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Topics - Dave Spencer

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Main Message Board / Catalina is Now Also in the Powerboat Business
« on: February 08, 2019, 08:45:27 AM »
Interesting development.  Makes a lot of sense to diversify.  Hopefully, this will ensure we have a viable OEM for our boats for a long time to come.

Main Message Board / Replacement Deck Fill Caps for Mk 1.5
« on: February 01, 2019, 01:01:45 PM »
I have deck fill caps as shown in the attached picture.  They aren't leaking at the moment but I'd like to take some preventative measures to replace them before they leak.  I'd also like to have a few spares in case one goes overboard.  The Catalina Direct website shows these caps are no longer available and goes on further to say:
You must replace the entire assembly, as the caps do not have the same thread pitch or diameter (we checked). Like your old cap(s), this replacement does not require a key to open. The replacements have a flip-up opener. They are now color coded to help avoid someone putting water in your fuel tank. Choose water, waste or fuel from the links below under "May we also suggest".

Note: Every deck pipe design is of a different diameter, thread form, and thread pitch. No other cap will work with your original deck pipe. If you order any other deck pipe cap we offer it will not fit. You must replace both the cap and pipe assembly with one of the choices offered below.

The PO has already replaced the pump-out deck filler assembly with a Perko (I think it's Perko brand).  Whether it's Perko or not, caps to fit it are available almost everywhere.

I certainly don't want to have to deal with a cracked or leaking fuel fill cap in the middle of a cruise.  I also would prefer not to have to replace the entire deck fill assembly for the fuel and two water tanks if it is at all avoidable.  That sounds like an ugly job.  Has anyone found a replacement cap for this style of deck fill?  Or, does anyone know what the thread specifications are?  As a last resort, I wouldn't mind making a drawing and having a machine shop make a few caps for me if I could get enough technical information.  Unfortunately, my boat is 250 km away and buried in a deep freeze at the moment so I can't get to the caps to measure them myself. 

Others have discussed options for galley sink drain replacements but I'm a little late to the party.  Our galley sink drains were starting to look a little worse for wear along with the common complaints about the originals being slow to drain and backing up in one sink while draining the other.  After searching the forum, I really liked Fred's solution on his former boat Dolphina using home ABS pipe complete with a cleanout port shown here,7597.msg57236.html#msg57236 and here.  But, I have a drawer where others have a microwave cutout so I was limited to 4 1/2" clearance as shown in the picture.

So, Ambassador low profile drains seemed like the best choice.  However, I couldn't find a source for Ambassador drains in Canada.  I could ship them from the United States but unpredictable shipping, duty and tax costs can make that quite expensive.  The Ambassadors were $23.99 USD at Defender.  Fortunately, I found a substitute at Marine Outfitters in Kingston, Ontario.  They had a Barka PF2535 low profile drain made in Italy for only $12.99 CDN, far less than half the price with minimal costs to ship it down the 401 to me in London.|10692|10831&product=45780478&code=8029490094520 

Thanks to Stu's Mainsheet article, I knew it would be a bear to remove the old drains and that I had to slightly expand the hole in the sink to make the new drain fit.  Brute force did the trick to remove the old drains and Cdn Tire Rotary Tool and Dremel Stainless cutting bit to the rescue to easily enlarge the drain hole by about 2mm.  Fortunately, precision is not required here as I wasn't very even with my cutting around the circumference of each hole.  The flange hides it all.  I bedded the flanges with plumber's putty and pre-assembled the new drains onto the hoses to make installation easier.  I ran each individual drain about 250-300 mm before joining them similar to Steve's routing shown here.  (I didn't take a picture of the completed installation  :oops:,7597.msg52939.html#msg52939  I reused the T fitting except, to improve drainage from the outboard sink which we use the most, I connected its hose in line with the "master" drain hose along the top of the T.  The inboard sink joins to the 90 deg barb. 

I'm also a little nervous about the temperature rating of the common reinforced PVC hose made by Trident and others.  Defender shows it as rated to 150F which isn't great when draining a boiling pot of spaghetti down the drain as I did last night.  It also seems like a weak link below the waterline.  I've replaced most of my below the waterline hoses with Trident 102 1" sanitation hose.  Temperature rating is not stated but it is far more robust than the reinforced PVC and I have had it as my main galley drain hose subject to many boiling pots of spaghetti for about 4 years with no problems. 

Results are very good.  It's an attractive installation that drains quickly and doesn't back up into the other sink unless the water is filled to about 50mm from the lip which almost never happens.
This job was relatively easy mainly because I knew what to expect from Stu's Mainsheet writeup.

5 pics attached... a couple more in the next post

Main Message Board / Printed Safety Plans On Board
« on: May 10, 2018, 05:20:15 PM »
After taking an early spring "Safety for Cruising Couples" webinar put on by the Great Lakes Cruising Club, both the Admiral and I became newly inspired to ensure the both of us and any guests on board were fully versed and practised on safety protocols at sea.  The course was presented by well respected US sailors Ron Trossbach and Sheila McCurdy from the Cruising Club of America.  It's a big topic that includes a lot of hands on practice but Sheila offered thoughts on creating a few simple documents that could reduce the stress (slightly) of an urgent situation.  Here's my cut at a few documents that I plan to print double sided, laminate and have on board.

Engine Starting and Shutdown - Useful if someone unfamiliar with the boat needs to get it underway.  i.e. If I am at a remote anchorage and become incapacitated or have been evacuated, one of my cruising friends (or a stranger) could pilot the boat back to harbour.  I know I would appreciate a document like this if I had to take command of a friend's power or sailboat and get it back to harbour.

Distress Communication Procedure - Self explanatory.  There are lots of forms available for Mayday communication.  This is mine.

Fire and Flooding Safety Plans - I tried to identify the most likely sources of fire or flooding and the location of mitigation equipment. 

I welcome constructive criticism.  Feel free to use or modify these documents.  I would be glad to send you the source files (Word and Powerpoint) if you want to modify for your boat.

Starting a new topic instead of reviving a 9 year old thread.,4800.msg28814.html#msg28814
I'm considering adding an access hatch to the forward wall of the aft cabin to improve access to the transmission and other maintenance items that are currently difficult to reach.  I understand that Mk II boats have some improved access in this area but my Mk 1.5 has a solid wall.  I see it as a fairly straight forward job similar to the work Lance Jones did to improve galley sink and faucet access on his Mk I in 2009.,4721.0.html
However, the aft engine wall appears to be cored vs the relatively thin material Lance had to cut behind his sink.  I'm quite certain the coring is to add mass to the wall to knock down noise and vibration.  Also, several hose supports are screwed to the wall from the engine compartment side.  I can't imagine that the wall is a significant structural member since it isn't really tied into anything that would see a notable load.

The benefits of an access hatch in this location here are pretty clear to me:
#  Improved access to transmission and transmission dipstick making it easier to check and fill transmission fluid.
#  Access to heat exchanger zinc, end caps and heater hose clamps.
#  Access to electric fuel pump and the hidden built in filter in the pump.

I plan to make this an early spring prelaunch project.  I already bought what looks to be a decent gasketed weather deck hatch for $37.  Link here and pictured below.

Has anyone done anything similar to this and do you have any wisdom to share?  For those with Mk II boats, do you have a picture of your rear engine access?  (if it is improved over that on my Mk 1.5)

What say ye?

My M35A is developing some rust and I would like to touch it up but the Universal Paint (Westerbeke PN 302981) only shows up on the internet at eye-watering prices ranging from $34.10 USD to $56.99 Cdn. 
Here are some links that I found:

The only reference that I can find about painting engines on the C34 forum is Les Luzar's post on repainting his M25 with the Universal bronze colour.,8475.msg59752.html#msg59752

Has anyone found a substitute automotive or other common (and less expensive) paint that closely matches the Universal silver blue colour.  I've taken a painted part off my engine to several automotive stores and haven't found any matches yet.  I can experiment with mixing paints to get the right colour but I thought I would poll the wisdom of this forum first.

Embarrassing rusty picture below. :oops:

Main Message Board / What is this Small Pin at the Masthead?
« on: March 24, 2013, 04:59:57 AM »
I was examining the masthead a few weeks ago in preparation to remove it to install my new Garhauer ball bearing halyard sheave and to run new conduit down the mast.  I noticed a small pin just forward of the backstay toggle pin and I can't discern its purpose.   Does anyone know what this is?  :donno:

Apparently Good Old Boat magazine will have a writeup on the C34 in their September edition.  Does anyone know whose boat they used for the review?

(I consider my boat to only be "teenaged"; not "old") :wink:

After some gentle nudging from the forum mid winter about my old style exhaust hump hose, I started the process of replacing it with the more forgiving silicone hose sold by Catalina Direct.  After measuring my current hose, I ordered the 8" hose and a few clamps from Catalina Direct.

This weekend, I got it installed.  It took far less time than I thought (a first for boat maintenance).  It would have taken even less time had I not stopped to scratch my head and rethink if what I was doing was right.
My engine is an M35AC with a 1993 serial number.

After loosening the clamps, I started cutting away the old hose using the coaxial tool extension my rotary tool.  (Canadian tire version of a Dremel Tool)  Sparks will fly as shown in this picture but you are only cutting through the steel spiral reinforcement in the hose. Unless you have cut far too deeply, you are not cutting the manifold.
-1st picture

As you cut the steel spiral reinforcement, the hose will pop open.  There is about 2 1/4" of engagement length of hose on the exhaust manifold and another 2 1/4" on the muffler.  Once you have cut through the full engagement length, cut a little bit more to make it easier to pull the hose off the muffler.
-2nd picture
I could have cut the entire hose in half but I chose to pull the rest of the hose off the muffler using channel locks

The 3rd picture shows what I saw once the hose was completely removed.

The new hose was fractionally longer than the old one and I didn't like my chances wrestling it onto the muffler and manifold ports so I cut about 1/4" off each end and the fit looked perfect.
I slid the new hose onto the manifold and I was pleased that it fit snuggly but wasn't brutally tight.  I then forced the bottom of the hose up onto the muffler port on an angle.
-4th picture

After a bit of twisting and coaxing I got the hose all the way onto the muffler.  Tighten up four hose clamps and the job is done.
-Last Picture

The whole thing took less than an hour.  The key to the job was the Dremel tool with the cutter on the end of a coaxial extension.  It would have been far more difficult without it.

Good luck

Main Message Board / Costa Concordia AIS Data Analysis
« on: January 25, 2012, 05:46:01 PM »
Interesting analysis of the tragic voyage of the Costa Concordia at this website.

Hopefully this is appropriate for this board but if we're also talking about spell check and Twinkies :wink:, I thought this would be of interest to sailors of somewhat smaller vessels.

Main Message Board / Deck Organizers / Turning Blocks
« on: October 10, 2011, 04:01:45 PM »
I have a double sheave deck organizer on the stbd side of my boat and would like to improve it to at least a triple sheave.  I have one that was apparently purchased by the PO but not installed.  (see the picture).  (I may go to the double layer turning block (Garhauer or Spinlock) at some point but want to carefully think through what lines I need to run back to the cockpit before I go ahead with this.
I'm sure others have done this but I couldn't find anything on the website or in the tech notes.  How do I remove the old organizer and install the new one?  I'm assuming I'll need to drill (carefully) some holes in the inner lining.  Is this done by measuring from the mast inside and outside or is there a more elegant way to do this.  Since the deck has space for the triple turning block, I assume there is a backing plate for a triple turning block glassed into the deck.
Any thoughts on your experiences would be welcomed.

Main Message Board / Rewiring Fuel Pump at Ignition Switch
« on: June 29, 2011, 05:42:05 PM »
Hi Folks,
I had to change filters and bleed my fuel system at sea last weekend... the result of some old fuel in our new boat that I failed to properly consider before heading out.  The worst part of the job was keeping the engine fuel pump running.  Our 1994 C34 #1279 with an M35AC has the fuel pump wired in the "momentary" position on the keyed ignition switch meaning that to get the fuel pump to help with the bleeding, the key had to be held in the momentary position which also powered the glow plugs.  :shock:   I had the Admiral hold the key for 5 or 10 seconds at a time while I inspected the air coming out the bleed screw on the secondary filter until it ran clear.  Eventually, we had success but surely it isn't right to have the fuel pump powered in the momentary position.  Should it not starting ticking away when the switch is in the "ignition" position?  I thought I saw something about this change somewhere on the website but my search parameters haven't come up with anything.

Any help on this would be appreciated.  Otherwise, I'll fiddle with it this weekend and document my results for the group.

Fair winds to all on this wonderful long weekend with Canadians getting Friday off and our friends in the United States getting Monday.  I'm taking both days!  :thumb:

Main Message Board / New Catalina 34 Owner
« on: September 23, 2010, 04:11:05 PM »
We have now owned our Catalina 34 for just over 24 hrs!  And I'll be transferring ownership of our old and beloved Canadian Sailcraft CS27 to a new enthusiastic sailor this weekend.  :cry4` This board was a very useful resource when we were researching our purchase and I expect I'll have tons of questions as I dive into the details of the systems on the boat. The PO did the electrical upgrade as documented by Jim Moe.
Unfortunately, we only have another two weeks before we have to haul her out for the winter. In that time I have to move her from Wiarton to Lion's Head Ontario and step the mast. 
I'll be joining the C34IA and I'm looking forward to help and advice from this board.  Hopefully someday I'll be able to answer questions others have.   

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