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mattstamour 02-10-2009 02:20 PM

Ascaird of my first Inboard
Greetings SailNet community,

Iíve been sailing around Fishers Island Sound (CT)/ Block Island Sound (RI) for the past 20 or more years. It amazes me how much I have to learn, but Iím happy to report no life threatening episodes in at least 15 years.

Started on a Cape Dory 25. Pretty, safe little boat. I got sick of watching everyone from behind so I got a Catalina 25 after the divorce. Fell in love with the Catalina, and a new woman named Carrie.

I sold the 25 yesterday.

Now Carrie and I are about to buy a Catalina 30, either a Ď76 with a rebuilt Atomic 4 or an Ď80 with a never used Universal 5411 recently installed by the PO. The 5411 was bought by the seller off a salvaged 1985 í27 involved in a highway transport accident. (sounds funny on the face, but I believe the whole story)

I have two concerns about the Universal I would love to hear any opinions about:

A: When the Universal was installed, due to its different size, he shimmed the shaft coupling about Ĺ an inch with SS washers. This allowed the propeller to have about that much space between the prop and the cutlass bearing as opposed to sitting up tight. Is that a viable solution?

B: This engine has 2 water cooling systems. A freshwater system AND a raw water system. I canít find anything anywhere describing that on the 5411. Has anyone else?

Thanks for the wonderful forum.


Deadeye 02-11-2009 02:26 PM

I haven't worked on any Universals specifically, but shimming a shaft is pretty common after a power swap. One method is to have a shim turned from plate stock, but a piece of heavy rubber works too. One possible issue I see with shimming the bolts themselves is that you are increasing the shear (sideways) loading on the bolts by quite a bit any time the prop is changing speed. With a single solid shim, the bolts need only hold the three parts (propshaft flange, shim, and crankshaft flange) together in tension (what bolts are best at) and the surface contact can handle the torque much better since it's spread out over more than just the three bolts. Does that make sense?

If it fails, it's likely to be a cascading failure because the remaining bolts won't take the increased load and you won't know right away that the first one has let go: you'll back off the throttle and that will 'load' the prop, making the problem worse. The shaft won't slide out of the boat because the flange will hit the stuffing box, but it could potentially jam the rudder. Personally I'd fix it, but I'm by no means an expert. The bolts are probably oversized for the load anyway.

Engine mounts usually have elongated holes where they attach to the boat. Is there any fore-and-aft adjustability left or are the bolts at the end of the holes ?

Cooling: it sounds like your engine has been converted to fresh-water cooling(antifreeze cooled by seawater). That's a good thing.

Pics would help here.

mattstamour 02-11-2009 03:00 PM

Thank you very much.

I understand exactly what you mean. Changing the spacer sounds like the way for me to go if I chose this boat.

I'm going to look at the boat again this Saturday, and I'll check the mounts for room to move, although I assume the PO would have...well, can never assume.

Today, and it seem to change daily, I am leaning towards the "Atomic 4" boat using the reasoning that the 5411 may be underpowered for the Catalina 30. I mean, how many have actually blown up? Isnt that the concern?

As far as the cooling on the Universal 5411 goes, I have found out that this model had an "add on" available for a closed freshwater cooling loop which was in ADDITION to the raw water loop. That, of course, adds another pump.

Again, thank you for thoughts, they are a great help.

Deadeye 02-11-2009 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by mattstamour (Post 446707)
although I assume the PO would have...well, can never assume.

;) Exactly what I was thinking.....
First Law of Troubleshooting: rule out the simple stuff right away.

Good luck, whatever you decide on.

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