Category Archives: Mainsheet

Mainsheet Articles

Anchor Chain Specifications

Anchor Chain Specifications
Dave Peffer
8/1/1998
Hull #: 20

The Maxwell windlass manual calls for using 5/16″ short -link’ chain. They have kindly clarified this, and recommend A.C.C.O. 5/16″ high test chain spliced to 5/8″ 3-strand or multi-plait nylon anchor line. If you want to use the windlass’ ability to handle both line and chain on the gypsy, a short, tapered splice is required on multi-plait and a full three-part splice (all three strands going through the chain link) is recommended for three-strand. You may get more information or order pre-spliced chain-rode combinations from Maxwell: 1610 Babcock St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627, phone 714-631-2634.

Please note that 5/16″ proof-coil chain, the kind most commonly available at boating stores, slips on the Maxwell gypsy and is VERY DANGEROUS to use. 5/16″ BBB chain fits the gypsy perfectly, but it is not as strong as the chain recommended by Maxwell.

Whether you

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Manual Bilge Pump

Manual Bilge Pump
Scott Brear

5/1/1998
Hull #: 31

We all have automatic bilge pumps, but how many times have we actually operated our manual pumps? The location of the pump handle is critical, especially if the crew must pump for extended periods. This operation should have a minimal impact on the helm. And the pump itself was quite an obstacle to entrance into the port lazarette. The solution was to relocate the pump to an area immediately aft of the port propane locker. It is a squeeze, but it fits in an area not otherwise useable. One of the existing hoses had to be replaced. The old pump opening in the cockpit was filled with the piece removed from the new position, glassed in and properly finished by a glass expert. One could never see the original installation! The result is much easier lazarette access, and the operating position

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Staying Warm

Staying Warm
Scott Brear

5/1/1998
Hull #: 31

After good meals, a key factor in crew comfort is adequate cabin heat. What a treat a warm cabin is after a cold watch…and how nice it is to be able to dry clothes at sea! We have had experience with diesel heaters before in our Catalina 42 and friends’ boats. They are very economical to run (about 0.5 liters per hour), are quiet/safe in operation, and offer loads of nice hot air.

An Eberspacher Model D3LC was chosen for its heat output and reputation for quality. They are readily available in the USA through selected dealers.

This model was designed for a slightly smaller boat, but installation space and other factors must be considered. Finding a way to mount the heater, locate the exhaust, and run the heat output required careful planning. After much thought, we settled on mounting the main

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Fuel Tank Size

Fuel Tank Size
Jim Jaeschke

10/1/1998
Hull #: 73

The fuel tank size is quoted in the orginal manuals as being 30 gallons. The fuel tank’s name plate shows that it is a 26 gallon tank.

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Anchor Detent

Anchor Detent
Dave Peffer
10/1/1998
Hull #: 20

The anchor locker provides no place to install a chain lock, which is required to keep the anchor locked on the roller underway. I made one up as follows: a short length of 3/16″ stainless wire (length depends on the length of your anchor stock) with a lifeline pelican hook (West Marine model #543132, which adjusts in length) swaged on one end, a stainless thimble nice-pressed on the other. A galvanized shackle attaches this to the bitter-end padeye in the anchor locker. The pelican hook goes through a chain link as close as possible to the anchor, and the adjustment on the hook allows this to be snug. The anchor is not going to fall overboard. This can also be used to snub the chain and allow you to transition the chain to the gypsy while raising the anchor if you do

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Winterizing The Water System

Winterizing The Water System
Tom McMahan

9/1/1998 Hull #: 29

I probably use more antifreeze (AF) than is really necessary, but I don’t mind if it avoids worrying about a broken pipe below the floorboards. I just pump each tank as dry as possible and then drain the water heater. I then re-plumb the water heater, bypassing it to avoid having to waste all the AF it takes to fill it. This requires buying a couple of extra fittings and a short length of the rigid tubing used in the 380 fresh water system.

Parts are available by special order from Whale via West Marine. Then, each tank gets about two gallons of AF.

On the 380, the shortest run from the manifold to a faucet is to the galley faucet. I open the valve for each tank separately and in turn and run water until pink appears at the

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Fridge Compressor

Fridge Compressor
Scott Brear

8/1/1998
Hull #: 31

Many of us have noticed that the Catalina 380 fridge needed a bit more insulation to make it effective. The factory fix has been appreciated and worthwhile. I also felt that the placement of the compressor is in a rather vulnerable position in the bottom of the port lazarette. Objects could be dropped on it or it could (and would) be stepped on.

On Samantha we moved the compressor to a shelf glassed into the area between the port propane locker and the hull. This required new copper plumbing and a refrigerant recharge, but there was plenty of unused space. Now it is safely out of the way and still easily accessible. To make certain that it has adequate ventilation we installed a stainless vent between this area and the aft cabin, which is probably a good idea whether the compressor is

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Condensation in the Refrigerator

Condensation in the Refrigerator
Jim Jaeschke
9/1/1998
Hull #: 73

On Electra we started noticing in our second season a lot of condensation on the tops of cans in the top part of the refrigerator and also on the top of the refrigerator itself. We performed the dollar bill test which is closing the top cover of the refrigerator with a dollar bill located between the cover and the rubber seal. We found that the dollar bill pulled out easily in several locations along the perimeter which showed that the rubber seal was not touching the top. It was probably compressed from my putting a heavy tool box on the counter. A new one was installed.

I also checked, as suggested by other owners, the junction of the counter top and the top of the refrigerator. I found as they had, a gap that could leak air. I sealed the

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