Standard Operating Procedures

Technical Articles
My Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

I am sure that some will be controversial but I like to error on the safe side.

  1. Thru Hull Fittings. I always close all of mine if I will be away from the boat more than 24 hours.
  2. Head water thru hull fitting. It is only open when in actual use. (The manual and a placard recommend this.)
  3. Propane Tank Manual Valve. I only have the manual valve open when using propane. Don’t bet your life on a $12.00 solenoid valve.
  4. Water Tanks. I use up all the water from the bow tank first then use the stern tank. If we are not on long trips I keep the bow tank empty. This keeps weight aft unless a long trip is underway and for the most part keeps the water fresh.
  5. Battery Switches. (WindWalker has the start battery on position #1; the house batteries on position #2.)
    1. I never use both unless it is a start emergency.
    2. I always use the house batteries #2
    3. The start battery #1 is only used as a backup or in a test.
    While the engine is on remember to never select off then on. This will probably fry the alternator.
  6. Diesel Fuel
    1. Keep full in the winter to reduce condensation water from getting into the tank.
    2. Always add BIOBOR or the similar to keep diesel system clean
    3. Annually change both fuel filters
  7. HEAD Only use fresh water. This can come from the telephone shower head or modify the basin discharge with the option to cycle grey water into the head.
  8. Man Overbroad. Practice the drill each spring.
  9. Bail out kit. Have a VHF radio, and held GPS and the Flares in a bag in case you need to jump in the dink. ( Our is on Garhauer davits on the back).
  10. Reefer. On long trips with the engine on select full cold. The select back to +/- 4. Also put a ground cover over the food. This traps the cold air.
  11. Be kind to the 1st mate.

Cheers, Dick Walker C-320 (687) WindWalker II 740 Olive Ave. Coronado, CA 92118-2136 619.435.8986

Shaft Alignment Article and Spreadsheet

Technical Articles

Warren Updike located an article by Jack Harden to help boat owners align their engine and prop shaft with minimal fuss.

The PDF file of the article and a spreadsheet to assist with analyzing the measurements is available from the Download Files section.

The article is available here in PDF format.

The spreadsheet is available here in Microsoft Excel format.

The article is posted here without permission, so we may be required to remove it or obtain permission at some point.

Gerry Douglas Speaks at 2006 Meeting/Regatta

Technical Articles

Gerry Douglas is the designer of the Catalina 320 and the C320 MkII for Catalina Yachts. We were very fortunate that he was willing to take the time to come speak at the 2006 Catalina 320 International Association annual meeting and regatta held in Coronado, CA.

Here is an edited recording of him announcing and discussing the C320 MKII successor to our beloved C320.


  1. Gerry Announces the C320 MKII (15 min 42 seconds)


NOTE: This is a streaming .mp3 audio file. Most computers are configured to play this automatically. Contact the webmaster if you're unable to play it.


Technical Articles

Tag: pump upgrades

When I mentioned to Annie Bennett that I was going to install a seawater splashdown pump, she reminded me that a watering can was a much cheaper way to go! Although I know Annie to be absolutely right not only on the cost but also on the practicality of the watering can approach, I elected to install a splashdown pump and, along the way, learned more about the inner guts of Sea Shadow than I ever would have with a watering can. After running wiring for six cabin fans, the Snake River tank monitoring system to all 3 tanks, and now the splashdown pump, I believe that the only person who knows my boat (excluding the iron beast) better than I do now is the builder.

I divided the project into 5 stages:
  1. pump and strainer
  2. water intake
  3. running the hose
  4. electrical
  5. anchor well.

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Coolant Change Procedure for the Yanmar 3GM30FC

Technical Articles

Tag: yanmar

Changing the engine coolant in the Yanmar 3GM30F series Engine This article provides a set of directions for flushing the engine antifreeze in the Yanmar engine. It specifically addresses the Yanmar Japanese Yanmar 3GM, although this procedure should be the same for the European Yanmar 3GM as well. The newer 3YM series might be somewhat different.

Submitted by Karl Mielenhausen
"Silver Lining" - Hull 690


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Stern Mounted Radar Mast

Technical Articles
Here's an alternative to the Questus when you want to mount your radar antenna at a relatively low height – to see close boats. It has the disadvantage of not swiveling, so you will not see side views very well when heeling over under sail. On the other hand, if there is very heavy fog, I am usually motoring and not heeling. The radar mast was made by Custom Navigation Systems in Westbrook, CT.

Pete & Jennifer Peterson
Sea Chalet #815

Installing a Mast Mounted Repeater

Technical Articles
Here's a Raymarine ST60 Maxiview used as a mast-mounted repeater – so that I can see boat speed as I trim the sails. It also can display any other info that is available on your system - depth, wind speed, etc. The repeater mount was made by Custom Navigation Systems in Westbrook, CT.

Pete & Jennifer Peterson
Sea Chalet #815

Stern Mounted Radar Installation

Technical Articles
Stern Mount Radar installation -Catalina 320

Previously published in Mainsheet, Spring 2003 See Photos in Photo Gallery

Following is a description for the installation of a stern mounted Radar on the 320. I have included a list of what is needed to complete the job, along with some pictures. I will try to provide estimates of the time each step took. If you prepare everything you need in advance, this project can be completed in a day with 2 people. Like many projects, what seemed like a straightforward winter project turned into something of a challenge due to the need to alter some of the standard off the shelf parts for our boats. But if you follow these steps, it should be a straightforward project.

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Modifying the AFI Teak Cockpit Table

Technical Articles
AFI makes a really nice looking and affordable Cockpit Teak cockpit table that fits well in the C320.

The main problem I had with it was that it has a fold down leg supporting the table that is in the way when the table is being used and simply too easy to kick.

I've made some simple modifications to this table that eliminates the need for this folding leg, and included the important details in this article.

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Modifying the Maxwell VC500 Anchor Windlass

Technical Articles
While cruising in Canada we experienced some gale force winds and found that more chain and less rope was superior for comfort and piece of mind while at anchor. I found that the boat rode better, since the chain kept the her from "sailing", and in light air acts like an anchor with much shorter scope, since most of the chain will lie on the bottom. The down side of allchain is its weight and the fact that it collects mud. Whether you go forall chain or a combination, the rope only windlass will NOT handle the chain portion. The stock windlass can be easily modified to take both chain and rope.

Submitted By Roy Kraft - Sea Wings #187

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Improving the C320 Charging System - Approach 2

Technical Articles

John Langford's electrical upgrade discussed two options to improve the cruising capabilities of the Catalina 320. The first and least pricey was to modify the existing alternator to remove the internal regulator and add a smart" external regulator. This provided the boat with a nominal 160 amp-hour capability, assuming the second 4-D battery was dedicated to starting the engine and not used as a house battery. In actuality you then have between 50 and 80 amp hours available depending on how charged your house battery is and its "health". He also installed an ammeter/amp-hour meter to have the ability to determine the charging amperage to his batteries and the amp-hours lost while on the house bank at anchor or at a dock without shore power.

Roy Kraft, #187, "Sea Wings"

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Improving the C320 Charging System - Approach 1

Technical Articles
The Problem

The Cat320 has been built with a variety of engines but they all have inadequate charging systems. Unless you motor for hours each day, the combination of a small (55amp) alternator and an internal automobile-type regulator will not replace the amp-hours used daily to power the refrigerator and other 12 volt hogs that we want to tie into our electrical systems.

Submitted By John Langford - "Sabbatical2" #172

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Sailing Fast and Safe

Technical Articles
These suggestions were taken from the 320 and Catalina mailing lists. Those that are from the Catalina list may be of a more general nature (not 320 specific), but should also be helpful. I have tried to get permissions from authors of items I took from the Catalina list. If you have more information you would like to have included feel free to comment.

Contributed by: Linda Loux

Editor's note: The links here point to the old sailing FAQ. We'll fix that as some day... -Jeff Hare

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Catalina Yachts Interior Varnish & Application Notes

Technical Articles

Catalina Yachts Interior Varnish Application Data Sheet for Gloss (7100) & Satin (7200)

Catalina Interior Varnish is a water-based, alkyd modified urethane varnish that is designed for use on all interior and indirect exposure exterior wood components, soles and kit parts. Catalina Interior Varnish is non-flammable and cleans up with water. When cured, Catalina Interior Varnish will provide a durable coating ideal for refinishing and touch-up repairs.

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How to Convert the C320 Table into a Round One

Technical Articles
It just wasn't practical for us as it restricted use of the settee. So it was off to the local Home Center where we purchased a round ash table top that had a bevel cut into it. I then stained it using a one part polyurethane stain that matched the interior. I applied 4 coats to get the desired finish. Bev then used 3/4" hemp rope around the beveled edge to create a fiddle. I then installed the table on the original pedestal. The cost for the project was around $36.00. If anyone decides to change the table, they should make sure that all the corners are well rounded (never use one with squared corners).

Rick Hapeman, SnapShot, #95

Rig Tune and Sail Selection

Technical Articles

Mark Yeager
Quantum Sails-Dallas

A number of you have been in contact with me about how to tune a Catalina 320 and what sails
work and don't work on it. Since I'm probably the only sailmaker in the country who has actually
spent enough time on these boats to develop some comprehensive numbers for the boat I thought
I would put together a tuning guide for you. What follows is the result of quite a bit of on-the-
water experience on the 320, both racing and day-sailing over a long period of time. I have a
number of customers racing these boats successfully now.

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Bilge Pump sensor replacment

Technical Articles

Replacing the bilge pump sensor on a 2004, hull 1006

Total time: (1.5 to 2 hours depending on your comfort level with marine electrical systems)


My dock neighbors were reporting that my bilge pump was not shutting off after engaging.   After several calls it became aparent that my sensor was getting stuck, even after an attempt to clean it up.


Here is a quick overview on this very *easy* repair, and you do NOT need to drill any more holes in your bilge!!!!!



Tools and material required:

  • Long and thin(er) phillips head screw driver.
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire crimping tool
  • 2 Waterproof solderless butt connectors, 14 awg
  • Heat source (I used an aim and flame)
  • 1 Waterproof fuse, 14 awg (I got mine from West Marine, rubber yellow, with crimp connections.)
  • Fuse, 10 amp
  • Volt Ohm meter

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Testing Speed Transducer

Technical Articles

Tag: diagnostics electronics

Marine Transducers

How do I test an Airmar paddle-wheel speed sensor?
The speed function of our sensors is best tested using an oscilloscope, however a simple test may be performed using a digital or analog multimeter.  This article was written by the Airmar technical folks and is altered slightly to include more details.

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