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CATALINA RETROFIT WINDOWS

As pointed out to me on the older Cruising Concepts site, screws for the retrofit windows kits are still shown. They are no longer used and have been updated with a newer sealant used by Catalina Yachts. I know some of you still like the idea of the screws but eliminating them gets rid of one more problem. The problem was stress point contact of the plastic hole against the thread of the screw which caused stress cracks to propagate to the periphery of the window some times. We are in the process of up dating our sites. Please see us at CatalinaOnly.com.

LOCKS FOR COMPANIONWAY DOORS

While keyed and combination cam locks for entry ways with rotating arms for Companionway doors are popular none under a $100 wholesale cost are made of all stainless steel. In spite of claims otherwise the internal lock mechanism is made out of steel and zinc. It turns out that only the trim ring outside maybe stainless steel. Usually the stainless steel is nonmagnetic for the 300 series metal. So put a magnet to the rotating arm to prove it. The only keyed entry way made from stainless steel is a hasp from Seadog provided by CruisingConcepts.com on their companionway doors.

Don’t get me wrong I will sell you what you want but honestly that little rotating arm’s bending moment requires so little effort that I am ashamed to try to make any claim of robustness. My door construction is the the best and very stout. To complement it with a lock that is a little bit better is so easy and it takes a key all from Seadog Line.

Mike

CATALINA RETROFIT HATCHES

With more Retrofit Hatches in production I would like to share the reasons for buying them. The most often cited reason by customers is for letting in light just like the more modern boats after 1986 with respect to Catalina. Just like the more modern Lewmar and Bomar hatches you do not step on them even though my hatches are 1/2 inch thick both for safety and scratching. The tendency is to still step on that area because you always have had. With a new boat some how we are very aware not to step on the aluminum cased hatches.

The hatches are formed on an investment casting and come out very close to each other. Like every boat they are just a little different. If you are ordering one I have you, as depicted in the Retrofit Hatch video by Joe Cicero on Youtube, measure the arc on the side of the hinges so that we may deliver one to you that matches closely. The rest of the fit is dependent on the lock down and the resilience of the gasket. A new gasket may need to be acquired from Catalina if yours is torn, flattened, and no longer able to compress and bounce back. Hope this helps.

Mike

CATALINA COMPANIONWAY DOORS

Companionway Doors

One of the features that we really liked on my folks Catalina 36, were the teak companionway doors that they had made. While at the Seattle boat show this winter, we ran into the same gentleman who made those doors and asked him to make some for Legacy.

He has a website at Cruising Concepts and does nice work in teak for all kinds of projects. He isn’t cheap, and he isn’t fast, but I like everything that I’ve seen him do.

The Catalina 400 comes with the typical teak companionway boards. While these are a great for using when out in heavy seas, they aren’t the most convenient for coastal cruising. Catalina provides a handy shelf in the cabin for the boards, but that is space that we would like to use for other things. So the answer was to install some hinged companionway doors that could be left in place, or removed if you like.

My woodworking skills are not that good. Well, most of my skills aren’t that good. So while the installation is not that difficult, it did take me a few hours, which was a couple hours longer than it should have. During the installation, you do have to use a sanding block to adjust the fit of the doors for your own boat. If I can do it, anyone can.

I was pleased with the way they turned out. We opted for teak doors with screens and removable plexiglass windows. Rather than varnish, I elected to just oil the doors.

From outside, doors closed. Notice how you can’t see into the cabin, but just see reflections on the windows.

Outside, doors open.

Inside cabin, doors closed. Notice how well you can see through the dark plexiglass.

Posted by David Hays

CATALINA RETROFIT WINDOW REVIEW

Hi Mike!

It’s Cheryl from Mid-Life Cruising!. I visited your site and was pleased to see our boat (Nirvana) on your Catalina page … cool! I just wish our teak still looked that good! I haven’t spoken with you in a while, but I thought I’d let you know that Ken and I are really happy with our retrofit ports! We installed them in October, 2011 and no leaks! We also love the sleek, new look … inside and out.

I’ve been meaning to send you a link that I wrote on our blog when we installed the ports … better late than never! I’ve had over 1025 page views on this one particular post, so I hope it sends some business your way. The link is New Catalina Retrofit Windows

Hope you’re doing well and feel free to add this post to your site if you’d like!

CATALINA 400 COMPANIONWAY DOORS

Companionway Doors

One of the features that we really liked on my folks Catalina 36, were the teak companionway doors that they had made. While at the Seattle boat show this winter, we ran into the same gentleman who made those doors and asked him to make some for Legacy.

He has a website at Cruising Concepts and does nice work in teak for all kinds of projects. He isn’t cheap, and he isn’t fast, but I like everything that I’ve seen him do.

The Catalina 400 comes with the typical teak companionway boards. While these are a great for using when out in heavy seas, they aren’t the most convenient for coastal cruising. Catalina provides a handy shelf in the cabin for the boards, but that is space that we would like to use for other things. So the answer was to install some hinged companionway doors that could be left in place, or removed if you like.

My woodworking skills are not that good. Well, most of my skills aren’t that good. So while the installation is not that difficult, it did take me a few hours, which was a couple hours longer than it should have. During the installation, you do have to use a sanding block to adjust the fit of the doors for your own boat. If I can do it, anyone can.

I was pleased with the way they turned out. We opted for teak doors with screens and removable plexiglass windows. Rather than varnish, I elected to just oil the doors.

From outside, doors closed. Notice how you can’t see into the cabin, but just see reflections on the windows.

Outside, doors open.

Inside cabin, doors closed. Notice how well you can see through the dark plexiglass.

Posted by David Hays

BENETEAU COMPANIONWAY DOOR UPGRADE

Mike – – The first picture is the original companionway door on our Beneteau Limited Edition 37. The door was easy getting in but when it was shut, getting out was very difficult. The second picture is the completed installation of the new doors. Your doors are well built, nice looking and make it very easy to get in and out. My wife and I thank you. Jim

DIFFERENCES IN WORKMANSHIP DESIGN AND PRACTICES

I like to talk about workmanship practices, quality of materials, and design philosophy. Under workmanship practices all hinge flaps and screws are hidden except the barrel of the hinge. Hidden hinges denote an elegant approach to any construction by caring about your technique and installation. And yes it costs more. The aesthetic gain is well worth it. Also under good practices all drain holes for any possible water intrusion around the glass or screens are hidden through the center section of the bottom rail and exits right at the bottom sill plate that the door rests on. While this also costs more it denotes good workmanship again by not having to look at dirt stains streaking down the front of your doors.

Under quality of materials and design philosophy only solid materials either 7/8 for teak or 3/4 for plastic are used. No laminates are employed to create pockets for inserts as inserts are not employed in the designs. They severely weaken the frame. Rather the screen option is installed full time and the window is lifted to expose the screen. Not having a screen insert to store means not having to find it with a hole through it later.

At the center section where the doors meet the old time tested method of having a weather strip is employed. It is 3/4 thick by 1 3/4 wide for the full height of the door. This allows for a 7/8 over lap to keep the weather out. So the doors are already 3/4 minimum thickness plus 3/4 for the weather strip for a total of 1.5 inches. This is in sharp contrast to a 3/8 rabbit leaving only a 3/8 by 3/8 lip as the structural entity not only keeping the weather out but keeping one door from buckling past the other.

Later I will talk about material qualities as they relate to strength, durability. and weight. After that we will take a long look at locking mechanisms and approaches.

Here is a link and video by Joe Cicero:

Mike

KEEPING UP

There is no doubt that keeping up on only custom installations from Companionway Doors to exotic inlay in tables makes it difficult to supply in a time frame that you would normally expect from items on the shelf. Then again that is said with a slight of hand with respect to trying to fill all of the orders that may be in process all at one time. I ask all the time in Fall to please order now. Yet while March seems well in advance of any reasonable lead time, it only takes degree sales activity to increase lead times dramatically. I do take responsibility for this and juggle the best we can to satisfy everyone’s individual requirements. At some point I paint a light minded picture by portraying the old triangle of FAST, GOOD, and CHEAP. You may have it fast and cheap but not good. You may have it fast and good but not cheap, and lastly you may have it good and cheap but not fast. Well none of that is fair, so I try to be a good communicator with my customers and that is my best asset after the quality.

Thanks to all of you for a great year,
Mike

CATALINA YACHTS AND PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP

Last time I went to the all Catalina Rendezvous for Western Canada many years ago I was reminded how died in the wool I was with Catalina when asked who had had the most number of Catalinas for a door prize. With five to name off, 22, 27, 30, 36, and 380 blurted out, there for a moment embarrassment is what I felt as if having been greedy. Yet it was really pride and passion that had propelled my business as Teak Concepts and Cruissing Concepts. Knowing these boats intimately and sailing them for almost 40 years now keeps me proud of ownership for both the boats and the business. I hope it shows when ever you talk to me.

Thank you,
Mike