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

rukidn

.
Apr 23, 2012
117
Catalina 310 258 Sandusky, OH
Peggie,

Very good points. The toilet does indeed pull sea water in during normal flush, as it should. It is only when the intake is closed (on purpose) and sump running that it is pushed. While I do this on purpose, briefly, to flush or winterize the lines, your points about contaminating the pump are well taken. Thanks.
 
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Apr 19, 2020
20
Catalina 310 Kenosha, WI
Hello fellow Catalina 310 sailers,

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?
View attachment 186220

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?
View attachment 186221View attachment 186222

Thank you very much!
I recently dealt with all of these same questions. You're come to the right place for answers. The RAM mic for that black connector is for the remote speaker/MIC for your VHF radio. Depending on the model of the VHF radio, the RAM mic optional unit may no longer be available new. Look around for it in the boat, because they are a little hard to find on eBay. I would note that the RAM mic is good to have as you really can't hear the VHF radio from the cockpit while sailing (especially with the engine running even if cranked up). I recently restored mine and it was well worth doing.

I also replaced all the lights in my 310. In my case, most of the switches were bad and I had to replace the entire ficture (came with LED bulbs). I ordered them from catalinadirect.com and they worked well and fit using the existing holes from the old ones.

Good luck
 
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BillyK

.
Jan 24, 2010
496
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
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.

--Peggie
These 310's have a shower faucet right above the back of the head. It's easy to just run water directly from that faucet right into the head.. We always flush with fresh water shot directly into the bowl from that faucet. it gives you the added benefit of shooting the stuck turds off the inside of the bowl too for added fun.
 

BillyK

.
Jan 24, 2010
496
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
Replacement LED bulbs are easy to find. Consider using a few that are red/white combos. Very convenient for night time sailing.
i went with a mix of red/white and blue/white that looks really nice at night.. blue's along the sides of the boat and red's on all the overhead lights.

bought all of the LEDs from Marine & RV LED Replacement Bulbs
 
May 7, 2012
827
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
I would note that the RAM mic is good to have as you really can't hear the VHF radio from the cockpit while sailing (especially with the engine running even if cranked up). I recently restored mine and it was well worth doing.
A possible alternative to a RAM mic:

Many VHF radios have a RX Speaker mode. When this function is turned ON, the received audio can be heard on an external speaker. That way you can monitor your VHF received signals through cockpit speakers. Of course if hailed you will need to use the mic below decks to respond.
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,815
- - LIttle Rock
These 310's have a shower faucet right above the back of the head. It's easy to just run water directly from that faucet right into the head.. We always flush with fresh water shot directly into the bowl from that faucet. it gives you the added benefit of shooting the stuck turds off the inside of the bowl too for added fun.
But that doesn't provide you with a way to flush all the sea water out of the system with fresh water before the boat will sit, nor does it make winterizing a snap by just pouring antifreeze down the sink (with the thru-hull closed, of course) after you've pumped out and thoroughly flushed out the tank.

You can eliminate the stuff stuck to the inside of the bowl if you add water the bowl--a couple of beer cups full from the sink--ahead of solid waste deposits. If the water drains out of the bowl before you have time to use the toilet, your joker valve is waaaay past due for replacement!

--Peggie
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,842
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
You can eliminate the stuff stuck to the inside of the bowl if you add water the bowl--a couple of beer cups full from the sink--ahead of solid waste deposits. If the water drains out of the bowl before you have time to use the toilet, your joker valve is waaaay past due for replacement! --Peggie
I have a bottle of baby/petroleum oil by the head. When a poopie is expected, give the bowl a circle squirt to lube the bowl... and it helps the pump a bit.
 

JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,840
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Congrats, we love our 310, it is a great boat and will be with us for a long time!
 
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Dec 2, 1997
7,815
- - LIttle Rock
I have a bottle of baby/petroleum oil by the head. When a poopie is expected, give the bowl a circle squirt to lube the bowl... and it helps the pump a bit.
Would you cut off the water supply from the flush water tank on your toilet at home and oil the bowl instead of letting it fill half full with water? And as for any benefit to the toilet pump, you might consider actually lubricating it instead relying on what little oil you use in the bowl.

--Peggie
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,842
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
... And as for any benefit to the toilet pump, you might consider actually lubricating it instead relying on what little oil you use in the bowl. --Peggie
The oil is not for the pump, it is to help the poo slide on down the bowl and away. I DO grease the pump cylinder, and also tee'd off the sink drain. And I have your book. Anything else you want to pick on?
 

BillyK

.
Jan 24, 2010
496
Catalina 310 Ocean City, NJ
But that doesn't provide you with a way to flush all the sea water out of the system with fresh water before the boat will sit,

--Peggie
I never open the seacock to let it in and only flush using drybowl each time since the flush water rains from above. So sea water never gets a chance to make smells..
 

KZW

.
May 17, 2014
722
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Peggy, there appears to be confusion regarding the freshwater flush. This was discussed between you and me a couple of years back on a threat in this forum. (I have your book). There is a T in the sink drain, above the seacock that drains the sink overboard. This seacock remains closed. The T hose goes to the toilet raw water intake on the toilet pump. In my case, I capped off the raw seawater hose with a plug and two clamps (see later discussion). To flush, put water in the sink. Add water to the bowl, as desired from the shower fitting. Turn valve to wet flush. Water from the sink goes through the toilet pump, into the bowl, and flushes. When bowl is empty, turn valve to dry flush, and pump to push everything into the holding tank.
Raw water seacock in the C-310 had two functions:
- One, let raw seawater into the toilet. This no longer occurs with the above modification.
- Two, the inlet hose is T'd to the shower drain / refrigerator drain pump. This connection remains. Open the valve, turn on the shower pump, set the valve under the sink to either shower or refrigerator, turn on the show drain pump, and drain away.

Nothing from the toilet can back into the fresh water system. There is no connection between them.
 
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HBT

.
Oct 1, 2020
2
Catalina 310 New Rochelle, NY
Thank you all for all the answers! Very nice and knowledgeable people here!

I ordered the LED lights, hopefully the correct parts. Looking forward to plugging them into the light fixtures.

I think I have a much better understanding of the boat's plumbing now. I have also managed to unclog the galley sink drain and located the seacock for it.

Next, I will do the winterization for the plumbing. Thinking of bypassing the water heater and just draining it. Any potential issues or recommendations for that?

Is there a way to tell how full is the holding tank? I looked around but cannot tell. It should have been pumped out so there should just be the sea and fresh water in it from my 'toilet flush testing'. I'm planning to drain the holding tank and push some antifreeze into it as described by Ed here:

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.
Thank you again for all the help!
 
Dec 2, 1997
7,815
- - LIttle Rock
Next, I will do the winterization for the plumbing. Thinking of bypassing the water heater and just draining it. Any potential issues or recommendations for that?
You'll find complete detailed instructions for winterizing both fresh water and sanitation systems in the Plumbing and Sanitation forum...it's saved as a "sticky" that keeps it as the very first post. If you've never used the toilet--nothing, not even urine, in the tank--you can skip all the rinse out the tank instructions.

It will not be necessary to replumb your toilet the way that Ed has done it to winterize it. Simply disconnect the toilet intake line from the the thru-hull (close the seacock first!), stick the end of it into a jug of antifreeze and pump the toilet till you've flushed the whole gallon through the toilet and into the tank--after you've pumped out the tank. Or, if you've re-routed your head intake line to tee into the head sink drain line, just pour the antifreeze down the sink (AFTER you've closed the the thru-hull) flushing it all the way through to the tank.

Installing a tank level indicator is the best way to know how much is in the tank...a project you'll want to include in your spring recommissioning. This is the one I recommend
Scad Tank Monitors

--Peggie
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,691
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Next, I will do the winterization for the plumbing. Thinking of bypassing the water heater and just draining it. Any potential issues or recommendations for that?
That's what I do.
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,827
Catalina 310 #185 Quantico
Get one of these as it will save you a lot of antifreeze.


I also added an old piece of water hose to the drain and ran it to my bilge.

We usually pump all the water out, flip on the bypass and then we add the cheapest alcohol we can find. I know it is sacriligious :yikes: but dark rum (about two 1.75 liters) is good as you can see it and smell it as it runs through the lines. In the Spring it just flushes right out with no after taste and can even mix with your coke if you are so inclined.