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Main Message Board / Re: New Furler Recommendations
« on: October 11, 2019, 08:09:41 PM »
Decision made.  Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

I ordered the Harken Mark IV, "Unit 1" furler today.  Before doing so, I checked with the very helpful support people at Harken.  They confirmed that the "Unit 1" would be a good fit for our boats, with our 5/16" forestay size and 5/8" pin size.  They also confirmed there would be no issue with drum size for the 18' foot on my furling headsail.

This is important, because my own rigger had recommended the larger "Unit 2" size.  The price point is substantially more for the larger "Unit 2" furler.  I was able to get the Unit 1 furler and long link plates for 5/8" pin for a price comparable to the discounted price for a Profurl or Hood after using my commercial account at Fisheries Supply. 

Hopefully this can also help others shopping for a new furler.


Main Message Board / Re: New Furler Recommendations
« on: October 10, 2019, 09:52:26 AM »
Thanks for the responses.

Ron:  I can't seem to access any "tech notes".  If you know, does it require a different password?

I'm still leaning towards the Harken Mark IV because of the tack swivel, which neither the Profurl C350 nor the Hood 808 has.  In theory, that means it will reef the middle of the sail before the head and tack, allowing better (more even) reefing and furling along the luff--especially when its blowing.

I also grilled my rigger a little bit about the various options.  He said he has a Profurl C350 on his boat, but admitted it rolls stiffer than the Harken.  So I asked him: assuming they cost the same, would he choose the Profurl C350 or the Harken Mark IV?  Without hesitating he said "the Harken."

I also contacted both Harken and Profurl for information on each unit.  The guys from Harken responded very quickly, a good sign.

Main Message Board / New Furler Recommendations
« on: 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 / Re: Certificate of Inspection--Sister Vessels
« on: August 03, 2019, 08:40:52 AM »
Pretty easy to do.  You call Catalina Yachts, who will direct you to the appropriate person.  In my case (last year) it was Dani Monterosso.  She will ask for proof of ownership, and then a $45 fee is charged for the notarized "Facts of Build" letter--which they send to you.  You then submit that letter (which I believe is in a sealed envelope) to the Vessel Documentation Center with their required paperwork, pay their fees, and then the VDC will send you the Certificate of Documentation when review is complete.

Once documented, you have to "permanently affix" your documentation number to the boat.  After spending too much time reading about how to do this, I used vinyl 4 inch letters/numbers stuck to the inside of the hull in the forward seat locker on the port side, next to the bulkhead.  I then taped off the area around the number, and coated the number with clear, two-part, epoxy.  IIRC, it took a couple of $8 tubes from the local hardware store.  Let it mostly set up, then peel off the tape before it completely sets up for a neat job.

There are people that will sell you a piece of wood or starboard with your number on it for $100, which you then have to mount somewhere in a "permanent" fashion.  Basically glue and screws, and if someone wants to remove it they will usually be damaging a bulkhead.  That didn't make sense to me, so I did it in the way mentioned above. 

Hope this helps,


Main Message Board / Re: Certificate of Inspection--Sister Vessels
« on: July 31, 2019, 06:57:32 PM »
As a charter captain on my Catalina 34, I'm kind of with Ron on this.  While obtaining a COI to take 8 passengers might technically be possible, I'm not sure I would want to do it.  Granted, I have a 1990 Mark 1.25, and my cockpit may be a little smaller than the Mark IIs.  But I'm kind of maxed out with 6 in front of the binnacle.  With 8 on board, passengers would have to be on the rail (not where I want them) or aft with me (also not where I want them). 

Because I need to handle docking and sails, I need those areas clear.

A thought.


Main Message Board / Re: potable water pump
« on: July 17, 2019, 09:05:27 AM »
One thing I just figured out on mine, a Flojet, was something others might check.  My pump cycled sometimes with the faucet "off."  Looking underneath the sink, I discovered a leak in the inlet port to the pump.  My pump had a combination plastic strainer/inlet hose barb and the plastic had cracked where it met the pump.  It was just begging to be accidentally kicked while you operate the manual foot pump to drain the ice box, and this was probably what happened in the past.  Apparently, a prior owner had done just that, and then attempted to "glue" it back together.

I disconnected everything and took the pump home.  The innards were fine, and it just needed the inlet hose barb replaced. Because there is already a strainer upstream--between the tank manifold and the pump--I searched online and found the proper Flojet hose barb for about $5 on Amazon.

While I had everything apart, however, I took the time to install a manual freshwater (cold only) spout on the galley sink.  The next time the electric pump decides it wants to go on strike, I wanted the ability to manually pump freshwater until I fixed the problem.  So I did the following:
1. Disconnected the existing foot pump from the ice box drain.  This never worked well, and never got rid of all the water in the bottom.

2. Attached new 1/2" water tubing to drain the ice box directly to the bilge.  I'd rather run the bilge pump.

3. "T" in a new 1/2" line between the freshwater strainer and freshwater pump to the existing manual foot pump.

4.  Ran a new 1/2" supply line from the manual foot pump to a new Sea Dog telescoping spout ($8) mounted in the "hole" between the two sinks and aft of the existing pressurized galley faucet.  To do this, I cut a hole for an inspection port ($20) behind the dinette cushion above the battery compartment.  Although still somewhat difficult to tighten, it allowed me to tighten the backing nut under the new cold water spout without removing the sink.

5.  Replaced the 1" Galley drain hose and re-routed it more directly to the Marelon thru-hull. To do this, I replaced the 90 degree fitting (which I also discovered was cracked and was not Marelon) with a Marelon 3/4" threaded to 1" hose barb ($8).  Now instead of the galley drain hose running down, around, and underneath the shelf for the freshwater pump, it just goes straight down from the sink to the new 1" Marelon hose barb.

After tightening things up, I now have a foot operated freshwater pump to the galley sink, as well as pressurized water.  Much cleaner arrangement below, and the only "cost" was not being able to remove ice box water directly into the galley drain line with the foot pump.  This was acceptable for me.

Note:  I was persuaded to use a foot pump-instead of a hand pump-- for manual pumping by reading up on what others had done.  The consensus was that it was much easier to use the foot pump and have both hands free at the sink for whatever task you are trying to do there.


Main Message Board / Re: Does anyone know what this is?
« on: July 09, 2019, 07:08:01 PM »

The clevis pin had "worked" slightly outboard, wedging what was left of the cotter pin tight into the toggle. No way to get that out without detuning/slackening the rigging.

Although I thought about how I might do this myself, from my Topclimber, I kept going back to what I would do to support the entire weight of the forestay and furler (even after taking the sail off) in the event the clevis pin backed out all the way.  How would I muscle the top of the forestay back to the masthead and work a clevis pin in at the same time? 

I'm sure if I was in some remote anchorage I would be forced to figure it out.  But being that a rigger was nearby and I was going to have him help assess the "noisy partners" issue (see prior post) as well, I happily paid him to do that--with the assistance of yet another rigger on deck.  In the end, I was happy he did it.


Main Message Board / Re: Does anyone know what this is?
« on: July 07, 2019, 06:55:29 AM »
Can't tell for sure.  What I can tell you is that when I was up the mast a couple of months ago installing a new anchor light, I discovered that the cotter "keeper" pin (securing the clevis pin which held the forestay to the masthead) had one of the legs "bent" and was abrading my genoa halyard for the furled sail.  I carefully attempted to bend it away from the halyard with some pliers, and it snapped off one of the legs of the cotter pin in the process.  This secures the entire forestay and furler in place.

I made an appointment with a rigger who detuned the rigged--unloading the clevis pin-- and replaced the broken cotter pin.  What he found was a cotter pin which wasn't even stainless, and replaced it with a stainless one.  Not good.

Not sure what that piece is from, but if you haven't been aloft in awhile, it may make sense going up and inspecting some of the connecting hardware.  If I hadn't gone up to replace the anchor light, I would not have discovered the pin was sawing through my genoa halyard, or that the pin was not stainless.  I use a Topclimber to get myself up and down which, at 58, is still doable.



Main Message Board / Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« on: June 07, 2019, 06:13:18 AM »
I also had a non-working Autohelm 4000 which came with my boat.  These are not great units, and to fix it you will be sorting through replacement parts sold on eBay by folks who are parting there's out.   

Turns out mine, like many, had a disintegrated "pinion sprocket" which can only be purchased on eBay for $70, and will add a little life--but not much performance--to the 4000.  But these units also have a habit of eating belts (cheaper to replace aftermarket), as well as the pulleys.  Because the only thing needed to bring mine back to functioning was the pinion sprocket, I held my nose and bought one.  It works OK, but the design is definitely obsolete.

If you need to replace, consider the CPT autopilots which are also a belt-type drive and have a reputation of handling much tougher conditions. Most serious autopilots are the below deck-type and use a hydraulic ram to move the rudder post.  They are also much more expensive.  Given your priority list, it doesn't sound like something you'll necessarily want to tackle in Year 1.

So tear down the wheel autopilot--its really easy.  See what has failed inside.  If is is only a belt, you could be back in business for $30-40 on eBay.  If you have broken bits like the pinion sprocket or pulleys, you'll have to decide whether to throw more money at it to buy some time.  In the meantime you can start saving for a replacement.


Main Message Board / Re: Noisy Partners
« on: May 31, 2019, 10:03:23 PM »
Update:  The noise at the partners on my boat turned out to be the wooden wedge on the starboard side.  While cleaning off the old silicone underneath the removed mast boot, I removed this wedge--which was in tight.

Result:  quiet. completely.  Had nothing to do with the turnbuckle underneath the deck.  Before, every time I walked on the deck near the mast it made a sound in the partners, and sometimes there would be a "pop" due to either increase in heat or increase in wind.

Will be going to rubber wedges temporarily before switching to Spartite.  On my riggers recommendation, I need to replace the backstay lowers where they fork toward the transom, and a new toggle needs to be added to my ancient Harken RF to lengthen the forestay a bit.  Will switch to Spartite at that time.


Main Message Board / Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:40:20 PM »

Moved my vang fitting up today.  I basically made the old top hole into the new bottom hole, and tapped in a new top hole.  My fitting has a 1/4" X 20 allen head bolt.  Drilled the new top hole with the # 7 bit for such purposes (which I believe is a 7/32 bit), then tapped it.  Works perfectly, and gets the vang fitting out of the way of the boot.

FYI:  Slide that vang fitting and the boot up the mast while you put in new wedges and take out the old silicone mess.  That was most of my day, trying to remove the globs of silicone that were mindlessly squeezed into the partners.   Lots of work with plastic putty knives and plastic razor blades.  I am now going to use a product reviewed by Practical Sailor--"Re-Muv"-- which supposedly did the best job of totally removing old silicone.  Because my new mast boot is an adhesive wrap-type, I need all the old silicone off for proper adherence.

Keep us posted on your progress.


Main Message Board / Re: Mast wedges and tuning
« on: May 30, 2019, 06:56:09 AM »
+1 on mast wedges from the top.

I just had my rig professionally tuned in connection with hardware replacement at the top of the mast.  We had issues with "noisy partners" both before and after tuning, and would be interested in your experience with this.  I posted on this last week, but didn't get much of a response even though another C34 worked on by the same rigger later that afternoon had the same issue.

My rig was not pulled, but we took the mast boot off to check out the partners and existing wedges--only the side wedges were still in place. I found the vang attachment on the mast interfered with the old mast boot removal, and will interfere with the replacement mast boot tape I will be installing in its place.  I plan to move the lower vang attachment up the mast to allow the new tape to be installed.  On my boat, the lower vang attachment appears to be secured with allen head bolts, which means I will likely be tapping new bolt holes.  Will have to do until I get a rigid vang!

It seems like moving the the lower vang attachment eye upward, or at least temporarily removing it will assist with getting the mast boot snug.


Main Message Board / Noisy Partners
« on: 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 / Re: Relocating the Heat Exchanger (?)
« on: May 03, 2019, 06:20:52 AM »
That is certainly one way to improve access to the transmission dipstick.  I went a different way, which was to cut an access panel in the vertical bulkhead in the aft cabin.  Found a perfect size Jim Black flush mounting panel at Great Lakes skipper. for about $90.  Cut the hole, which was easy, and mounted the frame.  The door has 6 flush mount latches which allow it to be removed completely for access.

It has made a HUGE difference in doing anything on the back of the engine:  Changing the zinc on the heat exchanger, changing the transmission fluid, checking transmission fluid,  etc..  Most importantly it made all the difference in removing the original exhaust riser and flange, and replacing with new.  I ended up buying a new heat exchanger and installing that was simple with the new access hatch. I can't imagine trying to line that up from above, given that the new ones have "fork" style mounting flanges which require a lot of mini adjustments to get just right before tightening everything down.

Just something to consider.


Main Message Board / Aft Lazarette Wood Refinishing
« on: 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.




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