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Great Lakes Sailor
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Found a sweet 1982 Catalina 38. It's been well maintained and updated. It should be a versatile racer/cruiser for my husband and I on Lake Michigan (even with below issue).

Except it is rigged with the halyards on the mast. I'd like to change the rigging to go aft. And have no idea of the complexity for cost. The deck is clean, with very little rigging on it.
Appreciate hearing any advice or experience.

Also, does anyone know if catalina38.org is still active?
 

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Think the mast on a C38 is keel stepped which complicates things a little bit. If not https://www.garhauermarine.com/deck-blocks-hardware/deck-organizers.html installed will need a tie rod from mast to deck below to keep the halyards, etc from lifting up the deck. If the mast is deck stepped spring for a deck plate to put under the mast step to fasten all the blocks to. https://www.garhauermarine.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=mast+deck+plates. If you don't use a deck plate, you'll need install stand up blocks on the deck.

Garhauer makes some nice deck organizers to turn the lines aft and the price is right. https://www.garhauermarine.com/deck-blocks-hardware/deck-organizers.html

Clutches will cut down on the winches needed on the cabin top. https://www.garhauermarine.com/deck-blocks-hardware/rope-clutches.html

At least one and possibly two Lewmar 16 or equivalent winches on the cabin top for a midsized boat, larger sized winches for bigger boats.. Used self tailing winches which are expensive compared to buying used non self tailing which can be found almost for nothing.

Double Line Reefing Led Aft.

I’ve sailed on two boats with single line reefing and both sucked big time. The friction took a lot of muscle to haul the reefing line in, things hung up on the reef requiring trips forward to clear, the sail didn’t trim well because of friction caused inability to haul the leech taut and there is a league or two of line you have to pull in. To be fair the boats lived in light air areas and the attempts to reef could have been the first time it was ever used so not properly sorted out. In any case, never considered single line reefing.

My boats are set up for double line reefing separate clew and tack lines. There are way fewer blocks and turns and twists in the line so friction losses are minimized. The clew reefing lines pass through three more blocks than if it was at the mast reefing and one of those is a deck organizer that turns the line only about 30 degrees so has minimal friction component. The tack lines pass through three blocks with two of those very small turning angles so almost no friction loss.

The boat is set up with tack reef lines and halyard led aft on the Port side. The line leads from a padeye, up through the sail, down to a block on mast near the boom so the tack is pulled down and against the mast, down to a block at the base of the mast, then aft through a deck organizer and through clutches to the winch. The winch doubles for tack lines and main halyard though have never needed the winch for the tack lines. The clew lines are on Stbd. They dump out the base of the gooseneck, to standup blocks on deck, aft to a deck organizer, then through clutches to the winch.

Reefing is loose the main halyard to a preset mark, usually sail will fall down but if it doesn’t pull down the tack by hand, then retention the halyard. Move to Stbd and haul in most of the clew reef line by hand then grind in the remainder with the winch if I forget to take tension on the topping lift. If I remember to take the slack out of the topping lift only have to use the winch for that last foot or so. There is only one turning clock on the main halyard so little added friction. Can haul the main up almost as far from the cockpit as from the mast.before needing the winch for the last few feet. Take the tension out of the topping lift, sheet the sail in and we’re off again.

It does take a bit of hardware to bring the lines aft. Ebay helps to keep the cost down but it still isn’t cheap. Have a winch on both sides of cabin top, could get by with one if you run the halyard back to same side as the clew reefing lines, The hardware on the double line reefing is: Tack: padeye and block on padeye at the boom, tuning block at base of mast, deck organizer, clutch and winch for each reef point. I have a newish boom on the boat so clew reef lines are internal and dump out at the gooseneck, down to stand up block at base of mast, deck organizer, aft to clutch and winch on cabin top. The winches are #12 Anderson Self Tailing on the P35 and Lewmar #16 self tailing on the Sabre 28. If you don’t have an internal reefing boom you have to add a block at goose neck to turn the line down.

Bought a lot of the hardware on Ebay so saved quite a bit over new but still a boat unit cost on the P35 to run the lines aft. S28 was alr . eady set up but blocks and hardware are smaller so cost would be less if you are starting from scratch.. If I was doing it now would explore using low friction rings and dyneema loops where possible
 

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Roverhi recommendations are spot on and Haleakula has been set up similarly for the last 20 years. In my own experience you must organize your mast collar blocks in an efficient manner insuring no line cross.

I would stay away from the spring loaded permanent furnish blocks drilled into the coach roof. Double reef lines are also a good idea. The less you have to go topside the better IMHO. You can cut down the # of winches you will need on the coach roof. Haleakula has 6 , three on each side under the dodger , however see was a racer cruiser and some were used for other applications.

The clutches will hold you lines in place though you may want to add some line horns. For instance the jib halyard once the jib is raised ( we have roller furling) rarely gets played with. The jib halyard therefore is put on a horn once raised. That frees that specific self tailing winch for other means and

Other considerations:
1-how to lead the lines under a dodger should you have one. They should not rub or abrade the dodger. Switching lines on the winch (s) under the dodger May create friction angles
2- you will now have many lines combining into the cockpit. They also must be organized when not in use. We are the following lines. Main halyard, jib halyard, main sheet, 2 reef lines, centerboard line, preventer line, two traveler adjustment lines. That’s 9 lines under the dodger into the cockpit.
3. The winch (s) must have ample room under the dodger. This means full circle. Also good body angle using the winches. That’s why the least amount of additional winches the better. Again you do that with clutches and horns. Deck organizers help in sorting. I’m not sure how the Cat 38 is set up under the dodger but 2 good 2 speed self tailors , one on each side, should be able handle this. After our main is up, that halyard can be removed from the winch unless we are reefing. We use the traveler lines frequently for sail trim, We use the main sheet similarly. You can add winches but there has to be clear space between them to rotate a good handle 360 degrees.


I would start with diagrams . Figure out what lines are coming into the cockpit. That will let you know how many clutches and what type of organizers to get. I would leave yourself an e tra wheel and clutch for later additions. ( we added ez jacks which can be deployed from the cockpit for dropping the main) . The turning blocks at the mast collar should be oversized. Remember friction is the enemy. Don’t cheap out on these. I just replaced ours after 20 years. Under the dodger concerning winches I would make cardboard / construction paper cut outs for them. Put them on the coach roof and see what room you have. I would try and stay away from new winch unless absolutely necessary. Winches need a flat surface. Hard to find on the coach roof, but can be created easily with a base.

When you start, I cannot state strongly enough the need to have ample backing plates . Lots of torque placed on some of these lines. Most coach roofs are cored so it’s not as simple as putting a hole In it and sealing it with silicon. This hole becomes a water intrusion point and it will flex. The coring should be removed surrounding the drill hold replaced with epoxy. Every hole becomes a potential leak point 10 years later.

After I did this many years ago, I can believe how simple it became to manage our boat. How much safer too. Since then I did a lot of single handing it made line management that much easier. Much safer. This will be a big improvement for your boat. Plan to spend about a boat buck without adding a new winch.

Garhauer as recommended are very robust and I have a number of their products radar tower, davits, clutches. I believe they are stNdard equip on many Catalinas. Though robust their not as slick looking as many other brands, but the company is very consumer service is excellent.

I used Harken 80mm blocks and their oraganizers. The spendy so get them on sail as prices among sites vary.

Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me with questions
 

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I did this on my much, much smaller Catalina 22.

For my small boat I just used over-sized washers to back the deck organizer, but as said above you'd want backing plates. I used butyl tape (from Maine Sail Bed-It Butyl Tape) to seal the holes from the top. I didn't seal my core with epoxy, but it's probably a good idea. Once again, Maine Sail is your friend: Sealing Deck Penetrations To Prevent Core Rot

Look up the deck organizers and clutches you want to buy. You should be able to find dimensioned diagrams of them. Print them out full size and then tape them to your deck to make sure everything runs like you'll want it to.

It took me longer than I thought it would (don't all projects) but it was very satisfying and I'm much happier with the boat now that I have the lines run to the cockpit.
 

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Nobody has mentioned that you will almost certainly need new halyards and topping lifts - any running rigging set up to work from the mast will almost certainly be too short to lead back to the cockpit.

Even doing this job yourself is going to cost several boat bucks - blocks, clutches, winches, halyards and the materials to mount all of it.

If you're just going to write cheques it will advance to many boat bucks as mounting everything properly will take many hours of labour.
 

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Sloop John B is right, but he misses one point, it'll be a nice upgrade to have.
Only you can decide if the $500-$1000 it'll cost you to do all this makes sense.
 

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The new running rigging alone will cost that or more.

The whole job will be closer to $3500 - $4000 - if you do it all yourself.

400' of line for 3 halyards

2 self tailing winches

3 blocks minimum

2 deck organizers

3 rope clutches

For $500 - $1000? I don't think so. The winches will be at least that - each.

P.S. A boat buck is $1000, not $100 - that's a boat dime.
 

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The new running rigging alone will cost that or more.

The whole job will be closer to $3500 - $4000 - if you do it all yourself.

400' of line for 3 halyards

2 self tailing winches

3 blocks minimum

2 deck organizers

3 rope clutches

For $500 - $1000? I don't think so. The winches will be at least that - each.

P.S. A boat buck is $1000, not $100 - that's a boat dime.

No kidding what a boat buck is. No need for the condescension.

The winches are a big variable and I think you could plan this without them. It all depends on how the boats coach roof is currently set up

That’s a huge savings of $1600-2000

So let’s really cost it out on the Garhauer site, of course you want to look at other sites for their 25% off sales. But at top price.for Garhauer.

6 blocks for the mast collar series 60- $440
2 triple decline organizers-$180
2 triple line clutches- $320

https://www.garhauermarine.com/deck-blocks-hardware/rope-clutches.html

That’s $940

300 ft sta set 1/2 inch - $460

https://www.amazon.com/Sta-Set-Fleck-New-England-Ropes/dp/B00HKJ1GRU/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz9eOnoG05QIVl5OzCh0yZg2VEAAYASAAEgJTdvD_BwE&hvadid=199054730384&hvdev=t&hvlocphy=9007934&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=2281958547068313995&hvtargid=aud-646675773986:kwd-369261218087&hydadcr=9433_9900718&keywords=sta-set+rope&qid=1571889788&sr=8-10&th=1&psc=1


So maybe I was off a little. That’s $1400
A far cry from the fake news saying of $4000. But of course he included winches. I hadn’t .

This can also be a DYI project. It isn’t rocket science. It won’t take millions of hours either. It’s about planning. Finding the best deals on the equipment and then executing.

Now if you contract this out., expect to pay at least double maybe triple due to labor. But you really can do this yourself
 

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No condescension intended Chef.

I fail to see how you could run the halyards to the cockpit without winches though - It's a 38' boat. Were you thinking about removing the existing ones and remounting them aft?

Anyway you figure it, it's going to be an expensive job.
 

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No condescension intended Chef.

I fail to see how you could run the halyards to the cockpit without winches though - It's a 38' boat. Were you thinking about removing the existing ones and remounting them aft?

Anyway you figure it, it's going to be an expensive job.
Like I said in all my posts I am not sure the configuration of a their particular Catalina 38, and what’s under the dodger ( assuming they have one).

Our C&C 35 MKIII came with 3 - 2 speed self tailing Barients under the dodger. It was simply doing the blocks, clutches, horns, and Sta-set. If their Catalina 38 only had 2 , one on either side , clutches and horns would be enough to accomplish what they want to do easily as well as keep it organized and neat.

If they don’t have that and HAVE to purchase winches like I said in previous posts it adds $1500-$2000 to the equation. In a new boat I don’t consider spending $1500 a huge amount to effectively make such a significant change.

That way they could save some costs and my projection of $1500 sans sales on equipment would hold . I believe we agree then.
 

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You can cut the cost of the Sta-Set by about half if you're not in a hurry. West Marine does 40% off sales on line about once per quarter.

Lewmar #16 two speed non-self tailer's are $579 new (WM prices). Figure half that used at Bacon's.

There's no need to figure out the turning block setup. Just walk down the dock, find a Catalina and take a picture of the setup. They've all be done the same way for at least 20 years now and it works well, so no need to re-invent the wheel.

Finally a keel stepped mast isn't all that unusual. If you don't see something obvious for mounting a turning block in Garhauer's catalog give them a call. I'll guarantee they have something or they can make something for you because they've done it before. Their prices are reasonable and they've got very good customer service.

catalina38.org's web site is up and running, but it doesn't look like there's a lot of activity. A lot of these groups are moving onto Facebook now, so I'd try searching there. I can guarantee you're not the first person to do this project. That's one of the upsides of owning a Catalina. Any boat project you're thinking about has been done and somebody's written up a step-by-step how-to guide with pictures and posted it online.

Best of luck with her, Jim
 

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No condescension intended Chef.

I fail to see how you could run the halyards to the cockpit without winches though - It's a 38' boat. Were you thinking about removing the existing ones and remounting them aft?
When I ran my lines back to the cockpit I was able to remove a winch from the mast that was no longer needed. Maybe they can do the same.
 

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Great Lakes Sailor
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone! You've both given me a lot to work with and think about. I'm still keen on this boat. We don't own it yet. I think we should sail for a season without any changes and see how we fare. Learn the ropes, as it is. I'm glad to know what it takes to get it done, before we make an offer.
 

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Thanks everyone! You've both given me a lot to work with and think about. I'm still keen on this boat. We don't own it yet. I think we should sail for a season without any changes and see how we fare. Learn the ropes, as it is. I'm glad to know what it takes to get it done, before we make an offer.
That’s a great idea.

Running you lines to the cockpit will be a great improvement and increased safety issue.

Good luck on getting the boat. Check in and let us know how everything is going.
 

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No condescension intended Chef.

I fail to see how you could run the halyards to the cockpit without winches though - It's a 38' boat. Were you thinking about removing the existing ones and remounting them aft?

Anyway you figure it, it's going to be an expensive job.
I have a self tailer on the coach roof (both sides) and use it for the main halyard and topping lift. Head sail's halyard is at the mast and it has a self tailing wind and line stopper/clutch.

I do sometimes use the primary winch for the main halyard with no issue and more room to work and better visibility of the sail... then from under the dodger.

++++

Shiva is deck stepped with lines led aft OEM.

It has:

2 stainless slotted angles on each side of the mast to which blocks are attached.

Then there is a 2 double sheave deck organizer a few few aft of the mast base turning blocks

The dodger has an opening on each side for the rigging lines

under the dodger are 2 double attached line stopper/clutches on each side

and finally a winch on each side.

The rigging led to the cockput is:

main halyard
topping lift
2 forward reef lines

2 aft reef lines
vang
outhaul
 

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....
I’ve sailed on two boats with single line reefing and both sucked big time. The friction took a lot of muscle to haul the reefing line in, things hung up on the reef requiring trips forward to clear, the sail didn’t trim well because of friction caused inability to haul the leech taut and there is a league or two of line you have to pull in. To be fair the boats lived in light air areas and the attempts to reef could have been the first time it was ever used so not properly sorted out. In any case, never considered single line reefing....
FWIW the single line reefing on my Pearson 31-2 works like a charm. While there is friction in the reefing line system, it isn't much more than I find present in the clew reefing line in a typical two line system, and as the reefing line leads to a cabintop Lewmar 30 winch, any friction is of no significance.

See an example here:

https://youtu.be/Bg5r3_45up8
 

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Great Lakes Sailor
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Discussion Starter #19
This will reveal my inexperience in boat buying, but here goes. I realized the Catalina 38 in question has a shoal draft (plus the aforementioned cruising rigging). Does anyone have experience racing this model?

The guys I will race against are sailing boats like a Beneteau 35, S2 9.1 and a Catalina 30TM

We race on Lake Michigan with PHRF handicap in Jib & Main section (until I get a spinnaker situated). And you can assume my team has better sailors. lol.

The Catalina I'm looking at is so well maintained and updated, it's hard for me to pass by.
 

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The Catalina 38 started life as a Yankee 38. Catalina got the molds when Yankee went under. A beautiful boat, but designed as an IOR racer/cruiser. Some stability issues downwind. I think halyards lead aft are often over rated and sometimes just lead to clutter. For example, to me, bringing halyards back on roller furling headsails and roller furling main aren't worth it. There is increased friction by bringing back. As suggested, try it for a season and sea what you think. I am probably totally wrong but never in doubt.
 
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