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Pimp my C275

Discussion in 'Catalina 275' started by Codybear, Feb 24, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Alansails

    Alansails

    Joined Oct 3, 2011
    484 posts, 34 likes
    Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155
    US Lake Erie/Catawba Island
    Great Job!
    Excellent modifications and clean also...
    If you ever get bored and want a bigger challenge, you are welcome to work on our boat at any time. :biggrin:
     


  2. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,984 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    Great job on the boat. Wow! Love that head and installation.
     


  3. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    Thanks, but I'm still annoyed by Catalina taking a hole saw to my head. Yes, my OCD kicks in every time I give thought to it, but I've learned to try not to think about it.

    Anyway, I'm hoping my documentation is appreciated by fellow sailors and fellow C275 owners. A lot of thought goes into what I do for my boat, as my wife can contest and is ready to shoot me. I have some more to come, but how much can I do to a daysailor? I'm happy with my "pimped" boat and happy to share my research.

    And Alansails, thanks for the invite, but I work for beers, expensive beers and I'm slow (have to have time to enjoy the beer), so my work is not cost effective.
     


    Alansails likes this.
  4. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    This mod is only for new C275 owners and is not a fun modification. For reasons I do not know, Catalina sands the bottom of the hull all the way to within about 1" (probably 0.94") of the stripe (see post #11 in "Calling ..."). This gives a lot of exposed bottom paint with very little hull color below the stripe. After studying some pictures, I figured I'd lower the bottom paint line another 3.75". In order to do this, I ran a 3" (actual 2.83") painters tape below the hull stripe and then a 2" (actual 1.88") painters tape below that one. This gave me a reasonable line to work with. Though you will have to freehand the last 5' or so of the stern. I used 1" tape for the freehand. Once the line was set, I ran additional tape below the two rows of tape to preserve the line, which also provided some protection to the sanded hull.

    I removed all the tape above the protection tape and with a lot of elbow grease sanded away Catalina's orbital scratches working my way to 1500, which was the finest I could get at the local hardware store. Polishing with rubbing compound got it looking pretty good. I didn't get all of Catalina's scratches out, but it looks much better. Maybe after enough polishing over the years, I'll get the rest.

    After that, I reapplied tape above the protective tape using as my guide so I could bottom paint. This is my result with 4.71" hull color below the stripe:

    P1030244.JPG

    It's hard to see from post #1 in "Calling ...", but the bottom paint is about 2-2.5" above the water line. As I have the heavier wing keel and I'm in fresh water, you may get just a bit more. If you are ordering a new boat and want a lower paint line, try to save yourself some work and see if you can get Catalina to not sand so high. The only caveat is that Catalina may alter the hull stripe from hull to hull. I assume not, but I don't know how precise they are.
     


  5. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    When purchasing a C275, you will have the option to buy the custom cushions. While I do like the cushions, I'm not a fan of the mounted snaps to the seats/rail. I find them annoying if you don't have the cushions mounted. It is also a $1332 (2014 price) upgrade. In my case, I was just going to go with the seat cushions (less snaps) for $1050 and maybe sew rubber padding underneath to help keep in place. In the end, I hunted down the makers of the Moorings' cushions that you find on their charter boats. The company that makes the cushions is Premier Performance Interiors. I picked a fabric from samples that was closest to the color of the C275 line bags. The invoice description has PPI Retail Moorings Cushion, Trivantage XM2 Gray 863405 Cover & Hinge. I bought 8, which is overkill, and got a volume discount, so in effect one was free. Here is what they look like:

    P1030515.JPG

    New, they can be a little slippery. The gray seams to be a nice color as it doesn't seem to get hot in the sun yet doesn't show dirt as much as white. The advantages of these over the C275 option are: easy to just put out one or two if sailing short handed, cushioning for your back, and half the price. I tied a line around the hinges of two of the cushions (one for each side), with a snap hook on the other end, to put up on the rail when steering. The line is so I don't have to do MOB drills. I get enough practice with hats, people dropping their cans with my huggies overboard and runaway beach balls.
     


  6. Doug4bass

    Doug4bass

    Joined Jun 9, 2004
    478 posts, 30 likes
    Catalina 385
    US Marquette. Mi
    Every new Catalina I've had, the hull was sanded as yours. Gives good bond to the bottom paint. All 3 boats sat in the water with about 3" of exposed paint...which I like. Although I really dont like the look of boats with paint clear up to the boot stripe.
     


  7. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    Based on my picture in "Calling", I have about 2.5" exposed paint at the bow. If I have lowered it by about 3.75", that means the normal would be 6.25" of exposed paint. IMO that is too much. I'm not aware of anyone painting the C275 transom with bottom paint which only sits above the water by about 1-1.5". So if the transom is not being sanded by Catalina and subsequently painted, why protect the rest of the hull so far above the water line? I appreciate Catalina sanding my hull for me, I just question why so high on the C275.
     


  8. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    When you're dependent on electricity to start your boat's engine, I have always been a believer in a second battery. I held back installing a stereo until I had a second battery because of this concern.

    Catalina installed my battery under the starboard saloon seat. The distance to the engine is not ideal as well as the lowering of the saloon seat after hull #1 which prevents having a battery case top installed. With my water tank located under the port saloon seat, I came up with three reasonable locations for a second battery. All have pluses and minuses, but they are: 1) starboard saloon seat, in front of existing battery; 2) under stern bunk, just aft of battery selector; and, 3) cockpit locker. I went with the second option with the intention to keep the starter battery cables as short as possible.

    In order to simplify the install I ordered a group 24 battery tray from Catalina Direct. Took about a year for it to be made and shipped, but I wasn't in a hurry as I still was trying to figure out the stereo speakers. I also bought the matching battery box to guarantee a fit. I measured the angle of the hull under the stern bunk using an electronic level and then cut two angled strips of wood to match so the tray would sit level. Gelcoated the wood and then caulked (Sikaflex 295 (not as permanent as 5200)) the wood to the hull and the tray to the wood. This is the installed tray:

    P1030396.JPG

    There is not a lot of height in this location, so I had to go with the shortest car battery I could find. I went with an Interstate MT-42, typically used for the old VW Beetle, and clamp-on battery cable adapters. As its only job is to start a small engine, this battery is sufficient. I also cut the battery box so the height of the battery and box matched:

    P1030288.JPG

    Certainly smaller than the adjacent house (G27) battery and only weighs about 25 lbs. I also went to town on the battery cover with the table saw and jigsaw to get the top to slip over the battery because of the fiberglass bunk overhang (the added cable holes help as well):

    P1030297.JPG

    There is not much room to spare, so if installed in the same location, do not elevate the tray more than you have to. There is plenty of room without the cover, but having the cover is nice.

    While my intention was to keep the battery cable as short as possible, I didn't quite follow my intentions. While I kept the positive as short as could, I decided to locate the the negative bus bar and amp shunt near the house battery instead of near the starter battery for multiple reasons.

    To simplify day to day use, I added a Yandina Combiner 160 (C160):

    P1030390.JPG

    The switch above is when I remove a battery and I want to disable the combiner. The C160 doesn't use any power when the engine is not running, which is good in my situation because I opted out in regards to the solar panel on the anchor locker. Further, the C160 will also support the C275's 125A alternator. With my dual battery selectors, the panel selector is turned to the house battery (G27) and the starter/alternator selector is set to the starter battery (G42). If I want to have the house battery get the extra minute of charging before combining, I'll start off the house battery.

    Anyway, I know there are multiple ways of adding a second battery to a C275, I thought I would show one option.
     


  9. jviss

    jviss

    Joined Feb 5, 2004
    1,984 posts, 121 likes
    Tartan 3800
    US Westborough Westport, MA
    That's a lot of work! What I did, in a C36, was to find out what tractors the Kubota D850 was used in; the D850 is the base engine for the Universal M25. I then found what battery these tractors used, which for many was an EU1L size, a pretty small lawn and garden tractor battery. I built a plywood battery box for the sealed lead acid batt, and keep it charged with a Xantrex Echo Charger. Works like a charm, and the small size of the battery opens up lots of options for location.
    Remember, for a starting battery, distance can be compensated for with larger gauge wire.
     


  10. Codybear

    Codybear

    Joined Jun 6, 2016
    68 posts, 9 likes
    Catalina 275
    US Lake Michigan Wilmette, IL
    What the forum post or the install? No seriously, I see building and installing a nice looking box being more effort than buying the tray and box. I did consider a tractor battery but I got more CCA (good when the battery gets older), slightly shorter at 7" (with the add-on adapters) and fits the purchased box better. And yes, I am aware of cable gauge as I created a spreadsheet to calculate voltage loss for all the electrical loads I've added. Bigger is always better except for the wallet. Distance was only one factor in my decision.

    It is good to know your smaller battery worked for your C36 and gives alternatives for others to consider when adding a battery to start a relatively small engine.
     



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