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 '05
The Stern Pulpit, Stanchions and Lifelines Project

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


Today was Day One of Season '05, and the question was, "where do I start first?" The port side stern pulpit was not the right answer: I drilled its holes about a " too far aft, just hitting the plywood frame in the transom, leaving no room for the "blind mounting kit's" toggle bolts. (They don't call it "blind mounting" for nothing!) I filled the errant holes with a mixture of epoxy, colloidal silica and some white tint then moved on to the starboard side. The second time around I drilled the holes " more forward, the pulpit's aft foot right on the forward edge of the transom, and got it perfect. "Practice makes perfect,"  and this wasn't the first time I've had to do a job twice before getting it right -- just the first time this season!  (Apr. 9, 2005)

The port side pulpit's transom foot bolted in place.

While the epoxy was curing, I started on the stanchions and lifelines. Most of the fellow C22 owners I've discussed the angle of my stanchions with insist the bend is due to an accident. It's not; all four are bent inboard at the same angle -- and here are the pictures to prove it...

The stanchion placed in the middle for this shot is one of the new four I got from Catalina Direct. Note the radical difference in the angle on my old stanchions compared to the new one. I removed the old lifelines and the aft-port stanchion and the hole pattern on the new stanchions from Catalina Direct doesn't match up with the hole patterns in either the boat or CD's own stanchion backing plates! So much for completing this project this weekend too ... I'm waiting to hear back from Catalina Direct with an explanation.

While below in the cabin removing that one old stanchion, I noticed that the pop top gasket had dramatically deteriorated from last season; the few small gaps were now gaping spaces ... so I jumped to yet another new project ...
I've never been able to raise the pop top since I've had Chip Ahoy: the gasket had cemented it solid to the cabin top; lifting it was impossible. This was extremely low on my priority list of things that needed to get done back then, so I put it aside for someday down the road, maybe. This is the first time I've had it up, thanks to two more years of gasket deterioration.  (Go to Pop Top Project)

The port side stern pulpit's forward stanchion. Note the patch job for the errant holes just aft of the foot. Today I got the second stern pulpit mounted.  (Apr. 18, 2005)

Lowell at Catalina Direct called on Monday. Sure enough, the stanchion backing plates no longer line up the CD's new stanchions he too discovered. He spoke with their new manufacturer and arranged to have four unfinished stanchion bases drop-shipped to me from the manufacturer three-day delivery, and promised to get out the other wrong or missing parts immediately, also by three-day delivery. I couldn't ask for more than that.

One of four makeshift stanchion backing plates.

Once I had both halves of the stern pulpit and all four stanchions mounted, I cut, swaged and installed the lifelines.

Once each of the two lifelines was cut into two pieces, I swaged on the ends; one to connect to the stern pulpit (pictured), the other to the bow pulpit.

The pelican hooks, and the end of each cable they attach to, came pre-swaged.

Compare the new stanchions with the angle of the old ones I replaced (see photo above). This provides a lot more room on the deck.

--  NEXT  --
It's never-ending ... but spring has arrived and Sailing Season '05 is in sight

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