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Subject Topic: Catalina 280 Restoration Post ReplyPost New Topic
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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: February 19 2007 at 10:51 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

This is a copy of a post I made to the Projects Planned Forum.

I have always wanted to take an older boat and rebuild it. My real passion is sailing but in 1995 my sons convinced me to sell the blowboat and go fishing which I must admit is a lot of fun. Along the way I earned a USCG 50 ton Masters ticket, near coastal for power and sail with a commercial assistance towing endorsement. (I may have to get a job w/ Sea Tow to support my boating habit). The boys and I have fished a John Allman, Grady White, 265 Pursuit and our current boat a Carolina Classic. In 2000 we took the Pursuit from our home port of Morehead City, NC to Port Canaveral FL by water and fished for a month. It was a lot of fun and I recommend it highly but I digress. My goal in buying the CC was to have a boat that I could take up and down the East coast, small enough for one person to handle, and self contained enough to anchor out. I also plan to keep the Classic for fishing. The boat was purchased in PA and I had it delivered to NC in the Spring of 05. I spent 6 months just looking at it and wondering what the heck I was thinking. My wife has often said that one person could make a living just selling me boats. I started work in the Fall of 05 tearing the boat down. When I finshed the only thing that remained was the hull, deck, liner and steering wheel (I thought I needed to keep something original). The main stringers were rotten and had to be replaced and the main hatch was opened up to give better access to the engine. There was a lot of rot in the deck and cabin top and the glasswork has been extensive. I purchased a used 350 Crusader and transmission from RI and it is in the shop for a complete rebuild. I have glassed the windows in and will be installing 6 Bomar oval hatches and two ventilation hatches in the cabin top. The interior will be finished out in teak with painted tongue and groove pine overhead. The cabin sole will be teak and holly. The interior will be reminiscient of an old sail boat (Can't get too far from my roots you know). We are installing a bowthruster, and all new wiring and plumbing. Work is progressing slowly mainly due to the glsswork and the sanding and fairing that has to be done. The sanding dust will have to be cleaned up before the systems are installed so while some work has been done in the cabin it is taking a while. I have learned a lot during this project mainly that if you ever think of buying a real project boat hope that family or friends will perform an intervention. 

If you are interested I have posted a few pictures at

www.ragtop.mysite.com

Steelydon

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: February 19 2007 at 22:32 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

 

 

What a terrific project! The 280 is one of the finest small vessels ever designed. Simple, many, many years of C.C. refinement, great workmanship, heavy Fiberglass work, an inner insert (great dryness!) , roomyness, solid electrical design and the vessel lends herself to modification. 

We have an '83 hardtop 280 with a single 305. We brought her back from the dead and continue to cruise S.F. Bay and Delta. We are docked in downtown S.F. which is like having an appartment on the water (food for thought). Our stratagy is to use the original equipment for as long as possible (less expensive). We were lucky in that originally, she was a corporate boat called 'Granny Goose' and was selling lottsa potatoe chips on the Alameda Estuary. The interor appointments were ordered from C.C.'s factory top drawer.  Our key additions (and ones you might consider doing too) include a ceiling hung micrewave/bar Cabinat in the galley, stand alone/removable hanging sound system on the head/main cabin bulkhead, above the hanging closet. TV/DVD starboard just forwad of the setee using a radar console swing arm (allows the tv to be rotated for viewing from the V berth, setee or the galley table), updated cabin white/red flaurecents from West Marine, V Berth- removable, police cruiser gooseneck holigen lighting and finelly, full engine room lighting.  Lorelei is set up for entertaining and weekend cruising. We have a carpeted, canvus enclosed cockpit with a removable/stowable full width couch aft. 

We really like your creative idea with the new port holes and hatches.  The GM350 should give you enough power to get out of harms way, althought the planing hull of the 280 is'nt kindly in open water.   We find the 280 is a heavy boat for its size-(lottsa fiberglass) and is underpowered with the 305.  We recommend trim tabs. We strongly suggest a hard top for varous very good reasons.  We noted the removed the fuel tank-  very good heavy maintenance item! May we suggest reinstalling it like C.C. did, it was done correctly as are many details on the 280. Please remember the grounding harness! Use lottsa anti-chafe rubber strips on the fuel tank straps.  Ex good design: All factory through-hulls are above the waterline except raw water intake and the hull plug located midship. Simple- effective.  Your Bow thruster project suggests a high output alternator set up? Long cable runs drop volts- suggest using BIG cable for the thruster run- might as well have a windless too. Are you installing a generator (air cond)?  At your diescrtion, I would be privaliged to lend varous project ideas/details that I have had sucess with.

 Again, very cool project. 

                               Respectfully, Roy and Laurie (Capt and owner)



__________________
Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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BluesBarge
"Seaman"




Joined: December 12 2005
Posts: 41
Posted: February 19 2007 at 22:48 | IP Logged Quote BluesBarge

As I said, on the other forum, really nice project.  Good luck.

Roy and Laurie, could you post some pictures of your improvements, or links to photos somewhere?

Barry



__________________

M/V Fun Size
                 HADDONFIELD, NJ
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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: February 20 2007 at 10:27 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Roy and Laurie, thanks for the post! Ditto Barry's request for pictures. I cannot imagine how exciting (and expensive) it is to have a berth in downtown SF. We have a house on Bogue Banks, one of NC's mid barrier islands but unfortunately it is not on the water. With the run up in property values on the coast we probably won't unless we sell our primary residence. Finding a location for the boat is going to be a challenge but the cruising area here is great. Access to the water is being limited by marinas selling out to the developers.

The overhead mounted microwave is a great idea which I had not considered until your post, consider it done. We are opting for a 20" flatscreen with a swivel mount above the hanging closet. I bought a Quick Genius windlass and can't wait to see how smart it is. Like you said if you have to spend several hundred dollars for the cable to the thruster might as well have a windlass to.

Going with a 100 amp delco alternator and maybe a portable generator. No A/C to start with. I am trying to keep it simple and have found that I can sleep well on the water with a fan. Now my wife is a different story.

Trim tabs are a must have and we are planning on a hydraulic system w/ 24" tabs . Any suggestions here? I agree that the CC fuel tank installation is out of the way but I have opted to split the fuel system into 2 55 gallon tanks and are moving them forward to get some of the weight off the stern. Of course this takes up the room that could be used for generator and A/C. Life is a series of compromises and trade offs.

I have given thought to the rear cockpit seating and would like to see your set up if possible. Any suggestions, comments or opinions are more than welcome and your assistance in keeping me focused on the project will be invaluable. Some days you just wonder what the h*&% was I thinking. Right now we are in the fairing process trying to get all the sanding out of the way so we can clean up and paint the bilge and begin the systems installation. In the mean time I am building the power distribution panel and the new instrument panel.

Thanks again for the post and I look forward to hearing from you guys again.

Steelydon

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: February 20 2007 at 11:45 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Hi Steelydon-

With all the work, I've neglected to take pictures. Please stand by, you'll love the work!

16-18 inch trim tabs work for us...less electrolsis

We have one of those small honda 2000 watt gen. w/ inverter technology. We keep it off the boat in a locker and take it with us as needed. Can't remember model #, but it's a common unit.

Factory Fuel tank location is at center of gravety and is not over the through-hull for the shaft assy- a good thing if there is a leak or needs adjustment.

OOPs-There are two other through hulls: shaft and rudder! 

We considered a TV where you like it but decided sleeping in the v berth, it's easier to see when it's closer, plus you can change movies with out getting out of bed. Photo might make you reconsider this...

We also made access ports to the steering cable anchor point aft,  rudder arm/cable connect location and indirectly, (wood holds the top of the rudder) a hole to get at the rudder stuffing box (all behind the fuel tank). Saves a lot of work later.

We like the concept of leaving the house and going 1 hour to SF and veging on without going anywhere sometimes.  Municipal slip rate is $230 month... very reasonable. Waiting list is'nt ,for getting the slip. We planned ahead and were on the waiting list before we even bought the boat....

 

 



__________________
Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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BluesBarge
"Seaman"




Joined: December 12 2005
Posts: 41
Posted: February 20 2007 at 21:55 | IP Logged Quote BluesBarge

I'm at the top of the Chesapeake.  Just a little jealous of the 365 boater.  I like the idea of access, for me, to the rudder shafts and will have to look into how to access under the aft fuel tanks.

My wife wants an LCD and I am looking for one to mount, either overhead of the berth or on the closet wall.  As for the saloon, we will likely do a TV in there next year.  We will suffer with the 13" CRT tv we have now.

I would love to see photos of the windlass installation (was going to do this year but now have to put off until next) and am most curious about how to handle the anchor roller or pulpit.



__________________

M/V Fun Size
                 HADDONFIELD, NJ
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suwanneered
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 15 2006
Posts: 166
Posted: February 21 2007 at 08:26 | IP Logged Quote suwanneered

Hi Steeleydon:

Boy! your project is looking great. I was wondering about the bow thruster? That will really be helpful I am sure.I own a 280 now which I am trying to restore. It was in Davey Jones Locker in Fla Hurricanne a fews years ago and when raised it was not preserved at all.I am really working on the mechanics at the present and will re-jelcoat it when that is done. I have it oputside on stands and have to work weather and money permitting.Seems like everything is catching up with me,Flat Pocket book,age 72,ha but I still love boats and really like working on them.

I work on them more that I run them.I had a 30 foot island hopper which is a almost flat bottom that was a single engine 3208 Cat diesel,it was achore trying to dock it in a wind.I wished a lot of time for a thruster.Goo Luck with the 280 and I will be watching the post as to your progress.I used to run out of Suwannee Fla.Still have a small place there buthaven't seen it in 6 months.

See Ya, Bill Smith known as the Blacksheep,name of my boat in Fla

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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: February 21 2007 at 10:10 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Hello all, Roy and Laurie I'm really looking forward to the pics. Barry, I to am curious about how the windlass is going to mount. Right now I have a 22lb Horizon claw anchor and a 20" Kingston roller which I plan to extend about 3" over the bow. I will use a piece of 1/16 polished stainless to wrap around the bow just below the rub rail to protect the glass when the anchor comes up. I didn't want too much hardward extending forward instead choosing to allow the deck to carry the anchor load as opposed to the roller. We'll see.

Bill, appreciate the post. 72 years young and still getting it done. I am a lot like you in that my sons don't understand why I enjoy working the boat almost as much as running it. It sounds like we are both tinkerers at heart. We've had a break in the weather here but the paint shop has finished with my other project, the MG so I've got to get it put back together before I forget where all the parts go so I will not be doing much to the CC for the next week.

Steelydon

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: March 06 2007 at 22:09 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

 

Ahoy the group... Per request, I have completed a series of photos hilighting the features aboard Lorelei:   http://www.myspace.com/DIVERYATES

This is a real cool way of setting up things like this!

 

                Fair winds!

 

 



__________________
Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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suwanneered
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 15 2006
Posts: 166
Posted: March 07 2007 at 19:17 | IP Logged Quote suwanneered

Hi Roy & Laurie:

I just finished looking at the photos of your 280! Boy! very Nice Indeed!!!Everything looks great on it.

My old 280 will never look like that for sure. It has had a very hard life,no maintaince at all for many years.The engine was blown and they left it tied up and a hurricane sunk it and then it was put on the hard and left for a couple of years with no maintaince so it is a bigger project than I thought but I will getter done some day!!Once again you have a very nice 280 and you can be proud of it. See Ya, Bill

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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: March 08 2007 at 08:13 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Roy and Laurie, Great pictures, great boat! You West coast techies with the video, music and background. I was barely able to get my pictures on the site. The Lorelei  is the absolute best looking 280 I have ever seen. You guys have really kept in bristol condition. I have not had time to really scrutinize the shots but I look forward to using several of your features going forward.

I am still trying to get the MGB put together and of course I need to show up at the office from time to time but I will be back soon.

Steelydon

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: March 09 2007 at 11:06 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Don,

Thank you for your kind words! Please lets us know if we can be of assistance in your project. Roy & Laurie



__________________
Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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Jebo
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: March 19 2007
Posts: 12
Posted: March 19 2007 at 11:31 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Hello All,
  New here and just trying to learn a little about the CC 280's, I got mine last June I got lucky the engine proved out good. I brought it from N. J. down to Jamestown, Va. via transport truck, for bottom paint and a check up with some repairs.
  Maiden Voyage was down the James River around the peninsula by Norfolk Shipyards (the day they dedicated the carrier to Bush Sr. ), into the Chesapeake Bay and Up the York River (total 72 mi). It was a memorable experience.
  We had it out 6 or 8 times last year and are looking forward to this spring!!
I will try and get some pics posted for viewing soon. We almost named her
"The Resurrection", but decided on "JESSE'S GIRL". My wife Named her, can't understand why she would name her that! Ha!   Boat is only 15 Mins. from the house and is a great way spend time!!

P.S.: I have really enjoyed all of your postings.

Jesse
1982 Catalina 280

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suwanneered
"Deckhand"




Joined: October 15 2006
Posts: 166
Posted: March 19 2007 at 12:54 | IP Logged Quote suwanneered

Hi Jesse; ewlcome to the forum!Sounds like you got a nice 280! I also have a 280 which I am restoring.It was in a hurricane in Florida  and sunk,no work was done to save anything just put on bolcks and several items removed such as swim platform,ladders and such.Every thing was trashed mnotor tranny and all electrical stuff.i WOULDN'T ADVISE ANY ONE TO BUY A SINKER ! hA lots of work.I hope to get it done buy summers end.Hope you enjoy your 280 as they are nice boats.A fellow in California posted some phjhoto's of his 280 and it is a beautiful boat,guess you will run across it if you haven't already.

 

See ya and May your anchor always Hold, Bill

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Jebo
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: March 19 2007
Posts: 12
Posted: March 19 2007 at 14:38 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Thanks for the welcome!

I have posted some pics: http://new.photos.yahoo.com/jebo125/

Copy and paste, let me no if you have trouble viewing them.
C Ya!
Jesse
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Jebo
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: March 19 2007
Posts: 12
Posted: April 03 2007 at 14:43 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Hello All,
(85 Catalina 280)
  I am having a problem with my fresh water system, the water line leaving the water supply tank has a diafram  type valve, that started leaking.
 My mechanic has it in hand, is having trouble matching it up. The best I can tell it is  a type of back flow preventer.
  Do any of you all know where I can find information on this, or would you know what can replace this??

Happy Days Are Here Again!!
FAIR WEATHER!!
C Ya!
Jesse



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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: April 04 2007 at 09:11 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Jesse, I'm not sure how yours is configured but there was no such valve on my 1978. No big surprise there but let me ask, do you have a connection in your system that allows for hookup to shoreside water? If so it was probably placed inline to prevent the water tank from being backfilled (and running over) while connected. It may be easier to replace with an aftermarket substitute if possible.

Good luck!

Steelydon

 

 

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: April 04 2007 at 09:43 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

 

To my knowlege, there was no shore water option availible from C.C. on 280's for this feature. If installed, it would have been a custom job. An in-line one way flow valve in an unpressurized system would be pointless. Normally, when the water system is turned on,  pressure is maintained after the water pump. 

 

                            Roy



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Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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Nauti Cat
"Commander"




Joined: September 14 2007
Posts: 1049
Posted: September 14 2007 at 22:31 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Hello everyone,

The information in this forum and the other CC280/1 has been very informative - thanks!  I am in the process of buying a 1985 CC 280 Catalina, the deposit is made and she'll get surveyed this week.  Hopefully everything will be ok and as far as I can tell everything is clean and seems to be in order and good condition.  She was repowered about 2 years ago with a Mercruiser 5.7L 260 HP.   As long as the survey shows no major issues I will go through with the deal.  I've always loved these boats; my great uncle had a 25' Cat from the mid 70's and I have very fond memories of that boat (called "Nan-Tone").  The 28 has the space we need for weekending with a family of 5.  My first boat, a 20' Seaswirl with an outboard served us well and we named her "Nauti Cat".  Now we are buying a Catalina and the name is perfect - must be destiny.  OnceI bring her home I am sure I'll be reading and writing in more.

Thanks again for all the info!



__________________
Nauti Cat in NY
Formally owned by a
1985 Catalina 280

"MY WAY"
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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: September 14 2007 at 23:49 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

 

Surveyers generally do not include the engine(s) in their inspections. What will count is the documentation/receits as to the nature of exactly what a 'repower' means to the seller.  Nothing should should really count unless there are receits.  Details such as what sort of Rebuild, Crated engine, long/short block, gear service included, pro install, owner install etc... A maintenance log is a good sign along with the presence if an engine clock to which the log is referenced.  This close scrutiny can be a powerful negociating tool on the final selling price or to negociate for work to be done prior to sale. This is partucularly true as Catalinas are not expensive vessels sold usually between $8-20K, allowing little leway for fixes from the seller. Drive lines are notorously under-evaluated. Catalinas using the Mercruiter 230 engine were underpowered. On the other hand, it did make for an economical power plant. 

 

                             Roy



__________________
Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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Nauti Cat
"Commander"




Joined: September 14 2007
Posts: 1049
Posted: September 15 2007 at 10:20 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Thank you for your reply Roy, I will keep that in mind and try to get the documents regarding the engine.  Even if there was an issue with the motor the deal is still good enough where I should have room to invest a couple thousand as long as the hull passes the inspection.  Economy was one of the driving forces to find one with a single as we do not need to speed around, I'll just need to practice docking. 

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Nauti Cat in NY
Formally owned by a
1985 Catalina 280

"MY WAY"
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Peavey
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 16 2007
Posts: 2
Posted: September 16 2007 at 15:11 | IP Logged Quote Peavey

Hi Guys -

I have enjoyed reading through the restoration notes and looking at the photos (nice presentation on MySpace!) and it brings up a few questions.  I am considering a 1985 280 Catalina Hardtop; I am going to take a closer look at one this next weekend.  The model I am looking at has the hardtop mounted at the top of the windshield, rather than the 1' extra clearance that I am seeing in the forum photos.  Are some of the hardtops installed aftermarket?  Or is it optional for the Cat's to have a few different hardtop configurations?

The CC I am looking at has been a freshwater boat, and has about 500 hours on the original drivetrain, so I am assuming that absent any maintenance issues the drivetrain should have plenty of life left in her.  Any specific issues that I should be watching out for?

I've alway loved the appearance of the CC's, and we have finally decided to upgrade our current boat, an 24' cuddy that is just too hard to do much with.  I'm wondering if there is going to be much of a learning curve going from an I/O to an inboard.  We spend our time on the St Croix and the Mississippi (just not enough of it.)

Thanks

Phil



__________________
Phil Vorwerk
Courtland, MN
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steelydon
"Seaman Recruit"




Joined: September 26 2005
Posts: 7
Posted: September 16 2007 at 15:31 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Phil, there will be a learning curve associated with the transition form I/O to inboard. The I/O has the advantage of pointing the prop in the direction you want to go as opposed to turning a rudder which must have water moving past to be effective. This is not noticeable at speed since there is plently of forward motion to create steerageway. However, you will notice this at the dock since you are moving slowly and the rudder on the 280 is certainly not considered "oversized". A strong cuurent can make the boat a bit unwieldy but it is certainly manageable.

 

Good luck

Steelydon

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diveryates
"Lieutenant"




Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: September 17 2007 at 12:35 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Phil,

On 280 hardtops: To my knowlege there are 2 configurations of hard tops , an express and a fly bridge. I think the flybridge option changed the model # as a ladder, mechanicals/electricals were added. I would be suprised to see an aftermarket or custom hardtop. I've seen a custom, but that was a novalty.

Our 280 is a hardtop and we swear by it. We cruise SF bay and we get hosed on a regular basis- nice and dry. Also, with a full bimini cover with walls/windows integrated to the hardtop affectively adds a salon/covered cockpit- very roomy and cozy. I'm a semi pro bass played used to a blue spotlight at 2am in the morning, so sun protection is a good thing for my blu-spot skin. The closed bimini also protects us from the vortex effect of engibe exhaust. This is a typical problem on many boats including Cats.

Engine Stuff: 500 hrs is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the lifespan on a typical Mercruiser gas engine. Lifespan is around 1200 hrs although I've seen 2000+ hrs depending on maintenance. 1000 hrs is about equivelant to 100K mikes on a car. On the 280 single, the engine works pretty hard and is probobly for the model line- underpowered allbeit inexpensive to run.

Maintenance and running style is key.

I do an oil analysis every oil change: Warm up the engine, inrsert a one-time-use-sample-tube supplied by the analysis vendor so it does not bottom-out on the oil pan,  take a sample. Change the oil: I use the Castrol heavy duty truck 4x4 oil with the 50/50 synthetic blend and add a bottle of STP first. My engine has 940 hrs on it and is running strong... so far, although it took a beating in the early days before I got my hands on it, ...we'll see. As an engineer and a skipper, it's an interesting (and cost saving) game to play which I suspect will pay off in the long run. I'm also a Karma kinda guy and I beleive engines respond to the right kinds of attention/affection...  

On trying to evaluate an engine one is looking to buy,  oil analysis is tricky. Best result on a good evaluation might be  reviewing maintenance documentation, oil, coolent and gear chemical analysis, compression testing, valve/combustion chamber back pressure test and a thurough visual for surface oil and rust etc.  Oil analysis/interpretation can be quite differant between oil anayisis vendors. For my boat, I find it most useful to watch for trends over time using the same vendor's analysis numbers. As one might expect, test results can indicate chemical stability in one area while instability/hi numbers in others. Over time one learns what is significant. 

                                Hope this is useful... Roy   

 

 



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Jebo
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Posted: September 17 2007 at 19:57 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Phil,
  When backing your Cat 280 into a slip your aft will swing to port when you go into reverse, because of the offset rudder and the single screw. You can go back and forth from reverse to forward to keep the bow from swinging to starboard. Turning the wheel to starboard when backing seems to bring the aft even more to port. I have and article that better explains the process and I will post it if I can find it. When tides and the wind are a factor the it is still tricky at best, but practice a little and you will see what I mean.

Good Luck!
Jebo
1985 Cat 280
Williamsburg, Va.


Edited by Jebo on September 17 2007 at 19:59


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Nauti Cat
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Posted: September 17 2007 at 20:14 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Hi Phil,

I too would be curious about the article on reversing a single screw as I am going from an outboard to the Cat 280.  Hope you find it and thanks for sharing.

Tom



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Jebo
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Posted: September 17 2007 at 20:45 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Hey Guys I thinks at keast I can find a herd copy,I'll type and copy but I'm not a fast typist, either way it will take a while!

Looking!!!
Jebo


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Posted: September 18 2007 at 08:06 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Well Guys!
Good Morning
Here it is. It is for a 251 but applies to the 280's as well!
Copies of all of the ref. books can be found at "www.half.com".
Jebo

251 HANDLING TIPS 101

The key to learning to handle your 251 is to learn to exploit it's handling quirks to YOUR advantage.

First: Practice....Practice....Practice... The 251 has a right hand propeller. This means that when you shift into reverse the stern WILL swing to PORT. I've never been on any 251 that would back to starboard. You can force them to back reasonably straight by using the back & fill method, where you turn the rudder slightly to PORT and using short bursts of forward gear while backing up, to "bump" the stern back into line.

Second: Always remember the rudder has little to no effect in reverse. You steer these boats in reverse by using short bursts of forward gear with the rudder turned to port to "bump" the stern back into line.

When approaching a face dock, always try to approach with the dock on your PORT side. Since the stern swings to port when you shift to reverse, use the side thrust to YOUR advantage to both stop the boat and to pull the stern toward the dock.

To back into a slip... I always approach with the end of my slip on the port side, when I am approx. one slip away, I begin a hard turn to starboard, shift to neutral. As the momentum completes the turn, I cut the wheel all the way to port, give a hard burst of reverse to stop the turn and begin backing into the slip. With practice you will be able to time the turn and the burst of reverse to stop right in front of your slip. Once aligned with the slip, begin the back and fill method described above.

Now for when you really want to show off.

These boats can be made to turn around in ALMOST their own length. This manouver comes in handy when in crowded marinas. Start by turning the wheel hard to starboard and leave it there. Just as the boat begins to turn, apply a short burst of reverse, this will accelerate the turn to starboard. Just before the boat begins to back-up, apply a short burst of forward gear, just enough to continue the turn without moving forward. Repeat as many times as necessary to turn the boat 180 degrees.

An excellent book to get is Getting Started in Powerboating by Bob Armstrong (ISBN 0-87742-267-2) published by International Marine. There is an excellent chapter on handling single screw inboards along with proper springline use to get you out of any situation.

Class Dismissed!!!!


Edited by CC-John on 18 June 2005 at 8:37am

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Posted: 17 June 2005 at 11:47pm | IP Logged     Quote CC-John

Jennscout,

10 M.P.H. huh!!!

One thing to check is the distributor shaft bushings, the Mallory dual point distributor Chris Craft installed in the 305K is known for the bushings getting sloppy. This causes the points to "bounce" which kills performance.

To check the bushings, remove the distributor and try to move the shaft side to side in the housing. If there is significant movement the bushings are shot. Time for a new distributor

BTW, Mallory makes a USCG approved Unilite(magnetic pickup) electronic replacement distributor for these engines, part# YLM 585 CV. You can order it thru any automotive performance parts store that carries Mallory ignition products for a hell of a lot less than any marine supplier.

If the bushings are tight, remove the plate that the points are mounted on to check the centrifugal advance mechanism. There are two flyweights with springs that control the spark advance, it's not uncommon for them to be seized up. This will cause a BIG loss of power. Spray with WD-40 to loosen and lubricate.

Also, the only way to set the points on these distributors is with a dwell meter and a remote starter switch. IIRC, total dwell on 305K's is 28-32 degrees. To adjust the points you have to do one set at a time. Slip a thin piece of cardboard between one set, and adjust the other set while cranking over the engine to approx. 1/2 of the total dwell setting, repeat for the other set. These distributors are a pain to deal with, but when everything is right it'll make your engine sing!!!!

Good Luck... Hope this helps...
 

Edited by Jebo on September 18 2007 at 08:31


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Nauti Cat
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Posted: September 18 2007 at 10:20 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Thank you Jebo...I'll be sure to practice.

Tom



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diveryates
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Posted: September 20 2007 at 21:40 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Terrific outline on single prop manuavering! Stratagy for backing into a slip was most useful.  Thank you

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Nauti Cat
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Posted: September 20 2007 at 22:45 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Good evening everyone.  The survey on the 1985 Catalina 280 was completed today and it passed with flying colors - the surveyor was very happy with the boat and I'll be transporting it home next week!  The new motor (47 hours old) performed flawlessly.  All she needs is a good cleaning and polish.

Now I just need to practice the docking

Thanks for all your help!



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Jebo
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Posted: September 21 2007 at 11:06 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Fair winds and happy boating to all!
Jebo 


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Peavey
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 22:51 | IP Logged Quote Peavey

Thank you for all of the well thought out replies to my earlier questions. 

We went to look at the 280 Cat this afternoon.  The boat looked like it was well cared for, well maintained and did not show a lot of wear.  Talking to the sellers it "sounds" like it hasn't seen a lot of hours, but there is no engine hour meter.  The boat was originally on Lake Michigan.  I do not know anything about the original owner other than he was a doctor.  Second owner also had a large houseboat and apparently he and his wife did a lot of entertaining, with the houseboat being the preferred option.  Couple went through a messy divorce and the boat ended up in dry storage for 3 years until things were settled.  Current owners have owned for 5 years - only work was to clean carb and general tuneup, boat has seen light use every year, used once this year.

The only real concern I have is the engine, because of the lack of an hour meter.  It started and idled well, but it did have a subtle lifter noise for the first 10-15 seconds of running.

I am debating whether to have a survey done.  I can purchase the boat for $6,800.00 because of the end of the season, and that seems low enough that I could take a gamble on the drive train.  I don't know how likely that I would run into stringer rot, so I am trying to weigh the cost of a survey vs the magnitude of risk that the boat has any fatal issues.

We like the boat.  After boarding it and spending some time on it the main feature that attracted us - the large windows - proved to be a very attractive feature compared to the other boats we have been checking out.  My wife really likes this boat, and I am attracted to the simplicity of a single engine, along with the more moderate fuel consumption.  We would use it exclusively on the river, so some of the safety benefits of having two engines that a person would want when on big water just isn't as vital for us.

I'm trying to work through this tonight and let the sellers know our plans tomorrow.  I appreciate all of the feedback that I have received and am open to your thoughts.

Thanks!

Phil

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Posted: September 23 2007 at 07:13 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Hi Phil,

I just purchased a 1985 Cat 280 this past Thursday.  I did have a Survey performed just so I knew exactly what I was getting into and for my insurance which requires it.  My main concerns with the boats condition were the hull (to see if wet/delaminated), stringers, engine and drivetrain, and electrical/wiring condition.  The boat has about 1100 original hours with about 50 hours on the replacement motor.  The boat passed with flying colors and I was strongly recommended by the surveyor that it is in excellent condition considering the age and probably worth almost twice what I am paying ($7000).  With the new motor, a 5.7L 260hp she ran just over 28MPH wide open per the GPS with 4 adults and half fuel- very suprised! 

I say go for the survey, (mine was $450) and if it turned up anything major I could have gotten more money off or walked away.

They are great, practical boats with classic lines and a legendary brand name...good luck!

Tom



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Posted: September 24 2007 at 09:26 | IP Logged Quote steelydon

Phil, I would agree with Tom in that a survey is probably in order. It will not only tell you the current condition of the boat but will actually become a blueprint for repairs and upgrades going forward. Expect the survey to reveal problems, I have never seen one that didn't; new boats included. $6,800 is a lot of money and its not a lot of money depending on your perspective. The survey will give you the information that you need to make a decision.

Don't obsess about the lack of an hour meter. An hour meter reveals the number of hours on the meter not the condition of an engine. There are many other variables involved in a marine engines condition and hours tend to be closer to the bottom of the list than the top. Things like raw water cooled or closed system, saltwater/freshwater use, regularity of oil changes, has it been run hot?, etc. About the only real way to check the condition is to do a cmpression check and visually inspect the spark plugs. The fact that it has been used in f/w is a huge plus.

Good luck,

Steelydon

 

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diveryates
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Posted: September 24 2007 at 11:00 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

Steelydan really hit it on the head!



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Jebo
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Posted: September 24 2007 at 21:34 | IP Logged Quote Jebo

Hey Guys FYI
  I lost my port wing window in the drink when the twist locks got contrary and my wife gave it an extra nudge, IF YOUR HAVING ANY PROBLEMS SIMILAR, Get new latching hardware!! FAIR WARNING
Jebo


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Posted: September 25 2007 at 08:20 | IP Logged Quote Nauti Cat

Thanks for the warning Jebo and sorry for your loss...any ideas on where to find a replacement or will you need to have one made?  I did a quick search online and was not able to find any who carried the window or plastic hardware.  If I come across anything I'll let you know.

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Posted: September 25 2007 at 08:27 | IP Logged Quote Banjoman

Just to add to steelydon comments.  Get your surveyor to pull oil analysis on the engine!  Make sure the oil has at least 15-20 hrs on it (fresh oil won't give you the results you want, obviously).  An oil analysis will give you indicators of the internal condition of the engine such as; fuel in the oil, water/coolant in the oil, metal wear particulant, etc.  It's well worth the money.  I have it done every year on every engine on my boat,  two propulsion engines and generator engine.  Make sure your surveyor is a SAMS or NAMS member in good standing as well.

 



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diveryates
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Posted: September 25 2007 at 10:29 | IP Logged Quote diveryates

On the windows thing try chrisparts.com.

I ordered these windows from them some years back. The question will be if they still have them.

 



Edited by Sonja Lowe on September 23 2013 at 15:47


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