Full Moon is a 1998 Catalina 34 Mk II (Hull
1380). She has the standard rig and a wing keel. We have sailed her
to Bermuda and offshore to NYC. She has sailed in steady 32+ knot winds
and 8 to 10 foot seas. We have never been concerned about her structural
The additions or changes which we made for
off-shore sailing are described in Passage Making Pages
of this site.
- We added two reef points to the existing one on the
main sail. The second point was rigged and always ready for use. The
third reef point would be manually lashed to the boom. We have never
felt it necessary to use that point
- We carried a "Gale Sail" but have never had to use it
- The aft cabin on a Catalina 34 has an athwart-ship
queen-size bunk. This is an impractical arrangement for passage
making. We therefore split the cabin with a 14" lee board secured with
wood cleats at the aft end and a tension clamp at the rear of the motor
compartment. The area between the starboard side settee and the motor
compartment bulkhead was filled with a 3/4" plywood shelf. Both of
these parts were made so they could be removed with no damage to the
basic boat. Finally, Mary made and covered a 4" foam mattress that was
cut into 2 parts so we could easily get to storage below. This
arrangement provided a tremendous amount of storage on the port side and
gave us a very comfortable quarter berth. [See
Photos]. The teak panels were removed from the aft and port side
of this cabin and eyebolts were installed a various levels to secure the
materials that were stored on this area. The stock access panels under
the aft bunk were cut in two so that we could gain access to the
mechanical and pluming items located under them.
- Griff created the lee cloth for the port side
settee. He screwed 1" nylon straps under the access panels for this
settee. They were connected to the bottom of the cloth with quick
release plastic connectors. the top was held by rope passed through the
overhead hand holds. Again this arrangement did the least amount of
damage to the boat.
- Safety belt for stove. [See Photos].
- "The Storm Throne" - It is hard enough to just sit
on the head in rough weather but the typical marine head seat is
attached so that with only a moderate amount of force the seat
disengages from the hinges. While staying at the JW Marriott in
Atlanta, I saw some plastic brackets they were using to secure their
seats. With probably the strangest request he has ever had, the
concierge was able the locate a pair in the hotel's maintenance shop. I
got the name of the manufacture and got a set. They work great. [See
Photos]. I have some extra sets. Contact me if you are interested.
- SEA COCK and plumbing diagrams: We prepared diagrams
and annotated photos showing the location of each through hull fitting.
A PDF copy of this manual can be viewed by clicking
- BILGE PUMPS. The rules require "two permanently
installed manual bilge pumps, one operable above, the other below deck.
Each pump shall be operable with all cockpit seats, hatches and
companionways shut and shall have permanently installed discharge
pipe(s) of sufficient capacity to accommodate simultaneously both
pumps". I installed a second Whale Gusher pump under the port side
settee and ran the hose to a new overboard fitting next to the existing
fitting. We also converted the engine winterizing valve to a screened
intake in the bilge.
- Install manual water pump from sea cock to sink
- Changed Impeller and cleaned the heat exchanger.
Changed fuel filters
- Since we added a wind instrument, we replaced the
stock speed and depth instrument heads with a Raytheon Tridata unit.
The new instruments were Series 60 types with gray cases. The
original ST4000+ Auto Pilot had the series 50 black case. Raytheon
provided a new gray case for the Auto Pilot and installed the latest
software upgrade. Raytheon has been very helpful with advice and
- AUTO PILOT THOUGHTS - A wheel mounted auto-pilot is
not strong enough for long periods of sailing under high winds. Both
Bill Hemena and I were aware of this problem because of our pre-rally
off-shore trips. The unit on his Catalina 34 failed on our return trip
from Charleston and mine had failed in heavy weather on the Albemarle
Sound. Fortunately, on the Bermuda trip we carried Bills drive unit as
a back-up. The unit on Full Moon began to fail as we were approaching
Bermuda. During our lay-over we replaced the internal belt and assumed
all was well. Approximately 10 miles out of St Georges, on our return
trip it began to "kick out of gear" again. We replaced it with Bill's
unit which performed well for the return trip. When I sent my unit to
Raytheon I was told that it required some tension adjustments that are
not described in the manual. I don't blame Raytheon -- the unit is
simply undersized for serious off-shore sailing. I am going to replace
the unit with a Raytheon ST5000 linear drive model. Replacing a wheel
mounted auto-pilot at sea highlights the need to make sure, before you
depart, that your emergency tiller works and your wheel can be removed
easily. Fortunately, we had checked both before we left. I had to use
a puller to get the wheel off. From now on I check it at the end and
beginning of each season and keep the shaft greased with a dielectric
|MISC. SAFETY ITEMS
- Hold down systems were developed for the Floorboards,
the Companionway Boards, and the Ice box lid.
- Storm cover for large ports were made out of 3/8"
- Secure jerry can in port side lazerette