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Chris Craft
 BoatUS Boat Groups/Manufacturer Forums>>Chris Craft
Subject Topic: sealing windows on 35 catalina Post ReplyPost New Topic
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"Seaman Recruit"

Joined: August 02 2008
Posts: 1
Posted: August 02 2008 at 15:30 | IP Logged Quote bandofgypseas

Hello Catalina owners, Just discovered this website and thought it might be a good place to ask a question about my portside windows that have been leaking water for sometime now. I've tried to seal them them by putting some liquid crack fix inside the window channel itself but it continues to leak. I've had the boat for 8 years and now the wall below it is starting to delaminate. Can't figure out how they go together, must be a big job! if anyone has ever tackled this project, I would sure appreciate any information that you have. I'm on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. I'm having a great summer so far on board. Hope everybody can get good use out of they're boats this summer because they don't last long around here.

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Joined: May 24 2008
Posts: 64
Posted: August 03 2008 at 13:38 | IP Logged Quote BillB

Hi Mike:
You could start with this depressing article.
and then move on to this more helpful article:

I bought This stuff: LOCTITE® 5900® Flange Sealant 300 ml
but have not tried it yet My windows don't leak because the PO put on an exterior coat of silicone. Looks awful - works great. This winter the windows come out.

My plan is to give the windows a solid opening by sealing all the voids with epoxy, including drying any delaminated areas and clamping them together, sanding a smooth surface and dry fitting the windows for clearance checking. The one part of the plan I'm having trouble with is if I should relaunch the boat before I install the new caulking. If the boat changes shape in the water, I want the in-water shape for the caulking.
The other thing I'm wondering about is the rubber molding for the front windows. It seems to be mostly an appearance item ( the front windows are bedded in buytel like an old car) but I cannot imagine they will survive an extraction. Many places seem to offer silimar items for purchase, but I won't know for sure till they are out.At that point, I sure hope I can find a replacement.

I ahve a friend with a Tollycraft 26' who has a similar problem. We may try this technique on his boat sooner then this winter; I'll keep us posted.


1984 Catalina 280
Barnegat Bay, NJ
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Joined: January 02 2007
Posts: 845
Posted: August 03 2008 at 16:12 | IP Logged Quote diveryates



Yeah, I had the same problem with the front window seals. This is the way I fixed it:

Clean inspect areas 1st:  wire brush, nylon brush, a good soapy wash, compressed air, dry overnight and compressed air again. 

Also, take a look inside the cabin  around the window frames too. Under the fabric to see if there's weeping/water intrusion. Clean, mask and dam as needed using masking tape and good duct-tape. The daming is useful if it's necessary to contain excess RTV that squeezes thru during the 1st application from the outside.

Also in the front cabin window area, there are the through-bolts securing the S.S. support posts adjacent to the V-birth. They tend to work themselves loose.

(An aside and you may know this already:  these posts are very useful during 'quality time' with the Missus. They get pretty abused ).

It's better to simply replace and bed these bolts - they can take a lot of wear and tear and do leak. Use caulking for this part- not RTV. 

Spooge black RTV into the window seal gaps-they'll probobly be in the rounded corners.

I used an applicator as opposed squeezing a tube- you'll probobly use a lot anyway.injected a 1st application which did not do the whole fill right away. I made sure the frame base/bottom areas were nicely filled in. Let dry.  Then apply a finish surfacing using a large squeegy. Something that's large enough and flexable enought to ensure the bead conforms to the window frame and seal. Doing this slowly and with a studied movement in the correct direction will result in a seamless seal- One careful swipe will do it... you'll see what I'm talkin 'bout.

Did this 5 years ago, no leaks or weeping and still looks great. I had some alunimum window frame degradation also, so the squeegy spooging process took into account this issue too. It looks like overspray sorta, but deldt with this also- two birds with one stone ...



Roy & Laurie, S.F. Bay Area
'83 280, hardtop, single 305
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