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2003 C-Dory 25- newbie needs assistance

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Joined: 11 Jul 2023
Posts: 4
City/Region: Charlotte
State or Province: NC
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Cosmic C
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2023 4:47 pm    Post subject: 2003 C-Dory 25- newbie needs assistance Reply with quote

I acquired a new to me 2003 C-Dory 25. Several systems on the boat have not been used recently or have been shut off. Since this is an early model 25, I find my questions can’t be readily answered by referring to the circa 2006 owner’s manual.

Ideally, I could speak directly with a 2003 C-Dory 25 owner.

Here are my areas of concern:

1. Water system
a. I filled the water tank.
b. I understand the system has been winterized annually.
c. I turned on the pump for five minutes however no water emerged through the sink or shower. The pump was extremely loud.
d. I briefly disconnected the water hose from the pump and saw some water emerge.
2. Hot water heater- looks rough and I’m not sure the relief valve isn’t frozen
3. Head is dry and may not have been used for a long time. I’m looking for tips testing the head.
4. Windlass-Prior to purchasing the boat I tried operating the windlass from the deck switch. The chain seemed to grab, but then nothing.
5. Boat trim- my Honda 130 has a Permatrim hydrofoil in addition to trim tabs. I have tried different trim combinations but haven’t settled on the best way to balance the boat. Is it common to have both a hydrofoil and trim tabs? I should add I have a 9HP Honda kicker with Powertran electric steering which puts additional weight on the transom.
6. Windows. I've diligently cleaned debris out of the tracks. How do you "lubricate" the tracks for smoother operation?

These are my short list questions.

Thanks in advance.

Bill Schiffli
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Joined: 03 Oct 2017
Posts: 67
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2010
C-Dory Model: 255 Tomcat
Vessel Name: CAT 'O MINE
Photos: CAT 'O MINE
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2023 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bill and congrats on your new ride!

In order to be helpful in this kind of situation, other owners need to know the brand and model number of the item you are concerned about (pump, water heater, head, windlass). There is a reason that each carried a 12 month warranty on a 2003 vintage build. The factory has used many brands over the years on every boat.

Water pumps should have a filter before the storage tank intake to capture plastic shavings and crud from the tank. If it’s clogged the pump can’t work and will be loud. There may be a slot cut in the rear of the shaft…if you can’t turn that with a screwdriver, it’s seized. If it does turn, the impeller may be toast. You’ll likely need to remove the four screws holding down the pump to check that. If you disconnected the output hose and turned the pump on, it should shoot out a strong stream, not a dribble. If it’s over 12 months old…

If the head is sitting on top of a nine gallon holding tank on the floor, it is likely a Dometic 711-M28 marine toilet pkg model SB71.

Pull UP on the flush pedal to add water (with the fresh water pump ON). There are two seals under the flush ball that leak if they dry out and have a two year life expectancy. Remove the collar under the toilet and above the waste tank to find the Model and Serial Number (important!) then call Environmental Marine for the seals (under $40).

Your water heater may be a Seward 6g, check brand and model number. If overall looking ‘rough’ new ones (you can’t use the ‘heat exchanger’ with an outboard) are under $500 or parts here:

We took out the water heater to gain an entire cabinet of storage space, since we mostly stay at marinas with unlimited hot water showers. The power and plumbing inlets are not changed and can be replumbed easily by new owners.

Windlass (likely Lewmar) model # is on the motor under the deck. Deck switches live outside and don’t live long after the 12 month warranty. Does it work with the inside switch? Is the chain US made and stamped G43? Does the chain/rope splice pass easily? In my experience, nothing passes through a Lewmar windlass well except genuine US made Lewmar chain and US made Lewmar 8 plait rope.

For window sliding issues, use a ‘dry’ teflon lube spray after a thorough cleaning of the tracks and ‘weep’ holes. You will have absolutely NO difficulty if you just live on your boat for six weeks at a time and open and close all the windows four times a day for the whole six weeks. Easy Peasy!

Boat trim:
Don’t change anything, just keep experimenting until you are happy. Most likely nothing is wrong there.

Hope something here is helpful!


John and Eileen Highsmith
2010 TC255 Cat O' Mine
Yamaha F150's
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Joined: 11 Jul 2023
Posts: 4
City/Region: Charlotte
State or Province: NC
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Cosmic C
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2023 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Water system- My water fill is on the port side [adjacent to the cuddy]. It appears the tank is there [??] with a line running aft to the pump. I will check to determine if the shaft is moving. I guess I can remove the input hose to the pump to determine if the water is flowing from the tank......


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Joined: 02 Nov 2003
Posts: 20598
City/Region: Pensacola
State or Province: FL
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: thataway
Photos: Thataway
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2023 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Welcome aboard! I have owned a 2003 C Dory 25, with the Honda 130 and both trim tabs and a Permatrim. (which I added, so I have a before and after experience). I also owned a 22 with neither tabs nor foil. The tabs and Permatrim are very desirable with the 25, and especially with the 130, which is the same block as the 115 Honda. You don't really get near that 130 HP until you are over 4500 RPM. Be sure the boat is proped correctly for your use. You want the Wide Open throttle to be close to at 6,000 RPM. You should be getting in the mid 20's MPH at WOT, and a light boat. We ran our boat heavy in AK, and at Powell. At lake Powell, (about 3700 feet elevation) we dropped down to an 11" pitch prop, Normally we ran with a 15" pitch, light boat, and carried a 13" pitch also.

I have also owned a 2007 C Dory 25, plus my Son owns a 1995 C Dory 25 "cruise ship".

your 2003 has the holding tank aft, there is a macerator pump under the aft port deck hatch. It often gets wet and eventually rusts. You should also have a pump out fitting on the aft port gunnel. The "poop and pee" has to go some distance to get to this holding tank. The head is probably a Jabsco with a manual pump for the sea water which enters under the. step into the cabin. There is a thru hull there. There is probably a shower sump and pump under your hanging locker aft. That also should have the overflow from the heater. One of the problems of the 25 is that the hot water has to flow from the tank, under the step, and up to the galley and shower fittings. I removed our factory heater, and as several others put in a Bosch 2 1/2 gallon water heater, right by where you need it! This radically improves your storage, and stops wasting water.

Your water tank is under the port side of the. V berth. You will have to see what access you have, if any. Photos are going to help with a lot of your questions which there will be many of, and lots of people to help you solve them.

As John noted, you should have a SS screen filter just before the water from the tank enters the pump. Our 2003 had a Jabsco pump, but there are some with SHURflo, and Flowjet, Whale, and a few other less likely suspect. I always carried a replacement water pump and quick disconnect electrical and water fittings. We always seemed to have a water pump failure when my wife was in the shower! (We did a lot of long distance cruising with sailboats, as several others in this group have done,). The same for a macerator pump. On an Alaskan trip we made in the 25, we lost the macerator pump, and there were few pump out stations. There are ways around this--but not easy or sanitary. A shot off valve between the tank and macerator pump can be very desirable!

You will have to decide if you want to upgrade the water system, with new tubing. At the very least inspect it, and then clean it with bleach, short term, and rinse well a number of times. Any carbon filter we put in the water system is right near the galley faucet. If you remove the chlorine when filling your tanks, you may be more suspect to water tank/hose mold and bacterial growth issues. Get the system clean and keep it clean.

Head itself, you will probably want to get a rebuild kit. This will have new O rings, gaskets, seals, and Joker valve. You should be able to find an expanded diagram on the internet. I would investigate alternate head systems. The commode with a 9 gal holding tank is a good upgrade, or a composting system. Either of these does not have the issues of a long run to the holding tank, excessive weight in the stern, and a failed macerator pump.

Down the line, you may want to upgrade the hatches in the cockpit floor. There are hatches which are very good, and don't leak significantly. Also consider a "Cockpit Cover" or slant back from the roof at the end of the cabin to the spashwell and over the sides of the boat, which will keep any water out of the cockpit. The bilge pump in the center aft of the cockpit should be checked out. There are also systems which will pull the last little bit of water out of the bilge in this area. They are DIY and not expensive.

You will have to give us photos of the windlass, or at least what model and orientation, how it is wired etc. Most of us have the controls via relay from the helm, with an up and down toggle switch. You can use the foot switches, but be sure that that power is turned on only when you want to raise or lower the anchor. Power the boat to a point over the anchor, take up slack with the windlass. Use the boat to break out the anchor, then the windlass to bring the anchor to the bow roller and aboard. There are a lot of options for this. Be sure. you know that all electrical connections are clean, that there is no corrosion and adequate size wiring.

Only you can determine if you want a trolling motor (or Kicker). That Would not be my first upgrade, Unless you are going way offshore, The Tow Boat US etc would be a cheaper alternative for now--and probably a good idea. Get into the slot, for the felt around the windows. I used a tooth brush and Dawn to get that track clean. Rinse well, then spray with dry silicone. A liquid spray will only attract more mold and growth. Definately "exercise" the windows. Be sure that the drains for the track are kept clear.

If you want to PM me, I can arrange phone calls and try and help. I find that email and photos often will be a short cut to resolving issues.

There will be more questions, and plenty of folks to help you get the most out of your boat!

Bob Austin
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018 to Oct. 2021
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
Home port: Pensacola FL
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Joined: 11 Jul 2023
Posts: 4
City/Region: Charlotte
State or Province: NC
C-Dory Year: 2003
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Cosmic C
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2023 2:29 pm    Post subject: Newbie- followup Reply with quote

1. Water heater. I don't have any need for it, its 20 years old and it takes up space, etc. so I pulled it out today.

2. Water My boat is on a trailer with the bow up 20 degrees. I double checked the water fill and I was able to get more water into the tank. I re-routed hoses following removal of the water heater. I have a Shurflo pump. I was able to to push water through the sink spigot, so now I just need to cycle through a couple of tanks with a splash of bleach to make it ready for use.

3. Head I do have a Jabsco head. I unscrewed the waste discharge opening on the aft gunnel and didn't notice a smell which tells me it hasn't been used for a long time.... I'm thinking seriously about keeping the head "dry" and simply using Double Doodie with Bio Gel Waste Bags.

Next up is examining the windlass [which does have a switch inside the cabin]
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Joined: 07 Nov 2003
Posts: 7861
City/Region: marysville
State or Province: WA
C-Dory Year: 1984
C-Dory Model: 27 Cruiser
Vessel Name: to be decided later
Photos: Susan E
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2023 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the water tank.. Go get the cheapest vodka you can get . Here at the tribal store its $4 for a half gallon. Drain your tank and pour in 2 bottles, cheaper then bleach, and let it sit for a day after you turn on the pump for a few seconds. you want the vodka in the pump and the lines all the way to the sink. Then fill the tank with water with the vodka in it. let sit a day then drain. Will kill all the germs and green growth. You will have to remove the filter to clean it. Dont forget the little filter in the faust tip. We do this evey year and it works great and you really dont have to worry about bleach taste or if you got it all out. Its wife apporoved for those reasons.
Thomas J Elliott
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