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.

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 ‚Äútucked‚ÄĚ 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

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

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

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Switching to Golf Cart Batteries

[Editor: Much discussion on this topic. Here are a few pictures of such installations…] Batteries sit in a fiberglass box. Box usually has walls only and when fitted in place, they build bottom inside of it. I had to cut part of the floor above the box, between stern wall of the box and stairs. Floor can be cut and battery box can be extended to fit four 6V batteries. There is no need to change anything on floor boards. When you remove battery box lids with the attached floor boards, you will notice that floor under is not flat. Regards, Mario Here is a picture I found¬ on¬ internet. It is very much like mine. I can put in four¬ 6V batteries¬ from boat centerline toward starboard side. There is still space left on the starboard side for one more battery. I‚Äôve attached a picture of the 4 Trojan

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Electrical Overloads

We have a mini 1200watt heater from west marine. ¬ We have used it for a few years mostly on the starboard circuit. ¬ We put it on the port circuit this past weekend and it caused a fire on the white wire going to the block on the starboard wall behind the breaker panel. ¬ The end of the wire that was on the block burnt clear through. This line came from the shore power breaker and went directly to the wall panel. ¬ The wire was a 12awg but the main breaker is 30 amp. ¬ The breaker does have two connections…so I was wondering if it breaks down the amps into two 15 amp lines? ¬ If not then the wiring is undersized! ¬ 30 amp should be on 10awg. I replaced the burnt wire with a 10awg and tightened all of the other connections as well.

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Raymarine e95, e125, X10, Seatalk NG ,etc.

Our repair project following Hurricane Sandy has moved well into a major refit and refurbishment. We have just bought the Raymarine¬ e95 display and standard digital radar, and are waiting on the rebate of an i70 multifunction display. I’m finding the connection/hook-up directions to be fairly poor, but it might just be me. The question is whether or not the old autohelm, original with the boat, will connect and is even worth connecting? I traced the wiring around and can find no “Corepack”, which comes with the more recent vintage Raymarines (e.g.. X10). Any thoughts on the lifetime of these autohelms? The new units are around $3500 all in, which is a lot for our budget. Tom, Alchemy 1998 C380, #120 ¬ <hr /> Tom, I have an e125¬ and an X10 autohelm. The older pilots and ST60¬ instruments can be networked to the e series only through Seatalk¬ NG

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Sirius Weather

I just installed Sirius weather on my C385 Raymarine Plotter. Sirius does a poor job of providing user guides to explain all the features. Does anyone know a good resource to learn all the in and outs of the product? I had the same issues last year when my Sirius weather was new.¬ When I inquired, Sirius said there were too many models of equipment and each used / displayed their data differently for them to issue instructions.¬ They said see the equipment owners manuals.¬ It took about a year of playing with the unit to figure out what it would do and how to access it.¬ I am still frustrated with the ‚Äúwarm up‚ÄĚ time to acquire a signal.¬ On some days it is immediately present and other days it can take as long as 20 minutes. Jim Sullivan WASOKI C-380 #174 Good luck. I have not found a

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

C387 Microwave Replacement

My husband and I are in the process of buying a 2004 Catalina 387. The boat has a microwave sitting on the counter that does not fit the space in the cabinetry.. Now that I am reading this discussion from 3 years ago, I am wondering if it will be possible to replace it with one that fits. Any suggestion? Thanks, Sharon Pierce Sharon, When I looked last year, I found one that fit.¬ I ended up with an Emerson.¬ The issue I had was mounting it securely.¬ I ended up mounting the microwave to a piece of plywood, then attaching the plywood to the bottom of the cabinet. Jim Sullivan WASOKI C-380 #174 I just had to replace mine this year as well.¬ I found one at Wal-Mart for about $79 that fit right into the cabinet without any modifications.¬ The only thing I had to do was drill

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Wind Generator Installation

Here’s one example from Warren Elliott: As to pole mounting, it’s adjacent to middle of aft seat, with attachment to rail forming aft-most part of seat’s back-rest.¬ ¬ Attachment is from Edson & uses a couple of C-clamps with special “adapter” which grabs rail. At bottom, pole is supported/attached to hull with Edson’s swivel-type surface mount. Also used Edson’s tall pole…11 1/2 feet as I recall. ¬ Used this pole to get radar beam sufficiently above boom & bow per my radar antenna background. Garhauer has similar parts, although somewhat shorter pole, but probably considerably less $. BTW, wind gen is “Air-X”, not a “big” unit as some. ¬ If you are going to install a big gen & radar, then you’d definitely need the longer Edson pole or equivalent to have sufficient space. ¬ If wind gen only, smaller/ shorter pole is ok.  

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.

Shakespeare TV Antenna

The original TV antenna provided with La Mariposa in 1998 was an analog type that is no longer useable due to transmitting stations changeover to digital transmission.¬ This analog TV antenna was removed from top of mast and not replaced.¬ Coaxial Cable is still connected from chart table behind VHF radio all the way to the top of the mast where cable exits the mast.¬ The Antenna bracket is still on top of mast. I have replaced the analog antenna with a Shakespeare omni-directional marine TV digital antenna.¬ The picture quality is terrific and the signal does not degrade as the boat swings on its mooring because of the antenna‚Äôs unidirectional feature.¬ I am now receiving ‚Äúover-the-air‚ÄĚ reception on the boat‚Äôs Sharp flat screen TV, model LC-19DV-12U. I am using 117 VAC power to drive both the TV and antenna.¬ I use an inverter.¬ The antenna‚Äôs power selector (12 VDC

You need to be logged in to see the rest of this content.  Catalina380-IA members, please login.

To join please fill out a membership application (Association->Membership Application) and send a check to the address on the form.