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Old 29-03-2015, 10:56   #361
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Re: Beneteau 38

Update 2 month ownership:
· Boat is a peach to sail and just wants to go fast. It is super easy to reef/adjust/trim sails while underway. In many ways, more fun to sail that the J24 (I’ve raced all my life and always feel like we are on or even over the edge in the J boat).
· Just got last items I originally order on the boat. Beneteau and dealer have been great at getting boat completed per specs ordered AND have included a number of things that were not on purchase agreement but I love (rewind primary winches, and aft cabin cabinets). After the extremely rocky ordering and delivery process, I have to say that the experience has greatly improved and trust restored. The dealership owner, and the head of service have really been wonderful. If I were to do it all over again, I would definitely, include them in all the up-front interactions.
· The bottom was cleaned last week and we were told that nearly 50% of anodes are gone…even though we din’t plug boat into marina except for ~48 hours in the last 8 weeks (we have solar panel that keeps batteries charged). We knew our marina was hot with its many large 24/7 plugged-in motor yachts, but the rate of anode deterioration was a surprise. I am going to get a galvanic isolator installed and get a galvanic survey done (~$150). I was told that the O38 has zincs both on the flexfold prop and saildrive, but aluminum anodes on the bow thrusters (odd given that saildrive and engine have large aluminum components). I am confirming if this is true or was typo, and if true will try to get the aluminum ones replaced with zincs and this might be a contributing factor to the rapid deterioration of the anodes.
· As I posted elsewhere, we had all kinds of issues with the B&G chartplotters mounted on each binnacle. Dealer service guru connected me directly to Navico National Service fellow (this guy is a god when it comes to knowledge of the system) and he walked me through diagnostic via phone and things work great now….we a) updated the chartplotter software as the versions were not current (easy to do with miro card), b) Moved the chart micro-SD sim card to the ‘master’ plotter – which in our case is the starboard chartplotter, and c) turned off the AIS in the B&G VHF radio as apparently it is both redundant to the ones in the chartplotter, and is a bandwidth hog. I will keep you posted if anything comes up.
· One thing that has come up on the boat (and is in the process of being addressed by the dealer) is that we are experiencing a strong vibration/harmonics both at the wheels and in the two aft cabins (like motor is on but it is not and/or like a spinning prop – but we have a flexfold prop). This occurs most regularly when sailing in strong 15-25+ knot winds. When it happens, I go below and it sounds like it is coming from the rudders …almost like one is lose and vibrating ---don’t know, but a guess that one or both might be out of alignment – or could be something else. If the boat is pulled out at the 50 hour service, we will ask that the rudders be examined and have them adjusted if they are loose or out of alignment (and perhaps have the steering checked to make sure it is not a contributor here?) Anyone else experienced this or have thoughts on what it might be?
· Separately, we have the Cruiser Version which comes with 2 fresh water tanks. Regarding these, we keep having an issue with the fresh water pump running dry despite the #2 fresh water tank gauge showing ¾ full [tank #1 seems to completely empty first]. We have both tank water valves open (at the pump under the port setee), so don’t know if we have a bad tank gauge, or if something is preventing the #2 tank’s water from getting to the pump. This will be checked out during the 50 hour service, but would be good to know if others have had this happen.
· As I’ve written elsewhere we installed a foredeck LED light and it works great (The electric panel has a lighted switch for one, but the actual light didn’t come with the boat, nor was it an option on the order form)
· The inverter is underpowered for the microwave … and so many appliances you might have don’t work when not plugged into shore power. Not a problem for us, but I had a client out for an overnight and his medical device would not work so might be an issue for some.
· Easy-sail adjustable jib sheet tracks are wonderful….if you reef you can easily move the tracks up and down from the cockpit with minimal efforts to properly adjust the sails - the combination of this and the Harkin rewind winches are a dream for anyone that enjoys singlehanded sailing)
· The bow thruster has been great in mooring and docking situations but now we can say it has helped us to avoid bone-head-boaters. We were at Sam’s in Sausalito and were able to avoid a thoroughly inebriated motor boater that crashed into another boat but narrowly missed us because we were quickly able to pivot/maneuver out of his way in tight quarters at the last minute. Simply put, but for the thruster, he would have hit us.
· Lastly, I’ll keep you posted on what we learn from the 50 hour service which should happen in mid-April.
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:22   #362
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Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 38, Hull #38
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Re: Beneteau 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluer de Mer View Post
Update 2 month ownership:
· Boat is a peach to sail and just wants to go fast. It is super easy to reef/adjust/trim sails while underway. In many ways, more fun to sail that the J24 (I’ve raced all my life and always feel like we are on or even over the edge in the J boat).
· Just got last items I originally order on the boat. Beneteau and dealer have been great at getting boat completed per specs ordered AND have included a number of things that were not on purchase agreement but I love (rewind primary winches, and aft cabin cabinets). After the extremely rocky ordering and delivery process, I have to say that the experience has greatly improved and trust restored. The dealership owner, and the head of service have really been wonderful. If I were to do it all over again, I would definitely, include them in all the up-front interactions.
· The bottom was cleaned last week and we were told that nearly 50% of anodes are gone…even though we din’t plug boat into marina except for ~48 hours in the last 8 weeks (we have solar panel that keeps batteries charged). We knew our marina was hot with its many large 24/7 plugged-in motor yachts, but the rate of anode deterioration was a surprise. I am going to get a galvanic isolator installed and get a galvanic survey done (~$150). I was told that the O38 has zincs both on the flexfold prop and saildrive, but aluminum anodes on the bow thrusters (odd given that saildrive and engine have large aluminum components). I am confirming if this is true or was typo, and if true will try to get the aluminum ones replaced with zincs and this might be a contributing factor to the rapid deterioration of the anodes.
· As I posted elsewhere, we had all kinds of issues with the B&G chartplotters mounted on each binnacle. Dealer service guru connected me directly to Navico National Service fellow (this guy is a god when it comes to knowledge of the system) and he walked me through diagnostic via phone and things work great now….we a) updated the chartplotter software as the versions were not current (easy to do with miro card), b) Moved the chart micro-SD sim card to the ‘master’ plotter – which in our case is the starboard chartplotter, and c) turned off the AIS in the B&G VHF radio as apparently it is both redundant to the ones in the chartplotter, and is a bandwidth hog. I will keep you posted if anything comes up.
· One thing that has come up on the boat (and is in the process of being addressed by the dealer) is that we are experiencing a strong vibration/harmonics both at the wheels and in the two aft cabins (like motor is on but it is not and/or like a spinning prop – but we have a flexfold prop). This occurs most regularly when sailing in strong 15-25+ knot winds. When it happens, I go below and it sounds like it is coming from the rudders …almost like one is lose and vibrating ---don’t know, but a guess that one or both might be out of alignment – or could be something else. If the boat is pulled out at the 50 hour service, we will ask that the rudders be examined and have them adjusted if they are loose or out of alignment (and perhaps have the steering checked to make sure it is not a contributor here?) Anyone else experienced this or have thoughts on what it might be?
· Separately, we have the Cruiser Version which comes with 2 fresh water tanks. Regarding these, we keep having an issue with the fresh water pump running dry despite the #2 fresh water tank gauge showing ¾ full [tank #1 seems to completely empty first]. We have both tank water valves open (at the pump under the port setee), so don’t know if we have a bad tank gauge, or if something is preventing the #2 tank’s water from getting to the pump. This will be checked out during the 50 hour service, but would be good to know if others have had this happen.
· As I’ve written elsewhere we installed a foredeck LED light and it works great (The electric panel has a lighted switch for one, but the actual light didn’t come with the boat, nor was it an option on the order form)
· The inverter is underpowered for the microwave … and so many appliances you might have don’t work when not plugged into shore power. Not a problem for us, but I had a client out for an overnight and his medical device would not work so might be an issue for some.
· Easy-sail adjustable jib sheet tracks are wonderful….if you reef you can easily move the tracks up and down from the cockpit with minimal efforts to properly adjust the sails - the combination of this and the Harkin rewind winches are a dream for anyone that enjoys singlehanded sailing)
· The bow thruster has been great in mooring and docking situations but now we can say it has helped us to avoid bone-head-boaters. We were at Sam’s in Sausalito and were able to avoid a thoroughly inebriated motor boater that crashed into another boat but narrowly missed us because we were quickly able to pivot/maneuver out of his way in tight quarters at the last minute. Simply put, but for the thruster, he would have hit us.
· Lastly, I’ll keep you posted on what we learn from the 50 hour service which should happen in mid-April.
Fleur,
Thanks for the report. It is vey helpful to learn from other owners about their views how to solve or improve our boats.
Regarding the water tank, I had a similar issue where the pump was always on, trying to pressurize the empty smaller tank. Use one at the time, bow first (larger one) and the switch the open valve to the smaller one. I solved my problem but not having both valves opened at the same time.

You mentioned inverter... Mine came without an inverter. Was this an optional? If not, would you mind telling us where it is located and send a picture? I also sleep with a Cpap machine and now I use the generator to power the ACs, to be able to sleep in the Florida heat and humidity. But when the winter is back, I would not need the ACs and an inverter would be preferred.

Next Wednesday will haul out to change the Sail drive oil. Will report the findings.
Cheers
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Old 29-03-2015, 11:45   #363
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Re: Beneteau 38

Thanks for the very thorough rundown Fleur!

Good information to know about AIS being a bandwidth hog. Likely it's what's called a "blind sender", and if you're in a busy harbor, there's a lot of data to send. On the NMEA2000 bus, most sophisticated devices properly use the "wait for silence, then send" protocol required by CSMA/CD protocols like NMEA2K. But in order to keep costs low, many "send only" devices will just spit out their data onto the bus, clobbering anything that's already mid-transmission, and they do it as a specific frequency. For example, many wind instruments and GPSs send 10 times per second no matter what. Tank senders are usually not bad because they typically only send once per minute. Knowing about AIS being "chatty" gives us an easy fix, especially in harbors where you'll pick up dozens of devices. AIS is really only needed offshore anyway, so I'll leave it off routinely from now on. Great information that.

I have no vibration at speed under sail in strong winds. I've only been out in winds up to 20 knots myself, but I've done quite a bit in those conditions. Your rudder alignment may be at issue, but heeled over in those conditions even on a 1st or 2nd reef your windward rudder should be so far out of the water that it wouldn't be affecting anything. I suppose it could still vibrate but its hard to imagine that it would be consistent when turning the wheel. If the rudder turns out to be the problem, proper alignment will fix it.

Here's a simple test for rudder vibration: Turn the helm to a rudder angle >10 degrees when the problem is occurring. If there's no change in vibration when the rudders are off the centerline, then it's not the rudders. This big of a change would interrupt any harmonic vibration that they would cause.

I suspect you may not be folding the prop, and what you're hearing is the prop running the driveshaft in neutral. This I did hear as vibration down below and feel in the wheel when I forgot to do it. After shutting down the motor to sail, are you putting the throttle in reverse to lock the driveshaft and force the prop to fold? Once I feel the pickup from the prop folding (about a half-knot of sudden acceleration) I shift back into neutral.

Another possibility is some kind of cavitation going on with the sail-drive skeg. Mine does not have this problem so this is just a guess, but you may have an issue with a motor mount or the hull seal that causes a harmonic vibration. This will be detectable by feel on the motor itself while underway. If it's stable and solid, this is unlikely to be the problem, but if you feel the motor vibrating when its not on, the sail-drive is vibrating for some reason. Possibly wrapped with kelp or a crab pot? I dragged a crab pot for a few miles while sailing, and it did vibrate the boat. Also dropped performance dramatically of course. I had to power on and back down off of it. Fortunately it wasn't wrapped and eventually came free on its own. I deal with kelp all the time and haven't had a vibration issue from it.

A final possibility is dynamic pressure causing your bow thruster to spin, although again this is just a guess because I don't have one. It should be easy to isolate by ear as the bow thruster trunk is below the master's berth and easily heard.

Let us know what you narrow it down to, and be assured that it's not happening on all of these boats so it is fixable.

My zincs are corroding fast as well. I don't generally keep the boat plugged in as we don't run anything while we aren't aboard, and the small amount of motoring we do keeps the batteries topped. It's hard to tell whether that helps or hurts the corrosion rate without testing, it could be either one. In any case, I don't like the fact that the prop has a collar-type zinc on it that requires prop removal. I'd rather have two-halves that can be replaced by a diver.

I'm worried about these saildrives having an all-aluminum skeg, as they will start to corrode immediately once the zincs are gone. I've heard horror stories of neglected boats being hauled out with nothing left of the saildrive but swiss cheese.

I know saildrives make boat design and seals easy, but they're sure a hell of a lot more maintenance than a shaft and prop. The requirement to haul them every 300 hours for a tranny oil change was an unwelcome surprise that's problematic for cruisers doing serious passage-making. I can't believe Yanmar couldn't design in a fluid path for suction to do the oil changes from inside the boat. On the plus side, they seem to run forever even with milky watery oil, so I guess that's a plus.

If somebody ever comes up with a well-sealed 40kw electric motor designed for boat propulsion that can be bolted to the fin keel, I'd convert the yanmar to a generator and pull the saildrive out completely.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:04   #364
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Re: Beneteau 38

#38 Thx for sharing that the water pump issue was happening to you…and the advice on using the fresh water tanks independent from one another rather than concurrently. I just filled the tanks last night and so I will shut off valve #2 later today when I take her out. When #1 is empty, I will turn its valve off and turn #2’s on. I hope I have the same results as you but will let you know how it goes. Regarding the inverter, I ordered the Cruiser Version which came with one. See attached pdf of page 81 from the boat's User's Manual for the Inverter location (depends on the cabin configuration you have). After I took delivery of the boat, the dealer told me that the inverter is only rated at 700 watts. I am not an electrician, but I think that this means that the total watts you can have in use on the system at any time is limited to 700. Needless to say, the microwave that is an option, does not operate on the inverter full stop, nor will a toaster and many automatic coffee makers, etc....although the LCD TV/DVD that came with our boat does work. We are fine with this as we only use the inverter to charge our phones/iPad and to allow the kids to watch DVDs at night and rely on the gas stove to brew our French press coffee in the morning. If you do need an inverter, make sure it provides the wattage you need while on the hook...or maybe just get an external DC battery dedicated to the device you need it for...don't know, but they are probably smaller and might be less $ than an entire inverter set up.
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Old 29-03-2015, 12:22   #365
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Re: Beneteau 38

Matt, Thanks for the great and practical diagnostic advice around the harmonics/vibration. I will a) try turning the helm >10 degrees and see if it effects the harmonics/vibration, b) I’ve tried temporarily putting the prop in reverse once the engine is turned off to ensure that the propeller folds but the vibration still happens so don’t know if it is even possible for the propeller to ‘unfold – perhaps in following seas’…but will try again. I did read the Yanmar saildrive manual and they are clear that leaving the gear in reverse voids the warranty so I don’t/won’t do that [I know that you weren’t suggesting this], lastly c) I will definitely go below and feel the engine, saildrive, and bow thruster units to see if I can isolate the vibration/harmonics. Will let you know, but thanks again for great advice. FdM
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Old 29-03-2015, 14:16   #366
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Re: Beneteau 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluer de Mer View Post
#38 Thx for sharing that the water pump issue was happening to you…and the advice on using the fresh water tanks independent from one another rather than concurrently. I just filled the tanks last night and so I will shut off valve #2 later today when I take her out. When #1 is empty, I will turn its valve off and turn #2’s on. I hope I have the same results as you but will let you know how it goes. Regarding the inverter, I ordered the Cruiser Version which came with one. See attached pdf of page 81 from the boat's User's Manual for the Inverter location (depends on the cabin configuration you have). After I took delivery of the boat, the dealer told me that the inverter is only rated at 700 watts. I am not an electrician, but I think that this means that the total watts you can have in use on the system at any time is limited to 700. Needless to say, the microwave that is an option, does not operate on the inverter full stop, nor will a toaster and many automatic coffee makers, etc....although the LCD TV/DVD that came with our boat does work. We are fine with this as we only use the inverter to charge our phones/iPad and to allow the kids to watch DVDs at night and rely on the gas stove to brew our French press coffee in the morning. If you do need an inverter, make sure it provides the wattage you need while on the hook...or maybe just get an external DC battery dedicated to the device you need it for...don't know, but they are probably smaller and might be less $ than an entire inverter set up.
FDM, Thanks for the PDF. Mine definitively came without an Inverter, and good to know that the original is not powerful enough for the Cpap machine.
Cheers.
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Old 30-03-2015, 20:03   #367
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Re: Beneteau 38

Yeah, any built-in inverter needs to be at least 1500 watts to run expected loads, and should be "pure sine-wave". The stock inverter is pointless IMHO if it can't run the stock microwave. That should have been thought through at the factory.


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Old 30-03-2015, 20:45   #368
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Yeah, any built-in inverter needs to be at least 1500 watts to run expected loads, and should be "pure sine-wave". The stock inverter is pointless IMHO if it can't run the stock microwave. That should have been thought through at the factory.


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Now that I have a a generator, I am thinking of a microwave. Anybody with one installed could post pictures and comments of the best place to install it?
Thank you in advance.
Fleur de Mer, it seems you have the one with the most equipments. Did you order one?
Cheers
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Old 31-03-2015, 01:21   #369
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Re: Beneteau 38

I have the stock microwave, but not the inverter. I'll post a photo and model number here Friday if no one has done so sooner. The stock location is inside the upper aft-most starboard cupboard, above the refridgerator.
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Old 31-03-2015, 08:30   #370
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Re: Beneteau 38

I totally agree that the $2,360 factory inverter option that I paid for is undersized given that it doesn’t even handle the $410 factory microwave option I paid for (or even an electric coffee pot/tea kettle). I now wonder if I was unintentionally supplied with the incorrect part. If anyone else paid for the inverter option, please advise on its wattage and whether it can handle appliances like the microwave while disconnected from shore power. Regarding microwave & TV/DVD location, see photo. FdM
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Old 31-03-2015, 08:44   #371
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Re: Beneteau 38

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[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]I totally agree that the $2,360 factory inverter option that I paid for is undersized given that it doesn’t even handle the $410 factory microwave option I paid for (or even an electric coffee pot/tea kettle). I now wonder if I was unintentionally supplied with the incorrect part.[B][I][U] If anyone else paid for the inverter option, please advise on its wattage and whether it can handle appliances like the microwave while disconnected from shore power....
Are you sure it is a good idea to run a microwave on a inverter through batteries? You probably would need a bigger battery bank than the one you have. Probably the inverter wattage is adapted to the size of the battery bank you have.

Of course I may be wrong and they can just have a under dimensioned inverter as an option but It seems unlikely to me.

Does somebody know the correct dimension of an Inverter regarding the size of the battery bank?
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:29   #372
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Re: Beneteau 38

Polux, Excellent point. I’m not an electrician so I can't comment on battery-to-inverter sizing, but my boat came with 1 X 80 Amp engine battery standard, 1 X 80 Amp service battery standard, plus 2 X 80 Amp additional optional service batteries ($4,295 ‘electricity pack' option), and 2 X 50 Amp dedicated Bow Thruster batteries [see attached pdf of batteries from owners manual]. Don’t know if this is enough battery to run a pretty standard 1200 watt drip coffee maker with the correctly sized inverter or not (let alone a $410 Microwave), but the $2,630 factory 700 watt inverter on my boat can't handle Mr. Coffee. Seems silly to be charged nearly $7,335 for an inverter system, additional batteries [and microwave] that can’t handle much more than charging some iPods/Pads, and laptops…that regardless can be charged without the above setup through the DC outlet on the electrical panel with a $10 automobile cigarette lighter adapter. If indeed I needed more batteries and/or a larger sized inverter to have my coffee, I really would not have minded paying for them up front if only I had been informed. FdM
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Old 31-03-2015, 11:43   #373
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Are you sure it is a good idea to run a microwave on a inverter through batteries?
I have the Electricity (four battery) option but not the inverter; my boat was dealer stock so I didn't have the option to customize, I can only buy missing items and install them such as the forward bulkhead which we wanted to have.

As for inverter sizing, it's simply a matter of how fast you're willing to let your batteries run dead. The math is pretty simple: Modern inverters are about 80% efficient (0.80) and the conversion from 12VDC to 120VAC is a 10X multiplier on amperage. The stock microwave is 700 watt so it should require 5.8 amps at 120VAC. (=700). At 12VDC, that same microwave requires 58 amps, and through the inverter's .8 efficiency that's 72.5 amps. To run it for 5 minutes is 1/12th of an amp/hr., so the total Ah draw down on your batteries is 6 amps, or about an hour's worth of refrigerator use. Given 3 100Ah house batteries, that's just fine IMHO.

The cables connecting the inverter to the batteries and its switch and circuit breaker all need to be rated for 100 amps, so you're talking about some pretty thick 3 gauge wire and power relay to turn it on and off.

That's why the factory tried to size the inverter and microwave down to the 700 watt arena, they just missed on their math a little and undersized the inverter.

Now, Fleur, does your microwave show "12:00" when it's not running underway? Because it should be doing that even if the inverter can't run it's full load. If it's "off" even when the inverter circuit is on, then it's been wired not to operate underway, and that's a different issue all together.

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Old 31-03-2015, 12:01   #374
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Re: Beneteau 38

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Now that I have a a generator, I am thinking of a microwave. Anybody with one installed could post pictures and comments of the best place to install it?
Thank you in advance.
Fleur de Mer, it seems you have the one with the most equipments. Did you order one?
Cheers
We added an Origo Microwave that we purchased from the distributor in Sarasota Florida for $49.00in 2002. While that unit is no longer available, near identical unit can be found at Franklin Chef compact microwave oven 0.7 cu. ft, 120v cUL, black

When underway we use ours to reheat pre-prepared individual serving size meals that, once allowed to defrost in the sink, only take a minute or two to heat. We power the microwave with a Heart 2KW inverter/charger which seems to work well. Considering the little time needed to re-heat something, the draw on our batteries is negligible. Although our boat is somewhat different than yours, a photo of our galley/microwave installation is below:
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Old 31-03-2015, 13:00   #375
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Re: Beneteau 38

If you're considering adding an inverter, be sure it has these features:

1) At least 1500 watt continuous output (often inverters are rated by their surge, not continuous output). Anything less won't run loads like Microwaves, coffee pots, or hotplates.

2) Pure Sinewave output, not Modified Sinewave. Sensitive electronics like phone chargers can be killed by non-PS inverters.

3) Automatic Transfer Switch. This automatically switches your AC bus to inverter when you disconnect from shore power, and back when you reconnect. Transfer time can be anywhere from milliseconds to seconds depending on how the inverter is configured. If it's "cold off", you're looking at seconds, if it's "hot on" it's milliseconds. It all depends on how much stand-by power you're willing to burn while plugged in. Some inverters are fixed in this regard, others are configurable.

Because our boats already have battery chargers, you do not need an "inverter/charger".
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