Best Upgrades...This  page  includes the must do, oldest/newest ideas and enhancements that will make your boating life absolutely enjoyable. Be sure to check out the great manufacturers products on the OEM/Vendors links and the Pet Peeves from owners. See Other Owner Modifications.

V-BERTH PIN RAIL:  This is a really nice addition to the v-berth.  See Pin rails

WINDOW REPLACEMENTS: The Retrofit Windows Kit for the boats that have Original Aluminum Frames (prior to ~1987) include both the windows and interior fascias. The product (TC-62000) for the Recessed Window models (usually 1987+) is lower because it does not include the interior fascias.  They are 1/4" and they are a dark gray (which tends more toward a bronze not green, which are the two options) to create the black-out look. Also provided are black oxide screws and black sealing tape, which adheres extremely well to fiberglass. The complete kit includes the exterior windows, screws & nuts, adhesive and interior fascias with screws. The windows overlap the fiberglass gelcoat by an inch. The window edges are all beveled 45 degrees.
These windows are not designed for blue water sailing. We have had no calls about windows cracking and the first ones have been in service for about 5 years (as of 9/2004), we use the same material used by Catalina & Lewmar so the scratch resistance would be the same as their products. If for some reason you would have an experience where a window does crack, they are easily replaceable.

Cat 30 Retrofit Window Kit     $825.00
Shipping                                        $ 75.00
Total                                             $900.00

If you would like an Opening Port, usually installed in the head window, they are an additional $125.00 plus $15.00 shipping with the Kit order. The port is inset into our window and is black.  If you are interested in ordering we will need a shipping address, phone number and the best times to contact you (we are on the West Coast). Currently roughly eight weeks for delivery. 
Cruising Concepts 1-800-899-3996 http://www.cruisingconcepts.com

Alcohol Stoves: Taunton Stove in Mass - http://www.tauntonstove.com/ - is converting Seaward two burner alcohol ranges to LP for about $420, which includes a top grate that covers the whole range top. Cost about $25 to UPS it there and have it back in about two weeks. The cheapest replacement is about $750 and probably would have had to do some work remounting it. Shawn Monks smonks1@home.com

ELECTRICAL: If you haven't replaced the engine wiring harness on your Catalina, then go to the IC27A to get the full story from Wayne Simpson.  You will find all the links for the appropriate parts or take the hint and do it yourself. While you are at it, move the older engine panel to the coaming so you can see it! Or if your instruments are worn out, purchase a new one.

Gate valves: If you have the original gate valves (like water faucets) you should replace them ASAP. They are not marine quality and can seize or worse, break off inside so the valve can never be opened or closed! Long lasting, reinforced MARELON fittings (by Forespar) are an inexpensive choice.  BUT FIRST...

Thru-hulls: Pipe stems were originally installed by the factory. A hole was drilled in the hull, a 4-6" length of pipe inserted and glassed in place. Using a wrench on just the body will break loose the seal of the pipe and it won't be long before water makes its way into the hull. Have your yard replace all of them with regular marine thru-hulls, bedded, with backing plates. Again, the plastic MARELON fittings are an excellent choice!

COCKPIT: Stern Perch seats are the rage these days.  I know people you have traded boats just to get them as standard equipment.  But you can get retrofit units of high quality from American Business Concepts.  They have lots of other useful plastic gadgets for the cockpit, too!

WINDOW SHADES:  American Business Concepts also makes an easy to install window shade specifically for C30 port lights.  The PEEK-A-BOOOO shades come precut for each side and each window. ABC also has similar covers for hatches, and a swing out companionway door.

TANKAGE: The Holding Tank Eye is a safe, convenient, easy to use and environmentally correct device which tells you when the holding tank needs a pump out.  The device works without aid of electricity and will never fail you.  It will help to prevent unnecessary and costly pump outs as well as unwanted holding tank odors. Jeff Zorn, Catalina 38 Owner
 
SPREADERS:
If you still have those old wooden spreaders, we highly suggest you check them immediately.  From the deck, the bottoms may look perfect, but go aloft and look at the top sides! Don't like what you see?  You can rebuild/remake duplicate wooden sets or buy the aluminum retrofits from Catalina  Yachts.  Both of those are a lot of work, but worth it. A new source is JSI which markets aluminum  replacements which fit into the old boots, making for an easier repair.
 
BOWSPRIT:
The original bowsprit is too narrow for mounting any anchor roller.  Get the newer, wider one from Catalina  Yachts, do the replacement yourself and mount one or two rollers of your choice.

TRAVELER: Call Bill Fulgenhauer at Garhauer Marine and order a new ball bearing, FLAT traveler like the newest boats. A 10-year warrantee on every product! The bar can be adopted to the original teak blocks, call Guido!

SHAFT SEALS: Tired of water in the bilge, don't know how to adjust the propeller shaft seal? Get the PYI Inc.   Drip less Shaft Seal and end those problems forever!

Threshold:  Add a "threshold" bar across cockpit companionway.  Glue and seal a 1/4 square strip across the threshold against the back of the lower board. During a heavy windy rain, water would blow under the lower hatch board. Catalina later changed design adding one. 

New Rudder: The old rudder is a bear to handle. And I want a longer rudder. I can either modify the factory rudder or get a new one aftermarket. Anyone with info on aftermarket sources I would appreciate it. Suggestions on modify the factory rudder are appreciated also. Chuck Blaty, TRBS '85 #3991 "Dara J"  Lake St. Clair, MI   Contact Catalina Yachts Parts Dept or try Foss Foam Products of FL, INC www.newrudders.com. They built a new rudder for me two years ago and can probably build any type you may want.