Bayline launched Catalpa today. New engine. New electrical. New Hoses. Lots of new things.

Engine ran well. I need to adjust the stuffing box as it ran a bit hot.

The engine installation was a huge job. Unfortunately I did not document the process as I went through it. I was very focused on “getting it done”. Several months later… It’s Done! (I hope). I’ll get some pictures up soon.

Catalpa Christmas


I’ve got some of the foundation work done for the new engine beds. I’m using part of whats there and adding on to them. I’ve also started work on the icebox. I’m adding 2″ more of solid foam insulation and an inner liner. As is now we can only get a couple of days out of our ice. It’s funny, thinking about ice at this time of year.

Our new engine came in. I like it! It’s a Beta 14. 14HP, English, Ferrari red, need I say more? I’m not usually overly impressed with gadgets, but I’m very excited about this new engine.12-20-13_007 12-20-13_008

Engine Jig

I built a jig to represent the new engine. I bolted the jig to the old prop shaft and aperture which I temporarily put back in the boat. The big carriage bolts represent the engine mounts. The squares on the bottom represent the oil sump. I have plenty of room above it so I didn’t bother mocking up any of the top end. It’s tight down low. Some of the old engine bed has to be cut away. The rest I will use as a foundation for the new beds as it is well built. It seems like half the work is just the planning and knowing what to do next. Frost on the windshield this morning.


Discovery Phase

Since removing the engine I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning. The days are getting shorter and colder so I figured this part of the project should be completed while the temperature is still in the 60s.

I spent a few days trying (unsuccessfully) to remove the propeller. After breaking my gear puller, I cut it off with a sawzall.  10-22-13_001

I never really completely understood how my stern tube was set up. I have repacked the stuffing box but the rest of it was covered in resin and grease. What a mess! The “tube” consists of a bronze aperture on the stern (with cutless bearing). That has a hose attached to it with the stuffing box clamped to the hose. The problem is they just glassed the hose into the boat. AAaaaahhhhhH !!!! This is completely wrong. The hose was in bad shape from having oil and fuel soak into it for 20+ years. This is a good way to sink a boat. I cut it all out.10-22-13_002 10-22-13_003 10-22-13_004

The cleaning is done. So are the leaves on the trees.10-22-13_006

The Engine

As I alluded to in my earlier post, I’ve been having some issues with our 27 year old Universal engine. Every year I spend a considerable amount of time and boat dollars trying to get it to run properly. I’ve learned a lot about diesel engines in the process. Last year, while replacing the exhaust, I broke the manifold. Unfortunately the manufacturer no longer carries the part. This got me thinking about what other parts will I not be able to obtain in the future?10-3-13_001

We had the broken manifold brazed by a welder in New Bedford. Then re-machined so the exhaust would fit back on. Unfortunately, it was also cracked internally and had antifreeze leaking into the exhaust portion of it. This I repaired with JB Weld and some other exhust goop. It held for the summer but I’ve been told by several mechanics that eventually I’ll have a problem again. We plan on taking Catalpa down the ICW someday so we made the decision to repower. The decision was not made lightly as a new engine is very expensive and our Universal starts every time I turn the key.

We went to the Newport boat show and bought a Beta 14 engine. They are made in England and are manufactured from a Kabota block.

From October 1-3 I spent my time disconecting the old engine and getting it prepared to be pulled out through the hatch with a crane.10-3-13_007

I used the main sheet block and tackle along with the boom vang to haul it out of its hole.

I constructed a wood platform to put the engine on in the cabin saloon.


A very helpful tool in this process was a basketball. The weight of the engine obviously made it very difficult to move. I deflated the basketball, put it under the engine, and re inflated it. This lifted the engine up enough (off of the beds) to pull it forward.10-3-13_022

It worked great. I was surprised by how smoothly the whole process went. Nothing damaged and only a few bruises.10-3-13_021 10-3-13_023


I haven’t been updating this log because of all of the lost data I had. I went back into the old posts and restored most of the pictures. The Photo Album pages have been restored. Eventually I’ll get my old catboat site up too.

2013 Recap- We managed to get the boat in a bit late due to a cracked exhaust manifold. Last winter I replaced the exhaust and broke the manifold trying to get it apart. Big Problem! We had it welded and re-machined but still problems. I even glued it. I nursed the engine through the summer. Despite the engine issue we had a great time. I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures from this year. Mostly Vineyard Haven, Tarpaulin Cove, and Lake Tashmoo. This was our first year for T Cove and Tashmoo. Both were great spots that I intend to frequent in the future.

Catalpa is hauled with big plans for the winter.


My old sailing site was hacked. The company that hosted it, for the past 5+ years, wouldn’t really help me much so I decided to migrate over to new servers. Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out how to import all of the pictures so this might take a while to complete. I am getting Catalpa ready for the season and have installed some new gear. Launch date is June 10th.

Back at Home Base

Sailed from Cuttyhunk back to Padanaram Harbor today. Sunny with light winds. We motored about 50% of the day which has seemed to be about the average for the whole trip.

I’ll fill in some of the blanks later. We had no WiFi after Provincetown and I didn’t keep up with my electronic log but we have our log book and lots of photos.


Saturday August 25th

Still hanging around P-Town. Friday night was verry busy. We’ve been going into town mostly in the morning before the crowds pile in.

Very, very dog friendly place. Lots of Dogs playing on the beach. Skip is allowed in all of the stores and is often greeted with a bisket and bowl of water. Went shopping this morning and didn’t bother feeding him as we new there were lots of biskets to be had. Eventually we even made it toi a gourmet dog bisket store and he had some home made treats.

Leaving tommorow morning for Onset (South). May head back through Woods Hole to Martha’s Vinyard again after Onset. We haven’t decided yet.


Wednesday August 22

Onset to Provincetown

Left Onset around 8:00 am. Shot through the Cape Cod canal like we were on a freeway. Made around 9 knots with the current. This is almost 2x faster than we are usually traveling!

Big moment. We’ve made it to Cape Cod Bay. So far all of our sailing has been in Buzzards Bay and Vinyard Sound.

Light winds in Cape Cod bay. Spent 2 or 3 hours sailing upwind but made a lot of leeway. It’s about 20 miles. Since we didn’t want to get to P Town too late we fired up the engine. Motored for around 2 hours and got to port. Ran well. Zero wind by the end of the day with a flat sea. Province town seemed like a different continent when it came out of the haze. Had Chicken Korma for dinner.

Staying here for a few days. May begin to travel south again Sunday.