Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season 2010
The Windows Removal and Resealing Project

Page 1

Click thumbnails for a larger picture

With Chip Ahoy back from the boatyard with a fresh bottom, ready to be covered for the winter, first I wanted to remove the cabin windows. In the spring, I plan to replace the gaskets and sealant around them. I discovered a small leak during my 2008 monsoon cruise to Maine in the aft-starboard window. I bought a window gasket kit from Catalina Direct soon after, planned to install it last spring but put it off as a winter project for the days ahead. Since I'm thinking about replacing the clear glass with tinted, this will become my indoor winter project. (Dec. 3, 2009)

With an all-time record-breaking temperature (a toasty 69 at 1 pm) for the date, it was a perfect day to get this project started. Removing the interior frames was pretty straightforward, but the second was quicker using a cordless drill and Phillips head screwdriver bit on all those screws. I was unduly concerned about the window falling out when the frame was removed:  It wouldn't budge.

First I tried hammering on a block of wood against the interior frame, but still it wouldn't budge without more force than I was confident applying. Finally, on the outside I used a beveled putty knife and the hammer to break the gasket seals, between the outer window frame and the cabin trunk, to free and pry loose the window assembly. Once the seal was broken, pulling it out was pretty easy.

With the starboard side windows out and dusk approaching, I traced about an inch outline around the frames for overlap then cut covers out of an inexpensive reversible tarp. I duct-taped the panels all around over the window openings. They should hold up good enough under the big tarps that'll cover the boat through the coming winter.

With today's belated start (I didn't get out there until after noontime), I was able to remove only the starboard side windows -- but I learned the tricks. I hope to get the port side windows out tomorrow, then move on to covering the boat.  (Dec. 3, 2009)

I got the port side windows out this afternoon, starting shortly after noontime and finishing up at dusk again. I found a considerable amount of water between the frames of both the aft windows as I removed the inner frames, steady if unnoticed leaks. I was aware of the starboard leak.

These late autumn early nightfalls are at their nadir now, 4:12 pm sunsets for another week then the days start grudgingly lengthening.

I was hoping to get this part of the project done and the boat covered before the first snowfall arrives but it looks like I'm not going to make it, though almost. The forecast is for rain turning to snow tomorrow with possible accumulation. Uh oh . . . but I expect it'll melt away in a day or two.  (Dec. 4, 2009)

At last, back to this winter's boat project. I got the tinted glass back from Sonny's Glass Tinting today.  It appears to be an excellent job, and for only $75. I've got it on the washer/dryer work bench, got to rebed the glass back into the frames next. The past few months have been difficult -- setting up my new computer, then the others in my organization, have been going flat out with that mind-numbing job since early December. Now it's on to bigger and better -- life's important things!  (Feb. 8, 2010)

Madico Charcool is a cutting edge extruded film that never changes color.
(Click graphic above for more info)

Setbacks in work and health have slowed down my project this winter considerably, but I'm still plugging along. At the recommendation of one of the guys on the C22 discussion group, I've decided that, instead of priming and painting the window frames, I'm going to have them powder coated. The first step, before delivering them, is to make sure I can reassemble them when I get the pieces back, stripped of all my markings and notes. This morning I took a series of photos, so I can match up the frames with the glass. The tinting company numbered each piece of glass, 1-4 on pieces of masking tape.  (Feb. 21, 2010)

The bottoms of each outer frame have two small strips of plywood, apparently shims, one on each end, apparently for spacing. A few of them are missing, lost while removing the windows or somewhere in the past; all will likely be gone when I get the powder coated frames back.

Each piece of glass is labeled, indicating which frame it belongs with. (Notice that the tint seems to be sort of polarized.) When I get the frames back, come spring I'll just need to match up the correct glass with each correct inner and outer frame, epoxy in new plywood spacers, reseal with the Catalina Direct kit (Product #: D2130), and install.  At least that's the plan.

A week ago I took the frames to a local shop in Lynn that does powder coating -- that wanted way too much money to do the job ($67.50/window). I found another, SMI Powder Coating in Amesbury ($150 for the four if I'm in a rush; $75 if I'm not), and delivered the frames today. The weather's breaking, spring is coming early it seems. I told Trevor there that I'm in a rush now!  (Mar. 8, 2010)

After a bit of a delay (last week's 3-4 day typhoon that flooded out the northeast), and a problem coating one of the frames ("bubbling" of the finish, needing to be taken down to bare metal and recoated), I finally got back the frames today. Trevor at SMI did a great job, with attention to detail. Tomorrow I'll start reassembly of the frames with the recently tinted glass and new gaskets.  (Mar. 19, 2010)

See:  Detailed before-and after photos

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Moving on with Season 2010 improvements
It's never-ending ... bring on Sailing Season 2010!

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