the sailboat maintenance log

It has to be easy to use, easy to maintain, searchable, and can quickly get to the type of activity you want to review. The answer is a spreadsheet!
  • Reality Check maintenance log
    • Excel spreadsheet
    • Activities listed in descending date order
    • Entry can be associated with one or more types of activities
    • Quickly select type of activity to review

the diesel manuals...

Universal diesel heat exchanger and overheating...

How come we can't motor as fast as those guys? Sure we're a sailboat - we shouldn't be concerned about motoring. But when you're heading to or from Catalina Island dead into the wind or no wind or tired of 12 hours in the sun, yes you do want to be a motorboat for awhile - and we couldn't run the diesel at cruising spec (2400 rpm's) without overheating - so what's that mean? ...more

the waterlift muffler...

Understanding the waterlift muffler (PDF)

exhaust system maintenance notes

photo of exhaust hose deteriorated at transom
Exhaust hose deteriorated at transom

What's that black stuff in the bilge? Definitely NOT oil, the material settled to the bottom in little flakes...we've had black sludgy stuff in the bilge in past years, and a topic on a forum described exactly the same crud in the bilge we had...
On Reality Check the culprit was a leaky exhaust hose at the transom, and the fix was replacing the entire hose. Although the exhaust riser was suspect, it's in great shape on Reality Check.
Here's the copy of the topic from the forum about black water in bilge... more

Exhaust riser failure is quite a topic, here's an informative article all about it... more

Reality Check improvement projects

Autohelm 6000 Linear drive Type 1 sticking problem

photo of linear drive type 1 attachment
Linear drive type 1 attachment to radial drive wheel
You're steering away and the wheel feels like it is stuck - what's that? It's the linear drive pushrod sticking. The autohelm 6000 type 1 linear drive is a self contained unit with no user-serviceable parts.

Autohelm 6000 Linear drive type 1 mounting photos

The autohelm and corresponding linear drive are part of the original equipment on 1984 Reality Check, the autopilot works great but the ram feels like it catches on something occasionally when manually steering. A tug on the wheel brings it over. The pushrod (ram) is attached to the radial drive wheel - if it seizes up the pushrod can be "quickly" detached from the mounting bracket. I have a life-size picture of that

--> What does Raymarine customer support say about it? Send the linear drive in to be diagnosed. Maybe next year...

Another educational experience - the all-important fuel system

3 extra days in Avalon thanks to dirty fuel filters

Anchor Locker pinhole leaks

Fixing Anchor Locker leaks

forums for sailing and on maintenance

sailboat boat projects and upgrades - how to's on pbase - interesting projects on a Catalina 36 and Universal M-25

Diesel engine forum

Diesel engine tips

Kubota diesel serial number identification and location


Universal M25 Diesel

Heat Exchanger

Engine Compartment Insulation / Soundproofing

Anchor Locker





Bimini for the Boat



Edson Pedestal Controls

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alt : 1984 Catalina 36 technical specs