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Topics - mdidomenico

Main Message Board / head countertop teak trim
July 22, 2023, 02:21:56 PM
has anyone had to replace the teak trim around the countertop in the head?  i replaced the counter top all around with new plywood and formica.  looks like great, but the old teak trim doesn't line up exactly.  the apron part of the trim seems to be a little taller then those i could find around on the web from seateak/whitecap.  unfortunately i forgot to measure the overhang before i left the boat, but they're definitely taller then the 7/8" as shown from seateak/whitecap.  i sent a message to catalina, was wondering if anyone else has a source/solution

for those wondering why i didn't just trace the old countertop, apparently when catalina cut my countertop they cut it from a master template (maybe) rather then the actual hull, which is what i traced.  there was a ~1" difference in dimensions specifically above the tp cabinet.  i didn't notice this until i tried to fit the trim.  i couldn't just trace my old countertop, leaks rotted the plywood into oblivion (literally).
Main Message Board / deck organizer replacement
June 20, 2023, 10:25:51 AM
i'm about to embark on replacing my very very tired original 2 sheave organizers with three sheave organizers.  i picked up a new set from garhauer.  unfortunately the bolt holes don't like up (which isn't terribly surprising).  i saw some old posts on the forum that there is a large metal plate underneath holding the organizer down.  however, that post was from a mk 1.5 owner.  can anyone confirm that the the mk 1's also have this plate?  does anyone know the size?  as an aside if i didn't want to drill/tap this plate but rather through bolt it, does anyone know what's inside the organizer plinth and inside the molded channel in the cabin that runs from the mast outward?  since my mast is keel stepped, they might be hollow, which would mean through bolting probably isn't a good idea, but there could be plywood too
Main Message Board / furling line stanchion block
April 20, 2023, 11:49:45 AM
over the winter i picked up a bunch of stanchion blocks from garhaurer to re-route my furling line.  however, i'm having trouble getting the angle right from the first upright stanchion to the furler (a hood 900 drum (not continuous)).  can anyone post some pictures of what arrangement of blocks they have from the first stanchion up to the furler itself.  the arrangements i tried all seemed to have either have a weird feed angle into the drum or the standup blocks on the bow rails are bent over in weird ways and don't actually carry the line

clearly i'm doing something wrong, i just need to see how others did it
Main Message Board / mast base friction rings
July 05, 2022, 09:18:00 AM
is anyone using friction rings at the mast base instead of blocks?  if so any issues?  how did you attach the ring to the pins in the deck plate around the mast?
Main Message Board / oem alternator wiring
June 13, 2022, 01:58:34 PM
i'm working on getting my engine all rewired.  i've pushed through the forum threads on alternator wiring, but either i don't understand what i'm reading or i don't understand what two of the screws on the back of alternator are for or both.  so a picture is worth a thousand words.  attached is the back of my alternator.  i can identify the B+ (goes to battery), the AC tap (goes to tachometer).  but there are three other screws, one just above the AC tap and 2 about 12o'clock and 2 about 3o'clock.  one of the screws at 12 and 3 clearly hold the case together (same head pattern as the two in the center), but what are the other two for at 12 and 3.  i think ones a ground and the others a sense wire, but i'd rather not guess

assuming one of the bolts is for a negative wire back to the batteries what gauge is that supposed to be.  clearly it's not the #2 i'm using for the B+
Main Message Board / oil and coolant
June 27, 2021, 09:49:32 AM
i stopped at pepboys to pick up some oil/coolant, but turns out my local store is going service only, so no joy there.  but whilst perusing whats left on the shelves, i noticed there doesn't seem to be any 10w-40 CF4 oil.  looking online at autozone seems to show mostly 15w-40.  all the bottle images i see online say CK instead of CF, which i'm presuming is a better/more current standard then CF.  a quick forum search seems to indicate that should be okay, but i wanted to check

also it might be handy to update the maintenance page of the wiki with a selection of recommends from the popular store (autozone/tractor supply) items.  as well as, coolant, which i was not able to find on the wiki

Main Message Board / fuel/oil filters
June 20, 2021, 09:21:04 AM
i need to order some items from hamilton marine which i can't find anywhere else.  i figured i'd pickup an on engine oil and fuel filter and save a trip to the auto parts store.

i found this fuel filter which is listed on the c34 wiki

but i'm not able to locate an oil filter wix part at hamilton marine that matches the one listed on the c34 wiki.  i found the two below based on a cross reference sheet from the internet.

i was hoping someone might be able to take a quite glance and let me know if their compatiable.

Main Message Board / smile repair
June 05, 2021, 02:00:05 PM
as i am embark on tasks to getting back in the water, next on the list is smile repair.  what follows is just what i'm doing, here's where we started
Main Message Board / engine wire springs/coils
May 21, 2021, 06:41:56 AM
i'm going to start the wiring on my engine soon, i noticed in pictures here and can recall before i removed all the wiring that several of wires had coils in them near the devices.  are these coils important or just strain/vibration relief?  if important, how do you get the wire to stay in a spring like shape?

i suspect these springs/coils are largely irrelevant, but i was curious, figured i'd ask
Main Message Board / mast wire exit hole
May 14, 2021, 06:35:39 AM
i'm finishing up the rebuild of my mast.  i've added a larger vhf cable and some additional wires for lights.  but now the exit hole is not large enough to accommodate all the wires.  before i go drilling another or enlarging the existing hole.  i figured i'd see what others have done.  i'm curious if people have multiple holes, a larger hole, and where said holes might be.

currently i have ~1/2" hole in the front rounded portion of the mast.  i don't know whether it's wise/safe or not to drill another 1/2" hole next to/above the existing hole making it oval or move over a ways and drill a second hole.  i need to fit (4) 12awg wires, (3) 14awg wires, (1) wind sensor, (1) rg213 cable through the base somehow

Main Message Board / mast halyard exit plates
April 14, 2021, 06:07:23 AM
does anyone know if the 89' style halyard exit plates are still available anywhere?  since my mast is still down i'm thinking i might cut in the 5th optional plate for the pole lift.  i don't have a pole or plans to get one anytime soon, but it's probably easier to cut this hole with the mast horizontal.

catalina direct sells exit plates, but they are drastically different then mine.  which isn't a big deal, but hey, aesthetics...

i just looked on ebay (which i guess i should have done first), looks like there are ones available.  mine aren't stamped schaeffer though.  i'll have to measure and see if they match
Main Message Board / shroud tang bolts
March 29, 2021, 10:08:45 AM
does anyone know where to pick up the compression tubes that go in the mast between the shroud tangs?  catalinadirect doesn't carry them for the 34, but states they're absolutely mandatory.  when i pulled the mast apart to repaint, the tubes and 5/8" bolts were pretty well corroded.  i managed to clean the bolts up.  they don't show any heavy pitting, but i might replace them anyway.

i don't have the tubes in front of me, but are they similar to sch40 unthreaded pipe?

something like this
Main Message Board / facet pump fittings
March 09, 2021, 10:29:18 AM
i'm working on the fuel part of my engine.  i'm replacing the facet pump, hoses, etc.  one thing i'm not clear about is whether there's a reason the pump has 1/8" fittings when the rest of the fuel system (tank,racor,etc) all have 1/4" fittings.  i'm double perplexed because it seems facet sells the same/similar spec pump with 1/4" fittings, based on this site

but i might be totally glossing over something relevant.  if i was going to reuse the existing hoses/fittings/etc then i could see a reason to stay with the 1/8" fitting, but since i'm not can i "upgrade" to the 1/4" fittings?
Main Message Board / interior cushion cover material
December 06, 2020, 11:33:22 AM
two of my interior cushions had the material rip when they went through the wash.  a quick look at sailrite seems to have the same (or very similar) material

but i'm less then enthused about the $31/yd price tag.  does anyone know if this fabric pattern is available somewhere else?  i don't believe my existing cushions (which the PO recovered) are sunbrella.  but i also don't know where the PO had it done, so i don't know the source.
Main Message Board / spar painting
September 18, 2020, 03:18:38 PM
i've finished painting my boom, spreaders, and some other parts.  the mast is up next after the next batch of paint is delivered.  i thought i would write up what i did as a point of reference for others that might want to tackle the same project.

i pulled the mast, boom, and everything apart, all fittings removed
i then sanded everything using 40-80 grits using the combination of orbital and drum sanders to get back to bare alu
i then stepped up to 120 grit

i found that using an angle grinder definitely took the layers of paint off faster, but dust collection was a problem and i found that the angle grinder scratched the aluminum too heavily even with 80-grit flap wheels.  it turns out the primer goes on thick enough that these scratches didn't matter

i choose to go with Totalboat products.  I have zero experience but they were the only vendor that had an entire line of products to accomplish this task and i was afraid if i tried to mix products from different vendors something would go wrong.  at least in this case all the mixtures should be compatible and anything that goes wrong can only be blamed on the user

Here's what i ordered to do the boom, spreaders, masthead, and sheave separator plates

(1) quart alu etch
(1) quart surface dewaxer
(1) quart primer thinner 200
(1) quart brushing thinner 100
(2) quart alu barrier coat 2-part epoxy primer
(2) quart wetedge top coat
assorted rollers, cups, etc.

i learned the hard way to get rollers designed for solvents.  the non-solvent cheapies from lowes end up swelling and breaking apart after a bit.  also solo cups or the cheap plastic cups from shoprite end up melting

the primer and topcoat i used about 1-1/2 quarts total for 3 coats of each and i still have 1/2 quart left of each.  the thinners not much.  the quart of each thinner i still have quite a bit leftover.  i expect a gallon can of primer and topcoat will do the entire mast.

i also ordered their ecosolvent for cleaning my tools.  it works well, but smells horrible and it lingers in the air and your nose.  seeing how little of the brushing thinner i used, i could probably have just used that instead (which totalboat says you can do)

repainting steps

1 wash all the bare alu parts with water and abrade with scotch brite pads (i used purple ones)

2 etch the alu with the acid wash.  the acid wash was much thinner then i expected.  i thought it would have a little gel consistency to it, but it's actually like water.  the quart goes a long way.  i just brushed it on

be careful, i wore sandals and got a little on my foot, it mildly burns.  i lucked out with it literally being a drop, but hey it's acid be careful

3 wash alu parts with plenty of water.  totalboat says the water should bead up.  the alu definitely got a little brighter

4 dry alu parts with a towel let air dry until no moisture is seen

5 wipe alu parts down with the dewaxer.  wait for it to fully evaporate and then wait a little longer.  there was a spot on the boom that hadn't fully evaporated, even though i could see no shine from the liquid.  when i went to apply the primer and i could tell it wasn't sticking.  i had to sand and redo from step 1 a small section

6 apply the alu barrier primer.  the mix comes in two cans, the paint part of the mix needs to be shaken fairly hard to loosen the solids and it gets fairly thick after you do this.  if it isn't slightly thicker then latex paint you didn't shake it hard enough.  i would shake the paint and then use three 30ml syringes to transfer the paint, the hardner, and the thinner from their cans to a mixing pot in the appropriate ratios.  i mixed into 120ml batches with only a little primer puddle and whatever was soaked into the roller

7 apply at least three coats.  the primer rolls on pretty easy and drys within 4-6hrs (it was 80F and 75% hum when i did it, inside a garage)  you have to recoat within a window otherwise you have to abrade the surface (read the can)

8 the primer will end up looking scalely or orange peely.  after the primer dried i sanded with 120-grit.  the primer sands easily, be careful i went through the primer back to bare alu in a couple spots when the sander edged up.  totalboat recommends 80-grit, but that seemed to aggressive to me.

9 i followed the same mixing procedure with the topcoat paint, measure out paint and thinner using syringes, apply at least three coats
the first coat of top coat will not hide the primer, the second coat should, and each successive coat will get glossier and glossier

i had a little bit of trouble with the top coating, here's what i learned

1 the totalboat wetedge really doesn't need much thinner.  the first and second coat of topcoat heavily ran in places.  i had to spot sand and reapply a few times.  also if you add too much thinner the paint takes forever to dry.  it's supposed to be sandable dry within 16hrs, my first coat took three days.  when i backed off the thinner i could do successive coats over successive days

2 the foam rollers have a tendency to drop too much paint at their edges.  i found that on occasion when i rolled out the paint i'd get roller edge lines, if i caught it, its easy to roll out, but if the paint dries you have to sand and recoat that section.  this is probably just a technique issue for me

3 it's not clear whether tipping would have helped me.  i tended to over work the paint with the roller and my topcoat has some orange peel and wavyiness to it.  i tried to patch up a couple of sections with a brush before things dried and that just made it worse.  my understanding is the paint needs to flow pretty freely for tipping, but that required more thinner then i needed which made the paint run.  just using a roller seemed fine and the paint is glossy.  the orange peel effect i see in spots i think is just my technique not the paint.  the parts i didn't exhibit OCD and over work with the roller are in fact mirror glossy

4 they recommend abrading with 220-grit between coats.  i found the 220-grit gummed up the paper to easily.  hand sanding with a light touch with 120-grit was better

5 there were a couple of sections where i didn't get the primer sanded down smooth enough and the texture teleported through.  it lessened with each coat, but i should have been more careful.  (hint dont do this in a dark/shadowy garage)

so the end result.

is it a pro quality job, absolutely not.  would it have come out better had i sprayed.  perhaps, but i don't have the equipment to do that.  (it's oil/epoxy based, special ppe needed) would a pro job have given me a mirror finish, yes, but i don't care.  2/3rd of the spars aren't even seen closeup most of the time.  from 10ft away you can't tell

would i do the job over again or sub it to a yard.  i'd still do it myself.  though i'd probably have the yard sandblast the old paint rather then slave over it with an orbital sander.  taking apart all the spar fittings is a pain and laborious and the painting is as well, but it wasn't bad enough that i'd pay someone else

would i use totalboat again.  yes.  i can't say from a paint perspective because i have no reference and we'll see how it holds up over time.  but i like that its a single source for all the products i needed.  i've also contacted their support a few times and they've been responsive and helpful, which is always nice

i'm happy to answer any questions, but keep in mind, i'm no pro and this isn't a tutorial.  i'll circle back after i do the mast in a couple weeks

Main Message Board / dual engine guages
August 02, 2020, 07:11:27 AM
next up after i finish re-plumbing my engine is the electrical.  because it's difficult to get in and out of the boat with the stairs out, i'm contemplating creating a dual gauge setup where everything can be seen from the cockpit and the engine bay.  i know there are dual engine gauges out there.  what i'm curious is if anyone has a drawn electrical diagram for this?  i can draw one, but if one already exists that would be helpful
Main Message Board / raw water inlet/outlet
August 02, 2020, 07:01:16 AM
i can't seem to find a picture of which outlet is which on the raw water pump from before i took them off.  and apparently the pump direction is dependent on the spin of the engine, which i also don't know.  so when looking at the front of the engine is the upper or lower outlet connected to the HX?
Main Message Board / salon table pedestal rebuild?
June 29, 2020, 11:19:48 AM
Since i'm still furloughed from work and looking for things to tinker with on the boat, i focused in on the salon table pedestal.  it already appears the threaded portion of the gas strut is broken.  the lower outside flange that sits on the sole also seems to be stuck to the lower support post (ie alu corrosion bonded).  i couldn't see any fasteners so i have to assume it's just "stuck".  i'm waiting to see if the sun/penetrating oil will loosen it up.  if anyone's dissembled their's and has a suggestion i'm all ears.

if i can't free the lower flange, which would allow me to clean everything and repaint, i'm hedging towards just removing the pedestal all together.  maybe after i use the boat for sometime i'll reevaluate.  i'm sure the pedestal lends some support when it's a berth, but is there any actual function of the up/down of the table other then convenience and a little support?  if i rebuild i think i'd just use some sort of fixed base/post and remove/shrink it when i want it to be a berth.

replacement parts from CD seem wildly expensive.  looking through the past posts on the forum is seems that a large number of people did one or both of two things.  shrink the size of the table and/or remove the pedestal all together.  those posts were mostly from many years ago, i wonder if that's still the general consensus.
so in my quest to cleanup the engine, i pulled out the hose fitting on the engine side underneath the thermostat, which is this part number 301519 from universal.  or part 6 on this diagram

believing it's a threaded fitting, it was reasonable to assume i should just be able to unscrew it.  clean it up.  then screw it back in.  oh no, no no, life couldn't be that simple.  it appears this fitting (at least on my '89 vintage) engine is pressed in.  no threads or if there were some how they separated from the fitting.

now what to do.

the hole (engine side) measures to ~10-11mm and the fitting is ~10mm.  that's roughly .39", so it *might* be tap'able back to 1/8" npt.  a 1/8" npt tap is .33".  i think the hole might be a millimetre to big though.

i'd have to jump to the next size, which is 1/4" NPT or .43".  i put a 7/16" drill bit up against the hole, it looks like there's enough room, but just barely.

i thought about just wire wheeling the fitting and jamming it back in with a dab of jbweld, but i'm not sure how much i'd trust that.

if none of those work, it's a $281 mistake.  and if i have to remove the lower thermostat housing i'm not sure if the bolts will clear the back of the water pump housing.  which would necessitate removing the head to get the lower thermostat housing off.  which surely makes it a catastrophe.

Main Message Board / mast support while painting
June 19, 2020, 04:52:11 AM
i'm about to gather up all the supplies and paint my mast in a few weeks.  currently the mast is supported by three large saw horses.  i'm curious if anyone has any suggestions for supporting the mast during painting, but also having the saw horses from out under the mast.  right now the only way i can see to do it are to paint what i can see and then roll the mast and paint the areas i can't.  i'm worried i'll get blotches or that area of the paint will not stick as well as the others, because the surrounding paint will have dried.

i thought about jamming something like a piece of 6x6 lumber into each end to support the mast and removing the center saw horse, but i wasn't sure if the mast would be fine without a center support or whether the ends would be happy leaning on a 6x6 (pressure points at the edges of the 6x6 pushing against the alu)

i checked back through the mast painting threads, but they're all about whether to/to not paint and which paints to use.  any other suggestions or confirmation that jamming wood in the ends to support it would be helpful
Main Message Board / m25xp pipe threads
May 31, 2020, 06:36:55 AM
Are the pipe threads on the M-25xp metric?  i know the bolts are.  i pulled these fittings off my engine, the upper one was in the crank case breather hole and the lower was in the engine water flange.  the upper seems to thread into an M14 and the lower an M10.  i just want to make sure before i order new fittings.

i'm assuming yes, but i can't seem to find anything that explicitly states that.  i didn't see it in the manual (though i could have missed it) and these parts

have no reference either. 

and to further, it seems my water pump is not metric though, 3/4" fittings seem to fit whereas the metric ones did not.

just double checking
Main Message Board / hx 7/8" to 1" mod
May 25, 2020, 02:27:07 PM
i'm working on the hoses for my engine.  it seems 7/8" hose is an uncommon size.  not that it doesn't exist, but the only mfg that seems to make it is shields.  i'm curious if anyone has ever thought or tried to sleeve the hx from 7/8" to 1" outlets.  i'm not sure i'm enough of a trailblazer to attempt something like that, but it would seem since the whole thing is copper/bronze it would be possible to braze on a new fitting.  it would certainly make the connection from the water pump easier.

oddly enough the mfg ones from catalina direct are 7/8" as well.  seems like it would have made sense to bump the ports up a size
i'm changing out all the hoses on my engine since they were all original and crackly.  I'll admit i'm a little dense when it comes to which hose to buy.  i know i need >=200f temp range, i'm not sure how much the pressure rating matters, i believe these are all pretty low pressure connections (i could be wrong though). 

is nylon reinforced the same/more/less desirable then wire reinforced?  should i be looking at silicon vs epdm?

i'd like to pick up the same hose for all my connections.  so far it looks like i need 5/8" 7/8" and some 3/8".  defender doesn't seem to carry 3/8" in the trident 250 line.  i'm still looking around though, not even sure if 250 is minimum or overkill.

Main Message Board / stair felt
May 10, 2020, 12:31:15 PM
i have a mk1 which has the lower and upper stair units.  i'd like to put felt around the lower units edges and under the upper units feet.  one to protect the newly varnished surfaces, but also to cut down on squeeking.  i can get felt from mcmaster, but i'm unsure of the best way to attach it.  i've been less then impressed by many of the factory "adhesive" back things (felt, insulation, etc) and removing said adhesive when the felt needs replacing is usually no easy task.

i wonder if someone has a recommendation.  i've thought about using hot glue, devils glue, stainless crown staples, or vhb tape.  slightly thicker felt and crown staples seem to be the best option to me
Main Message Board / back at it, project update
May 08, 2020, 12:29:34 PM
for anyone that's interesting in my progress.  the yard finally finished cleaning my engine and reinstall along with a new shaft at dripless seal.  it was nice to be down in the yard again, very few people have been put in, but activity seems to be picking up.  i've spent the last month at home with nothing to do.  i've been sanding all the interior teak parts and repairing drawers and stuff.  just waiting for the weather to get a little warmer consistently before i varnish it all.  here's some pictures

Catalina 34s for Sale / 1989 Catalina 34 MK1 (Project)
February 13, 2020, 09:29:34 AM
I'm posting my Catalina 34 MK1 Tall Rig Shoal Draft up for sale to see if anyone might be interested in taking on this project.  I want to assure people this is NOT a "free" boat type of project.  I picked up this vessel in 2017 from the original purchasing owners after she sat in the yard for 4-5 years.  The original owners aged out of sailing her after 25yrs on the water.

She surveyed well at the time.  Only showing moist decks around the chain plates and the cockpit floor, but no spongeeness or delam was readily detectable.  Since she sat for so long, the biggest issue was the stanchions above the galley and chart table leaked (typical problem) and completely destroyed the plywood interior in these sections.  Other minor issues that would be typical of a 30yr old boat; broken everything electronic/electrical, sails/ropes/sheaves in poor condition, paint peeling on the mast, etc.

My plan was and still is to gut the interior and rebuild the boat basically as if this was a hull only purchase from the factory.  I've stripped the hull and mast and started the upgrade of many things.  I've also stopped all the leaks but one nagging one in the aft compartment.  The hull is sound and pretty water tight at this point.

However, I've had a life change where it would be much easier on me if I could hand this project to someone else.  If not, I still plan to restore the hull back to her glory.  I have hundreds of pictures as I deconstructed and reconstructed things.  I've also saved pretty much everything I pulled out for templating or otherwise.

She is not currently capable of water transport, only by land.  I'm having drive train changed out (shaft/cutless/stuffing,etc) and the engine cleaned up a little.  Any serious interest, I'd be happy to go over in detail what I have and haven't completed so far.

The boat is sitting on the hard in Barnegat, NJ.  Price is $13,000, firm, as is, where is.
Main Message Board / oil hose kit?
September 14, 2019, 02:25:21 PM
The yard is working on cleaning up my engine before putting it back in its home.  they pulled the oil pan off to check it for cracks/leaks and painting.  the said i need a new oil hose kit.  i believe they're referring to the hose under the engine that connects to the banjo bolt and has crush washers on either side.

the place they normally get universal parts said the "kit" is an obsolete part, but they were looking around for something.  while i was there today, i talked to the yard manager.  he suggested it might be easier for me to source the parts myself as their guy doesn't seem to be too reliable anymore.

so having said that, can someone supply a list of parts i would need to order and perhaps where i might be able to get them online?  i checked CD, but they don't seem to have anything even remotely related (or i missed it).
Main Message Board / stanchion bolt size
June 15, 2019, 06:03:21 PM
can anyone confirm that the stanchion bolt size is 1/4"-20.  i took the stanchion and backing plates down to the marina today.  forget to measure the bolt hole size before i came home and left the stanchion down there.  so now i have no idea what to order this week for next weekend, ugh...
Main Message Board / website timeouts
May 23, 2019, 05:40:36 AM
i've been seeing the mysql behind the web server timeout more frequenetly recently.  is there some impending doom?  i can't believe the website is soo busy as to overload mysql even in the smallest configured cloud instance
Main Message Board / spreader tip removal
May 22, 2019, 08:19:25 AM
i didn't see it mentioned in the forum anywhere.  all of the notes on the forum talk about the spreader to mast attachment/issues.  is there a trick to getting the spreader tips off?  (the part where the rigging goes by)   

i presumed they just push into the end and the rivet holds them in place.  i drilled the rivet, but the tip didn't just pop out.  i tried sticking a long stick in the other end to try to tap it out, but no joy.

i my first thought was that i didn't drill the rivet out enough and there's still meat in there, which i can't readily see, holding it.  figured i'd check here before i go at it again
Main Message Board / port side engine wall
May 22, 2019, 08:09:17 AM
has anyone had to replace the port side wall in the engine compartment?  The yard finally pulled my engine/shaft/etc.  turns out, after i managed to peel up the rest of the stupid film/glue from the old insulation, the wall is starting to rot away.  i was able to easily chip away two or three layers of the exiting plywood

picture show before cleaning and after...
Main Message Board / holding tank redo
May 06, 2019, 11:35:22 AM
while i wait for the yard to pull my engine out, i figured i should refocus on the holding tank replumb.

last summer i pulled the tank and all the hoses to the head and macerator.  what a mess.  i flushed the tank out with water and chemicals and left it sitting outside till winter.  i brought it back down to the boat a few weeks ago, with plugs in all the fittings.  sadly, i'm getting a waft of oder from the tank itself, which i'm guessing means the tank itself has permeated and no amount of scrubbing is going to get it clean.

so if i'm looking a new tank, i was wondering if there were any recommendations on a redesign of how all the plumbing and/or tank design should be done.  i see catalinadirect sells the ronco tank which i guess is OEM (seems to look exactly like mine).  before i go ahead and order a new tank, i'm wondering, since i have everything apart if there's a better way to reroute all the piping and whether that would change the design of the tank.

i've already changed out the pumpout fitting, changed out the macerator thru-hull, loped off the vented stanchion, and i'm going to cut a new vent thru-hull soon (haven't figured out exactly where to drill the hole yet though).

Main Message Board / leak aft berth
November 03, 2018, 06:14:17 PM
I can't seem to find a leak in the aft berth.  Has anyone else seen this?  I can't seem to find where it's leaking from either.  It doesn't do it all the time, but often enough.  the inside of the locker is dry
Main Message Board / spreaders mount removal
October 24, 2018, 05:44:18 AM
the spreaders are held to the mast via a bar which does not appear to be welded in place.  the spreaders came off nice and easy, however, i can't seem to get the connecting bar out of the mast.  before i go wildly pounding on the thing, is there a trick to getting it out?  Over the winter i'll be sanding, sanding, and more sanding the mast for repainting in the spring.  i can sand around the spreader mount, but i would believe it would probably be better to get it out.

unfortunately, i didn't find anything searching the forum
Main Message Board / blower vent cowl's
October 17, 2018, 03:15:02 PM
has anyone had their blower vent cowlings re chromed or polished up.  not sure what the coat is on mine, but they're looking a little ragged.  the silver is coming off where the hose attaches and the part above the deck is a little pitted.  i was going to take them to a metal re-finishing place here in NJ, but it's a shot in the dark since i've never had to do this before.  any suggestions welcome.

i looked at just getting new ones.  which are cheap at $40 each, but the bottom plates of the new ones are all plastic, which i don't like. 
Main Message Board / exhaust header
September 22, 2018, 02:17:05 PM
i've been back and forth during my refit on whether to pull the engine.  looks like my decision to pull it paid off.  i believe these should be connected...

Main Message Board / sanding sail slot
September 02, 2018, 05:44:26 PM
I've gotten most of the paint off my mast readying it for repainting in the next few weeks.  i need to get the paint out the slot.  does anyone have any thoughts or tricks that might make the chore a little less so.  at this point the best i can come up with is some folded up sandpaper, but a 50ft mast is a long way to sand by hand.  i haven't been able to google much, i might not be using the right terms though.
Main Message Board / connecting bilges
June 17, 2018, 03:12:33 PM
my '89 C34 has four bilge compartments, 1 forward of the mast, three aft of the mast step.  the first three compartments are all connected via pipes cut in the stringers.  the aft most bilge is not.  the only way water can get from the aft bilge is when i reaches a very large cutout meant for the bilge pump (manual and auto) pipes to route through.  the hole is 3-4" from the bottom of the compartment.

is there a reason the compartments are not linked?  i'm presuming it's because the engine bay drains into the aft most bilge.  looks like there's a hole in the engine pan in the lower starboard side.  if that's true, would it be safe to assume this is a "safety" feature to keep from pumping oil overboard via the bilge?  if not, is it safe to drill another hole lower in the stringer for a connecting pipe?  the bilge hose cutout is ~3"

Main Message Board / water heater woes
May 02, 2018, 02:04:57 PM
I purchased my '89 C34 knowing full on that I'd have to replace the water heater, as it was rusted and icky...  but little did i know how bad it was...  oh and the big hole is NOT part of my deconstruction of the outer shell.  that's how i found it once i took the insulation off...
Main Message Board / sikaflex 291 70ml tube
April 25, 2018, 10:19:30 AM
before i go an buy sikaflex in 70ml pouches from the UK, I'm curious if anyone has been able to find them here in the US anywhere?

according to this

i should be able to find them here in the US.  West Marine has it listed on their website, but it's no longer available and google doesn't return anything in the US.

i'm going to need some soon for jobs, but not 10oz at a time and having just thrown away another cartridge that froze up on me, smaller tubes are in order.

i sent sika message, i'll report back if anyone responds.

Main Message Board / vetus vent parts
March 08, 2018, 03:51:30 PM
does anyone know where i might be able to find the little bronze thread adapter and nut out of the vetus mushroom vents.  i was able to polish up the mushroom parts pretty well, but the bronze thread adapter that the top part of the mushroom vent threads into was frozen solid with corrosion.  the only way i was able to separate the parts was to cut the bronze fittings.  i emailed vetus, but they said they don't have the part sold separately, therefore i'd have to buy a whole new vent.  ideally, i'd like to find the thread adapters, should be $10 in parts instead of $60 in a new vent.
Main Message Board / raw water strainer removal
February 10, 2018, 05:48:38 PM
I started to pull the thru-hulls in anticipation that it's getting warmer and i'll be able to replace them all with proper groco seacocks.  four of the thru-hulls came out surprisingly easy.

however, i can't seem to get the raw water strainer off.  there are four screws at the corners that poke through the hull and into the head compartment.  I've removed the nuts and tried banging on them with a hammer.  the didn't even budge backwards a nanometer.  i then tried hammering a wide flat putty knife between the hull and the strainer.  sadly no joy

am i doing something fundamentally wrong or did i miss a step in removing the strainer?  i don't plan to put it back, so i'm not above damaging it, but i don't want to if i don't have to and i don't want to damage the hull.  so even though i was hammering on it, i stopped short of "hey this might break something" level of force.

the pictures are from the survey, I've already removed the hoses and marelon seacocks...

on a separate but related note, I'm a little perplexed by the sizes of the thru-hulls.  it looks like to me the macerator, head/kitchen sink drains are 3/4", the toilet intake and raw water intake are 1/2".  since groco doesn't make a 1/2" assembly, is there any issue with enlarging all the holes to 3/4" or should i go larger on any of them?
Main Message Board / dorade vent holes cracked
November 19, 2017, 05:01:15 AM
the vent hose in the cabin liner that go to the dorade boxes seems to have developed cracks.  i imagine the fix for this is no different then any other fiberglass fix.  but i'm curious how/why they cracked to begin with.  i don't recall seeing anything similar reported in any threads or articles.  So i'm curious if there's a loading issue or something else i should fix to keep this from happening again.

Main Message Board / chainplate support rods stuck
November 19, 2017, 04:57:06 AM
I pulled all my chainplates over the weekend for rebedding.  I was able to remove all but one from the tie rod, it looks like there some rust on the threads, hopefully some pb blaster will break  it loose.  however, i've hit a snag i'm not sure how to deal with.  the eccentric washer above the nut at the end of the rod seems to have gotten frozen to the rod.

i suspect it's alu vs stainless contact problems, which i've dealt with in the past.  unfortunately i've not had much luck breaking those connections loose and usually have to resort to grinding away and replacing.  obviously i'd prefer not to do that with these tie rods.

any suggestions on the best course of action?  heat usually seems to be the consensus, though its never worked for me and i'm a little nervous sticking a propane torch in such a small area.
Main Message Board / mystery item
October 09, 2017, 05:52:00 AM
as i progress cleaning through my new to me boat, i've come across an item i can't identify.  i have two identical items as pictured, they're made of pretty thick aluminum with nice welds.  and have a plastic insert with slots.  any ideas?  it's conceivable that they don't go with the boat at all, but were left behind on it by the previous owner.
Main Message Board / antifreeze?
October 07, 2017, 06:59:33 PM
next weekend i plan to winterize my engine ('89 m25-xp) and pull the hot water heater out.  in doing so i'm bound to lose some of the coolant from the system.  figuring this, i assumed i could just grab a jug of coolant at west marine when i was there to get my winterizing stuff.  to my surprise it doesn't look like they sell any, nor does defender as far as i can tell.  i searched around on the msg board and manuals.  while there are a lot of posts about antifreeze and it's replacement steps, i couldn't find anyone that said 'i use this <insert brand>' or i missed it.  though i did find several that said not to use dexcool (never seen that, but i'll steer clear)

any suggestions?
Main Message Board / instrument pod removal from pedestal
September 05, 2017, 02:22:20 PM
i pulled the guard that wraps around the steering pedestal.  it also has two pods located on either side for speed and depth attached to the guard rail.  i managed to pull the instruments from the fiberglass housing, but i'm not able to remove the lower portion from the stainless guard rail.  i pulled the side screw out, but i suspect they're frozen to the rail in some having been attached for 30yrs.  i tried pb blaster, wd40, torch (for some heat), even banging on them with a hammer they don't seem to budge.

any other ideas for getting them off?  i'd entertain cutting them briefly, but ideally i'd like to resell them on ebay if i can and i'm also scared of damaging the stainless rail.

here's an example of the bracket (from ebay):
Main Message Board / new owner many projects
September 01, 2017, 06:07:34 AM
i recently completed the purchase of an 89 Catalina 34 wing keel (not sure yet if it's tall/std rig, didn't have a tape measure) hull number 856.  now that the purchase and move is complete, i can finally call her mine.  unfortunately, the vessel i purchased sat for a long time, besides the extensive bilge cleaning that will ensue, there are many projects i need to tackle.

the first is the stem fitting, mine's cracked.  so two questions.  first are the units available from catalina direct basically made by garhauer?  i read another post that said the ones ordered from catalina direct don't line up with the mast head correctly.  this worries me since the part is non-returnable, should i need another i'm out the money.  if they are made by garhauer should i just call them directly instead?  the second question is, how does it come off?  are the bolts through with nuts that i need to contort myself to get a wrench on, or are they screws?

the second immediate project is the chainplates and stanchions.  as expected during the survey, the moisture meter lit up around the chainplates and basically the whole 10-11ft from the forward most chainplate to about 2ft beyond the vented stanchions.  hammer sounding didn't seem to reveal any delamination, therefore i don't plan to pull up the deck.  but i visited the boat after a heavy rain and it's clear the vented stanchions and the chain plates leak a little.

i do however plan to pull the chainplates and several of stanchions in attempt to sort of dry out those areas and rebed them while i'm out for the winter.  my question is what would be recommended for covering over the holes through the winter (think snow, not just rain).  i was thinking something like gorilla tape, but i'm concerned it'll leave a sticky residue that'll get stuck in the non-skid. if it was flat i'd just lightly sand away the residue, but i don't want to do that on the non-skid

the boat is in pretty good shape overall, but since i plan to keep her for another 30 yrs hopefully, this is going to be pretty big re-fit.  more questions will ultimately come, but the website and forums have been a great resource.

here's a short list of most of the problems, just for anyone's morbid interest:

bilge was/is full of nasty diesel/oil/mold/icky water
has volt meter in the engine panel, but the wires/harness looks scary
not positive whether mine has the bad alternator bracket or not
only the volt meter and the temp gauge works, probably electrical
the vented stanchions leak, destroyed some wood interior and i believe corroded the electrical panel
fridge doesn't work (might be electrical)
macerator doesn't work (might be electrical)
pressure water pump doesn't work (might be electrical)
water heater is unknown
may replace the standing rigging (having it inspected, since the rig is down)
all the running rigging needs to be replaced (ropes are moldy, many sheaves broken)
new mainsail (p/o left it on the boat for years, birds nest inside)
the keel shows signs of a smile, not sure if its bad enough to warrant a fix
new cutlass bearing, might need a new shaft as well

i take lots of pictures, i'll post some soon and as i move things along.

I'm looking for an 89'ish Catalina 34 wing keel that's been neglected up on the hard for awhile or in project status.  If anyone happens to know of one tucked away at a boat yard i'd appreciate it if you could pass the word along.  i'm in central nj, but willing to go somewhat into the adjacent states.