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Old 19-04-2014, 16:05   #1
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Finally - A Boat of My Own!

So I've been a CF voyeur for the last three years or so. It's been great to read the feedback/comments and fun to watch the the rants. I didn't join in the past because I didn't have a boat - it would be silly to engage in threads without having walked at least a mile in cruisers' shoes.

After years of doing the boat club thing and time sharing we're nearer to our plan to do extensive cruising next year. Heck, we haven't seen enough responsibility in ourselves to be able to commit to even having pets. Ironically, we're raising three children...

Our plan was to buy a large sailboat in 2015. I just couldn't sit on my hands for a season with no sailing. I've been surfing the boards looking for a boat that could work for us this year. Finally some unexpected money came in at the same time a guy was unloading his Catalina 27 on Craigslist.

Honestly, the boat is a beater. It's perfect for what we need as our family comes up to speed on boat systems, the challenges that come with boat ownership, and getting the feel of what we really want in the long range boat we'll get next year. We're also forcing ourselves to limit the amount of money we put into it just to learn what trade offs we need to make. I'm worried about my beer budget.

So after years of living vicariously through this forum, we've finally taken the big step of boat ownership. I already feel like some of the posters; I spent all day today trying to figure out why the wiring is so messed up on my boat!
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Old 19-04-2014, 16:09   #2
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Welcome to CF. Nice choice in boats.


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Old 19-04-2014, 16:55   #3
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Absolutely nothing wrong with a Catalina 27. Just went out on a friend's last week. Easy to sail, sensible rigging and enough room to have a family out on the water for a day.

Oh, and as long as your nav lights and depth meter work, all the other stuff is just icing! I found the wiring on my Catalina 36 to be pretty straight forward. Did you get a manual with it? I think you can get the basic manual with wiring diagram (to be used as a rough guide mostly) from Catalina in a PDF.
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Old 19-04-2014, 17:01   #4
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

The wiring is messed up because it is a boat of a "certain age." Our second offshore boat used wirenuts for connecting the wires, like in a house! It needed redoing WAY BAD.

Ann
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Old 19-04-2014, 17:10   #5
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Goat -thanks. This is really the perfect boat for where we need to be (on the water but with enough problems that we can safely solve).

klmmicro - The depth finder is one of the items I need to address. The boat came with a free seafood dinner; 4-5" of mussels on the outboard. It was fun time for my four year old to watch the crabs crawling out. Thanks for reminding me about the manual. I'll get it from the catalina27.org site before I start ordering a bunch of books on Amazon.

Ann - thanks for sharing. There are plenty of wirenuts on this boat, too. And duct tape.
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Old 19-04-2014, 18:42   #6
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Aloha and congratulations. Welcome aboard!

Good choice for a first cruiser.

Just remember that there are different grades of wire and that marine grade is expensive. Don't use housewire on a boat. Don't connect with wire nuts. Many a boat has been wired like you would wire a car but to do it a bit better watch some you tube videos and do a little research. As you pull each wire that looks bad replace it with a new one and label the ends. Try not to run wires through the bilge. Sometimes it gets wet down there.

If you have access to a public library there are a few books on the subject The 12 Volt Doctor's Practical Handbook and Your Boat's Electrical System are a couple.

Good luck in getting her sailing. Clorox goes a long way in cleaning things up. Don't take a sander to anything until you know you have to.

kind regards,
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Old 20-04-2014, 03:11   #7
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetBoater View Post

Ann - thanks for sharing. There are plenty of wirenuts on this boat, too. And duct tape.
I do hope that it is marine quality duct tape!

Do ditch the wirenuts ASAP. They are the devil's invention.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 20-04-2014, 03:53   #8
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Welcome aboard! I'll add a suggestion for the library list:

The Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder

SC
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Old 20-04-2014, 04:20   #9
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pirate Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Enjoy the boat mate and Welcome to CF..
I'm looking at upsizing to something the same size if the job front stays quiet for the next few weeks... need a coupla weeks to tease her out then sail her down to Fig da Foz from the UK
A Trapper 500...
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Old 20-04-2014, 04:38   #10
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

congradulations and teach the kids to sail -- no reason for dad and mom do all the work that is what kids are for - take care of mom and dad in their elder years -- and who wants to stay up all night on those nasty wee hour watches --

look forward to seeing you out here in '16 or '17
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Old 20-04-2014, 05:18   #11
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Congrats on getting your own boat, and welcome to CF. There's nothing like having your own, and although things like wiring and electrical systems can be painful, it's also rewarding when you get it set up the way you want it.

Check your IM too, btw.
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Old 20-04-2014, 07:44   #12
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Quote:
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Do ditch the wirenuts ASAP. They are the devil's invention.

Cheers,

Jim
No, that would be scotch locks, lol
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Old 20-04-2014, 08:10   #13
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Enjoy the boat mate and Welcome to CF..
I'm looking at upsizing to something the same size if the job front stays quiet for the next few weeks... need a coupla weeks to tease her out then sail her down to Fig da Foz from the UK
A Trapper 500...
Now that would be a trip worthy of a spot page.
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Old 20-04-2014, 08:34   #14
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Have fun on your new to you boat. You made a good choice for a good entry level family cruiser/racer.
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Old 20-04-2014, 14:15   #15
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Re: Finally - A Boat of My Own!

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome. My 19 year old and I did a shakedown sail today. The boat only turns to starboard due to the growth on the rudder and hull. A few chicken tacks later we were back in the barn.

Boaty - that looks like a great trip. I imagine just about anything headed south is a great trip...

sailcruisr - thanks for the suggestion on Nigel Calder's book. I have it on my Amazon wishlist.

An open question about buying books. While I'd prefer to keep everything on my ipad for when we cruise, I don't think family will look at them unless there's a hard copy lying around. They simply won't know that it's available. I'm curious as to others' opinions about the utility/value of having the hard copy vs. the savings of not accumulating another item.

Thoughts?
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