The one constant with boats is that you never run out of projects. When we found Island Time she had been sitting for over three years and was in need of some TLC in areas both large and small. 

One of the attractive things about the Mark III hull is that with it's walk through transom it has a contemporary look not found on earlier models. We wanted to make some upgrades to her so she would have all the equipment of the well optioned new boats we've seen at the boat shows.  


Boat Projects
Midship Cleats - A problem with the Catalina 30 is the lack of a midship cleat. While you can rig a spring line to a stanchion it's not as quick or easy as a cleat. T-track cleats from Schaefer solve the problem nicely, and at under $100 they're an inexpensive solution. After three seasons that have included strong winter storms and the worst nor' easter in 15 years packing winds over 60mph they're holding up well.


Dockside Hookups - Quick connects for dockside water and cable TV are standard on new boats. 

If your boat didn't come with them factory installed plan on spending a full day doing the installation yourself. (Read Article)


Marina WiFi & MiFi - This is supposed to be easy right? Not at most marinas, and most of the off the shelf devices that are supposed to boost your signal simply don't work. 

The best solution turned out to be re-programming a router as a dedicated repeater using DD-WRT software to pull in the marina's router. A separate router hung off the repeater provides WiFi access from anywhere on the boat, and for several of our dock neighbors as well. Hey you have to be a good neighbor right?  (Read Article)


This Old Boat - We do a complete remodel the interior and exterior canvas. Where's Norm Abram when you need him? (Read Article)



Webasto 12,000 BTU Air Conditioner - Air conditioning is the key to marital bliss, but installing air conditioning in a 30 foot boat will make you curse like a sailor.  (Read Article)


Garmin Chartplotter, Instrument Package and NMEA 2000 Network - When the old Raymarine ST50 package started to go it was time to replace and upgrade our instruments. The trick was to design a system that would be flexible, and allow the integration of XM weater and radar down the road. Finding the right combination meant juggling a lot of complex variables and equipment from several manufacturers.  (Read Article)


PSS Dripless Shaft Seal - No more wet bilge and no more boat odors! But oh my, what an amazing amount of work went into this job.  (Read Article)



Tunes, New Sony/Bose Sound System - Installing a sound system that integrates CD, Satelite Radio and an MP3 capabilities with speaker systems for the salon and the cockpit.

The existing Sony stereo was a good unit, but the installation was a bit kludgy. Relocating the stereo and VHF made for a cleaner looking installation. An MP3 Player mounted under the stereo provides a library of CD's and requires no space. A Sony wired remote and MP3 connection at the helm allows you to operate the stereo from the helm while sailing and to move the MP3 there so you have access to all of its controls. Separate speakers in the salon and cockpit provide background music whether sailing or at the dock. 

The last piece will be to add a Sirius satelite tuner to the system in the spring. (Read Article)


O2 12vdc Rechargeable Fans - These quality, low power, inexpensive fans work as well at anchor as they do tied up at the dock. They have built in rechargable lithium batteries and will charge from both 12vdc and 110vac outlets. For their size they move a surprising amount of air and are one of the best little boat upgrades we've done.


Updating the Cooking Systems - The cooking system seemed to work fine when the boat was surveyed but was quirky on the trip up the Chesapeake Bay and troublesome at the dock. 

A new regulator/gauge package helped and fixed the old gauge that was no longer accurate. Then I disassembled the range, cleaned the burners and scrubbed everything until it shone like new. It's since turned out quite a few meals. (Read Article)


Better Refrigeration - A fridge that keeps stuff cold and a freezer that keeps stuff frozen shouldn't be a problem - but this is a boat. Though the Aldor Barbour system seemed to be working properly the fridge wasn't getting as cold as I thought it should and I was seeing water backing up through the fridge drain. The solutions were simple but time consuming. 

Cranking down the temperature just led to the evaporater icing up. Adding a seals to the top of the fridge made a huge difference. The original top had been cracked and improperly repaired so it was no longer sealing. This winter Catalina is fabricating a new top and I'll be installing insulating foam around the entire fridge. That should keep things cold. 

The odors and water backing up into the fridge turned out to be a combination of a bad check valve in the foot pump and a design flaw in the plumbing. The fridge now drains into the bilge and the problem is solved. (Read Article)


Heat Aboard - Fiberglass is great for a lot of things. Keeping out the cold isn't one of them. Our solid fiberglass hull provides no insulation when you're sleeping aboard in the winter. Two electric heaters and a comforter do the trick until night time temps hit 40 degrees. After that you're not sleeping aboard. (Read Article)


Carpet on Board - It was nothing short of amazing at the difference in the interior with new carpet. Fitting it to all the cuts, turns and curves of a boat, well that's another story. (Read Article)


Conquering Odors - When we bought the boat it had a, shall we say, odor problem after sitting for three years. Somewhere along the line a "mechanic" overtightened the fuel lines coming off the fuel tank. This started cracks in the rubber lines and a slow diesel leak that was a bear to track down and the real source of the "boat smell". Once the leak was stopped the real work began -- getting the diesel smell out of the boat. 

The bilge was vacummed out, everywhere diesel had leaked was washed with Greased Lightning. The engine was washed down using Simple Green to remove any dirt/grease/oil build up that might drip into the bilge. Then the whole bilge was scrubbed with Spray Nine, followed by a wash down with fresh water. Stubborn areas were scrubbed with a 15% bleach solution. 

Cushions were removed from the boat and steam cleaned and the carpet was replaced after everything else was done. Air fresheners were added in the salon and in the berths. Now the boat smells better than new and there are no odors aboard. 

The other issue was cigarette smoke. One of the previous owners was a heavy smoker. I originally thought the cabin sides and ceiling were off white. Then I started cleaning around the galley with Spray Nine and discovered they were bright white! That led to scrubbing everything down with Spray Nine. Now the interior sparkles. 





Electrical - I built a four switch 12vdc sub-panel with it's own 5 amp breaker to power three 12 volt outlets, an additional fan for the aft berth and a circuit for soft courtesy lights that will be built into the cabin floor. That way guests can find their way below from the cockpit at night without the need to light up the whole cabin. (Read Article)


Inspecting and Rebedding Catalina Chain Plates

New motor mounts


V-Berth cabinets

Built in tool cabinet

12v TV & DVD player

New fresh water pump

Shocking the fresh water system

Custom night lighting above and below deck

New curtains

Upgrading the interior wood trim - Like most boats ours had more than a few screw holes where previous owners had attached items and some places where the woodwork was showing its age. Making over the existing woodwork and upgrading the trim was a natural outgrowth of the cabinet project.

Adjusting the standing rigging

New companionway doors.