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Topics - Patches

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Main Message Board / Sealing Mast Partners
« on: June 27, 2020, 09:00:43 AM »
I have purchased some new flexible "mast tape/wrap" to replace the more rigid "boot" which seals the opening where the mast penetrates the deck at the partners.  As designed, rainwater is able to follow the continuous sail slot below deck and leak on the floor boards below.  At least on my boat, the rain doesn't follow the sail slot all the way to the bilge.  It wicks about 1-2" aft of the underside of the partners and then plops on the floorboards.

The more ideal solution would be to use a Spartite-type product to pour in the gap between the partners and the mast to seal the area from water intrusion.  But with a mast boot or the wrap I'm going to use, you're left with plugging the sail slot above deck where it meets the boot or tape or it will leak during every rain.

I'm trying not to overthink this.  But I'm wondering if there are preferred ways of plugging the sail slot above the boot/wrap to eliminate the leaks?

As always, thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.


When I hauled out on Thursday, I was anxious to see what kind of scrape I put on the bottom of the keel last fall when I did a very slow "touch and go" on a rock.  Right after it happened, I sent a diver down to assess things and he was largely dismissive. Well it was definitely a gouge that needed some filling and epoxy.

While pressure washing, the keel otherwise looked great. No cracks in the hull/keel joint.  Everything looked tight.

When they went to block the boat in the yard, I specifically said to the lift operator to make sure the keel wasn't supported/blocked too far aft.  I recall reading that this can lead to cracks developing in the hull/keel joint.  So I specifically asked if the placement of the blocking--aft of where the gouge was on the bottom leading edge--was sufficient to support the keel while allowing access for the repair.  "No problem."

30 minutes later I was taping up the waterline when I noticed 3 cracks:  (1) Forward/leading edge where the hull meets the keel (above the hull/keel joint (one inch), (2) at the forward end of the hull/keel joint (about 6 inches long), and (3) at the aft end of the keel where it meets the hull (one inch).

I immediately had them come over and re-block the boat.  By this time I had a pretty foul mouth.  To their credit, they owned it and said they would take take of it.  They put me in touch with a local keel repair guy who had the following recommendations:

1.  grind out the cracks

2.  check the keel bolts for tightness and applicable torque values

3.  apply West System or "G Flex" resin and biaxial cloth to the cracked areas, fair, sand, barrier coat and paint.

Anyone been through this and can comment?  He was ready to go today, but I told him to wait until I was able to educate myself a little but more on the long term performance of this proposed fix.  My call to another yard in the area essentially agreed with this proposed fix.

Would appreciate the input of any who have been down this road. I really don't want to haul out again in two and have new cracks--assuking no more "touch and gos."

Thanks in advance.


Main Message Board / Prop and cutless bearing
« on: June 06, 2020, 12:02:37 PM »
I'm hauled out right now and intending to do paint the prop (Pettit Barnacle Barrier) and replace the cutless bearing.  A couple of questions:

1.  Prop is off, and was secured with a bronze (?) castellated nut and cotter pin.  Is it normal to re-use these nuts but with a new cotter pin?

If so, how do you line up the hole in the nut and shaft for the new cotter pin?  Or would it be preferable to replace with a two nut (locking) system?

2.  Finally able to eyeball my strut and cutless bearing.  I appear to have two set screws in the strut, one on each side.  For the life of me, with readers on, I was unable to tell what kind of screws these are.  Are the typically allen head screws?  If so, they look pretty worn.  Anyone try to source these for replacements? 

Anyone just press the new bearing in and forget about the set screws?

Thanks in advance.  This is all new stuff to me!


Main Message Board / New Lewmar 65 Installation
« on: April 07, 2020, 08:22:25 AM »
I ordered a new Lewmar 65 "Ocean" hatch.  The old one does not currently leak, but the lense has been rebedded and the original roll stop hinges were beyond salvage.

I searched the forum for any issues that may come up when replacing but didn't see a lot describing the replacement process.  Before I remove the old hatch and create a large-ish hole in my deck, I was wondering if anyone has done this and knows of any issues I need to prepare for.

Given the propensity of Lewmar lenses to craze, I'm also wondering if anyone has installed an Outland hatch cover on their 65 hatch?  I contacted Outland and they have been very responsive and look to offer a great solution to the UV exposure.  Quote is $70 + shipping.

It is astonishing to see the difference in crazing between the Bomar midship hatch and the Lewmar hatches/ports.  After 30 years, the Bomar has almost no crazing.

Thanks in advance,


Main Message Board / Composting head
« on: February 11, 2020, 09:08:50 AM »
I know the conversion has been done by some C-34 owners.  The entire area where I sail--Puget Sound and San Juan Islands--is a no-discharge zone.  Pump-out stations are not ubiquitous, and I don't enjoy the process.  My OEM holding tank has limited capacity (a few days when I'm cruising) and the space it takes up could be better used for other things.  For every unit of waste liquid I manually flush, I've got to be adding at at least 5-6 units of salt water to sit in that tank and sail it around until I find a pump-out.

Who has made the conversion?  Are you happy with the decision?

Who has thought about it and decided against it, and why?

I'm close to pulling the trigger, but wanted to check with our learned members first.

Thanks as always,


Main Message Board / Galley makeover and cooler space ideas
« on: December 16, 2019, 05:58:26 PM »
I started going after some changes I have wanted to make in the galley.  I removed the old water heater, tore out the sink, and removed the countertop.  I removed the drawer under the sink and (like Stu) mounted it underneath the existing drawer in the V-berth.  Perfect fit.  I also enlarged the opening where the drawer was, and had a double door made for that area--much like the Mark IIs have.

Basically, I want a single bowl sink and more access underneath to fix plumbing, put in a fresh water filtration system, and put cleaning supplies.  (I'm going to put a new water heater in the bottom of the wet locker between the nav station and head.)

My question is what to do with the ice box space.  I don't have refrigeration right now, and I don't think I want to install the traditional cold plate/compressor system. I like the idea of an Engel, both for power consumption and portability.  I don't think there is an Engel unit I can pop into the space of the old cooler, at least not unless I move the upper cabinets and enlarge the cooler opening.  So my questions:

1.  Anyone tear out the ice box and build in some sort of storage?

2.  How hard was it?  It looks like basic sawing and extraction, with a lot of foam.

3.  Anyone try to put a "drop in" cooler unit into that space?  If so, what did you ultimately choose?

Thank in advance for your replies.  I really saved a lot of time by reading the tech wiki and Captain Al's step by step guide to removing the countertop--super helpful. Its in my garage! 


Main Message Board / New sails Experiences/Recommendations
« on: November 13, 2019, 04:31:54 PM »
Time for new sails, and my head is spinning a little after wading into this topic online.  I just replaced my furler with a new Harken, and after a consultation with my rigger determined it is also time for new sails.  The primary need is a new furling genoa, to be followed by a new main. 

I favor going to my local loft(s) for sails, even though I have purchased a Rolly Tasker (National) main for a prior boat which I found very well made. My C34 came with a spare UK roller furling genoa in a bag which I suspect was purchased from Catalina or Catalina Direct. Although in decent shape, the UV ''dacron" cover is toast and the leech tabling is well worn with the leech cord visible in several spots.  It looks a lot like the Ullmans sold on CD.  Because of my decision to raise the new furler up off the deck using long link plates, it really isn't economical to both (1) re-cut it, and (2) replace the UV cover.  I'll definitely go with a better made genoa, with a real Sunbrella UV cover.

The two local lofts I prefer gave me quotes for an "offshore" quality furling genoa:  crosscut, using Marblehead dacron, Sunbrella UV cover with Tenara thread, foam luff, and reinforcements in the right places (double taped edges, leather reinforced clew, etc..)  I'm also getting quotes for a tri-radial genoa using Warp drive cloth.
To my surprise, each loft outsources to Durtek (Quantum) in Sri Lanka, and each likes the work that Durtek does in manufacturing sails.  This would seem to provide the benefits of offshore pricing with the measurement/follow-up/repair/quality assurance of a local loft.  My questions for the learned panel:

1. Anyone had direct experience with a sail built by Durtek?

2. If so, were you pleased with the quality?  Was it the "offshore"-level sail or other?

3. Anyone ordered sails from National/Rolly Tasker recently?  What was your experience?  Its been about 8 years since I ordered my last sail from them.

4. Anyone gone with Precision out of BC?  My understanding is that they build in China, and QC in Victoria BC.  Several of the popular sailing vlogs have used them and seem happy with the (sponsored) sails.  Your experience?

As always, thanks in advance for your responses.


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 / 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 / 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.




Main Message Board / Factory engine wiring questions
« on: February 23, 2019, 04:42:16 PM »
I have a 1990 C34 1.25.  I am putting my engine back together after making many of the suggested upgrades. Full disclosure:  I have a poor understanding--but getting better-- of all things electrical in my boat.

When hooking up the new harness, I note that I have two "4 AWG" positives coming off the "C" post of the battery selector switch and running to my engine compartment.

One of the 4 awg wires looks to be bundled with the two positive cables running from the selector switch (1 and 2) to the two batteries in the battery compartment.  It runs from the selector switch down under the macerator pump, takes a hard turn aft through conduit into the compartment under the head sink, and then goes around to the back side of the engine before ultimately attaching to the starter post. A negative follows the same path, and was bolted to the bell housing.

The second 4 awg wire runs from the "C" post down by the macerator and then out into the central bilge area.  From there it joins a negative wire in some clear tubing/housing and pops up in the floor of the engine compartment-roughly under the alternator.  This positive wire is also connected to the starter, but the negative was originally connected to the "-" on the starter--not the bell housing.

As some of you know, I am staying with a small 51 amp alternator, internally regulated, for a while before doing a larger battery bank upgrade in a few years.  I'm trying to figure out why I have two 4awg positives, and two 4awg negatives coming into the engine via different routes.  It would seem that a single 4awg positive and a single 4awg negative would handle it--No?

My new internally regulated alternator, with the AO and remote sense wires will run to the solenoid post, and should charge the batteries back through one of the 4awg positives to the "C" post on the selector switch, correct?

Or do I need to keep both of those 4 gauge positive wires connected to the starter?

If not, was the intent that one of the 4awg positives (the one running under the floor/bilge area) could/would be used for the AO to go directly to the batteries if the owner later upgraded?

If so, can I use that positive for that purpose when I upgrade my battery bank in a couple of years, and also upgrade to an externally regulated alternator?  Or is the 4awg too small for that purpose, and I should really be going to a 2awg for the AO when I upgrade later?

Thank you in advance!  I appreciate any enlightenment you can provide.


Main Message Board / Fuel Pump to Ignition Switch Wiring for M25XP
« on: January 28, 2019, 10:28:50 PM »
My apologies in advance for the simplicity of this question, but I can't locate the answer from any wiring diagrams i've seen.

I have the M25xp engine, circa 1990, and am replacing the engine panel and wiring harness (both from CD).  I tossed the terminal strip and butt connected the harness to the new panel wires with marine heat shrink connectors.  I have suspended and secured the harness so that the weight of the harness is is supported--not by the butt connectors--but by securing the harness to the aft panel of the port lazarette.

My fuel pump is activated by a separate red wire which runs from the ignition switch on the panel.  I know because I removed it from the old panel.  And that's my problem because I don't remember which post I removed it from on the old ignition switch. Doh!

The switch on the new CD panel--like the old one-- has "on" and a "momentary" key positions, the latter which you hold to heat the glow plugs.  The "on" looks to be fed by the #10 "panel feed" wire off the solenoid "+".   The "momentary" looks to be fed by a white #10 which goes to the glow plugs.

Is the red wire to the fuel pump supposed to attach to the post on the ignition switch with the red wire (on), or the post with the white wire (momentary)?  My thought is to the same as the "red" (on) because that would mean it runs any time the panel is (1) "on" or (2) when engine is running.  If connected to the white (momentary) then the fuel pump would only pump if I was trying to preheat glow plugs.  But alas, my thoughts when it comes to things electrical are often "off."

Thanks in advance for your replies.



Main Message Board / New Member seeking alternator input
« on: January 23, 2019, 03:18:53 PM »
Hello to all, and my apologies for the lengthy preamble to this request for input.

I recently became the owner of a 1990 Mark 1.25.  When purchased, it was in largely "stock," unmolested, condition including:
--two group 24 flooded lead-acid batteries
--original (and dangerous) engine harness with trailer connectors.
--original instrument panel in the cockpit
--Prestolite 51 amp alternator
--autohelm st4000 autopilot
--no refrigeration
--battery charging from the alternator via the 1-2-both switch on the panel.

My intent is to slowly upgrade the boat as the budget allows.  I live in the Pacific Northwest, and cruised this past summer for two weeks straight without any issues.  Longest time away from shore power was 4 nights.

Because of my lack of experience with inboards, electrical demands, and bigger boats, one of the first things I did (8 months ago) was purchase two new Group 24 batteries with 85 amp hours each.  (I know, I know, dumb)  This was a (more or less) direct replacement of what was there when I bought the boat, and it seemed to work fine for the sailing and cruising I did this past summer.

I also started to address some of the other priorities set forth by the surveyor.  I have purchased a new exhaust riser, exhaust flange, heat exchanger, engine soundproofing, engine panel and wiring harness, hoses, raw water strainer, and raw water pump.  To get the exhaust riser out, I had to cut it off near the flange on the exhaust manifold, take the manifold off, and then work for days to separate the flange from the manifold.  Eventually I succeeded.  Many thanks to the contributors on this forum to help me understand how to attack these things!

Which gets me to the present issue before I start putting everything back together:

I had to take the original alternator off to get to the rest of it.  When I did, it leaked oil.  I took it into an alternator shop which deals with Leece-Neville alternators, and the tech opined that it was not cost effective to rebuild.  It is also 28 years old.  Which raises the issue of the type of replacement.

After all the expenses recently made, the budget is not equipped to handle a serious upgrade to the battery bank, high output alternator, new pulleys and belts, external regulation, refrigeration, etc.. I would like to get a few more years out of the present configuration, which assumes the new alternator charging the "smallish" battery bank by installing a larger output wire (e.g. 8 awg-or larger) to the positive post of the starter as recommended by others.  And I would like to buy a replacement alternator to accomplish this goal until I'm ready to spend more money on a more comprehensive electrical upgrade.

My attempts at researching this suggest the following which, admittedly, may be ill-informed:

1. Sizing the new alternator depends on (1) the size of the existing battery bank and (2) the footprint of the old alternator.

2.  For lead-acid batteries, a rule of thumb is to size the alternator output at 25% of the battery capacity.  For me, this is only 170 amp hours.

3.  Prestolite/Leece Neville manufactured several internally regulated alternators which allegedly fit in the "footprint" of the original alternator.  These are a 51 amp model, a 72 amp model, and 90 amp model.  The 51 amp model I can't find anywhere.  The 72 amp (8MR2058PA) and 90 amp (8MR2069TA) models are still available.  These can be had for <$200 each.

My questions for those experienced in these things, and given my desire to tackle a more comprehensive battery/electrical upgrade later:

1.  Do I risk any harm to my electrical system or batteries by replacing my existing 51 amp alternator with another internally regulated 72 amp (or 90 amp) replacement from Prestolite?

2.  If so, what is the expected harm?

3.  Would a switch to either of these higher output alternators require upsizing wires?  I have the 4awg positive and ground wires from the panel to the starter motor and engine block, respectively.  How about the AO wire to the starter?

4.  Leece-Neville also makes other 51 amp and 65 amp (8MR) small frame alternators, although they have different dimensions (deeper and three mounting holes along the top).  Anyone have experience trying to fit these into the M25XP alternator bracket?

5.  Given your experience, what would you do in my situation?

Thanks in advance for your replies.  I really appreciate the depth of knowledge and willingness to share found here! 

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