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MelJones

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MelJones last won the day on September 12 2017

MelJones had the most liked content!

About MelJones

  • Rank
    DogFish catcher

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Winchester
  • Interests
    Boating, sailing, fishing, shooting.
  • Boat Name
    Sirona
  • MMSI
    232011392

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  1. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Good point. Indeed I did fit great big zinc anodes to each tab shortly after the original posts above.
  2. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Having had them in the boat for several months now, and having been out in all sorts of weather, I would never be without them again. In fact, I wouldn’t want to own the boat if they were suddenly outlawed! The PH 20 is a fantastic boat, but it can be very susceptible to crew moving around the deck. The trim tabs enable you to correct for this very quickly and make it far less of a battle to stay on course. Wind-helm is also negated. Visibility is improved drastically. The only warning I would give is that they do not remove the need for proper seamanship and caution. Set them too deep in a bit of a sea and you will come a cropper - for instance, if you let the bow dig in with the sea behind you, it will be your first and last time of doing so! Just be sensible with them and they work extremely well.
  3. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Good questions Steve. To be honest, I've not really got to grips with it yet, and am sure that it will improve once I have my settings correctly, well, set... To date, I've only had it in up to 15m/20m of water. In deeper water I would expect it to perform even better and show a wider tranche of the seabed. As it is, you can build up a picture of the seabed by motoring back and forth so that it can piece the strips together, if that makes sense. Slightly annoying, but you get there in the end. It does show features very well though and the latest update to Lighthouse software is supposed to make it even better - particularly in terms of being able to mark waypoints anywhere - not just where you are at a particular moment. I like the 3D function. But I also like the high Chirp and Downvision settings too - I don't think you would constantly use one or the other. Not sure about speed it will work to - I've tended to use it when we've been looking for features, so only going less than 8/10kts or so. Wrecks - I think this is where it will shine. Fish - yes, it does. Again, need to get the settings right because to start with it looked like there was an aquarium beneath us - turned out that it needed winding back a bit, but then it's clear to see where fish are. I'll try to do some more indepth testing in the coming weeks, although we're not out this weekend and possibly not next either due to other commitments.
  4. MelJones

    Tackle box inspiration

    Here you go Neil.
  5. MelJones

    Tackle box inspiration

    It has movable dividers within each drawer/tray. I generally prefer to keep hooks/swivels in packets/boxes to limit their exposure to the elements, and there is plenty of room for that. Will take a photo when I have a moment. The big section under the lid is particularly good I find - can fit two winder boxes in there, my knife, few big spools of line etc.
  6. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Extremely fast to render charts - which is something you perhaps don't think you need until you try it. I have an Raymarine eS97 system on the yacht, which is 2014, and this is miles faster. The eS is no slouch and perfect for most people, but the Axiom is that bit slicker and no more expensive. In fact, you need to add a sounder unit and transducer to the eS (just a suitable transducer to the Axiom) which makes the eS more expensive. On the other hand, the eS has physical buttons as well as a touchscreen. Only the Axiom Pro (newer still and over £2k for the 9inch version) has the same hard keys too. Personally, I don't mind, but some will prefer both. Haven't had the chance to really play with the sounder yet, but even out of the box it is very good. The 3D view will take some work to get perfect - at the moment I spend too long looking at it and moving it about rather than just viewing it and interpreting the data. It is great though how you can drive back and forth over an area of seabed and it will piece together a 3D picture of that area. The high speed CHIRP and downview settings are very good though - very clear. I added a new VHF (Ray70) which has an AIS receiver built in because I wouldn't have bothered fitting a separate unit and VHF splitter etc. (this uses the single aerial). However, nothing is ever that simple - to make the two talk to each other you have to have a SeaTalkng backbone. Thankfully I had a few spare SeaTalk cables from the yacht, and only needed to add a 5-way splitter. It is very good at displaying AIS though - again, easier to use and view than the eS system.
  7. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    No, not so far as I've noticed so far. I've got a new Axiom display but didn't spend any time playing with it specifically - most of the time I had the Axiom set to the chart display and the smaller Garmin 555 set to sounder. Didn't notice any problems with either though and I did have the high chirp and realvision settings running on the Axiom for a while. I think the design of the M120 with the downward flared edges should produce less water disturbance than conventional flat tabs. The Garmin's transducer is closer to the tabs than the Raymarine one, so if there was an issue I think I probably would have seen it on that first.
  8. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Yes, we're dry stacked, but I should have added that fitting anodes is another job on the list. As for antifouling - many people complain that it rubs straight off trim tabs, but a light coating of epoxy first should do the trick. I'm not going down this route until such time as she is likely to spend more than a week in the water at any one time.
  9. MelJones

    Tackle box inspiration

    Sorry, late to the party again, but I just bought this bigger version of a box I used to have on my Orkney 520. This fits under one of the seats in the cockpit, so doesn't get in the way, but has oodles of space. Not cheap, but its good quality. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Plano-3700-Series-Stow-Away-Rack-System/172452459799?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908131621%26meid%3De168257bb8c840d4ba8ccc4589c1bed1%26pid%3D100678%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D3%26sd%3D361898054270&_trksid=p2481888.c100678.m3607&_trkparms=pageci%253A26c09ff2-96e3-11e7-9573-74dbd180a830%257Cparentrq%253A70aae29a15e0ab1cf3eb61aefffe84a2%257Ciid%253A1
  10. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Inside the boat: This was a different story, simply due to the difficulty of passing cables and pipes though inaccessible parts of the boat. Ignoring time to go to Screwfix to get some fibreglass rods for fishing cables back and forth, this next stage took me around 3 hours. With the hydraulic pipes (black) and sensor wires (grey) now inside the boat (thankfully above the waterline and not impeded by anything inside the hull) it was time to pass them through to where I wanted to site the HCU (hydraulic control unit, or pump). Having examined all sorts of options for passing them behind, under, through and bits that would not require any cutting or drilling of the boat, I opted to drill two 10mm holes as the lesser of evils. The alternative would have been to cut a large hole in the splashwell to grant access to there and then fill it with a screw-on cover. I didn't fancy that if it could be avoided as two 10mm holes with silicone filler in this position will pose a far lower risk of water entering the hull than a gurt bit fitting on the stern and exposed to the weather. My once tidy battery locker because a snakes' orgy of wires, pipes and tools. But, with a small amount of cursing, fibreglass splinters and more cursing, I managed to regain control and get everything where it needed to be. The HCU/pump was easy to fit, but harder to fill with ATF fluid. I'd recommend a very small funnel (which I didn't have) or lots of paper towels (which I thankfully did have). Then it was simply a case of running the big blue control wire to the helm, having cut out a convenient space in which to mount the switch. This would have been slightly less troubling had I have been sure that it was going to be long enough. When I ordered, I didn't think to specify a length, so what I got was only just long enough. Do bear this in mind. This particular switch requires both a standard positive connection but also a positive connection from the engine key. This is so that when you switch off your engine, the tabs are automatically told to lift up. This was a key feature for me to avoid any damage by the dry stack fork lift if I forget to lift them manually before leaving the boat. I took the regular +ive connection from the feed to the switch panel and the engine-switched +ive connection from the rev counter's positive feed. This is now my helm position, with the trim tab switches in clear view and easy to tweak as you look at the bows of the boat. I thought about mounting them lower, but this would have meant having to look back and forth when you really want to be concentrating on what effect your use of the tabs is having on your trim. All done, and I had her put back in the water for a quick sea trial. Everything worked brilliantly, although I did find that in pushing the pipes/cables up into the battery locker I had mixed up which was port and which was starboard. The sensors were correct though, so 50% right! Back at the pontoon, I quickly swapped the pipes around on the HCU and everything was working as it should. And how did it perform? Remarkable. Firstly, a disclaimer - with only me on board, and less weight at the stern in particular (no kids, wife, fishing tackle etc) then the trim was always going to be better. However, it was very obvious that the trim tabs had a huge effect on the boat's trim when applied. Being a big enough fellow, my weight alone in the helm's seat does tilt the boat slightly to starboard. The tabs easily corrected this. Equally, I could drop the bow to an acceptable level very easily. I'm now looking forward to trying it out fully loaded, but I have high expectations based on what I've seen so far. As ever, doing one job on a boat shows up others that you need to do. In this case, I need to fit an extended auxiliary engine mount so that the leg does not foul the trim tab. I also need to fit a different stern ladder for the same reason. I expected these. However, I had not expected to find that my four-way battery control switch is either not working or has been wired up badly. It seems that there is constant power to the 12v system even when in the "off" position and that the other settings don't work as they should. That might explain why my VHF keeps telling me there is low 12v power when the domestic battery has 12.9v. Ah well, another job for another day. Hope that has been interesting for people considering doing the same type of thing.
  11. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Having bit the bullet and spent a small fortune on two metal places and a bit of wiring, I thought I better get to fitting them. Saturday was the day. Thought this very rough run through might help others who think about doing it themselves. It is easily within the capabilities of anyone who can drill a straight hole of the right size and make a few basic electrical connections. I opted for the M120 trim tabs from Bennett. My feeling was that the hydraulic system was likely to be more reliable than electrical ones, although some do speak highly of them. I also didn't like the principle of the Volvo system, as it is simply adding drag, not downward force which is what I was looking for. Any trim tab will increase drag in any case, so the more I could do to minimize fuel wastage, the better. There are lots of videos on YouTube (including the ones on Bennett's own website, so I am not going to take you step by step as an idiots guide, but you might learn something else - especially for PH20 owners. Outside of the boat: So, this is Sirona And this is the space I have to play around in: First, as ever, measure twice, cut (or drill) once. The backing plates for the tabs are used as the guide. Pass screws through the outer plate, binding the trim tab to the backing plate and boat. This is one of the most important tools that you can have for getting the fitting right The point is that when you fit the tabs, they are initially in the "all-up" position. Accordingly, the whole of the plate needs to be negative as viewed against the line of the hull. That is to say, not pushing down on the boat at all when in use and lifted up. Instead of messing around trying to measure this (5/8") negative lift, I got the idea of making this template from a YouTube video. It also means you can make both sides identical. Using the supplied templates to drill accurate holes. It was slightly annoying having to convert imperial drill bit sizes to metric, but it helps if you write the correct size on at least one of the templates or next to the imperial on the instructions. I had opted for the (more expensive, grrr.) EIC control unit which shows the amount of trim that you have in real time. This meant there had to be an extra hole for the sensor wire (grey). As this is all completely covered by the upper mount, this together with copious amounts of silicone (inside and out) offers reassurance that drilling all these holes in your boat isn't too much of a problem. Screw everything together, apply epoxy to the underwater screws (only 8 of them and quite small reassuringly) and lots of marine grade silicone above the waterline and the outside of the boat is finished. This only took me about an hour and half and I was going slowly to ensure accuracy. Inside the boat coming next.
  12. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Update - I've ordered a set of M120 Bennett trim tabs from PH Marine up Reading way. I was put in touch with them by the very helpful guys at Marine Components who explained that they were restricted to selling direct from the door and at RRP by their agreement with their distributors. As I wanted them delivered they put me in touch with Peter who offered me a very competitve price and has arranged for them to be delivered tomorrow. What was also interesting today is that I called Orkney for their recommendations on sizing of the trim tabs. They said that they did not recommend fitting trim tabs in anything other than the PH20 inboard version and larger boats. Apparently the slamming and nose high attitude is by design. They were very helpful and offered a different perspective, but I can't say that I found that they had any convincing arguments against trim tabs. If you take their argument to its conclusion, you either live with the slamming/nose high profile or you significantly reduce speed. As for listing, you have to live with it. I love Orkney boats, but I don't love those issues so I am only too happy to try to improve on it. Let's hope this does the trick. The other interesting thing is of the three Poole companies I called to supply/fit trim tabs for me on Monday, none of them have called me back yet (it's Thursday). One (Marinautic) did say that they were going on holiday today and would try to get back to me before then, so I can understand them not responding, but no idea where the others are. Must have too much work to be bothered by me! Hope to fit the tabs this weekend. If you happen to see me working on Sirona at Cobbs (she is on a workstand next to the fuel pontoon) do pop by to say hello.
  13. MelJones

    Fuelling issue..

    Sorry to be replying to an old post, but it might help someone - I had exactly the same types of issues with our yacht when we first had her. We replaced a cracked glass filter bowl and various clips to ensure that there weren't air leaks, but ultimately had to go down the route of having the fuel polished and the tank professionally cleaned. I could have done it myself, and possibly saved a few pounds, but the mess and potential for cock ups was big enough to make me let someone else do it, even if it was over £500 for a 140l tank plus the cost of an additional hatch cut into the tank to enable them to clean behind the baffles. The key point for me was to find someone who would actually clean the tank properly. Polishing the fuel is fine, but no point if you put it back into a dirty tank. The residue/crud in ours was not horrendous, but with a fine bore outlet that had a 90 degree elbow, it was obviously enough to get stuck and stop the engine. One of our first trips out resulted in a lifeboat tow back into Yarmouth and we are now on first name terms with the Solent SeaStart guys (all three of them). I used SDM Fuel Solutions on the recommendation of a friend. They were more expensive than Carl Payne (CP as mentioned above) but they were able to do the job quicker which got me out of a hole at the time. Another key point is your refuelling practice - use a proper filter to keep water and other contaminents out everytime you refill. It makes the whole process slower, but its better than creating a breeding ground for the bugs. Also use fuel treatment. My thinking on this is that there are two different types of treatment - anti-biocides that kill bugs (eg Marine 16) and others that dissolve any residual water/crud and allow it to be burnt (e.g. Soltron). I use both to be doubly sure, but then we burn a minimal amount of fuel on the yacht so this is affordable. Might be less so if you have a pair of big diesels to feed! Also, check the seal on your deck fittings - any water creeping in there (whether rain or in a seaway) will lead to problems. It's a horrible problem to have and I am hopeful that we've solved it for now at least.
  14. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Been watching YouTube videos of fitting them, and I agree, doesn't look hard. Just need to take a look at the boat to see that the pipework can run through easily (think it will) and might do it myself.
  15. MelJones

    Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

    Thanks - keep seeing/hearing things that suggest they are more likely to fail than hydraulic though.
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