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Topics - Jim Hardesty

Main Message Board / Energy audit
April 15, 2024, 06:46:35 AM
I've been thinking about batteries and electrical use.  I'm starting an energy audit, that is a list of my 12 volt power users and their amp/hour draw. 
Has anyone done an energy audit?  If so please share and please share how you arrived at your numbers.
As I'm most concerned about use at anchor my list will include LED anchor light, fridge, Keurig coffee maker, cabin fans, possibly Engel freezer and more as I think about it.
On MKll what have others done about cleats to tie dinghy at stern?  To get on and off the dink I tie/cleat it side to the ladder.  You can see by the picture the couple of ways I've tried to attach cleats to the ladder.  Limited by height and width when the ladder is up.  I don't want to drill thru the ladder, concerned that the holes would weaken the ladder.  I think putting cleats on the boat some place reachable from the dink would be a challenge getting to the back side.
I'm thinking of buying this alternator.  Wanted to know what I'd get into replacing my stock, OEM, alternator on my 2001 MKll with M35 engine.  Leece-Neville Model 8MR2069TA Alternator in the for sale section.  Has anyone done this?
Has anyone cut the shaft access lid/cover?  I'm not sure what to call it, the big piece of plywood/signboard underneath the aft berth mattress to access the end of the transmission, filter, strainer and shaft log.  I adjusted the shaft log the other day and thought that I could do a lot less unloading if it was cut in half, about where the mattress splits.  I use the v-berth for sleeping and the aft berth for storage, so there's usually a lot of stuff there.  And that cover is so big.  Most things I need to access are forward of the mattress split, so it makes sense to me.  But, thought I'd check if others have done this and had unforeseen issues.
FWIW.  When in a rush, ie the strainer plugs underway, I partially unloaded and lift the big cover with the aft end still loaded and slide it over the engine box a little sideways.  Gives me enough room to do my thing quicker. 
I use my wheel drive autopilot a lot.  Maybe at times when I shouldn't.   Had problems with the drive unit failing so decided to carry a spare on my next long cruise, summer 2024.  I wish to purchase a new style, grey, wheel drive.  If you have one you want to sell please PM me or reply to this.
Shamrock has a great anchor windlass with a vertical drum/chain wheel. Maxwell freedom 800.  Only thing I've ever done is replace a bad solenoid.  As I don't have another project this spring considering doing service/maintenance.  I've read the manual and googled, saw service kit at|2276108|2276149|2276152&id=1013069
I don't want to dig in to something that has been working fine for many years without really knowing what I'm doing or trying to accomplish.  Not really having something broken to fix.
What do others do for windlass service? 
Maybe I should just stay dumb and happy.  :D
Main Message Board / Please identify alternator
November 04, 2022, 10:41:51 AM
A recent post got me thinking.  I don't know what alternator is on Shamrock.  It's original 2001 MKll.  Here are some pictures, the best I can do without removing the alternator.
Well, winter's coming and I'm looking over Shamrock for winter things.  The plastic on the keeper lever for the swim ladder has seen better days.  Has anyone use the plastic dip to renew?  Brand name and any hints please.
Main Message Board / does anyone know where this goes
August 26, 2022, 03:09:53 PM
Found this pin under my stove, Seaward Hillerage/princess.  Thats not threads but barbs, I'm thinking it gets pressed into something.  The manual doesn't show anything that looks like this.  It's maybe 5/8 long and 3/16 dia.
I'm thinking about trying a pair of port visors.  My questions are.  Do they really keep the rain out?  Do they restrict the ventilation?

Main Message Board / Zodiac question Glue/Sealer
June 10, 2022, 04:36:25 PM
Not a Catalina question, but so many knowledge people here thought I'd ask. 
My Zodiac leaks water at the aft bottom corner patches.  Too much water but no air leak, I've reglued them a couple of times with the recommended two-part glue, was good for a couple of seasons.  I'm considering 3M 5200 or 4200 am open to any other glue/sealer.  Has anyone successfully used that or any other glue/sealer?   Any tips?
Having troubles with my Raymarine wheel pilot. It's the grey one that comes with the EV100.
The lever disengages during use.  Did a search here and others have had the problem, but I didn't see that anybody fixed it.  I've tried adjusting tension more and less without success.  Rubber band is the temp fix.  Does anyone have a fix? 
Main Message Board / J B Weld or filler for boom
February 25, 2022, 08:24:10 AM
The second season with Shamrock I had a canvas fabricator modify the winter cover and improve the frame.  In doing so he allowed the head of a bolt to ride on the boom over winter and left a gouge, not a problem functionally, not very noticeable but still ugly.  Been using J B Weld on another project, worked great.  Thinking that would work well to fill the gouge.  The fix would be marginally functional, the first consideration would be appearance.  The information doesn't say much about the finish and the comments say it is darker than aluminum.    Should say my mast and boom are clear anodized.
Has anyone used a filler to repair aluminum?  What looked good?
Main Message Board / GLCC school webinars
February 15, 2022, 10:30:34 AM
This is a plug for another club.  The Great Lakes Cruising Club school does a series of webinars with recordings being available for quite some time.  I thought possibly that some C34 would be interested.  Not all the information is Great Lakes specific. For example the weather series is mostly reading and understanding weather maps with the goal of doing your own forecasting.
Take a look here for upcoming topics.


I think the USCG is requiring fire extinguishers to be less than 12 years old.

Do I understand this right?
Main Message Board / I need a new Winter Cover next year
November 24, 2021, 06:36:38 AM
Shamrock came with a custom winter cover.  Has given good service but I'm afraid it's the last winter for it.  Hope it makes it this winter.  The fabric is very weathered and beyond patching.  The company that made it, from Buffalo, no longer serves Erie PA.  Asking the northern sailors their experience with winter covers they have purchased on-line from a company with a pattern.  I leave the mast up most winters.
Asking now because after I take it off in the spring it leaves my mind till it has to go back on.
Note the large black gorilla tape patch.
My friend is in the process of buying a Catalina 387 located at Spring Cove Marina, Solomon MD.  They want about $2,000 to unstep the mast and load boat on a transport trailer.  He is looking around the area, a half day sail or so, for better pricing.  Told him I'd ask here, or does that sound like a reasonable rate for that area.  That would be very high in Erie.
Main Message Board / how to inspect transmission
September 09, 2021, 05:27:51 AM
The recent posts of transmission failures has me concerned.  While it's being discussed thought I'd ask, what checks can be done with transmission in place?   Is there any checks that can be done with the boat out of the water?  Is there an expected life, number of engine hours?   Please be specific, if necessary, to manufacture and model.
Thanks in advance,

Main Message Board / 12 vdc plug
August 29, 2021, 06:28:21 AM
I'm going to add at least one more 12 vdc plug in my cabin.  One is going to be for my Engle freezer.  I don't really like the cigarette lighter plugs.  In the common wisdom of the group what is the best 12 vdc plug?  Doesn't need to be waterproof just something that handles the load and stays plugged in well.
I've read the instructions but don't really understand what the twist lock feature does except keep the handle down.  Before I call Jabsco thought I'd ask here. 
During this spring startup had a stripped screw and it leaked a little, replaced the original Jabsco toilet pump with a new twist lock pump.  Has been working a little glitchy compared to the original.  Takes more strokes to prime and just not the same.  Was happy enough with the original pump function, was a super easy change. 
Could this just be a break-in thing?  What does the twist lock thing do?
Just want to know before a minor thing becomes an o-s!@# thing.
Spring cleaning the deck gets tougher every year as I get older.  This year some of my diamond non-skid deck has black something deep in the groove.  Makes it even tougher that it's difficult to see when the deck is wet or soap covered.  I've lightly power washed with a small power washer staying well away from any deck fittings, helped but didn't get it all.  So, before I start buying a variety of brushes and cleaners and spend hours scrubbing thought I'd ask the group, especially the sailors that have to deal with cleaning after a winter lay-up.
How do others clean the diamond and other non-skid?  Type of brush? brand? cleaner? Any suggestions are welcome.

Main Message Board / docking video
April 10, 2021, 08:17:34 AM

Saw this Catalina docking and thought I'd share.

Main Message Board / prop patina
October 17, 2020, 05:43:48 AM
My maxiprop doesn't get the brown, green patina that most props get.  After 6 months in fresh water it's splotchy looking and some what rough to the touch.  I've been polishing between seasons, the roughness is like a lime mineral that comes off pretty easy.  As the boat is in fresh water I use a magnesium anode from, also the docks are checked for stray electric current.   I'm thinking that the magnesium anode may be the cause of the weird build-up on the prop. 
Does that sound right?  Any one else have similar experience?
Main Message Board / EV-100 autopilot drive motor loose
September 10, 2020, 03:54:26 AM
After almost 4 seasons of great service, having a problem with my Raymarine EV-100 autopilot.  After a nice moderate sail my wheel pilot wouldn't disengage  ie. the lever wouldn't go to full disengage.  Luckily had enough sea room to remove the wheel drive with no further damage.  Got back to the dock and after disassembly decided the problem was the drive motor was loose, about 1/32 inch and the internal mounting ring interfered with the activating cam? ie. what the lever is attached to.
My question is has anyone tightened that motor and how?  Looks to me like some special spanners are needed.  Where can I have this fixed?  Is it best to send to Raymarine or is there someplace better.
Main Message Board / Sunshade
September 02, 2020, 09:52:37 AM
During the 2018 GLCC rendezvous I saw a Catalina 320 with an excellent sunshade.  Sorry to say I don't remember the names to give credit due.  I finely got around to sketching up a design and having my take on their idea made up.  I'm very happy with the results.  As the pictures show it zips to the existing bimini and lays on the boom.

Main Message Board / Step for V-Berth
June 11, 2020, 11:18:00 AM
For us shorter folks it's quiet a drop or climb from the v-berth to the floor.  Has anyone made a step or stool to use there? 
Main Message Board / 160 thermostat vrs 180
October 02, 2019, 08:57:56 AM
I'm in fresh water and was wondering what the advantage of going to a 180 degree thermostat would be?  Has anyone done that and what happens in the real world?
Main Message Board / sheer stripe tape 2001 MKll
September 11, 2019, 07:25:21 AM
On last years cruise some docking was against pilings and was a lot of surge.  The sheer stripe tape got scuffed by the fenders, I'll take a fender board next time I go that way if I find a place to store it. 
My question is.  Has any one replaced a section of the sheer stripe tape?  I see Catalina Direct has what looks to be the correct tape.   Or is it better to buy from somewhere else?  How difficult is it to do?
Main Message Board / removing butyl tape residue
May 07, 2019, 03:19:06 PM
What solvent? can I use to remove the residue from butyl tape?  I tried acetone and denatured alcohol, didn't work well.  Googled recommendation is adhesive remover that I'm reluctant to use.  FWIW Mainsails butyl tape works very well, I just want to clean the old off before new and I'm messy.
Shamrock is a 2001 with in-mast furling from Charleston Spar.  There is a plastic stud? that prevents the top swivel from rotating, it has seen better days.  I've contacted Catalina, they suggested trying Charleston Spar.  Didn't get any help there, think ownership has changed.  It's simple enough I could make or have it made but buying is easier.  Has anyone replaced it or have a place to buy it.  Hope the pictures show well enough, they are with the mast down and stored.
Main Message Board / Masthead anchor tricolor LED light
September 12, 2018, 06:00:26 AM
I'm considering LED anchor lighting.  Thinking about adding a masthead tricolor, as long as I'm at it.  I remember a unit that I could add the tricolor without running additional wires up the mast.  Then to further confuse my decision the USCG has reports of LED lights interfering with the radios.  So, what experiences have others had changing over to LED?  Would like to have names of dependable and problem units.
Main Message Board / Wheel pilot squeaks
June 30, 2018, 04:47:28 PM
I have a Raymarine wheel pilot, the grey wheel, the evolution. It's on the second season and it's started to squeak a little when steering, works well, but annoying.  I've flushed it out with water as the instructions say but starts squeaking after a little use.  Hope to hear of an easy cure.
Main Message Board / Sanitation hose length for MKll
March 28, 2018, 09:46:39 AM
I plan on replacing the head to tank hose this spring.  Defender has sanitation hose on sale for about $10/foot, seems like a good price to me.  And the weather is starting to break.   I need to know the length, don't want to be short.  To MKll owners that have replaced the hose.  What is the length?
Main Message Board / Information about "Dinghy-Tow"
November 16, 2017, 03:42:03 PM
A boat I was looking to purchase a few years ago (before Shamrock) had a Dinghy-Tow installed.  The owner had nothing but praise.  Cruised with a dog and went ashore twice a day whenever possible.  I'm looking to update my tow rope and would like not to have to lift the outboard to tow.

My problem is that I get no response when emailing the contact info.  Anyone have information on the company.  Has anyone installed one?  They do have Catalina 34 in there list of boats they are used on.
If I don't get something I'll give it another week then try snail mail.

Main Message Board / anybody using synthetic oil
October 09, 2017, 03:33:11 AM
While I was picking up my Rotella T for my end of season oil change noticed Shell also had synthetic blend and synthetic oil.  Both claimed to be compatible with regular oil.  I've always used Rotella 15w-40 with Lucas additive.  My reasoning for using the additive is the engine sitting days/weeks/months without running. 
Question to people that know more about modern oil is.  Should I switch to synthetic synthetic/blend?  What would be the advantage or disadvantage?  Is Rotella best synthetic?
My installation of Shamrocks new wheelpilot is complete.  I'm very happy with the performance, so thought I'd post it.  To have it work in the windvane mode with my old ST70 wind instrument had to add a D244 junction box, ST1 to STng converter E22158 and Backbone cable A06033.  I felt the instructions were lacking.  Once I started assembling, wiring and plugging in everything it was very simple and easy.

Some notes on the picture.  1 is a pvc pipe hung on closet rod hardware to protect the sensor core  2 is the seatalk converter.

Main Message Board / Refrigerator convenience
July 18, 2017, 06:36:56 AM
The July 2017 issue of Sail magazine has a sketch page with ideas on how to best use boat iceboxes and refrigerators. I have found Shamrocks fridge to be lacking on convenience.  I have two things to help a 12 pack beer/soda can holder and a folding step stool that allows me to reach the bottom.  The can holder is coated wire from Walmart.  What are others using?  Please include where purchased if you remember.
I installed a new Raymarine evolution autopilot replacing my ST4000+.  New autopilot works great, quieter and holds course terrific.  I would like to hook it up to my existing 4000 series wind instrument but raymarine has no easy way for me to do that.  What I'd like to do is splice into the old flat-plug seatalk from my wind instrument and splice in a new seatalk round connector.  Then connect that to my new autopilot control head.    I've not had much satisfaction talking to raymarine support people, unlike B&G support that I've found to be great. 
Main Message Board / Adjusting tack angle on EV-100
June 18, 2017, 12:31:08 PM
I recently installed a Raymarine wheel pilot EV-100 to replace my old 4000st+.  So far much improved.  But, I can't find any way to adjust the tacking angle.  I don't have the wind vane hooked up.  That's another project to see if the old sea talk will talk to the new sea talk.  I hope someone here has found how to change the tacking angle and will tell me and save me a lot of time trying to talk to Raymarine teck.
Main Message Board / replacing alarm buzzer MKll
November 16, 2016, 05:01:40 AM
On my to-do list is replacing the oil pressure/overtemp alarm buzzer.  The active thread "Console buzzer alarm - electrical problem?" prompted me to buy one now.  Mine works some times, sounds funny at other times.  My hearing isn't too good so I would like to replace with a louder one.  Did try a search here but didn't find what I wanted easy.  So I'm asking.
Has anyone replaced the OEM buzzer with a direct fit louder one?  Numbers and source?
Main Message Board / Catalina for canvass
October 17, 2016, 06:43:07 AM
I talked with Sharon Day at the Annapolis boat show about replacing my factory dodger and bimini.  She recommended that I call Hilario the in house canvas person.  When I called all the info he wanted was the hull number.  He got back to me shortly and said yes it was factory supplied and had the original patterns.  He also gave me what I think is a reasonable quote.  Much better than the local canvas people. 
My question to the group is.  Has anyone had experience with buying replacement canvas from Catalina?
Main Message Board / Dinghy Sling MKll
August 30, 2016, 03:49:05 PM
The fall Mainsheet had an article about a "Dinghy Sling".  I liked the looks of it so I bought one.  Just put it on my MKll today.  As I expected there were no cleats in the right spots.  I was able to get it to work by attaching to the stern rail at the seat backs.  The instructions called to pull the lines taunt to do that temporarly I cut a length of 3/4 pvc with a T at each end.  I do plan on adding some cleats over the winter lay-up.  And if I had a do-over would use larger pvc both for stiffness and to feed the clips through. 
First try was easy enough to use, sure it will improve with the learning curve.  See that I need to do something with the stern nav light.  Haven't sailed with it in place yet, does look like it will be fine. 
Here are some pictures.
Information at  

Main Message Board / Propane level
August 28, 2016, 04:48:54 AM
Can I read the amount of propane left by reading the pressure gage.  I have a MKll with the factory aluminum propane tank.  I don't use much propane.  In the fall I do enjoy anchoring and doing a casserole in the oven and enjoying a warm boat for the evening.  Can I tell by the pressure gage reading how much propane is left?   
Main Message Board / Annapolis Sailboat Show
August 16, 2016, 06:55:18 AM
I'm thinking of going to the Annapolis Sailboat Show Oct 6-10th.  This will be my first time to the show.  I would like some recommendations for motels.  Any and all suggestions for anything will be much appreciated.
Main Message Board / Stern dinghy cleats for MKll
July 18, 2016, 12:59:21 PM
Has anyone with a MKll added stern cleats for tying a dinghy off the stern?  I've been tying to the swim ladder it works but could be better.  Don't want anything that would get in the way of my winter cover.  Don't want a toe stubber.  And a place that I could get to the back side of the cleat, that may be asking too much.
I looked at all the information from Raymarine and can't find how to adjust the belt/clutch on the new style (grey) autopilot wheel drive.  I see a knob by the motor that looks like an adjustment but don't know what to do with it.  I tried to finger adjust it but it didn't turn that easy.  So before I just guess at how to do it I'm asking.
In attempt to improve the operation of my Autohelm st4000+ autopilot I installed a rudder position sensor (rps).  Got it installed (a real pita) but I don't see the display I expected.  The manual isn't clear to me what I should see.   I just don't see bars or a pointer on the display when I move the rudder.  I did go into the set-up and add the rps.  I did a resistance check on the outputs and as best as I can tell (don't have factory values) every thing seems to be working.  My question for those who use a rps is.  What should the display look like?
I have a Autohelm ST4000+ wheel pilot.  Single hand a lot and use the autopilot often.  Have never been really happy with the operation.  I've adjusted and tweeked have improved is some.  It works good to OK most of the time.  But, was wondering if the new generation of autopilots would make it worth the boat bucks and the installation work to move up.  So, I'm asking the sailors who have updated  if they think the new autopilots work better?
I removed my aft water tank as the first step of installing a rudder position sensor to improve my autopilot performance.  It was held in place with banding straps.  The kind that's used on packages and shipping pallets.  I cut them off to remove the tank.  Now I need to replace the straps or use something else.  Before I go out and buy a 100 year supply of strap and rent the tools I want to get some ideas what others have done. 
Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
Main Message Board / rub rail repair
September 15, 2015, 03:46:40 PM
Had a docking issue getting fuel.  Got a partial cut in my rub rail.  Has anyone done a repair to the rubber?  Mine is grey.