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C30 engine stringers

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
Anybody ever replace their C30 engine stringers? My motor mount lag bolts are loose and don't tighten. I assume there is wood under the glass. My plan is to mount the new motor mounts (vetus k75) on some 3/8" stainless plates the length of the stringer, about 22" long using 5200 and some lag bolts.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,214
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Doug, that's a good idea, but (here's the but...) you need to think about what the new ss will bolt into.

I just did a search (upper right search) that has a LOT of discussions and explanations about what's under there.

Try that and then decide what you want and need to do.

Good luck.
 
Apr 1, 2012
137
Pearson 424 Charleston, SC
Right there with you

Doug,
I too am dreading the same job. Last season I tried pulling a couple lags and filling with epoxy and toothpics, suggested by Catalina, but it didn't work. Dreading pulling the engine this winter to repair. I was thinking that I would cut the top of the stringers off, replace the oak blocks, seal with resin, replace the stringer tops. I would welcome any easier/better ideas.
BTW the ss screwjack fix for the compression block has worked out great.

Stu,
I tried searching engine stringers and have had poor results, I'm sure its my issue as I never seem to get good search results on any browser!
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
I've tried searching for what's down inside the the stringers ie drawing or picture but haven't seen anything. I just assume it is wood block of some sort. I plan to lift one side of the engine today and remove the mounts. Then stick something in the holes to see if there is any wet wood or anything. I might even drill a small hole in the middle of the stringer to see if that is still solid. So it will be an assess the stringer day. The other issue is the counter/ cabinet that seems to be in the way of removing the engine. Not sure why they didn't have a break line where the draw section could separate from the sink section. I'm thinking of doing just that. Cutting the cabinet all the way around and then using latches to keep it together. Future engine accessibility would be greatly enhanced.
 
Apr 1, 2012
137
Pearson 424 Charleston, SC
I talked w/Catalina last year, they said all wood. I pulled some lags and poked around w/an awl. I had one of 8 lags not totally rotten.
I currently have the galley out, I replaced fuel, exhaust, and sanitation this fall. Fuel and exhaust were cracked(checked) in many places.
 

jrowan

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Mar 5, 2011
1,291
Catalina 30 N/A
Doug what about injecting a really strong epoxy such as West Systems into the stringer bolt holes to give you something solid to bolt to?
Seems like you wouldn't have much to loose. I would be tempted to inject a small amount of epoxy, then screw them in wet & do the final tightening after the epoxy has set up. That epoxy turns rock hard when fully cured & is definitely solid material.
 
Mar 6, 2011
25
Catalina 30 mk1 Horseshoe Bay
Hi Spindrift


I replaced my engine a few years ago and had to cut apart the stringers so the new engine would fit. After I cut them open, I noticed that they were blocks of wood, loosely fit, rattling around in a fibreglass cavity soaked in old oil. I replaced mine then. My boat is a 1981 so it had lots of years of mucky oily bilge water to soak up into there.
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
It appears that there is little if any wood around the bolt holes after probing with an awl. The fiberglass pan that covers both stringers is quite stout. So without removing the engine I plan to stick with what I said above with the plates running the length of the stringer. The stringer cavity is somewhat large to go filling with epoxy. We'll see how it turns out.
 
Apr 1, 2012
137
Pearson 424 Charleston, SC
Doug,
by using a 3/8" stainless plate "glued" with 5400 sounds like a possible solution, however how do you envision attaching the engine mounts to the 3/8 SS? Weld nuts to the bottom of the plate and countersink into the stringer?
Don Casey suggests an angle steel bolted through the stringer in his book "This Old Boat" This seems tough on the catalina as the stringers are "L" shaped.

Rob,
Did you replace the wood blocks? Or did you do something different?

I really would like to avoid removing the engine if possible but......
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
Spindrift
Whichever metal I end up using I will drill and tap the plate. 3/8" thick should be sufficient to supply enough threads for the 3/8"-16 bolts.
 
Mar 6, 2011
25
Catalina 30 mk1 Horseshoe Bay
Hey guys


Yes, I replaced the wood. I cleaned them up and chopped off the mucky parts. I fiberglassed them back in place. I had no choice because when I removed the engine, that space was loosely held together and I had to fibreglass.

I think that the metal plates are a good idea provided there is an intact base. Make sure you have the threads in the exact place! I do not envy your situation. Sounds like hours standing on your head in a confined space!

Let me know how it goes!
 

jrowan

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Mar 5, 2011
1,291
Catalina 30 N/A
Doug, it sounds like your set on installing the Vetus engine mounts,
but just another thought: since you said that the glass under the engine is pretty stout, why not screw mounting plates made of S.S. to the top surface of the mounting rails so that you have something solid to bolt the engine mounts to? Just trying to think of alternatives to completely replacing the motor mount rails, as wouldn't that require removing the engine to get access? If I were going to those lengths I would probably have the engine removed & rebuilt all together. I know that one of the biggest problems with C 30 engines is the oil pan rusting out from exposure to bilge water sloshing around. If I had to hoist up the engine, I woulg go ahead & do as mouch preventative maintnenace as possible. I thought that engine mounts were pretty much only replaced when the motor was being pulled for a rebuild.
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
Jrowan -that is exactly what I'm doing. Got some aluminum plate that will go the full length of the stringer which I'll drill and tap for the mounts. The plate will be fastened to the stringer with 5200 and some lags into the glass. I think it's going to work out fine. There is really not that much weight when you think about it. The engines about 350 lbs or so. That's 175 lbs per side. Maybe 100 lbs on each rear mount and 75 on each front. I'll take some photos and report back when done. Racing season is starting soon...
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
Update- The plates are installed with new mounts, new exhaust hump hose, new Oberdorfer raw water pump, and everything back together. Started it up and ran it in the slip. So far so good. Can't wait to take it out for a spin.
 

Attachments

jrowan

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Mar 5, 2011
1,291
Catalina 30 N/A
Looks good Doug. Good job. I'm going to inspect my engine mounts closely the next time I'm on my boat now. Hope I dont' encounter the same problem, but Catalinas are the gift of defects that keep on giving.
 
Apr 1, 2012
137
Pearson 424 Charleston, SC
That does look good Doug. No problems aligning the engine with the added height? My guess is that you were able to get the plate in without pulling the engine, did you just lift one side at a time?

James
 

dj2210

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Feb 4, 2012
337
Catalina 30 Watts Bar
Thanks JR
Spindrift- Yes just one side at a time. I did raise the whole engine up to the top of the mounts then used a machinist jack to jack one side to clear the mounts on that side. The new Vetus mounts allow you to remove the stud to facilitate installation. The vertical adjustment is real close to the lowest it could go due to the added metal plate (1/4" of thread left). If I had to go lower i would just replace the lower nut with a thin nut to add a few more threads but didn't have to.
Adding the hump hose was a good thing as you can see the manifold vibrate on the top part of the hose. Hopefully my muffler hasn't been damaged due to the straight exhaust hose being installed for so long.