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Messages - markr

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Catalina 34s for Sale / 1989 C34 MkI for sale San Diego
« on: November 02, 2011, 03:43:25 PM »
Hi All, regretfully my C34 MKI "Eagle" is for sale in San Diego. Currently listed at $46,000, been on the market for a couple of weeks now. I had to move to the East Coast and was unable to move her across country. I had done a lot of work on her, a lot of stuff from the projects on this site, and there are some good features and extras on board (such as a raymarine below decks autopilot fully installed and networked to the chart plotter, including the necessary quadrant tiller arm...). She is listed for sale with South Coast Yachts ( in San Diego. Thanks.

Main Message Board / Re: 1-2-B switch + alternator diodes
« on: August 23, 2010, 04:53:38 PM »
I asked the question to Catalina, about my 1987 which still has the original electric panel and battery selector switch. This was the response:

"The battery selector switch is a "make before break" switch, so you can switch from 1 to both to 2 without any problems.  Typically we use "break before make" switch for switching between shore power and generators as you can have phase issues with the AC systems.  I hope this helps."

I have not had any particular work done on my boat that would have changed this arrangement. The PO was the original owner and had left the boat pretty much as delivered to him.

I hope this helps?

Main Message Board / Re: 1-2-B switch + alternator diodes
« on: August 11, 2010, 02:32:27 PM »
Thanks Steve - you put your head above the parapet, now we are both in for it! LOL! :D

Main Message Board / 1-2-B switch + alternator diodes
« on: August 11, 2010, 01:37:32 PM »
Hi All,
I was reviewing some posts and became confused, so I had to ask the question:
I always understood that it was ok, with the engine running, to turn the 1-2-B switch between these positions, so long as it was not ever turned to OFF with the engine running. Turning to OFF risked frying the diodes in the alternator. To me, that is conventional wisdom. How else would you use your engine battery to start the engine then switch it over to charge one or both of your battery banks while motoring? I have now become confused because there seems to be some info out there about not changing the position at all of the switch once the engine is running. If this was the case, I would start the engine on ALL, leave it there until the engine went off, then switch to HOUSE. BUT: if I then run down the HOUSE, use ENGINE to start the engine, how would I then switch over the both to Charge HOUSE as I am motoring? Hmmmm

I realise that some owners have done an awful lot to their boats in terms of upgrades - echo chargers, whole changes to wiring and electical systems - which would be a better way of doing things (money,time notwithstanding). My '87 (#360) was pretty bare and original when I bought her and I am happy (budget and time allowing) to leave these basic systems in place. I don't intend on changing the 1-2-B system or the system of having simply house and engine bank (2 x 27's for house, 1 x 27 for engine, still working out where to out more house batteries when I can afford the money and time to install more).

So, what is the answer on turning the switch between 1-2-B when the engine is running? On the many other boats that I have sailed over the years, it has not been a problem do long as it was not turned to OFF. The electrical system on my boat is pretty much factory original, with the exception of the harness upgrades etc, but the 1-2-B system of charging the two banks is factory standard.

Main Message Board / Re: Fuel accident into bilge + solution
« on: August 10, 2010, 05:15:25 PM »
I forgot to mention the use of a whole tub of bilge cleaner and liberasl fresh water on the track of the spilt diesel once I had pumped the spilled diesel out of the bilge. This got rid of any diesel smell and removed any vestiges of it from the shelf under the tank and the inside of the hull/bilge. I was pouring on the bilge cleaner and hosing down the track of the fuel to get rid of it.

Main Message Board / Fuel accident into bilge + solution
« on: August 10, 2010, 05:12:06 PM »
I have just returned from 8 days at Catalina Island. Wonderful.
Problem: My confession is that, as part of preparation for the trip, I took the boat two days before to the fuel dock to fill up my 3/4 full tank. The next day, I was on the boat and wondered why it smelt of "glue". I checked the bilge and found it was full of fuel (heart attack moment). I cut the bilge pump wire and turned on the engine panel to see that my fuel tank was not full.
Took off the panel inside the aft cabin (port side) to gain access to the fuel tank. Saw that fuel was dripping out of the fuel hose at the point where it bends from the vertical to go into the side of the tank, towards the top of the tank. The hose had fatigued (probably original 1987) and had cracked on the lower part of the bend. Fuel had run out of the hose, under the tank on the shelf, down the side of the hull inside the cabinet under the basin in the head, and into the bilge. Luckily, only the amount at the top of the tank had run out and there was no evidence of it going overboard.
Solution: Bilge pump cut. Took off fuel hose at engine and turned on ignition - fuel pump pumped out fuel into bucket until drip stopped at pipe on fuel tank. kept this pumped diesel for re-use. Removed decayed fuel hose and replaced (took off engine panel to get to the attachment under the fill cap).
Replaced hose onto engine and put pumped fuel back in tank. Pumped the fuel out of the bilge using a manual pump into an old fuel container for disposal.
Moral: inspect and replace old fuel fill hoses! I had always assumed the only access was headfirst down into the aft lazarrette, but those panels in the aft cabin come off and give amazing access to the aft fuel and water tankage.
I get to know this old boat more and more, one issue after the other!

Main Message Board / Re: Tachometer Problems + Catalina Island
« on: August 10, 2010, 04:56:26 PM »
Well, I replaced the Tach and just came back from 8 days at Catalina Island. Lost the engine hours so will have to re-start and keep the old tach for proof! Everything works fine now. We were at Two Harbors for the Beneteau Rendezvous - what a great place! It's always great to see so many other C34's - at one point there were several of us in a row on the moorings. I would get about in the dinghy and chat to people more, if I did not have a two year old and one year old running about on the boat!
I saw a honda generator on the fordeck of a 34. Like the idea of that a lot! It would stop me running the engine twice a day to charge batteries and keep that TV/DVD running for the kids!

Main Message Board / Tachometer Problems
« on: July 17, 2010, 10:49:36 AM »
I have been having some problems with my tachometer on my 1987 MK1 (Hull# 360). I traced the root of the problem back to bad batteries - I was at sea over memorial weekend and noticed that there was a related problem with the tach dying and the alternator not charging the batteries. Long story short, I thought it was an electrical connection problem because it was intermittent and I seemed at one point to have fixed it. It then died. I had the altenator looked at since and it turns out the wires to the diodes had come off. I have now taken the opportunity to replace the 50 amp alternator with a 90 amp one. I also had a look at all my electrical connections including the engine start panel where the tach is and thought the problem was solved. The alternator charges the batteries now.

However, on start up the tach works, and can work for a long as 15 minutes before flickering and then not reading at all. Has anyone else experienced this? I had an electrician friend look at it and he sanded down all the conections on the back of the engine panel and greatly reduced a lot of the resistance across the instruments. There does not seem to be an obvious problem - perhaps apart from age! I see that I can replace the tach with one ordered from the Catalina Fordeck store for $120. However, can I reset the engine hours or do I have to sacrifice this and start over?

Advice welcome. Thanks.

Hi, my apologies, i haven't been on the site for a while....
So....the edson tiller arm/quadrant extension thingy points aft when the rudder is centered. It swings in an arc left and right of center aft of the rudder post.
When I put it on, I was concerned at clearance of the "collar' of the extension between the rudder post and the aft water tank, but it turned out not to be a problem. Catalina sent me some pictures of an installation on a MK11 where they had removed the water tank - but in this case the arm was going out to starboard of the rudder post and the sutopilot ram arm went aft and was attached below the MK11 swim step.
My installation is on a MK1, I should be clear about that. We removed the wooden cover on top of the quadrant and put in a new piece of wood that goes on top of the quadrant and extends out to the starboard hull, where it is glassed in. To the underside of this piece of wood is attached the motor/ram arm of the autopilot, screwed in to the underside of the wooden plank and attaching to the starboard side of the tiller extension thingy.
SO: tiller/quadrant extension attached to rudder post going aft, ram arm attached to end of quadrant extension going out right angles to starboard and attached under the piece of wood to starboard.
I will attempt to get some photos...I hope this makes sense.....?

Thanks for the tip.
 I am standing by ready to do the job. I accidentally bought access ports which require a 6.5" cutout, and of course they don't sell that size hole saw at home depot, so I have invested in an adjustable affair that I justify as useful for any other jobs that I do that need holes!
I have two access ports, two cleats, washers and a friend making me up some backing plates. Thanks for the tip on the bolts - I have two bolt holes on each cleat and I have bolts with nylock nuts and the bolt has a phillips head screwdriver slot on the top so it will probably, as you say, be easier to tighten from above while holding the nut in place with a wrench.
I have aluminum cleats> I was looking into this and sealing the aluminum from the stainless bolt to prevent corrosion, and it seem that if I just fill the cavity with silicon as part of the sealing process that will work - anyone any ideas on this?

Ok, thanks for that input - and the link to the photo was very useful. Beckson ports on both sides make a lot of sense.
Has anyone tried to install through the v-berth forward bulkhead, perhaps as part of a windlass install? Is it possible to reach up there? I am asking the lazy question to avoid disappointment before taking all the wood and the shelf out to have a look.
If I have to install the beckson ports, then I will - but I feel that if I could do the install perhaps from the v-berth without having to add extra ports, I would do so.
Do these ports have any use once the cleats are installed?

Main Message Board / Extra Bow Cleats - request for installation tips
« on: April 01, 2010, 04:25:09 PM »
I searched the tech wiki (yes, Stu, I did, I promise!) for stuff on installing additional bow cleats, port and starboard. I have the 87 MKI with the single cleat in the center. In the one article I saw, there was mention of being able to get at the nuts and backing plate for the new starboard cleat via a beckson port in the anchor locker. It then mentioned having to install another of these ports to get at the port nuts and backing plate. Is this beckson port the inspection hatch (screw in type) in the anchor locker?

I ask because I was readying myself the take apart the shelf and forward bulkhead in the v berth to get in at the underside to install these cleats - I was surprised to hear about this port option. I was visualising  getting at the backig plate/bolts by reaching in  to the sides of the anchor locker, between the locker and the hull.......Any advice on the best way to do this job? I have to say that I am dubious about the inspection port in the forward part of my anchor locker giving me the right kind of access for this job....?

I was reviewing the recent article on installing a larger anchor roller (as well as windlass) - great photos - and this is also on my project list. I note the need to take apart the v berth to install the windlass.....the pictures helped me to see what was inside there.

Thank you.

Main Message Board / Battery placement
« on: March 28, 2010, 10:48:30 AM »
Where are people installing extra batteries?

I have an engine and a house battery. I added another to the house battery to make a house bank of 2 batteries. All three batteries are in the battery locker below the seat just forward of the galley sinks in the salon. I have noticeed talk of more bateries and wonder where people are finding places to put them.....curious, thanks.

Main Message Board / Re: replacement autopilot
« on: March 28, 2010, 10:43:36 AM »
Replaced my autohelm 3000, that was slipping on the drive wheel, with a below decks raymarine linear drive:,5518.msg34324.html#msg34324

Could not be happier! If you have other raymarine components, such as my bottom of the range A50, you can use NMEA to network your autopilot to the chartplotter. I can now sail a course, or a track, or a series of waypoints. If I installed a raymarine wind instrument/tridata, I would be able to sail a wind angle.


I recently posted about my install of a raymarine linear drive below decks autopilot:,5518.msg34324.html#msg34324

The fluxgate compass and brain box and common to the linear and wheel drives. I installed the compass into the bottom of the hanging locker just aft of the nav station, just forward of the head. As you look into the locker, it is right down low on the left (or aft) side of the locker. It was a pain to screw in, but it works. This is a low position, below the waterline, and very close to the centreline of the boat. It is far enough away from the batteries and the engine. I think it is a good location.

I put the brain box in the aft lazarette, screwed to the bulkhead on the other side of which is the hanging locker in the aft cabin. This was close to the install of where the linear drive is so it helped when I ran all the wires (the linear drive goes out to starboard of the quadrant).

Having installed a power cable and then the NMEA cable for the Rayarine A50 mounted on the pedestal, I can tell you that it was an emotional experience! I drilled holes in the side of the pedestal and fed in the wires, then removed the cover in the aft cabin that is over the base of the pedestal. There are just a couple of hold in the base of the pedestal so with an LED flashlight in my mouth I performed keyhole surgery through the base of the pedestal with a wire coathanger and finally managed to coax the end of the wires out so they could be led aft into the lazarrette.....

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