Monday, 27 February 2012

Boat gear: Cruz Pro RH-60 engine tachometer

we give the RH-60 a "thumbs up"!

Ever since we purchased Pelagia, we've intended to put a tachometer (engine RPM) in the cockpit -- Pelagia has her engine instruments at the inside steering station.

This "need" became more acute after an engine breakdown (off Cape Beale, Barkley Sound... thankfully we're a SAIL boat!) in 2009 sheared off the tach sensor, and we no longer had an engine tachometer.

Enter the Cruz Pro RH-60 engine tachometer/engine hours gauge.

The manual for the RH-60 (which is available on line, so we were able to review before purchasing) indicated hooking this little gauge (Cruz-Pro has RPM gauges with larger numbers -- we didn't need larger) should be quite simple.

Amazingly, getting it to work was indeed simple! (Even easier with a smart regulator such as our Balmar ARS-5.) 

First time running the engine showed RPM perhaps a little low -- calibration is carried-out by (i) determining actual RPM (such as with a timing light) then simply (ii) adjusting the RH-60 so it matches the actual RPM.
RH-60 installed in Pelagia's cockpit coaming

We now have an engine tachometer in the cockpit. (And, because it outputs RPM via NMEA 0183, we could also have a tach readout at the inside steering station.)

Boat things are not usually so easy to install...!

UPDATE: June/July 2012. I finally got around to checking the calibration of the RH-60 using a timing light/laser. The actual RPM was about 70% higher than the Cruz Pro was reading. No problem, I followed the directions to re-set/calibrate the RH-60 to the actual RPM. However, I made the mistake of calibrating at a relatively low RPM. Thus, when running at (actual) RPM of 2500, I got a readout of over 4000 RPM. (In doing so, I discovered the factory default "max RPM" alarm -- a piercing noise.) 

So, I learned that I had to calibrate the RH-60 with the engine running at a fairly high RPM. All seems correct now.  It was easy to adjust the RH-60 calibration.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Several days aboard Pelagia... working on projects (at the dock)

Well, we did indeed get "on" Pelagia this weekend. But not away from the dock. The combination of terrible rainy weather and the "pressure" of so many projects (from small to large) helped us decide to stay home and spend the past 4 days working on Pelagia. As they say, "cruising = working on the boat in exotic places" (well, some think Vancouver is exotic...).

My first little project: get the new Cruz Pro RH-60 engine tachometer hooked up/installed in the cockpit. Next, was to turn the "wireless" Uniden Wham4X to a "wired" (i.e., powered) remote mike. (Why? Because its battery never holds a charge! Useless!)  Reviews on these two coming up.

M. decided she wanted to tackle some of the interior wood. It has been at least 4-5 years since any of the interior has been touched up (i.e., at least since we purchased Pelagia), and some trim in the galley and head, as well as the salon teak table, are looking a little tired. However, now (a few days later) the interior is already looking pretty damn good again! (Trouble is, now she wants to do all the interior!)

So, we are both recovering well from our recent injuries, and plan to try a return to the ski slopes this weekend. Fingers crossed.

Monday, 6 February 2012

"Minor" setbacks... falling down mountains doesn't help!

It's OK -- we're OK. 

Michelle took a long nasty tumble down "Cougar Chutes", a double-black-diamond run on Blackcomb Mountain (Whistler, B.C.)  -- badly bruised jaw and face and a cracked rib. She is recovering quickly.

Looking up at Cougar Chutes (top/middle of mountain in photo)

Looking down Cougar Chutes (2 days after fall)

Red line indicates where and how far M. fell.

At least she did it skiing! Two days later, I (David) tore my left calf muscle running for the bus on the way to go skiing! (Who says offshore sailing is dangerous? Try running for the bus!). I'm not sure how long this will take -- but no pain if I "watch my step".

Of course, this makes it hard to get to work on Pelagia!

February 15th update: We're healing fast. Already thinking of getting skiing again (M. may hold back on Cougar Chutes for a "while".)  I am only slightly limping now -- have been able to get back to Pelagia to do some little bits of work. Hoping to head out (into the rain?) on Pelagia this weekend.