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Topics - reedbr

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Catalina 34s for Sale / 1997 C34 MkII Chesapeake Bay (sold)
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:13:03 PM »
$58,000 no broker price. As far as I can tell, still the lowest price C34 MkII in the US.

Two kids in college, the boat needs to go soon. In April I'll dewinterize it and take it to a broker. For now I thought I would put a quick post in and see if somebody wants to do the extra legwork and save the 10% commission. I'm told listing price with a broker would be about $65K, so I'm offering it here pre-broker for $58K.

"Ambitious" is a 1997 Catalina 34 MkII with the wider walk-out transom. Hull #1365, shoal draft wing keel and a standard rig. I have owned her since 2002 and I think I'm the third owner. The engine runs well, starts easy and has about 1050 hours on it. All the standard stuff for MkII's is there and operational: hot and cold pressurized water, refrigeration, self tailing winches, autopilot, depth meter, knot meter, and a couple anchors including my 33# Bruce that has never failed me. It also has a reverse cycle air conditioner/heat unit that works well in both modes. She is a white hull with navy blue canvas including dodger and bimini, roller furling jib and Dutchman main system. Garmin GPS system is included, as are pots, pans silverware and dishware. Beyond a good cleaning, hull wax and bottom paint, she won't need much for the coming season. Cosmetically she cold use some interior varnish and new sheer stripe tape.

Optional is an 8' sailing Trinka dinghy that I carry on Weaver davits on the stern.

Ambitious is layed up for the winter in the water on the St. Mary's river, off the Potomac in the lower Chesapeake Bay. That's Drayden, MD from the land side.

Contact me if you have any interest or questions.


Main Message Board / Oil pan, early MKII's
« on: June 19, 2013, 01:26:25 PM »
I had an oil pressure alarm on my boat a few weeks ago. First I want to say thanks to those who gave me advice here, and especially to Ron who picked up the phone to help work out a solution. I think my problem is solved, but I still need help for a permanent solution on one item. Also, I did five things at once so I have no idea what my specific solution was, or if maybe my problem is just lurking to surface later. The alarm was intermittent at the time.

I need help on a permanent solution for #4.

What I did:
(1) Replaced the oil pressure sensor. It is a $15 part and is right behind the oil filter on my M35B. The connections were a little corroded when I took the old one off.
(2) Replaced the Sherwood raw water pump. This is probably unrelated, but it was weeping water through the weep holes and leaking oil where it attaches to the gear case. $370 at Engines1 in Norfolk, plus $3 for the gasket that is not included.
(3) Drained the oil and sent to to Blackstone Labs in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For $25 a sample, they read the tea leaves and told me that for the hours on the oil (9 on the recent sample, 50 on last fall's oil change sample) I had high iron content. I talked with Ron about this and we determined that my oil changes were incomplete. I was only getting 2-1/2 quarts out plus whatever was in the filter, and this should be a 4 quart engine.
(4) I took a closer look at my oil pan factory drain hose and realized the drain was in the bottom FRONT of the pan, not the back. When the engine is mounted at an angle, this matters. I removed the dipstick mount which is in the middle and wiggled a hose to the back and removed another almost two quarts.
(5) Put in new oil and a new filter.

I ran it about 7 hours on a trip last weekend and I did not have any issues. On the trip I rafted up to a 2005 C34 owned by my friend Jeff. Jeff showed me his engine, also an M35B, and his drain hose is attached to the back side of the pan, much lower than mine. His dipstick was mounted differently too. Basically, the oil pan was completely different.

So my question is, how do I get a lower drain hole for my oil pan? Is there enough space to drop the pan without raising the engine? Can I remount the factory drain hose lower in the pan? Should I just buy a new oil pan? And, how many years was production like this? MkII's started in 96 and mine is a 97, hull #1365. I assume I am not the only one.

I have a couple pictures. Can I post them directly here or do I have to host them somewhere else?

Main Message Board / MkII Adding Salon Vent
« on: January 20, 2012, 02:05:00 PM »
My MarkII is always a little stuffy when I first get onboard.  Even though I leave the cabin doors propped open and the aft mini hatches open to the first ridge, there isn't enough flow.  I'm finally getting the courage to cut a hole in the boat. I've been contemplating this for 5 years now.  A nice sister gave me a Nicro solar vent for Christmas and pushed me over the edge.

The question is, where to put it.  From all the archives, I see Ron has one between the mast and forward hatch, somebody put one in the main salon hatch lexan, and a third put theirs in the fiberglass between the salon hatch and the mast.  Pro's of the salon hatch is it is easier to fix if it doesn't work there.  Con's are possibly stepping on it and cracking the hatch glass.  Forward of the mast gets lots of sun and vents the V-berth too.  I'm wondering if it snags jib sheets easily.  Moutned in the fiberglass between the salon hatch and the mast is probably pretty free from foot traffic due to the running rigging attached to the mast base. Does it get enough sun to run?

OK, any advice before I start cutting?  Any recommendations, opinions (uh-oh), or additional consierations? Location I haven't thought of?

Similar threads:,1244.0.html,2173.0.html,1462.0.html


Main Message Board / Ecobulb MR16 CFL
« on: September 29, 2009, 11:53:21 AM »
I've been playing with LED's on the boat and CFL's at home for several years.  Overall, things are getting better as far as options and performance.  The first SuperBright LED's MR-16 replacements for my MkII eyeball lights were really poor.  They only drew a 1/4 watt, but the dim blue light was only borderline useful. Two years ago I picked up a DrLED 1 watt bulb that had a nice warm white color and reasonable brightness.  I was impressed, but the price was $30/each.  There is a 3 watt DrLED version I have found since then, but I haven't tried it yet.  The trouble is, it is hard to beat the overall light provided by the 20 watt stock halogen lamps supplied by Catalina (in a 10 watt fixture I might add).

Recently while at Home Depot, I saw a compact fluorescent MR16 mount bulb for less than $10.  This was an unusual sighting.  The manufacturer is FEIT Electric and it is called an "ecobulb".  The package said "replaces up to 50 watts, uses only 5 watts, 12 volts".  I didn't get my hopes up, but it was worth $10 as an experiment.   I just tried it last weekend.  Here is the product on Amazon's site:

It isn't perfect, but it is pretty good.  Like most CFL's, this one takes 60 seconds to really warm up and provide full output.  The initial output isn't bad though.  The light color is listed at 3500K, but it matched the stock halogen I had running on the opposite side of the same cabin.  Before I had one halogen and one low draw replacement in each cabin, giving me (well, my crew) the option of reading light (halogen) or just a find your bag/way light (LED's).  You can definitely read by this CFL.  With the combination of price and performance, I think I'll swap all forward and aft cabin lights for these, and half the eyeballs in the main salon.  I'll keep one or two key halogens, but that is it.  5 watts isn't nearly as low-draw as the LED's either, but it is significantly less than 20 watts, and it adds up if you are running 2 or 3 at a time. 

I just thought I would pass the product and a mini-review along in case anybody else wants to try.  If you do, post your own opinion here. 

Main Message Board / Opening Port Leaks Resolved
« on: August 17, 2009, 01:22:23 PM »
On my 1997 MkII opening ports I was getting leaks I couldn't stop.  I got the McMaster O-rings and cleaned the port gaskets but still had problems at the same rate.  After talking with a C380 owner who solved a similar problem, I dug out the gasket that fills the gap between the outside aluminum trim ring halves.  The gap is a little over 1/16" and runs horizontally at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions.  The existing gasket was the consistency of plumbers putty.  I dug it out with a razor knife and filled it with silicone.  I had a couple good rains while on the boat last week.  The opening ports are dry.  I think these are the Lewmar ports. 

Next stop, chain plates...

Main Message Board / "Crazy Ivan" the Autopilot
« on: August 03, 2009, 03:16:00 PM »
I remember reading a submarine book once about the "Crazy Ivan" tactic, where a skipper would turn the boat abruptly 45 degrees to port or starboard without warning.  We have renamed our Raymarine 4000 autopilot to Crazy Ivan.  He only goes to port and usually only 20-30 degrees, but it is definitely without warning.  He usually comes back to course, or close to it, in about 2 minutes.  This weekend I played with some variables trying to identify the source of the problem but couldn't.  My clues are below.  They may be related or just misleading.  Toss out your theories though.  I have a week on the boat coming up starting Friday, so I'll have a chance to check them all out.   This is a '97 MkII. 

(1)  I used to think it was voltage fluctuation problem when the fridge kicked in as my batteries were weak.  However, I just replaced the batteries two weeks ago with no change.
(2)  I played with the circuit breakers trying to isolate possible interference.  I turned off the fridge for a couple hours and still had problems.
(3)  It happens with the engine running or not.
(4)  While I've never been happy with the heading control on the autopilot, I've sailed her for seven seasons and it wasn't always this bad.
(5)  The fluxgate sensor is mounted below the head sink, a whopping 12" from the engine block and alternator.  She was apparently delivered this way and I haven't found enough cable slack for a better position.
(6)  I recently hardwired my GPS in for power using cables from a previous GPS.  However, the new one is not connected to the NMEA/SeaTalk interface, just power.  I think the problem was this bad before the GPS hardwiring.  Interesting to note that I have an Autopilot breaker and a Nav/Com breaker (depth+knotmeter).  The GPS is on the autopilot breaker.
(7)  I was below yesterday adjusting my stuffing box with only the cabin light breaker on and only a Hella fan running.  While I was working, the fan pitch noticeably changed at one point, like the fan slowed down.  It could have been a voltage fluctuation or just dirt in the fan.  I thought it might be related.
(8 ) I don't have a good volt meter on board as my current one is a Harbor Freight special, good for telling 6 from 12 volts, but not 12.4 versus 12.6 volts.  I can probably stock a better meter for the trip.

OK, I'm sure you have ideas or questions.  Even diagnostic tricks would help.  Let me hear your thoughts.   I want Ivan exorcised before the end of the trip.  Thanks in advance.

Main Message Board / Propane Regulators
« on: April 23, 2009, 11:15:29 PM »
Has anybody replaced their propane regulator?  I'm looking for the flow specs.  I bought a Mr. Heater low pressure regulator to replace my bad one.  It is rated at 75,000 BTU at 1/2 psi output.  I assume since 1/2 psi is the residential natural gas line pressure that it is right for my propane system, but it would be nice to get some confirmation.  I couldn't find any specs on the Seaward Princess stove except that it has two 7K BTU burners and a 10K BTU oven.  I couldn't find any specs on the old regulator either.  I did see a 10psi output regulator on the shelf near the one I got, but that only seemed appropriate as the first stage of a two stage system.  The other BBQ grill regulators were rated for 10K BTU and didn't list output pressure ratings.

Also, the nose o-ring on my tank connector was showing cracks so I replaced the whole connector.  I'll have to put that on my list of annual checks. 

Lastly, my 1996 aluminum tank is now over 12 years old, requiring recertification or replacement to refill.  If anybody in the upper Chesapeake area needs this done. United Propane in Millersville, Maryland said they can do it.  New 10# aluminum tanks are $250, ouch.

OK, really last question: My gauge reads 30-300 psi.  What pressure is full and what is empty?  I've got 95 psi in my current tank and wonder if that over half full or not.

Main Message Board / Replacing the companionway hatch
« on: April 30, 2007, 12:55:13 PM »
Apparently I need a diet.  When I was putting on the main and standing on the closed companionway hatch yesterday, it cracked.  It was the corner near the opening end and there is a solid all-the-way-through crack from the white pull lip, through a screw hole for the lower teak stop/support, and on to the port edge.  I drilled a new hole to the support bar underneath and added another screw as a temporary fix. 

How do I fix this long term in the least expensive manner?  First, for removal, can I assume I have to remove the whole fiberglass cover which extends under the traveler a most the way forward to the main salon hatch?  Where can I get a replacement?  Should my first call be to Catalina?

Any help is appreciated.  My MkII has an all Plexiglas companionway hatch, not the newer one I have heard of which is fiberglass with Plexiglas inserts.


Main Message Board / When is the propane tank "empty"
« on: April 30, 2007, 12:29:57 PM »
When is the propane tank empty, based on the pressure gauge?  I think I have seen it up around 150psi in the past, yesterday it read 120psi.  At what pressure is it empty enough that it won't provide a good flame?  I'm trying to gauge when to refill it.  I used to fill once a season regardless, but according to the fill station it didn't take too much.  I use the stove frequently for cooking for a family of five and occasionally use the oven, so I'm surprised at how little I use.

Main Message Board / Icebox Organization
« on: June 14, 2006, 11:33:53 AM »
I'm prepping for a cruise and one of the problems I have always had is icebox organization.  When you pack an icebox for 5 people for a week, it is full.  Those same people can also easily go through 15 drinks a day, especially if it is hot.  The problem is that if you take a cold drink out and put a warm drink in as we do, it should go lower in the box. Good luck getting lower in a packed box.  Also, if you pull out a 2-liter bottle or heaven forbid a milk jug, everything falls into the open hole and all organization is lost.   

To combat this, I have been thinking of a way to divide the icebox into two sections for drinks and food.  If I worked it right, I might even be able to use more of the dead space at the very bottom (under the lowest horizontal divider).  One thought was to install vertical PVC tubes where I could stack 4 or five cans vertically.  Another was a larger diameter tube to use with 2-liter bottles.  Either option would require cutting holes in the tube for ventilation and a way to pull the lower bottles/cans to the top.

Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong.  Somebody else here must have run into the same issue.  Any other ideas to divide the icebox vertically and not horizontally?  Or even ideas to keep drinks out of the general (food) population and prevent the disappearing hole syndrome?

Any help or pics are appreciated.

Main Message Board / Icebox Hinge MkII w/Pics
« on: April 03, 2006, 05:19:08 PM »
I de-winterized this weekend and installed the icebox hinges I picked up over the winter.  They are standard take-apart hinges from West Marine and cost about $20.  That and (8) 3/4" screws, a hand drill, screwdriver and about 15 minutes was all it took.

After eyeballing it for a few minutes, I decided to hinge on the forward side of the lid, swinging towards the bow.  This way the lid stays up on it's own and gives me the most unrestricted access.  It's a 1/4" clearance with the storage areas above, but it clears.  The pictures tell the rest of the story.

Go here and click on the pics titled "icebox hinge":

Main Message Board / Lightning Article
« on: January 18, 2006, 10:50:11 AM »
Apparently the may 2004 Mainsheet issue had a good article on Lightning protection. I'm looking to find out what is in my deck-stepped C34 MkII from the factory.  A search here didn't turn up much on the newer boats and I cannot locate my copy of May '04 Mainsheet.  Does anybody know where I can find that online?

Main Message Board / Towel Bar in Head
« on: December 15, 2005, 07:52:47 PM »
I was just going through some digital pictures and came across this project from over the summer.  Our MkII didn't have a towel bar in the head.  Also, in a seaway it was missing a grab bar.  Due to limited space, me needing every inch of space I could get in the head, and a general frugality, I tried to nail both birds with one stone.  The solution?  An 18" long 1-12" diameter handicap bathroom grab bar from Lowe's for under $20.  It is sturdy, stainless steel, and has a grip surface that stops towels from sliding off too.  The only down side is that for true durability it had to be through-bolted.  The the bolts show at the nav station, but even that came out fairly nice. 

Here's some pics if anybody is interested:

Main Message Board / 1-week log: Spinnakers, Batteries, LED's +
« on: August 23, 2005, 10:55:42 AM »
I had some updates for several separate discussions going on in the forum, but as I'm lazy I'll toss it all into a single post here.  I just completed a 10-day trip with the family in the northern Chesapeake Bay and wanted to kick some of these thoughts out while they are fresh in my mind:

(1)  Spinnakers- I'm now hooked.  I borrowed an old symmetrical from a family member and bought the lines, blocks, and ATN "Tacker" to run it as a cruising rig.  I flew it three times over the cruise, learning a little more each time as this was all new to me.  Yesterday I was hauling down the Bay at 6-7 knots before the wind moved forward of the beam and I had to stop all the fun.  These things are great!  I got my Tacker through Defender (B model, $100), the blocks I mounted on the outside toe rail track and got from Garhauer for ~$50.  The line I got through the eBay store of "Discount Rope and Line"  He was cheap and easy to work with.  Quick shipping too.  The sock was with the sail already and was critical for me to control it.  I even had a successful (and planned) gybe or two.  

(2)  Batteries- I had no problems here.  I have two lead acid wet cell 4D's in the stock location with stock wiring, original Flyback charger and the stock alternator.  I stayed on the hook every night except one.  The batteries are 3 seasons old now.  I ran the engine 25 hours in 10 days, an average of 2.5 hours/day.  I plugged in to charge that one night only and ran the whole time with the battery in the "All" position.  I had 5 people aboard, a heavy refrigeration load but no microwave and no inverter, no TV, no PC.  The engine started every morning without a hesitation.  Note that I was cruising with other boats most of the time, so I had an emergency backup in them.  I have ordered a jump-start battery with built in inverter for future cruises, just to be safe

(3)  FANS-  God bless Hella Turbo fans.  Did anybody notice it was HOT last week!

(4)  LED's- as promised, I played with LED lights.  A few things on this.  First, although the MkII stock fixtures are FriLight 10w halogen fixtures, every bulb I removed in my boat was 20w.  If the previous owner upgraded them from 10w to 20w, they did so in EVERY fixture, even the second one way back in the aft cabin.  My guess is that they are this way from the factory though.  No signs of burning in any fixture.  Anyway, I ordered some LED's from SuperBright LED's and tried them out.  They ended up being MR16's for the bulb size.  I got the white 12 LED wide beam fixture.  You can read by the light, but only if you are right underneath of it.  Otherwise it is a poor substitute for the halogens.  I think I will try the 24-30 LED fixtures next and see how it goes.  I placed the LED's in fixtures that left me the choice of how much light I wanted.  For instance, in the forward and aft cabins, I had one fixture with halogen and one with LED's and chose based on how much light I needed.  That seemed to be an acceptable arrangement.  You can tell they draw almost nothing though, so you can leave it on more than you would the halogens.    

(5)  Sheet Bags-  I don't have any and was avoiding them, but my line clutter on the cabin top was awful.  Things seem to get pretty tangled up in sheet bags, for me at least.  I have been eying the Beneteau arrangement of a neighbor for awhile and decided that was for me.  They are a small button-shaped 1" disc that hooks a line around your sheets and holds them on the cabin top.  I finally called Beneateau parts and ordered 6 of them for $5 each.  I installed them while I was out and am very happy.  I just drilled 6 small holes (3 on each side) in the cabin top near the edge and screwed and caulked the buttons in place.  I might even have a picture on the digital camera, I'll check when I go through them.

(6)  Holding Tank- What the heck was Catalina thinking?  60 gallons of water, 20 gallons of fuel, but only a 17 gallon holding tank?  This is pitiful.  Even with strict instructions on how many pumps on "wet bowl" we still overflowed once and pumped out it three times (basically, any time the service was available to me just to be safe).  Yes, that is cruising with 5 on board, but come on.  I only used 13.8 gallons of fuel, about 60 of water, and probably 25-30 in holding tank and that became my primary cruising limitation.  The good news is that the ODØRLØS tank treatment worked as advertised  No smell whatsoever.  I used one full packet of dry per tank (advertised for 40 gallons per packet, but what the heck, it worked at that dosage).

This is my third year with the 34 and my third cruise of this length.  Overall I am very happy with this boat, especially as I get more of the little nitpick items fixed the way I like them.  Oh, that reminds me, towel bars in the head.  Mine didn't come with any.  I went to Lowes (like Home Depot) and picked up an 18" handicap rail and installed it on the wall which adjoins the nav station.  It is a double-purpose grab rail and towel bar and worked out well, plus it's stainless and has a sure-grip surface.

Now I need to get back to work...once my desk stops rocking.

Main Message Board / LED Cabin Lights
« on: July 12, 2005, 02:18:37 PM »
There was a thread on this before, but no conclusions.  Has anybody replaced their pivoting halogen cabin lights with LED clusters?  I cruise with 5 people and sometimes have trouble maintaining a 3-light-at-a-time maximum rule for the boat.  

If so, did you find a drop-in replacement?  How many LED's per bulb?  Are they bright enough to read by?  This is what I was thinking of:


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