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Old 17-12-2013, 08:54   #1
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Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

Hi All, I'm looking at a Catalina 27, Diesel, but an experienced friend suggested that due to the location of the engine, their really difficult to access and thus service. While there is lots of info about the Catalinas I haven't come across this mentioned. Your comments and / or thoughts would be apprecitated.
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Old 17-12-2013, 09:05   #2
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

Yes, the C27 has access "issues" since the diesel was shoehorned into the boat, while the original design had the outboard engine in the lazarette.

But many have been successful with it. You need to look inside the boat and see how it would work for you. Can you get to the oil dipstick easily? If not, the oil level tends not to be checked regularly. Can you get to BOTH sides of the engine? Usually port side has the alternator, starter and starter solenoid, starboard side is the secondary fuel filter and dipstick. Can you get to and actually service the stuffing box?

Those are the major items.
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Old 17-12-2013, 09:23   #3
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

Stu, thanks for the quick and useful reply. Unfortunately, the boat is on-line and I don't have access to it to eyeball it. I like the idea of having an in-board, especially diesel but, in your opinion, would you avoid this boat for the access reason alone? The boat appears to be in good shape for her age and has, according to the seller, had many recent upgrades done. None the less I don't want to shoot myself in the foot.
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Old 17-12-2013, 11:49   #4
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

Any boat with a tapered shape will have issues with easy access to the inboard. It depends on how flexible you are. Yes an inboard (usually a Universal) in a Catalina 27 is a tight fit, but still preferable to an outboard in most conditions.
The boats I've owned from the 70's-80's era all had some engine access issues but not enough to prevent me from owning and maintaining them. I did have to have a friend of mine who is 5'7" and 140 lbs check the transmission fluid level on one (I was 5'10" 205 lbs at that time, a few more lbs at this time) since I was just a smidge too big to squeeze in there, but the promise of free cold beer usually did the trick.
I'd be more concerned with knowing the overall condition of the boat and motor. As long as you can reach the oil filter, dipstick and water pump">raw water pump housing you should be OK. Depending on the motor the raw water pump and alternator is usually mounted on the front of the engine so access is not a problem.
Also, look to see if the transmission and throttle cables can be changed by a human being without removing the engine, befriend a couple of people of diminutive size who like to sail. Did I mention free cold beer, it works in a number of situations.
Diesels don't usually need much maintenance beyond oil changes, belts and oil level checks as long as you feed them clean uncontaminated fuel and don't overheat them.
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Old 17-12-2013, 13:13   #5
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

I have similar problems with my engine access on my Watkins. I already enlarged the opening in the cabin and built a new engine cover, couldn't even check the oil before. Also considering one of these 2400 series hatches for the cockpit sole to be able to access the rear of the engine and fuel tank.
Deck Hatches, Freeman Marine Equipment, Inc. provides the finest marine and specialty closures available. Custom fabricated doors, hatches, portlights and windows.
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Old 17-12-2013, 18:20   #6
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I have a 1985 C27 Tall Rig with the Universal M-18. In short, we LOVE the boat and the diesel is great. Access is tight and increases time for everything. I wouldn't (and didn't) avoid the C27 just because of engine access. In fact, I'm not sure I would want a C27 without the diesel.

There is an access panel in the quarter berth. One under the companion way stairs, and two in the port cockpit locker.

Nothing special to look for other than normal engine/survey stuff. Mine has pretty low hours. (around 800).

Josh
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Old 18-12-2013, 07:03   #7
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

The 27 was one of the better sailing hulls from Catalina.
A couple have even circumnavigated, with beefed up rigs of course.
A great, inexpensive coastal cruiser for those on a budget.
Fine for a couple, depends on the level of comfort your looking for.
Catalina also has great customer support, which makes it a good starter boat for someone getting into the sailing addiction. It just makes it easier to maintain and do repairs on one.
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Old 20-12-2013, 21:31   #8
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

thanks guys for your responses and input. Straight forward and useful information. I currently have a Kells 23 that needs some work and I'm thinking it makes more sense to spend the money on moving up a few pegs, (something that I know will happen eventually anyway, ) rather than putting it into the Kells. It's also been suggested I look at Sabre 28, but seems to be in another price bracket than the Catalina. We'll see and I'll post what I ultimately decide. thanks again and thanks for those who put this excellent site up.
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:49   #9
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

The Sabre 28 is in another price bracket since it is also in another build quality bracket. Although I've owned Catalinas in the past I've also sailed on Sabres and know the difference in the level of workmanship, which is reflected in the price of both new and used models.
The Catalina provides the most bang for the buck in it's category, they are well built and decent sailing boats, there are tons of them on the market.
Because Sabres were more expensive to start with most tend to be better maintained over time, but like any boat, it depends on the last owner.
If your buying a Catalina just make sure you inspect the boat well, like any used boat it's condition is directly related to the care and maintenance of the previous owners, since there are so many around it would be a good idea to look at a number of them before putting out your hard earned money.
Just seeing a number of boats on the market will give you a good feel for what is a good deal and what isn't, just resist the urge to purchase the first one you see, it may take longer but in the end your patience will be rewarded.
Good luck, hope you find the boat your looking for.
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Old 23-12-2013, 08:49   #10
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Re: Catalina 27 Diesel service issues

i have an 1980 C27 with a yanmar 1gm10 and i dont find it too bad to work on. changing oil is very straight forward just remove the companionway stairs open the engine door and away you go. ive rebuilt the injector changed the alternator replaced starter wiring its a little tight but very doable. the quarterberth access is good for many things. if you have a chance to get a C27 with a good diesel i would recommend it over an outboard.
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