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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
    85 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
    6,556 posts, 362 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
    85 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
    1,932 posts, 259 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
    85 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
    1,932 posts, 259 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.
     


  7. PSR

    PSR

    Joined Sep 17, 2013
    85 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 27
    US MB Yacht Harbor, Richmond CA
    The rest of the story: I replaced the old main bulkheads, making the new ones from okoume 1/2" marine grade plywood. I finished them with Minwax red oak penetrating stain, sealed with 4 coats of Varathane. The red oak on top of the yellowish okoume made a pretty good match to the old teak. These are the new bulkheads installed:
    [​IMG]
    and "decorated":[​IMG]
    Here's a a shot of the old port bulkhead, showing water damage along the top and around the bolt holes:
    [​IMG]
    The starboard BH was worse, and both were pretty well destroyed along the bottoms.
    I also installed the new main shroud chainplates from CD. These are considerably longer, with 6 bolts staggered down each plate, rather than the old plates with 4 bolts in line. Eric Cutting, recently ex-C27 owner, kindly came over to my boat and lent a hand fitting the main chainplates as well as good company and moral support.
    Instead of the u-bolt upgrade from CD, I installed new single stud "chainplates" for the lower shrouds. The new ones, like the old ones, are 1/2" ss, not the older 3/8" studs of earlier Catalina days. The deck plate is welded to the stud and has 2 screws to hold it in installed rotation. These, bedded with butyl tape, are also very secure. I used the old backing plates, which are larger and heavier gauge stainless plates than the ones suppied by CD in the lower shroud chainplate kit. With all new standing rigging, a completely sound deck, new, completely sound main bulkheads, and the new chainplates all around, I'm pretty sure the rig will keep standing longer than I do....
     


  8. valcour

    valcour

    Joined Mar 6, 2008
    254 posts, 4 likes
    Catalina 310
    US Scott Creek, VA
    Had a '77 C27, and broke one of those OEM eyebolts for the lowers during a race. Had a rigger on my crew lash the stay back to the car on track for 95% blade and finished the race. Go for the u-bolt upgrade. I also replaced all the bulkheads on that boat. That C27 could outpoint my 310 in any conditions.
     



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