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Old 22-11-2015, 20:16   #1
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pirate The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

Hello everyone!

I've been lurking on here for quite a while, planning and scheming. I have withdrawn A LOT of knowledge and advice in these hallowed, salty pages. I first and foremost want to thank all of those who've come before me, and who've recorded their experiences here for us to learn from.


It's finally happened, and I've bought myself my first boat! She's a 1976 Catalina 27 and she's a beaut, although she definitely needs a lot of work, as she is in 'classic' condition, if you know what I mean.

But she was the right price, and came along with storage for the winter at the previous owner's shipyard, with a lift, that I have free access to to work on her and get her ready to move aboard in Spring. The previous owner is a fantastic, kind man who repairs and races boats for a living, and has agreed to share his knowledge, skills, and experience with me, not to mention help me find good deals on parts, as I will need many.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone knows where to find the boat plate with hull number and what not, on the 1976 Catalina 27. Also, the previous owner is not sure whether it is the tall rig or not, and the manual isn't around, so we're trying to figure that out as well. All I have to go on right now is that there's an anchor roller on the bow (and a nearly new roller furler ), and I've heard that the roller was a standard part of the upgrade for the tall rig. I figure I'd find out when I find the plate with the hull number and whatnot but if anyone knows of any other giveaways for the tall rig, I'd appreciate it.

The other thing I need to figure out is where ALL of the seacocks are. I found one of them, and know that they are the original factory-installed volcanic nipples of brass. That's the best sentence ever BTW.

Does anybody have any idea how many seacocks I should be looking for, and where they'd be? The boat is an outboard model, so there shouldn't be any for the engine, so I'm thinking just waste water, and maybe a fresh water input for something somewhere? I can't imagine that Catalina would have put a different through-hull for each sink individually as well?

Guess that's it for now. But stay tuned, as I will update as I progress!

- Chrispyfish
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Old 22-11-2015, 20:33   #2
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

Congratulations! Great isn't it? I bet you want to spend every waking moment on her going through all the nooks and crannies and sailing her too. I wish I could be of more help, I have a friend who has one right next to me but I don't know where the plate is. I THINK it is mounted on the bulkhead, but I could be wrong. In my own boat (Columbia) the plate is around the rudder post in the cockpit floor. BTW, I thought the pics look good, not TOO classic. As far as thru-hulls, I believe there should be one for sink drain, two for head and two for cockpit. You would think that volcanic nipples of brass would be easier to find!
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 08-12-2015, 14:13   #3
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

She looks to me like a standard rig
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Old 08-12-2015, 15:17   #4
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners has a page on the Catalina 27 including some things to watch for and also a link to the Catalina 27 Owners Association. Might be a good resource? Enjoy your soon to be new home!
Cheers! Jan
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Old 08-12-2015, 15:41   #5
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

A definitive means of distinguishing between standard and tall rigs is to, well, measure the rig!

The easiest thing to measure on a stepped mast would be the "P" dimension, which is between the tack fitting on the boom and the full hoiist of the mainsail.

for the standard rig this is 28.67 feet, on the tall rig it is 29.67 feet.

On the tall rig the mast is also stepped further aft, resulting in the "J" dimension being larger. Standard is 11.25 feet, tall is 12.2 feet.

Using a tape measure to determine these dimensions on your boat is easy and will answer your question.


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, back in Port Cygnet once again
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Old 10-12-2015, 20:11   #6
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

Thanks for the motivation, friends! I really appreciate it. I haven't given a status update recently, so I thought I'd check in.

I haven't been to the boat much in the last couple of weeks. I've been working overtime to help me finish paying for her, as I bought her in 2 installments (750 X 2 for the boat, and 200 for winter storage and use of the shipyard) Besides, with winter setting in there isn't much I can get done right now.

I HAVE determined that it is a standard rig, but I haven't yet had the chance to locate the manufacturer's plaque with the hull number and whatnot. I DO know that it is one of the Canadian-built Catalinas, which as a canuck, kind of makes me happy. I'm buying her in the States, so repatriating an ex-pat Canadian boat is just the kind of cheese that I like heheh Speaking of cheese, I still haven't been able to think of a suitable name for her yet either...

I've just basically been trying to formulate the game plan leading up to the splash, planned hopefully for around May 1st. That being said, she's pretty much a bare boat, so I have a lot of work ahead of me. Main jobs to get done before launch include:

- Acquire outboard motor and make necessary repairs to motor mount (it's a bit worn out. Luckily the only place on the boat I've found so far needing any major fiberglass repair work.)

- Drop mast, check for corrosion, and replace any worn rigging or wires. I'll probably wire in an LED running light while I'm at it.

- Inspect standing rigging and replace as necessary. Acquire and install Cat Direct's U-bolt chainplate retrofit kit.

- Appraise all of the running rigging and acquire new (to me) suite of sails to use to learn with over the course of the next year. New sails will be purchased next winter, with the used ones being kept on board for SHTF scenarios. Will need all new lines at least, although I have to admit that most of the hardware looks pretty good. It IS a freshwater boat (Detroit, MI). Still, if I don't end up having to replace a lot of blocks and stuff, I may get myself a flashy new reefing kit and lazy jack system. Still haven't quite figured out the set up I want back to the cockpit with the running rigging. It's the area where I have the least amount of knowledge. I want the final arrangement to be as easy and trouble-free as possible as I intend to be sailing alone.

- Replace all the old brass-tube-through-a-fibreglass-volcano through-hull fittings with proper Marelon Seacocks.

- Acquire and install new stanchions and lifelines.

- Rebed all deck hardware into epoxy plugs and apply backing plates wherever possible.

- Build and install door with lock for companionway.

- Install composting head; remove old head and holding tank.

The way I see it, as long as I can get this done, then she will be ready to sail lake St. Clair, although she'll still be really, uhh, campy inside. Still, with a running engine and rigging, and the MAJOR design flaws looked after, then I'll be ready to move aboard.

I know that living aboard while renovating the interior isn't ideal, but it's pretty much my only option. I'm doing this entire project using my salary from a VERY low-paying job, so the sooner I can move out of my apartment, the better. I can keep up my full-time work and maintain a work schedule on the boat as well, because my hours are accomodating and my work is effortless (call centre). So, I'll be able to spend the summer installing the electrical system, galley, electronics, etc. that are going to make up the final product, and taking her out on the lake whenever I get the chance.

Anyway, that's about it for now. I found Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Technical Manual (This year's edition too!!!) at the library, and I've just been tearing it apart. One of the great things about my job is that I have a lot of time to read between calls. Good thing, because that book is friggin' 1000 pages!!

Merry Christmas to everyone (in case I don't post again until then), and as always, your comments, suggestions and feedback are greatly appreciated.

- Chrispyfish
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Old 30-01-2016, 16:38   #7
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Re: The dream is now reality and need some advice from 1970's Catalina owners

Sounds like a great plan and an exciting life. Please keep us posted on your progress.
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