Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where can I find specifications for my engine?

Here is a summary of the basic data for the Universal brand engines used in Catalina 30s.

5411 (M15)* 31 11 2 245 Z-500 77-82 2900
5416 (M20)* 45 16 2 365 Z-751 76-82 1000
5421 (M25)* 52 21 3 285 D-850 78-81 1000
5424 (M30)* 68 24 3 425 D-1101 77-83 1050
5432 (M40)* 91 32 4 490 V-1501 78-82 650
5444 (M50)* 115 44 4 545 V-1902 80-82 280
M-12* 24.4 10 2 175 Z-400 83-88 1200
M2-12** 26 11 2 175 Z-430 87-90 320
M-15* 31 11 2 245 Z-500 82-83 370
M-18* 34.8 14 2 255 Z-600 83-88 2400
M-20* 45 16 2 365 Z-751 82-83 230
M3-20(A)** 38.9 18 3 235 D-640 88- 525
M-25* 52 21 3 285 D-850 81-86 3650
M-25XP(A)* 57 23 3 285 D-950 86- 3100
M-30* 68 24 3 425 D-1101&1102 83-87 400
M4-30(A)** 52 24 4 270 Y-850 88- 470
M-35* 75.5 30 4 335 V-1200 87- 280
M-40* 91 32 4 545 V-1502 82- 360
M-50(A)* 115 44 4 545 V-1902 82- 520
M3-20B 43.8 20 3 241  
M-25XPB 61.2 26 3 295 Information
M-35B 81.47 35 4 352 Not
M-40B 91.41 37.5 4 356 Complete
M-50B 113.32 42 4 529  

* These models have been discontinued.  Replacement models are in parenthesis
** Mini series
(A) These models have upgraded wiring harnesses

What is the operating temperature at various parts of the engine?

An answer from Dan Metzler,1985 TRBS #4328, Kemah, TX “Almost There”

I saw a post about the Harbor Freight laser thermometer and I had just bought one so I thought I’d post my initial readings from my M18 just to have them out there for a baseline for comparison. I’d like to get the temperatures again after running the engine underway for an hour or so, but these numbers were after running in the slip for about 20 minutes at about 1200 RPM with the transmission in reverse.  The ambient water temperature was 89.9 degrees and it was near 100 degrees outside air temperature.  Temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

Forward Crankshaft Bearing Housing 136.7
Thermostat Housing  152.3
Exhaust Water Jacket  153.8
Alternator   113.9
Oil Pan  134.0
Transmission 104.3
Heat Exchanger 115.7
Injection Nipple 107.6
Aqualift Muffler 98.0
Oberdorfer Housing 98.3
Cylinder Head 176.0
Valve Cover 160.1

Where else can I find answers to maintenance questions?

Answers to a many maintenance questions will be found can be found at Rod Collins’ Marine HowTo website.

What is a good setting for rigging tension?

An answer from Bryant Pratt s/v Narragansett C-30 #5755 TBSFK Great Salt Lake, Utah

Here is the generic advice for masthead rigs that my rigger gave at a recent seminar on rigging and tuning.  (Tensions in lbs. for the C-30 rigging is given in parentheses)

  • Stays and Upper Shrouds: 18-20% of wire breaking strength (1/4″ 1×19 B.S. = 8200# x 18%-20% > 1476# – 1640#)
  • Forward Lower Shrouds: 1/2 the percentage of upper shroud tension ( 3/16″ 1×19 B.S. = 4700# x 9%-10% > 423# – 470#)
  • Aft Lower Shrouds: 1/2 forward lower shroud tension (212# – 235#)

How to provide rudder position data to the Autopilot?

Dave Webster, Rock Hall, MD, noted that John Fick , the owner of Northern Light (#2889), describes a number of excellent modifications to Catalina 30. One of his upgrades is a Rudder position indicator.

How do I repack the stuffing box? Can I do that while on the water?

If your boat has a traditional stuffing box that leaks excessively even after repeated tightening of the nut, you most likely need to replace the packing.

Very easy to do in the water according to Matthew Smith (1990 C30SR Sea Wench) Here is how it is done:

  • Obtain the new material (I like the Tefpack Synthetic Packing – available at WM) and some anti-seize compound (available at any auto parts store)
  • loosen the gland nut and slide it back on the shaft as far as it will go. 
  • using a half hook shaped pick, carefully remove all of the old packing. make one out of a thin wire coat hanger, cut it to 6 inches, bend it like an L, open the L a bit, sharpen the point and pick away. The incoming water will usually wash out the small pieces. Be sure to get all the old stuffing out. 
  • wrap the new stuffing around the shaft and cut with a razor blade where they meet. There should be no gap or excess. I overlap an 1/8″ and cut thru both pieces on a straight line to be sure they are an exact fit. Cut three pieces this way. 
  • insert the packing pieces into the stuffing box, one at a time and push in as far as possible using a push stick, a popsicle stick will do fine. The pieces must be inserted at 33 degree offsets, say 12,  4 and 8 on a clock face. 
  • Start the engine and put in gear at idle. (this can be at your dock, just be sure the boat is tied well) Tighten the gland nut until you have one drop per 30 seconds give or take. 
  • After motoring for an hour or two, recheck and retighten if necessary, and check again after another 5 hours or so of motoring. It is not uncommon that you will get no drip at all with this packing material. A slight drip is more common, but if no drip, be sure you do not have the gland nut too tight. If no drip and the nut was tightened just slightly, after motoring at normal speed check the temperature of the shaft every 15 minutes for an hour or so. If the shaft is cool or just barely warm to the touch you are fine with no drip. If the shaft is even slightly more than just barely warm, you have the gland nut too tight, back it off until you get a drip or reduced temperature.

What should I be looking for in a boat survey?

See the attached sample survey form for a recent example of a professional survey. You may download and reuse this document.  

Any hints on replacing the diesel exhaust hose?

Answer courtesy of Sean McGuckin Mahalo Lou #4065 Mystic CT]

The replacement can be done in a day.  It is a bear to run it and a helper would be good but is not necessary (I say this because I did it myself (but wouldn’t do it alone again). I did this with 2-12 foot section of exhaust hose and installed a check valve as a connector which is at the high point for the system in the starboard lazerette.  

  1. Remove the galley sink/cabinet section.  It is easier to work the hoses with this interference out of the way.
  2. Remove the stove and cut a 6 inch hole in the area behind the stove.  Can be bigger if you desire but this was fine for me and fit a standard bulkhead penetrator which I installed to cover the hole.
  3. Cut a 1 foot section off the end of the old hose and reach into the hole you cut behind the galley.  Facing aft, place this hose section in the area were the refer/icebox side gets close to the hull.  This is a pinch point and having the old section of hose in there will allow the new section to be pulled through this area more easily.
  4. Connect the new hose and the old hose.  I used a piece of old banister rail (wood) and small (1 inch) sheet rock screws with washers to connect the hose to the wooden plug.  Clearances are an issue and I knew I could not get the hose with hose clamps through the existing openings.  
  5. Clean out the starboard lazerette and get a small friend in there to pull the old hose out and new hose in.  The trick here is to work together.  I cut the old exhaust hose at about the mid point in this locker.  The helper pulls on this old hose forcing it into the cockpit while the other persone helps feed the hose through the hole in the area under the galley.
  6. Pull the new hose through until there is just enough hose to go back through the bottom of the galley locker and onto the aqua lift.
  7. Then, more contortion games using the second section of new hose to route it to the exhaust overboard.  I was able to work it by simply opening the access cover to the rudder from the after lazerette locker.  However, some might find it easier to gain access from below or both.  The helper simply pushed the hose through the remainder of the starboard lazerette and I worked it down into steering access area.  Once we had it routed, it was connected to the overboard then a simple trim and fit in the starboard lazarette to install the check valve. 

Barlow winches?

By Bryant Pratt, Great Salt Lake, Utah
I just found a table on-line that compares Barient and Barlow winches to Lewmars.  It doesn’t show a Barient #23, but lists a Barlow 23 (Barient 21) as being equivalent to a Lewmar 30.  Apparently Barient/Barlow used a different model number system than Lewmar, Harken and Andersen use today. 

I have Barient winches on my C30. I know they were purchased by Lewmar some time ago! Where can I get parts?

Florida Rigging @ 1-800-718-1649 is probably your best bet for Barient service and spare parts.

Suggested Spares and Tools

By Steve Paxton
A few days ago I asked what tools and spares that folks tended to keep aboard.  I tried to edit the list of those responses so they wouldn’t be repetitively redundant over and over again. Sounded like with vise grips, duct tape and a Dremel you could pretty much build your own boat. But some folks also suggested these things as well: (See Suggested Spares and Tools) 

Need help with the mast to stop noise from electrical wires?

I need some help with my mast! I have a 1977 Catalina 30 and tried to stop the internal electrical wires from making so much noise by putting them in PVC and gluing that to the side of the mast. The glue didn’t hold that well and so all summer long I heard that familiar sound. I’ve thought perhaps shoving some sponge like material inside of a garbage bag at the top and bottom of the mast and gluing that might stop the PVC from hitting the mast. But, then I remembered I better speak to an experienced person who knows of these things! So please give me your best advice. Sincerely,  Nick Valentine Catalina 30  “Special K” 

You won’t be able to “stuff” anything very far into the mast. And that will hinder your halyards! The best way is to rivet the pvc tube to the mast. This can be done with the mast up. The pvc should be moved to a front corner (not dead center) of the mast. Use Aluminum rivets. You need two holes for each location and a home made tool. One hole is about 1″ off the center of where the tube will be. Made a “J” hook of coat hanger wire. Insert the “J” into the first hole and twist around to grab the pvc and pull it tight against the inside of mast. Then drill the second hole on the centerline of the tube. Insert the rivet to hold the pvc. remove the “J” tool and fill the first hole with another rivet. Do this about every 3-4 feet along the mast. Try not to pierce the pvc too far so you don’t damage any wiring. Size the rivets for the 3/16 mast wall and the wall thickness of your pvc. Not very hard to do. make sure you don’t “capture” any halyards!

I am considering installation of the full C30 Garhauer Upgrade kit. Has anyone done this before?

Many C30 owners have made this partial or full upgrade or switched from end boom sheeting to mid boom. Here is one experience from Ed Rheimbold, who has done excellent work on his boat.

I just purchased a Catalina that has a Universal M25XP engine with a 2-blade fixed prop. I have a some questions for those of you with a similar configuration.

Check this post for for a discussion of rpm, heating, speed and prop walk

What do I need to know about doing the keel/bilge repair?
See the attached repair diagram from Catalina Yachts and see this post.

And what about the mast column sag?  (click here)

What are typical sail dimensions for C30 TRBS?
This post summarizes dimensions from a 1981 Catalina 30

I want to document my C30 with the USCG. What is the tonnage rating for the C30?
I show the C30 at 6.80 gross tonnage and 6.12 net tonnage. David Graas – Catalina Yachts Technical Support. Also Max Munger’s 1981 C30 certificate shows gross at 8 tons and net at 7 tons!

How do I know which Kubota engine I have?

Universal diesels are Kubota tractor engines. You just need to know the Kubota model number that is stamped on the dipstick. The following are Universal Marine/ Kubota tractor diesel designations:
M15/5411 Z-500
M18 Z-600
M25 D-850
M25XP D-950 the engine number off my dipstick is 5377-36412
M3-20 D640
M30 D-1101
The 25XP is a “B” series tractor engine.
Gary Coppola, C-30 #5527, Wilson Harbor, NY

Where can I find replacement parts for my Zwaardvis table?
I found out through the parent company, IMP Products in England, that the US supplier is TACO Metals in Miami. Their customer service department steered me to West Marine Special Orders (888-888-3221), as TACO doesn’t do retail sales. If you contact West, specify the product as being a TACO Metals listing, as that’s how they have them catalogued. Just as a reference, the column attachment bracket that mounts to the bottom of the table is part number Z-20-316- PCS 60MM, and sells for $136.
Matt Boulton, C36 #843 Andelain, Groton CT

Any sources for tabernacle equipment for my C30? 
Try Rigrite site.

What about the pipe stems?
This is a really old one – I didn’t think anyone still had the pipe stems! Since I’ll be on the hill next week for topside paint, I thought it’d be a good time to ask a few general preparation questions. First, I still have the original thru hulls. The ones that are like basic water spigots. None of them shut-off anymore. What is the recommended replacement? Also, what other items should I be prepared to inspect/repair. It’s basically coming out for painting but I’d like to make sure I catch anything else that needs catching. Since I’ll be at a rather remote location, a good distance from a marine supply, I’d like to have any foreseeable materials on hand.  Any input would be appreciated.

YES! replace the whole works! I am surprised the gate valves have lasted this long. And that the pipes have not worked loose and leaked before now. Not one of Catalinas finest manufacturing details. The pipe stems were inserted in holes in the hull and glassed into place. Worse, the factory put ordinary gate valves on the top! Any attempt to tighten the valve bodies on the stems usually resulted in twisting the pipe loose from the glass, and OOPs a big leak.

I highly recommend installing MARELON thru hulls in every location. Do them all now. And then install MARELON seacocks at all locations thereon. FORESPAR makes a line of such devices. Mine have been in place for 15 years with no sign of wear or damage from all my in hull junk!

Probably a good time to check the shaft and prop for wear and to replace the cutlass bearing.

Is your bottom already protected by epoxy barrier coat?
Is there any slop in your rudder shaft?
Is any stained water leaking out of the rudder body? Time to switch to an ablative paint!
Clean and lubricate all other thru hulls, speedo, depth, head discharge!

What is Jiffy reefing?
If you go to  the Spars and Rigging section of the parts manual and look at “spars and rigging”, on page 7 of that section there is a picture of the setup that will be worth a 1000 words. The Pinapple Sails site shows the general parts of a main and the reefing procedures.

Remember: the short reef ties in the sail should only be used to gather up the loose sail after the halyard is re-tightened up.  You’ll rip the sail if you try and control the foot tension with them.  They really aren’t even necessary.  If the sail is loose footed like the one on the first site above they shouldn’t wrap under the boom, they should just gather the sail and be tied over the boom (with a square knot (aka reef knot)).

From: Charlie Pearsall, C-34 MkII ’00 #1515 TRWK, D E L I R I O U S

Replacing Lifelines.
I have replaced lifelines and fittings on all three of my boats within the past 4 years.  It is very easy to do with the Johnson hand swag fittings and Johnson swag tool (they say DO NOT use the regular swag tool).  The Johnson swag tool is about $35, most of the Johnson fittings are about $15 (or less, depending on fitting), and the “good” pelican hooks are about $40.  Price the fittings and price the number of feet of lifeline you need (from the Boat US/West/Sailnet they are about $1.20 per foot) and that will be your cost.  It will take you about 15-20 minutes per fitting to make them up.  DO IT – you will save lots of money and have the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
From: Don Deese, Carpe Diem (Kalik-33), TNT (C-25/TM), Shockwave (Schock WL 24)

Plastic Parts.
Plasteak, Inc. in Akron, Ohio, can make any boat parts if you send them the old part as a pattern. Plasteak will never rot, etc.  We had dock mates in Ohio that used them for the slide hatch pieces and we could not tell the difference between Plasteak and real teak on his C25.
From: Clare L. Herrick, “Double Dutch”

How do I replace the Cutless bearing? 
This subject has grown to the point it needs its own page to describe.

Here is the picture for a handy “make it yourself” tool to remove/replace cutless bearing and a reversible model. 

Bearing Pull Device
Reversible Bearing Pull Device

AND… How do I remove the shaft from the transmission coupling…
The major difficulty is access to the transmission coupling and the difficulty in removing it from the shaft! Too many years of just sitting there will have bonded the shaft/coupler by slight corrosion.
Start by separating the two halves of the coupling (four bolts) and removing any set screws or clamps on the shaft. Also loosen the shaft seal device.  The basic technique is to then force the shaft out of the coupling with liberal use of lubricants, penetrating and otherwise. This can be done by using varying length “sockets” between the shaft and the transmission and by slowly squeezing the coupler halves back together. I used 3 different length bolts to tighten the coupling halves. I always used all four bolt holes so as to equalize the “push” without distorting the coupling halves. After a while it will go easier!

Once the shaft is out of the boat, you can get at the cutless bearing. You may be able to force it out with a ram of some kind. I had to cut thru mine with a hacksaw – just thru the rubber and the very thin tube – don’t cut into the strut body!  After that, its all clean up, sand all the orifices, do a test fit and then lube, reassemble and replace/tighten all bolts, set screws etc.

You might want to consider replacing the old shaft seal with a newer dripless style like PSS while you are at it. Some people also install a “drive-saver”.
Max Munger, TRBS #2276

Repairing Loose Strut
This oft asked question has its own page now.

Preserving Stainless
If you use “Wichinox” WM2001 page 967  SKU 367641  $11.99 on the SS it re-passivates the surface and cleans and polishes at the same time. The Wichinox even adds a phosphate to the iron and it can’t rust until the coating is worn off by some other chemicals that are more active like sodium and chlorine  (SALT in water solution)
Neal W. Richardson Jr.,

Interior Finishes:
What does Catalina use to “finish” the interior teak?   
The varnish is Target Coatings-Oxford, semi gloss. If your boat is oiled it is Watco teak oil.
Gerry Douglas

Where are the lifts points for my C30? And where should the cradle/pads rest?
See the attached diagram.

Those Leaking Windows… From time to time there have been many questions about how to deal with those leaking windows in our boats. Where does the water come from, what damage has it done and how do we fix it? Most of the time it is a very simple fix, then sometime, you must remove the entire window. Removing the window is really not that difficult, just take your time and do not, muscle it out.
Following are techniques for a Simple Fix and a Complete Fix.

What can I do to match the non-skid pattern on the deck for some repairs.
Flex_mold has patterns to match the deck. It matches perfectly. However, its almost impossible to get it to mesh with the existing non-skid but when its done you don’t even notice. The company is:
Gibco Flex-mold
Fort Worth, TX
tel. 817-236-5021
The pattern for our vintage of boat is GFCW 317 Catalina Basketweave. I bought
a piece of it 2′ X 2′ for $52 which, at first, I thought was highway robbery but
I tried to make a negative of the pattern first with silicone and then with
glass and resin … just made a mess and it didn’t work at all. This stuff
works great.
Skip Ramsay, Hudson, MA 

I just had my mast pulled to have it rewired, new lights, etc. When the mast was stepped the boat yard was supposed to tune the rigging. To my surprise, he just tightened everything loosely and said that you have to adjust them under sail. 

First of all make sure the yard put the rig up right. Check all wire and devices for breakage or wear. Turnbuckles should turn freely. Did you or the yard inspect all pins, bolts, swivels, wire and swages for signs of rust or wear?
Using a halyard or a long metal tape (from the masthead) you should measure to several points along each rail and make sure the mast is equally in the middle (athwartships) (sideways) of the boat. Our oldest advise is to make the mast stand straight up. A main halyard with a weight attached can be used as a plumb line to determine the “rake” of the mast. How far it tips forward or aft. Actually, I have my mast raked back 5 inches and this really helps pointing without adding noticeable weather helm. Then you have to go sailing. About 10 knots is nice. Smooth water is best. 

Close hauled on equal and alternating tacks you should slowly remove excess slack from all shrouds. Check your wind instruments at the same time. Eyeball the mast track or the front edge of mast. You must keep it straight at all times. Tighten the uppers first, a little bit (half turns) on each side on each tack. Then adjust the lowers so there is no “S” in the mast.

Overall, the forward lowers should be tighter than the aft lowers. A slight prebend, tightening the lowers against the backstay, will help flatten an old main. On each tack a slight relaxing of the leeward shrouds is fine, means they are not too tight! Sorry we do not have any Loos gauge numbers or precise pressures.

Install a backstay tension device to help reduce head stay sag on upwind legs. At least once a year, you should turn, adjust and lubricate the turnbuckles to prevent seizing and galling. Don’t forget the furling drum. A anti-seizing compound or lanolin is best. It is water resistant and can be forced down the top of swages to prevent water entry. Don’t use WD 40.

If you have temperature extremes and leave the rig up all year, remember that the coefficients for stainless and aluminum are quite different. The mast shrinks less than the wire! So you may have to loosen things as it gets colder and vice versa! Max Munger

Can you please supply the following information re: displacement ratios of a Catalina 30, standard rig. Cynthia Garrett C-30 “Perfect Moves” 
For a C30 MKIII…
Displ. Fin 10200# Wing 10300# 
D/L (displacement/length) Fin 291.43 Wing 294.29 
SA/D (sail area/displacement) Std Fin 14.80 Wing 14.70 
Tall Fin 17.18 Wing 17.10
B/D (ballast/displacement) Ballast Fin 4200 Wing 4300

Where can I get parts for my original Seaward/Optimus Alcohol stove? 

I found out that A&H Enterprises (Tustin CA, 714:258-2525) services and sells parts for a variety of alcohol stoves (Seaward, Primus/Optimus, etc).
Thanks to Michael Dobrzensky 1984 C30 Wind Star

Any safety or re-engineering of the backstay ever required? Are the same wire sizes and turnbuckles still used? 

Apparently several C30 in New England have had near backstay failures from galling or striping of the threads on the single backstay turnbuckle. Reportedly, because of the short season, corrosion was not a factor. The older C30s have split backstays with a single turnbuckle just above the split.

About 1990 the factory switched to (longer?) splits with two turnbuckles, one on each of the splits. I assumed this was done to accommodate the walk thru transoms. My reasoning was that since the split was raised higher above the deck, that the lower turnbuckles could then be reached.
The old style turnbuckle bodies were stainless steel, which could gall if over tighten or cross threaded. The failures are probably age-related. Standing rigging should be replaced after 10 years use unless the boat is in fresh water or hauled and de-rigged in winter. There never was any re-engineering of the backstay other than raising the split so you could walk under it. The wire and turnbuckles are the same size. 
David Graas, Customer Service. 

According to my paper work the hull identification number is “CTYN0773M77L”. What does that mean?”

The hull numbering, as required by the USCG, contains 12 characters; 3 groups of four. The first four are manufacturer and size, i.e. CTY for Catalina Yachts and “N” for 30, “L’ for 27, etc. The next four are the serial number of the boat (only the C22 exceeded the four spaces allowed with 16000 boats built-we dropped the “1” at the front). The last four are the year of manufacture and/or model year. This coding changed over the years.

If your boat has the old number system. The first “M” means modified. The next two digits are the year built. The final “L” is the month “July” in the modified system. The later system started with an “A” which is Jan, “B” is Feb, etc. The second number is the year built (4=1994) and the last two numbers are the model year (95=1995)

C30 # 049 was built in Woodland Hills in 1975. C30 #315 is a 1976. Your C30 #773 is a 1977 . As you can tell by the jumps in the numbers, Frank was cranking out a lot of C30’s back then. Your members can e-mail me at if they want to know what year, etc. their boat is.
David Graas, Customer Service, Catalina Yachts