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subaruguru

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About subaruguru

  • Rank
    thesubaruguru
  • Birthday 05/28/1952

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  • Location
    West Medford
  • Interests
    Pianism, music, audiophilia, theatre/arts, WWII, vintage pens, and of course AWD motoring.

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  • First Name
    ernie
  • Last Name
    meunier
  • Phone Number
    781 483-3922

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  1. Hi Al, Wish I'd seen this earlier; am paddling farther north today. Hope to catch up soon. Ern
  2. Anyone try this stuff: http://www.keeleazy.com/page1/page1.html A bit pricey, but if it lasts.... I'm finding that my otherwise durable 3m grey "tread" tape's adhesive is lifting, probably from outdoor storage temperature cycling. Cheers. Ern
  3. Hi Rob. Many of us seek an all-rounder for most needs, and given your stated priority of excellence for camping I'd keep the Cetus original as a first choice, as its very high volume takes mass easily. But it was DESIGNED to be a HV hull. But it proved to be so much fun unloaded that it became a favorite. But if insufficiently loaded it's a tiresome handful in even medium winds; likewise in moderate chop its bow "hammers" percussively when making progress. I learned quickly to load the bow hatch FIRST for daytrips, rather than the stern, to tame this annoying behavior. But of course all this makes for a fine, but big, surfer.... I sold my Cetus C/K for an Impex Force V (you'd probably fit in the shallower IV) to gain a more obedient hull that isn't so skeg-needy, and indeed less efficient on longer days as energy is wasted vertically (I think Leon et al know what I mean). However, the Force does NOT dance, broaches easily, and accelerates more slowly due partially to a longer waterline. But what a nice tracker that still responds beautifully to an edge when asked to. Several of us refer to Forces as "nice fast obedient dogs". Simply, the Force understeers, the Cetus oversteers, in auto-handling parlance. I HATED Impex's seats, so fudged in a plastic P&H Large from a Cetus and thus retained cockpit heaven, even in an Impex! It wasn't long before I missed the Cetus' big-puppy playfulness, yet I wasn't about to give up on the Force's attributes, so I learned that only a SECOND hull selected purposely to complement the Force was the path required. I tried quite a few 'yaks, narrowing the search to a Boreal-made Maelstrom Vaag and a Tiderace X-cite. Both VERY responsive hulls, the Vaag seeming a bit quicker, the latter maybe a bit too tight under the braces. NET price variance at the time proved too significant to ignore, so I ordered a Kevlar Vaag, snagging one of the last, best production from the Boreal factory. It's a phenomenal surfer that also accelerates very quickly, but can require much skeg in strong quartering winds. It too uses a rudimentary seat system that required much surgery to install another P&H Cetus L seat, but now I have two identical cockpits in two hulls that net out at 51lbs each (although one would swear that the Vaag "feels lighter" in the water...probably because waterline lengths vary so much?). Sharing also similar lengths (17'4" and 17'10"), and the same seats, newbies ask why I would have two kayaks. But once paddled the answer is clear, and it has nothing to do with different mass, total length, nor cockpits, as they're all nearly identical. Maybe there is an all-rounder out there that can be the one-hull wonder, but so far I believe that two hulls are better (except to your finances!) than one. But returning to your stated priorities, Rob, and perhaps a requirement to own just one hull, the Cetus Classic (the MV has a MUCH smaller cockpit, so be careful there) may be your best choice. Just be sure to load the bow first to tame it, and make sure the skeg isn't jammed! And its seat is so comfy.... Good luck, have fun, and remember to paddle candidates in matched "pairs" in identical conditions and preferably in the same session, as in any controlled comparison experiment. Erasing seat comfort (and thus somewhat thigh brace geometry) differences is especially tricky, but do your best to ignore things you can modify later.
  4. Temps off our dear Cape Ann are 40F, but a full 80F off Playa del Carmen, and I've already broken both snow shovels. Hence I don't need another zetz to get on that plane!
  5. A quick Google-search of nspn and/or seakayak and Yucatan yielded nothing, so I ask if paddlers have any L2-3 experience (an arthritic flare precludes L4 right now) between Cancun and Playa del Carmen on the north-east side of the peninsula? All I could find were rec trips among mangroves. It'd be great to enjoy some warm ocean after this 28" dumper. Thanks. Ern
  6. Bearded, Sorry, but you ARE mistaken in saying that Kevlar is more fragile than glass...or even all-carbon fiber constructions. To greatly simplify, glass is brittle, reasonably stiff and a very cheap material; carbon is strong, light, brittle, and most expensive; Kevlar is compliant, very strong, and also pricey. Kevlar's compliance can make all-Kevlar layups "floppier" unless attention is made to breaking up long panels' resonance. That's why composite Kevlar-Carbon matrices are popular as they combine the stiffness of carbon with the toughness (impact resistance...see "bullet-proof vests!") of Kevlar. All-carbon designs are certainly lightest, as they can be made very thin and remain stiff, but hence are fragile, and best for non-contact events like racing. Hope this helps. Ern
  7. Having now become proficient at replacing corroded contacts in M88's, I was surprised to take David's non-functioning M88 apart to find NO water incursion, disconnected connectors, broken/cracked contacts, nor apparent cold solder joints. iCom wants $90 shipped just to LOOK at it. Hmmm.... Also notice that a PAIR of new 1.7 aH batteries for M88 are only $19-24 on eBay, but the non-cloned 2 aH one for the M72 is a whopping $83 each! Makes one wonder, and perhaps reconsider relative value.
  8. Hi Nancy, I'm a maybe if I don't have to work. Al and I dug into the same environs a couple of weeks ago at high tide, and it was a beauty. If we're larger than 8 I'd suggest two pods.... Ern
  9. Cath, Paddling two 17+ footers of identical weight, beam, cockpit and customized seats, it's been fascinating for me to compare a long waterline Force 5 with a short waterline Vaag. Whereas the Vaag needs LOTS of skeg to maintain reasonable tracking...and to counter windcocking, the Force almost NEVER requires any skeg unless strong winds prevail. Indeed, cocking with the Vaag can get "locked" so that withdrawing the skeg is required in order to strongly sweep-turn a 90 and THEN redeploy the skeg to maintain a track. I mention this because I believe that your mass is indeed insufficient to keep a short waterline vessel on track. I've seen many light-to-medium mass paddlers VERY successfully manage a Force 3 in tougher conditions, so would recommend you try one. It's a little less "playful" than others mentioned, but stronger tracking and simply easier to manage in condition, especially with a light load. The long waterline keeps it from feeling quick in initial acceleration, but it's a nice solid, speedy locomotive once under way. I've been paddling the Vaag a lot lately, as it's so much fun, and loves to surf (unlike the Forces, which zig-zag in following seas), but for covering DISTANCE in most conditions the easy choice is the Force.
  10. .... In any case, the battery on the used unit seems fine, and now I have a backup. But Ern told me that he talked to an ICom technician who said that it is not designed to have the battery removed and replaced very much -- that will degrade the seals. They figure the battery will just stay in place until it fails, years later. So that calls into question the intention to use the second battery to extend life on a longer trip. Sounds like under-engineering to me, and too bad. .... I acquired a non-working 4yr old M88 last week and decided to repair it, if possible. Initially it appeared that only the external battery terminals were compromised, and indeed one of them was broken off! But removal of the battery showed salt deposits well past the inner "contact spring pins quartet" red o-ring, with subsequent corrosion and fracture of two of these pins. iCom offers this part for $16, as well o-rings, etc. Removing the antenna's very solid brass lock-nut took an hour of careful hammering...a truly difficult task, as it was indeed salt-frozen. Once removed, the cast frame can be slid out from the case, now showing that the damned contact mechanism is hard-soldered through its board. To get at removal then required desoldering the antenna lead and a ground shield...not a big deal with a small 40w iron and reading glasses. Reassembly was straightforward. Care needs to be taken to reapply silicone sealant on the naked replacement contact assembly, and to regrease all seals...and maybe the antenna threads, too. (Note that you do NOT have to loosen nor remove the volume pot, as its pig-tailed to the board rather than solid-soldered on its pins. I also think that smearing some grease under the vol knob may be sufficient to prevent salt from crudding up the knob's operation...apparently a common complaint with the iComs.) So far operation matches the new M88 I grabbed on eBay last week, so I think the refurb is perfect. It's fascinating to notice that the missing external battery contact is perhaps REDUNDANT, as the battery charges perfectly with only 3 contacts! This follows the logic of having redundant inner contacts too, as the 4 pins instantly combine at the pc board to only two paths. So if iCom is so careful to design doubled battery contacts why does the thin inner 0-ring leak?! Well, the iCom tech reasoned that users who remove the battery to rinse the radio simply abrade that o-ring, so that seepage eventually occurs. He cautioned that the battery should NEVER be removed except to replace it. Hmmm.... My solution is to just smear some high-temp multi-grease on the o-ring both to act as a hydrophobic surface AND to allow battery removal without abrasion. We'll see how it goes.... It's interesting to note that the M72 uses a softer compressible seal that is MORE fragile in construction than the M88's o-ring, but being compliant it may offer a more secure seal until it gets scratched or torn from battery-removal "abuse". So now I have a new West Marine VHF 85 (Uniden 75), and a pair of M88s. Oy....
  11. I've been intrigued by the reviews this summer on the vastly superior lens (2.0!) on the brand new Olympus TG-1, but rebuffed by its $370 min price. Even rare used ones are topping $325 right now. I also noticed that a store sold out 1000 of the predecessor TG-820 on Groupon last week for $149 ($350 list; $250 street). Then a pro photographer friend dropped his TG-820 in my lap last night to try out, so we'll see. I ignored the Sony because of bulk and the Panasonics due to corrosion and durability issues. The Olympi always suffered from mediocre lenses, but the TG-1 apparently changes all that, so it seems to be the pros' pic. (Note that the TG-1 is a bit bigger than the 820 as it has a GPS in it, as well a threaded lens bezel for a fish eye or telephoto!) Any user thoughts on the TG-820 (or its predecessor, the TG-810)? Anyone splurge on the new TG-1? Thanks.
  12. Jason, I checked out Lisa H's M72 yesterday, and indeed, its slimness compensates well for taller height. And that 2Ah battery! Certainly another great mid-priced ($200) option to the M88 or WM-VHF85/SH-75. Somehow I missed it when dismissing the other bulkier iComs and SH rigs. Tom, I used the VHF85 yesterday for about 6 hours, maybe just a couple minutes total broadcast, but quite a bit more receiving chatter, and returned with 4/4 bars (supposedly "full") battery life remaining. So far so good. Thanks to you both for the comments.
  13. Ed, On the contrary, rechargeable Li-ion batteries have extraordinarily-long shelf lives and almost no memory-charge effect...or whatever it's called, unlike Ni metal Hydride, alkalines, etc. Further, the combination of test sensitivity (against a standard noise floor and freq res), selectivity, capture ratio, and spurious signal attenuation are sufficient to describe and compare FM tuners, as has been the case for a long time. It's pretty simple, and most of the evolution of the science occurred post WWII until the peak of the designs exemplified by the great tuners of the late 70s and early 80s (plus the new baby Sony digital one). But I'm unaware that internal spurious signal generation is an issue, unless it's a REALLY bad receiver design, or maybe has a really dirty Class D audio amp. Let's hope today's marine receivers are at least cleaner than that! I suspect they're pretty simple mostly-analogue designs with most of the production value going into the case, battery and design priority for ruggedness. Too bad open-box QA isn't anywgere as good as an average flat panel TV, though. The internet is littered with examples of out-of-box failures from all brands. Sheesh.... Best, Ern
  14. David et al: http://www.ebay.com/...9#ht_639wt_1399 Wish the Uniden battery was under $25.... Jason, Good point (or lack of!).
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