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 '07
The Rope Clutches Project

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


The first step in installing the new Spinlock XAS/2 power clutches was to remove the handrails along the top of the cabin, so I can cut off one rung on each side to make room for them.  Easier said than done I learned.  (Apr. 7, 2007)

After unscrewing the wood screws from the cabin overhead, I thought I could simply pry the handrail from the cabin top, loosen the 3M 4200 sealant.  No such luck.  I ended up using a putty knife and a hammer, with a 2"X2" length of oak against the handrail to "loosen it up."  I took the bottom of the teak handrail off as well with my effort.  Now I'm going to have to get the handrail planed to recover the evenness.

On the starboard side -- now recognizing the problem -- I was more careful, this time lifting the pop-top for the first time since I installed the new gasket.   I needed a better angle for the putty knife/hammer.  The gasket let loose, wonderful!  But I was able to remove the handrail intact.  Now I've got to replace the pop-top gasket too.  Simply wonderful, thank you Catalina Direct.

Yesterday, while cooking our Easter ham, I cut the ends of both handrails off and sanded those ends.  Today I'll take the one that split on removing it to the boatyard and have its base planed even again.  (Apr. 9, 2007)

See:  Thinking out loud

Today I got back to work on the handrails, after a week of rain.  The first step was cleaning off the old sealant, preparing the deck for handrails to be put back on.
Earlier this week I cut one rung off each then took them down to the boatyard woodworking shop.  There, my buddy Ace ran them through the yard's large table saw, evenly cutting off about 1/8" inch from the base of each.  I've been talked into not using the winches by Bayard Gross of the C22 discussion group -- I have no driving no need for them, nor really the space.  (Apr. 14, 2007)

Loosely fastened into 3M 4200 bedding compound, at least the first step in the rope clutches project is done.  I've got to get out early tomorrow morning and tighten up the wood screws in the cabin, make the handrails watertight before we get slammed with the "powerful" nor'easter that's stalking up the coast, combined with very nasty weather coming in from the west -- another "Perfect Storm"?

"Red in the morning, sailors take warning; red at night, sailors delight" is the old nautical saying -- and this morning's pre-dawn was awfully red.  We've got a nasty blow coming, predicted to be one of the 5 or 10 most powerful nor'easters in the past 50 years. (Apr. 15, 2007)

After tightening the handrail screws in the cabin overhead and closing up the boat (sealing the hatch/cribboard -- which will be pretty much facing the driving rain;  dead East is at my back while taking this shot -- with plastic and duct tape, tying off the ladder to deck cleats), I battened down the dinghy and mast on their sawhorses.  The last time we had a big blow while the mast was on sawhorses alongside Chip Ahoy, the mast got blown off, the sawhorses tossed all over the yard, broken up.  I've tied down the dinghy to three cinder blocks, and added two to the mast sawhorses, bungied the mast and sawhorses together.  The warnings about the approaching nor'easter deserve nothing less.  (Apr. 15, 2007)

Whoa, quite a Patriots Day nor'easter indeed.  The rain's been pouring down for almost 24 hours, a good 3-4 inches has fallen so far.  The strong winds didn't arrive until after midnight, but now they're a steady 20-plus gusting to over 50 mph -- hurricane strength gusts are expected soon, before the storm passes off to the northeast around noon.  Scattered but numerous power outages and downed trees are being reported all over on my police scanner.  My barometer is pegged all the way down to its stop at 29 (it's actually 28.97 and falling); lowest I've ever seen it.  In the photo, the plastic bags I covered Chip Ahoy's hatch/cribboard with are being blown hard, along with the telltales I just attached to the stern pulpit lifeline for this shot.  (Apr. 16, 2007)

What a difference a day makes -- the week-long nor'easter is history; it's sunny and in the low 70s today.  After installing the bow pulpit jaw clamps this morning, I went back to work on the rope clutches project.  (Apr. 21, 2007)

After filling the hole on each side of the cabin top left from removing one rung from each handrail, I marked and drilled the eight 1/4" holes for the rope clutches.  I located them as far astern and close alongside the pop-top as I could, so their lines will clear the handrail as smoothly as possible.

The rope clutches project is completed but for tightening the eight nuts up on the cabin overhead, pulling the rope clutches tight into the bedding compound tomorrow morning . . . then on to the next project!

Moving on with Season 2007 improvements
It's never-ending ... but spring has arrived and Sailing Season '07 is in sight

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