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Messages - Patches

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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 / Re: new roller furling
« on: January 17, 2020, 08:29:26 PM »
I replaced my OEM Harken Mark 1 (1990) this fall with a Harken Mark IV, unit 1.  I bought mine from Fisheries Supply.  They order, and Harken will drop ship it to your door.  With my discount, it was cheaper than the sale prices for Profurls and Schaefers on Defender and at Fisheries.

I did a lot of research, and asked a lot of questions including--as always--the knowledgeable members of this forum before deciding on the Harken.  Even my riggers said they preferred the Harken.  I posted on this back in October.

Harken's torlon bearings need only a fresh water flush for maintenance, and the headstay is easily accessible and adjustable.  I also went with the long link plates to get the foot higher off the deck.  This is very useful because my boat is a charter boat and my guests like the extra visibility.  Also it makes anchoring a little easier as well.

I didn't go with the Schaefer because of their use of rivets on the foils.  There were some reports that these work over time, loosening, and making it harder to raise/lower sails on the furler.  Otherwise, many like them and consider them a quality furler.

I didn't go with the Profurls because they were noticeably harder to furl than the Harken, and there were also reports about the luff groove being a tad tight for the #6 luff tape on our sails.  My riggers confirmed both of these observations to me. Although I was attracted to the "sealed bearings", there are also reports that maybe they aren't so sealed and trying to replace those is reportedly both (1) a pain, and (2) expensive.

Furlex gets high marks, but was out of my budget.

I had the riggers install it, but was there to help and observe.  Harken's instructions are good, and everything you need is in the boxes including silicone and Loctite. This can be done by you and a couple of friends, but you'll need to be up the mast a few times, and have a new forestay ready to go.  I was happy to let the Pros do it.

Hope this helps.


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 / Re: New sails Experiences/Recommendations
« on: November 21, 2019, 07:39:14 AM »
Thanks, as always, for everyone's feedback.  After much research and input, here is my experience and ultimate decision.

The quotes received from sailmakers/dealers often made it difficult to compare "apples to apples."  Except for Mack Sails, the quotes received were for sails  made offshore but with some form of quality control by the various sailmakers.  I found the differences to be as follows:

1.  Rolly Tasker/National: Very helpful, calls answered or returned same day.  Construction in Thailand, QC in Florida.  Customer provides sail measurements.  Sail options determined by boat size.  For Catalina 34 owners, this means the sails fall within the "Coastal Cruising." The construction appears to be a good value (crosscut construction, sunbrella UV cover, 8 ounce "high modulus" dacron fabric)  at the base price of $1640.  If you want a foam luff, however, there is a $165 upcharge.  Shipping was quoted at "about $100." My inquiry about using Tenara UV thread on the UV cover was dismissed as being 'too expensive."

2.  Precision Sails: Very helpful, calls answered or returned same day.  Construction in China, QC in Victoria, BC. Customer provides sail measurements. Great website with lots of information about sailcloth, and lots of Youtube videos showing sails sail features prior to being shipped to customers. Detailed quotes based on graduated level of quality sought (300 level, 400 level, or 500 level (offshore).  Options also available for "crosscut", "tri-radial," and "racing".  Precision starts with low quotes for the basic sail category, but then upcharges for things like Sunbrella UV cover (+$137), foam luff (+$120), double tape edges (+$109 with Offshore package), and clew reinforcement (+$169 for Elite package).  No taxes, shipping quoted as "about $100."

3.  Mack Sails:  Helpful website, prompt response to request for quote.  Construction in Florida.  Customer provides sail measurements.  Different approach to sailmaking, in that believes in same upper level of quality for all sails/sailcloth.  Constructs headsails using a "mitre cut" construction (vs. crosscut), Marblemount sail cloth, Sunbrella UV cover with Tenara thread, foam luff, all double taped edges and leather reinforced clews, and special detail on leech/foot lines to avoid wear though of lines.  Impressive.  Offseason quote for 125% furling genoa at just under $2500, and no upcharges.

4.  Local lofts:  Very responsive. Will measure for sail and bend on when received.  Construction at the Quantum loft in Sri Lanka, QC at the local lofts.  Will construct in "Crosscut", "tri-radial", and "racing." Base level offered in "offshore" construction with Marblemount sailcloth, Sunbrella UV cover sewed on with Tenara thread, foam luff, double taped edges, and leather reinforced clew.  Quote for Crosscut at $2000, and $2285 for "Tri-radial" using Newport Pro-Radial dacron sailcloth. No shipping, but local sales taxes of 9%.

Based on the quotes, and my personal needs, I elected to go with my local sailmaker in a "tri-radial" offshore furling genoa.  I paid an upcharge ($50) for a non-standard Sunbrella cover of Silver.  Tri-radial, I learned, is a different construction than the "mitre-cut" offered by Mack Sails. It is generally understood to be a superior construction for sail shape because it orients the loads on the sail in the same direction as the sail cloth leading to less stretch over time.  That should translate into longer life for the sail.  Cross-cut construction, which is the easiest and cheapest way to construct a sail, is usually more than adequate for most boat owners--especially when it is made of high quality fabric like Marbelmount.  As a charter captain I can be out three times a day in the high season, and my sails get more use than those of a typical boat.   I went with a tri-radial furling genoa for both the superior shape and lower stretch. Hopefully it will also prove to be longer lived.

I hope my experience can be used by others wading into this process.


Main Message Board / Re: head sail
« on: November 14, 2019, 10:12:35 AM »
If you are looking for dimensions as to the overall sail, and specifically the luff length, you also need to consider the kind of luff attachment you have.  For instance, if you have hank-on sails then that would be one measurement.  If you use a penant, that would be a different luff measurement of the sail.  If you use a roller furler, a still different measurement and depends on the brand of furler.  Finally, if you have a furler with long link plates--to raise the tack and foot off the deck for greater visibility under the headsail-- that also needs to be figured into luff length.

Hope this helps.

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 / 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.


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