Captain’s Chair

Captain’s Chair Thomas Brantigan C387 #96 Toccata in Sea First, I have to admit that I stole the whole idea from my good friend Mike Gilmore, Catalina 380 owner, who created somewhat the same thing a few years ago. Prior to this project, I had a captain’s chair behind the helm that was 11 years old and falling apart. It was a good design by a company that long since went out of business. It clamped to the stern rails and if I wanted to get to the swim platform, I had to either climb over the rails or remove the whole thing. Though I would typically do this at anchor, doing this just to get to the davits or something else was simply impractical. The solution was to through bolt a pedestal to the transom insert, mount a fancy contraption to the top of the pedestal so

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Lewmar Hatch Handle Replacement

Several captains have experienced the handles on the cabin roof hatches break off. Several have attempted to epoxy them back in place but over a short time they break off again. Lewmar has a kit to replace these though West Marine couldn’t find the correct one. The correct part number with Lewmar is 360255990. In this approach, you drill a hole through the lens and create a mechanical rather than glue connection for the new handle. This seems to be the best approach. Be sure it looks like what you have to make sure it is correct. It will have a “button” on top of the hatch bolted to the handle below. I have purchased them from APS (http://www.apsltd.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=360255990) in Annapolis for roughly $16..  

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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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