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Messages - Breakin Away

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Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:50:12 PM »
About 1/16 thick hard layer across the entire bottom of the tank. Soaked it for days with a 1 to 1 mixture of Simple Green and water. Then used plastic scraper to peel it off the bottom. Whole process was just under 2 weeks. Then it leaked.  :shock:
Reminds me of people who have old cars and switch from dino oil to synthetic. The synthetic oils dissolves all the gunk that was plugging the cracking seals, and ends up leaking.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:21:24 PM »
Wow, hard to believe that you had that much in your tank and didn't see anything come through the Racor.

I had seen MaineSail's blog on this topic before, but had forgotten how powerful it was. I might try draining my tank at layup this year and storing the fuel in jerry cans, then decanting/filtering back in next year. Previously I would run down my fuel through the season and top off before winter layup to avoid condensation. But that means my fuel is already 6 months old when I launch. So, just to try something different, I might leave the tank empty and top off with fresh fuel at the start of the season.

Main Message Board / Re: C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:02:28 PM »
FWIW, I replace my Racor filter every year. I've never seen even a drop of water in my Racor bowl. But I do see a little bit of brown stuff there occasionally. I'd like everything to be pristine, so now that my tank is down to about 6 gallons in it I am considering draining it to inspect the fuel (or the tank, if there was an inspection port).

I usually fill the tank every winter to avoid "breathing" in the headspace and condensation that comes with it. That has apparently worked well because I don't ever have any water. But there is a little bit of stuff that I'd like to completely eradicate.

If you're way up north you may have a less hostile environment.

Main Message Board / C34MkII fuel tank maintenance
« on: October 01, 2019, 07:10:26 AM »
I'd like to consider doing some cleaning/maintenance on my MkII (model year 2001) fuel tank, and would appreciate some guidance for those of you who have done this before. How do you access the tank? It seems like might be glassed in on top, with only a couple screw-off ports in the port locker. I know that one of the ports covers the on-off valve from the dip tube. Is there a way to remove the dip tube?

Does the tank have any inspection ports installed at the factory? Is there a way to get to them without cutting apart the locker? Is there a side panel in the aft berth that gives any better access? What is the tank made of?

It seems like the fuel fill port is not a straight drop into the tank, so you can't insert a dip stick or pump-out wand into the tank. How else do you empty the tank?

Main Message Board / Re: Tech Wiki Login Problem (continued)
« on: September 01, 2019, 09:02:33 PM »
Seven months have passed, and I am still unable to log into the Wiki to make contributions.

I have reached out to Dave Sanner, and hope that he is able to fix the problem.

Was this discussed at the April Officers' meeting? I do not see any direct reference to it in the minutes.

Main Message Board / Re: Certificate of Inspection--Sister Vessels
« on: August 03, 2019, 12:04:32 PM »
My boat was already documented when I purchased her (no coastwise, no fishery). I need to have it revised if I ever take paying passengers, which means paying all over again.

Even though the boat was already documented, there were no doc numbers anywhere on the hull. I adhered vinyl numbers inside the hull above the exhaust exit, and brushed some clear epoxy over them.

Main Message Board / Re: What's this?
« on: August 02, 2019, 08:54:25 PM »

It's Racor restriction indicator -  basically a vacuum gauge on the back side of your primary filter to show when it's time to replace because it's plugged.  It works like a dragging needle vacuum gauge and shows the highest vacuum its seen after being reset. "Theoretically" when the indicator hits red it's time, but I don't know how true that is for our diesels.  A dragging needle gauge is much more useful.
Due to restricted space, my MkII boat has a similar Racor housing, although my spin-on filter is R15P. I recall someone once posted the source and model of a dragging needle vacuum gauge, but I'm having a hard time finding it now. Could someone please re-post the info, or spoon feed me a link? Also, are there generally any restriction on the orientation of the gauge (vertical/horizontal)? Space is real tight down there.

Main Message Board / Re: Certificate of Inspection--Sister Vessels
« on: August 02, 2019, 08:51:35 PM »
Related question:

To take up to 6 paying passengers with an OUPV license, the vessel must have a coastwise endorsement on its USCG documentation. To do this on a boat like ours, I believe that a "facts of build" letter is needed from the manufacturer, and then I believe you need to redo the documentation for ~$300. For those of you who have done this, can you describe how you went about getting the letter from Catalina?

Main Message Board / Re: Prospective Owner Questions
« on: June 09, 2019, 03:15:13 PM »
My ST4000 autopilot failed on my maiden voyage after taking ownership. I disassembled the wheel mechanism and the belt was shredded where it makes the tight wrap around the motor sprocket. I think this is common if left unused for a few years.

Raymarine has discontinued the belt for the original ST4000, but perfectly fine replacement belts are readily available on ebay. I bought two so I'd have a spare. It is a very easy fix:

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 28, 2019, 06:08:01 PM »
By the way, I applied my insurance company's prop allowance toward a Flexofold prop. Prop was ordered Tuesday, and arrived Friday. So AFAIK, all parts are here (strut, shaft, prop, packing box).

I looked at a few of the flexible coupler options described here, but decided to let them just do a like-for-like replacement on that part (one-piece solid steel coupler). I did't want to complicate things for the yard too much beyond what I've already done with the unfamiliar prop design.

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 28, 2019, 05:41:39 PM »
Pictures taken today, after shaft/strut removal and receipt of some parts:

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 28, 2019, 05:40:07 PM »
More pics from post-damage survey...

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 28, 2019, 05:38:09 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. It's real helpful. I'm not going to micromanage the yard pro, but he did ask my advice on the hole positioning issue for the strut, so I'm going to advice him pretty much along KWK's line of reasoning. I'm heading out of town on business in a week, and he's not going to have it done before then, so I'm looking at two more weeks before repairs are complete. I'm not going to hassle him over that, because I want it done right and not a rush job. It's clear from the things I see changing every time I go there that he's "getting his ducks in a row" to start work, and he also needs to prepare an updated quote for the insurance company before starting work.

I went down to the boat twice this weekend to check things out and re-measure some stuff. The strut/hull holes are all VERY close to the correct position - like within about 1/8". I think it will be much easier to move the holes in the boat than in the bronze. The new strut's flange is definitely too wide and will need to be tapered a bit. When you look closely at the original strut, it's clear that it was also manually tapered to fit within the little "keel" that's built into the hull there.
Why do you need a new strut?
Severely bent during impact with submerged log. Based on the ~8"x8' cross section I saw churning around behind the boat after the impact, it was a railroad tie.
Any pics of bent/damaged running gear parts before replacement?
See below. Some of these pics are from the original haulout, and some are more recent after the removal of old shaft/strut and receipt of the new parts:

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 27, 2019, 08:26:59 PM »
Hi all,

The strut arrived from Catalina Direct, and it is a close, but not perfect, fit. The pre-drilled holes on the strut are about 1/4" further apart in all directions than the prior strut. Also, the strut's flange is a little too wide at the aft end, and will not allow enough space for any fairing or gelcoat without some trimming of the bronze flange. It looks like the original strut may have been trimmed in a similar way.

The guy at the yard who is doing the work said it may add a few hours of labor, and we agreed that I would check with you guys for suggestions on the best way to proceed.

First of all, I should mention that the strut that we received from CatalinaDirect does not have the raised "CAT 34/36" letters on the port side of the casting as pictured on their website (Neither does Noah's):

Interestingly, the original (bent) strut that was pulled off my boat does have those raised letters. This suggests that CatalinaDirect might have changed sources for this strut since the time they took their pictures.

Regarding narrowing the aft sides of the flange, I assume that this could be easily done by tracing the shape of the old flange onto the new flange, and grinding the metal off the sides using a rotating bench grinder.

Regarding the misplaced holes, the question is whether to enlarge the holes on the strut, or perhaps enlarge the holes in the boat. The locations are really only about 1/8" or so off for each hole, and the bolts from the original strut did not go straight through the hull. The lock nuts and glassed-in backing washers inside the hull are actually further apart than the holes outside the hull, suggesting that the bolts were angled out somewhat from the strut holes. So with the new strut's holes further apart, it might be possible to leave the backing washers in their current place inside the hull and just "cone out" the holes in the hull a little bit to allow the bolts to penetrate the hull at a different angle from the pre-drilled holes on the strut. Obviously, sealant would be called for in the enlarged holes, and of course, fairing compound and gelcoat would further help to seal the whole thing off. I think that this would be better and quicker than trying to expand the holes in the metal. But it all must be done carefully to preserve the alignment with minimal adjustment of the motor mounts.

How does this suggested procedure compare to others who have done this project? (Noah?)

Main Message Board / Re: Urgent: Sourcing a new strut
« on: April 20, 2019, 08:20:37 PM »
I though I'd close the loop on this, since I've learned some interesting things since I last posted that will be of interest to anyone else who needs to source a strut in the future.
<<However, I realize it's also possible that Buck Algonquin might have an identical one to the Catalina/CatalinaDirect, and might even make it for them. >>

Why not ask CTY parts, should be the first go-to for parts.

Alternatively ask BA if they supplied the strut to CTY.
I finally found the phone number for Buck Algonquin and called. The guy said they didn't make a strut for Catalina 34.

Then I called Catalina Yachts, and they told me they no longer carry struts because they had gotten rid of them in all their current boat designs. He told me that Buck Algonquin made them for Catalina, and I should call them. (Go figure!)

So I called the guy back at Buck Algonquin to tell them what Catalina told me. He told me he's only been there a few years, and hadn't heard of any struts for them, but there's another guy who has been there for 20 years who would know. Unfortunately, he's out until Monday or Tuesday. I asked if there's any chance they had them in stock, and he said that if they did he'd probably know about it, so I'm most likely looking at 5 to 7 weeks to have one made.

I wasn't going to wait half a week on such a long-shot chance, so I called CatalinaDirect, who had four in stock, and the part will arrive on Monday. I suspect they get them from Buck Algonquin (which is in Stevensville, MD, only about an hour away from my boat), but it's quicker to get it from California.

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