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Messages - Dave Spencer

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 28
Main Message Board / Re: Solar Arch
« on: March 02, 2020, 05:43:06 PM »

Main Message Board / Re: Martec Folding Prop Pitch
« on: February 16, 2020, 10:01:44 AM »
I think a pitch of 14 will be far too much for your engine.  You will be significantly over-propped and won't be able to achieve the engine rpm required for efficient operation.  Expect significant smoking from the engine.  Search the forum and Tech Wiki to see what others have done.  Better yet, the C34 Tech Notes have some good information in them if you are a member of the C34IA.  Membership is a bargain - rare for anything to do with boats!

Main Message Board / Re: Low voltage from my batteries.
« on: February 16, 2020, 08:29:52 AM »
I agree with Mark that your batteries sound fine based on the information you’ve provided. 
I’m no battery expert and others will likely jump in with their views but here are a few things to think about:
1.  Rolls is a premium battery.  When you bought them, you paid for technical support so I wouldn’t hesitate to give them a phone call to get their views on your observations.
2. You haven’t identified your charging regimen.  As Mainesail says in the post that you linked, most batteries don’t die a natural death, they are murdered.  Insufficient charging voltage (or too much) will shorten the life of your batteries significantly.
3. The 11.5 amp steady load that you are applying sounds like a lot for a 230AH battery bank.  Is this a test load to conduct the 20 hr test or does this represent your house loads.  If the latter, I think your battery bank is too small.
4. How did you determine the batteries should be at 70% capacity?  If you’re counting Ah consumed, it’s quite possible that you weren’t starting at 100%.

Rather than concentrating on if you’re getting the battery’s full capacity (or close to it based on the 20 Hr rating), do the batteries meet your house demand needs?  If so, keep focusing on good charging practice and enjoy your boat.  If not, you may need a bigger battery bank because getting 17 hrs at 11.5A instead of the rated 20 hrs doesn’t sound like a problem to me.  You are a very patient sailor if you’re willing to conduct your own 20 hr test.  I’m sure others have done it but I doubt I could stay on my boat for ~20 hrs drawing against a calibrated load.

Before condemning your batteries, I would recommend a lot of research and reading, particularly on charging protocol… there’s lots out there, some is valuable and some is useless.

Let us know how you make out.

Main Message Board / Re: Davits... do you have them?l
« on: February 13, 2020, 10:50:30 AM »
Hi Jim,
I've attached 2 pictures of our Highfield 290 RIB stored on deck.  You will likely recognize the location as Killarney Mountain Lodge.  In this case, I hoisted the dinghy on deck the night before in preparation for the next day's 0400 departure for our 60nm journey across Georgian Bay to our home port.

The inflated dinghy is 2.9m LOA with a beam of 1.71m  (9'6" & 5'7" respectively) 

You can see from picture looking forward that I tie the aft lifting handles to the cabin top rails.  I place another line on the towing eye and run a V shape to the pulpit thereby preventing a jib halyard from catching under the dinghy.  This V shaped line is just barely visible in the picture taken from the dock.   I usually take the tail of the line tied to the cabin top rails and run it over the hull criss crossing the two lines thereby securely holding the dinghy down in case of a serious blow.  This isn't shown in either picture. 
The transom is snugged up to the mast and the pontoons rest on the line organizers.  I place a pad between the dinghy and the deck organizers to prevent wear.   The V berth hatch can open partially allowing for some ventilation.

There is plenty of room forward of the dinghy to allow me to open the anchor locker and manage the ground tackle.  I haven't sailed our cruising spinnaker with the dinghy on deck but there is no reason I couldn't.

The owner's manual say the dinghy weighs 44kg but I think it's 50+ kg.  I found it a chore to lift using the spare genoa halyard or spinnaker halyard so I made up a 4 to 1 block arrangement making the dinghy very easy to lift.  Working by myself, it's about 10 minutes to get the dinghy from the water to fully secured on deck. I've also attached a picture of my dinghy lifting and tie down kit showing the 4:1 blocks, tie down lines and pads to protect the pontoons from the deck organizers.  This isn't something I would want to do every day but for the 4 or 5 times I do it each season, it works well for me.

I've never considered davits on our boat although the Atlantic tower on Mas Tequila's Positive Lattitude looks great!

Main Message Board / Re: Davits... do you have them?l
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:11:22 AM »
I have a 9 1/2 ft aluminum RIB with a 4 hp 4 stroke Yamaha.  I pull the engine off and stow it on the rail every time we move the boat. I usually tow the dinghy but for longish passages, I haul it on deck and stow it fully inflated upside-down forward of the mast.  I also stow it on deck on the rare occasion when we are tied up at our marina since our slip is tight and leaving it floating off the stern intrudes in the fairway.

Check with your marina but by adding davits, you may be unwittingly adding 4 ft or so to the LOA of your boat that you'll have to pay for.

Main Message Board / Re: Upper shroud pin size for top fitting
« on: January 21, 2020, 06:33:19 PM »
Our hull numbers are pretty close together.  I assume you're talking about the upper shroud, not the forestay and backstay.
I know that the forestay and backstay upper pins are 5/8" x 1".  I measured them some time ago to have the information at my fingertips if I found myself shopping for spares.  I've attached a picture of the upper forestay pin and then another one showing the upper forestay and the upper shroud in the same view.  The shroud pin looks to be 1/2" to my eye based on comparing it to the known 5/8" upper forestay pin.  But I've never had the upper shroud pin in my hand.  The lower shroud pins are definitely 1/2" x1".  I measured them just as I measured the forestay pins. 
As always, your mileage may vary.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: January 12, 2020, 11:10:44 AM »
As others have stated, I too have an access plate in the port side locker to get to the fuel shut-off valve.  But just one, not 2 like Jim Hardesty has on Shamrock.

Looking closely at the pictures you posted comparing my tank, Jon W's and yours, it's clear that Catalina made some change to the design of the port side wall sometime between my boat (#1279,  1994, Mk 1.5) and your boat (#1535, Mk II).  You can see the tank is much higher.  The lip supporting the "teak" sidewall looks to be in the same place but the tank floor looks to be at least 150mm (6") higher and the forward wall in your fuel tank compartment looks to be 200-300mm farther aft than the lip on my tank and Jon W's making your fuel compartment much smaller although the tank is reported to be more or less the same capacity.  Also, the tank appears to be 100mm or so farther aft than mine and Jon W's.

Do you know what is under your fuel tank?  Surely the effort to redesign the area and create a cavity under the tank had to be for some good purpose.  I doubt that it was to allow fuel to flow without a lift pump... mine does that without difficulty.  (There are lots of discussions about the purpose of the lift pump and its interconnection with the oil pressure switch in previous posts.)  Also, it looks like you have a solid wall along the forward side of your fuel compartment.  Do you know what is forward of that wall?  I don't have a wall and my fuel tank is open to the plumbing, and water muffler accessible through the cabinet under the sink in the head.  If my arm was long enough, I could reach the fuel shut-off valve from the head.  That area always struck me as wasted space so perhaps some good use was found for it in the Mk II boats.

Sorry I'm not much help but it's interesting to see some of the differences in the C34 across the production run.  Many of us are aware of key differences between Mk1, Mk 1.25, Mk 1.5 and Mk II boats but I haven't seen anyone point out this difference before. 

Good luck with your project... it sounds like it will be a challenge.  Maybe a phone call to Gerry Douglas or another long term employee at Catalina is in order.

Main Message Board / Re: Garhauer Rope Clutch Spring
« on: November 30, 2019, 10:47:09 AM »
Garhauer has excellent customer service.  Try calling 909-985-9993 in California or emailing them, maybe with a picture if you have it at  I'm sure they will do all they can to assist you.  Hopefully, they will have a trick to get your spring back into place without removing the clutch and shipping it to them.

Let us know how you make out.

Main Message Board / Re: outhaul car
« on: November 20, 2019, 07:26:10 AM »
The outhaul arrangement is shown on Page 27 of the C34 MkI manual here.
Options discussed above give better purchase.

Main Message Board / Re: outhaul car
« on: November 19, 2019, 06:27:52 PM »
The outhaul mechanism is inside the boom.  Not ideal but that's how it is.  The picture in this link says MkII but it was the same on my Mk 1.5,8764.msg66691.html#msg66691 

Some have increased the mechanical advantage with various in boom pulley arrangements.  A good thing to do in my mind.,3630.msg22753.html#msg22753

You may need to take the end caps off the boom to untangle or replace the setup on your boat.  There's lots of information on this forum about that.  Good luck with your project.

Main Message Board / Re: Find a link
« on: October 31, 2019, 06:31:56 AM »
Thanks for posting this excellent write up.  :clap
Could this be linked in the Tech Wiki under “Transmission”?
Good luck with your job. Maybe you could take some pictures and post your comments if you find anything different from the C350 procedure.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 04:18:44 PM »
There are lots of variables. Here’s some food for thought from a well regarded authority and a frequent contributor to this site.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:25:06 PM »
I think regular inspection would only be for the most anal sailor.  However, I think Breakin has a point.  I suspect those of us in the north would be at lower risk for growth inside the tank as opposed to those sailors in warm humid conditions for most of the year. 

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 11:29:24 AM »
My tank was clean when I pulled it out. It was 18 years old and to my knowledge, had never been cleaned. Nevertheless, I went through the process because I had already gone to the effort of pulling the tank. I’m glad I did as I no longer lay awake worrying about nasty growth or sediment hiding in the tank waiting to clog my filter and kill my engine at the most inopportune time.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 09:29:29 AM »
I pulled my tank and cleaned it in 2012 per Ron Hill's Tech Note instructions.    Here's a link to a similar discussion.,9355.msg69451.html#msg69451 I have a 1994 Mk 1.5 but I don't think the fuel tank configuration changed much for later builds.

The tank is not glassed in.  It's screwed to the shelf accessible by removing the port wall in the aft cabin which comes out very easily (once you've cleared out "the garage").
The suction and return line tubes are threaded into the tank as shown in the picture.  The level gauge is bolted in via a small plate.
There are no inspection ports on my tank nor do I think there are ports on any C34 OEM tanks.  I seem to recall some owners have added them.  A search should show this.
My tank is made of 0.090" thick 5052 Aluminium
The fuel fill is not a straight drop.
The tank can be emptied by pumping it out. Have an appropriate number of 20 litre diesel containers available and disconnect the fuel delivery line after the electric pump and place the hose in the container.  For convenience, you will likely want to make up a longer hose. 

Pics of my tank In Situ and removed attached.

Hope this helps.  It's a fairly easy job.

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