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Messages - Patches

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Main Message Board / Re: Does anyone know what this is?
« on: July 09, 2019, 07:08:01 PM »

The clevis pin had "worked" slightly outboard, wedging what was left of the cotter pin tight into the toggle. No way to get that out without detuning/slackening the rigging.

Although I thought about how I might do this myself, from my Topclimber, I kept going back to what I would do to support the entire weight of the forestay and furler (even after taking the sail off) in the event the clevis pin backed out all the way.  How would I muscle the top of the forestay back to the masthead and work a clevis pin in at the same time? 

I'm sure if I was in some remote anchorage I would be forced to figure it out.  But being that a rigger was nearby and I was going to have him help assess the "noisy partners" issue (see prior post) as well, I happily paid him to do that--with the assistance of yet another rigger on deck.  In the end, I was happy he did it.


Main Message Board / Re: Does anyone know what this is?
« on: July 07, 2019, 06:55:29 AM »
Can't tell for sure.  What I can tell you is that when I was up the mast a couple of months ago installing a new anchor light, I discovered that the cotter "keeper" pin (securing the clevis pin which held the forestay to the masthead) had one of the legs "bent" and was abrading my genoa halyard for the furled sail.  I carefully attempted to bend it away from the halyard with some pliers, and it snapped off one of the legs of the cotter pin in the process.  This secures the entire forestay and furler in place.

I made an appointment with a rigger who detuned the rigged--unloading the clevis pin-- and replaced the broken cotter pin.  What he found was a cotter pin which wasn't even stainless, and replaced it with a stainless one.  Not good.

Not sure what that piece is from, but if you haven't been aloft in awhile, it may make sense going up and inspecting some of the connecting hardware.  If I hadn't gone up to replace the anchor light, I would not have discovered the pin was sawing through my genoa halyard, or that the pin was not stainless.  I use a Topclimber to get myself up and down which, at 58, is still doable.



Main Message Board / Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« on: June 07, 2019, 06:13:18 AM »
I also had a non-working Autohelm 4000 which came with my boat.  These are not great units, and to fix it you will be sorting through replacement parts sold on eBay by folks who are parting there's out.   

Turns out mine, like many, had a disintegrated "pinion sprocket" which can only be purchased on eBay for $70, and will add a little life--but not much performance--to the 4000.  But these units also have a habit of eating belts (cheaper to replace aftermarket), as well as the pulleys.  Because the only thing needed to bring mine back to functioning was the pinion sprocket, I held my nose and bought one.  It works OK, but the design is definitely obsolete.

If you need to replace, consider the CPT autopilots which are also a belt-type drive and have a reputation of handling much tougher conditions. Most serious autopilots are the below deck-type and use a hydraulic ram to move the rudder post.  They are also much more expensive.  Given your priority list, it doesn't sound like something you'll necessarily want to tackle in Year 1.

So tear down the wheel autopilot--its really easy.  See what has failed inside.  If is is only a belt, you could be back in business for $30-40 on eBay.  If you have broken bits like the pinion sprocket or pulleys, you'll have to decide whether to throw more money at it to buy some time.  In the meantime you can start saving for a replacement.


Main Message Board / Re: Noisy Partners
« on: May 31, 2019, 10:03:23 PM »
Update:  The noise at the partners on my boat turned out to be the wooden wedge on the starboard side.  While cleaning off the old silicone underneath the removed mast boot, I removed this wedge--which was in tight.

Result:  quiet. completely.  Had nothing to do with the turnbuckle underneath the deck.  Before, every time I walked on the deck near the mast it made a sound in the partners, and sometimes there would be a "pop" due to either increase in heat or increase in wind.

Will be going to rubber wedges temporarily before switching to Spartite.  On my riggers recommendation, I need to replace the backstay lowers where they fork toward the transom, and a new toggle needs to be added to my ancient Harken RF to lengthen the forestay a bit.  Will switch to Spartite at that time.


Main Message Board / Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:40:20 PM »

Moved my vang fitting up today.  I basically made the old top hole into the new bottom hole, and tapped in a new top hole.  My fitting has a 1/4" X 20 allen head bolt.  Drilled the new top hole with the # 7 bit for such purposes (which I believe is a 7/32 bit), then tapped it.  Works perfectly, and gets the vang fitting out of the way of the boot.

FYI:  Slide that vang fitting and the boot up the mast while you put in new wedges and take out the old silicone mess.  That was most of my day, trying to remove the globs of silicone that were mindlessly squeezed into the partners.   Lots of work with plastic putty knives and plastic razor blades.  I am now going to use a product reviewed by Practical Sailor--"Re-Muv"-- which supposedly did the best job of totally removing old silicone.  Because my new mast boot is an adhesive wrap-type, I need all the old silicone off for proper adherence.

Keep us posted on your progress.


Main Message Board / Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:56:09 AM »
+1 on mast wedges from the top.

I just had my rig professionally tuned in connection with hardware replacement at the top of the mast.  We had issues with "noisy partners" both before and after tuning, and would be interested in your experience with this.  I posted on this last week, but didn't get much of a response even though another C34 worked on by the same rigger later that afternoon had the same issue.

My rig was not pulled, but we took the mast boot off to check out the partners and existing wedges--only the side wedges were still in place. I found the vang attachment on the mast interfered with the old mast boot removal, and will interfere with the replacement mast boot tape I will be installing in its place.  I plan to move the lower vang attachment up the mast to allow the new tape to be installed.  On my boat, the lower vang attachment appears to be secured with allen head bolts, which means I will likely be tapping new bolt holes.  Will have to do until I get a rigid vang!

It seems like moving the the lower vang attachment eye upward, or at least temporarily removing it will assist with getting the mast boot snug.


Main Message Board / Noisy Partners
« on: May 21, 2019, 05:50:24 PM »
No not that kind!

Now that I have your attention, I had a rigger on my boat today to take a look at the rig and replace a problematic pin I noticed when I was aloft last week.  One of the things I wanted him to look at was the mast partners on my boat, and the fact that they make small "popping noises" when you walk around on deck in the vicinity, and also under sail sometimes when the sails are full.  I also had fore and aft wedges--very thin--fall out, leaving only the side wedges (thicker) in place.

After tuning the rig, the noises remained. There is daylight all around the mast within the partners, except for the wedges. He messed about with the turnbuckle below, which essentially holds down the deck in that area when you tighten the shrouds.  No relief.

He thinks the sound is the wedges themselves when greater force is applied through contact with the partners--whether due to someone on deck, or the rig loading up.  Coincidentally, today he worked on another Catalina 34 after my boat, same vintage, and it had the same exact issue!

Anyone dealt with this issue before?  Is there a recommended fix for eliminating this?  Spartite?  Other?

As always, interested to hear your responses.


Main Message Board / Re: Relocating the Heat Exchanger (?)
« on: May 03, 2019, 06:20:52 AM »
That is certainly one way to improve access to the transmission dipstick.  I went a different way, which was to cut an access panel in the vertical bulkhead in the aft cabin.  Found a perfect size Jim Black flush mounting panel at Great Lakes skipper. for about $90.  Cut the hole, which was easy, and mounted the frame.  The door has 6 flush mount latches which allow it to be removed completely for access.

It has made a HUGE difference in doing anything on the back of the engine:  Changing the zinc on the heat exchanger, changing the transmission fluid, checking transmission fluid,  etc..  Most importantly it made all the difference in removing the original exhaust riser and flange, and replacing with new.  I ended up buying a new heat exchanger and installing that was simple with the new access hatch. I can't imagine trying to line that up from above, given that the new ones have "fork" style mounting flanges which require a lot of mini adjustments to get just right before tightening everything down.

Just something to consider.


Main Message Board / Aft Lazarette Wood Refinishing
« on: April 27, 2019, 03:10:00 PM »

Every time my wife goes down to the boat she looks at the wood under the helm seat and says:  "Thats got to be re-finished."  After working down the priority list of projects, I'm finally there.  Or maybe I'm there because she volunteered to do it this weekend...

For me refinishing exterior wood is kind of a fool's errand. Or maybe it was a conspiracy between the boat manufacturers and the marine paint/finish industry.  Anyway, the wood under the helm seat on my boat looks like some poor former attempts with Cetol.  Then there is a poor attempt at running silicone caulk along the top edge, I guess to prevent water leaking down between the seat and the wood trim. Didn't work.  After taking a look, I found the trim is screwed on from the back--through the aft locker lid.  "Great!"  I thought, I'll just remove it all, put a little marine tex over the (8!) holes, sand it, buff it, and never worry about refinishing that wood again.

Then I discovered why that trim piece is there:  To stiffen the very thin layup in the front of the lid. Back to refinishing.

In the process of scraping and sanding the trim pieces, I'm thinking the wood may be mahogany--not teak.

DOES ANYONE KNOW FOR SURE?  It will help me decide how to replace the center piece of trim, which is toast, and help inform the kind of finish I use going forward.




Main Message Board / Re: V-birth storage
« on: April 16, 2019, 02:42:23 PM »
Storage really is the Achilles heal of our wonderful boats.

I thought about doing the same, and decided on doors on the vertical surfaces on either side of the V-berth--above where the filler piece rests when not in place.  I found the Teak Isle (12 X 12) "drop in door" at Great Lakes Skipper, GLS Stock #: 7200354-5H294, and bought some twist latches on Amazon to secure them.  Cut the openings using a multi-tool and put them in using 4000 adhesive.  (sorry no photos)  I wanted doors I could remove completely for access, because anything with a hinge tends to reduce the opening size and/or require a certain swing radius, and complicates getting things in and out easily.  I have seen from photos that some owners have used a teak 12 X 12 louvered door in this area--similar to the one for the waste bin in the galley-- and these seem to be readily available online. Again, I didn't want a hinged door.

I also thought about using hatches under the V-berth cushions at the aft end (near the drawers and hanging locker) with integral bins under.  Because the port side space underneath is much smaller than the starboard side, and the taper of the hull side, I decided against this.


Main Message Board / Re: Steaming light solenoid
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:29:27 AM »
I think my boat would like to be adopted by Noah.  Great solutions, great execution.



Checked my setup--since we are just a couple of hull numbers apart.  My bilge drain line has a loop in it. The loop is suspended by a zip tie screwed to the underside of the cockpit on the starboard side, aft of the quadrant.  Looks half-a**ed, but has been doing the job for 28 years.  If you have enough excess hose you could try something similar for the cost of one zip tie and 20 minutes of level 6 boat yoga.


Main Message Board / Re: Diesel in the bilge!!
« on: March 18, 2019, 09:58:40 AM »

I think the bet way to prevent the corrosion is to apply the neoprene strips as described in my post above.  Was easy for me because I did the work on my new tank before installation.  A bit of a hassle if trying to do it on your existing tank.  It is a one person job to empty and remove the tank until you have to get the tank from the aft cabin and up the stairs into the cockpit.  Then a second set of hands is needed.

After looking at the inside of my old tank, it was pretty "chunky/dirty" inside.  If it hasn't been done, I would probably remove the tank to clean it and to check the condition of the bottom for corrosion.  If the tank is fine, you could apply the neoprene strips after cleaning the inside.  If it looks suspect or a leak is detected, then replace the tank and apply the neoprene strips then.

I'd give it a "6" on a scale of 1-10 for boat yoga.


I put in an access hatch as one of my first projects after I purchased my boat last April.  It has made a huge difference in all the work I have performed on the engine since then:  remove and replace heat exchanger, paint rear of engine, remove exhaust flange, remove and install new exhaust riser, all new engine hoses, and all new wiring.

I found the perfect hatch at Great Lakes Skipper for about $90.  The hatch removes completely, and it is about the maximum size to cut into the panel below the shelf behind the motor: 11" X 23".  Part number is 582-1123-05.

Simple to install. Trace the cutout of the hatch frame.  Use a small hole saw to cut the radius of the corners, and your multi-tool to cut the straight sections.  Rough sand the edges of the cutout with 80 grit.  Drill pilot holes for the frame and screw in place.  The frame is gasketed, so no caulk needed for mounting.

Sorry for no pics.


Main Message Board / Re: New Member seeking alternator input
« on: March 10, 2019, 09:32:43 AM »
Thanks Ron:

I re-did my electrical from the Instrument Panel to the engine, using the many helpful suggestions of the members on this forum.  New instrument panel, new wiring harness, fuse on the panel feed wire (red 10 awg), new negative buss bar coming off the starter to pick up other negative wires in the engine compartment, new alt output wire (8 awg) and alt neg (8 awg).

Everything does what it should when I turn the key to "on".  Just waiting for the alternator to come back!


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