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U-bolt "upgrade" from Catalina Direct for lower shrouds or not?

Discussion in 'Mid-Size Boats' started by PSR, Jul 5, 2018. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. PSR

    PSR

    Joined Sep 17, 2013
    84 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US MB Yacht Harbor, Richmond CA
    I am replacing the standing rigging on my C27 Surprise and while the mast is down, I have pulled the chainplates to inspect. My lower shroud "chainplates" are 1/2" eyebolts, similar to those offered now by Catalina Direct. These are 1/2" bolts with large backing plates, and therefore are more robust than the original 3/8" eyebolts. Catalina Direct "highly recommends" upgrading to the u-bolts. The replacement eyebolts are appealing for two reasons: First, I've seen the u-bolts installed in my neighbor's 27, and they are not very attractive. Second, the u-bolts are 3/8", so they are small for the existing 1/2" hole. Strength may trump aesthetics, and the 1/2" hole can be filled and redrilled. Still, brand new 1/2" eyebolts seem to me to be more than adequately strong, even for summer winds in the "slot" on the SF Bay, and they leave a total of 4 fewer holes in the deck. CD intimates that dismastings may occur with eyebolts in more than light winds, but I am skeptical of this view. Whether u-bolts or eyebolts, all stress the same deck with similar sized backing plates.

    So I am writing to ask for your opinions on/tales of disasters relevant to the subject: "Upgrade" to 3/8" u-bolts for the lower shrouds with 4 new holes in the deck, or stick with the new, quite robust, 1/2" eyebolts?

    Thanks for your thoughts, and best wishes!

    Peter
     


  2. Joe

    Joe

    Joined Jun 1, 2004
    6,496 posts, 340 likes
    Catalina 27
    US Mission Bay, San Diego
    Definitely install the U bolt retrofit for the lowers. ASAP The factory setup is inadequate, it relies on the deck to anchor the lowers and the original eyebolts do not have proper backing. Not good... the deck can be distorted ... leading to more serious issues.
    I think the plates are beautiful, and they solve the problem..... in fact I wouldn't consider buying an older 27 without that retrofit.
     


  3. PSR

    PSR

    Joined Sep 17, 2013
    84 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US MB Yacht Harbor, Richmond CA
    Thanks for the thought, Joe. The eye bolts I am replacing are not the originals. They are 1/2", not 3/8", and they have large backing plates, just like the new, replacement eyebolts from CD. The new replacements have large integral plates above deck that have obvious advantages, even compared with the u-bolts. It is not obvious that the backing plates for the upgrade u-bolts are larger, except that they are bent longitudinally (I guess) so they extend from under the deck, up against the cabin wall. They also are anchored by the deck, just like the eyebolts.
    Thanks again!
     


    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  4. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,846 posts, 223 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    @PSR Without photos showing your current or replacement 1/2" eye bolts and backing plates, it is hard to compare them to CD's offerings.
    Are they a kit someone makes for the C27? Are the large integral plates above the deck welded to the 1/2" bolt and then through bolted to the deck? If not I don't see there advantage.
    Standing rigging isn't designed for aesthetics. I would choose the angled backing plates over flat plates of the same length and the 3/8" U bolt over a single 1/2" bolt.

    As for less holes in the deck, if prepped (potted with epoxy) and sealed properly, not an issue.
     


  5. PSR

    PSR

    Joined Sep 17, 2013
    84 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US MB Yacht Harbor, Richmond CA
    Thanks for the note, Ward, and for your opinion. The replacement eyebolts are a kit that is sold by Catalina Direct, and the above-deck plates are welded to the 1/2" studs. CD recommend the U-bolts, as you and Joe do, but they supply the eyebolts also. I suspect the 1/2" eyebolts with proper backing plates already on my 1981 boat were installed by Catalina after the early years. The originals have lasted well for 37 years.... I'm leaning to the U-bolts, and, fortunately, I can drive to Catalina Direct in 1/2 hr and pick them up. Also will replace the old upper shroud chainplates with CD's much longer and better fastened alternative.
    P
     


  6. Ward H

    Ward H

    Joined Nov 7, 2011
    1,846 posts, 223 likes
    Catalina 30 Mk III
    US Barnegat, NJ
    I missed that. Sorry.
    So, for $20 more you can have the stronger u-bolt kit.
    Sounds like you have a good plan, doing the standing rigging and all the chain plates.
    Good Sailing.
     



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