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Old 13-06-2021, 20:11   #1
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I bought a boat...

Zero sailing experience. I retire in 2 years and plan to cruise the Caribbean. I had the boat trucked from mid Missouri to Kerr Lake on the Arkansas River (navigable), at the AR/OK border. It's a '83 Catalina 30 with 5411 Universal diesel 528 hours.
The mast is unstepped and the boat is in a covered slip at the marina. The shade is nice when it's over 90F. The boat had been stored on the hard for a couple years.
I have good general mechanical and electrical knowledge but no inboard boat experience.
Here's my list of things to do for now-
I have all the seacocks closed and the stuffing box adjusted to a slow drip. I hardwired the bilge pump to a battery with an automatic trickle charger on it for now.
I have new batteries but the old batteries were unhooked and I'm not 100% sure I know which wires go where (not all are red or black) so I'm going to trace them all down and label them before reconnecting. I need to know how it's wired regardless.
There is very little water coming from the exhaust but I did find a new spare impeller in a drawer abroad.
I need to change engine oil, trans fluid, fuel filter, belt, thermostat, add a racor and clean the fuel tank.
That should keep me busy for awhile.
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Old 13-06-2021, 20:35   #2
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Re: I bought a boat...

Nice 1.

Boom tents are nice for shade from Sun and rain.
When mast stepped and boom attached, they a pretty useful tool that will stow quickly, raise just as quick.

Knot attachment we learnt to use double turned clove hitch.
1 turn, 2 turn. 3rd turn the hitch.
Resistance against loosening.

An old man on WingSong II taught me that. He knew I'd been tightening loose covers of many and I knew his was usually just a visual pass vessel.
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Old 13-06-2021, 20:46   #3
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Re: I bought a boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiseN View Post
Nice 1.

Boom tents are nice for shade from Sun and rain.
When mast stepped and boom attached, they a pretty useful tool that will stow quickly, raise just as quick.

Knot attachment we learnt to use double turned clove hitch.
1 turn, 2 turn. 3rd turn the hitch.
Resistance against loosening.

An old man on WingSong II taught me that. He knew I'd been tightening loose covers of many and I knew his was usually just a visual pass vessel.
Maybe easier to view a loose trace..
Really useful combination of hitch. Does loosen but resistant to such whilst easy to slide tight.
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Old 14-06-2021, 03:00   #4
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Re: I bought a boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fox9988 View Post

I have all the seacocks closed and the stuffing box adjusted to a slow drip. I hardwired the bilge pump to a battery with an automatic trickle charger on it for now.


If your slow drip is occurring while stationary you can tighten the packing some more. No need to drip without the shaft turning.

Congratulations on the new boat
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Old 14-06-2021, 03:11   #5
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pirate Re: I bought a boat...

If the boat has been sitting on the hard for two years maybe consider cleaning out and repacking the stuffing box..
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Old 14-06-2021, 04:35   #6
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Re: I bought a boat...

The Universal 5411 is a raw water cooled engine. It recirculates most water until it warms up with very little being exhausted initially. Note that this engine has marginal power for a boat the size of the Catalina 30.
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Old 14-06-2021, 04:49   #7
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Re: I bought a boat...

Here's a great resource, Fox, for someone just starting out:

Marine How-To
https://marinehowto.com/

Rod is a certified marine mechanic of some years. He has a great article about repacking a stuffing box, for starters. I think I've read it three times. His most popular article is about rebedding staunchion bases.

Good luck with your new boat! I sail a great deal on a Catalina 30 myself and my respect for them is increasing. Just remember to reef early, as they're quite tender once you're approaching 20 knots of wind...

Fair winds,
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Old 14-06-2021, 04:58   #8
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Re: I bought a boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
Note that this engine has marginal power for a boat the size of the Catalina 30.
As I regularly tell all of my students, a sailboat's primary means of propulsion are her sails. Engines on sailboats are only ever meant to be auxillary.

Should a mariner wish it to be otherwise, he should get himself a trawler.

Learn to sail a sailboat well and your engine's role will be kept in its proper place.

Fair winds,
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Old 14-06-2021, 05:45   #9
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Re: I bought a boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
As I regularly tell all of my students, a sailboat's primary means of propulsion are her sails. Engines on sailboats are only ever meant to be auxillary.

Should a mariner wish it to be otherwise, he should get himself a trawler.

Learn to sail a sailboat well and your engine's role will be kept in its proper place.

Fair winds,
LittleWing77
The main point of my reply was to offer an explanation for the low water flow out of the exhaust.

And if you do a little research, you will quickly realize why Catalina put more powerful engines in the later Cat 30s.
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Old 14-06-2021, 06:14   #10
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Re: I bought a boat...

boats are good for staying busy. so are you planning on taking it down the river to the Gulf .. one of these days?
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Old 14-06-2021, 08:26   #11
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Re: I bought a boat...

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boats are good for staying busy. so are you planning on taking it down the river to the Gulf .. one of these days?
That's a freaking understatement ...
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Old 14-06-2021, 08:51   #12
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Re: I bought a boat...

Congrats!
I would wait on the stuffing box until you haul out prior to going to the Caribe. That way you can assess the shaft condition in the box also. If you have a minimal drip when motoring it's likely ok though.
I have not noticed a power issue with the Universal in the Cat 30. I have charter managed a few of those, and instructed new charterers quite a bit.
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Old 14-06-2021, 11:39   #13
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Re: I bought a boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
boats are good for staying busy. so are you planning on taking it down the river to the Gulf .. one of these days?
That's the plan.
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Old 14-06-2021, 11:41   #14
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Re: I bought a boat...

Thanks for the replies and advice. I'll take all I can get.
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Old 14-06-2021, 18:21   #15
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Re: I bought a boat...

Depending on your familiarity with Diesel engines, it might be worth doing a short (1-day?) course.
That will cover off that side of things along with your stated mechanical aptitude.

Agree with the comments that your engine is an auxiliary power source, but itís one that comes very useful at times!

Also, have a look at doing a Competent Crew course or similar to learn the basics of sailing and operating a yacht.
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