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Repowering a 1974 C30

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Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
I will be looking at a C30 this weekend that has an outboard. I have yet to hear from the owner but I am running on the assumption that the motor is shot.

Assuming I do not run screaming from viewing the boat what would be the best possible motor/transmission to repower this thing with? I know I will be going Diesel even if it requires new fuel tanks. I am not looking for cheap, bulletproof is prefered. All suggestions welcome.
Aug 8, 2011
Catalina 30 Old Saybrook
First, join the Catalina 30 Association.

Second, a freshly rebuilt M25-XP is best. Reliable engine, and matches the Atomic 4 bed mounts, which is likely what's in the boat.

Just repowered our 30-yr-old M25 with an M25-XPB. Slight settee mods required, but the mounts were right on.

Others will recommend Beta Marine for their lower price. The marine accessories on this Kubota-based engine are Chinese, which begs sourcing questions of maintenance items like impellers, heat exchangers, etc.
Nov 18, 2012
Catalina 77 - 22 / 75 - 30 Lake Arthur, LA
I have #65 built in 1975 the first year of Catalina 30's. Be sure it's a Catalina 30 and the seller just doesn't know better.

There is a boat on EBay that is not even close to a Catalina. I emailed the seller to let him know. It looked like a Hunter. He didn't change his listing yet.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
Here is the listing I am looking at on Sunday.


The forward hatch, stanchions, windows and bulkhead look very similar to my C27. It does have the sloped cabin front and tiller. I think a hunter is square up front and had a wheel as it had a skeg hung rudder and not a spade. It will be interesting to have a peak at the hull number. Who knows, it may be 1 or 2, a museum piece.

Owner got back to me and it has no motor or trans just a shaft. It does have a small diesel space heater on the bulkhead so it may still have the fuel tank.

The funny thing is the boat is only 3 slips down from me at the Marina. I have walked and motored past it more times than I can think of and I can't really remember it. I do remember his live aboard neighbor because he has cats living on his cabin top and does not let them inside.

I will be checking it out Sunday when we go out sailing. If it is doable I may put a refurb motor in it or maybe go electric/diesel hybrid.
Feb 26, 2004
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Others will recommend Beta Marine for their lower price. The marine accessories on this Kubota-based engine are Chinese, which begs sourcing questions of maintenance items like impellers, heat exchangers, etc.
I agree with your earlier comments, but this one makes little sense.

Could you please explain, since the Oberdorfer raw water pump, for example, is not Chinese.

Heat exchangers are available from SENDURE and Seakamp, certainly not oriental at all. http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6920.0.html

Please help me understand what I understand to be false claims.

PS - A couple of my friend repowered with BETAs and are very happy campers (boaters!) :)
Jul 7, 2009
Catalina 30 Mark I Stockton, Mo
Pretty sure it's not a 1974, but it sure does look like a 30. The nav station to starboard, the table top bunk amidships...not set up like a 27. Check the data plate and look for the serial number. My guess it's a 1975 or '76. Looks like it might have had wheel steering at one time.
Nov 11, 2011
Catalina 30 Sitka
That sure looks a whole lot like my 1976 Catalina 30 #376. I've spent the last couple years battling a old universal m4-30 inboard - spent my vacations at the boat fighting the engine instead of out on the water. Threw in the towel this year and mounted a 25hp suzuki outboard on the back until I can afford a real repower. Just finished a 4 day, 100 mile trip in South East Alaska and the outboard did great! Reliable, economical and far less issue with porpoising than I expected, even in some 12' seas.

I absolutely love this boat. Looks like a very similar year and model in the photos- assuming the basics are solid, I'd go for it!


Feb 25, 2010
Catalina 30 Long Beach
I have a Yanmar 2GM20. It required a 4" cover modification and a new 14x14 prop but with my Aqua-lift its quiet, dependable, and just sips fuel.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
Looked at the boat today and forgot to ask about the hull number. Funny thing it was stenciled in the bilge when I looked down there. Or course I was a dumbass and did not take pictures.

It did have a wheel at one time but now has a tiller. The good thing is the OB seems solid and if we do buy the boat we will not have to rush except it needs a bottom job and the potential for a prop change could be an issue.... :doh:

Why do I love doing these things.... :snooty:


Mar 5, 2011
Catalina 30 N/A
I've had diesel engines on all of our bigger sailboats, & while they are of course very reliable, they are also very expensive to replace, & there are newer alternatives out there.

If there is a reusable engine block & majority of the engine is intact, then I would always rebuild an existing engine before replacing it. Unless it had a cracked block or head from extreme overheating, or excessive corrosion to the point that the cooling jackets were leaking. A rebuild will usually come in at about a quarter of the replacement cost. I feel that the C 30 is too big & beamy for an outboard engine to effectively push, unless its a big one, & that will weight down the stern transom excessively. The motor would also have to be offset to one side because of the swim ladder, that will effect its efficiency & cause the boat to track to one side. Plus I had a C 25 with a tiller & an outboard & its a ***** to steer & run the throttle & shifter at the same time when docking.
Another possibility is to look into the new electric motors that are out there. There are several past discussions on this C 30 website that detail replacing an old A4 for a silent electric motor, that uses no fuel & does not pollute. While they do need a lot of battery bank capacity, I do believe that this will be the wave of the future in terms of providing auxiliary power for sailboats. Diesel fuel is getting more expensive, it is stinky, creates pollution, and if I were given the choice over spending over 10k on a diesel replacement or an all electric motor that was silent & pollution free, I think I would go all electric. Just my 2 cents.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
Yup, the OB is not going to cut it. I will probably pick up a re-manufactured motor as long as it can do hot water.

Of course if the Admiral thinks it is a good idea we will be getting a new Beta or Yanmar.

Electric is a no go. I plan on retiring at some point and sailing much farther afield that electric can support practically.
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