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Author Topic: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split  (Read 409 times)

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Rortega46

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Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« on: April 22, 2020, 07:00:39 AM »

The port side rear fixed window is cracked and I'm planning on replacing it with one from Catalina Yachts in Seminole FL. However, the window frame (as well as a couple others) is also split and I'm concerned this may cause a replacement window to fail soon after it's installed. This is likely not due to lifting the hull since it's been three years since the last bottom job. Has anyone experienced similar problems with C34 window frames and/or windows? Does this look like a structural issue?  Any suggestions for repairing frame splits before installing a new window? Thanks for your thoughts.
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Randy & Karla Ortega
2001 MKII Hull # 1532 M35BC
S/V Yat
New Orleans, LA

Rortega46

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 07:12:16 AM »

Here are some pics of the window and frames.
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Randy & Karla Ortega
2001 MKII Hull # 1532 M35BC
S/V Yat
New Orleans, LA

Jim Hardesty

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »

Quote
Has anyone experienced similar problems with C34 window frames and/or windows?

Shamrock is also a 2001, no problems like that.  I will closely look at that area and let you know if there is any problem.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Stu Jackson

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 12:10:26 PM »

Randy, it looks like the crack on the inside lip is just superficial and cosmetic.  I'd gouge it out a bit and see what's behind/below it.  Easiest repair would be filling with Marine Tex and then sanding it down.  It looks like there's more than enough "meat" on the window side of the crack.  Where the crack is is not really supporting anything because the fixed portlight fits into the groove on the outside of the fiberglass.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2020, 02:15:28 PM »

Randy : I agree with you that the frame crack needs to be fixed and stabilized before replacing the portlight.  I would take a stiff wire and probe into the crack and see how deep it goes.  If as I suspect it probably goes down at least an inch or two. If so I'd try a thin flowing epoxy like Gluvit and fill / seal it down inside as far as possible, then use Marine Tex on the top cosmetic surface.

I'm somewhat baffled as to what happened to cause that kind of failure.  I think I'd get ahold of Gerry Douglas at the factory (800)654 2914 X235 and Warren Tandy in Fl. (727)544-6681 and see what their thoughts are!!

A few thoughts - Good Luck
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 12:48:02 PM by Ron Hill »
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Rortega46

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2020, 02:53:25 PM »

Thanks for the replies guys.  It’s odd no one else has seen this happen, since it happened so severely in 1, and 3 additional windows show signs of splitting.  I left a message for Warren Tandy @ Catalina Yachts this AM and I’ll see what he says.   

I was planning to fill the voids with the remainder of a WM fiberglass repair kit on hand from one of last year’s projects.   Do you think epoxy and MarineTex is a better solution?

Gotta keep busy while social distancing and boat projects give a lot of satisfaction when done.
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Randy & Karla Ortega
2001 MKII Hull # 1532 M35BC
S/V Yat
New Orleans, LA

Jon W

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2020, 03:10:33 PM »

A head scratcher. Does the sealant holding the portlight to the hull show any signs of separation from the hull?

When you hear back from Warren let us know what he says.
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Jon W.
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Hull #493, 1987 MK 1, M25XP, Manson Supreme 35
San Diego, Ca

glennd3

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2020, 05:16:08 PM »

I think the long cracks in the window is a clue but I cannot solve the puzzle. Actually the fairlead track seems to be close to the window. I believe mine on the 90 model is not that close. Wondering if somehow stress from the jib sheet block has stressed the area.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 05:20:20 PM by glennd3 »
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Glenn Davis
Knot Yet
1990 Catalina 34 Mk 1.5
Hull 1053
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Patapsco River
Chesapeake Bay Maryland

lazybone

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2020, 05:17:20 AM »

Could it be from water expanding the core?  (I have no idea if this area is cored and I don’t see any obvious signs there’s leaks)
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dfloeter

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2020, 11:38:35 AM »

Our 1996 Mark 2 is doing the same thing on the foreword most end on the starboard side. This appears to be cosmetic at worst but I am eager to hear what Catalina says.
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Dietrich Floeter
Traverse City MI
1996 Catalina 34 TR WK #1317
Universal M35A
Rocna 15

Noah

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2020, 11:44:58 AM »

Guys- the detective in me asks; which came first; cracked plexi or the crack in window sill? Also any sign of water leak stains?
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KPShur

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2020, 01:21:45 PM »

I have a C355 and just yesterday noticed that mine has a large crack in the center and much smaller than yours cracked window frame.  I've had the boat for 7 years and it just did that in the last couple of weeks.  I don't know what caused it but I did note that the port side is the sunny side in my slip.  My guess is repeated thermal expansion/contraction.
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Rortega46

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2020, 03:06:05 PM »

I don’t know why either the window or frame cracked.  According to Warren Pandy @ Catalina Yachts, the frame cracks are not structural and easily repaired.  I’m planning to repair the frames and replace 4 fixed windows.  I compliment Warren for getting back to me with questions and suggestions promptly.

FYI, the below is copied from our email exchange.  My comments are followed by Warren’s reply.

While pushing on the inside of the headliner with my thumb, I can see the crack closing and opening.  Ok, suspected that as the headliner is mostly cosmetic, esp in that area since it is never bonded like walk surfaces…

Pushing on the outside of the frame there is no movement.   Also makes sense as the deck is the structural pf the two-----
 
The crack appears to be at least 7” deep throughout its length.  Ok, pretty typical….. since that area is mostly air except for close to the window ledge where it would be fiberglass-resin putty filled  about an inch or two around. 

You’re probably correct in that the joint between the headliner and exterior wall has detached. Yes, the 7” of air space confirm that. 

So fill the gap with a polyester (or vinylester) resin putty filler.  Then leave a 1/16” deep gap and fill it will some gel you can buy from CJ here.
 
The starboard side window above the stove also has a small crack starting to show through.  I see those near non-connected “S” shaped cracks, so on those you would open those up a little with a file or Dremel™ so the thick gel will lay into it.  (instead of just on top as it would only leave a thin crack)

Thx,
WP
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Randy & Karla Ortega
2001 MKII Hull # 1532 M35BC
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jmcdonald

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2020, 07:48:26 PM »

Had a problem kinda like this on a Catalina 30 I had. Removed the windows. Used a rotary tool and carved out the space between the liner and the deck. The void was about 3/4 inch deep when I was done. Mixed up epoxy and a thickener, about like peanut butter. Filled the void around each opening. Good strong joint when I was
done. Lots of dust with the rotary tool work. Lots of prep to contain the dust, but worth the time it takes.
The bit on the rotary tool ruffs up the fiberglass so you get a good surface for bonding.
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Fixed Cabin Window Cracked & Frame Split
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2020, 05:26:48 AM »

Randy,
You've well investigated the problem and have a good plan to fix it.  I would suggest to look for any movement in that area.  Maybe get someone to walk the deck while you check/feel for any movement.  Push, pull and pry everything.  I think something is moving to break that window. 
Quote
This is likely not due to lifting the hull since it's been three years since the last bottom job.
Lifting shouldn't be a problem, Shamrock gets lifted twice a year with no problems.  FWIW Was on Shamrock and double checked, no problem at the window frames.   
I'm only suggesting the checks in the hope you can fix this once and be done.
Jim
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 05:30:48 AM by Jim Hardesty »
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA
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