Since 1974 over 7000 of these Catalina 30' sailboats have been built and are still in use today.   In comparison with other 30 footers they are one of the roomiest and best performing boats.    When I bought my first Catalina I had no idea, nor where to find instructions on how to use most of the systems on this older boat.   On the first day, my friend and i were going thru the compartments and flipping switches without knowing what we were doing.  Unfortunately, one of the switches we turned off was labeled the "Shower Sump", and a week later we had about 3 inches of water in the bottom of the boat because the bilge pump was wired (bad design) to the shower sump switch.
In order to mitigate further disasters we hired an experienced Captain who spent time with us going over all systems and operations of the boat.   His favorite expression was "follow the hose cause the hose always knows".  

This instructable goes over some of the basic operations any Catalina owner should understand.

NOTE: Systems will vary from boat to boat so parts of this instructable may not be applicable.


Step 1 - Before starting engine, locate yellow handled valve in bottom of engine compartment, which should be in the down closed position. ( image 1)

Step 2 - Rotate yellow handle into up (open) position to allow the sea water to come in and cool the engine. (image 2)

Step 3 - Check engine oil level by opening the side access door and pulling out the oil dip stick. (image 3 & 4)

Step 4 - Open front access panel and check that alternator belt is tensioned firmly. (image 5)

Step 5 - Make sure gear (black spherical handle) is in vertical (neutral) position and throttle (red spherical handle) is also in vertical position. (image 6)

Step 6 - Insert key into ignition and rotate clockwise just before engine cranks.  At the same time hold up the Glow Plug switch for about a minute (only for cold starts). There will be a loud buzzing sound due to low engine oil pressure which is normal before the engine starts. (image 7)

Then rotate the key to crank the engine and after starting release the key.  After you've run the engine for a few minutes you should be able to stop and start it quickly without having to hold up the Glow Plug switch.

Step 7 - Once engine starts check to see if water is flowing out the back exhaust port. If no water is flowing for about a minute, it is recommended that you shut engine down to prevent heat damage, and have a mechanic inspect the impeller.

Step 1 - Move yellow handled engine water lever to off switch in engine compartment.

Step 2 - After about 15 seconds (required to flush water out of the system) move red handled throttle all the way back and down to cut fuel off to the engine.

Step 3 - As soon as engine stops, oil pressure warning will sound and turn ignition key into off position.

<p> <em><br></em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>I have repaired quite a few of them, A lotta things going on in a 30 Footer. I nicknamed them &quot; Lacerater 30's &quot; Great Boats.</em></p>
<p>you are amazing, thank you.</p>
<p>Nice checklist.</p><p>FYI these are &quot;through hulls&quot; not &quot;through holes&quot;. :-)</p>
Thanks for this, just bought a Catalina 30 myself and I need to learn the ropes!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a total gearhead. I love working on cars, airplanes, rockets, sailboats, whatever. Cars i've owned and/or rebuilt: 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix ... More »
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