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Messages - Clay Greene

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Main Message Board / Re: maybe moving up
« on: April 06, 2017, 12:31:10 PM »

Although it is not in any way comparable to the C34 site and message board, there is a C380/C387/C390 owner's group on Yahoo.  There are many threads about what to look for in a C380, including this recent one:

You may need to create a Yahoo account to access the owner's group.  There also is a separate owner's website with manuals, etc., but it is not used for owner communication like the C34 site. 

Other than the typical things you would look for in a sailboat that is more than 10 years old, the biggest problem I have read about was with the Westerbeke 42B engines in the early C380s.  There was inadequate cooling to one or more of the cylinders that led to engine failure.   There was a recall on the engine but not all of the owners got the notice and/or had the repairs done.  Catalina switched to Yanmars during the latter half of the production run, so it definitely was not an issue with those boats.

We have a C387, which is the same Morgan hull shape and footprint but the cockpits are very different and there are less significant differences below deck.  I think a C380 and a C387 perform pretty similarly under sail.  Both boats are heavy for their size  - I believe the sail area to displacement ratio is around 15 with the wing keel.  That translates to not great light air performance.  It really takes about 8 knots of wind to make the boats move.  But, as you would expect, they're rock stars in 12-25 knots, particularly on a reach.   Our boat performs great under power - we have no trouble doing a sustained 7 knots at 2500 RPMs in relatively flat seas (although some of my fellow owners have reported poorer results, perhaps because of their props?).  We regularly hit 8 knots under sail in 15 knots of wind and have seen between 9 and 10 when it is really blowing.  They're very solid and stable boats for long-distance cruising - exactly what you would expect from Catalina. 

Let me know if you have any specific questions.  My experience with our boat may not exactly translate but I can tell if you if I have read anything on that topic and/or point you in the right direction.   

Main Message Board / Re: Heat Shrink vs Insulated Terminals
« on: March 06, 2017, 02:56:55 PM »
GenuineDealz is a good source for heat-shrink terminals, really fast service and they don't charge for shipping.  Also a good source for primary wiring. Much less expensive than Ancor (whether purchased through WM or elsewhere).

Main Message Board / Re: Sheet (line) recommendations for MKI
« on: February 21, 2017, 02:24:46 PM »
If you are looking to buy Sta-Set, has the best price per foot I have found. Annapolis Performance Sailing is running a 15 percent off sale right now so the price per foot is the same and they have free shipping if the order is over $50. 

Main Message Board / Re: 2008 Catalina 387 For Sale
« on: February 20, 2017, 01:07:48 PM »
As a former C34 owner and a current C387 owner (#30), this is about as nice of a C387 as you will ever find, particularly in fresh water.

Main Message Board / Re: A few requests for recommendations
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:44:10 PM »
Tufted Topper makes a very nice custom-fitted mattress pad.  We have them on the boat and at home. 

We've always used the West Marine hand-pump oil changer and it has always worked fine.  Sometimes simpler is better. 

Main Message Board / Re: SELLING... help
« on: February 20, 2017, 12:41:34 PM »
There are seven 1987 Catalina 34s for sale on Yachtworld right now and the average list price is $43,319.  The top end is $49,900 and the low end is $37,500.  These are all dealer-listed boats so I would expect that most of these list prices are based on some knowledge of selling prices and the local market for this type of boat.  If I was trying to get a ballpark estimate, I would look at those seven boats and make an honest assessment of where my boat stands compared to those examples.  As noted above, I would expect to see that the selling price is 10-20 percent below the list price. 

A broker will be able to look at their screens on Yachtworld and tell you the entire price history up to the point of sale, including the amount of time that the boat was on the market.  That would be very helpful information to you if you are looking to sell your boat quickly. 

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but I don't think that your recent investments are going to increase the price of the boat all that much.  A well-maintained engine and secure standing rigging are sort of expected when you buy a boat.  Flashy items like new electronics, sails, exterior canvas are going to draw more attention. 

One thing that always astonishes me is how little attention brokers and sellers give to a fundamental issue - basic cleanliness.  I can't tell you how many boats we walked away from after opening a companionway and smelling mildew or pulling up the bilge boards and finding three inches of black standing water.  It's just a sign of owner care and attention, or lack thereof.  I also cannot believe how many people try to sell their boats when they are jam-packed with all of their belongings.  Boats should be staged for sale just like houses.

Main Message Board / Re: strictly sail in Chicago, January 2017?
« on: December 28, 2016, 02:52:31 PM »
We went last year to McCormick Place.  I think the sailing part was smaller than when it was at Navy Pier but there are more general boating vendors so there is still lots to see.  The number of sailboats is down but hard to say whether that is because of the change in venue or the industry in general.  One of the Catalina dealers is bringing the 425 so that will be interesting.  We go for the social aspect of it with a group of friends plus some of the lectures are interesting.  And it is the middle of January in the Midwest so it beats shoveling snow. 

Main Message Board / Re: leaving boat on shore power when gone
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:51:03 AM »
I've read too many stories about electrical damage from remote lightning strikes in which the owner reports that the pathway into their boat was a plugged-in shore power cord.  Why take the risk of that when there is no benefit to me by leaving it plugged in?

Main Message Board / Re: Deck Stepped Mast Issues?
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:46:36 AM »
I have had both a keel-stepped mast in our C34 and a deck-stepped mast on our C387.  I far prefer the deck-stepped mast.  There is no way to keep water out of the bilge with a keel-stepped mast.  I eventually went to Spartite on our C34 and that solved the water getting in between the mast and the cabintop but there is nothing to be done about rain coming down the inside of the mast.  We also had a big mast pumping annoyance with our C34 that I no longer have with the C387 and I have to think that the keel step was part of that dynamic.  We also have a baby stay with our C387 so I think that helps prevent the mast pumping as well.  I have never heard of there being any issues with the security of Catalina's deck-stepped masts for coastal sailing purposes. 

Main Message Board / Re: Mainsail cover with Dutchman system
« on: September 08, 2016, 09:38:22 AM »
Are you able to slacken the Dutchman lines (not sure if you have the halyard or the topping lift system) such that the cover can go over the Dutchman lines with the lines coming out the bottom?

If not, we modified our cover by putting in zippers on one side and then canvas flaps around the top that are tied off with small lines.  That prevents rain from dripping down the Dutchman lines onto the sail. 

I went through the same analysis and I came down on the fact that it was important for the reserve battery to be close to the house battery bank so I did not have to run separate charging wires from the alternator and the battery charger to the reserve battery.  I put the reserve battery in the compartment immediately forward of the starboard water tank under the starboard dinette seat.  I ran a positive wire to the #2 post on the battery switch (with a 2 AWG wire because of the length of the run) and another charging wire to a Blue Sea Systems automatic charging relay that was connected to the positive post on the house battery bank.  The ground was run to the house ground.  I then left the battery switch on #1 and ran everything off the house bank with the knowledge that I had the reserve battery available on #2 (or "all") if necessary.  That also was my opportunity to run the alternator output directly to the house bank and to get rid of the jump wire from the alternator output to the starter. 

I can see why you would want the additional battery to be close to the engine if it was a dedicated starting battery but I still wonder why you would need or want a dedicated starting battery instead of using the third battery as a reserve.  True deep cycle batteries work great for both house needs and starting the engine. 

Anyway, food for thought. 

Main Message Board / Re: Top-Down Asym furlers, recommendations?
« on: August 26, 2016, 12:46:13 PM »
We had a Selden GX spinnaker furler on a Selden sprit.  It worked well but I don't think it was much less work than a sock.  They are not meant to be left up all the time, so that meant you had to mount the sprit, raise the furler on the anti-torsion line at the dock, and then run your spinnaker sheets.  That is just about as much work as a sock but it is done at the dock rather than under way.  It was cool once that was all set up to just unfurl by pulling out the sheet.  It made it much easier to race with it but that also was a mixed bag because our fleet does a lot of windward-leeward courses and an asym is a reaching sail.  There was an advantage versus a sock in that you don't have to send anyone up to the foredeck under way for hoisting, setting and dousing.  And the furled sail stores much more compactly as well (ours fit into the shelf in the forepeak of the v-berth).  So, there are some advantages but you have to weigh that against the cost and the hassle of the installation.  So far, I have come down on the side of staying with the sock on our new boat. 

Main Message Board / Re: State of charge
« on: August 26, 2016, 12:35:05 PM »
Maine Sail has many lengthy discussions on his website about how traditional shunt-based battery monitors become less accurate as batteries age.  I would trust the specific gravity readings, particularly given that seven years is a good long lifespan for a flooded battery and what you are experiencing with usage.  But you could also try equalizing them to see if that makes a difference. 

FYI, I had a Victron battery monitor on our first boat but I went with the Balmar Smart Gauge on the basis of Maine Sail's recommendation.  It is supposed to get more accurate with use rather than the opposite with a monitor that measures based on amps.  Seems to work well so far.  You do not get the amp use measurement but I found that had limited utility for my purposes anyway. 

One alternative you might consider is that Trojan also makes a 12v golf cart battery that is a true deep-cycle battery.  We weren't really looking for the amp hour increase you would get from going with the four T-105s because we have regular access to shore power.  The two 12v batteries were less expensive than the four T-105s (equivalent in price to the 4Ds they replaced), fit easily in our battery compartment, and all of our existing wiring worked with the exception of one jump cable.   

By the way, we also installed a Balmar Smart Gauge, which I really like.  Simple and it seems to works well.

Anyway, food for thought.   

Main Message Board / Re: battery cable size
« on: April 04, 2016, 05:13:23 PM »
It has been a while since I did my re-wiring project, but if I remember correctly, the battery cables were marginal for the length of run (to the switch and up to the starter).  If you do a search, I think you will find that some owners went up a size (meaning down to 2 AWG) when re-wiring. 

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