A request for help with a recently purchased Homestrand Mariner 205-32A.

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Joe Venture, Oct 24, 2020.

  1. Joe Venture United States

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    It's a beautiful, brass-colored stove, apparently barely used, that I bought on eBay from a previous owner who said he pulled it from a sailboat. I'm restoring a 1972 MacGregor Venture 2-24 and want to use it in the galley next summer. I've tried to fire it up using denatured alcohol fuel, but it appears the washer does not seal. Pumping affords no resistance at all. It feels as though the pump shaft rattles around loose in the tube. Perhaps the NRV is no good as well. The seal on the fill cap on the pressure tank appears to be solid, although it is slightly grooved. I've researched multiple very informative articles here on CCS after searching on "Homestrand." I also found Twoberth's recent post on Finding and Fixing A Leak, which seems to set up a well thought out batting order of trouble shooting. But is there anything peculiar to Homestrand models not covered by Twoberth? In the morning, I'm going to grease the washer on the pump shaft as someone here recommended and see if that helps, but it appears the pump washer that is on there is not cup shaped, but more like a flat band. There also seems to be a lot of wiggle to the washer assembly, which is not tight to the shaft. 10 22 20 Homestrand Mariner Model 205-32A alcohol stove .jpg 10 22 20 Plunger for Homestrand Mariner 205-32A stove.jpg 10 22 20 Pump plunger on Homestrand Mariner 205-32A stove.jpg See photos. I also can't tell whether the filler cap to the tank, which I understand also has a pressure release function, works. Is there way to test the NRV before replacing it, or test the pressure release on the tank filler cap? I saw from various postings that Ess Kay Yards at one time carried parts for marine stoves like mine, and Base-Camp was also recommended. Does that still hold for a Homestrand Mariner? My guess right now is to replace the pump washer. I'm a complete newbie to this so any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. kerophile

    kerophile United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    @Joe Venture I had the same problem on a Homestand Mariner of an inadequate pumping action.

    Not surprising, the pump washer was a plastic component that had long since lost the elasticity it presumably had when new.

    731E57E5-4371-4827-9910-D42A60ABB010.jpeg


    Lubricant helped a bit, but even then only one pump stroke in six or so caught a charge of air to pressurise the fuel.

    The non-return valve was set in a recess in the base of the pump tube ...

    30BF77C3-F0C6-4A34-8274-EAFC65AD576C.jpeg


    ... which meant an orthodox NRV tool (bottom in the photo) couldn’t get to it, so (above it in the pic) I’d to make a tool that could access it.

    774116BE-AFE0-4CF3-A14A-BD0A37EAFA19.jpeg


    If I still owned the Mariner I’d have cut off the inadequate pump cup assembly and grafted on (silbrazed) the components to install a leather cup, as on the Optimus 155 pump rod in this photo, replacing an O-ring arrangement - also poor.

    3D0EA4CD-0A14-4DE3-9DBD-FBA0550EBD1B.jpeg


    In the case of the Mariner, the issue would then have been to source a leather cup washer to match the bore of the pump. Plastic stock washer second from right, Coleman washer (right) too large a diameter, others in the line-up too small.

    3EF0E54A-401B-4743-9CCA-82906523927F.jpeg


    I’m sorry to present a negative tale of my experience with the Mariner. Other than that weak link of the pump it was a fine stove.

    John
     
  4. Joe Venture United States

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    Thank you both. Kerophile, you clearly explained why the "wiggle" in top of the pump assembly is a feature, not a bug, allowing one-way compression of air and then drawing new air into the pump cylinder. Pretty slick, simple design. Also thanks for sharing the tip about "going in from the top" in replacing the pump washer. The knob handle on my unscrews easily and so that will be the route to take if I have to replace the washer, which seems to be in my future. I would have run afoul of that little nut on the end of the pump shaft for sure without your advice. Also, thanks for the link to more info on NRVs. Presscall, thanks for sharing your experience with your Mariner, your ingenious NRV removal tool and plan to rebuild the pump with a more robust leather cup rather than the plastic band, which, I think, mine uses also, by the looks of it. Both of your instructions give me something to work on first. I greased the black band and while it has eliminated the pump shaft from rattling and wiggling, there was no improvement on compression. There still is none. Any ideas on making the black band expand back to its original diameter or where I could buy a replacement?
     
  5. ROBBO55

    ROBBO55 Subscriber

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    @Joe Venture

    The stove is in great condition and I can see why you want to use it.
    To get the pump working I would look for suitable sized "O" rings. You might have to fit two but one may work.
    Look for a fuel resistant material such as Viton.
     
  6. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    I’d say there’s no chance of re-vitalising a component of that material. Well, spreading the cup with the fingers might get it working for a while, but in my experience it’ll soon revert to failure mode. A source of s spare? Nothing here in the UK but Stateside quite possibly. One of our USA members is likely to know for sure. @Doc Mark is a mine of information and a Homestrand owner. Doc?

    Robbo has suggested O-rings but the component into which they’d need to go isn’t shallow enough. The inner diameter would have to be increased, maybe by wrapping tape around it, then the O-ring chosen to be a close fit in the pump bore would be supported.

    353BA041-13E8-4FD0-961F-E468774F42FF.jpeg
     
  7. Joe Venture United States

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    Hi, folks. Well, I got the pump on my Homestrand Mariner 205-32A to work. I cut out the black plastic band serving as a pump washer. It was very brittle and broke up easily with pressure from a screw driver. It left what looks to be a black, V-shaped plastic pulley between the two metal keeper disks. I went to the hardware store looking for something to MacGuyver in the void, along the lines of what Robbo suggested and found a thick, 13/16" OD, 9/16" ID O-ring that fit nicely into the V. I greased it up and, although it was a tight fit, slipped it into the pump shaft. It gives compression, but now I've discovered a leak where one of the pipes going from the tank to a burner attaches to a cube fastened to the bottom of the tank. It was difficult to tell exactly where the leak was coming from, so I removed the tank and burner assembly and immersed the bottom of the tank in the kitchen sink. I still couldn't tell definitively whether it was the cube leaking where it attaches to the tank under the pipe, or the pipe itself where it threads into the cube. Finally, I mixed up some soapy water and dabbled it on the area. The tiny bubbles seem to indicate the leak is at the junction of the pipe threads and the cube. That joint, though, is VERY tight. I applied strong hand pressure but could not get it to unthread. Got any strategies for loosening and removing it? And then sealing the threads? Plumbers' pipe dope? Teflon tape? Regards, Joe Venture
     
  8. Joe Venture United States

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    I'm sure now that the leak came from the pipe. It broke off, leaving the threads in the cube. What are these pipes made of? Copper or brass?
     
  9. Joe Venture United States

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    Thanks, Martin. One thick O ring seems to work. Being able to pressurize the tank has revealed another problem with it, but life's like that.
     
  10. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    Make sure the o-ring you're using won't degrade in alcohol! Try soaking it in alcohol for a couple days and see if it survives. I agree with @presscall that your best bet is to modify your pump to use a leather "bucket", as he showed. Any rubber or plastic part you use there will probably have a short life.

    I assume that by "denatured alcohol" you mean the stuff meant as stove fuel (ethanol plus a denaturant), and not the isopropanol sold at pharmacies.

    The Kenyon site (manufacturer) apparently no longer carries parts for alcohol stoves (they've gone to the dark side, only making electric stoves now), but Ess Kay Yards still has some spares. Their "Homestrand Kenyon H525 (B93005) Check Valve Wrench" is a good, functional NRV removal tool. They also have an "obsolete" (and pricey) pump assembly.

    Where your tubing broke, you're going to have to get the broken threaded part out of the block, and make an new tubing section.

    Good luck. These are nice stoves. Welcome to CCS.

    We like photos, and would enjoy seeing the installation in your boat.

    ....Arch
     
  11. Joe Venture United States

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    Thanks, ArchMc, for the tips.

    I bought an extra O ring and so, at your suggestion, I'm letting it soak for a few days to see if it dissolves.

    The denatured alcohol I bought from my local Ace Hardware store is ethanol and says "Fuel" in big letters on the 1-gal can.

    I called Ess Kay Yards yesterday and the woman I spoke with told me they no longer have parts for alcohol stoves, and yet, just as you say, checking today, their web site has both a check valve wrench $39.99 and a pump assembly $62.99 listed.

    The woman at Ess Kay referred me to A & H Enterprises in California. They sell several brands of new alcohol stoves for backpacking. I've emailed them. They have no phone on their web page. A&H Enterprises - Home

    Do you know if the pipe is metric or American standard? The knobs say the stove maker was from the U.S., but the threading on the pump knob, at least, is metric.

    Do you know of any vendors of brass pipe that size, which appears to be approx. 5/16 in outside diameter, or about 8 mm. Also, in case I have to thread the pipe, do you know whether the pipe threading is in metric and what the pitch is? If I have to thread the pipe myself or re-thread the cube, I want to be able to chose the appropriate tap and die.

    Also, I'm having a tough time getting the pipe to come out from the burner, so I've not been able to use that threading as a guide to size and pitch. I've heated the fitting with a torch, but no luck getting the pipe loose so far. I'm now letting it soak with Liquid Wrench.

    It's great learning about this new world I never knew existed. I will be sure to post as we go along.
    10 25 20 Top view of broken pipe at burner Homestrand Mariner 205-32.jpg
     
  12. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    I've never had to do anything with the tubing. Hopefully, someone with that experience will chime in.

    ....Arch
     
  13. Joe Venture United States

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    Thanks, Arch. I've got a set of EZ outs and reverse-threaded drill bits on order. I've never had a bit of luck with EZ outs before, but I'll give them a try as a next step. If I can just get the nub out of the junction block on the tank and the length of pipe out of the burner, I can probably buy, tap and die a new pipe. I'm already in for a dime, in for a dollar.
     
  14. Joe Venture United States

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    Well, I managed to get the long section of the broken tube removed from the burner. It took a lot of heat from a propane torch and a lot of pressure on the pipe sandwiched between two pieces of oak in a vise and a big crescent wrench to break it free. You might be able to see in the photo the indentations in the wood from the tube, including impressions of its threading. 10 26 20 Homestrand Model 205-32A broken pipe removed from burner.jpg The pipe cracked its entire length from the pressure. But, I should be able to determine tomorrow whether the threading is standard or metric and the pitch by sampling nuts at the hardware store. Digging out the broken stub in the cube on the bottom of the tank is going to be a bid more difficult, I'll bet.
     
  15. Daryl

    Daryl United States Subscriber

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    When you get your stove working and onboard keep the cabin curtains out of the way! I wanted to buy one of there sailboats back in the day. Visited the factory and had a stack of brochures. At the time needed to sell my sailboat to get the Venture which never happened. One of my first dates with my now wife involved a sailboat and too much water over the side and snakes in the lake water. Both can still laugh about that.
     
  16. Joe Venture United States

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    Daryl,

    Sounds like you found the right gal if she can laugh off snakes. It's never too late to own your own Venture. Check out the FB page MacGregor Venture Classic Sailboats and FB marketplace. You can pick up Ventures in need of TLC for as low as free to as high as $4,000 well-restored Venture of Newport 23, which is the fairly rare and beautiful cutter rigged Venture. I paid $1,800 for my 1972 Venture 2-24 three years ago at age 65, boat, motor, four sails and trailer, but it had sat in a guy's back yard for 8 years and was a slimy mess. I've spent more than twice that getting it in ship shape, and I still have things to do, like a galley.

    On the Homestrand Mariner restoration, I consulted with a pair of local machinists who determined the industry-assigned pipe size (not the actual measured size) was 1/8 and the threads were British Standard Pipe Taper, 28 thread.

    Now I have to back out the broken pipe nub, find a new replacement pipe and an appropriate tap and die set, or a machinist with them to create a replacement.
     

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  17. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    Reminds me of the Ranger 24s we used to see all the time on Puget Sound a few decades back. I'm sure that many are still around.
     
  18. Joe Venture United States

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    I've got a nice problem to have. I now own two Homestrand 205 32-A stoves. A buddy and I drove 440 miles round trip today from Northwest Indiana to Highland, MI, (Near Flint) to pick up my second stove, a silver one I found for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $60. Getting it home, the pump plunger is a bit worn, but it compressed some air and both burners lit right up after pre-heating. They burned steadily, but a small flame developed on one of the burners at the fuel valve stem when it's opened up even a little bit. Anyone have an idea what to use for packing around the valve stem? What do you use to seal the threads on the fitting, ordinary pipe dope? Anything else? Nothing? PS., I'm still working to fix my first Homestrand, the golden one referenced above. I used a reverse threaded drill bit to drill out the nub of the pipe that had connected the tank with the burner but had broken off in the little cube connector beneath the fuel tank. Then I used an EZ out to back out the remains of the threaded pipe nub. Fortunately, the threads in the cube connector appear to be undamaged after the surgery. I still need to locate the appropriate size replacement pipe and a die to thread it. A bought a digital micrometer and determined the outside diameter of the pipe is 5/16" while the ID is 13/64.
     
  19. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    You can try tightening the packing nut or locate some graphite tape to add packing. Try cleaning up the stem first to allow a better seal, even 0000 steel wool with help remove built up crud. Usually adding a bit of packing and cleaning works, sometimes just snugging up the nut a little (1/4 turn) or more, but not to the point that turning the valve is hard.
    Duane
     
  20. William Ritchie

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    Looks like a 1/8th inch brass pipe nipple to me . Try a short nipple from the hardware store in the threads , if correct you can get various brass nipples in length and pressure rating , with or without seams from McMaster Carr USA . 1/8 BSP being the thread . WR