When considering a Catalac catamaran purchase, one should always hire a boat surveyor. The list below are some things to watch for which are unique to Catalac catamarans. Surveyors should add these to their normal list of items to check.
Basic Catalac Construction
Catalac catamarans have:
- Solid fiberglass hulls
- End grain balsa cored decks
- Safety glass. No plastic windows
- Solid fiberglass cabin tops with 8cm end grain balsa sandwich “battens” for extra strength at hardware mounting points. These battens run fore / aft.
- Cable / Quadrant steering system
- Steel chainplates mounted inside the cabin on forward bulkhead.
- All cabintop hardware mounting points are reenforced with end grain balsa layers.
Hauling out a Catalac Catamaran
Catalac catamarans have two bulkheads, which hold the boat together. One separates the front berth from the salon and the rear bulkhead where the cockpit door is hung. Slings should be positioned as close to these bulkheads as feasible. If your boat has the inboard diesels, it’s common to position the rear strap near the front engine mounts which are about 12 inches (35cm?) aft of the bulkhead.
Hardware Rebedding issues unique to Catalac Catamarans
- Babystay attachment point on the foredeck . When I bought my boat one of the 4 bolts fastening the stay to the foredeck was broken clean through, and I didn’t realize it, as the bolt head was neatly in place. over time water got into the deck coring at this point. Look for spider cracks at the attachment point.
- Forestay at deck attachment point.. It should be attached in the starboard hole in the deck fitting.
- Pullpit deck attachment point (above the head and main berth locker in the 8m, stateroom lockers in 9M). Feel for the nav light wires running in both port and starboard hanging lockers and see if they are dry. If damp rebed the Pullpit.
- CRITICAL — 8M/9M chainplates are raised even with the pivot point in the tabernacle. At the base of the chain plates check for gell coat cracks radiating from chain plate base. Indicative of water ingress.
- CRITICAL — the chain plates loading point passes through the cabin roof into two metal “L” brackets in the salon bolted into the foreward bulkhead. If the metal brackets have been wet they rust and weaken. A 10M delivery last year resulting in a bracket failing which resulted in the loss of the rig.
Catalac Catamarans with Yanmar Diesel Engines
- On boats with Yanmar 1GM10 diesels the raw water pump seals must be checked for leaks.
- The oil lines on the front of the engine must also be checked. A warning sign is excess water in the bilge or an owner who closes the raw water cooling valves at the dock. Of course traces of engine oil in the bilge warrants much closer engine inspection.
- Check to insure the owner has been using diesel additives to compensate for the ultra low diesel fuel which replaced the fuel the diesel was designed to use.
- DIESEL FUEL LUBRICITY ADDITIVES STUDY
If the boat has the gold anodized mast, check for corrosion at the spreaders / mast junction.
If the boat has an outboard (minimum 25 hp), it should have an extra ‘long leg’ to prevent cavitation. Inboard diesels are preferred.
Check water and fuel tanks for rust or corrosion.
Check windows for leaks with a garden hose- fix is on Window Leak Repair page
Catalac Catamarans Steering issues
When in the cockpit, look aft between the hulls for the steel rod connecting the two rudders. There is a rust issue if not maintained. lift the cover on the port lazzarrette. Steering cables and pivot point are immediately below the locker cover. Check the steering cable for fraying, and the pulleys for excessive play. Also check the wheel for any play in steering.