Author Topic: Converting an EndeavourCat 30 from racer to cruiser  (Read 2913 times)

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Offline mcswain1

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Converting an EndeavourCat 30 from racer to cruiser
« on: May 24, 2008, 09:38:44 PM »
This post turned out to be long with many photos so I made a web page out of it by itself.  I have been working on this boat for nine months, off and on.  The page will tell you some of the things I learned and some of the conversions I made including AC's, Dinghy davit, new tanks etc.

It is large, with many photos, so it will load like a snail on dial-up.  Just a warning.


http://www.outlookimage.com/Oasis/catconvert.htm

Offline Sandy Claws - IC Hull #121

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Re: Converting an EndeavourCat 30 from racer to cruiser
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 01:14:34 AM »
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                      MCSWAIN1's  conversion content has been loaded from                     
                       http://www.outlookimage.com/Oasis/catconvert.htm                       
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Converting an EndeavourCat 30 from racer to cruiser
           
               
               
               
           
I have now owned, sailed and cruised my EndeavourCat 30 for nine months and wanted to share some of the things I have learned with this forum.  First I will state that I am a coastal cruiser and so my goal was to create a comfortable, economical and fun platform for just that.  The previous owner had raced the hull, so it was stripped down and in good condition overall.  The original diesel outboard had been converted to 25hp 4-cycle gas, and a new 29 gal. gas tank installed in the helm chair locker.  The sails and rigging were in good condition.  Several small weather (rain) leaks were found and fixed.  She passed her survey and sea trial and was now ready for the estimated 10 day (new owner) delivery from the west coast to the east coast of Florida through the Okeechobee Waterway.

          Following a month delay caused by low water in the Waterway, a further sea trial and shake down cruise was planned.  Good thing, steering cable frozen.  Removal, pen-oil, a vice and mallet, freed the cable.  Re-installed it and ordered a new one from information found on this forum.  (custom 3 to 4 week delivery).  Now what to do with the time?  Might as well start on my conversion from racer to cruiser.

          I started on the conversion and have continued for the last nine months.  (Oh yea.  The delivery was quite fun and un-eventful.  Never under 4' in the Waterway.) She is done.  Well, done for now, and leaving for the Keys in mid-June, from Daytona Beach, for two months.  Have taken several week long cruises and all systems seem to be working fine at this writing.  I will keep you up to date as we travel.  I don't mind telling on myself.  Especially since some of my modifications are experimental and need the test of time and condition to bear them out.  I do all my work myself and go under the premise that if I built it I can fix it.  (Well, usually!)
          When I bought the Cat she had no generator or AC.  She had an empty 75 gal diesel tank under the starboard bunk that caused a trim problem and the original small holding tank.  The original manual flush head was iffy at best and the hot water heater looked like an old WWII bomb that someone dug up.  I will explain some of the modifications for you.  If you have further questions on how I did things, just ask.
           
           
           
           
           
            The hot water heater was easy.  Since I was going to have a gen set and the local marine surplus store had new, scratch and dent, electric units for a third of retail, I went with a 6 gal, 120v unit in the port forward (original location) locker.  The unit is well insulated and keeps the water hot to warm all day.

   For the AC I opted for two Mermaid 9000 units installed in the two stateroom hanging lockers. The loss of hanging space was no real problem when weighted with the comfort and convenience of AC when overnighting in summer in the Everglades. We also cruise locally to locations where the No-seeums make open air camping, even with screens, not an option. The weight was distributed equally in both hulls and stern centered. A Mermaid 9000 will start and run on a Honda 2000 portable (suitcase) generator set to EC (this is the governor type setting that lets it run at it's most fuel efficient level). I shared water input with the head (starboard) and water maker (port), so no new below waterline thru hulls were needed. Outboard water discharge was through new fittings placed under the two sinks inline with the sink drains. Strainers and pumps placed in the upper bilge area for easy access and maint. I used the more expensive digital thermostats (FX-1) because they allow for programmable de-humidification when un-attended at the dock. The thermostats are positioned on the saloon stairs, about half-way up the wall. The main, adjustable vent is located just above the thermostat, and another small vent is in the stateroom wall facing the bunk. The louvered locker doors allow plenty of airflow for the intake and the filter is integral with the AC unit. Remote thermisters are placed on the grill on the door so true intake temperature is measured. The digital thermostat gives you many ways to fine tune the operation of the units so all kinds of variations can be worked out.

     In practice I believe most people could easily get away with two 6500-7000 btu units. We generally run only one unit at night, even with both staterooms occupied. The opposing unit is set to fan only and so helps to circulate the air. One of the gensets on EC runs this setup easily, even with the battery charger on. (More on generator setup later.) In my case the efficiency of the AC system was unknown, so I chose to err on the high side. The weight differential was not that great but the cost and labor of a potential up-sizing was. As far as weight addition I was ok, as I had lost the weight of some 45 gal of fuel in the outboard conversion so had some to work with before worrying too much about overloading. I also removed several hundred pounds of racing sails.
           
           
           
           
           
                For gen-sets I chose the Honda 2000. They can be run separately, or connected together to supply the boat with a full 30 amps of power. With both gen sets running I can turn on every AC sucker on the boat and they don't even whimper. They are fuel efficient, can be lifted off-board easily for maint. and storage, and are rugged enough to at least tolerate a salt water environment. To accommodate the gen-sets I installed a regular swim platform just above the outboard lift. (I am lucky to live just 5 mins. from a great marine surplus store.) On this platform I installed a Taylor Made (light and strong) extra tall, thin dock box facing in-board. On each end of the box I installed a round, pop-out access port. On the rear of the box I installed two adjustable plastic AC vents. I installed 4" thick closed cell foam dampers (salvaged from two old boat fenders) in the bottom of the dock box. Placed the generators on the foam and secured them to the sides of the box with bungees through the handles. I drilled drain and air access holes in the bottom of the box.

      I use a standard 30 amp yellow cord from the gen sets to my normal AC outboard connection. (Probably hard wire with switch in the future.) This configuration makes for a fairly quiet (sounds like someone mowing the lawn next door) installation that is generally down wind of the boat and can be operated in all weather. The units exhaust through the access ports and draw air from the AC vents on the stern, the holes in the floor and let excess heat out through the crack in the lid held open by the cord. After many nights, in all kinds of weather, this system has functioned well without overheating any of the fixtures or ports. There is no soot or heat darkening of any of the plastic or fiberglass parts. After long hours of running you can grab and hold the edges of the access ports. They are warm, but by no means hot. They are cheap, and I will probably replace them annually anyway. The gen-sets themselves run at the same temperature as if they were sitting on the dock in the open air. I never refill a warm gen-set and do have carbon monoxide detectors in the staterooms. The best fire extinguisher I can buy is stowed at the helm, and I have plans, and room, for a self-contained halon system in the box.
           
           
           
           
           
Now, where to put that danged dinghy? We dinghy a lot, and we usually go a long way from the boat to fish and play. This takes a good all weather dinghy and a motor with some get up and go. Regular stern davits would be a pain and would just allow the dinghy to beat the outboard up when loading and unloading. How about that there hydraulic lift for the outboard? Well my slip door neighbor likes his beer and is pushing, well you get it. Put him sitting on the outboard cowling and tried the lift. No problem, so a dinghy less than half that weight would be a breeze. Took some measurements. Did some head scratching and at my first haul out put this thing together (much to the amusement of the boat yard boys with their "What the heck is that!). As you can see from the photos I took some aluminum box beam, (The type that is used to support the very large pool enclosures here in central Florida.) and some thick aluminum plate and bolted them through the box transom lift sides. The plate acts as a washer/stiffener support and the weak point where it is bolted and just behind the transom. Large bolts and washers on inside of the box lift. On the end of the beams I placed regular Weaver swim platform dinghy mounts.

     Well the best laid plans of mice..... The other sides of the Weaver mounts will not be mounted on my Pelican dinghy any way shape or form. Currently I have installed stainless u-bolts through the rub rail of the dinghy. Good braided line is secured to the Weaver mount on the box beam with hose clamps, and the dinghy is tied and knotted to the mount. Not optimum, but it works and the dinghy swings up into place with a good pull of even my 150 lb frame. It rides on top of the gen box very securely with little or no sway when we encounter boat wakes or inlets. I believe in rough weather and large waves I will probably dismount and tow it to take the strain off the system. Yes the gen box will open and function with the dinghy stowed in the position you see in the photo. When new dinghy time comes I will replace it with a Walker Bay that the mounts will fit.

     I created a dinghy motor mount out of layers of star-board on the starboard stern stairs. This makes it easy to get the motor aboard the dinghy and I use the handrails for the locking security cables.

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
                 I added a small microwave to the shelf in the port stateroom. I removed the diesel tank and replaced it with a 45 gal. drinking water tank with service to a filtered faucet at the kitchen sink. Also added a new 25 gal. holding tank into the space of the old fuel tank. Both tanks have monitors and gauges placed on the bulkhead under the bunk. I added a new electric head. To make this function correctly I had to add an additional macerator into the line between the head and the holding tank. Both start when the button is pushed. This has the effect of almost a vacu-flush and actually uses a lot less water than the electric head macerator alone. (Don't let small children get near it!) I wired the two with their own fuse panel to the house battery which is right next to them instead of trying to draw through the house wiring across the boat. I replaced all the old corroded faucets and fixtures with new brushed nickel which hold up better than chrome (or at least does not show its age as badly). I added a large screen TV which is mounted to the mast in the saloon. It functions as a computer monitor and receives about 45 HDTV channels with an external Radio Shack directional antenna. (This gives us a 24/7 live weather radar.) The laptop is hooked to an external long range usb wireless adapter with directional antenna that gives us lots of choices for internet connections. I replaced the almost worthless set of galley drawers with a teak door and plastic trash container. I put new seals on the refer lid and a digital thermostat that saves energy by allowing you to tune it to conditions. Three months later I still have no frost on the plates in the freezer.
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           

« Last Edit: May 29, 2008, 08:28:55 AM by Sandy Claws - IC Hull #121 »
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Offline mcswain1

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Re: Converting an EndeavourCat 30 from racer to cruiser
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 12:42:23 PM »
Just returned from a 1000 mile cruise and most systems still working well.  Had to replace the hot water heater because of rusted out electrical connections.  Frigibar compressor module died so I am going to move and replace the refer/freezer unit.  I will report on that later in a new thread.  Before the trip at haul out I replaced the hydraulic engine lift tube and pump.  The seal had gone and it let water in.  It uses an old outdrive lift tube.  I found it on ebay.  I bought a couple because they may get scarce in the future.