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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First I'd like to say that I have read the numerous post here (Catalina 36 owners forum) regarding our boats characteristics for 'Bluewater' sailing and the many owners thoughts on this. There is quite a range of thoughts on this and there is quite a bit of inspiring posts based on first hand experience (Ron Kyles etc.) which makes me confident in my intended journey. While I do not plan to cross any of the major oceans at this point in my planning, you never know where the wind might take us.

We are the proud 3rd owners of an 1988 C-36 berthed in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, Ca. We have had her for 2 years, in which time we have done quite a bit of work as I will list.

1) Replaced all opening ports and re-bedded (obviously)

2) re-bedded all chainplate covers on the deck

3) added a larger bow roller and 45lb Mantus anchor with 150' of chain and 200' of 8 plait rode

4) electric windlass with wired control and wireless remote

5) New heavier 'offshore' main sail with 2 reef points

6) ditched dutchman system and added lazy/ ez jacks

7) New MFD/ chartplotter

8) Radar and Garhauer Radar post stern mounted with engine hoist

9) Life Raft mounted on pushpit

10) Dinghy and motor

11) running rigging (still more to do but will get done this winter)

12) new bilge pumps (thoughts on adding them to port and starboard sides as to work while heeled?)

13) compost head, removed holding tank and all associated plumbing in order to open up more storage relieve demands on electrical system

14) New lifeline AGM batteries for hous bank and increased AH (should probably change the starting battery as well)

15) removed propane tank from aft lazzarette, upgraded to Composite with more capacity and push pit mounted in order to free up storage in Lazarrette

16) added proper backing plates to pulpit and pushpit (G-10)

17) re-did deck paint with new non-slip (Total Boat product)

18) cleaned and diinfected all water tanks

19) cleaned and inspected genoa

20) new gaskets on both hatches ( think I need to replace the forward hatch as one of the nylon 'pins' of the hinge is protruding quite a bit and for the life of me I cannot get it to budge back into position

21) New LI and solar powered cooler/ refer which runs on LI power bank that can be used to charge electronics as well. The nav desk chair has been removed the cooler is in its own compartment which can slide out to access and the chair has been mounted back to the top of this compartment. ( it required no new attachment points so can easily be converted back to original configuration)

22) refer to port of galley sink/ top loading

23) stuffing box/ gland re-packed and new pedro hose, new cutlass bearing

24) removed single center mounted bow clete and added 2, 1 on both stbd and port side of bow w/ G 10 backing plate

25) G 10 backing plates on stern mounted cletes

There may be more I can't rattle off right now.

On my short list to do is to/ inspect:

1) replace/ upgrade standing rigging

2) Alternative charging/ power source ( Solar, Wind?)

3) Engine over haul, valve adjustment

4) new wind and depth instruments as I can't read the display on depth very well and new displays are not much cheaper than new system so thinking I should just upgrade so mnfg will be same across the board on my electronic suite

5) Steering system overhaul

6) proper backing plates (g 10) on stanchions

7) figure out best way to new run reefing lines ( don't really care if they go back to cock pit)

8) figure out best system for rigging spinnaker as has no system currently, but do have a nice un-used asym

9) Water maker/ de salinator, looking at a new LI powered portable system from seawater pro, this way I can take it with me if and when I get my dream boat and also as to not place more burden on my house bank

We would love other suggestions and thoughts, things I may have missed as I just rattled this off the top of my head.

Our plan is to start with taking a year off ( I don't think its enough time, wife is open for more depending on how it all goes). Head south slowly next August down southern Ca, down coast of Baja ( I've previously sailed to La Paz from San Diego) spending September and October in Bahia Asucion, and mostly Scorpion Bay surfing and keeping a keen eye on the weather and hurricane forecast, if needed with good forecasting and preparation we can head north to Turtle Bay in the event a Cane' decides it wants to re-curve into the peninsula. I've been plotting huricanes for the last 4 years, I feel confident in this plan with that and based on historical data. End of October when the Bajahaha passes by we're gonna chase them to La Paz and spend some time in the Sea of Cortez before crossing to main land Mexico and working our way south over the winter. Eventually making our way to El Salvador before the start of the new Hurricane season and on to spend summer in southern Costa Rica and pacific islands of Panama surfing, diving, fishing and exploring. I realize this is also the rainy season and when the south swell season is at its peak. Thinking Golfito and the Golfo Dulce region. When fall sets in head east through the canal and winter in Carribean Panama etc....

I would love some insight mostly on boat prep and things I may have left off in those regards, as well as any points of interest and must do's must haves.

Cheers! I hope to have some responses and look forward to it!!

Dave
 

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Don't know those cruising grounds can't speak to that. It sounds like you've been very thoughtful and diligent in your preparations, and busy! Things I didn't see on your list ( and you said it was off the top of your head, so they may be present or planned)

Any long range communications? SSB, Sat phone in the plan?
A way to get good weather forecasts
Spare anchor (s) and rode
Any kind of preventer set up
Sea berths like lee cloths or boards
Jack Lines
A way to secure companionway hatches.
Life raft?
 

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1987 Cape Dory MKII hull #3
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First I'd like to say that I have read the numerous post here (Catalina 36 owners forum) regarding our boats characteristics for 'Bluewater' sailing and the many owners thoughts on this. There is quite a range of thoughts on this and there is quite a bit of inspiring posts based on first hand experience (Ron Kyles etc.) which makes me confident in my intended journey. While I do not plan to cross any of the major oceans at this point in my planning, you never know where the wind might take us.

We are the proud 3rd owners of an 1988 C-36 berthed in Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, Ca. We have had her for 2 years, in which time we have done quite a bit of work as I will list.

1) Replaced all opening ports and re-bedded (obviously)

2) re-bedded all chainplate covers on the deck

3) added a larger bow roller and 45lb Mantus anchor with 150' of chain and 200' of 8 plait rode

4) electric windlass with wired control and wireless remote

5) New heavier 'offshore' main sail with 2 reef points

6) ditched dutchman system and added lazy/ ez jacks

7) New MFD/ chartplotter

8) Radar and Garhauer Radar post stern mounted with engine hoist

9) push pit mounted Life Raft

10) Dinghy and motor

11) running rigging (still more to do but will get done this winter)

12) new bilge pumps (thoughts on adding them to port and starboard sides as to work while heeled?)

13) compost head, removed holding tank and all associated plumbing in order to open up more storage relieve demands on electrical system

14) New lifeline AGM batteries for hous bank and increased AH (should probably change the starting battery as well)

15) removed propane tank from aft lazzarette, upgraded to Composite with more capacity and push pit mounted in order to free up storage in Lazarrette

16) added proper backing plates to pulpit and pushpit (G-10)

17) re-did deck paint with new non-slip (Total Boat product)

18) cleaned and diinfected all water tanks

19) cleaned and inspected genoa

20) new gaskets on both hatches ( think I need to replace the forward hatch as one of the nylon 'pins' of the hinge is protruding quite a bit and for the life of me I cannot get it to budge back into position

21) New LI and solar powered cooler/ refer which runs on LI power bank that can be used to charge electronics as well. The nav desk chair has been removed the cooler is in its own compartment which can slide out to access and the chair has been mounted back to the top of this compartment. ( it required no new attachment points so can easily be converted back to original configuration)

22) refer to port of galley sink/ top loading

23) stuffing box/ gland re-packed and new pedro hose, new cutlass bearing

24) removed single center mounted bow clete and added 2, 1 on both stbd and port side of bow w/ G 10 backing plate

25) G 10 backing plates on stern mounted cletes

There may be more I can't rattle off right now.

On my short list to do is to/ inspect:

1) replace/ upgrade standing rigging

2) Alternative charging/ power source ( Solar, Wind?)

3) Engine over haul, valve adjustment

4) new wind and depth instruments as I can't read the display on depth very well and new displays are not much cheaper than new system so thinking I should just upgrade so mnfg will be same across the board on my electronic suite

5) Steering system overhaul

6) proper backing plates (g 10) on stanchions

7) figure out best way to new run reefing lines ( don't really care if they go back to cock pit)

8) figure out best system for rigging spinnaker as has no system currently, but do have a nice un-used asym

9) Water maker/ de salinator, looking at a new LI powered portable system from seawater pro, this way I can take it with me if and when I get my dream boat and also as to not place more burden on my house bank

We would love other suggestions and thoughts, things I may have missed as I just rattled this off the top of my head.

Our plan is to start with taking a year off ( I don't think its enough time, wife is open for more depending on how it all goes). Head south slowly next August down southern Ca, down coast of Baja ( I've previously sailed to La Paz from San Diego) spending September and October in Bahia Asucion, and mostly Scorpion Bay surfing and keeping a keen eye on the weather and hurricane forecast, if needed with good forecasting and preparation we can head north to Turtle Bay in the event a Cane' decides it wants to re-curve into the peninsula. I've been plotting huricanes for the last 4 years, I feel confident in this plan with that and based on historical data. End of October when the Bajahaha passes by we're gonna chase them to La Paz and spend some time in the Sea of Cortez before crossing to main land Mexico and working our way south over the winter. Eventually making our way to El Salvador before the start of the new Hurricane season and on to spend summer in southern Costa Rica and pacific islands of Panama surfing, diving, fishing and exploring. I realize this is also the rainy season and when the south swell season is at its peak. Thinking Golfito and the Golfo Dulce region. When fall sets in head east through the canal and winter in Carribean Panama etc....

I would love some insight mostly on boat prep and things I may have left off in those regards, as well as any points of interest and must do's must haves.

Cheers! I hope to have some responses and look forward to it!!

Dave
in addition to Tempest recent comment, not sure what size motor you have for your dinghy.
On the area you will be cruising, your dinghy is one of the most valuable assets you will have.
Depending on where you will spend the hurricane season, an A/C is a must.
The known hurricane holes such as PV and new PV have special rates for that season, most cruisers without A/C used to buy a window unit, and resale it when leaving, there will be many trips to the interior of Mexico for a brake on the unbearable heat/humidity of coastal Mexico.
Also, the water maker is an excellent idea.
We did that journey leaving the Ventura harbor where I kept my boat for about 4 years, sailed to Shelter Island in San Diego for outfitting.
You may like to check on my recent post on the Tehuantepec winds.
trip of a lifetime.
yesterday was talking with my daughter how much I miss both that coastal trip and the time spent in Kuna country.
 

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SSB radio is obsolete and has been for over ten years. We have one and haven’t turned it on in over twelve years; even for crossing oceans, Sat phone and iridium go beat SSB for pricing and service, only a small fraction of the cost of an SSB. The internet and cell service are everywhere and in most cases better than in the US. Get an unlimited data plan for less than $50 per month and save the $4000 SSB will cost you.
 

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On the SSB I can see a difference between the East Coast and the West Coast (coastal)cruising, out of curiosity checked the last Latitude 38 magazine (bible for west coast sailors) and see that the net cruisers remain very active mostly for the Mexico coast and Sea of Cortez.

From Latitude 38

"As such, SSB is the only way to go for the various regional cruising nets, such as the Baja, Sonrisa, Chubasco and Southbound. It means that when Don Anderson of Summer Passage, for example, transmits his latest weather forecast, anyone who wants to can listen at the same time. When someone has a question about the forecast, everyone can hear the question and Don's response"

Cannot believe the Chubasco Net still alive!!. 20 years!!!!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since I moved to the East coast I have not re-installed my SSB (still have it) and use IridiumGo and Garming Explorer InReach and they meet all my needs.

Maybe regional differences.?
And do not believe they are exclusionary of each other but complementary.
 

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Weather4D app on your smartphone or tablet is all that’s needed for an accurate weather forecast these days. Learn how to use it, then no group discussion required.

My wife and I do our own forecasting because nobody can tell us when it’s safe to go, ultimately it has to be our decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From Tempest above:

Any long range communications? SSB, Sat phone in the plan?
A way to get good weather forecasts
Spare anchor (s) and rode
Any kind of preventer set up
Sea berths like lee cloths or boards
Jack Lines
A way to secure companionway hatches.
Life raft?



As far as long range comms. go, currently just Garmin In Reach, also need EPIRB for emergency situation.

For weather forecast Iridium Go was the plan, upon email correspondence with predict wind I asked if there was any plan for a newer improved system and they said it was in the works but not sure on release date. I'd hate to spend the money today and find out tomorrow the new improved version is being released.

Good point on spare anchor and rode, I do have one and extra chain, it will be on my list of things to remember.

No current preventer set up other than re-directing a line tied to the boom. Suggestions?

Wife is making Lee Cloths.

Jack lines are current and on board.

Companion hatches need help. Maybe a solid piece of Lexan or simillar. Also safety bars for tropics for hatches and companionway hatch.

Have life raft.

How about a good spare parts list and tools suggestion. I actually have a really good set of tools that I feel confident with but am interested in ideas of some obscure tools I may have not thought of.

I always wondered about this SSB radio stuff, I need to study up on that. The gentleman I sailed Baja with before had a ham radio set up, was quite nice to listen to the 'nets', don't have time to delve into that world. Is SSB a different system with generally same capabilities as HAM or is it completely different?

Thanks Again,

Dave
 

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From Tempest above:

Any long range communications? SSB, Sat phone in the plan?
A way to get good weather forecasts
Spare anchor (s) and rode
Any kind of preventer set up
Sea berths like lee cloths or boards
Jack Lines
A way to secure companionway hatches.
Life raft?



As far as long range comms. go, currently just Garmin In Reach, also need EPIRB for emergency situation.

For weather forecast Iridium Go was the plan, upon email correspondence with predict wind I asked if there was any plan for a newer improved system and they said it was in the works but not sure on release date. I'd hate to spend the money today and find out tomorrow the new improved version is being released.

Good point on spare anchor and rode, I do have one and extra chain, it will be on my list of things to remember.

No current preventer set up other than re-directing a line tied to the boom. Suggestions?

Wife is making Lee Cloths.

Jack lines are current and on board.

Companion hatches need help. Maybe a solid piece of Lexan or simillar. Also safety bars for tropics for hatches and companionway hatch.

Have life raft.

How about a good spare parts list and tools suggestion. I actually have a really good set of tools that I feel confident with but am interested in ideas of some obscure tools I may have not thought of.

I always wondered about this SSB radio stuff, I need to study up on that. The gentleman I sailed Baja with before had a ham radio set up, was quite nice to listen to the 'nets', don't have time to delve into that world. Is SSB a different system with generally same capabilities as HAM or is it completely different?

Thanks Again,

Dave
if you do not have an SSB installed may not be a good investment of money/time as previously been mentioned, weather and communications are today delivered by satellite comm using previously noted.
Emergencies are addressed by EPIRB as well as IridiumGo IridiumPhone,Garmin InReach not to mention all sort of personal emergency beacons.
Once reaching a destination point, the VHF serves as the link to the local net that provides all the local info regarding shopping, services, local gossip etc, not sure now,was a routine every morning to check in.
Latitude 38 October 2018 page 82 has a nice article by Stan Honey.
20 years ago we carried a vast supply of diesel filters for the primary and secondary filters because "south of the border"diesel was always contaminated.
Actually, I returned with most of them, as I religiously prefilter all diesel going into my tank!!
Water in larger modern marinas seem to provide good drinking potable, but I did use a water filter placed at the slip faucet, so all water going into the tank will be prefilter.
If the marina was not to my likes will buy bottled water, otherwise outside the marinas was all water maker.
On the spare stuff I carried both engine water pumps plus the repair kits, an alternator, assortment of engine belts,a couple of engine injectors, had a Yanmar, and they had a history of exhaust elbow blockage, glad to have it, as have to replace it in Mazatlan.
Spare bilge pumps, making sure matched the hoses.
Repair kits for the head.
A good oil change system.
Had an old style of stuffing box, so packing material.
Good assortment of electric stuff like wires of most used gauges #16 and #14,fuses of all sizes.
Tools bag
 

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At anchor, I really was happy with smaller canvas suspended over the VBerth to keep the rain out and the air circulating keeping the hatch open during the frequent rains.
Like a smaller 8 by 8 suspended with lines, shock cords whatever.
Also used quite a bit some kind of extended canvas on top of the boom to provide shade and keep the deck cool.
I mentioned earlier the need for A/C during the summers if in a marina, we spent a summer in Nuevo Vallarta and had to buy a used window unit.
 

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I've had an SSB installed on this and prior boats. All come that way, from the prior owner. On my last boat, it was used to insure functionality, but never needed by me or it's original owner. The prior owner of my current boat used it for the Oyster World Rally and it's a required piece of kit, for semi-daily fleet check in.

If not for being required, I would not bother with one. Then again, I have two EPIRBs (on installed on the rail and the other in the ditch bag), a PLB on each lifevest, an InReach, a Sat phone, etc, etc. An SSB might be considered a less expensive way to go for some, but I prefer redundant satellite comms.
 

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I installed one and used it for SouthBound II daily when on passage and at anchor to learn of the weather. Back then weather info was limited to NOAA which did have a high seas radio channel. There were also radio nets. And finally SSB was used back then in a rescue of a boat on passage between Bermuda and Antigua. Two boats from Maine were buddy sailing and one started taking on water. He only had VHF and had to communicate to the other boat who relayed his May Day or pan pan... to me. I was in Antigua. I called Southbound II on a land line and Herb contacted the USCG who flew out planes and dropped pump and fuel. They made it to Antigua and we had a radio sched to monitor their progress. I suppose today people would use a satphone... which one can rent for passage. The free personalized weather routing of Southbound II or something similar is probably no longer available on SSB. At the time SSB was super. I think people are now using weather routers like Chris Parker.
 

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You might think about your previous time spent in Central America, and whether the parasites in the water/some foods irritated your digestive system (they have ruined many a vacationer's trip, to the point where some people will brush their teeth with bottled water). If you have experienced this or are afraid it might be a concern, maybe check with your primary physician about taking "food grade diatomaceous earth" (never inhale it, but mixed with fruit juice, is easy to ingest). It may even be good for your nails, hair and skin. It is also very effective to de-worm pets and helps with lice, fleas and even small crawling varmints, such as ants, etc.
 

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Possible Spare Parts etc.

Impellers
Thermostat
Fuel Filters
Lamps ( bulbs) for nav lights
Gasket material
Zincs ( shaft, prop, heat exchanger, engine if needed)
Plugs for thru hulls
Good first aid kit. ( I also used to carry some antibiotics, and pain meds, )
Sail repair
Hose Clamps of various sizes
Electrical kit as mentioned. Wire, connecters, voltmeter, etc.
Tarp.

I use a soft boom vang as a preventor. I wish I had a pad eye to attach it to rather than a stantion base. It's not the optimum set-up. imho . I have a boom brake that I picked up but haven't deployed it yet. There are lots of videos of how to set up a proper preventer.
 

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My advice is IMHO (only):

Stop! You seem to have done more upgrades to your boat that I have in my 13 years on my boat!

Buy nothing now until you are very close to leaving. Technology is advancing so fast you are just wasting money:

Flares are obsolete. Buy only electronic flares. The cost of pyrotechnic flares and the very short use by date makes them a joke.

Do not buy SSB radio, nor any Satellite system! SSB, as mentioned, is obsolete and has been obsolete for years. Starlink maybe available for boats in only 8 months. That will be an absolute game changer. PredictWind will work with Starlink. (or any internet service.)

Yes, plot and plan, but you may be best suited going first and buying later. Its only on your cruise can you really tell what you need. Or as Captain Ron said ....

 

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Far as upgrades go, I tell newer cruisers once they have basics (autopilot, chartplotter, refrigeration) is to wait and see how often they say "I could READY use xxx". Turns out there are places to buy stuff just about everywhere
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
^^^^HA! Ya this boat was an office for a writer in Hollywood, it needed lots of help re: deferred maintenance, which is what a lot of stuff has been. I don't think anything was really done other than engine maintenance ( which I'm happy for). I had to do a lot of the things listed just to feel prepared to sail out to the islands and explore and to prevent incessant leaking of ports and hatches and chain plates. I have a wife and 13 y/o son so safety is paramount in my opinion.

Per Tempest:

Plugs for thru hulls
Good first aid kit. ( I also used to carry some antibiotics, and pain meds, )
Sail repair
Hose Clamps of various sizes
Electrical kit as mentioned. Wire, connecters, voltmeter, etc.
Tarp.


I have all this on board currently, as for first aid my wife is an Acupuncturist and I have been a cert. Wilderness First Responder for 20 years as previously I was a mountaineering and rock climbing guide in Yosemite National Park and throughout the western US, Spain and Greece during the shoulder seasons.

In my original post I asked about installing bilge pumps on both the port and starboard sides beneath the settes. Is that done or is that overkill? Seems like thats where you'd really want them when sailing heeled over.

I am on the 'Starlink' list, gave Elon my $100 a year or so ago, still waiting. I followed the post here re: marine service. It varies from what the starlink site says, but I'd prefer that to Iridium Go if in fact it hits market in the next 8 months.

Thank you for the 'spares' list, will work on that.

Sailing Fool:

Thanks for that, I've read it numerous times and will read it again and again, as it always seems to get posted anytime someone mentions the C-36. I've followed a gentleman from NZ who C-36 made it there from Seattle and he and his wife quite often sail the coast of the North Island and up to Fiji, Tonga etc.... Properly outfitted and with out throwing caution to the wind I feel confident in my journey and preparations.

This thread will continue to be a great resource for us thanks to everyones thoughtful replies.


Dave
 

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It varies from what the starlink site says, but I'd prefer that to Iridium Go if in fact it hits market in the next 8 months.
When do you expect to need satellite internet services? They are only predicting to have Starlink up and going in about that time frame and, at best, it will be Ver 1.0. Once proven, I'm certain it will advance quickly. If proven, I suppose I should add, but I'm guessing odds are favorable.

I think I would sort this stuff out, within about 6 months of departure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
^^^Ya, that would be about now (were 8 months out or so) may have to go Iridium then keep fingers crossed....Of course I'm flexible and the departure is generally a rough estimate. So much to do, finishing boat projects as well as house projects in order to rent the house. Currently in the process of selling my business so we have a lot on our plates and the dream departure is subject to be re-negotiated.
 
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