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Messages - Patches

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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.




Main Message Board / Re: V-birth storage
« on: April 16, 2019, 02:42:23 PM »
Storage really is the Achilles heal of our wonderful boats.

I thought about doing the same, and decided on doors on the vertical surfaces on either side of the V-berth--above where the filler piece rests when not in place.  I found the Teak Isle (12 X 12) "drop in door" at Great Lakes Skipper, GLS Stock #: 7200354-5H294, and bought some twist latches on Amazon to secure them.  Cut the openings using a multi-tool and put them in using 4000 adhesive.  (sorry no photos)  I wanted doors I could remove completely for access, because anything with a hinge tends to reduce the opening size and/or require a certain swing radius, and complicates getting things in and out easily.  I have seen from photos that some owners have used a teak 12 X 12 louvered door in this area--similar to the one for the waste bin in the galley-- and these seem to be readily available online. Again, I didn't want a hinged door.

I also thought about using hatches under the V-berth cushions at the aft end (near the drawers and hanging locker) with integral bins under.  Because the port side space underneath is much smaller than the starboard side, and the taper of the hull side, I decided against this.


Main Message Board / Re: Steaming light solenoid
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:29:27 AM »
I think my boat would like to be adopted by Noah.  Great solutions, great execution.



Checked my setup--since we are just a couple of hull numbers apart.  My bilge drain line has a loop in it. The loop is suspended by a zip tie screwed to the underside of the cockpit on the starboard side, aft of the quadrant.  Looks half-a**ed, but has been doing the job for 28 years.  If you have enough excess hose you could try something similar for the cost of one zip tie and 20 minutes of level 6 boat yoga.


Main Message Board / Re: Diesel in the bilge!!
« on: March 18, 2019, 09:58:40 AM »

I think the bet way to prevent the corrosion is to apply the neoprene strips as described in my post above.  Was easy for me because I did the work on my new tank before installation.  A bit of a hassle if trying to do it on your existing tank.  It is a one person job to empty and remove the tank until you have to get the tank from the aft cabin and up the stairs into the cockpit.  Then a second set of hands is needed.

After looking at the inside of my old tank, it was pretty "chunky/dirty" inside.  If it hasn't been done, I would probably remove the tank to clean it and to check the condition of the bottom for corrosion.  If the tank is fine, you could apply the neoprene strips after cleaning the inside.  If it looks suspect or a leak is detected, then replace the tank and apply the neoprene strips then.

I'd give it a "6" on a scale of 1-10 for boat yoga.


I put in an access hatch as one of my first projects after I purchased my boat last April.  It has made a huge difference in all the work I have performed on the engine since then:  remove and replace heat exchanger, paint rear of engine, remove exhaust flange, remove and install new exhaust riser, all new engine hoses, and all new wiring.

I found the perfect hatch at Great Lakes Skipper for about $90.  The hatch removes completely, and it is about the maximum size to cut into the panel below the shelf behind the motor: 11" X 23".  Part number is 582-1123-05.

Simple to install. Trace the cutout of the hatch frame.  Use a small hole saw to cut the radius of the corners, and your multi-tool to cut the straight sections.  Rough sand the edges of the cutout with 80 grit.  Drill pilot holes for the frame and screw in place.  The frame is gasketed, so no caulk needed for mounting.

Sorry for no pics.


Main Message Board / Re: New Member seeking alternator input
« on: March 10, 2019, 09:32:43 AM »
Thanks Ron:

I re-did my electrical from the Instrument Panel to the engine, using the many helpful suggestions of the members on this forum.  New instrument panel, new wiring harness, fuse on the panel feed wire (red 10 awg), new negative buss bar coming off the starter to pick up other negative wires in the engine compartment, new alt output wire (8 awg) and alt neg (8 awg).

Everything does what it should when I turn the key to "on".  Just waiting for the alternator to come back!


Main Message Board / Re: Diesel in the bilge!!
« on: March 10, 2019, 09:15:02 AM »
Hope it's not your tank. Just installed my new one yesterday, and added diesel from the jerry jugs back in.  Your photos are exactly what I saw about one month ago when I looked in my bilge. Look under the head sink, and with a flashlight you should be able to detect a very thin diesel "slick" coming down from the the forward area of the tank.  Lay a flat paper towel in that area to see it if will take up the diesel.

Noah is spot on about pinhole leaks beneath the tanks.  Catalina installed these directly on the glassed-in shelf on the port side, allowing for the inevitable moisture to collect underneath and the process of pinhole corrosion to begin.

Before installing my new tank, I "glued" 2 inch neoprene strips, 1/4" thick- with two inch gaps in between- with 5200 and let it cure for a week.  No contact between the shelf and the tank bottom on the new tank, and no opportunity for corrosion in the future.  Pretty simple to do, and inexpensive as well. Neoprene came in a 10' roll, purchased on Amazon for about $20.  You'll need to buy the 5200 in caulking tube size, which made it very easy to work with.   The process was:

(1) invert the new tank on a flat surface taking care to use several 2X4s spaced underneath to keep the tank from resting on the vent tube or tank fittings.

(2) measure out the strips starting at the forward end of the tank. Cut them to the right length, then measure down another two inches and cut the next one.  Repeat until you have pre-cut all the strips.  When you get down to the pointy (aft) end of the tank, you will find it is best to run the final piece lengthwise.  It will only be about 4" long.

(3) tape the areas where the strips will be placed.  This allows consistent spacing, and the ability to later peel up the excess 5200 which will ooze out when you apply pressure.

(4) Put on vinyl gloves.  Apply the 5200 liberally with the caulking gun to individual strips one at a time.  After you put on the 5200, use a plastic putty knife to spread it evenly along the bottom of the strip. Keep some type of solvent nearby to periodically clean the knife if it gets too tacky.  I  used acetone.

(5) Repeat until you reach the other end. Lay a long length of aluminum foil over the top. This is to prevent the piece of plywood from possibly getting stuck to a strip in the event that 5200 somehow finds its way on the top of one of the strips.   Carefully place a piece of 1/2" plywood, about 48" X 14",  on top of the foil top. Carefully, because the 5200 is still "wet" and will shift if you're not careful.  Now use those heavy, coffee table-type, books to add weight on top of the strips to compress them on to the tank bottom.

(6) Depending on what temperature you are working with--I moved this process inside the house which was about 65 degrees this winter--periodically check the tackiness of the 5200 which will set up over time.  I then removed the "weight" and smoothed the edges of the strips with a caulking tool to remove the excess 5200 before it fully set up.  Then I removed the tape strips.

(7) Add back the foil, piece of plywood, and weight.  Let sit for several more days until the 5200 fully sets up.  This will depend on the temp.

(8) Reinstall tank, new vent line (5/8") and fuel fill (1.5").

Finished product only raises the tank 1/4", and does not interfere with the operation of the manual fuel shutoff located on the tank. 


Main Message Board / Re: New Member seeking alternator input
« on: March 08, 2019, 05:49:51 PM »

The Arco/Mando 60125 alternator is NOT a direct drop in for the Prestolite 51 amp which was original to my boat.  While everything else was a fit, the ear/tab size was about 3/16 wider than on the original alternator.  This created alignment problems with the belt.  Also, the pulley diameter was 2 7/8" vs. 2 5/8" which Ken pointed out would have required a tach recalibration.  Although Leece makes a 2 5/8" pulley you can put on, it would not fit on the 17MM shaft of the Arco.   ASE was very cool about it, and because I had not tried to mount it they allowed me to return it for a full refund. Good people.

I tried initially to find out if my original alternator could be rebuilt.  As I mentioned, my "local" shop--which is still a 40 minute drive--said it wouldn't be cost effective and recommended a new one.  Instead he tried to sell me one I knew wouldn't work because it had no external sense wire.

So I took my old alternator to another shop about an hour away to get a second opinion.  After looking it over, they bench tested it and told me it was putting out 50 amps.  "Nothing wrong with this."  Because it had ingested oil from the crank case breather, he is going to crack it open, check things, and give it a clean.  I'm glad I'll be able to re-use it.  I re-routed the breather tube to the air filter intake per the suggestion of Ken in the tech wiki.  Hopefully that will prevent me having to "check the oil" in my alternator going forward!

Thanks again to all this who helped me sort this out.  Saving now for my electrical upgrade in a few years when I can go to Maine Sail for my needs.


Main Message Board / Re: Fuel Tank Replacement - Plastic?
« on: March 01, 2019, 09:25:16 AM »
I've been trying to resolve my damaged tank issue with Ezell as well.  [Side Note:  my hull no. is 1016, and just two hulls later than Noah's, so the fuel tanks appear to have failed just about the same time.]

Anyway, I concur that the packaging from Ezell was not adequate, and exactly the same as what was described by Noah in his initial post.  I would say that if they continue to package tanks that way, there is a better than 50% chance that the mounting flange will be damaged during shipping.  If you purchase a tank from Ezell, I highly recommend that you ask "how do you protect the tank, taps, and mounting tab when packaging for shipment?" 

Don't get me wrong, Ezell's are very nice folks, and make excellent tanks. You will just be in the position of having to straighten out the bent mounting flange before mounting the tank, and the tanks may sustain some additional scratches. They told me yesterday that all I needed to do was take a hammer and "tap" the bent corners on the mounting flange back into position.  This made it clear to me what the fix would be if I returned the tank, and that is not worth three weeks of my time to have them do it--which they estimated would take "less than a minute."  Plus, the box it came in was in such poor condition it could not be re-used.  Annoying.

Anyway, I plan to give it a go with a hammer, and then put 1/4" neoprene strips, 2" wide and spaced every 2", on the bottom with 5200 to keep the tank from sitting directly on the shelf to prevent future pinhole corrosion.  This method is well explained elsewhere on the inter web.

I also want to note that the vent on the Ezell tank appears to be positioned slightly further forward on the tank, which may require a longer vent hose to the fitting on the transom.



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