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Old 20-05-2015, 10:57   #1
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Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

I just bought a 1983 Catalina 27 with an 11 hp universal diesel motor. I am preparing to cross the Columbia river bar. How fast will the motor push it along? Fast enough to cross the bar?
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Old 20-05-2015, 13:42   #2
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

I am going to assume you are not a troll....
The key to traveling the bar and beyond is knowledge of the weather, seamanship of the captain and seaworthiness of the boat. My dockmate travels the bar and beyond all the time with out using his engine. But his boat is stone cold seaworthy.
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Old 20-05-2015, 13:55   #3
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

If running properly, clean prop and clean bottom, it should push you at hull speed. Not sure what that is on your boat but maybe 5.5 knots.
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Old 20-05-2015, 14:00   #4
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

Timing the bar needs to be right. Fighting a wind, tide and current you might be going backward in steep chop. All your ducks need to be in a row.
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Old 20-05-2015, 15:44   #5
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

So there you have it. Yes, that engine is enough if you and your boat are prepared. Were do you want to go beyond the bar?
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:08   #6
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

The hull speed on that boat is 6.25 knots. That would be in ideal conditions with a squeeky clean hull and prop, and no headwinds.
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:46   #7
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

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The hull speed on that boat is 6.25 knots. That would be in ideal conditions with a squeeky clean hull and prop, and no headwinds.
If you have the right pitch mated to the proper transmission ratio and engine at max rpms which means you'll be burning extra fuel. Your best bet is to count on 5 knots and time the tides right.
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:50   #8
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

It will go zero knots when it breaks down and the head can't be taken off! Sorry, just venting. But if you plan to keep the boat and that engine hasn't yet been converted to fresh water cooling, make that one of your first projects. Mine is flooding my first cylinder and I can't get the head off to fix it. Guy next to me has been going through the same thing with his atomic 4, and he has it out of the boat.


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Old 20-05-2015, 18:26   #9
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

I should have prefaced the question with " Once the weather, the tide, and the river conditions are optimum". My plan is to get help from the Coast Guard and maybe find someone who has crossed before to go along.

Thank you to you who provided helpful pertinent information.
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Old 20-05-2015, 20:19   #10
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

fgraham, I know you do not like what we are saying. I had a Cat 27 too. It was a great boat for sheltered waters. It could handle 3 foot swells easily on the bow, but was a little out of control with them on the beam.
Once off the bank, the average swell out there is 6 feet. That means 30% of those swells are much bigger, probably in the range of 8-10 feet. You can have some really good days and get it down to 4. What are you going to do when a 10 foot swell crosses your beam, and your spreaders and sail are horizontal? Are you going to give us a curt reply when you or your buddy is in the water? Because once you enter the water there in a MOB situation, 50% don't make it back.
" My plan is to get help from the Coast Guard" I hope this is not prophetic on your part.
If you are in Astoria, pm me. I might be able to get you over the bar in a big, properly manned yacht. Then you can decide if you want to do what you are thinking.
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Old 20-05-2015, 22:07   #11
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

Using Gerr's formulas as implimented by Psychosnail the 11hp engine should be able to push you at about 5.8 kt.
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Old 20-05-2015, 22:20   #12
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

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It will go zero knots when it breaks down and the head can't be taken off! Sorry, just venting. But if you plan to keep the boat and that engine hasn't yet been converted to fresh water cooling, make that one of your first projects. Mine is flooding my first cylinder and I can't get the head off to fix it. Guy next to me has been going through the same thing with his atomic 4, and he has it out of the boat.


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Why wont the head come off? Never heard of one that wouldn't. What have you tried?
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Old 21-05-2015, 08:24   #13
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

Sorry, if I missed it, but I didn't see the model. All 11HP diesels are not created equal. And all engine prop combinations are not created equal.

Seems to me to add any factors of what your expected speed would be in a given scenario, you have to have a baseline of how fast your boat travels at cruise and WOT in normal conditions.

Am I missing something?
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Old 21-05-2015, 08:47   #14
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

If it's a universal 11 hp, it's the 5411. It pushed my P28-1 at 5.5 in flat water at 80% throttle easily. That's a heavier boat than yours I believe, possibly with more waterline though. With a light head to beam wind, I could see 6.5 pretty easily motor sailing.

Don't want to hijack this thread (I've got a long one on it already: "case of the intermittent water cooling") but in short: prybars, chisels, rubber mallets, blowtorches, compression of the engine, sea foam, pb blaster, etc. Only thing I haven't tried is hanging it from a crane and whaling on it with a mallet, or trying to blow the head off with ether on the compression stroke. Apparently the raw water cooling leaking past the head gasket can create a base of corrosion so strong it acts as a glue; or a PO actually glued the head to the block (he did so with a stud inside the manifold). Guy next to me took an RWC atomic gas out of his boat two years ago and has it in his workshop, still trying to get the head off. Talked to a few people in the marina and they knowingly nodded and said: "they're great until you try to take them apart!"


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Old 21-05-2015, 08:48   #15
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Re: Catalina 27 11 hp diesel will go how fast

It will be a Universal 5411.

You need to make a tool that attaches to the head, and pulls relative to the block. I've seen sacrificial spark plugs (injectors in your case) used.
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