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.

Preheat Switch

I have a C380 Hull#223 “Calypso”. The weather is getting cold and my Westerbeke 42b4 manual says hit the PreHeat Switch before starting. I might be lame, but cannot find on my pedestal. Any ideas as to where I can find it? Pictures? Thanks, Ralph

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30 amp power cord

I have a 2002 Catalina 390. Is it recommend to plug in 2-30 amp cords to shore power when running AC, refrigerator, and microwave?  Without the microwave we are using around 10 amps. Thanks, wes

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Preheat Switch

I have a C380 Hull#223. The weather getting cold and my westerbeke 42b4 manual says hit the PreHeat Switch before starting. I might be lame, but cannot find on my pedestal. Any ideas as to where I can find it?

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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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Advice on swing mooring challenges

Hi Skippers, I recently relocated our 387 with a wing keep on to a swing mooring in an attempt to save on berthing fees which are expensive here in Aussie. The mooring is in a tidal inlet with around 3 meters of tidal rise / fall so we get anything up to 4-5 knots of flow in the middle hours of the tide. My neighbors some of who me live aboard are telling me with wind opposing tide our 387 swings erratically, often with the mooring bouy jammed in against the hull with the boat opposing the tide due to wind. The other longer keeled boats in the anchorage don’t seem to have the same issues as the appear to react much slower to wind and the tide appears to have a good hold. I am interested if anyone has expierince and any suggions on if the helm should be

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Catalina 387 Line Sizes

From the Catalina 387 manual, page 21: Furling line recommendation from Schaefer Furler Manual: 2100 = 70′ 5/16″ 3100 = 90′ 3/8″ Spin Halyard from Running Rigging Specifications of C380 Manual: 130′ Std Rig 136′ Tall rig

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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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