jmiska

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About jmiska

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    jmiska@yahoo.com

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    New Port Richey, FL

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  1. Wow! Lake Ontario was my last New York home, and I'd forgotten how spectacularly beautiful it is. I've never in my life, nor will I likely ever again, lived in such an amazing place as the rural, eastern Great Lakes. Thanks for posting these pictures.
  2. I have a Standard Horizon handheld that just pre-dates the GPS version, and it's been an outstanding radio. Rugged as can be, and the battery still holds a great charge after quite a few years. I've used it kayaking for years in the salt water and it's been soaked many times. I just rinse it off in the sink when I'm done. I also have a Standard Horizon fixed mount GPS/AIS VHF in the boat and the quality is top notch. As good as the hand held, just fixed mounted.
  3. Screw my boat. I say Todd and I meet up at Drew's boat in the Keys! Thanks for the offers of help guys! I'm going to have a nice busy week with my kids and I may or may not get to pulling the drive before next weekend. I'll need to make a dolly for it first. Regardless, I'm not running it til I've checked out the u-joints and replaced them if need be. It would be really bad form to end up like Big Fun's picture there in my little lake!
  4. Thanks guys. You confirmed my initial thought when I discovered the bad joint yesterday: don't run it til it's fixed. It's just not worth the risk of a lot more damage. If I can find a shop that can do it quick turn, I'll do that. Otherwise, we'll do something else for the day. In looking on you-tube it looks like a very straightforward job for a shop, but is it reasonable to do at home? I would need to build a stand with wheels to support the drive taking it on and off, but would I also need a press of some sort to change the joints themselves? They don't appear to be the kind that use retaining rings on the ends, rather, they look in the pictures I've seen to have the caps pressed in. That's why I figured I'd try and find someone. The problem is most shops around here have a two to three week wait.
  5. Gentlemen! When a driveshaft u-joint fails in a Bravo drive, what's the worst damage it can do beyond rendering the boat dead in the water? I'm thinking, what if the center block breaks apart? Is it going to throw parts that could damage the gimbal bearing, or perhaps even puncture the bellows? Will the shaft ends be flying around uncontained? Here's why I ask. I noticed yesterday while running the boat in the driveway a distinct knocking sound from the driveshaft area when the drive is either trimmed 1/3 or more up or turned hard to either side. Clearly a u-joint is on the way out. No big deal. However, I have some friends visiting next weekend and we had planned on using the boat in the lake behind my house to teach the girls to water ski. Further, he was going to drive my boat for me so I could ski again for the first time in many years. The lake is small enough that if I have to, I can paddle the boat back to the ramp. I don't get many chances anymore to use the boat, especially with my kids, and this time of year is when the lake is good for watersports, so the chance to do this was really important to me. I'm pretty OCD about caring for my machines, and would never normally consider using one with a known problem, but another side of me says, if the worst that can happen is we paddle back to the dock, then run it, just go easy on it. I have no idea how long this has been developing in the u-joint. Last time I used the boat was a couple months back for a long run in the ocean in very heavy seas. It was probably bad then but I just didn't notice. Usually when I run it on the muffs I have the drive perfectly straight, and it's silent that way, so the joint could have been getting loose for a while now and I might not have noticed. It doesn't seem to put a vibration through the drive or wheel, just a knocking sound when it's angled too much (which I doubt I would hear if the drive were submerged). If the drive is angled enough during running for the knock to be distinct, I can feel it slightly when I lay my hand directly on the bell housing or upper case of the upper unit, but, again, it goes silent and smooth as it's straightened out. Run it easy for a day in the lake, then take it to the shop, or don't take the chance of damaging something in the transom area with a total u-joint failure? Thanks, and Merry Christmas.
  6. Depending on where your radio base unit is located, having everything on the mic can be really handy. My good friend, whose boat I use often, has the radio unit down buried inside the console, and the mic is almost like a phone with a screen on the back, speaker, knobs and mouthpiece. I actually like it a lot, as it's all right there in your hand. Okay, I just googled the Raymarine VHF 240 and it's a very similar setup. I bet you'll like it.
  7. I remember those exact radios in the school buses when I was a kid (many decades ago!). You can tell it's either from a bus or a cab with a fixed frequency.
  8. Yes, Drew, you absolutely must have your DSC fully operational! You boat in the ocean, in and around the Gulf Stream, with heavy traffic. God forbid something goes wrong in a hurry. It might be that your only chance to get out a distress message is that red button on the radio. Without an MMSI number and GPS input, your distress signal is meaningless. Drew and Duane, I would go with either of the Standard Horizon that has a GPS receiver built in. I'm amazed at how well it works. My radio is down under the helm/dash and pretty blocked from the sky. That's why I also hooked my Furuno to it, as a backup GPS input, in case the GPS in the radio can't get a lock. The Furuno has a large external antenna, WAAS and DGPS. It's supposedly one of the most accurate GPS units available. The GPS in the radio gets a lock almost as fast, and is almost always displaying identical coordinates. While you guys are at it, planning Bahamas runs, when you get your new radios, don't get the free MMSI from Boat US or USPS. Go to the FCC and get a proper ship's station license, which will get you an international MMSI. Any boat traveling outside US waters should have one. While you're at it, you'll need to get your marine radio operator's license, but that requires nothing more than stating that you can read, keep a log, and paying a fee. Still, you'll need it to legally talk on the radio in foreign water.
  9. I'll respond as someone who grew up with a lake house that our family went to every summer, and weekends out of the summer. For anyone here who knows me reasonably well, you'll also know that I love the water, and everything about it, so my point of view may be somewhat biased. As a kid, my parents would take my brother, sister and me to the cottage as soon as school ended, and we'd head back "home" a few days before school started. We did this for about 8 years, or so, and I would never in my life trade those wonderful memories for anything, ever. I consider myself to have had the best childhood a kid could ever have, and we were not rich by any means. Our cottage was a tiny little house on Lamoka Lake (a 3 mile long lake in the southern Finger Lakes) about 45 minutes from home, in Corning. My dad worked his butt off on the place, added on, and made it a wonderful summer place. We had a row boat, a little old Starcraft power boat (that's still in the family) and little Honda motorcycles. My summer life consisted of getting up around sunrise, heading out in one of the boats or off into the woods on the Honda, and not coming home til 6, or earlier, if the boat was full of fish and I had a lot of cleaning to do. When we weren't fishing, or swinging off the rope swing on the cliff at the island, we were water skiing behind the Starcraft. In the winter, we'd go up, dig the place out of the snow, and ice fish or skate on the lake. I learned to boat there, and learned to sail. I learned to fish, swim, water ski, shoot, and live life. When I was in college, my parents upgraded to a nicer, bigger place down the lake, and it made a wonderful retreat to come get out of the city for a weekend and enjoy the beauty of the water and the hills. I'm beyond thankful for that lake during my childhood, and it has stayed with me all my life. To this day, I need to be on the water, and have managed to keep my home on one body of water or another for a long time now. I share my life now with my two girls, and while my younger isn't as drawn to the lake as I was at her age, my older daughter is, and she is extremely appreciative of the fact that we're able to fish off the dock and enjoy the peace and nature that come from having water in your back yard. I guess what I'm saying is, if you have kids, and can swing a place on the water, even if it means sacrifices for you in other areas, it's probably worth it. There is so much in today's world that is so awfully distracting and not good for kids. There is nothing more heartwarming that looking out my back window and seeing my daughter down on the dock, quietly fishing by herself, with nothing but her and the beauty of the water and creation around her. That's the good stuff, and that's what matters most.
  10. By the way, I'm going to hijack my own thread on two fronts: First, I noticed in your signature that your boat was lost in a warehouse fire. Was that in the Bethlehem Steel plant fire? My brother lives in Hamburg about 2 miles from there. He kept his RV there, but it just happened to be out at the time by a crazy stroke of luck. His neighbor across the street lost a gorgeous vintage racing hydroplane in there. I'm actually shocked that the magnitude of the loss there hasn't made bigger news. There were probably many millions of dollars in classic cars, RV's and boats in there, and the only reason I know about it here in Florida is through my brother, who has used the place for years. On a different note, you mention modding your 3800. This engine has been around for about 50 years. About 25 years ago I built up three different versions of the Buick 231 for a potent Chevy Monza with a T5 transmission. What a fun little car. The last version of the motor I built was actually a 1965 225 block (from before Buick sold it to Kaiser Jeep) with a steel crank and rods, 10.5:1 compression, 1979 stage 1 heads (I ported myself based on Smokey Yunick port templates), a custom intake and cam, custom oiling system and a 650 carb I built for the engine. It was a surprisingly strong little motor, and was a real blast with a five speed in that tiny car. Fun stuff.
  11. Todd, you think exactly like I do! In the end, I came to the same conclusion: easiest repair route. Plus, the aftermarket pipe is less than the stock one, and, according to Slowhand, might show some performance improvement on my exact car, so it becomes a no brainer.
  12. That's my exact car (GTP version). It's fully stock, except for some slight modifications to improve airflow through the engine compartment and cool the supercharger, which was cooking hot on a typical Florida summer day. It is a great little car in most all respects, and fun to commute in. Thanks for the real-world advice.
  13. As the other guys have mentioned, if you have other Raymarine electronics connected to the radio, staying with them makes sense. Still, if you're willing to do a little wire management, changing brands isn't hard at all. The data languages will all be standard, just the wire colors may change from one to the next. I recently put the Standard Horizon in my boat that has the built in AIS and GPS receiver. I still connected it to my Furuno GPS as a secondary GPS input, and it was no difficulty at all. I boat in some busy ocean shipping lanes, and having a basic AIS screen was very helpful, plus, the radio is high quality, and had some features I really liked (such as sound at the microphone, so I can hear it easier at higher speeds). I had replaced an old West Marine/Uniden that had a bad screen. Other than the screen, the radio was fine, and was the same radio I had in my previous boat. Still, with the same antenna, I find better range hitting the automated radio check stations along the coast here, and the Standard Horizon does a better job filtering background hash, allowing me to keep squelch lower and hear more conversation without bothersome static/noise. I expect it's simply got better circuit design. Of the various radios I've owned, either fixed or hand held, I will buy nothing but Standard Horizon at this point. I don't think you can improve on their quality or design.
  14. Yep. I do have 3 separate GPS receivers on board and running all the time, but I first depend on my eyes, and my chart book, for the local water. The GPS will do a good job telling you where you are but will do nothing to tell to about the conditions all around you. It's too easy to get caught up in looking at the screens and fail to notice, or forget how to read, the water and sky. My primary navigation instrument at the helm is a good set of binoculars and my eyes. Besides, the ocean is actually spectacularly beautiful to look at :-)
  15. Looks great!