Tollycraft 34 Projects | 2 Comments