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First time boat owner (Catalina 310) with basic questions about electrical and plumbing

HBT

.
Oct 1, 2020
1
Catalina 310 New Rochelle, NY
Hello fellow Catalina 310 sailers,

I recently became a proud owner of a 2004 Catalina 310. Here is a pic:
catalina-310.jpg


I am a first time boat owner and am trying to figure out how things work on my boat. I will bore you with my basic (and potentially stupid) questions and this will probably be the first of many posts. I have done some basic manual reading but I still find most things not so easy to figure out. Please let me know if these questions/posts are not appropriate for this forum.

Here it goes:

1) What is the socket in the image (the black one below) called? It is to the port side of the helm station. What is it used for?
sockets-next-to-helm.jpg


2) (Very very basic plumbing question) Where does the galley sink drain to? Where is the valve to open so it drains? Mine currently does not drain and I suspect some valve leading to a thru-hull discharge is closed. I tried to follow the sink drain hose through the hull but it is not easy to see.

3) Previous owner installed an electrical toilet. I have attached images of the toilet, the plumbing under the head sink and the plumbing next to the shower in case it helps. Very basic question: What is the basic steps to operate this electric toilet? Currently it doesn't flush. I'm sure I need to turn on a switch somewhere. But before that I also want to make sure I have all the valves in the correct position to send the toilet contents to the holding tank (and not to the ocean).
electric toilet.jpg
under-head-sink.jpg
next-to-shower.jpg


4) I believe the cabin/head lights on the boat are original and probably have incandescent bulbs. I would like to replace these with LED counterparts. Any recommendations for direct replacements?
cabin-light.jpg
head-light.jpg


Thank you very much!
 

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Jan 4, 2006
3,114
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
Welcome to the site @HBT

A suggestion that will return far more answers is to ask your questions one at a time in separate posts. Easier for others to answer one only rather than a group of questions where they may only be familiar with one item. Also, post to"Ask All Sailors" with generic questions as you'll get more replies.

As far as the sink goes, there will be a valved thru-hull somewhere between the drain and the hull. Only a dislocated back and skinned knuckles will reveal where.

For LED's, check here on the SBO chandelry :


Looks detailed enough they could also fit you with a new heart pace maker if required.

Perhaps other Cat owners can jump in to answer some of your more specific questions. Talk to you again.
 
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Feb 26, 2004
21,279
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Congratulations on your new boat. You'll have lots of fun with her.

A couple of suggestions:

Get a C310 owners manual. The Catalina 310 Owners Association (www.catalina310.org) links back to this site. Learn to use it.

Smitty's website: (no title) is a wealth of information. Click on the no title.

Learn to find the manuals for the equipment on your boat on the internet, if your PO didn't give them to you.

Good luck.
 
Last edited:
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Nov 16, 2012
930
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
Very few stupid questions, but a lot of stupid answers. . Actually, this is a great group with a lot of smart people willing to share their expertise and experiences. Welcome. The 310 is a great boat, but I’m kinda biased
 
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Nov 16, 2012
930
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 Santa Cruz
Our galley sink drains to a thru hull directly under it. There is another thru hull next to it that is the shower/ice box pump drain, but not all of the 310s are the same, so your setup may be different. Your under head sink plumbing looks completely different from ours (2000 model). It’s possible that your hose is clogged. The boat came from the factory with labels on all the the thru hulls, but who knows that the previous owner did. There’s some detective work in your future!

Replacement LED bulbs are easy to find. Consider using a few that are red/white combos. Very convenient for night time sailing.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,788
- - LIttle Rock
Welcome aboard! I'll let others deal with your electrical issues...as you'll see in my signature, I specialize in the LEAST glamorous systems on a boat--toilets everything related to 'em.

Your toilet is a Jabsco 20200 electric "conversion" that replaces only the pump on a manual toilet with a macerating (has a blade in it kinda like a blender) electric toilet. If all it does is just sit there when you try to flush it, I suspect it could be turned off at the breaker. The owners manual should help you figure out how it works and includes a diagram of the correct way it should be wired and plumbed. Jabsco 29200 owners manual
Not all of the plumbing in that mare's nest of hoses in your first photo relates to the toilet. The clear red and white striped hose should be fresh water plumbing...not sure what the bilge has to do with anything...and the third photo seems to be the macerator pump that dumps the holding tank at sea--which is only legal in open ocean at least 3 miles from the nearest point of land on the whole US coastline.

That much should get you started in sorting out what you have and how to use it and I'll be glad--along wth many others--to help you sort out the rest.

And since you're brand new at all this, I don't think others will condemn me for indulging in a little shameless self-promotion and suggest that you check out my book (see link in my signature below). The title (my publisher's idea) is a bit misleading...'cuz although it does deal with every source of odor on a boat and how to cure, or better yet PREVENT 'em, it's actually a comprehensive "marine toilets and sanitation systems 101" manual that explains the laws, describes all the types of toilets and systems and how they work, and will help you learn how to operate and maintain your system to prevent 99% of problems instead of having to cure 'em. 'Cuz you get to do any preventive maintenance on your terms when it's convenient...the need to cure a problem never happens when it is! And because no book can answer every possible questions, I'm always glad to answer any questions it doesn't.
(end shameless self-promotion)

--Peggie
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,424
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Congratulations on your boat and welcome to the group. I hope you love yours as much as we love Smitty. I stopped counting a couple of years ago, but we had over 15K nm under her keel then, sailed to some more islands and back since. We have been living aboard full-time since 2013.

1)The black socket is a Standard Horizon RAM mic connection. It's and extension for your VHF. Look for a VHF hand piece that is not connected directly to the radio. If you can't find it, post a pic of the unit and I'll tell you what one will fit so you get one. They cost about $100.

2)The sink drain seacock is under the waste basket below the sink. Remove the waste basket and you should see the valve. But is suspect it's open and it's clogged (the picture you posted of the seacocks in the head are open). If it's clogged fill the sink half way and then pour about 1/2 a cup of muriatic acid, you can find the acid at most hardware stores. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and it should be free. We pour hot water and vinegar down the sinks monthly. Every so often I have to step that up to muriatic acid.

Stu already gave you the link to my blog. Go on the About the Boat page and you will find most manuals. The 310 Manual from Catalina is there and has the seacock locations and plumbing diagrams. Like noted above. Some changes have occurred through the years and it may not be perfect. But it's a start.

3) The seacock for the head intake is open. So look at the electrical panel for a breaker labeled toilet or head. It would be an added label, not factory.

4) We did LED replacement bulbs. You can find the details on our blog. They are fine. About 2-3 years ago I changed out the three main lights in the salon to LED fixtures that do white and blue and are dimmable. Science is showing blue and green is better for preserving night vision and we do night and multiday passages often.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
 
Feb 14, 2014
4,920
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
It is to the port side of the helm station. What is it used for?
Remote microphone connection for your marine FM radio. Guessing model is Standard Horizon.
Welcome to the best Sailboater site....
Jim...
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,670
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Jesse is the guy to ask about C310 specific issues, and I think he has answered your questions. I would make one suggestions, based on what I saw in your pics. The macerator through hull is open. This is how you dump your holding tank into the ocean, and should only be open when you are operating the macerator.
 
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rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
116
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
Congratulation on your 310! This is our first boat and we couldn't have made a better choice.

Your under-sink plumbing looks same as ours. The refrigerator and shower sump pumps OUT the head intake through-hull. The fridge/shower selector is the valve with strainer on the RH wall under the head sink. This can work to our advantage.

I just winterized by pouring Marine/RV antifreeze into the fridge drain while running shower sump pump, with valve in fridge position. Switch valve and repeat dumping into the shower sump. This fills the head intake line with AF. Turn off the pump and close the head intake. With more AF in the sump, turn on the pump and flush the head. This will pump AF through the head lines and valve, into the bowl, and into the holding tank. All flushed with AF. I used less than a gallon to flush all lines, but later add more to the "empty" holding tank.

I also use same technique in the summer to flush the anaerobic smelly water trapped between head intake and the head. Fresh water pumped through the shower sump and out helps drive the nasty water out so that first flush doesn't make us evacuate the boat.

Ed
 
Oct 3, 2011
735
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Congratulations and Welcome!, You will find this is the best place to get answers to your questions-There are NO dumb ones!
We all start somewhere and have been there done that! We have owned our 310 for 7 years and are still learning and upgrading. The VHF socket is for a RAM mic, the one above that is a 12 V socket. We have replaced most of our interior and all of our exterior lights to LED-interior red/white. Peggy is THE Head Mistress-Buy her book-like we did and keep it as a great reference. Please consider joining the Catalina 310/315 IA . Catalina 310 IA - Home you get a discount on BOATUS and Mainsheet magazine is included, check the web site.
Please continue to ask questions and support those who support us including SBO.
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,670
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
How does the toilet pull anything out of the shower sump? There shouldn't be any connection between them.

--Peggie
They share the same through hull. Intake for the toilet, outflow for the shower and fridge. This works pretty well, actually. By running the shower sump pump, you are flushing the dead sea critters out of the head inlet.
 

rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
116
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
How does the toilet pull anything out of the shower sump? There shouldn't be any connection between them.

--Peggie
Hi Peggie, and sincere thanks for all you do for our boating community.

Sump PUSHES through the toilet. The sump pump outlet shares the head inlet so when the through-hull is closed sump pump has nowhere to go but through the toilet. I set the Raritan valve to flush position and the sump contents are pumped into the bowl. If the valve is set to Dry, the the pump is dead-headed, with nowhere to flow. I know it's strange, but it does work to advantage as I noted.

Ed
 
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KZW

.
May 17, 2014
721
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
The shower and refrigerator pump discharges through the head raw water intake seacock. Under the sink there will be a Y handle valve mounted on the forward bulkhead. Looking forward, rotate the handle counter-clockwise. That is the shower pump out position. Rotate it clockwise to the refrigerator pump out position.
To pump out:
- On the electrical panel, turn on the shower pump switch on the electrical panel
- Open the head raw water intake seacock
- Rotate the Y valve to shower or head, as desired
- Press the rocker switch above the toilet to turn on the pump. (Pump is located below the sink),
- Run until water is picked up (the pump tone will change significantly). Keep running until water is discharged (pump tone will change back).
- Turn off the rocker switch
- Close the head raw water seacock
- Turn off the shower pump switch on the electrical panel

It can take some number of seconds for the pump to pick up water from the refrigerator (30 or more).

This forum is great. The advice is first rate. Be careful to sort general posts from those of 310 owners as the 310, like all boats, has its ideosyncracies.
 

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Jan 22, 2008
7,802
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Congratulations on your new boat. You'll have lots of fun with her.

A couple of suggestions:

Get a C310 owners manual. The Catalina 310 Owners Association (www.catalina310.org) links back to this site. Learn to use it.

Smitty's website: (no title) is a wealth of information. Click on the no title.

Learn to find the manuals for the equipment on your boat on the internet, if your PO didn't give them to you.

Good luck.
:plus:
 
Oct 3, 2011
735
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Our galley sink drains to a thru hull directly under it. There is another thru hull next to it that is the shower/ice box pump drain, but not all of the 310s are the same, so your setup may be different. Your under head sink plumbing looks completely different from ours (2000 model). It’s possible that your hose is clogged. The boat came from the factory with labels on all the the thru hulls, but who knows that the previous owner did. There’s some detective work in your future!

Replacement LED bulbs are easy to find. Consider using a few that are red/white combos. Very convenient for night time sailing.
They are Very EASY to replace, pull out-push in!
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,788
- - LIttle Rock
Sump PUSHES through the toilet.
Oh dear....NOT a good idea! Except for toilets designed to use onboard pressurized flush water, all manual and electric marine toilets are designed to PULL flush water in. Pushing water through them can misalign seals, gaskets, o-rings and wet/dry cams in the pump. Plus, unless a sump is cleaned at least weekly, water being pushed through it is full of body oils, dirt, and soap scum that can foul up a toilet pump.

There's a much easier and SAFE way to supply clean fresh water to the toilet that I've recommended since the mid-90s:
Sink drain thru-hulls are below the waterline on almost all sailboats. So re-route the toilet intake hose ("Reroute" means "disconnect it from the head intake thru-hull and tee it into the sink drain line, it does not mean "tee a new line off the head intake line! ") to tee or wye it into the sink drain line as close to the seacock as possible because the connection must be below waterline to work.

This will allow you to flush normally with sea water. After you’ve closed the sink drain seacock in preparation to close up the boat (you do close all seacocks before leaving the boat to sit??), fill the sink with clean fresh water and flush the toilet. Because the seacock is closed, the toilet will draw the water out of the sink, rinsing the sea water out of the entire system—intake line, pump, channel in the rim of the bowl and the discharge line ,(Water poured into the bowl only rinses out the toilet discharge line). If your toilet is electric, be careful not to let it run dry…doing so can burn out the intake impeller. Or you can keep the sink drain seacock closed except when it's needed to drain the sink and flush with fresh water down the sink all the time...your choice. But for the same reason that using a sump is a bad idea, never use gray water to flush the toilet!

It may also be necessary to keep the sink plugged except when in use, with a rubber sink plug or by installing a conveniently located shut-off valve in the drain hose. Otherwise the toilet may pull air through the sink when you try to flush, preventing the pump from priming.

--Peggie