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Topics - KeelsonGraham

Main Message Board / Replacing HX End Caps
March 17, 2024, 03:18:02 AM
I'm refitting the HX this week and wondering if I should use anything to help seat the new rubber washers on the HX end caps. Do they need any kind of sealing/gasket compound, or do they seal up OK just by themselves?
Main Message Board / Lithium Install on a MkII
February 25, 2024, 03:47:08 PM
Has anyone here done a lithium installation on a Mk II?

I'd like to do a complete Victron set up with 2 x 200ah batteries, smart BMS, Phoenix 12/2000 inverter and a smart charger, but I'm struggling to think of spaces for fitting all the different components. The batteries wouldn't be a problem, but the inverter is a big beast.
Main Message Board / Snappy New Message Board
February 08, 2024, 11:40:55 AM

Love the new look well done. But the Catalina logo picture is a mess. If a mod wants to contact me, I'd be happy to do a better one.
Main Message Board / Reassembly of Cooling System
February 01, 2024, 05:30:14 AM
Hi all,

I'm about to start reassembling my cooling system with a new pump and new hoses. I have a couple of questions.

When screwing in the old hose elbow joints to the new pump I plan to use just PTFE tape. Should I also use a thread lock solution?

When attaching new hoses is it best to grease the nipples with silicone or vaseline or some such, or should I just push them on dry?

Many thanks
Main Message Board / When Ignorance ISN'T Bliss
September 16, 2023, 12:57:27 PM
Because I have ongoing engine overheating problems, any post on here about the cooling system attracts my attention. So, when Ron recently posted a thread about rebuilding the Sherwood pump I asked him what prompted him to do it. 'Water dripping from the pump' was his reply. And with these few words, down the rabbit hole I went.

No sign of water weeping from my pump so initially I was happy - except I couldn't see any weep holes. In fact, before Ron's post I wasn't even aware that there was such a thing as weep holes and that you should check for water drips. A while later after reading loads of stuff I realised that my pump sure does have weep holes and, on closer inspection, there they were - completely gunked up with rusty crud so you couldn't see them.

So, now I know that water weeps are a BAD thing I thought I better take off the impeller housing check that all looked OK. It did. As expected I couldn't turn the pump shaft because it is, of course, keyed to the camshaft. But I did notice that it could turn through about 15 degrees. This niggled me a bit. I was about to close up everything when I thought again. Surely as much as 15 degrees of play shouldn't be expected with this design. So off came the pump (which as far as I know has never seized up - even momentarily) and this is what I found.

I reckon that it hasn't got too long before the entire end of the camshaft shears off. What puzzles me is how this can happen with a pump that hasn't seized. Resonance of some kind within the pump due to excessive wear of th ceramic plates? I'm just guessing but it could be anything considering that its OEM (17 years old).

Also, from the damage, it looks as if the pump drive has never fully engaged in the slot. I can't understand how this could be.

Now I'm busy researching camshaft costs and replacement. Folks on the C36 forum seem to think it can be done without taking the engine out. Hmm.
Main Message Board / Exhaust Riser or Elbow?
September 12, 2023, 12:49:55 AM
Hi all,

Sorry, another newbie type question. Is what Catalina Direct calls an 'exhaust riser' the equivalent of an 'exhaust elbow'?

Main Message Board / Routing Cables in Cabin Roof
August 03, 2023, 12:13:08 AM
Hi all. I recently did a temporary install of a Renogy 175w panel to see if it would be any good. Turns out that it's absolutely excellent. 99% charge remaining after an 8-hour sail using autopilot!

On the temporary install I simply dropped the panel cables through the hatch on the heads and then down via the waste bucket opening.

Obviously this is a kludge, so now I want to do something neat and permanent. Ideally, I'd like to pot a hole somewhere under the sprayhood to make a thru-deck electrical connection but without any kind of headlining on the Mk II I've no idea how I can then invisibly feed the cable through the roof structure and then down.

Obviously there's must be some way to do this, otherwise all the cabin lighting wiring would be visible. But I can't for the life of me figure out how this is done.

Any ideas?

Hi all,

My engine temperature gage has stopped working. I'll shortly run through all the tests for the gage itself and the sender. However, in the event that the gage itself is faulty, does anyone know where I might be able to buy a replacement Teleflex one? Catalina Direct don't have them in stock due to 'supply issues' and I can't see the same type listed on the West Marine website.

Alternatively, is there such a thing as a Seatalk NG compatible sender for the M35?
Main Message Board / Low Volts Alarm
May 31, 2023, 09:44:58 AM
A strange one. I have a set of 4 lead acid golf cart batteries paralleled to give me about 360 ah at 12v. A couple of weeks ago the low volt alarm sounded on my Victron battery monitor, even though the calculated charge capacity was showing 97%. The boat's voltmeters were showing in the yellow range.

The batteries are less than a year old and I've never let the electrolyte levels fall.

Any ideas?

Hi all, thanks to everyone who helped me with my cooling issues. I flushed the HX, filled the header tank to the correct mark and burped the engine. But now I'm puzzling about what should be a normal operating temperature. At 1500 RPM the indicator reads a needle's width past the central vertical mark. At 1800 RPM the indicator reads a needle's width under 180 degrees, is this about right or too hot for a Universal M35?

Second question. I've taken much time and trouble to buy a correctly sized alternator belt, make sure it's aligned on the pulleys and tensioned correctly. But the darn thing will start slipping after a few hours. I really don't get this. The belts on my car go for thousands of hours without needing any attention, so why can't the boat belt do the same?
I can't get over just how poor quality are the cabinet latches sold by Catalina Direct. Of the four new ones I bought from them, two are completely unusable because the adjusting bolts don't screw in or out. A third fitted OK but lasted about 2 months before the pathetic dab of glue that holds the front piece on broke off.

Are there any decent alternatives to these expensive, useless items?
Hi all,

I'm trying to get sufficient access to the HX on my Mk II to replace the end seals.
This is almost impossible without removing the whole engine cover in the aft cabin.
I can't figure out how to do this. For example, where are the fixings holding it in place and how do you get it out with such limited headroom.

If anyone knows the magic solution please help!
Main Message Board / Voids in the Skeg
February 14, 2023, 08:06:02 AM
Hi All,

I recently had the hull blasted and then sanded in preparation for a coating of Coppercoat. The hull is in really good shape, but the skeg had a number of small voids and one larger one.

What causes these voids, and are voids in the skeg a common problem with C34s?
Main Message Board / I’ve Crimped My Last
February 05, 2023, 12:49:52 PM
I recently discovered Wago in-line connectors. They're absolutely amazing. Just flick the lever and you wire is held vise-like.

No more weak or failed crimps for me. From now on my boat is a Wago boat!

OK, this is going to sound really dumb to you experienced old hands, but how do you top up the fresh water coolant on an M35? Via the header tank, or via the water cap on the engine?

And now I really, really want a 425.
Main Message Board / Hull Area Below the Waterline?
December 29, 2022, 06:01:03 AM
Does anyone know the approximate wetted area of the hull? I'm trying to figure out how much epoxy and antifoul I need to buy!
Main Message Board / Leaky cockpit locker hatches
October 16, 2022, 02:44:59 AM
Hi all. My cockpit locker hatches leak terribly, so that there's always water in the bilge after rain. What's the best way to seal them? No, not duck tape!
Main Message Board / Impeller Install
July 28, 2022, 01:20:48 AM
Sorry, dumb newbie question.

Does it matter which way you bend the impeller blades when reinstalling? Will they take up the correct bend as soon as you run the engine without damaging themselves? Or is it critical to bend them in the correct orientation when fitting?
Main Message Board / Sooty Intake Manifold on M35B
July 23, 2022, 12:40:16 AM
Recently, after taking off the air filter to clean it, I ran my finger around the inside of the manifold and picked up a very thin film of oily soot. I'm experienced with auto petrol engines - not with diesels, but I assume this is abnormal?

The engine starts immediately first time, every time and runs sweetly (albeit a little hot) so I'm reluctant to fix it if it ain't broke.

I assume this could be due to back flow from one or more inlet valves, either because the tappet clearance is too small or because a valve isn't seating correctly?.

Has anyone else seen this?
Main Message Board / V-Belt
July 12, 2022, 02:59:22 PM
Apologies, I'm posting a lot of questions at the moment and imposing on your good will.

By way of context, I've just done a 1100 mile trip to Spain and back across Biscay. In all that time at sea it wasn't navigation, weather or sailing that worried me - it was system health. This prompted by autopilot failure, a v-belt which was rapidly converting itself to dust and vibration from the engine/transmission! So, since getting back I'm firmly focussed on technical stuff!

So, to my next question. I'm trying to replace the v-belt with a new one which nominally has exactly the same (99cm) external circumference. The old (knackered) belt slips off easily. The new one I haven't yet got it on because it would require very considerable force with a lever or two to get it over the rim of the sheeve.

So, my first question is whether this is normal, or should a new belt just slip on relatively easily?

Second question, on measuring the old belt it appears to have an outside circumference of 101cm. This is way longer than the 99cm nominal specification of the belt. Do belts really stretch this much?

The manual for my Universal M35 says to take off the entire water pump to replace the impeller. But looking at their diagram, I can't see why you can't just remove the impeller cover and replace the impeller without taking the whole sheboodle off the engine.

There must be a good reason for doing it the recommended way, but I can't figure it out. What am I missing?
Main Message Board / Adding a Roller Reefing Cleat
June 07, 2022, 11:54:09 AM
Hi guys,

I want to mount an additional cleat on the port side, above the cockpit locker. This is to secure the roller reefing line because I just don't trust the existing cam cleat in hard weather with the foresail well reefed.

I have a couple of questions!

What should I use to bed the cleat to the deck? Some kind of silicone?
On the underside, I'm debating whether to use a glassfiber backing plate or just penny washers. This cleat isn't going to be taking huge loads, so I'm thinking that a full-blown backing plate would be overkill.

Any thoughts or suggestions?


Hi to all you guys who have successfully completed a below decks autopilot install.

The Edson tiller arm comes in two lengths, 10" or 15". Which is best for a MkII? I'm guessing the shorter one??
Main Message Board / Restoring Washboards
April 04, 2022, 11:35:18 AM
My washboards look absolutely terrible. I was going to sand and varnish them but I think they may be teak. If so, then I understand that teak doesn't take varnish well because its oily. I'd really like to do something to improve their look.

Any suggestions from all you master craftsmen?

Hi all,

I need to take out the rear water tank temporarily to do some work in that area. I see that it's currently secured using soldered metal bands - a la crate packing.

What's the best alternative to these for re-securing the tank??
Hi all,

My Victron BV702 is showing - 2a with the engine at 1200 RPM. Looking in the engine bay there's a brown wire from the alternator connected to nothing. I'm guessing this might be the issue, but I can't see anywhere obvious that it's come off. If anyone has a similar arrangement to mine (photo attached) could they please tell me where to look! Many thanks. KG.
Main Message Board / Well…this is embarrassing
February 15, 2022, 10:35:56 AM
I've owned my Cat MkII for 6 months. Last week I went to run the engine at higher than idle RPM but couldn't for the life of me figure out how to increase RPM while in neutral. Every other boat I've sailed has a button on the lever which you press in to disengage the transmission. But, on my boat, nada. Just a black plastic disc which budges not a milimetre when I press it.

What am I missing????
Main Message Board / Beating Upwind
February 09, 2022, 01:19:59 PM
Hi all,

Another question to keep the experts thinking during these dull, dark pre season evenings!

I'm crossing Biscay this summer (downwind sailing). The return journey looks like its going to be 6 days of beating to windward. So, can anyone recommend a good furling jib for this task. My big fat billowy genoa is probably going to be almost useless.

Hi all,

I've been aware of a slightly wet bilge ever since I bought my Cat Mk II last August. I had assumed it was water from a dripping stern gland - at least that's what the surveyor told me it was.

Now, I'm certain that there is a small weep from the port side aft bolt. About 2 pints per month.

There's not the slightest sign of cracking, or a Catalina smile on the hull keel interface.

I'm assuming therefore that this isn't an immediate safety issue. Is that correct?

I haven't yet checked the torque settings. - still looking for an extra long socket.
OK, so now I'm going to have to reveal what a total greenhorn I am when it comes to boat ownership!

I have to take the genoa off before the boat is lifted next month. I have no idea how to do this!

I have Schaefer 2100 roller reefing system. After unfurling the genoa do I simply disconnect the foot, release the halyard and pull the sail down and out of the slot?? Or is there more to it than that?

Also, how do I do this in anything other than a flat calm (unlikely in the UK within the time available).
Main Message Board / Any idea what this might be?
October 21, 2021, 10:21:01 AM
I was going over some photos I recently took and noticed the frayed remains of a wire shackled to the rudder quadrant. Presumably it was installed by the PO rather than being an OEM item.

I've no idea what it is for. Maybe a broken rudder travel limiter???
Main Message Board / Hydrovane - Who Has One?
October 01, 2021, 12:47:11 PM
There's a picture of a C34 MkII with a a Hydrovane fitted on Hydrovane's website. So I know it can be done. Does anyone here have one fitted? If so, what's your opinion of it?

I'm looking for something with its own rudder to act as a back up. Hydrovane looks rock solid but heavy!
Main Message Board / Long Passage Capacity Limits
September 13, 2021, 08:24:58 AM
Hi all,

I'm trying to asses how viable it would be to do the ARC Atlantic in my C34 Mk II. I've made my peace with all the issues discussed around ocean sailing on this forum. This is a low latitude trade wind route so I think the risk factor is reasonably low.

However, what I'm REALLY struggling with is the European CE rating plate on the boat. This sets the maximum payload at 850 kg. I can't for the life of me see how I can plan for 25 days at sea with a weight limit of only 850 kg. Diesel, water, food and 3 crew alone brings this up to 900 kg.

None of the big passage making threads on this forum seem to mention weight limits and whether it's safe to exceed them.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Main Message Board / Newbie Electrical Question
September 06, 2021, 05:22:18 AM
Apologies for asking such a dumb newbie question. I've searched the technical wiki and can't find the answer, probably because it's too basic.

Looking behind the electrical panel I see two rows of connections attached to the hull which I assume form a common (negative) busbar?

So, is there also somewhere a common positive busbar?? In aviation parlance a 'DC busbar'. Presumably not every CB on the panel is connected directly to a battery terminal??
Hi All,

I was pondering the default windlass arrangements on my new-to-me C34, L A Lady.

It strikes me as really dangerous to have my little pinkies so close to a running anchor chain. Especially as the clutch release method apparently sometimes results in a rapid anchor drop.

I noticed in other posts here that I'm not the only one who thinks this isn't safe. So, I plan to install a remote switch. My question is, do I need to fork out for the $130 Maxwell reversing solenoid, or will any old reversing solenoid designed for windlass size current draws be OK?
Hi all,

I'm upgrading my radar from an 18" Furuno to an 18" Raymarine Quantum. My fitting guy has a spare Raymarine mast mount and proposes taking the old Furuno one off and attaching the Raymarine one.

I'm concerned that another entire set of holes in about the same place on the mast is going to make it look like a gruyere cheese and compromise the structural strength of the mast.

Am I worrying unnecessarily?

Main Message Board / Hello Everyone! Joined The Club!
August 03, 2021, 12:16:10 PM
Hi All,

Greetings from England! We're hoping to become owners of a pre-loved 2006 Catalina 34 Mk2 very soon. She looks great and has obviously been well looked after. She comes with Leisurefurl in-boom furling and a bow thruster. However, here's a small amount of rusty water in the bilge which I'm hoping won't be a sign of anything serious.

I've been lurking for a while reading everything I can but I'm still not completely sure what Catalina-specific items I should point our surveyor at.

The forum's Critical Upgrades seem to apply to older boats. The 'smile' is obviously a check item, but what else should I specifically look for?

Thank you,