Catalina 34

General Activities => Main Message Board => Topic started by: Dave Emery on May 02, 2001, 08:48:03 PM

Title: Balmar 912-75 and Universal 25xp
Post by: Dave Emery on May 02, 2001, 08:48:03 PM
I recently installed a Balmar 912-75 on a 1990 Catalina 34 (Universal 25XP). There are two things I need to modify to make it work. Number one was to grind a small area of the lower alternator bracket where it made contact with the fan. This was accomplished using a standard hand file and the amount of material removed was minimal. Second in order to align the belt correctly, I had to remove a small amount from the back side of the two inch foot. This allowed me to shim the alternator aft for proper belt alignment. This was acomplished using a standard hack saw. I also installed a Balmar 612 multi stage regulator. Good luck with your project the effort is worth the return.
 Dave Emery
 The Other Way, #988
Title: Alternator arm
Post by: rdavison on May 07, 2001, 03:32:47 PM
I'm just in the process of putting an equivalent Powertap alternator on an M35.  Same probelem with the arm.  I mounted the new alternator on the engine temporarily and used a marker to indicate the fan interference with the old arm.  Then drew a new arm with the same hole dimensions and spacing but a "deeper" curve to miss the fan.  A local welding and fabrication shop made the new arm for $80. I made it 1/4 inch thick since there was space and I wanted to overbuild it in case filing was still required.  It wasn't.
 Randy Davison
 Randy Davison  #1268 1993 k7voe
Title: Alternator Arm
Post by: Ken Dickson on May 24, 2001, 09:45:41 AM
I added exactly 1" to the curved end of the arm.  This allows for the added clearance of the larger alternator case and put the adjustment range right in the middle with the stock belt.
 I had a local welder do the modification for me.  He charged one dollar and it took about five minutes to do (it took  longer than that to cool it down after he was done).  
 If you need the tach settings just email me and I can give them to you.l
 Ken Dickson
 Family Affair C-34 876
Title: Upgrade to Balmar alternator
Post by: mike ingham on May 24, 2001, 04:30:39 PM
I can't comment about the Balmar mounting brackets but I do have a caution about the pulleys match between the Balmar and the M-25Xp engine.
 We upgraded a couple of years ago and took off for Maine shortly after the upgrade. Long story short we spent a lot of time and money in various marinas because the engine was chewing up alternator belts at a prodigious rate.
 It is very important that the pulley on the front of the alternator and the pulley to which the belt attaches on the engine and the belt itself are all in synch - meaning sized properly. It is equally important that the two pulleys be properly aligned one to another.
 Failure in either of these areas could have you chewing up a belt in 10 or 15 hours of engine time.
 Like so many other things in sailing there is a lot of folklore about this but trust me when I tell you that there are different sized pulleys for these Balmar alternators (in contradiction to what my marina service manager told me)and getting one that is a match to your engine and then putting on the right belt is critical.
Title: fuel gauge
Post by: mitch brown on May 22, 2001, 12:50:10 PM
I have had an inoperable fule gauge for 3 1/2 yrs . I have replaced the gauge twice, the sending unit 3 times (one from factory, two from West Marine), the wiring once, and the screws and connectors twice. Guess what??!? After working temporarily, it failed again every time. I have resigned myself to the fact that it is a better use of my time to keep track of how many hours I have run the engine after refueling, and just estimate how much fuel I have left by using the consumption rate. I know there have been many posts to this problem with someone suggesting a mechanical sending unit sold at West Marine but I am tired of removing the panels in the aft cabin to get to the tank. Good luck!!
Title: Fuel Gauge NOT!
Post by: Stu Jackson on May 22, 2001, 04:23:38 PM
B & G
 I agree with Mitch.  It just isn't worth the effort to keep fixing it.  Many reasons for failure, and some folks may have found a good answer, but most of us haven't.  The old Mailing List, as I recall, discovered someone who found one that worked.
 As long as the engine hour meter is running, you can conservatively figure 1/2 gallon per hour.  I have kept very careful track of consumption for the last two and a half years, on a spreadsheet.  We motor out for about an hour each time we sail, sometimes motor an hour or less back in at 2/3 throttle.
 It turns out it is actually less, and averages about 0.4 gallons per hour, or over 2.3 hours per gallon.  I usually fill up when the tank is half empty, so it's about 10 gallons a refill (23 gallon tank).
 Just remember to fill up every 20 engine hours or so and you never need a fuel gauge at all.
Title: fuel gauge
Post by: sailor2mon on May 30, 2001, 11:07:59 PM
I have a 1988 c34 also and have successfully replaced the sending unit which fixed the exact problem you describe. The problem occurs because as the boat sits in a marina and you are not using fuel it is still subject to some motion. The motion causes constant rubbing on the coils in the sending unit and eventually they start to short out. The symptoms you describe is due to the unit touching the shorted spot were the contact rides on the coil in the sending unit. When I finally found a replacement at a boat store it was a fairly simple matter to change it out. You just need an adjustable universal model. I can get the name of it if you need help.
Title: Rigid Vang
Post by: Stu Jackson on November 07, 2001, 04:31:16 PM
Yes, it is the best thing since sliced bread.
 It gives you the purchase you need and looks great at a fair price.
 Yes, diss the topping lift, what a blessing.
 Go for it.
 There were some earlier discussions on this issue.  Try the search engine under topping lifts and/or rigid vangs.
 Best regards,
Title: Hard Vang
Post by: Capt Al on November 10, 2001, 05:39:42 AM
Hard Vang
 Yep it is me! Lets see a response from Stu, Ron and I and we all say the same positive info on the Rigged Vang.
 The only thing I have found better is the Autohelm 4000 plus.
 As Stu said "Go for it!" As Ron said "It's great and you'll find that you use the traveler less because you can reshape the main sail with the sheet line and not have the boom ride up."
 I have removed the topping lift, can see no reason for it now. I also use the vang to hold the boom above the Bimini when it is up. Now I have less wear on the Bimini edge as the boom no longer rubs it. To speed sail the bimini is down.
 Good luck! It is WORTH every penny.
 Capt Al
 #55 Kindred Spirit" (For Sale...going bigger)
Title: Liquid Plumr
Post by: Roc on June 10, 2002, 05:10:49 AM
 I remember Liquid Plumr came out with a product that you pour down the drain to clean out the trap and pipes.  It was a bio-type of product.  The commercial on TV showed how it naturally ate away at the 'colesterol' on the pipes.  As for holding tanks, there is a product that I use called K.O.  Can be found at WM.  There is a link on our site that talks about sanitation maintenance and the use of bio products that manage odor.
Post by: karista on September 19, 2002, 06:15:20 AM
 I just replaced the fuel sender. Found it practically impossible to do it thru the Beckson port. By removing the large portside aft-cabin panel you will have easy access. I replaced the Sender with a Tempo unit which required no custom depth cutting. I believe its the 12-inch model, and has same ohm rating as the Teleflex universal sender. So far it has worked well.
Title: fuel guage sender
Post by: Red on September 19, 2002, 07:56:24 AM
   Before I left for Mexico I added a second fuel tank.  I have replaced the senders in both tanks several times and still haven't figured out what the problem is. The rheostat windings appear to be damaged but I don't know why.  I contacted telefex and was told that their units were not recommended for sail boats.  Tempo may be the best bet.  
   Good luck  Russ
Title: Fuel sender
Post by: Ted Pounds on September 21, 2002, 08:04:37 PM
 I replaced mine just the way you said - take off the side panel for access and pull it out thorough the beckson port.  I got my replacement from Catalina.  It was a few years ago but as I recall it was less than $30.  It might pay to stick with Catalina parts since the old one held up for 14 years and you'll know it's the right part.
Title: Fuel Guage
Post by: Gary Wilson on September 22, 2002, 09:48:19 AM
 We added a new sending unit about two years ago.  We pulled the side panel off because the access port in the cockpit storage locker is too small.  We bought our sender from Catalina parts.
 I just have a couple of comments.  We have now added an 8" diameter PVC deck plate with pryout lid to the plywood side panel.  It is located where the fuel shutoff valve is.  It was inexpensive, easy to install and looks like it "belongs" there.  I believe we could replace the sender again without removing the panel.
 Also, during our last extended outing, we ran out of fuel when the guage reached 1/4 tank.  I do not know if this would have happened with the original sender, because we always like to keep the tank topped up.  I would recommend carrying an extra gallon or two of fuel before testing the lower limits of the tank capacity.
Title: sender and fuel guage
Post by: captran on September 24, 2002, 11:11:47 AM
The sender was replaced when I purchased the boat spring01.  later that summer the guage read zilch, so I thought it was the sender again.  got a new sender from Catalina and replaced it in June 02.  Still Nada, so replaced the guage and it works.  mine is a  1997 ...and with minimal bending I could get the new sender installed.  but I had to remove the  whole face place to get the room I needed.I couldn't just unscrew the round port as it did not have enough room.  I like the idea of making a bigger access port, and if I have to do it again, will do that.  To find out if it's the guage, pick up a new guage and hook it up to the old wires.  If it works, then you know its the sender and you can take the guage back.  If the new guage doesnt work, and you have power, you know its the sender.  There must be some way to test the ohms, but I couldnt figure out how to do that without pulling the sender.  It was easier to have all the possible parts that I would need...  quite a little project. any one know the model of the other sender unit.??  I had heard there is some mechanical unit that is less prone to failure???
Title: fuel sending unit
Post by: captaingary on September 24, 2002, 11:45:54 AM
Check out the mechanical sending unit with the electrical adaptor. The West Marine # for the sending unit is 100794 for 71/2" depth up to the 100877 for 22" depth. The electrical adaptor for it is West Marine # 100893. The advantage is that the resistor that is what normally fails is outside the tank (the electrical adaptor). I replaced mine with this model and has worked perfectly for years.
Title: Thanks Ron!!!
Post by: s michel on January 20, 2003, 07:07:01 PM
 Thanks for your time and effort at the Sail Expo, Ron. You answered my questions concerning low engine RPM on my 1987 34 Catalina. It appears that it probably is an over pitched prop.
 Many thanks.
                  Steve Michel
Title: Factory folder....
Post by: Tom Glennon on February 09, 2003, 10:06:49 AM
Ron, I find this info interesting, in that I contacted Catalina regarding the crazing of my fixed portson my 1987 #354, and if they had replacements at Catalina.
 I was informed I needed to provide measurements/drawings, as they had "many" different types.  I did provide a detailed drawing 2 months ago, and still haven't had a reply.
 Just thought I'd add that.
Title: Thanks
Post by: Tom Glennon on February 16, 2003, 12:46:02 PM
 Thanks for your reply... I probably will get the replacements for my ports locally (Boston area)
 Although, there are no frames... only the smoked acrylic.... and I did send a drawing to Catalina with the dimensions written in it, as they requested.
 I guess the problem I am sensing with Catalina is they seem to be uninterested in the older boats... when I had my Catalina 30, I seemed to get better responses... or perhaps I'm just more eager now with the 34... afterall, she is a much sweeter boat!
 Happy sailing!
Title: I replaced my fixed ports this past fall...
Post by: SteveLyle on February 16, 2003, 07:27:17 PM
I sent Catalina both starboard ports, which they used as patterns to make the replacements.  Took about 2 weeks, counting shipping.  Price was $212 total, or about half of what it would cost me to get them done locally.  They new ones fit perfectly.
Title: The Expensive Stuff
Post by: Stu Jackson on February 26, 2003, 06:24:59 PM Lanocote, by Forespar.
 It's brown, it's guncky, it's more expensive, it lasts and it's (sometimes) harder to find than Vaseline.
 So far, it's also worked.
 Ron's advice is well taken, and with the complexity of our boats, it's well worth reading ALL the material that has ALREADY been published.
 And, (I couldn't resist this one), the SEARCH engines on this website are really useful.
Title: Rudder lube
Post by: Ken Krawford on February 27, 2003, 06:06:24 AM
Thanks for the info, guys.  I assume the boat must be out of the water to do this properly.
Post by: Ran139 on May 03, 2003, 03:33:23 AM
     Fair weather and follwing seas!
Post by: SteveLyle on June 05, 2003, 10:17:46 AM
I'll second that.
 I'm putting the wraps on the August Mainsheet right now, but the deadline isn't until 6/20, so there's still time to get published.  Think how good it'll look on your resume!
 What we'd like to do is orient the Mainsheet Tech Notes column to upgrade-type articles.  This board really meets the need for most of us for the quick answer to maintenance/repair kinds of questions, but the Mainsheet format is great for more in-depth "how did I do it" kinds of articles with sketches and pictures.  We could then use the articles to keep this site's Project page refreshed.
 All of us have upgraded our boats.  Many of you have done unique things, or did them in unique ways.  Take some pictures, write up how you did it, what the benefits are, etc., and send it to me.  We'll put it together, you'll look good, and you'll be contributing to this community and enhancing your sailing investment.  You'll feel better, lose weight, live longer.  It's reported that your love life will improve as well.  Just do it.
Post by: kss1220 on July 15, 2003, 11:27:15 AM
 Excellant point!  Those of you that have done this procedure what did you do with the remaining fuel left in the tank.  How do you dispose or use the fuel.  Environmental laws as they are make this more and more challanging as time goes on.
Post by: Stu Jackson on July 15, 2003, 01:05:47 PM
I Sooooo Enjoy This
 This material has been covered so many times it almost hurts me to remind you.
 The issues are BASIC to the C34s and have been covered in great detail.
 So, now I will conclude my usual discussion of using the search engine, and suggest that we all spend some time rereading the entire website before posting any new questions.
 OK, how'd ya'll guess I'm on vacation?
 We're in Vienna, Austria, and will return in a few weeks, but sure enjoy continuing to keep in touch.
Post by: jentine on July 15, 2003, 05:06:08 PM
Take the oil home and pour it into the heating oil tank.  If you don't have one, donate it to a neighbor.  If you don't have one of those, the possibilities are endless.
 Jim Kane
Post by: Mark Wey on July 15, 2003, 05:08:30 PM
 Great topic again. Being I have a vintage that is more than 10 years old. I think I will heed your advice. When you removed and cleaned the fuel tank. Were you able to get into all of the corners and around the baffles? How big was the access opening? What kind of sealant did you use to reseal the openings? Is there anything else that could/should be done now that I have the tank removed? Extra room I guess.
 PS: I had to reply to this topic using a quick reply at the bottom right of the message. I was not able to use the full function reply. Access was denied! any ideas? Mind you I am not sure what the difference is.
Post by: sail4dale on July 15, 2003, 05:51:38 PM
This discussion hits close to home.  My Cat30 had a pick-up tube with a screen in the tank end.  Naturally it clogged when we were double handing motoring into a 20+ knot wind. :mad:
 After about 2 hours with my head in the bilge I found that $%#%#@$^^ screen that Catalina neglects to mention in their manual.
 It came out!
 I'm a hydraulic engineer and one truism that I've preached and taught in my classes is:  NEVER use a filter that cannot be inspected (preferable easily)!
 I sugest that evryone inspect their pick-up fuel tubing and remove any screen in it.  Then have a inlet filter (Racor is great -  I worked for Parker Hannifin for 33 years) between the tank and the fuel pump.
Post by: Mike Smith on September 29, 2003, 11:44:01 PM
Great tip, Ron.  I've been thinking for some time now that we need an area on the Website devoted to "Common Tasks" (things such as you just described) - things that are too small to include as a Project, but are performed across projects or mentioned frequently on the discussion board. For instance, "Rebedding Stanchions", "Hand Crimping Fittings", or "Using a Torque Wrench", etc.  What do you think?
 Mike and Jan Smith
 S/V Breezer (
Post by: dpenz on October 01, 2003, 02:10:24 PM
Phillips head screws are designed so that the screwdriver will "cam out" or release before the torque becomes high enough to break the screw.  If you have enough clearance for a screwdriver, you may have enough clearance to use a hand impact tool with a Phillips bit.  The harder you swing your hammer, the more torque you can apply and the more seating force for the bit.  This technique is more likely to result in fewer damaged screws, though you do need sufficient clearance for the tool.
Post by: Gene Regan on October 23, 2003, 05:26:57 PM
   My understanding is that its most important to have more weight on the forward portion of the keel than the rear end as the stern of the boat is heaver than the frt.
   I also believe there is somthing in the manual on storage procedures and blocking.placement of the stands is also very important, refer to cradle positionimg in the diagram in the manual, stands should be in the same areas.
 Good luck
 Gene Regan
 Freedom 713
 gene regan
Post by: Zephyr on November 01, 2003, 04:28:22 PM
Gene: Thanks for your info (been out of town and just back to planning the winter)
Post by: saltydog on November 02, 2003, 05:08:43 PM
So, we can sail in neutral?
Post by: rirvine on November 02, 2003, 06:51:28 PM
If you sail with you gearbox in neutral, I suggest that you check the temperature of the gearbox (with your fingers will do).  You will find it get warm to hot after you have been sailing for a few hours.   Do not know if that does any damage, but I worry about things that get hot.  Even with a feathering Prop, I have learned to always sail with the gearbox in reverse to prevent to prop from un-feathering for any reason.
Post by: rirvine on November 03, 2003, 08:57:05 PM
Ron:  All good points – change the oil often etc.  As for the gearbox being warm, I found that by chance after sailing in neutral for about 2 hours.  I was check to make sure the prop had feathered – was the shaft turning?  The shaft was not warm only the gearbox. Just my 2 cents.
Post by: Ken Juul on November 04, 2003, 06:59:34 AM
From the on line Universal diesel page (
 Model HBW-50 (2:1)
 Used on Models 12, M2-12, M-18, M3-20, M4-30, M25 and M-25XP
 Model HBW-100 (1.8:1)
 Used on Models 30, 35, and 40
 They mention twice not to leave it in forward, Neutral or reverse when sailing.  Think this horse is dead, we should stop beating it.
Post by: Tom P, IMPULSE #233, '86 on November 22, 2003, 05:40:53 PM
Yea Ron, I agree with you...I believe adding another filter (inline filer) would be a lot more hassle than it's worth...More spilled fuel, another spare part to keep onboard, another part number/supplier to keep track of, etc...
 Lets face it, the crud I cleaned from the Racor check valve was probably over 16 years in the making...So why add another item to help with this problem...I believe in the K.I.S.S. theory; Keep It Simple Stupid...
 It only took a few minutes to unbolt the Racor from the bulkhead, and 20 minutes to clean the 16+ yrs of old crud...
 If you performed this check once every year or two, it would take less than 30 minutes to perform...
 I say K.I.S.S.!!!
Post by: Mike Smith on December 12, 2003, 07:25:06 AM
Lowe's has 'em too.
 Mike and Jan Smith
 S/V Breezer WCX8545 (
Post by: PHIL YATES on December 13, 2003, 11:35:40 AM
 Thanks for your input on the  fuel tank, as a winter project in cleaning , as I am sure after 17 years, the ECLIPSE #22 does need cleaning.
 I've been lucky for sometime now and have no  problems with my fuil flow and also my fuel goes to my pump first then to the racor, which I will change, one other word, several yrs ago I installed a new pump and failed to hook up the 12 v. to it, and found out a month later that the engine ran just fine without it.The fuel  gravity fed to the racor.
Post by: PHIL YATES on December 14, 2003, 11:23:48 AM
 You rite about the fuse on the bilge float, as I fused it,but have not the elec. fuel pump, thanks  for the reminder, I have to replace the gage while I'm at it, as it has not worked for some years now.
 thanks again
Post by: Tweetybd on December 24, 2003, 06:06:21 PM
May the wind at your back not be your own.
 Happy Holidays!
Post by: sail4dale on December 30, 2003, 11:39:21 PM
I believe you just want to let air in to enable a faster drain.  If so just loosen the slotted screw.  I believe this screw is access to the ball check that is in the inlet line and this will let air into the bowl area.
Post by: Mike and Theresa Vaccaro on December 31, 2003, 07:00:49 AM
 If you leave the cup on the bottom installed, you can also just loosen the filter a bit (so you can turn it by hand), and then slip a coffee can or another container around it, unscrew it, and let it drop into the container fuel and all.  
 Might want to consider shutting off the fuel flow at the tank (can access through the Beckson port in the port lazerette--outboard and forward), although this isn't always necessary--especially if you work fast!
 A couple old rags in the bilge below the filter will handle any spills.
 When you change the filter, reinstall the cup and then fill the filter/cup assembly up with fuel prior to screwing it back on--this will minimize the time required to prime the system as well as expediting the bleed process.  Don't overtighten (as a technique, I don't use a wrench when installing filters--hand tighten only, if access allows).  Bleeding instructions are contained in the Universal Owner's Manual.
 Good Luck and Happy New Year,
Post by: Aaron on February 15, 2004, 06:24:18 AM
  I just purchased two oil filters from the local kubota dealer#70000-15241. Are you saying that I need to take these back and find the new #'s or are these are still usable. Aaron.
Post by: ejryan on February 15, 2004, 09:45:36 AM
 In late 2003, I purchased oil filters and fuel filters for my M25-XP online from  The oil filters were the "old" Kubota part no. 70000-15241 and the fuel filters were no. 15221-43170 (which replaced part no. 70000-43081).  I just checked the site, and they are carrying oil filters under both the new and old part nos.  Do you know what the difference is between these two oil filters?
Post by: PHIL on February 15, 2004, 07:36:19 PM
 I have been useing the Napa filter #1064  (I think this is the currect number) have you heard anyone haveing any trouble with the  Napa filters??
Post by: tandm on February 15, 2004, 09:02:27 PM
The Napa 1064 is a Napa Gold oil filter which means its really a Wix oil filter. (Only the label on the outside of the filter is changed.) Wix filters are considered by many to be among the best available.  My son-in-law, auto mechanic turned PHD candidate in  Immunology, feels that Wix filters are about as good as you can get at the consumer lever.
Post by: paule on February 16, 2004, 02:58:15 AM
 Will the above filters fit the 35 universal
Post by: jentine on May 01, 2004, 03:17:38 AM
I went to my local canvas shop with the necessary measurements and a piece of cloth and he fabricated the cover.
 Jim Kane
Post by: Mike Smith on May 01, 2004, 06:50:41 AM
Jim -
 I've thought about doing that, too. Do you have any photos of the cover? I assume it's zippered. I've recently seen a keel-stepped mast with a base on the sole similar to the collar the mast goes through on deck.  It was fitted with a mast boot and looked very neat - another project for the ever lengthening list!
Post by: arobart on May 01, 2004, 07:40:00 AM
According to my wife, this is one of the easier boat projects.  She measured the height and circumference of the mast adding 2" to both dimensions, purchased white vinyl leatherette, 1" wide velcro and a small tube of Velcro adhesive at a fabric outlet.  Once the adhesive is dry install the cover with the seam forward and to starboard making it pretty well out of sight. Looks really good and cleans up with a damp cloth.
Post by: john daley on May 01, 2004, 10:22:39 PM
It seems strange that Catalina say that they never made them. Our Catalina 34 #1490 (1999) came with just such a vinyl cover on the compression post and every other catalina around that period, that I have seen, has one also. It  has a velcro joining strip which we keep pointing forward and its unobtrusive. Perhaps they never made them for the earlier models which may have a different diameter compression post.
Post by: Stu Jackson on May 02, 2004, 02:10:19 PM
 We did some research awhile ago about keel vs deck stepped boats.
 Here's the answer: (
 As far as the cover goes, what is the purpose?  If it's for noise, then if you have mast slapping, it's most likely the wiring.  We had that problem a few years ago and when we redid the standing rigging, we had the mast pulled and the offending wire installed in the conduit.
 If it's for condensation, you're having a long season :), and it sounds like a good idea!
 If it's cosmetic, nice choice, I think you'll be able to pick your color.  :)
Post by: Dave Barger on May 06, 2004, 09:40:43 AM
Check out ( They have mast covers, spinaker pole covers, turnbuckle covers, etc.  We bought a generic wheel cover for our 27 a couple of years back, then ordered a custom fitted cover for our 34 last January at the Strictly Sail show in Chicago.  There are many colors to choose from and the people are great to work with.
 1990 #1025
Post by: Ted Pounds on May 22, 2004, 12:35:18 PM
I'd say measure the line you have and add on whatever desired extra you want.
Post by: Ted Pounds on May 23, 2004, 09:13:33 PM
You don't need to take the line off the drum to measure it; just unroll it all the way and measure it while it's still on.  ;)
Post by: reedbr on May 24, 2004, 08:05:43 AM
You've probably already done this, but make sure when the sail is furled that there is only a couple wraps left on the drum.  If you have too many wraps on the drum to start, you won't have enough line left when it is unfurled.  When I put the sail back on every spring, I have to orient the line on the drum before putting the sail up the slider.
Post by: Ken Krawford on June 01, 2004, 01:02:47 PM
 I'm not sure what model is on your '87 but my '88 has connections in the rear of the heater for the heat exchanger lines.  This is the side away from the access door on the end of the galley counter.
Post by: Joe Nalley on June 01, 2004, 03:47:06 PM
 I have an '87 C34, Hull 415 and we replaced with a Seaward unit and it has front-end connections.  You will need to remove the molding around the access entrance. Took about 2 hours and I am not known for expediency. Ask the Admiral.
Post by: Tom Glennon on June 02, 2004, 09:29:58 AM
 I have an '87 #354, which had a Raritan 6 gallon tank.  I replaced it 2 winters ago after my first season with the boat, as it was rusted, and didn't look like it was going to survive much longer.  
 The swapout was relatively straight forward, with minor modifications to the heat exchanger plumbing at the tank inlet/outlet as the new tanks fittings were not in the exact location.
Post by: HydroTherapy on June 02, 2004, 02:41:21 PM
 Do you have a model # on the Seaward water heater?
Post by: Ran139 on June 02, 2004, 05:04:34 PM
   As you can see our boats are very close in the production run. I recently replaced the stock Raritan (round) water heater with the Seward SEW600 (front outlet/inlet) 6gal unit.
 I took Ron's advice and bought the galvanized case unit to save about one boat unit.Cost was 169.99 from Sail Net last January.
   I had to remove the drawer and frame above the heater and the side door and frame as already described. I also glassed in a wood block to screw down the mounting tab on the front of the heater.
   There are some good references to check out regarding this job. Another tip worth following is the replacement of the hoses while you are doing the change out.
   The challenege for me in completing this job was getting the air out of the system.
Post by: HydroTherapy on June 02, 2004, 07:54:25 PM
Thanks Ran,
 With this model are all the positions for connections in the right place?  I just don't want to start the job and see I have to jimmy rig anything.
Post by: randy stolze on June 03, 2004, 03:18:31 AM
         If you choose the Seward heater you will have to do some "jimmy rigging" as noted. The hoses and mounting block are needed. You can go with a exact replacement Raritan heater that I think is close to 5 hundred. The hoses should be replaced even if you go with the Raritan.
          - Randy
Post by: Jim Price on June 03, 2004, 07:09:42 AM
Seward heaters work fine, are simple, and Seward will work with you to solve problems.  One big advantage, they will sell you PARTS, not just the whole heater.  I replaced my tank last year for about $70 and was able to use all other existing parts (I did also replace the heater element due to age - Home Depot $9).  Much less expense over new unit.
Post by: David Sanner on June 03, 2004, 12:55:36 PM
I would say no... it should quickly fill to normal operating levels once your engine is running.
 If you don't see water coming out of your exhaust shortly after you start your engine you have other problems.
Post by: Ted Pounds on June 03, 2004, 06:12:05 PM
I agree with David.  I drain my muffler every winter (after running anti-freeze through it - I'm a 'belt and suspenders' guy sometimes  ;)).  No problems in the spring when I launch.  It does take a few minutes to fill up.  If there's still no water after  about 10 minutes start investigating.  The engine can easily run that long while the coolant is warming up.
Post by: John Langford on June 06, 2004, 11:14:06 AM
Has anyone tried to use an easily available substitute for the Catalina muffler? I have read the discussion on this re the M-25 but can't find anything on experimenting with the M-35. How do we know if the back pressure of one of the off-the-shelf units wouldn't be appropriate? It would be so much easier and cheaper to be able to snap on a Vetus or Vernalift unit for instance if you experienced a failure while cruising. Any experiences with
Post by: reedbr on June 07, 2004, 09:12:17 PM
 Regarding the long engine fuel filter thread from before ( , you'll be happy to know I changed the useless engine fuel filter this weekend with no problems.  Not even a hiccup from the engine.  Fuel spillage was minimal and all caught by my drip rag. I pre-filled the new one and screwed it on.  Access was very easy as that previous picture showed, I just came up behind the throttle cable from underneath.  Cracked the knurled bleeder knob a turn and turned on the key (and fuel pump) for a minute, then ran it for a minute with the knob 1/4 turn open before tightening everything up and running it for another 20 minutes.  I'll mark that as an every-other year project with the impellar and change the Racor every spring.  THanks for the tips.
 By the way, sorry I couldn't join your raft in Baby Owl Cove on Memorial Day.  I had an obligation to pick up my daughter from another boat and then was kind of locked in without my own dink.  Maybe next time.
Post by: Mike and Theresa Vaccaro on June 08, 2004, 06:28:23 AM
Ron's correct--the key to clean fuel is a clean tank.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a maintenance free diesel fuel system.  Fortunately, the tank on the Catalina 34 is easy to remove.  
 If the tank is aluminum, regular removal and cleaning also allows for corrosion inspection.  We are in the process of replacing the entire fuel system on our boat--one too many clogged filters finally pushed me over the edge!  We'll post the lessons learned on the project page when we get a chance, but I just wanted to share something interesting:  We developed a "weeping" leak due to pitting corrosion on the bottom of the tank.
 Turns out the only thing preventing the leak prior to cleaning was the sludge on the bottom of the tank!  As Ron points out in his mainsheet article, it only takes about an hour to remove the tank from the boat.  Our tank was in great shape, except for a small amount of pitting on the bottom as well as oxidation and filliform corrosion on the sides and top.  The filliform is easily repaired with mechanical removal (scotchbrite or sandpaper), acid wash and alodine.  Unfortunately pitting corrision is a different beast, and this form of corrosion in aluminum is much like cancer--and the proper solution is to replace the metal.  Interestingly enough, the bottom of the tank looked better than the sides and top after initial removal!  We didn't discover the extent of the damage until the leak check after tank cleaning.      
 Replacement of the metal is not practical from a financial or labor standpoint, so we ordered a new tank.  We also opted to replace the spin-on type Racor with a 500-series filter equipped with a vacuum gauge.
Post by: John Langford on June 08, 2004, 09:29:13 AM
The consensus of the very useful threads on fuel filter change etc seems to be that one should use a 2 micron Racor in the water separator/filter unit thereby rendering the fuel filter on the engine as not much more than a pretty face. I have done this for years on diesel engines and thought it was a good practice. However, I just found Westerbeke Service Bulletin #238 issued in 2003 and it instructs that no less than a 10 micron filter be used in the primary water separator/filter. Any views on that from those more experienced with the M25 and 35 than me?
 See: (
Post by: reedbr on June 08, 2004, 10:51:52 AM
Can I make a suggestion to ease up a little on the search button rhetoric.  Yes, there is a ton of information out there already and it would be in a readers best interest to do their research.  However, frequently a new post on and old topic gives us all a little more insight.  
 Personally, after having done quite a lot of searching on this board on fuel filters, I had never come across this specific service bulletin.  The concept, yes.  This SB, no.
 Westerbeke and Universal 2-28-2003 Fuel Filter SB (
 I'm all ears for learning something new from anybody.
 How about this Yanmar repowering doc suggesting a 30 micron prefilter and a 5-10 micron filter on the engine.
 Yanmar Repowering (
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 08, 2004, 11:33:32 AM
 OK, I'll stop.
 The reason I responded as I did is that regardless of what references are available, and the more the merrier, Ron covered this in his recent post, as follows:
 Ron Hill
 Registered User
   posted May 19, 2004 07:10 PM  
 I checked with the engine people at Kubota. The only spin-on fuel filters they make are 15 micron.
 So I think that you're best to stick with the 2 micron Racor first and let the Kubota as a backup.
 This was on Fuel & Stuff at (
 So, if they don't make it, all the ideas about different microns on the engine filter become relatively meaningless (for Universal engine owners).
 Thanks for the additional Westerbeke information.  It appears to me that they finally are recognizing that boat manufacturers are incorrectly installing the engine fuel pumps before the pre-filters, and are adding yet another filter before the engine fuel pumps.  We have suggested that the simplest way to avoid the clogging of the engine fuel pump internal filter is to plumb the pre-filter/separator before the pump.  Adding yet another filter would seem to complicate an already simple situation.  In fact, Ron discussed his own tries at this in the above-mentioned post.  
 Seems simple to me.  We've kinda discovered what works:  plumb the Racor first, then the engine fuel pump to avoid crudding up the filter on the pump, use a 2 micron pre-filter and the "available" 15 micron Universal OEM on the engine.
 Ron has over 4,000 hours on his engine and it works.  New information is always helpful, but why reinvent the wheel every few years?  Unless I hear Universal is making different filters (OEM, that is, as compared to "unfitting" replacements, which is what started one of these last threads), I'll stay with what works.  I've replumbed the fuel supply to the Racor, then to the pump.  It's very simple to do, takes about a foot or two of new fuel hose and it's done.
 Your boats, your choices.
 Thanks again.
Post by: Stu Jackson on June 15, 2004, 02:17:19 PM
 There was a photo essay in Mainsheet last year or so about how to keep doors open.  That one used door hardware.  Another one used a latch on the face or side of the nav station.  We use a bungie cord screwed into the face of the nav station and twisted over the knob.  We also put a hook in our aft cabin door.  We do it for improved ventilation. Because the hull flexes when underway we never close the doors, not because of the locks, but because we may need to get into the head or the aft cabin while underway.
Post by: Ray & Sandy Erps on June 15, 2004, 02:54:04 PM
We had the same thing happen on our previous boat, an Islander.  It had the same door latch.  Fortunately, we always had the sliding port window cracked open a bit and I was able to reach in with a boat hook and unlock the door.  On a current boat, we have a small hatch in the ceiling for fresh air.  We leave that cracked open all the time too.  I guess if we ever get locked out of this boat's head, we'll resort to the old boat hook through the window strategy again.  Otherwise, it's pretty low on my list of concerns.  I suppose a person could install something under the sliding lock to prevent it from sliding down by itself, but require one more step to lock the door.  A small wood disk round drilled with an off center hole that would cam up against the slide lock might work and not look too ugly.
Post by: hdevera on June 15, 2004, 04:40:13 PM
Just a thought.  I keep the door to the aft cabin open with a short bungee cord attached to the stove bar.  Works great.  For the head, I keep it open underway with a hook latch attached to the door and chart area.  Doors are kept open unless someone is using area room.
Post by: reedbr on June 17, 2004, 09:04:34 AM
I installed 3" hooks on the doors to always keep them securely cracked open for ventilation.  
 As far as the lock, I had one mysteriously lock on us when I had a bunch of kids on board.  I couldn't unlock it with the boathook through the small hatch (MkII), so we took apart the handle.  There were screws on the outside.  I don't know what your latch looks like, but any locking mechanism can probably be disabled if you can remove the handle to work on it.