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Old 04-11-2012, 10:19   #1
jkw
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Jumped In Head First

Hi guys. For about 2 years now I've been looking into moving aboard a small sailboat and living aboard/cruising the Florida Gulf coast. Well I sold my mustang foxbody this week, and found a catalina c27 in reasonably good shape the same night for 1500. Needless to say I think I'm jumping into the deep end but I learn fast. I'm trying to learn as much as I can by reading but my computer is throwing fits over staying connected to the internet with windows 7.

a few questions. If anyone has info or links to point me in the right direstion i would appreciate it

1- my catalina has an aluminum mast. is it necessary to ground it from lightning? any info on how to do this?

2- what would be the minimun size outboard necessary i could get away with to move this boat in the event of no wind? also is a 20" long shaft enough versus a 25" sailboat kicker?

3- it has a large black plastic type material built in fuel tank below one of the hatches for the old inboard which is gone now. would it be possible to convert this into a holding taking for the head?

4- if anyone has any info on calculating the power draw by electronics i would greeatly appreciate it. right now it has a small 5 amp solar charger but im putting together a 15amp solar charger tommorrow. i will probably use 2 or 3 marine batterys for my battery bank.

5- it has a 2 burner origo alcohol stove. do they use alcohol tabs or liquid alcohol or? ill probably jst use the propane camp stove that came with it

thanks in advance
jason
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:05   #2
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Re: jumped in head first

Outboards have a problem, when the seas are up, dunking the engine. The longer the shaft, the higher you can mount the engine reducing the chance it will get flooded.

As far as HP, 8-10 would be fine though even a 2hp would move you around in light wind conditions. It's a sailboat, use the sails for 99% of your propulsion needs. I'd keep the fuel tank for a possible reinstallation of an inboard. An inboard will work way better than an outboard in nasty conditions. A small diesel will be way more efficient. An inboard will add to value of boat. Keep an eye out for a used 5-15hp used diesel and you could probably do it cheap.

Expect you'd need at least 100 watts of solar and possibly more. All your electronics will have published amperage draws. Estimate how long each day you'll be using them, multiply that by the amp draw and add up draw for all the electronics. Throw in a 20% fudge factor and you have an idea of how much battery and charging capacity you'll need. Watts are Amps times voltage if you need to make conversions. Drawing the batteries below 50% greatly shortens their life. Mfg. published Solar panel outputs are wildly optimistic. You'll only approach max output on an absolutely clear day and then only between 10am-2pm. Any haze, clouds, shading reduces output. Overcast cuts output by 80% or so. Over size your panel output if you can afford it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:48   #3
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
Hi guys. For about 2 years now I've been looking into moving aboard a small sailboat and living aboard/cruising the Florida Gulf coast. Well I sold my mustang foxbody this week, and found a catalina c27 in reasonably good shape the same night for 1500. Needless to say I think I'm jumping into the deep end but I learn fast. I'm trying to learn as much as I can by reading but my computer is throwing fits over staying connected to the internet with windows 7.

a few questions. If anyone has info or links to point me in the right direstion i would appreciate it

1- my catalina has an aluminum mast. is it necessary to ground it from lightning? any info on how to do this?

2- what would be the minimun size outboard necessary i could get away with to move this boat in the event of no wind? also is a 20" long shaft enough versus a 25" sailboat kicker?

3- it has a large black plastic type material built in fuel tank below one of the hatches for the old inboard which is gone now. would it be possible to convert this into a holding taking for the head?

4- if anyone has any info on calculating the power draw by electronics i would greeatly appreciate it. right now it has a small 5 amp solar charger but im putting together a 15amp solar charger tommorrow. i will probably use 2 or 3 marine batterys for my battery bank.

5- it has a 2 burner origo alcohol stove. do they use alcohol tabs or liquid alcohol or? ill probably jst use the propane camp stove that came with it

thanks in advance
jason

One thing is that I get concerned when I see the word "kicker." Usually kickers are not powerful engines. I have a friend who has a Catalina with an outboard and it's really tricky to get it up and down. Make sure you have a good mounting system. It's worth the money. It will have to be raised and lowered. Also, I would urge you to get a 25" shaft, not 20".

I have an alcohol stove and don't like it. Alcohol burns at a very low temperature. It can take 20 min. to boil water for a cup of coffee. However, propane can be dangerous. Start storing those little canisters around your cabin, and you won't notice when they start rusting. I know someone who had an explosion on their boat when they lit their campstove inside the cabin, because another canister had rusted through and there was propane in the air under the stove (propane sinks). I dispose of rusty cans even if there's propane in them.
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Old 04-11-2012, 13:01   #4
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Re: Jumped In Head First

An alcohol stove uses denatured alcohol typically. Most of the big home improvement stores sell it in a 1 gallon can. Some brands are better than others.

Hopefully the stove/oven is a non pressurized type. The pressurized types can be quite a handful to get started without singeing your eyebrows.

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Old 04-11-2012, 13:56   #5
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Re: Jumped In Head First

I suggest you read two current threads. One is about a guy walking away from his boat, the other is about a guy who wishes he hadn't bought his boat. There are some very good comments in those threads.
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Old 04-11-2012, 14:47   #6
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
4- if anyone has any info on calculating the power draw by electronics i would greeatly appreciate it.
Try looking at the electronics themselves and see what the amperage is that they draw. If not on the units themselves, see if you can find the specs online and that should give you an idea of how much power your systems would use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
An alcohol stove uses denatured alcohol typically. Most of the big home improvement stores sell it in a 1 gallon can. Some brands are better than others.

Hopefully the stove/oven is a non pressurized type. The pressurized types can be quite a handful to get started without singeing your eyebrows.

James L

x2
I have a 2 burner Origo in my boat too. denatured alcohol is easy to get. Just don't fill up the stove's fuel canister too much.


For the other questions, you might be able to do some searching to find some answers.

Good luck to you.
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Old 04-11-2012, 15:03   #7
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Re: Jumped In Head First

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I have a 2 burner Origo in my boat too. denatured alcohol is easy to get. Just don't fill up the stove's fuel canister too much.
Also, don't let them get too dry. I have heard stories that the wicking material can get charred if you let them burn down to close.

This is only third hand information.....to take it as such.

James L
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Old 04-11-2012, 21:58   #8
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Thank you for all the replies. I'll have to have another look at the stove. i'm pretty sure it's non-pressurized because there isn't a push rod to pump it up like a camp stove. The mention of the propane explosion reminds me I need the check the bilge vent fans to see if they work the next time I'm at the dock. I would eventually like to go to a diesel inboard, but for now an outboard will help me get my feet wet and get the boat moved. I've found a couple 25" shaft motors with alternators for charging so I might look into those. A little more pricey but designed for our purpose. The only drawback is they see almost exclusive use in saltwater here in Fl. Also, my boat already has a motor bracket on the transom, and a line from the port side winch with a pulley on the back rail to make raising and lowering the motor a breeze.

DeepFrz- I'm curious why you replied as such. I did read the thread about the man walking away from his boat but i believe my situation is somewhat different. I am 20, I have grown up around the water and always loved it. I do not have a mortgage or a house. I am neither married nor have children. If living aboard does not work out, then all I have really lost is my old mustang project car, and I can always dock the boat and use it to relax on the weekends. I believe when i look back, I will be proud to say I tried something very few people of my generation attemp. It sure beats saying I spent my weekends fixing a drag car I never raced.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:15   #9
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
proud to say I tried something very few people of my generation attempt. It sure beats saying I spent my weekends fixing a drag car I never raced.
We all started where you are at one time or another. Safety is the key to insure you continue to enjoy your new home and life on the water

Your are right to be cautious of used engines in salt water, just depends on how well they were cared for; definitely get something that charges and will move the boat at hull speed, I am thinking 8 to 15 HP.

You will over time develop all the repair skills you will use for a lifetime of enjoyment on the water. Catalina's are nice boats and you may wish to visit the Owners link and speak with some of the folks who own your type boat Catalina Owner Forums - SailboatOwners.com

When I was in flight school in the 60's we were all getting mandatory buzz hair cuts, completely bald. Some guys quit right there. We all looked at them like they were out of their minds to quit because of a hair cut. Nothing you have mentioned so far is beyond improvement or understanding. Have a good time, think safety I am in your neck of the woods.

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Old 05-11-2012, 04:16   #10
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Re: Jumped In Head First

My 2 cents.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
a few questions. If anyone has info or links to point me in the right direstion i would appreciate it

1- my catalina has an aluminum mast. is it necessary to ground it from lightning? any info on how to do this? - not neccesary.

2- what would be the minimun size outboard necessary i could get away with to move this boat in the event of no wind? also is a 20" long shaft enough versus a 25" sailboat kicker? - you could get away with 2 or 3hp to simply dock the boat in calm conditions (wind and tide), might not get a longshaft option with those.......8 to 10hp is what you will need to motor her at sea, the big limiter will then be the fact it hanging off the stern and even with a long shaft the prop will be spinning in the air in any sort of sea state - but nonetheless the deeper the better. An inboard is a squillion percent better for use on passages - but on a $1500 boat you would be mad to spend money on an inboard!.....so you get to learn to sail around the o/b limitations.

3- it has a large black plastic type material built in fuel tank below one of the hatches for the old inboard which is gone now. would it be possible to convert this into a holding taking for the head? - I see no reason why not, but may also depend on location of the head in relation to the tank and access as to whether a new holding tank is the easier / quicker / cheaper option.

4- if anyone has any info on calculating the power draw by electronics i would greeatly appreciate it. right now it has a small 5 amp solar charger but im putting together a 15amp solar charger tommorrow. i will probably use 2 or 3 marine batterys for my battery bank. - Electrickey well outside my comfort zone! Likely that you will be limited by the size of the panel(s) you can physically fit somewhere. With solar more is always better. probably a suck it and see thing (real world output vs your actual power use) - I suggest that whatever you install have one eye on adding capacity later. But my gut says that 15 amp is very small......

5- it has a 2 burner origo alcohol stove. do they use alcohol tabs or liquid alcohol or? ill probably jst use the propane camp stove that came with it. An Origo is a good stove, I am presuming it is one of these (albeit this a single):-



If that the case then it runs on liquid:-




Once filled you can even turn the cannister upside down and the alcohol doesn't run out!....and it is not pressurised, so won't be exploding!

- given the cost and aggro of installing a proper propane replacement I would stick with the Origo.

thanks in advance
jason
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:29   #11
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Re: Jumped In Head First

I'll just comment about #3, the conversion of the black plastic tank to a holding tank, as I had tried such a conversion years ago. Much depends upon the material. It's difficult to adhere new parts to a polypropylene tank. Also the effluent tube for the tank must pick up from the bottom of the tank, but it's far better to leave the tank from the top. All your vents and "in & out" hoses should be near the top of the tank to avoid a future catastrophe on board! With these requirements it might be best to buy a manufactued holding tank instead of a conversion. Don't discount the possibility of a composting head. There's a very wide range of opinions about these, but I've seen some excellent and well functioning applications.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:46   #12
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
Thank you for all the replies. I'll have to have another look at the stove. i'm pretty sure it's non-pressurized because there isn't a push rod to pump it up like a camp stove. The mention of the propane explosion reminds me I need the check the bilge vent fans to see if they work the next time I'm at the dock. I would eventually like to go to a diesel inboard, but for now an outboard will help me get my feet wet and get the boat moved. I've found a couple 25" shaft motors with alternators for charging so I might look into those. A little more pricey but designed for our purpose. The only drawback is they see almost exclusive use in saltwater here in Fl. Also, my boat already has a motor bracket on the transom, and a line from the port side winch with a pulley on the back rail to make raising and lowering the motor a breeze.

DeepFrz- I'm curious why you replied as such. I did read the thread about the man walking away from his boat but i believe my situation is somewhat different. I am 20, I have grown up around the water and always loved it. I do not have a mortgage or a house. I am neither married nor have children. If living aboard does not work out, then all I have really lost is my old mustang project car, and I can always dock the boat and use it to relax on the weekends. I believe when i look back, I will be proud to say I tried something very few people of my generation attemp. It sure beats saying I spent my weekends fixing a drag car I never raced.

I think you may have found the perfect boat for you unless she is really in WRETCHED shape. But absolutely get a long shaft (25") for that boat. It's a place to splurge for you. Do yourself a favor if you are up to it and buy a new one. The used ones, IMO have been driven into the ground before you get to it. You'd be amazed how many people think it's perfectly fine to use ethanol gas in them. I know a guy who owns FIVE outboards, none of which work, but he's *convinced* he can use ethanol in them. I loaned him mine but made him PROMISE not to use ethanol gas. Well, he did, and now ... it doesn't run. It's ... three years old and I had it serviced every year. It was ABSOLUTELY dependable. Fortunately another friend is fixing it for me. Don't listen to anyone who says you can do it "if" this or that.

Also, your outboard will probably have a plug on the underside to attach a hose for freshwater flushes after use. I put the hose permanently in mine, and that makes it much easier to take care of the engine diligently. It's your primary power when the winds die -- rinse it.

Catalina has a decent cabin and will be fun to sail. You'll be able to learn to single-hand it, and you learn a LOT single-handing. Just do it in relatively sheltered waters and check the weather first.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:19   #13
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Re: Jumped In Head First

I have 5hp on mine. Works fine
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:30   #14
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Re: Jumped In Head First

check out the forums at catalinaowners.com. Plenty of C-27 info and owners there.
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Old 16-11-2012, 05:14   #15
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Re: Jumped In Head First

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkw View Post
Hi guys. For about 2 years now I've been looking into moving aboard a small sailboat and living aboard/cruising the Florida Gulf coast. Well I sold my mustang foxbody this week, and found a catalina c27 in reasonably good shape the same night for 1500. Needless to say I think I'm jumping into the deep end but I learn fast. I'm trying to learn as much as I can by reading but my computer is throwing fits over staying connected to the internet with windows 7.

a few questions. If anyone has info or links to point me in the right direstion i would appreciate it

1- my catalina has an aluminum mast. is it necessary to ground it from lightning? any info on how to do this?

2- what would be the minimun size outboard necessary i could get away with to move this boat in the event of no wind? also is a 20" long shaft enough versus a 25" sailboat kicker?

3- it has a large black plastic type material built in fuel tank below one of the hatches for the old inboard which is gone now. would it be possible to convert this into a holding taking for the head?

4- if anyone has any info on calculating the power draw by electronics i would greeatly appreciate it. right now it has a small 5 amp solar charger but im putting together a 15amp solar charger tommorrow. i will probably use 2 or 3 marine batterys for my battery bank.

5- it has a 2 burner origo alcohol stove. do they use alcohol tabs or liquid alcohol or? ill probably jst use the propane camp stove that came with it

thanks in advance
jason
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