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Author Topic: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog  (Read 442 times)

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davo

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1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:59:34 PM »

Hi,
 Would appreciate any advice. I'm looking at a 1990 c34 could you tell me what to look for as far as inherent problems. I would like to find big problems to rule out the boat before hiring a surveyor. I've been sailing on L I Sound a few years but have never owned a boat. We're moving to Tampa in March and may have found The boat. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 08:37:39 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Noah

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Re: 1990 c34
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 04:34:59 PM »

Check out  “critical upgrades” section of this site.
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Stu Jackson

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Re: 1990 c34
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 05:03:45 PM »

davo, that would be here:

http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5078.0.html

Happy Hunting.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Patches

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Re: 1990 c34
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 06:44:26 PM »

I own a 1990 C34.  I can tell you that I have had to address the following critical things since taking ownership in April 2018.  I have the Universal M25XP engine.  Hopefully, the current and prior owners of your boat have made some of these upgrades:

1.  Replacement of the dangerous "trailer plug" wiring harness ($130 from Catalina Direct (CD);

2.  I replaced the original engine instrument panel while I was at it-- since several gauges did not work, it was old with bad connections in the back, and the panel was cracked at the housing corners ($580 from CD);

3.  I just found out my fuel tank is leaking.  After consulting the various posts here on the subject, I decided to completely replace the tank through Ezell's Tanks in Florida ($541 + shipping)

4.  Raw water strainer was originally poorly mounted directly to the through-hull valve (under head sink) in a horizontal fashion and was designed to leak.  I purchased a new one and re-plumbed and mounted it to the bulkhead under the Racor fuel filter. ($30 + new hose and fittings)

5.  Exhaust riser (black iron pipe) was leaking.  A direct stainless steel replacement from CD was $380, and they won't sell it to you unless you also buy the thermal jacket for $160.

6.  If you need to replace the exhaust riser, it is likely you will also need to replace the exhaust flange.  I did, and it required removing the exhaust manifold first.  That is about $100 from CD (and Westerbeke) with the gasket. If you have have to take the manifold off to move the flange like I did, the gaskets are $9/each X 3 gaskets. 

7.  New heat exchanger from Toad Marine Supply:  $350.  Mine was original and failing at the mounting welds.

Less "critical" things include:

8.  My boat came with an older Autohelm ST4000 (wheel-type) autopilot.  These are not great autopilots, but I managed to fix mine and it is working.

9.  I had to replace the original propane tank because my local propane source would not fill it due to no OVP valve.  This required a new tank lid because the new tanks sit higher in the tank. ($70 at CD)

Otherwise, things were still working pretty well.  The boat sails very well, it is comfortable, and has just about the perfect layout below for 34 feet.  Many replacement parts are available from Catalina Direct.

I can tell you that one of the great things about the Catalina 34 is the access provided to everything.  Engine access is good, and the panels in the aft cabin are easily removed to access the steering quadrant, water tank, stuffing box, and fuel tank. I did cut an access panel in the rear of the engine compartment which allows better access to the transmission, heat exchanger, and shaft coupling.  Great Lakes Skipper carries the perfect size Jim Black hatch which fully removes for about $100.  Similarly the holding tank, macerator pump, and starboard water tank are easily accessed.

Also, you can't buy a sailboat for which there are more knowledgeable owners willing to help you with the inevitable questions/issues you will have.  It is really extraordinary.  In addition, the Tech Wiki section provides tremendous background and education on all of our boat's systems.

Other than that, get a good surveyor and take it for a comprehensive sea trial.  Good luck to you!

Patches

 
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Jon W

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Re: 1990 c34
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 07:57:30 PM »

In case you’re wondering; “CD” is an abbreviation for “Catalina Direct” an online source for lots of parts used on Catalina sailboats.
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

Stu Jackson

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 08:39:21 AM »

Patches, excellent summary and observations, thanks so much for detailing your efforts.  I renamed the title of this thread to include weblog, sometimes used to find summaries of work in searches.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

mark_53

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 10:11:37 AM »

You say your moving to Tampa.  I would be looking at a shoal draft boat for Florida.  You will also need AC if your going to cruise.
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1989 C34 Mk1

davo

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 01:42:49 PM »

Hi guys,
Im so glad I reached out to you. I checked with the broker and found out the boat has no upgrades. He told me that given what I want to do (coastal cruising) that I would need to put about $10,000 into it. Hes asking $29000. I will see it and have a survey done. I'm sure I can get a better price. What do you think
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Stu Jackson

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 03:20:57 PM »

1.  I checked with the broker and found out the boat has no upgrades.
2.  He told me that given what I want to do (coastal cruising) that I would need to put about $10,000 into it. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1.  What upgrades were not done?  It's unclear what you mean here.  Did you ask him specifically about X, Y & Z and he said no?

2.  "About $10K" for what?  That's a LOT of money.  "For coastal cruising" really has no definition.  Is there a list with costs associated that the $10K gets you?

I can't begin tell you what I think without learning more about what it is you may or may not know about the boat.  Help us more to help you.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

davo

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 05:54:57 PM »

Hi,
I haven't seen the boat yet I'm going by photos and what the broker tells me. He told me the boat has not been upgraded I took that to mean the upgrades that I saw in you post, but Im not sure. the engine has 1800hrs, no auto helm, has a garmen CP 10yrs old, he said the sails will need to be replaced in a few years the boat has been on the market for 2yrs and the price was just lowered $5K. It is in the water the engine has been run regularly but I dont think its been sailed much in 2 yrs. It needs bottom paint and a good cleaning. I plan on having a thorough survey. My thought if I can get the boat and have it set up for under $35k that would be a good deal. My plans are for my wife and I to sail around Tampa bay and the Gulf and then we'll see. we'd like to take a few days or a week long cruises.We are retiring so we have the time to take our time and go where we want. We've sailed  C28 and C310 and also benni 37 over night trips on L I Sound. We like the Catalina best and figure the 34 is the right size. thanks for all your questions and input.
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Noah

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 06:32:44 PM »

Photos lie. You need to look at/inspect the boat in person before you even think about going further. The broker is not your friend. The surveyor MAY be, IF you picked him and he is good. Stick with surveyor like glue during the survey. The 1990 C34 has good bones but much depends on how it was maintained. It is a 29-year old boat and if it has been neglected, can be a big/expensive project. “Upgraded” is a squishy word here. Upkeep and correcting critical issues is key. Ask the surveyor to look for specific items on the critical list.  Hard to keep your emotions out of buying but try. 8)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:51:57 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
Standard Rig

Jon W

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 07:40:26 PM »

Completely agree with Noah's comment that pictures can be very deceiving. You need to see the boat in person, and climb around lookiing in all nooks and crannies. For what it's worth -

I bought a new 135 headsail and mainsail with three reef points from the local Ulman Sails shop last year. The cost was ~$4,800 with tax for both.

If sails need replacing, the rigging probably does as well. I hired a guy to do mine and upsize all of the wire to 5/16" a couple years ago. The cost was ~$2,100.

New bottom paint and labor by a local boatyard was ~$1,800.

Just these three items are ~$8,700. Prices vary, but my guess is your estimate of $10k is probably low.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 07:43:48 PM by Jon W »
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Jon W.
s/v Della Jean
Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

Stu Jackson

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2019, 08:13:24 PM »

Noah and Jon make good points.  It may be wise for you to consider looking at the boat yourself before engaging a surveyor.  Jon's summary of costs for basic replacement items is spot-on and and perfect for budgeting.  Other things, like the Critical Upgrades (which you should now know by heart) are for you to learn about and then decide what to do.  I am in contact with another prospective C34 purchaser on another boating forum, and he has learned the value of reading the material we have on looking at previously owned C34s, so you know where to look and may even know more than the surveyor about our particular boats.  Good luck.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Roc

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 04:06:36 AM »

Don't use the surveyor that the broker chooses.  Search out surveyors and interview them yourself to see what they plan to do.  Find out from others in the area on what surveyor has a good reputation.  Look on-line for reviews, etc...
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Patches

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Re: 1990 c34 & Patches' weblog
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 07:48:03 AM »

Davo:

Another recommendation I would make is to wait for, and get, the boat you want.  There were many Catalina 34's made, and there are both subtle and substantial changes in the boats--depending on the model year you buy, and the upgrades the boat has received.

I specifically wanted a 1990-1993 or so model because a swim step was important to me.  I ended up with a 1990 Mark 1.25 which has a sugar scoop transom step, but it is not a "walk through" (better known as the Mark 1.5)  I looked at Mark 1.5 in my area, and read the "pre-listing" survey authored by a surveyor.  I noticed that the survey said "rust streak noted as coming from keel stub/keel area."  Major red flag.  When I asked the broker about this, he threw up his hands and said "Catalina smile, they all are like that!"  They're not, and we walked even though this boat was kitted out pretty well, and the engine appeared to be in very good condition.  I also noted stress cracks at the chainplate deck penetrations which helped us walk away.

Other boats I looked at had CNG stoves.  Where I live, that is not a simple fuel source to locate, and conversion to propane (tanks, tank lockers, stove, solenoid switch) is going to be north of $1000.

The moral of the story is don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  If a boat has had a serious electrical upgrade, has a new canvas setup with a bimini and dodger ($6000), or new sails ($4-5000), it will usually be selling at a price that is much less than if you (1) bought a the boat under $30K, and (2) decided to make those upgrades yourself.  Just sayin'.

There are lots of Catalina 34s out there, and you've done well to identify it as a great boat.  So don't make your purchase price too rigid given what later costs to upgrade could be.

Patches
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