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
Small Repairs and Mini-Projects

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


There are a lot of small repairs and mini-projects yet to go before I can launch Chip Ahoy for the season.  I've ordered the "new and improved" plastic motor mount board and stainless backing plate from Catalina Direct -- but the board is back-ordered until who-knows-when.  The backing plate is on its way.  My plan it to remove and refinish the original plywood board -- still in decent shape -- and refinish it.  If the new plastic board arrives in time, I'll use it:  otherwise, it'll have to wait until next season.  (May 12, 2007)

The plywood motor mount board is still solid, but needs refinishing to keep it from deteriorating.  In the early spring of 2003, I removed, rebuilt, and repainted the entire motor mount, filled the wood board where needed then put a few coats of varnish on it.  The motor mount's paint is already deteriorating badly but will have to make it through another year as is.

During my Cape Cod cruise last summer, coming into crowded Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis, at the busy hairpin turn into the harbor through its narrow entrance breakwater channel -- the new Honda outboard stalled and wouldn't start right back up.   (I'd begun having problems with it idling, which I soon fixed!)  I ended up drifting stern first back onto the nearby shore, only yards away.  Fortunately, the bottom was sandy -- right in the middle of rocks on either side -- but it was enough to damage the rudder slightly when it touched bottom first.  (I had already cranked up the keel before entering.)

Though the damage was minor, to let it go without repair would allow water to get into the rudder's wood core and begin the process of rotting from within.  I let the rudder sit all winter to dry out.  Today I first sanded it down to bare fiberglass.  (May 13, 2007)

Next I filled it with West System epoxy.

The starboard side filled.

After letting it set overnight, finally I sanded down the epoxy.  (May 14, 2007)

It's now ready for a fresh coat of bottom paint.

Continuing on with the next repair, I readied the masthead end of the new VHF coax cable for its fitting that will connect to the VHF antenna (its mount is just above the cable exit hole).  I ran the new cable inside the mast on Apr. 29.  (May 14, 2006)

After sliding the rubber grommet over the cable (remember to do this first!), I attached a new Shakespeare PL-259-CP-G connector to the end of the coax cable.  (I've got a small collection of these suckers from previous installations, most with something minor wrong with them.  I should have enough parts now to make a usable one!)  I left a spare wrap of cable inside the mast, tucked up toward the masthead, in case I need to lengthen what shows at some later date.

The new rubber grommet keeps the cable from wearing.  But as I said, remember to put it on prior to fastening the connector.  I used a shot of WD-40 on the hole and grommet, then the fun of stuffing grommet into hole began.  The lubricant helped much over the last time I did it dry.  The grommet is still is almost perfect shape!

Completing the job, I added a new grommet to the bottom of the mast where the cable exits.  I didn't attach its connector yet, as I want to be sure the cable is the correct length to reach the radio in the cabin, then will cut it off perfectly before permanently attaching the connector.  I also left a few inches of spare wrap of cable tucked up inside the mast, just in case.  (May 14, 2007)

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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