(19 replies, posted in Technical)

p.s.  I managed to get at that exhaust today.  If I never have to do that again, it will be too soon.  I still have no idea how the previous owner managed to connect it...

Draining the box is technically very simple.  There is a nipple with a rubber cap at the aft end of the Waterlock exhaust.  The rubber cap is clamped onto the water exhaust with a hose clamp.  To drain the exhaust, simply:
1.  Rummage about in the engine compartment for days scratching your head.
2.  Once you figure out that there *IS* actually a drain and it *should* be able to be opened, try to reach it with your finger tips.
3.  When that fails, consider unclamping all of the hoses.  Don't do it, but definitely consider it because you'll realize it's a worse solution because you can't reach those clamps either.
4.  Get back into the engine compartment and feel blindly for the clamp.  Hopefully yours will also be a simple hose clamp.
5.  Once you have the hose clamp at your finger tips, have someone pass you a flat head screw driver so you can blindly try to unscrew it.
6.  Fail to unscrew the hose clamp because the screw driver is too long to fit between the hose clamp and the wall of the engine compartment.
7.  Ask for the short/stubby flat head screw driver which is missing from your tool box.
8.  Finally unscrew the hose clamp by any means you can.
9.  Spend at least 15 minutes trying to unscrew the rubber cap from the nipple before realizing it just pops off and spinning it is a waste of time.
10.  Attempt to lift the fore end of the waterlock exhaust and realize you don't have enough height because the cockpit drain hoses, throttle cable and gear select cable are in the way.
11.  Remove cockpit drain hoses.
12.  Lift the fore end of the waterlock exhaust and wait for the water to trickle out through nipple.
13.  Stick your arms back into the engine abyss and make sure the rubber cap is placed back on the nipple.
14.  Spend at least 15 minutes trying to use one hand to hold the hose clamp and screw driver at the proper angle to get a few twists on it.
15.  Replace the cockpit drain hoses.  Seriously, use this time to put on new stainless steel hose clamps - 2 below waterline and 1 or 2 at the drains.
16.  Go find a masseuse to fix your back after you've spent a few hours contorted in strange positions over top of the engine.

Now... time to call the mechanic about that antifreeze and then tarp the boat up!  Almost done.


(19 replies, posted in Technical)

Yup, that sounds exactly what I'm trying to do.  The "brown plastic box" says Waterlock on it (some version that looks similar to this http://tinyurl.com/7zykh8p ) ... I think it's that rubber plug that I can feel at the aft end of the box.  I can only touch it with my finger tips so it's encouraging that you think I can get to it...  I'll go give it a 3rd try.

It makes sense to run anti-freeze through the engine.  Can that be done by hand cranking the engine or must I fire it it back up again?


(19 replies, posted in Technical)

Hi Fessalo,

You didn't miss that part at all.  The engine manual says, "Drain the cooling system of the engine by detaching the cooling water pump (neoprene impeller pump) cover."  I assumed this precluded having to run antifreeze through the system (which I've read about for other engines).  I better call up my mechanic to see what he suggests.

It's my first boat so I'm learning as I go...



(5 replies, posted in General Questions/Comments)

I have hull #312 and am about 5'8";  I can stand fully in the galley... as long as I have the hatch open!  There's no other way to stand below decks of a Contessa 26.

My wife is 5'3" and can stand with no problem... Not that it does you or I any good, but she likes to point it out.



(19 replies, posted in Technical)

Hi All,
Just thought I'd make a post, partly to help me to remember for next year and partly so you guys can give me some suggestions.  In fact, I'm still stumped on the exhaust...

Ok, so my checklist
1.  Contents.
- Empty the boat of all perishable contents; Including food, dry-goods, cushions and anything that can pick up mildew or break when frozen.
- Empty the boat of non-essential items;  Remove those items that build up over time that just way the boat down.  This is the clutter of spare or broken sunglasses, spare towels, jackets flip-flops and all the other "just-in-case" extras that you don't actually use.
- Remove and inspect all safety equipment; Flares, life jackets, buoys etc.  Make a note to double check and replace the necessary items in spring.

2.  Fresh water system
Our Contessa has a fibreglass water tank under the v-berth connected to a single Whale Pump in the galley sink.
- Open the inspection hatch.  Yuck.  Drain the stale water, either by pump or just running it through the system.
- Clean and dry the tank.  I am unable to completely disinfect the tank by hand, but we've done our best and dried it as best as possible.
- Inspect the hose.  Ours was filled with grime, so I have removed it from the boat completely.  We'll replace it in spring.
Since the tank is dry and there's no outlet hose, nothing further is required.  This saves the horrible mess of trying to deal with antifreeze in the system.

3.  Waste system
Our Contessa has a Jabsco head with a new pump that I just replaced this year.  It is connected to both an outlet as well as our holding tank via a Y-valve.  We have discovered that the previous owner has improperly added the anti-syphon vent to the hoses... they will need to be redone in spring.
- Clean the toilet and head and pipes before haul-out.  Finish by pumping it as dry as you can.
- Pump out the holding tank.  Our big mistake this year was forgetting to do this before we put her up on the hard!!!  Never again.  That was a horrible job.
- Once on the hard, pump the toilet intake dry.  Ours naturally drained with no water left in the clear hose.
- Fill the toilet bowl full of antifreeze, pump the head dry.  This will clear out any standing water in the hoses.
- Fill the toilet bowl again with as much antifreeze as you think necessary and pump through the system.  I left some anti-freeze in the bowl, just in case there is any condensation.

4.  Engine
We have a K34 single cylinder diesel.  I'm not sure if I have done this correctly, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
- Turn off fuel line.
- Fill fuel tank and add stabilizer.
- Remove and dispose of fuel filter.
-  *** Manual says to add anti corrosion oil to some fuel and run it through the engine.  Is this necessary or just a good idea?
- Change the oil.  I changed the oil, but would also like to clean the screen... I don't have a spare gasket so I will leave that for the spring.
- Remove the cover to the impeller cover and let drain.
- Remove the impeller.  Holy crap! Mine was missing two fins and I have no idea where they are!  The previous owner rebuilt that part of the engine and told me he put in a new impeller... where could the fins have gone??  The temperature gauge never told me of an issue...

5.  Bilge, Drains and seacocks...
Our Contessa has two cockpit drains and a Waterlock wet exhaust.
-  Inspect the cockpit drains and ensure they are clear with no plugs.  Since they are clear, there is nothing more to do.  (Reminder: Replace hose clamps in spring)
-  Drain the Water lock exhaust.  HOW??  The exhaust is so far aft in the engine compartment, I can't reach the rear of it where I *think* there is a drain cover.  I can't reach the hose clamps on the aft end to allow me to move the exhaust forward.  The outlet side of the exhaust is attached to a high loop under the deck... I can't get to the hose clamp with a screw driver.  I have no idea how to drain or replace this wet exhaust and I'm scratching my head how the previous owner got it in there.  *PLEASE* some advice is needed.
- Don't forget to pump the bilge dry.  After you've done so, pour a bunch of antifreeze into the bilge and pump it through the bilge pump until you see it pink out the other side.  This ensures you've got anti-freeze into any crevices in the pump itself.

6.  Electrical
Our Contessa has simple instruments but a bit messy wiring.  We are having the instruments looked at over the winter so some of these steps may not be necessary in the future.
- Turn off the main electrical switch.
- Remove any instruments that may freeze & crack.  Our JRC radar screen is definitely off the boat and so is the Mr. Man (the autopilot).
- If there are any holes in the cabin, make sure to cover these.  We have temporarily done so with plastic, but I suspect something stronger should be used.
- Remove both batteries.  Be sure to mark them with which one is fore and which is aft.

7.  Rigging and hardware
Our Contessa is being stored with the mast up.  The upside to this is that it saves me a tonne of money in storage and crane charges, the downside is that I'm worried about the components; Radio antenna, radar dome, lights, roller furler and the lack of ability for me to inspect them in spring before launch.  *sigh*
- Remove all extra hardware;  Genoa turning blocks and slide blocks, roller reefing blocks, windvane blocks.
- Remove our custom traveller;  I just replaced our traveller, including supporting block.  There is no way this is sitting outside all winter.
- Remove and store BBQ
- Remove and store anchors
- Remove and store boom, boom vang, mainsheet tackle.
*** What to do with halyards?  Should I leave them out all winter or run other lines through for the winter?
- Remove and store the sails in a dry location
- Remove dodger, sail covers.

8.  Other items...
- Don't forget to drain the hose.
- label wires.
- label blocks
- tie off halyards
- Wash... if you have the luxury of running water (we don't) scrub the decks down.  *sigh* Wish we could use the hose on our boat.
- take pictures!  It helps for the following year when you need to know where the cradle pads were located, how certain parts went together, what parts need to be replaced, and if something should have an accident, you can use the photos for insurance purposes.

9. Finally...
I haven't quite got here yet, so final items to add to my list
- Tarp the boat to keep the snow off.  The previous owner used the mast on deck as a cross beam and put the tarp over that.  However, with the mast not being taken down, we'll need to devise a system to keep the snow off.
- Lock up!  Who knows what roams the yards at night.  We've seen everything from blocks to turn-buckle split-rings disappear at other yards.

My outstanding questions
A.  (as above) I don't know how to get to my Waterlock exhaust.  What to do, what to do...
B.  Should I remove my tiller handle?
C.  Is it critical to run anti corrosion oil with diesel through the engine?
D.  (as above) What do I do with halyards?  Leave them in or remove them?

Any and all advice, tips, suggestions etc. are very welcome.  Please feel free to respond here or send me an e-mail at (remove spaces) j o r d a n @ o m a t o . c o m



(6 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

Thanks all.
I went and had the 155% measured today and technically, it's slightly larger than 155%... it still feels monstrous so I'll have to see if I can carry it with full main up to 12 knots.  Wish me luck. :-)

I prefer the idea of a smaller head sail while keeping the main full longer.  However, I think I will work with what I have for this trip and go with the 155% genoa and reefed main.  I don't intend to be out in anything over 20 knots but I will have the Jib, just in case.

Carolyn, I really like the idea of a second forestay.  That's simply not in the budget for this year but I'll consider it down the road.  I think it makes quite a bit of sense on a larger boat but I'm wondering if the extra weight and hassle is worth it on a Contessa, especially for those like you and I on the great lakes where we don't get over 30 knots of wind very often.  As you said, with the furling 130% head sail, you haven't needed anything else.

jcfoto, thanks for the guide. That was exactly the head start for which I was looking.

On a related note, I have been racing on a Farr 30 that sails quite a bit flatter than I suspect the Contessa will.  Does anyone know what the optimum heel angle is for our boats going up wind?  Are we talking 15 degrees?  25 degrees?


(6 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

Hi All,
I've recently purchased my Contessa and am getting acquainted with her.  So far, only 2 sailing days in... one with less than 4knots of breeze, so not much sailing occurred and then a quick sunset cruise last Saturday.  I estimate the winds were around 10 knots, although I didn't have the machine on and the >155% genoa, by itself was pulling me upwind around 4-5 knots (GPS SOG).  We were just out for a sunset cruise so we didn't have the main up and we weren't heeling much.

To give me a head start with my experimenting, I'm curious to know what combination of sails you use for a given wind strength/range.  Around the great lakes, I don't usually see anything above 25knots (although it has happened)

For example, what do you carry in 5-10knots?  10-15? 15-20 and 20-25?
At what point do you reef your main and at what point would you exchange a 155% genoa for a 100% jib?

Lastly, I'm considering ditching the 155% genoa altogether and having my 130% genoa cut for the furler as my primary head sail.  I'm having a difficult time with the decision as I don't know the wind ranges for each sail yet.  Is it a waste of money since my 155% is still good?  Or will it make a better primary sail for winds 5-15 knots?


Hi John,
I'm curious to know if you ended up with a Lee sail or something else.  I'm not in the market for sails today, but over the next couple of years I suspect I will replace the main.  I've been reading opinions on Lee sails vs. other sail makers so I'm torn between ordering from Hong Kong (via a friend there) or looking locally at Genco, since I can speak to them directly and get the support I need.

At any rate, if you picked up a Lee mainsail, I'm interested to hear what you think of it.


(3 replies, posted in Sails & Rigging)

I realize this posting is a bit old.

I have a hank-on, 130% genoa that I don't particularly need.  To get it cut for your furler will be about $220cad.  E-mail me if you'd like to chat.

Also, I have a "main" that the previous owner of my boat gave me.  It's a mizzen from another boat but apparently the correct size for a Co26... he used it as a spare.  It's a bit dirty but the sail loft said the fabric is in acceptable condition.  I would let this go very cheaply to anyone that could use it.



(3 replies, posted in Technical)

Hi John,

I believe you were reading about my oil pressure issue.  I logged in here to post the same question I had on other forums...  "What are the idle and nominal oil pressures on a Farymann K34 diesel?"
For what it's worth, what I have found so far...
Service manual states:  Idle (7psi), Nominal (23psi)
Farymann website:  Idle (1.8bar=26psi) ... We've determined this is clearly incorrect information.
Experienced mechanic:  "You can probably run the K34 down to 3-5psi and not have problems."  And, when asked if 15-18psi is acceptable, he agreed that it's sufficient.

My engine is running at 10psi at idle but only 15-18psi at full revs.  I am trying to find out if this is "normal" or if it is not receiving enough lubrication.

Now back to your question...  I have taken a few pictures will happily e-mail them to you.  I'll take better ones on the weekend to show you how it is installed.  It looks like some sort of T-attachment on the starboard, forward part of the engine.  Out of the top is the electric sensor and out of the starboard side is a thin tube that runs to the mechanical pressure gauge and then back to the engine.  I'll have to double check where the other end of that oil line returns to the engine.

I don't believe it would be difficult to install one.