C385 Alternator/Voltage Regulator

I recently became the owner of C85#71 and took my first extended cruise on her last month. I discovered that the two 4D batteries she came with aren’t enough to keep up with the load when I run both the refrigerator and the freezer (which seem to pull an average of about 5 amps, or about 120 amp hours in a day, too much for the 160 amp hour rated battery.) I don’t have a genset, so the only way to recharge the house bank when not plugged into shore power is to run the engine. But at the rate the original alternator charges up, it takes at least a couple of hours to top off the house bank.

I understand that part of the problem is that the internal regulator on the alternator isn’t designed to do a rapid recharge of a house bank. I’m considering installing an external voltage regulator, and maybe replacing the alternator. The alternator that came with the boat is rated at 125 amps, bigger than the 55 amp version I gather was standard on some of the earlier hulls. The current alternator should be plenty big, but I don’t know if it would be possible simply to put on a Balmar or other external regulator, rewiring the alternator to take the internal regulator out of the circuit. Or would it be better to replace the alternator, too? I’d appreciate any advice.

Panda Generator Install in 387

With thanks to John Weston, (Catalina 387 #46), here are photos of how a Panda generator was installed in the rear lazarette:

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air conditioning on the Catalina 387

I have 2 ac units on this Catalina 2008   16000 BTU under V Berth  and 7000 BTU in aft closet.   The AC Coil in the V Berth  that has been protected with a filter(always clean) has become totally degraded; when I take a vacuum and a brush to clean, it isn’t dirt that is coming off the fins, it is metal debris from same;  I can’t even imagine how the ac is even able to cool. Anyway, being that the unit is 9 years old, I don’t trust it and want to replace.  The problem unit is the 16000 BTU in the forward V Berth   The unit that is in there is a Marvair SeaMach; I can’t begin to figure out how the hell they got it in there or how to get it out and how I can install a new like and kind. Any suggestions from my fellow Catalina owners.   Thanks  

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Replacement Anchor Light – LED

Had problem with my anchor light. Here are a couple of suggestions… From Bill Worsley: From my experience the biggest cause of failure for an exterior LED bulb that has been used to replace incandescent is exposure to water. That is what happened to my LED anchor light 9 years after installation. The base of that LED bulb was not sealed thus allowing moisture to get into the chip. I still replaced it with superbrightleds.com LED (BAU15S – CW18 – T) which now has a sealed base. At $6.95 each, I got two. The other recommendation and what I use as a spare or additional LED anchor light is from cruisingsolutions.com (Utility Anchor Light for $35) . It also has a photocell to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. Connect to a 12v socket in stern of boat and hang from backstay. The cost of a new

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Raymarine S100 Autopilot Remote Controller

From Mark O. Flaherty, DIVERSION Catalina 380/296 Am installing Raymarine S100 Autopilot Remote Controller and would like lessons learned if anyone in group has already done so. Trying to make best compromise of ease of installation and coverage. Can the base station be “tucked” into the instrument pod? Adequate coverage? Aft lazerette? Nav Station? Other of which I have not thought?   From Warren Elliott I had no issue with base in aft lazarette. I tried there first (stb. Lazarette) because system computer was there making wiring super easy. From Jeff: Be careful when you are using it. When it’s battery runs low and the unit shuts down, it switches the autopilot to standby.   From Mike ’79 C380 ‘Debbia’ Racine, WI If you are sailing solo and carry the remote on your person, the Autopilot switching to standby on signal loss is a good safety feature. Should you fall

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Helm Seat – Home Made – Three Versions

There are a number of other posts that suggest approaches to a helm seat for C380s. Here are two more. From Mike Gilmore of Morning Glory: Mike used a Texaline Springfield low back folding coach seat #142232763 mounted on a swivel post mounted on the insert leading to the swim platform. These are available from West Marine and other sources. From Chuck and Nat Speicher s/v Trinity Hull #3387 This is really simple, and cheap, ( about $30) when traveling down the ICW last year, we realized the need for a helm seat as it’s just too many hours to stand. We bought one of those shower seats, with the plastic seat and adjustable legs on amazon. It fit perfectly on the seat behind the wheel, with out the cushion, we secured it to the back stantions with some ties to keep it from slipping. If

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Schaefer Jib Furler Issue

A number of members have mentioned problems with early Schaefer Jib Furlers seizing up. Note that you should never use petroleum based lubricants on Marlon bearings. From Stan of Frankie Anne C380 #247 East Greenwich, RI: I just had to fix the same issue. The bearing design in the lower unit was changed at some point. The newer models have, I believe, bearings in tracks rather than loose. The unit still needs to be rinsed periodically but holds up better. The lower swivel with the new design is available from Schaffer and costs about $200. I opted to have a rigger do the work due to some complications but it’s a reasonable DIY job.

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Solar Panel Questions and Suggestions

This is the first question I’ve seen that asks what to do with excess energy… From George Anderson, C387 Sunlife, Gulfport Florida I am in the midst of some systems upgrades and improvements on my C387 and put this out to the group. I am definitely adding solar panels and Blue Sky MPPT controllers are my preference in part due to of all of their products I have purchase over the last two boats they have given not any problems, their customer service is great and they are made in the US in colorado. The wind generator a Rutland 1200 delivers 3 phase AC ( an advantage in having the ability to run smaller gauge wire for the arch to the controller )and comes with their own MPPT controller which is capable of handling an additional Solar input as well as quiet ( one of my dock mates

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NewTeak

Several members have asked about installing NewTeak on their boat: From Paul, hull 170: I was reading some older posts from Cole about his nuteak flooring. I am sure i saw some pics a while back but can’t find them in any of the albums. Cole or anyone, just wondering how the product is holding up and how happy you have been with it? Any pics would be great as well. Thinking of this for a project this summer. From Cole: I can’t be happier. I get the pressure washer out a couple of times a year and it still looks great. It has better performance when wet and doesn’t get very hot.  

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Air Conditioning

Photos from S/V Another Road: Angel’s Wings #140: I have been very happy with my 16000 btu unit by Ocean Breeze in Stuart, FL. It has a radiant heat side that doesn’t need to be winterized, so we can visit the boat in the winter. AC unit runs with a Honda 2000.   Earl Poe ————————————- While Warren went for a cost effective approach, we live in Florida. After our 16k unit dies, we replaced it with a Marine Air 18k unit in the storage locker in front of the galley. With a main duct in the saloon, we have duct work running to both the forward and aft cabins. We have a separate thru hull for the water input and use a condensator for the output which keeps the bilge dry. By adding a smart start, which eliminate the large start up spike, we

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