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 New (to me) Catalina 250 Owner here
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huppstar
Deckhand

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USA
2 Posts

Initially Posted - 10/20/2020 :  15:14:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
Just bought a 1999 WK and am excited to be joining the club!

I do have a few beginner questions and hope you don't mind if they are basic. I did do some searches on the forums but didn't find full answers to my questions.

- The previous owner threw in a Catalina 25 Bimini top - does anyone know if this will fit? I assume I have to make some cuts to deal with the split backstays, but anything else?

- Electric bilge: Since I'll be keeping the boat on mooring ball, wondering if anyone has experience installing one of these? From what I can tell you want the auto and manual hoses to be separate; does this mean I need to drill a hole in the hull?

- Seacocks: I can't seem to see seacocks on this boat. Am I just missing them/not looking hard enough or are they not included??

- Winterization: I bought this boat on the premise to my wife that it wouldn't be much maintenance work. I hope I'm right! This is what I have on my list. Am I missing anything major?
- Engine antifreeze, oil change, disconnect fuel
- Water system antifreeze
- Portapotty removal
- Sail removal/storage
- Cushion removal/storage
Also - any tips on covering the boat for the winter? Is it worth it to spring for the shrink wrap at the yard?

Solar vent - is it worth it to install?

Lastly - when I bought the boat the mast wiring was not working (anchor & head lights out). Assuming it's wiring. I saw catalina direct sells the kit but I would rather not buy it unnecessarily. Is there a way I can check the wiring before buying the kit?

Thanks in advance for any responses! Very much looking forward to many years of sailing. I am sailing mainly in western Long Island sound.

1999 Catalina 250 WK
Name TBD (Suggestions???)
Long Island Sound

TakeFive
Master Marine Consultant

Members Avatar

2244 Posts

Response Posted - 10/20/2020 :  19:59:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Congrats, it's a great boat. Any boat needs maintenance, but the C250's simple systems make the fun/hassle ratio very high. I know this especially well since I've moved on to a larger boat which, while also great fun, does take a lot more work. If I hadn't "cut my teeth" on the C250, then my current boat would have been overwhelming.

If your engine is an outboard, then there should be no antifreeze. (There were a very few C250s produced with inboard diesels, but I think they were all after 1999). Just pull the cord a few times with the motor out of the water to clear the impeller of enough water to avoid freeze bursting.

Be sure to burn all fuel out of the carburetor. I used to do this after every use, since E10 fuels could leach plasticizers out of seals and fuel hose, and would turn acidic if they absorbed water. Also, I'd suggest putting on a new fuel filter each year. On my Honda it was a little white in-line housing inside the motor cowling.

Electric bilge pump - What I am about to tell you is controversial: I always hated the idea of cutting additional holes in the hull, and the space for a second hose under the floor was VERY limited. So I just stuck an electric pump (with integral electronic sensor switch) on the inlet of the existing hose. It worked great, and survived 2 hurricanes where the boat may have sunk (or at least covered the cabin sole) if it didn't work properly. People will tell you that the Catalina-supplied manual Whale pump (diaphragm type) will prevent water from being pumped through it. They are wrong. Diaphragm pumps always have check valves (actually flappers) on inlet and outlet to force one-way flow, and in this case they both point in the right direction. An electric pump will push water right through it. And if you need to use the manual Whale pump, it will pull the water right through the electic pump, which becomes a real nice strainer to keep debris from jamming the flappers in the Whale pump. Is this as bullet-proof and redundant as having two fully separate pumps and hoses? No. But is it a vast improvement over the manual-only system that most C250s have? Definitely. This is your choice, but my decision was to not let perfection be the enemy of good enough.

I would advise testing the Whale pump every year and ensuring that the diaphragm is in good shape. If it cracks, then it may just leak water from your electric pump back into the bilge again.

Seacocks: On my C250 the galley and head sinks both drained above he waterline, so Catalina had through-hulls without seacocks. So without an inboard diesel, you probably don't have any seacocks.

Covering the boat: Shrinkwrap seems to be a powerboat thing, and I've heard stories of moisture buildup and mold if you didn't have proper vents installed. Of course, the vents kind of eliminate the idea of shrinkwrap, so might as well just use a tarp. I used to drop the mast every season and support it fore (on a homemade cradle across the pulpit), amidships (homemade brace in the tabernackle made out of PVC pipe fittings) and aft (sawhorse in the cockpit). Then I'd buy heavy duty silver tarps to throw over the whole boat like a tent. A good quality tarp would last about 3 seasons. My current boat came with a custom-made canvas tarp with zippers to go around all the stays and mast.

Solar vent: Once again, I hated cutting holes. I had shore power, so I'd run a miniature dehumidifier on the galley counter with drain hose going to the sink. In the off-season I'd put several DampRid canisters in the boat. My current boat has a solar vent, but it's cut into the acrylic hatch instead of into the fiberglass. When I went to replace the broken solar vent this year, the hatch broke and needed to be replaced. It just goes to show you that there's a risk to doing anything, so always expect the job to take 3x as long (and cost 3x as much) as you think.

I'll let others answer your remaining questions.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
PO of Take Five, 1998 Catalina 250WK #348 (relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
New owner of 2001 Catalina 34MkII #1535 Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)

Edited by - TakeFive on 10/20/2020 20:07:36
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huppstar
Deckhand

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USA
2 Posts

Response Posted - 10/22/2020 :  14:48:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First - thanks so much for the detailed response - incredibly helpful!!

Hopefully some other posters can help with the bimini and electrical question.

quote:
Originally posted by TakeFive
Be sure to burn all fuel out of the carburetor. I used to do this after every use, since E10 fuels could leach plasticizers out of seals and fuel hose, and would turn acidic if they absorbed water. Also, I'd suggest putting on a new fuel filter each year. On my Honda it was a little white in-line housing inside the motor cowling.



Yes, I have an outboard Honda 8 HP. Was planning to do fuel burnoff, oil drain in the fall. Spring would do spark plug replacement, fuel filter replacement, gear oil replacement, fill up with oil and cross fingers.

quote:
Originally posted by TakeFive
Electric bilge pump - What I am about to tell you is controversial:
...


Thanks for the detail here. I think based on my goals here will be taking this approach. Now I just need to figure out how to thread the wire down there!

quote:
Originally posted by TakeFive
Solar vent: Once again, I hated cutting holes. I had shore power, so I'd run a miniature dehumidifier on the galley counter with drain hose going to the sink.


Maybe I'll just see how next season goes. Past owner kept it on mooring and my 1 month of ownership here have not had a problem with musty smells. For winter, definitely am buying some crystals to prevent humidity.

Thanks again for the great response!

1999 Catalina 250 WK
Name TBD (Suggestions???)
Long Island Sound
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Dave Brown
Navigator

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USA
147 Posts

Response Posted - 11/29/2020 :  10:29:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, you need some rails on the side of the boat, so the placement of the Bimini can move and move the attachment point of the main sheet
To the boom , forward 18 inch.
I sent you an E Mail
DB
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
4656 Posts

Response Posted - 11/29/2020 :  16:52:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Checking the mast wiring can generally be done using two or three wires with alligator clips attached and a 9volt battery. You can attach a wire the negative terminal of the 9V (larger one) and to the common wire in the deck connector. Then connect the positive side to the masthead light then the steaming light. You can find the deck plug wiring diagram in the owner’s manual on the left of the Forum margins. Please note that the battery won’t last long because incandescent bulbs draw a couple of amps.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain — Milford, CT
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