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My new Beta 25 is in the boat, bolted down, and engine aligned.  Hooking up the plumbing now and there are some clear differences from the old plumbing for the M25-XP that it replaced.  In searching prior threads, nobody seems to cover these.  Among them:

1.  M25-XP utilized 5/8" raw water supply; Beta 25 utilizes 3/4".  This was solved for the time being by purchasing a new Vetus knock-off strainer with "progressive" barbs (1/2", 5/8", and 3/4").  I was able to keep the 5/8" intake from the thru-hull under the head sink but cut the "outflow" on the strainer to the 3/4" barb and ran new 3/4" hose to the raw water pump.

2.  On the back end, the M25-XP had a 5/8" hose going to the anti-siphon loop, and then 5/8" to the injection nipple in the 1 5/8" exhaust riser.  The Beta 25 has a 1" barb off the heat exchanger.  To accommodate the existing Catalina 34 wet exhaust infrastructure, this needs to be reduced down to 5/8" before the anti-siphon loop.  Again, nobody seems to have mentioned this.

3.  The exhaust flange on the M25-XP is 1 5/8" (OD), and on the Beta 25 is 2".  This required a reducer, and then a welder to cut and reduce the length of the 1 5/8" pipe coming off of the Engine exhaust flange (to accommodate the length of the reducer).

So there are some clear plumbing differences which need to be sorted.  The one I dislike the most is the reduction of the water supply from the the heat exchanger to the injection nipple on the exhaust riser (1"> 5/8").  Although I haven't actually fired everything up yet (I was sent the wrong alternator--I am set up for external regulation to my Firefly battery bank and was sent a 120 amp alternator with internal regulator) I'm thinking a wet exhaust overhaul might be in the future.

Hoping to post later with photos and modifications needed.

Main Message Board / Raymarine EV100 install input
December 21, 2022, 12:23:09 PM
After 32+ years of faithful service, and rebuilding/replacement of many parts, I'm retiring my original Autohelm 4000.  I caught the EV100s on sale at Defender for a great Black Friday price and will be installing one this winter.

I've got a 1990 Mark 1.25.  Any recommendations/tips for placement of the various components?  Where did you end up placing:

1. the Sensor Core

2.  the Control Box


Main Message Board / Federal Flexible Coupler: Opinions?
December 20, 2022, 03:41:00 PM
In replacing my transmission, I have to be cognizant of the space between the stern tube and new transmission.  I'm losing 4mm of that space due to the new transmission (Twin Disc/TMC 40P).  I also went with a PSS dripless two years ago when I replaced my prop shaft.

Some sort of flexible coupler is recommended.  Presently, I just have a basic split/rigid coupler.  It looks like the Federal 43A flexible coupler would be a good application here due to its compact size.  I know several owners have installed them.

Has anyone had a bad experience with one of these?  I'm told they are a pretty old school design--which is not a bad thing at all.  I'm hoping it would be the right application here and would appreciate any input.   Again, going to a Bullflex (or other model) flexible coupler looks like it will increase the overhang (of the prop shaft aft of the P strut) too far.


With roughly 2500 known hours on my M25XP and original Hurth HBW50 transmission, it has become time to replace the Tranny. I didn't think this would be a big deal because I had purchased a "rebuilt" HBW50 on Craigslist ($300), complete with invoice from Harbor Marine in Everett, WA.  Only it probably wasn't rebuilt by them. 

As I learned from Mike in the tranny shop--super guy, and very knowledgeable--it is a not uncommon scam to sell one of these representing it as "rebuilt' and with a Harbor Marine invoice showing the rebuild.  I live close by and brought in my transmission so he could verify whether it had, in fact, been rebuilt by them.  He showed me why (output shaft had some play and no evidence of the sealant they use when putting the transmission case back together) they probably did not do the rebuild.

So the choices come down to (1) rebuild or (2) replace.  Very few people recommend rebuilding a 30 year old Hurth HBW50.  They don't enjoy a great reputation, and the rebuild cost I was quoted from Mike was roughly $1800 and 30 days out.

As for replacement, it is either stay with an upgraded Hurth (ZF12m) or go to one of the new transmissions with the cone-type clutches.  Both are bolt-on replacements.  These are either the Newage PRM-60 or the TMC40P.  The PRM and TMC are very, very similar but with small dimensional differences.  It bears mentioning that Harbor Marine used to sell the Newage PRM60s but no longer does.  Ask Mike about that.

Common issues to both:

--you've got to remove the bell housing to unbolt the HBW50 and to install the new Transmission.  At a minimum, that means I'm going to lift out the engine into the galley area to do this.
--you've got to replace the damper plate with a new Sachs while its out.
--as long as its out, replace the 32 year motor mounts with new.

Cost/Benefits of the ZF12m:

--gear shift on the same side as the HBW50 (no surgery on the engine bed)
--its more expensive ($2300)
--its bigger dimensionally than the PRM or TMC which means both raising the engine higher and cutting down your prop shaft as the "overhang"--distance from front of prop to cutless bearing/P strut--will increase by 1.5 inches.
--I couldn't find anyone who recommends them over the PRM or TMC alternatives. In a telling post from 2016 or so, Maine Sail basically endorsed running away from the new ZFs and to the TMC40.
--gear ratio is 2.14:1 vs. original 2.05:1 for HBW 50.

Cost benefits of the PRM/TMC:

--less expensive ($1260 for the TMC)
--smaller dimensionally.  When installed you have to raise an M25XP 5.5mm due to lower output shaft on the TMC 40, and the "overhang" (distance from prop to strut--usually a shaft diameter (1")-- increases only 4mm).
--shift lever on the port side.   This means a little more effort to adjust the shifting cable and/or adjust the cone clutch (which is represented as being "self adjusting" but which may need to happen sometimes).  The adjustment of the cone clutch is actually covered in the TMC40 and PRM60 manuals.
--Have to cut away a small area of the port engine bed rail, just aft of the rear port motor mount, to make room for the port side shift lever.  (roughly 1" deep and 3" long)
--Have to alter the location of the Heat Exchanger to access the dip stick and fill.  As you know, that is already difficult with the HBW50.  I have to loosen my 3" Sea Kamp HX to fully extract the dip stick.  Noah has a great post on how and where to relocate your heat exchanger for better maintenance access on the tranny, so I am going to do that anyway.
-gear ratio is 2:1 vs. 2.05:1 for HBW 50

Choosing the TMC40:

Based on overwhelming positive reviews vs. the ZF12m, I chose the TMC40P.  This was reinforced after I spoke with Joe DeMers at Sound Marine Diesel (CT) who is a Beta dealer and who sells a lot of TMC transmissions as well.  Generous with his time over the phone, he went through all the considerations when putting in a replacement transmission for my engine.  There is also a Beta Marine document titled "Conversion from ZF5 (Hurth HBW50) to TMC40" which fully explains those considerations.

I ordered my TMC transmission ($1259), 4 new motor mounts at $49/each, and new shift bracket and hardware ($98) from Joe.

(FYI: The motor mounts are dimensionally the same ones that Catalina Direct sells for $180/each!)

By the way, I also went down the road of doing a complete re-power with a Beta 25.  I'm pulling the engine anyway to replace the transmission.  Problem is that on the left coast there are no Beta 25s in stock.  Serious supply chain issues in getting Kubota cores to Beta in England.  Earliest "projected" arrival--which is very soft--is March 2023.  If you're not on the left coast, they have stock out of North Carolina.  I operate as a charter boat so I need better definition than that and don't want to interrupt the season for an engine replacement.  But, when the supply increases I can buy a new Beta 25 "bobtail" and attach the TMC40 to it.

Hope this helps anyone having similar issues/thoughts.

Main Message Board / Expensive mistake
October 22, 2022, 08:27:08 AM
I swapped out my bronze prop shaft for a stainless one about 1+ years ago, and did a new PSS dripless shaft seal at the same time.  New zincs (2) were put on the prop shaft, and a clam shell-type on the strut.

With the old bronze shaft, I didn't seem to have to replace zincs more than once/season.  I just hauled out, and the zincs on my stainless shaft were completely gone.  Worse, my fixed 3 blade Michigan Sailer (original) had started to de-zinc and had to be replaced.  The zinc on the strut was still in place, although close to spent.

One "boat buck" later, and I have a new Michigan Sailer 3 blade, 15 X10, prop.  I was a bit fortunate to source one locally from the Prop Shop in Mukilteo, WA, who had one in stock.  Everywhere else said it would be 6-14 weeks to get one.  I was told that the "Sailer" types are made offshore, and part of the reason for the wait.  The Michigan MP3 3 blade props are easy to find, and much cheaper too ($600-700).

Anyway, anecdotally at least in my case, it seems the zincs need replacement more frequently with the stainless shaft/bronze prop set-up. 

What is the frequency that others change zincs with this set-up in salt water?  Every 6 months?  More frequently?

Your input is appreciated.

Main Message Board / Gennaker rigging
April 17, 2022, 05:26:00 AM
I nabbed a "like new" North gennaker, snuffer, and sheets yesterday for a great price.  I've flown a gennaker before on prior boats, and am interested in hearing from others how you rigged the tack line.  The seller said he he attached a block to the bail on the anchor roller, and then ran the tack line through that block to adjust the height of the tack.  However, the elderly prior owner admitted little familiarity/experience with the gennaker.  He purchased it, and after a couple of attempts, parked it in the basement.

When swapping out my Bruce 15kg this past summer for a Rocna of the same size, I had to replace the bail on the anchor roller with a new one from Garhauer in order to accommodate the different size/shape of the Rocna.  So that hardware is pretty solid.  But I'm a little concerned about harnessing 700+ square feet of sail off that bail in 12-15 knots of breeze.

How have others rigged the tack line down to the stem?



I've got a 1990 Mark 1.25, hull no 1016.   I purchased a new Racor 500fg filter to replace the original R220.  To mount it, because it is larger, it pretty much has to go where the old one is now.  Problem is I swapped out the original raw water strainer for a new Vetus and mounted it just under and next to the old Racor near the door.  I put it their because it is directly above the thru hull, and easy to clean out when it is clogged.  There is no way I'm going back to the old style strainer.  So I have to move the location of the Vetus strainer to accommodate the new Racor 500fg.

After looking at it for awhile, the cleanest solution appears to be to mount the Vetus strainer under the switch for the shower sump pump, and possibly put in a small access hatch there for cleaning it out. I could still see if there is plant life in the strainer basket in that location by opening the door, but might be easier to unscrew and empty through an access hatch.

To do this, it would be great to use the current thru hull for the head intake/shower sump discharge (the middle one) for the raw water strainer.  I can do this because I no longer have a marine toilet and holding tank.  I removed these in favor of a Dometic 975 MSD porta-potti short term, and an Airhead composting toilet longer term.  I also do not use the shower, but if I ever did I could move the discharge line to the current raw water intake thru hull. 

I would like to be able to plumb the middle thru hull as a "T", kind of like it is now but with new fittings, so I can remove a blockage at the intake with a long dowel by removing a cap on the top of the "T" (instead of the hose to the strainer).  I have to do this at least 4-5 times a season during the sunnier months when photosynthesis breeds all kinds of plant life in the water column.

Understanding well the need to replace all the thru hulls in this area, and after trying to find the answer in the forum archives, are all three thru hulls in this area (raw water intake, head intake/shower discharge, and head sink drain) the same size?

I want to make sure that if I move the raw water intake to the middle thru hull, there are no negative impacts to flow to the raw water strainer.  Anybody see issues here, or attempted something similar?

Many thanks in advance,

I took this past weekend to replace the primary and secondary fuel filters on my 1990 Mark 1.25.  This followed a recent replacement of scupper hoses and the 17' exhaust hose which looked original.  In the case of the scupper hoses, one was actually cracked and leaking.

After changing out the primary and secondary filters, and the Facet fuel pump filter, I started the engine.  It fired right away and ran well for about 10 minutes at the dock, then suffered symptoms of fuel starvation and died.  It would not restart.

Because I had just changed the filters, I was stumped.  I put in a new fuel tank in 2019, and run the boat often as a charter boat.  So I didn't think it was a problem at the tank.  Because I'm lucky enough to be a member of this forum, I came back and searched around before finding Stu's excellent post on the "obscure check ball valve."  I decided to look at that, which requires removing the original Racor 220R filter housing, and draining out all the diesel from the bowl I had just filled up.

What I quickly discovered was that my (likely) original 3/8" fuel lines had lost most of their flexibility, and were nearly welded to the fittings on the filter housing and fuel pump.  After removing hose clamps, I ended up having to cut the hoses with a hose cutter close to the end of the barb, then use a utility knife to cut through the stub remaining on the barb to remove them.  Many curses.

The check valve on the Racor housing had minor debris, and didn't really look problematic.  But since I had it out, I removed the barb fittings and hit them with carburetor cleaner.  One of them definitely had some crud lodged in the elbow.  And some more gunk came out of the top of the housing after more spraying with carb cleaner. 

Because I had to cut out the old fuel hose in pieces (which I recommend), I then had to install the new hoses.  It isn't hard from the engine to fuel pump under the head sink.  But it is harder to route the new fuel line from the tank, under the sink secured with zip ties, and back down and around to the inlet port on the Racor.

Two things make this job much easier:

1. Remove the access door under the head sink.

2. Remove the sink.

On my boat, the sink is only secured to the counter with a big splooge of silicone caulk.  Using a 1 1/2" chisel (beveled side down) and a few taps with a rubber tipped hammer, you can raise the lip enough to get a thin metal putty knife underneath.  I then worked it around underneath the perimeter and soon the bowl popped off.

With the sink out, it is easier to lead the new fuel hose and wire to the Facet pump, and mount them to the underside of the sink counter.

After reconnecting all the new hoses and the cleaned out Racor filter housing, I opened the valve at the fuel tank and opened the knurled knob.  It fired and ran for 20 minutes.  Closed the knurled knob, and everything appears back to normal.

What I then learned is that the 3/4" plastic "funnel" down tube at the bottom of my head sink had been crushed due to over tightening of the hose clamp on the drain hose.  If you have an original head sink on your Mark 1, the sink drain is "custom" to that original sink, and so is the drain assembly that goes in it. About the only part that is not custom to the drain assembly is the plastic "funnel barb" which attaches with a nut to the bottom--and which I needed to replace.  And the only manufacturer to offer that particular part is: Seadog "polyethylene sink funnel drain", part no. 517336-1.  Cost:  $3.  The Forespar SW5 won't fit, and neither will the Ambassador Marine counterpart.

The alternatives are to buy (1) a new sink and updated drain assembly ($120+) or (2) a replacement "custom" drain assembly to fit our unique head sink drains ($70) from Catalina Direct.


Main Message Board / Scupper Hoses
March 02, 2022, 05:43:53 PM
I was running wire to a new accessory plug I mounted just forward of the instrument panel.  With the Aft berth panels off, I noticed that my port scupper hose was cracked and leaking.

I removed the aft water tank (lots of fun) to access the scupper hoses.  Intermediate/advanced boat Yoga.  Tried using some quality 1 1/2" bait well hose to replace the old wet exhaust hose, approximately 3 feet.  Nope.  Would not go on the hull exit fitting, even after heat gun and liberal use of dish soap.

Cockpit drain size:  1 1/2"

Hull exit (mine is a 90 degree) fitting:  1 5/8"

So either:

(1) buy more pliable 1 1/2" hose--more pliable than what I had.  I think there was a failed "Shields Premium Water Hose" that I took off, but it did not want to come off the hull fitting easy, especially with the engine shut off cable digging into my rib cage.

(2) Buy the 1 5/8' hose which will fit the hull fitting but be too big for the cockpit scupper.

This stuff is expensive by the foot, and I only want to do this once. 

What have others done?


Main Message Board / Twin Backstays on a Mark 1.25?
November 30, 2021, 01:57:24 PM
The factory back stay set up my Mark 1.25 bugs me, and its time to replace some standing rigging too.  I'm constantly bashing into the the split backstay when standing or climbing onto the swim step.  I'm also going to be adding a bimini in the near future, so I would like to plan for that.

I'm aware one solution is to move the location of the "split" higher, which is getting close to having two separate backstays. Most newer boats (I have a C355 in my marina) seem to have twin backstays which allows movement of the deck attachments further outboard on either side.

Has anyone gone to two separate backstays?

Does the original masthead configuration support doing this?

Any opinions on whether this option makes any sense, or is just nutty?

For those who have gone with a higher "split", did you change the location of the turnbuckle(s) to deck level?  The turnbuckle for my split backstay is above the split.



Main Message Board / Rocna 15 fit on Mark 1 OEM roller
August 03, 2021, 11:40:38 AM
I just bought a Rocna 15 for a good price, and spent some time searching the forum about whether it would fit the Mark 1 OEM "Windline" brand roller.  I couldn't really find any definitive answer, so thought I would post my about my experience.

I have a 1990 Mark 1.25, which I bought with a Bruce 15 Kg anchor on it.  The takeaways:

1.  The Rocna 15 will fit on the OEM roller, but not with the OEM bail.  When put in place, I'm able to close the anchor locker lid over the shank of the Rocna 15.

2.  The OEM bail measures 2 7/8" wide, and 3 3/4" high--not high enough. It is attached with two, small, carriage bolts and nyloc nuts through the top of the anchor roller up forward.

3.  There appear to be 3 "close" replacement options for replacing the bail:

     a. a Schaefer boom bail 3" wide and 5" high (No. 90-07), $62 at Defender

     b. a Kingston Stainless Steel Anchor Roller Bail, 3 1/4" wide and 5 1/2" high (BAR-13-3.14), $18.99 at Defender
     c. a Kingston Stainless Steel Anchor Roller Bail, 3 1/4" wide and 6 " high (BAR-15-3.25), $20.99 at Defender.

I've ordered option "b." from Defender and will report back once I have installed the new bail.

Another option is the Kingston KR-1015 anchor roller which is deigned specifically for Rocna 10 and Rocna 15 anchors.  It measures 3 3/8" wide (1/2" wider than the OEM roller on my boat), and may require some minor surgery up front.  Defender price on these is $338.

Hope this helps others!


Main Message Board / Recent hot running of M-25xp
July 31, 2021, 08:04:55 AM
Stumped right now on the elevated running temp of my M-25XP.

Went to a new Oberdorfer raw water pump about a month ago.  The impeller on my Sherwood pump shredded, which led to very high water temp--220 as read on my engine panel temp gauge.  Shut it down and sailed back.  Swapped in the new Oberdorfer. Took apart the input end of the heat exchanger and removed the bits of Sherwood impeller.  Primed the raw water intake, strainer, new pump and hoses. And everything worked.

After swapping out to the new Oberdorfer, the temp initially stayed below the 160 degree mark.  We have a lot of plant life in the water right now, and on a charter I noticed the temp climbing above 180.  I pulled over to an empty dock, found the strainer full of plants, emptied and continued on.  The temp went back down and good, strong flow on the raw water stream.

The last few days, however, the temp wants to go to 180 and hold. So yesterday morning I went back through everything from the new pump to the thru-hull valve.  I checked every hose, every elbow, the impeller and insured no obstructions.  Re-primed everything back to the pump.  Started the motor and--again--very strong flow out the back.

On the way back from Seattle last night I took the opportunity to watch my gauges while motoring.

On MY instruments:

2500 rpms:  5.8 knots, and 180 degrees

2000 rpms:  4.7 knots, and 170 degrees

1500 rpms:  4.2 knots and 160 degrees

I did notice that--at the higher 2500 rpms--the temp gauge needle would bounce "down" from 180 to 160 momentarily, then back up to 180 where it would stay.  On the other lower (1500) rpms, it would occasionally jump "up" from 160 to 170, and accompanied by same kind of sound in the shift in RPMs as when the external regulator steps in to limit charging. 

Any ideas about what may be happening?  Is it time to check the thermostat (which has given trouble free operation since I've owned the boat)?

Thanks in advance for for your input!


Main Message Board / OEM mast wall thickness?
June 18, 2021, 10:52:37 AM
Somewhat new to riveting.  Removed the old Forespar steaming/deck light combo which was on the boat and failing.  Was attached using aluminum rivets.  New/replacement Forespar light holes do not match up, so drilled new 3/16" holes while up the mast.

Right rivets depend on mast wall thickness (grip range).  Thought I would ask the very experienced crew here if, offhand, you know the mast wall thickness so I go up with the proper rivets.

Thanks in advance!

Main Message Board / Whisker pole questions
April 30, 2021, 01:53:29 PM
I couldn't help myself and I bought a fixed length pole (16') yesterday off craigslist for $100.   My intention is to use it to pole out the genoa when sailing deeper downwind--not as a spinnaker pole.  But its a beast, and came off a Halberg Rassy 43.  4" aluminum tube with a bayonet fitting for the inboard end and jaws on the outboard end.  I wanted a fixed length pole for strength and maintenance.  Too many stories about the adjustable ones breaking whether line control or twist/lock.

Anyway, curious to know from those who regularly use their whisker poles:

(1) whether you store it vertically at the mast or on deck?

(2) whether you wish you had chosen to store it differently and why?

(3) recommendations for singlehanders?

(4) type of mast track and hardware used for vertical storage?

Thanks in advance!

With the recent electrical upgrade came the new CMI 105 amp small frame alternator. For those who have made similar alternator upgrades, what belt manufacturer do you recommend for the 3/8" pulleys on your M25/M25xp engines?


As a charter boat, it is sometimes awkward to trim the genoa due to factory placement of the Lewmar 46ST primaries on my 1990 Mark 1.25.  Someone usually has to shift while I trim.

After looking it over, I decided to buy some new Anderson 40STs and mount them further aft on the coaming.  Both the base diameter (6") and the bolt circle diameter for mounting are smaller than the original Lewmars.  Access on the port side doesn't look too complicated, but starboard side mounting looks like it could involve extreme boat yoga.

Anyone tackled this before and have suggestions/observations to share?


Main Message Board / Engel purchase and install
March 27, 2021, 08:35:35 AM
After the winter electrical upgrade, I purchased the Engel MT45F-U1CD-P platinum series AC/DC combination Fridge/Freezer.

Fits perfectly on the seat of the aft cabin on my Mark 1.25, with cushion removed, and held in place with some webbing straps.  Still have to wire in a 12 volt plug.

This particular Engel is not cheap ($1000) compared with other portable AC/DC fridge freezers.  But Engel's unique Sawajima swing compressor gets universally high reviews for reliability and low amp draws.  And, in its size which fits on my aft cabin seat, there is nothing else available like it.

In addition, this particular model has two zones, and can be used as (1) all fridge, (2) all freezer, or (3) both fridge and freezer simultaneously. I can also take it out, take it home, take it on the road, or put it on a new boat if I ever lose my mind and sell my perfect (for me) C34.

Review after break-in will follow.

I just posted in the "For Sale" forum that I have a couple of used OEM Prestolite/Leece Neville 2017KA (51 amp) alternators for sale.  I just completed an electrical upgrade over the winter, and so if anyone needs one please see the post there.


I did a complete electrical upgrade over the winter, going to an externally regulated CMI 105amp alternator.  I have two of the original OEM 51 amp Prestolite/Leece Neville 2017KA alternators for sale.

1. The one original to my engine was cleaned by an alternator shop and bench tested as putting out the required 51 amps.

2. The second I bought as a spare from another forum member, which I also had bench tested and it too put out the required amps. 

Both are in good working condition and fit my Universal 25XP engine.  They have 3/8" pulleys.

$75 each + shipping.   

On the home stretch (I think) of my electrical upgrade to a 3 Firefly House Bank.  New Sterling smart charger is in, wired, and working. Located the new Balmar MC-614 regulator in the aft cabin on the small shelf just above the back of the engine.  Ran the new regulator sense wires to the battery bank, which I upsized to 14 AWG because of the long run to the batteries.

I now have to figure out the brown wire which delivers power to the regulator only when the ignition switch is "on."  The choices appear to be (1) run it all the way to the ignition switch from the regulator (panel removal inside, instrument panel removal outside, and long-ish run) or, as Balmar says (2) "in some oil pressure switch may be used to activate the regulator.  In either case, the regulator's ignition wire must see zero volts when the engine ignition is switched off."

The oil pressure switch location on the port side of the engine looks tempting:  much closer to the regulator and looks easier to install and monitor.

Anybody wired it to this location or have nay strong opinions about doing so?

As always, thanks in advance.


Main Message Board / Fun surprise
January 27, 2021, 01:47:09 PM
As part of my continuing winter electrical upgrade, I discovered that the wire from the shore power receptacle to the AC main breaker is 12/3.  Think it's supposed to be 10/3 to carry 30 Amps.

Not like its a re-wire, as all the AC wires are bundled where they enter the panel with gooey black electrical tape which I have to think is original on my 1990.

Worth checking.

Main Message Board / Electrical input requested
January 09, 2021, 12:33:09 PM
I am now knee deep in my electrical system upgrade, and would appreciate input as to final assembly.  I have gone through the Tech Wiki, as well as helpful articles from Rod at Maine Sail, but am still very much unclear on several matters relating to the final layout within my battery compartment where all the wires, fuses and busbars will join to produce electrical happiness.  I apologize in advance for not including a wiring diagram, and I hope to have explained it in a way below to allow answer to the questions.  Please feel free to jump in with comments, anywhere below, as I learn a lot from this board.


After purchasing my 1990 C34 nearly 3 years ago, I made do with the original house electrical system.   This included 2 group 24 FLA batteries, charged via the original Prestolite—internally regulated—alternator, via the switch on the Nav Station panel.  My original Newmar AC charger charged the 2 batteries.  I did put in a new panel, rewired to the engine, and followed the advice of many members to have essentially trouble-free operation of the boat for the past 2 years.

However, I decided to upgrade the electrical system with the idea of adding an Engel fridge/freezer and (eventually) solar.  I also wanted to be able to live on the anchor a bit more, and maybe use the wheelpilot more when sailing long stretches.  After researching, I decided on upgrading to 3 Firefly AGMs wired in parallel as a house bank.  These fit nicely in the C34 battery compartment.  To make the upgrade I also purchased a Balmar MC-614 external regulator, a Sterling 60Amp charger, a CMI 105amp alternator, and a Victron 712 monitor from Rod at Compass Marine.

Reading through the excellent electrical upgrades in the Tech Wiki—especially Jon's on Della Jean—I started the work of laying out the primary components and wire runs.  All of the old 4 AWG was removed between the batteries, the engine, and the panel.  I am leaving one original 4 AWG positive as a feed from the battery compartment to power the panel.  What I discovered for the original negative to the panel was a 10 AWG wire.

Location of new components

Balmar Regulator:  on the shelf in the aft cabin just aft of the engine

Sterling charger:  under the Nav table

Victron monitor:  on the vertical panel just forward of the Nav table.

Like Jon, I also mounted a new Selector switch (Blues Seas 6008 ("1-OFF-2")) on the outside of the battery compartment.  My thinking was I would use "1" for the house bank and use it for everything.  "2" would be used for the reserve battery when I put it in eventually.  No "Both" because I couldn't see why I would run the reserve and the house banks in parallel.  Coming off the common would be (1) the existing 4 AWG positive to the panel and (2) a new 1 AWG positive to the starter solenoid.  The 4 AWG positive to the panel would go to a new Perko "On/Off" switch to replace the original four position Perko switch.  Since my upgrade does not allow a new panel right now, my thinking was I could simply turn on the new switch at the battery compartment to "1", and then the panel switch to "On" for any DC panel needs.

Orientation of New Batteries

The 3 new Firefly Group 31 batteries are situated side by side in parallel, fore and aft, with the positive terminals oriented aft.  My thinking was to run the positive output of the bank close to the Selector switch.  The negative output would be oriented toward the forward outboard corner of the battery compartment where it would go the Victron shunt mounted on the outboard wall of the compartment up high.  It will then connect aft to a negative busbar on the aft wall of the battery compartment. That negative busbar will pick up the 1 AWG negative to the starter bolt, the 10 AWG negative to the panel, and the 4 AWG to the Sterling charger (as well as the green 6 AWG for the case ground), and others—all fed up through a new hole in the floor, aft and outboard in the bottom of the battery compartment.

Routing new Wires

Because I had already replaced the original water heater with a new Quick model in the hanging locker, I also went with Jon's (and others) idea to run new wires under the galley floor and into three holes already located in the port side of the engine compartment: 1 AWG positive (to starter solenoid bolt), 1 AWG negative to (to starter bolt), and 1 AWG positive to alternator output.  I enlarged these holes with a 1 1/8" hole saw to allow 1" clear tubing to keep the new 1 AWG  dry and off the hull.  I removed the teak and holly floor in the galley and cut a 6" square access hole underneath to assist with this.  In the process I discovered that the subfloor—part of the pan—is over an inch thick and cored with ¾" plywood.  Very sturdy.  These were then routed forward, under the shelf for the water heater, and up through three holes in the bottom of the battery compartment.

When mounting the new Sterling charger the manual said to use 4 AWG for the positive and negative run to the battery compartment (based on the RT distance).  Luckily, I had already cut an access hole in the subfloor under the Nav table for running supply lines and heater hose to the new/relocated water heater.  This allowed me to route the new charger wires to the battery compartment, including the battery temp sensor, using existing glassed-in Catalina conduit over the bilge.  These are also routed up through the bottom of the battery compartment.

When routing the new wires up into the battery compartment, I cut in two new holes.  The original hole is in the port aft corner of the battery compartment.  This is also where the new Selector switch is mounted, and is closest to the positive terminal on the battery bank.  The thought is to run the new 1 AWG wire to the starter and the 4 AWG out this hole.  In the opposite aft corner is a new hole though which to route the various negatives up to a negative busbar.  In the between these two is an intermediate hole through which the 1 AWG Alt output (+) is routed back to the batteries, as well as the Charger + 4 AWG wire.

So here I am with all these wires running into the bottom of the battery compartment, ready for connection to switches, fuses, and batteries.  And if you're still reading this:  God bless you.  This is where I could use some input—except where you probably already felt compelled to comment.


1.  Fusing the positive Alt Output and the Charger output wires.

Given space/clearance considerations in the battery compartment, the best place for me to mount the majority of the fuses/ busbars is on the aft wall of the battery compartment,  Both the negative wires, and the Alt Output and Charger output, are coming up from holes directly below (in the battery compartment floor) and onto that wall. 

Can I use Blue Seas 285-series surface mount circuit breakers for these wires?

My thinking was to get a 150 amp for the Alt output (105 amp alternator), and the recommended 80 Amp for the charger output (60 Amp Sterling), and then run them to a common power post before going to the battery.  The benefits of using these are (1) they are thinner (with a profile of only 1.25") and (2) the 150 Amp circuit breaker for the Alt Output could act as the "Service Technician Disconnect Switch" recommended by Maine Sail.  The other solution I thought of, a Blue Seas 5196 MRBF surface mount fuse block, is nearly 2.4'' in profile making locating it a little tougher.

Using ANL fuses presents the same profile problems on that wall, although not as great as the Blue Seas 5196 MRBF surface mount fuse block.

2.  When running the positive back off the battery positive to the new selector switch, I'm thinking of running the 1AWG to a positive busbar located on the inboard wall of the (similar to what Jon did on Della Jean), and then a 1 AWG to the "1" post of the new switch for the house bank.  Its my understanding that I need to fuse the two wires coming off the "common" (for the 1AWG starter and the 4 AWG going to the panel).  If correct:

Can I use a Blue Seas 2151 "dual MRBF terminal fuse block" off the 3/8" stud of the "common" post of the switch—one fuse for the 1AWG starter and 1 fuse for the 4 AWG panel feed?

Or is there a better solution?

3.  As mentioned, although the original electrical had a 4 AWG positive going to the panel (which I am leaving in place), the negative to the panel is only 10 AWG.

Can I leave this as is?  Or do I need to replace that negative with a larger wire?  Again, I'm not changing the panel as part of this phase of the electrical upgrade, other than to change the original Perko Selector Switch from a 4 position to a simple "On/Off" switch.  It seems to have worked for 30 years in this configuration.

4.  Pot pouri:  Feel free to offer any additional thoughts.  I am no electrician but enjoy trying to learn these things.

Thanks in advance for your input.

I just installed my new SS prop shaft, split coupler, and PSS shaft seal while out of the water.  I'm getting splashed on Monday.

[Note: new shaft slid in with cutless bearing removed.  BUT, my boat definitely prefers sliding in/out on the PORT side of the rudder.  STARBOARD was too tight, so we switched sides and, voila, super easy.  Those tackling this in the future should definitely check for a preferred side of the rudder for shaft extraction/replacement.  In my case it made a huge difference!]

Anyway, I got the coupler on, torqued pinch bolts to spec, reattached the coupler to the transmission.  Installed the new PSS,  compressed bellows, and installed the first set of set screws in the stainless rotor.  I'm intending to align once the boat has sat in the water 24 hours, which (I understand) is where you should check/do engine alignment.  I've never done this, but am having a shipwright help do this. 

He tells me that to properly align the engine, he has to detach the coupler and push the shaft back some distance while he makes adjustments to the motor mounts.  But to splash, back out of the slings, and motor over to the overnight slip I need the drive train and the PSS functional overnight until the alignment work starts. 

This means the new SS rotor set screws have to be backed out to allow the shaft to be pushed back and the rotor repositioned.  So I guess that means I just used up 2 of the 5 new set screws that were provided for installation--at least I can't re-use them against the shaft as the tips will have "cupped" making them unsuitable for re-use.  I think I can re-use them as the outer stacked set screws.  I have a stainless retention collar I will use to keep the rotor compressed on the bellows while this work occurs.

Anyway, how have others done alignment in the water with a PSS shaft seal?  Is there a specific process?  My apologies in advance if I'm completely missing something, as I've never attempted engine alignment before, let alone with a PSS shaft seal.

Because I decided to upgrade my drive train with a new stuffing box instead of going to a PSS-type shaft seal, I need to decide on the packing material.  Given the points made by Maine Sail about ABYC and prop shaft manufacturers advising against graphite impregnated packing material (e.g., GFO, GTU), what do other owners recommend?

I'm leaning towards the Tefpack product from Western Pacific vs. PTFE impregnated flax.  Your thoughts appreciated!

In preparation for (1) new SS "A-19" shaft, (2) new split coupling, (3) new cutless bearing, and (4) new stuffing box, I hauled out and removed the old versions of the above.  I didn't bother trying to uncouple the old bronze staft from the old coupler, and just cut it with a hack saw flush with the coupler.

I had already removed the cutless bearing by pressing it out with Dan's tool.  Based on the many, many prior posts on the subject, I lubed the old shaft and managed to pull it past the starboard side of my newer elliptical rudder.  (The prior owner replaced the original Mark I rudder with an elliptical rudder after a "sailing by braille" incident.)  Though successful, it was "very" tight.  I cut the the shaft at the coupling in order to to gauge difficulty of re-installing the new SS shaft which is now being made.  Getting the old shaft out revealed it "rode" on the front left side of the strut opening while I pulled it past the rudder.

My question is:  given that (1) I'm spending to put in a new "true" shaft, and (2) having read at least one post by Maine Sail about the possibility of messing up the trueness of the new shaft by re-installing by pushing it past the rudder, back through the strut, and back into the shaft log--should I really just drop the rudder to put in the new shaft?  Or, are others who have re-installed a stainless shaft (by pushing it past the rudder) convinced it has not affected trueness of the new shaft?   

I ask, because I am working alone in a yard some distance from my house, and it will definitely increase the time to re-install the prop shaft.  I would have to go into my aft lazarette, tear out the propane locker and shelf, etc..

Many thanks,

After a lot of thinking and reading, I'm leaning toward purchasing two Firefly Oasis batteries for my house bank. Would like to do the upgrade work in December and January, and I'm trying to figure out what else I'll need to make the upgrade.   I pretty much have the OEM electrical system on my 1990 C34.  This includes:

1. Internally regulated Prestolite 51 Amp alternator;

2. Two group 24 deep cycle Interstate batteries;

3.  Original Newmar charger;

4.  Charging via alternator goes through the selector switch on the panel, then to the batteries.

I don't have a lot of electrical demand.  As yet, no refrigeration, but I'm thinking of going with an Engel portable fridge/freezer strapped to the bench seat in the aft cabin.  It would replace the Igloo Cooler already there which I use when cruising for a couple of weeks in the summer.  Other than that, no windlass, no radar, and all interior lights and anchor light have been switched to LED bulbs.  I usually use the ancient ST 4000 wheel pilot (still works!) only when motoring. I have the original B&G Focus depth sounder, but am happy to use the handheld Garmin 78 for just about everything else.

So, the reason for the switch to the Firefly batteries is more usable amps, their ability to function in a state of deeper discharge, and the increased number of charge cycles.  No electrolyte monitoring, no need to carry the distilled water or measure specific gravity, no need for battery boxes, and fewer concerns about heeling.  And I know this comes with the need for a lot of other new equipment and upgrades in order to carefully charge the new Firefly AGMs.

Based on what I've read, I need (at a minimum):

1.  A new alternator wired for external regulation (small frame to fit on my M25xp);

2.  a new external regulator which may need to be programmable to make sure the Fireflies get what they need from the alternator;

3.  a new AC battery charger;

4.  a new Battery monitor (Victron ?).

5.  assorted battery cables, wires, and fuses.

So, I would appreciate any advice (or cautions) on filling out the equipment list above--or suggested additions to it.  I would like to support Mainesail with my purchase dollars.  Eventually, I would like to add about 200 watts of solar too. 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


Main Message Board / Dripless: Is it all that?
October 20, 2020, 11:38:45 AM
Considering a dripless shaft seal to replace the stuffing box.  In my case would also mean changing the prop shaft (I have original bronze), and while I'm at it maybe a flexible coupler.  My shaft is 30 years old, and the stuffing box looks pretty old too.  Either way, I'm going to have to haul the boat just to replace the hose, clamps, etc for the new stuffing box.

Looking for feedback from those who have made the switch.  I have heard different sides, but not from other C34 owners.  I've heard everything from life changing praise, to not quite as "dripless" as advertised, to safety arguments for retaining the traditional stuffing box.


Main Message Board / New Dinghy feedback requested
August 22, 2020, 06:53:25 AM
I have been using a Westmarine rollup (RU 260) with a Tohatsu 3.5 (2 stroke, 29 lbs) with good results for the past several years.  It is about the lightest weight set-up available, everything breaks down pretty easily, and it has been perfect for moving around two people from ship to shore.

This year, however, i have some captained charters I'm offering in the San Juan Islands and I need to be able to move 3 people at a time. For a lot of reasons, I want to go to a RIB--understanding well the weight penalty.  I managed to find a Tohatsu 5hp, 2 stroke with about 5 hours on it, and weighing in at about 42 lbs.  So that is what I'm going to use to push the new dinghy, and I can heft that on/off the dinghy from my swim step.  After looking at some helpful posts on this forum--though dated--I also ordered a Westmarine 260 RIB, FRP hull, with a 1000 lb payload.  But it does weigh in at (gulp) 115 lbs.  Going up a size (10') moves the weight up even higher, and makes the prospect of getting it inverted on the foredeck more difficult.

My biggest priorities are durability, getting people safely from ship to shore, and price point.  I'm not taking the boat to the tropics, so I'm not as concerned with paying the premium for Hypalon tube material. I'm also only going to use it a few months out of the year, and store it in my garage when not in use.

Although i ordered my dinghy last week, I'm not sure it is going to be here when promised (9/5).  I found good prices locally on the Zodiac 270 and 300 Aluminum RIBs with PVC tubes, and they can be picked up tomorrow for $600 and $800 more than I'm paying for the Westmarine FRP 260 RIB.  They also only weigh 82 and 95 lbs, respectively.

Looking for feedback based on experience with these models.  I don't mind paying a little more for better boat, but I don't know anyone who has purchased an aluminum RIB, or the potential drawbacks of doing so.  Our beaches up here can be cobbly.


Main Message Board / Sealing Mast Partners
June 27, 2020, 09:00:43 AM
I have purchased some new flexible "mast tape/wrap" to replace the more rigid "boot" which seals the opening where the mast penetrates the deck at the partners.  As designed, rainwater is able to follow the continuous sail slot below deck and leak on the floor boards below.  At least on my boat, the rain doesn't follow the sail slot all the way to the bilge.  It wicks about 1-2" aft of the underside of the partners and then plops on the floorboards.

The more ideal solution would be to use a Spartite-type product to pour in the gap between the partners and the mast to seal the area from water intrusion.  But with a mast boot or the wrap I'm going to use, you're left with plugging the sail slot above deck where it meets the boot or tape or it will leak during every rain.

I'm trying not to overthink this.  But I'm wondering if there are preferred ways of plugging the sail slot above the boot/wrap to eliminate the leaks?

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

When I hauled out on Thursday, I was anxious to see what kind of scrape I put on the bottom of the keel last fall when I did a very slow "touch and go" on a rock.  Right after it happened, I sent a diver down to assess things and he was largely dismissive. Well it was definitely a gouge that needed some filling and epoxy.

While pressure washing, the keel otherwise looked great. No cracks in the hull/keel joint.  Everything looked tight.

When they went to block the boat in the yard, I specifically said to the lift operator to make sure the keel wasn't supported/blocked too far aft.  I recall reading that this can lead to cracks developing in the hull/keel joint.  So I specifically asked if the placement of the blocking--aft of where the gouge was on the bottom leading edge--was sufficient to support the keel while allowing access for the repair.  "No problem."

30 minutes later I was taping up the waterline when I noticed 3 cracks:  (1) Forward/leading edge where the hull meets the keel (above the hull/keel joint (one inch), (2) at the forward end of the hull/keel joint (about 6 inches long), and (3) at the aft end of the keel where it meets the hull (one inch).

I immediately had them come over and re-block the boat.  By this time I had a pretty foul mouth.  To their credit, they owned it and said they would take take of it.  They put me in touch with a local keel repair guy who had the following recommendations:

1.  grind out the cracks

2.  check the keel bolts for tightness and applicable torque values

3.  apply West System or "G Flex" resin and biaxial cloth to the cracked areas, fair, sand, barrier coat and paint.

Anyone been through this and can comment?  He was ready to go today, but I told him to wait until I was able to educate myself a little but more on the long term performance of this proposed fix.  My call to another yard in the area essentially agreed with this proposed fix.

Would appreciate the input of any who have been down this road. I really don't want to haul out again in two and have new cracks--assuking no more "touch and gos."

Thanks in advance.

Main Message Board / Prop and cutless bearing
June 06, 2020, 12:02:37 PM
I'm hauled out right now and intending to do paint the prop (Pettit Barnacle Barrier) and replace the cutless bearing.  A couple of questions:

1.  Prop is off, and was secured with a bronze (?) castellated nut and cotter pin.  Is it normal to re-use these nuts but with a new cotter pin?

If so, how do you line up the hole in the nut and shaft for the new cotter pin?  Or would it be preferable to replace with a two nut (locking) system?

2.  Finally able to eyeball my strut and cutless bearing.  I appear to have two set screws in the strut, one on each side.  For the life of me, with readers on, I was unable to tell what kind of screws these are.  Are the typically allen head screws?  If so, they look pretty worn.  Anyone try to source these for replacements? 

Anyone just press the new bearing in and forget about the set screws?

Thanks in advance.  This is all new stuff to me!

Main Message Board / New Lewmar 65 Installation
April 07, 2020, 08:22:25 AM
I ordered a new Lewmar 65 "Ocean" hatch.  The old one does not currently leak, but the lense has been rebedded and the original roll stop hinges were beyond salvage.

I searched the forum for any issues that may come up when replacing but didn't see a lot describing the replacement process.  Before I remove the old hatch and create a large-ish hole in my deck, I was wondering if anyone has done this and knows of any issues I need to prepare for.

Given the propensity of Lewmar lenses to craze, I'm also wondering if anyone has installed an Outland hatch cover on their 65 hatch?  I contacted Outland and they have been very responsive and look to offer a great solution to the UV exposure.  Quote is $70 + shipping.

It is astonishing to see the difference in crazing between the Bomar midship hatch and the Lewmar hatches/ports.  After 30 years, the Bomar has almost no crazing.

Thanks in advance,

Main Message Board / Composting head
February 11, 2020, 09:08:50 AM
I know the conversion has been done by some C-34 owners.  The entire area where I sail--Puget Sound and San Juan Islands--is a no-discharge zone.  Pump-out stations are not ubiquitous, and I don't enjoy the process.  My OEM holding tank has limited capacity (a few days when I'm cruising) and the space it takes up could be better used for other things.  For every unit of waste liquid I manually flush, I've got to be adding at at least 5-6 units of salt water to sit in that tank and sail it around until I find a pump-out.

Who has made the conversion?  Are you happy with the decision?

Who has thought about it and decided against it, and why?

I'm close to pulling the trigger, but wanted to check with our learned members first.

Thanks as always,

I started going after some changes I have wanted to make in the galley.  I removed the old water heater, tore out the sink, and removed the countertop.  I removed the drawer under the sink and (like Stu) mounted it underneath the existing drawer in the V-berth.  Perfect fit.  I also enlarged the opening where the drawer was, and had a double door made for that area--much like the Mark IIs have.

Basically, I want a single bowl sink and more access underneath to fix plumbing, put in a fresh water filtration system, and put cleaning supplies.  (I'm going to put a new water heater in the bottom of the wet locker between the nav station and head.)

My question is what to do with the ice box space.  I don't have refrigeration right now, and I don't think I want to install the traditional cold plate/compressor system. I like the idea of an Engel, both for power consumption and portability.  I don't think there is an Engel unit I can pop into the space of the old cooler, at least not unless I move the upper cabinets and enlarge the cooler opening.  So my questions:

1.  Anyone tear out the ice box and build in some sort of storage?

2.  How hard was it?  It looks like basic sawing and extraction, with a lot of foam.

3.  Anyone try to put a "drop in" cooler unit into that space?  If so, what did you ultimately choose?

Thank in advance for your replies.  I really saved a lot of time by reading the tech wiki and Captain Al's step by step guide to removing the countertop--super helpful. Its in my garage! 

Time for new sails, and my head is spinning a little after wading into this topic online.  I just replaced my furler with a new Harken, and after a consultation with my rigger determined it is also time for new sails.  The primary need is a new furling genoa, to be followed by a new main. 

I favor going to my local loft(s) for sails, even though I have purchased a Rolly Tasker (National) main for a prior boat which I found very well made. My C34 came with a spare UK roller furling genoa in a bag which I suspect was purchased from Catalina or Catalina Direct. Although in decent shape, the UV ''dacron" cover is toast and the leech tabling is well worn with the leech cord visible in several spots.  It looks a lot like the Ullmans sold on CD.  Because of my decision to raise the new furler up off the deck using long link plates, it really isn't economical to both (1) re-cut it, and (2) replace the UV cover.  I'll definitely go with a better made genoa, with a real Sunbrella UV cover.

The two local lofts I prefer gave me quotes for an "offshore" quality furling genoa:  crosscut, using Marblehead dacron, Sunbrella UV cover with Tenara thread, foam luff, and reinforcements in the right places (double taped edges, leather reinforced clew, etc..)  I'm also getting quotes for a tri-radial genoa using Warp drive cloth.

To my surprise, each loft outsources to Durtek (Quantum) in Sri Lanka, and each likes the work that Durtek does in manufacturing sails.  This would seem to provide the benefits of offshore pricing with the measurement/follow-up/repair/quality assurance of a local loft.  My questions for the learned panel:

1. Anyone had direct experience with a sail built by Durtek?

2. If so, were you pleased with the quality?  Was it the "offshore"-level sail or other?

3. Anyone ordered sails from National/Rolly Tasker recently?  What was your experience?  Its been about 8 years since I ordered my last sail from them.

4. Anyone gone with Precision out of BC?  My understanding is that they build in China, and QC in Victoria BC.  Several of the popular sailing vlogs have used them and seem happy with the (sponsored) sails.  Your experience?

As always, thanks in advance for your responses.

Main Message Board / New Furler Recommendations
October 07, 2019, 03:14:46 PM
My original equipment Harken Mark 1 furler is ready for replacement.  I was able to get it through the charter season with the help of a new halyard restrainer, but it needs to be retired and there are some deals now on new furling units.  I'm not a racer anymore, and the boat is out a lot (sometimes 3X day in the summer) due to use as a charter boat. Like everyone else with a C34, I've got a 5/16" forestay and 5/8" pin.  I need reliability, easy maintenance, and cheap parts.  So far, my preferences (in order of most preferred) are:

1.  Harken Mark IV:  Lots of good experiences, and can't find any negative comments.  A little pricier, but not by much after I work my Fisheries Supply discount.  High marks for customer support and ease of maintenance with the torlon bearings.

2.  Hood 808 SL:  not much out there in the way of reviews, but what is there seems to be positive. The installation instructions are horrible, but I'm going to have a rigger help with installation.  Good sale price right now.

3.  Profurl C350:  My rigger likes this unit, but there seem to be a fair number of detractors. Criticisms include (1) stiffer rolling, (2) a luff groove which is tight for #6 luff tape-- but loose for #5, (3) sealed bearings on the drum which maybe aren't that sealed, and (4) expensive replacement parts.  That said, walking up and down the docks at my marina I see a higher proportion of Profurls than other brands.

4.  Alado:  I'm intrigued by these Brazilian units due to the ability to easily install myself, cost, and simplicity to maintain.  They get very high reviews by owners.  But something about the design (internal jib halyard) makes me think these units won't reef as tightly and would give poorer sail shape on the luff.  Only saw one in my marina.

Crossed off:

1. Schaeffer:  looks robust, but I don't want stainless pop rivets holing the extruded foil sections together.  Some reported cases of the rivets working to cause the sections to mis-align resulting in raising/lowering problems.

2.  Facnor.  More mixed reviews that steered me away.

I would appreciate feedback by anyone who has direct experiences with any of my preferred choices (1-4).  I'll be pulling the trigger here soon.


Main Message Board / Noisy Partners
May 21, 2019, 05:50:24 PM
No not that kind!

Now that I have your attention, I had a rigger on my boat today to take a look at the rig and replace a problematic pin I noticed when I was aloft last week.  One of the things I wanted him to look at was the mast partners on my boat, and the fact that they make small "popping noises" when you walk around on deck in the vicinity, and also under sail sometimes when the sails are full.  I also had fore and aft wedges--very thin--fall out, leaving only the side wedges (thicker) in place.

After tuning the rig, the noises remained. There is daylight all around the mast within the partners, except for the wedges. He messed about with the turnbuckle below, which essentially holds down the deck in that area when you tighten the shrouds.  No relief.

He thinks the sound is the wedges themselves when greater force is applied through contact with the partners--whether due to someone on deck, or the rig loading up.  Coincidentally, today he worked on another Catalina 34 after my boat, same vintage, and it had the same exact issue!

Anyone dealt with this issue before?  Is there a recommended fix for eliminating this?  Spartite?  Other?

As always, interested to hear your responses.

Main Message Board / Aft Lazarette Wood Refinishing
April 27, 2019, 03:10:00 PM

Every time my wife goes down to the boat she looks at the wood under the helm seat and says:  "Thats got to be re-finished."  After working down the priority list of projects, I'm finally there.  Or maybe I'm there because she volunteered to do it this weekend...

For me refinishing exterior wood is kind of a fool's errand. Or maybe it was a conspiracy between the boat manufacturers and the marine paint/finish industry.  Anyway, the wood under the helm seat on my boat looks like some poor former attempts with Cetol.  Then there is a poor attempt at running silicone caulk along the top edge, I guess to prevent water leaking down between the seat and the wood trim. Didn't work.  After taking a look, I found the trim is screwed on from the back--through the aft locker lid.  "Great!"  I thought, I'll just remove it all, put a little marine tex over the (8!) holes, sand it, buff it, and never worry about refinishing that wood again.

Then I discovered why that trim piece is there:  To stiffen the very thin layup in the front of the lid. Back to refinishing.

In the process of scraping and sanding the trim pieces, I'm thinking the wood may be mahogany--not teak.

DOES ANYONE KNOW FOR SURE?  It will help me decide how to replace the center piece of trim, which is toast, and help inform the kind of finish I use going forward.



Main Message Board / Factory engine wiring questions
February 23, 2019, 04:42:16 PM
I have a 1990 C34 1.25.  I am putting my engine back together after making many of the suggested upgrades. Full disclosure:  I have a poor understanding--but getting better-- of all things electrical in my boat.

When hooking up the new harness, I note that I have two "4 AWG" positives coming off the "C" post of the battery selector switch and running to my engine compartment.

One of the 4 awg wires looks to be bundled with the two positive cables running from the selector switch (1 and 2) to the two batteries in the battery compartment.  It runs from the selector switch down under the macerator pump, takes a hard turn aft through conduit into the compartment under the head sink, and then goes around to the back side of the engine before ultimately attaching to the starter post. A negative follows the same path, and was bolted to the bell housing.

The second 4 awg wire runs from the "C" post down by the macerator and then out into the central bilge area.  From there it joins a negative wire in some clear tubing/housing and pops up in the floor of the engine compartment-roughly under the alternator.  This positive wire is also connected to the starter, but the negative was originally connected to the "-" on the starter--not the bell housing.

As some of you know, I am staying with a small 51 amp alternator, internally regulated, for a while before doing a larger battery bank upgrade in a few years.  I'm trying to figure out why I have two 4awg positives, and two 4awg negatives coming into the engine via different routes.  It would seem that a single 4awg positive and a single 4awg negative would handle it--No?

My new internally regulated alternator, with the AO and remote sense wires will run to the solenoid post, and should charge the batteries back through one of the 4awg positives to the "C" post on the selector switch, correct?

Or do I need to keep both of those 4 gauge positive wires connected to the starter?

If not, was the intent that one of the 4awg positives (the one running under the floor/bilge area) could/would be used for the AO to go directly to the batteries if the owner later upgraded?

If so, can I use that positive for that purpose when I upgrade my battery bank in a couple of years, and also upgrade to an externally regulated alternator?  Or is the 4awg too small for that purpose, and I should really be going to a 2awg for the AO when I upgrade later?

Thank you in advance!  I appreciate any enlightenment you can provide.

My apologies in advance for the simplicity of this question, but I can't locate the answer from any wiring diagrams i've seen.

I have the M25xp engine, circa 1990, and am replacing the engine panel and wiring harness (both from CD).  I tossed the terminal strip and butt connected the harness to the new panel wires with marine heat shrink connectors.  I have suspended and secured the harness so that the weight of the harness is is supported--not by the butt connectors--but by securing the harness to the aft panel of the port lazarette.

My fuel pump is activated by a separate red wire which runs from the ignition switch on the panel.  I know because I removed it from the old panel.  And that's my problem because I don't remember which post I removed it from on the old ignition switch. Doh!

The switch on the new CD panel--like the old one-- has "on" and a "momentary" key positions, the latter which you hold to heat the glow plugs.  The "on" looks to be fed by the #10 "panel feed" wire off the solenoid "+".   The "momentary" looks to be fed by a white #10 which goes to the glow plugs.

Is the red wire to the fuel pump supposed to attach to the post on the ignition switch with the red wire (on), or the post with the white wire (momentary)?  My thought is to the same as the "red" (on) because that would mean it runs any time the panel is (1) "on" or (2) when engine is running.  If connected to the white (momentary) then the fuel pump would only pump if I was trying to preheat glow plugs.  But alas, my thoughts when it comes to things electrical are often "off."

Thanks in advance for your replies.


Hello to all, and my apologies for the lengthy preamble to this request for input.

I recently became the owner of a 1990 Mark 1.25.  When purchased, it was in largely "stock," unmolested, condition including:

--two group 24 flooded lead-acid batteries
--original (and dangerous) engine harness with trailer connectors.
--original instrument panel in the cockpit
--Prestolite 51 amp alternator
--autohelm st4000 autopilot
--no refrigeration
--battery charging from the alternator via the 1-2-both switch on the panel.

My intent is to slowly upgrade the boat as the budget allows.  I live in the Pacific Northwest, and cruised this past summer for two weeks straight without any issues.  Longest time away from shore power was 4 nights.

Because of my lack of experience with inboards, electrical demands, and bigger boats, one of the first things I did (8 months ago) was purchase two new Group 24 batteries with 85 amp hours each.  (I know, I know, dumb)  This was a (more or less) direct replacement of what was there when I bought the boat, and it seemed to work fine for the sailing and cruising I did this past summer.

I also started to address some of the other priorities set forth by the surveyor.  I have purchased a new exhaust riser, exhaust flange, heat exchanger, engine soundproofing, engine panel and wiring harness, hoses, raw water strainer, and raw water pump.  To get the exhaust riser out, I had to cut it off near the flange on the exhaust manifold, take the manifold off, and then work for days to separate the flange from the manifold.  Eventually I succeeded.  Many thanks to the contributors on this forum to help me understand how to attack these things!

Which gets me to the present issue before I start putting everything back together:

I had to take the original alternator off to get to the rest of it.  When I did, it leaked oil.  I took it into an alternator shop which deals with Leece-Neville alternators, and the tech opined that it was not cost effective to rebuild.  It is also 28 years old.  Which raises the issue of the type of replacement.

After all the expenses recently made, the budget is not equipped to handle a serious upgrade to the battery bank, high output alternator, new pulleys and belts, external regulation, refrigeration, etc.. I would like to get a few more years out of the present configuration, which assumes the new alternator charging the "smallish" battery bank by installing a larger output wire (e.g. 8 awg-or larger) to the positive post of the starter as recommended by others.  And I would like to buy a replacement alternator to accomplish this goal until I'm ready to spend more money on a more comprehensive electrical upgrade.

My attempts at researching this suggest the following which, admittedly, may be ill-informed:

1. Sizing the new alternator depends on (1) the size of the existing battery bank and (2) the footprint of the old alternator.

2.  For lead-acid batteries, a rule of thumb is to size the alternator output at 25% of the battery capacity.  For me, this is only 170 amp hours.

3.  Prestolite/Leece Neville manufactured several internally regulated alternators which allegedly fit in the "footprint" of the original alternator.  These are a 51 amp model, a 72 amp model, and 90 amp model.  The 51 amp model I can't find anywhere.  The 72 amp (8MR2058PA) and 90 amp (8MR2069TA) models are still available.  These can be had for <$200 each.

My questions for those experienced in these things, and given my desire to tackle a more comprehensive battery/electrical upgrade later:

1.  Do I risk any harm to my electrical system or batteries by replacing my existing 51 amp alternator with another internally regulated 72 amp (or 90 amp) replacement from Prestolite?

2.  If so, what is the expected harm?

3.  Would a switch to either of these higher output alternators require upsizing wires?  I have the 4awg positive and ground wires from the panel to the starter motor and engine block, respectively.  How about the AO wire to the starter?

4.  Leece-Neville also makes other 51 amp and 65 amp (8MR) small frame alternators, although they have different dimensions (deeper and three mounting holes along the top).  Anyone have experience trying to fit these into the M25XP alternator bracket?

5.  Given your experience, what would you do in my situation?

Thanks in advance for your replies.  I really appreciate the depth of knowledge and willingness to share found here!