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Topics - girmann

Main Message Board / Chipping keel?
April 24, 2024, 05:09:22 PM
I'm getting what looks like gelcoat chipping on the bottom of the keel. Five years ago, the PO shell blasted the bottom and coated with two coats of west system barrier coat. The yard looked at the bottom of my keel yesterday and said they never did the bottom of the wing. Offered to put me in the slings for a day or two in July for me to grind it off and barrier coat the bottom of the keel. Sounded more than fair. I mean, I'm sure they're going to charge me, but they said it would just cover their costs.

Is there anything I'm missing from this? Anyone do this job and found it to be more onerous than they thought?

Mola Mola #1488
Main Message Board / Cockpit Cushions
July 05, 2023, 11:34:46 AM
It looks like it's been a few years since this was discussed the last time, so I figured I would bring it up here. Especially since it looks like Bottom Siders is out of business

Is there a consensus on which is better in the cockpit, closed cell or open cell foam cushions? We like to use our cushions both sailing and at rest. I was originally looking at Catalina Direct, but as I did more research, I found tons more manufacturers... C Cushions, Catalina Owners, Foam Order, and The Foam Shop, just to name a few.

They all seem to have the same types of cushions, just different options built around two themes: Vinyl and open cell foam, or Sunbrella and closed cell foam. 

Anyone have any thoughts about the manufacturers or whether open or closed cell is the right choice?

Mola Mola #1488
I was talking this off today because the caulk looked like it could be leaking and, well I guess I was right. Taking this piece off showed significant delamination on the starboard side and minor delamination on the port side. It would seem that the caulk under the screeds failed and let water past. Sounding it the best I could, it seems like on the stbd side, it goes about 2" in and on the port side, maybe 3/4".

Questions? Since this isn't structural, I think I can just fill it with penetrating epoxy, clamp it, and call it a day. Is that right? I almost feel like another layer of glass could help, but I don't know that I want to get that deep into it.

Sounding the deck under this cover didn't reveal anything interesting and sounded like pretty solid glass underneath. I may take a bent nail and fill it with epox just to make sure. Is there anything else I need to do?

The guy in the J28 next door said to dry it out, but it's been sitting all winter. I can't imagine there's any moisture left, other than what's in the air.

On our boat, both of these instruments are just forward of the bottom compartment in the v-berth. These wires go to port and disappear behind an insert. I can't tell where they go. Does anyone else have this setup? Any idea where they go on the port side of the boat?

I mean, logic would say that the wires are behind the port settee, nav station, hanging locker, and head, but I'm trying to pull new wires and want to get an idea of what I'm in for before I start it.

Thanks for your help!

2001 C34MkII #1488
Main Message Board / Refitting C34 MKII
April 11, 2022, 04:55:26 AM
Hmm... so at what point do "spring maintenance upgrades" become a refit?!?

It seems like everything I touch leads to more ideas for a project. For instance, some ham-handed lunk (me) broke the head sink drain adapter (which proved nigh impossible to find) so I got myself a whole sink drain assembly instead. I justified buying the whole thing by saying that the old one was starting to rust anyway. Of course the new one didn't fit right away. Of course the old caulk was impossible to remove. Regardless, it turned out so nice that it made me realize that I need to replace the faucet as well, because it's pretty much corroded at this point. Which lead me on a goose chase to find a decent looking shower faucet combo. Lots of nice people on the internet have made suggestions - saying that RV faucets are the same and much cheaper. But in a couple hours of searching (when I was supposed to be working), turned up nothing other than either wall mounted units or ones that had a "diverter". But nothing that resembles what we have now. As they say, "More research is indicated..."

While shopping for the sink drain, I also thought about the malfunctioning masthead wind sensor that had to be replaced and was thinking about how borked the whole electrical system has been since we bought her two years ago. All of the gauges were off by a lot, including the tach (how do you get *that* wrong?). I did some minor adjustments to those to get them back into spec. The knot log has never read the correct speed (despite my best attempts at googling) and the masthead sensor hasn't moved since the sea trial. While I'd love to blame the PO, they're our "back door" neighbor in the marina and I just can't believe that they would swap out working instruments for bad after the sale. Also the panel volt meter is completely messed up. I can't figure out why it's reading so wrong sometimes and completely correct other times. It doesn't make any sense. I need to research what else I could do here, but when an expensive meter from the yard (Fluke 177) read 12.6 on the bateries and the panel meter reads 11.8, you know something's wrong. the obvious solution is to check the wiring and replace the meter, but is there a better way? I don't know yet.

All this was running through my head at the chandlery when suddenly a complete i70 kit (wind, speed, depth, itc5, and display) ended up in my cart and brought it home ( the masthead sensor was going to be $700, but the whole kit is $1100. What a bargain!). I guess that's going on the to-do list. The 20 year old charger is also on its way out and that's going to have to be replaced, too. The nice people at Guest were willing to take my call, but not able to help.

Last year I took out the aircon to "fix" it. The PO said that it just needed a new "printed circuit board", but when I opened up the control box, there were no boards in there! After two months of banging my head against the wall, trying to figure out what part of the electronics were bad (the Ocean Breeze people were very helpful and patient) I discovered the latching high pressure switch had tripped. In my defense, there's no way to push the button without taking the whole thing out first. One push of the button and it was working again. However in removing it, I noticed that the bracket that had been fabricated for the unit was held in place with some faring compound - which had failed. It's dirty and grimy in there and the wooden bracket is still bare wood. A good epoxy paint for the bracket and some elbow grease in the hanging locker where the aircon is located is needed to clean it all out. Then I'll add some proper fiberglass tabbing to the bracket so that it stays in place this time.

Then there's the battery management that needs to be taken care of. There are no bus bars for the battery connections in the house battery compartment, leading to a mess of connections in the compartment. Plus I need to replace the battery hold down for the starting battery, since needing to cut that off after it became completely jammed.

Since I took the stick down to have a look at the masthead wind sensor, I might as well call a rigger. As near as I know, the standing rigging hasn't been replaced since she was new. In 2001. That won't be expensive, right? And it's not difficult to get a hold of a rigger in the middle of the spring, right?

And then there's the issue of the autopilot, which is sitting in the workshop but hasn't been installed. Oh, and then the sails are also original.

I've owned a boat before, this isn't my first rodeo (but it is my second! Ha!) All of a sudden I'm realizing how much she needs. Or doesn't, I suppose. If I wasn't "floating" in a parking lot right now, this could all be solved by just throwing off the lines and dealing with what I have with me instead of worrying about what's coming.

So all of this to ask, am I 50% through my spring maintenance, or am I 10% through a refit?  :shock:

Main Message Board / Fairclough group buy?
August 25, 2021, 03:07:16 PM
Purchasing a Fairclough cover for our C34 MKII and was wondering if anyone else would be interested.

Price was quoted to me as $4005 with the ability to store with the mast up or down. If you don't store with your mast up, it's about $750 less ($3250 ish). Price is good until 9/1. They also have the ability to add different features like extra doors, accommodations for dinghy davits, motor davits, radar masts, and other things.

In case you're wondering I have no affiliation with Fairclough other than I really liked the cover I had for my C28.
How the heck do you get to the wires that come up behind the chart table and into the electrical panel?

After spending a couple of hours looking and re-looking over how I'm going to route power to the new autopilot I'm installing on the boat, I've come to the conclusion that I'm in over my head. But I'm also ready to admit than and move forward. Since I already installed an EV-100 on my Catalina28, I knew the steps involved, and none of them were overly complicated. The one thing that I wanted to do differently was to run a separate power feed to the autopilot instead of leeching off of the instruments' power like I did on the 28.

First step was to take a look that the pedestal wiring - something that tripped me up with the install on the 28. It looks like there's adequate space to route the extra wires, but everything is sealed in silicone. Not my favorite, but manageable. Next I traced the wires back to the electrical panel. At some point, they disappear behind some fiberglass and appear in the electrical panel. I can't seem to get to that part of the run, however.

A PO ran a new wire to a fan in the aft cabin, so I figured running another wire was doable. But I can't figure out how to get to the electrical wire once it goes back behind the nav table. There's a lot of holes where the cables come up into the electrical area, but where they go into the holes seems to be a completely inaccessible area. There are no messenger lines and no obvious screws, so I feel like I'm missing something completely obvious.

I looked in a bunch of the wiki and 101 articles as well as searching the website (you can imagine there are a lot of articles about electrical and wiring, so I haven't gone through them all), but i can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Is it just a matter of pulling new wires where an old wire exists now? I'd rather do some cleanup of the cable management here, that's why I'm looking for a way into this space.
Main Message Board / Crossthreaded handrails
April 07, 2021, 09:22:25 AM
Well, it looks like one of the PO's cross threaded one of the bolt holes on the port side stainless hand rail. I have no idea how to fix this, other than to take it to a shop and have them redo it. I don't have a tap and die set. If I got one, do I drill it out and make a bigger one, or can the existing threads be "reset"?

Main Message Board / Stereo removal
March 08, 2021, 09:16:17 PM
Clearly I am failing some sort of intelligence test.

In my C34, the Sony stereo is mounted in a black box on the port side, behind the settee, inside the aftmost cubby. The stereo is mounted to this some fashion. If I take the two screws that are to the left and right, it frees up a wooden plate that the stereo is mounted to. There doesn't seem to be any way to slide that plate out of the cubby. The stereo appears to be attached to that front plate. I've taken off the front plate and all the screws I can find, and I can't seem to separate the stereo from this detachable front plate. I can feel some metal tabs that is keeing the case of the radio attached to the front plate, however there's no way of getting to all of them - there's just not enough clearance to get a tool in there. Nor can I figure out how this all got in here to begin with. My next step was to take a multi-tool to the front plate and cut the thing out.

Before doing that, I figure I would post here.

Thanks for your help...

Mark  #1488
Main Message Board / Smiles and bedding compounds
September 22, 2020, 01:08:28 PM
Hmm... after reading all I could on this site about the C34 "smiles", I finally went to the source and asked Gerry Douglas. He was very nice, but didn't recommend bedding with anything flexible - including 5200. I was surprised by this answer. He said that it was originally bedded with polyester resin, but that vinylester would be ok too.

Anyway, It looks like the boat we're looking at has the smile fore and aft. It doesn't sound like this is a problem, but something that will have to be addressed eventually.
Main Message Board / Might finally be joining you!
September 04, 2020, 06:48:18 AM
Just made an offer on a 2000 C34 MkII. So nervous and so excited. Can't wait to hear back from the seller. This wait is agonizing!
Main Message Board / C34 Take Two
July 28, 2020, 08:02:39 PM
Looking at moving up from a C28 to a C34. Seems to check all the right boxes and improves all the things that are no longer a fit for us in the 28. Two adults and two teenagers means that we need three real berths - assuming we can get the cabin table up and down (I've heard they can be a problem sometimes). Looking forward to the much better upwind performance (even if we get the WK).

We started looking at the 34 a couple of years ago, but now has the CFO approval, so it might actually happen. We're looking at MK 1.5s, since the Mk2's are just barely out of our price range. Though there's a couple MK2 1997's in NJ for ~60k. If we could get those to negotiate down a bit, we might be able to get into a Mk. 2.

Can't believe how much information is here and it's made it a lot easier to understand the strengths of the C34 and how to do just about everything to the boat. It feels like you can't get much more of a boat in a Catalina without going up to the 40.
Main Message Board / Hull number 1645
June 24, 2019, 07:35:39 AM
Still considering buying a C34 Mk II.

Does anyone know anything about this hull? I can't seem to find any mention of it here, or anywhere else on the internet. Hailing port is Bay Shore NY.

It's for sail, and I'm thinking about going to take a look at it. 2003 Catalina 34 MKII, std rig, wing keel. Haven't seen it in person yet, but I've seen other 34's from this seller and they price them to condition, so I'm guessing it's a good one.
Main Message Board / Is the c34 right for us?
April 13, 2018, 07:34:29 AM
We are looking at wing keel Catalinas that can fit four adults and we're looking at the c34 as one of the options. We're upgrading from the "larger on the inside than the outside" c28. Are we barking up the wrong tree?


  • Large cockpit for entertaining while under sail (6 adults)
  • Wing Keel (we want to stay in the same slip (5' draft, max)
  • Single handing possible
  • Wheel steering so guests can "sail"
  • Practical storage (cockpit and galley)
  • three sleeping areas
  • Sitting area and bench (for the dog, of course!)

I realize asking this of c34 owners is a little biased, but there is a distinct lack of decent boats in my area right now. The choice is to wait until one becomes available or look at something else.