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1987 Catalina 34

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by John Tubb, Feb 1, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    985 posts, 272 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Well made it back. Boat was a solid 8 out of 10. My wife did like the size and room below, on deck and cockpit. Not a project boat for sure.

    Good
    Sails are new Precision, just under $10k (receipt) last year and nice clean shape
    All inside cushions are recovered sunbrella with vinyl back. Very professional job and sharp looking.
    Wiring harness looks like it was replaced, found info from first owner about it and saw no evidence in engine and the cockpit.
    Engine panel was all working with a voltmeter. Showed just over 300 hours.
    Current owner bought in 2015 from original owner.
    Solar panel setup is pretty sweet and professional install. 2 new house batteries and new separate starting battery.

    Bad
    Water leak at starboard side bottom of heat exchanger, pretty good flow at seam. Not sure if there is a rebuild kit for this and it looks lime this is the original heat exchanger
    The stuffing box looks new but flings water while running, broker, who sells nee Beneteau and runs a repair yard, isn't sure this is correct and recommends it be looked at.
    Mast seems to be aft in the hole in the cabin, not centered. Standing rigging looked fine and all of the turnbuckles were pretty centered, so not over tighten or loose.
    Water in bilge, given heat exchanger and stuffing box leaks not surprised.
    Owner drilled hole in cabin for cable tv connection and it was leaking.

    So wife liked it, I liked it, but wish the issues in the engine and shaft weren't so obvious.
    20190209_111708.jpg 20190209_111716.jpg 20190209_112836.jpg 20190209_113935.jpg 20190209_113952.jpg 20190209_121912.jpg 20190209_121921.jpg 20190209_115202.jpg 20190209_115222.jpg 20190209_115003.jpg
     


  2. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,049 posts, 976 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    What you’re calling a stuffing box is actually a shaft seal, and should be an easy fix with either a new bellows or an adjustment. Unless the seal ring got (somehow) something sucked into it and got scratched. If there’s air in the tube, it’s going to leak. The picture doesn’t show a breather tube?
     


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  3. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    2,082 posts, 359 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Early ones didn’t have a breather tube. Agree with Meriachee, shouldn’t be a big deal to fix. Do a search on a PSS shaft seal or check there web site. Might something as easy as adjusting the bellows. Most recommend putting a split lock ring on the shaft to. Keep the seal from sliding back. Not a show stopper.
    The HX exchanger end plates easily come off. You can get new end gaskets from Catalina Direct. Not a big deal if in fact that’s where the leak is. Not a show stopper.
    No clue about the non centered mast but the other items all seem minor.

    Boat sounds real good John.
     


  4. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    20,258 posts, 780 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    John,

    Please just go look in the 101 Topics and the wiki. ALL of these links are right there.

    HX - just buy a new one. Sendure or Seakamp $300

    Heat Exchangers 101: Sources for replacement Good Guys at Sendure

    http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6920.0.html

    Stuffing Box - there's an entire section in the wiki, repack it, 1/2 hour job, $30 if you have to buy new packing.

    Repacking a Stuffing Box 101 - by Maine Sail: http://forums.catalina.sailboatowners.com/showthread.php?p=775788&highlight=stuffing box There are also lots of articles in the C34 Tech wiki. http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=Stuffing_box

    Mast - check if there are wooden wedges up there, if not, get some, soft pine, $20 Google "centering mast in the partners"

    Breather Hose: I did mine like Noah's

    Breather Hose 101 (w/ K&N Filter Pictures from Rick Allen)

    http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,8875.msg63915.html#msg63915

    and Noah's: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,8858.msg64297.html#msg64297

    You're Done. :)

    Sounds good.
     


    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  5. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,109 posts, 3,330 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    John
    The critical issues stuffing box (really a PSS shaft seal) and the heat exchanger are the ones that can sink the boat. These need maintenance or replacement.
    The PSS shaft seal requires a haul by the yard. Here is a link to PYI the maker of the PSS shaft seal. https://www.shaftseal.com/pss-type-a-seal.html
    Then the heat exchanger is covered by Stu’s link.

    Maybe a $1000 - $1500 of parts and repair.

    The rest sounds like maintenance and cleanup. TLC for a new to you boat.

    Best of luck with your quest.
     


  6. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    20,258 posts, 780 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    Oops, I missed the PSS, I hadn't clicked on the small pictures. John, lots of discussions about that, too. Maybe not a wiki article, but certainly on the forum.
     


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  7. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    985 posts, 272 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Thanks all. Agree it looks good, @Stu Jackson there were wood wedges on the mast, not installed, but strapped to it below the turnbuckle.
     


  8. Meriachee

    Meriachee

    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,049 posts, 976 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    The pss has gone through a number of revisions. As far as a sailboat is concerned, there are essentially three revisions; the first has no breather tube. The second has a nylon breather nipple, and the third has a stainless nipple.
    You cannot retrofit.

    The forensic audit department would conclude that the black lines at 90degrees from the ring would suggest that there’s been wear on the carbon ring. That happens for one of three reasons, the thing is new, it was run dry, or something got in there and scored it.
    I’d bet it was run dry. With no breather tube, any air in there can’t escape, and you HAVE to have water in there.
    If you buy this boat, buy a whole new pss, and a retention collar. Easy to install, and come back in 5-8 years and discuss it.
     


  9. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    20,258 posts, 780 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada


  10. John Nantz

    John Nantz

    Joined Jul 1, 1998
    2,952 posts, 31 likes
    Hunter Legend 35
    US Poulsbo/Semiahmoo WA
    A few comments with regard to the PSS shaft seal:
    First, if it's been in there a long time, what happens is the bellows looses it's elasticity and doesn't put as much pressure on the carbon ring. Solution is to loosen the set screws on the ring and slide it back a few more millimeters. This will result in less water splash. If still not enough, move it back a tad more. It's okay to have a few drops come out because that means everything is lubricated. The heat in the engine room will evaporate the little bit that does come out. If it is always bone dry, then there could be too much pressure and too much wear. One could put an absorbent towel under it to retain the occasional drip.

    Second, for a safety ring, just use a zinc.

    Third, since there is no bleed capability, when launching the boat just move the bellows back until there is a squirt of water. This means there is water in the bellows and enough to lube the ring. No big deal, no need to buy a new one just for the bleed thingies.

    Otherwise, the PSS shaft seal is a nice optional item to have.

    From a buyer perspective, I would agree that after three decades the year of the boat isn't that critical compared to the condition. The new sails, though, are a huge boost. As sails get stressed and the draft increases, the boat becomes more tender (or tipsy to crew), so the new sails should really help in that department.

    Have any idea where the original owner kept the boat? Also on the lake?

    Editorial comment: It's a 30 y.o. boat so if those are the only significant issues it seems like one worthwhile pursuing. One thought is to check if there are any liens on the boat; there are companies that do this sort of thing. Just curious, why was the seller selling it? Needed money? Is there a way to write into the purchase agreement that there are no liens on it? There have been a few articles on this topic so that's why I bring it up.

    If you still like your existing boat, maybe just keep it. That is what we did with our 16' daysailer, still have it. There are advantages to a towable boat. Looked at getting a C25, bought the F150 heavy-half tow rig and still have it too. Just got Washington classic car plates on it!
     


  11. RitSim

    RitSim

    Joined Jan 29, 2018
    12 posts, 0 likes
    Beneteau 411
    Irish Ayes II US Branford
    I had a Catalina 30 for ten years- looks like the same engine. It is actually a Kubota D-950 diesel. There are parts manuals on-line. You can get engine parts at any local Kubota dealer if you have the Kubota part numbers. Agree on buying a new heat exchanger. Probably 30 min to change out.
     


  12. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    985 posts, 272 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Just to close this out. We decided to pass on this boat. Really it came down the draft and the age. By age it was a bit too dated for my wife and I understand that. Was a good learning experience and I think if we find a MKII that might be better. We are also considering looking at something in Panama City Beach and serve as a our beach place for summer too .
     


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  13. Scott T-Bird

    Scott T-Bird

    Joined Oct 26, 2008
    3,737 posts, 786 likes
    Starwind 27
    US Barnegat, NJ
    Those issues seemed relatively minor. I doubt I would trust a PSS when I don't know when it was installed. I replaced my first one after I had it about 8 years. I'm 5 years into the second one. If I was looking at a boat and the PSS had ANY sign of fault or had been adjusted, I wouldn't hesitate to replace it immediately. What cost is peace of mind? There's a lot to be said for choosing to look at later models only. The lack of walk-thru transom would be an immediate deal killer for us.
     


  14. Justin_NSA

    Justin_NSA

    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    5,267 posts, 1,027 likes
    Hunter 30T
    US Cheney, KS
    Something to be said about later model designs and the MkIIs. The walkthru is nice. Newer systems are nice. The layout below are usually nicer.
     


    John Tubb likes this.
  15. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    985 posts, 272 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Agree, we bought the O'day 25 as our cheap learning step and to help guide us toward what we both want. In the end my wife is more about the comfort and relaxing elements and not so much the fixing and having something dated and old. She wants to be proud and have a little bit of luxury and enjoy it together. So I can't argue with that for sure. We could have bought for cash this one, or we could use the same cash and purchase newer and use cash for the down payment. Basicly plan it out like a second home. Right now I think we are leaning toward the second home and keep the cheap paid for O'Day for local lake fun on the weekend.
     


  16. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    20,258 posts, 780 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    Hi, John, thanks for the followup report, the details and the reasons. You now have some "investigative experience" under your belt, have learned to source solid info, gone through a "decision making process," and, heck, made some new friends. Couldn't be any better. All the best to you & your future plans.
     


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  17. Parsons

    Parsons

    Joined Jul 12, 2011
    683 posts, 274 likes
    Catalina 36
    US Bay City, MI
    Yeah - what Stu said! Plus, if you ever need a bunch of armchair experts to second-guess any of your decisions, you know the right place to shop. Come visit here next time you've got a target, but bring pictures.
     


  18. John Tubb

    John Tubb

    Joined Feb 14, 2017
    985 posts, 272 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Guntersville, AL
    Yup, I took a lot of behind the pretty pics so I could look back at what I saw. I didn't post them because we went through our thought process to decide we just need to more up to more current designs and regardless of condition and price ignore the 70s, 80s and even some early 90s. The boat really was in very good condition and showed very well, it will make the right owner very happy as the current owner while not a 'passionate' sailor he isn't shy about fixing it and keeping it in good condition.
     



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