When we bought our Downeast Cutter 38’ in March 2014 we knew were in for a project. The boat had actually taken on a considerable amount of water partially submerging the engine, flooding the transmission, and fully flooding the aluminum fuel tank in seawater. The seawater had risen to about 18” into the salon between the two sofas. The owners agreed to get the engine running, pump out the water, and clean up the boat. I spent a few months doing various repairs, including a complete transmission removal/rebuild, as the salt water had gotten into some critical parts of the engine room. In the end, the damage seemed worse than it really was. However, after one particular day out, it became evident to us that the fuel tanks were in need of replacement.
The Downeaster 38 has a large Y-shaped fuel tank directly beneath the floor in the galley. The original tank appears to have been made from aluminum and was installed before the furniture was built in an effort to maximize the capacity. Beam-to-beam, the wings on the top of the tank extend as far as underneath the stove and part of the navigation station. Fore to aft, the tank is between the galley sink and the engine room. What’s particularly interesting is that the keel for the boat drops off abruptly into the deep sump under the engine, so the center of the tank is not flat on the bottom. Rather it follows a stair-stepped shape on the bottom to accommodate the keel which protrudes partially into the space below the galley.
Previous Owner’s Sketch of Tank…
The first step was to get all of the fuel out of the tank. This was important not only to make it possible to work on the tank, but to […]
If you have been trying to use the website over the last couple days you might have gotten messages saying there were to many connections or various other error messages involving the sql server, and have been unable to actually use the website. I have been troubleshooting it for the last two days and with a bit of troubleshooting help we found that someone in Russia was using a standard ping back feature of the xmlrpc.php file in wordpress on a couple of the other websites on this server to reflect an attack on a couple of servers here in the US. It was a bit of a conundrum for us as we were not hacked as I had initially believed, they were taking advantage of a supported feature of wordpress, but it ended up creating a denial of service for us as the attackers were opening as many ports with their spoofed pingback request as the server would support. This blocked other users such as you from using the website. Our options were to remove the xmlrpc.php file in the root of all the wordpress sites on the server. This would fix the issue but also break some functionality inside wordpress. IT would have been livable but still not optimal. Luckily we found a plugin for wordpress that addresses this exact situation and allows us to turn off pingbacks while not breaking other functionality.
Everything should be back to normal. As of a few minutes ago we weren’t seeing any more connections being opened up for these pingback DOS attack packets.
If anyone is having any issues please let me know. I don’t think that implementing this fix should affect your usage of the website but you can never tell.
Webmaster and general […]
As everyone will be noticing the website has had some significant changes. I have done a long overdue upgrade to both the basic website software and the forum software. I guarantee that we will have some teething issues. Please let me know if you find any bugs or stuff not working. I am actually working through stuff just like you guys as this is such a major version jump that I am learning to use it now also.
Right now I am trying a new layout for the forums. Let me know if you like this or not.. It is a minor matter to change it back to a standard layout. Also this upgrade is problematical in that the developers removed some features according to them as part of the free download forum. Those features I will need to purchase to re-implement them.. I’m not to worried about that but I’m not sure what functionality is missing in this new version. Let me know if you run across stuff we could do before and now can’t..
One of the major bugs I was trying to fix with this upgrade was the posting of links in forum posts being broken. This is now fixed. I have tested it and it works.. If you still have an issue with it let let me know. But as of right now I am considering it fixed.
There seems to be an issue with the TinyMCE editing controls for creating posts. I am working at resolving that. Normal posting with basic options still works. Also there is a totally new image and media uploading subsystem. The controls for that are under the text area when you are creating a new post.
Just let me know what issues you run into if any and we will […]
I replaced all six opening ports with NFM stainless steel opening ports. They have been excellent. I believe the 17″ ports were very close to a drop in fit. The only extra cutting required was for the ‘half-moon’ cutouts required for the two drains in each port and the countersinks on the back side of the outside plate. The exact cabin trunk thickness was not required. The outer plate connects to the body of the window using female threaded ‘slugs’ molded to the plate. You screw the window and outer plate together from the inside. Here is a picture showing how the outer plate sits in a spot where the factory cut the window hole a little too square. (I ended up filling in that gap with thickened epoxy.)
The rest of that folder has a few other other pictures of the install, it should be an open directory.
I used the template from NFM, but it did not line up all the holes perfectly. The moldings from each window differ slightly. If I were doing it again, I would start the drill holes, marking the location of each hole, from the inside using the port itself. I would then use the template to make sure the drill went in at 90 degrees to the surface for each hole. You need to keep each port ‘married’ to each hole until you complete the install, otherwise the drill holes might not line up. These are well built, but they are not tight tolerance parts.
I used polysulfide to seal up the port against the cabin trunk and 4000UV to seal up the outside plate. If doing it again I would just use the factory butyl. Can’t complain though. It’s been six years and they haven’t leaked a drop. 🙂
Mr Charles McGrory of Glasgow Scotland recently contacted me to comment on the site and offered up some projects he has done on his boat. He has an Ohlson 38 he has restored and this was one of his projects to brighten up his mast by painting it. Over the next week or so I will try and put up a nice project he has for a watch standing seat in the companionway.
From Mr. McGrory: When I bought my boat in Oct 2010 ,the mast was very badly weathered. I considered having the mast stripped and then painted with Awlgrip. I thought about a new mast but Sailspar in England kindly told me that the original mast would be of much thicker section than the masts of today. And a new mast of thinner section would be approx £5000 without the tangs etc. I did not strip the mast at all. I had this tip from another Ohlson 38 owner who is near Ipswich; he guards his privacy so I can’t mention his name. He touches up his 30 yr old mast with a Hammerite Smooth spray can. My mast was ghastly as you can see. I tried the Hammerite Smooth spray can just for the hell of it; could not look any worse, and could see a big improvement but the paint was showing weeping run marks from too heavy a shot of aerosol; I quickly changed to a normal can £20 and a hair brush. I had so little faith that it would work, it was all just an experiment, anything would look better. However, in one warm sunny afternoon I did the whole mast which was down for the boat going into the paint shed. What a difference! It just took a wee bit care to […]