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Author Topic:   Katama Windscreen -- Thanks Mills
elaelap posted 02-14-2003 02:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for elaelap   Send Email to elaelap  
The Mills windscreen for my '71 Katama arrived yesterday, and when I called them to thank Rich, the guy I worked with on the order, I was told he had moved on. Too bad...he was very helpful. Anyway, I told the gal I spoke with that I'd post a Thank-You-Mills, and this is it.

My order was handled smoothly and swiftly (2 or 3 wks), and they sent along a neat photocopy of the original Katama illustrated lacing instructions as well as stainless hardware and a nice braided line (the top of the windscreen is lashed through grommets to a curved rail at the front of the starboard-mounted console, and the bottom is snapped to the console itself...kinda weird and fun). Quality and workmanship is good; I see why many of you have had positive things to say about this company on this site. The windscreen wasn't cheap, but wasn't all that much more than the 3 quotes I got from local sailmakers and canvas shops, and I'm pleased that Mills was able to cut from the original Katama pattern.

Anyway, thanks as usual for the good advice and opinions to those who have discussed Mills products here, and special thanks to those who offered to send me patterns of their Katama windscreens.


P.S. Just so you true classicists don't think I'm getting carried away or converted or something, I got the thing made in Sunbrella's "Jockey Red", which Rich told me was called "Whaler Red" by Mills. It's the same color as the red Whaler decals, and the red lettering I chose for my craft's name and home port. So now my poor old Katama has, God help us, a non-traditional extra heavy duty black one-piece Whaler rubrail and a (gasp!)dark red sunscreen. Sorry, purists...and hooter, please don't start in again about your brother-in-law and his pimped-up scoot (or was that Bigshot?).



hooter posted 02-14-2003 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Ah f'gets, what color WAS that petticoat that Rhet brought home t'Mammy in "Gone Wid' Da Wind"?

Bet she'd LOVE yer purdy li'l boat now! And so would Ah... Happy Whalin', Bud!

Folks at Mills are a nice reminder o'what ever'body's business could be run like. Great products, service and people.

elaelap posted 02-15-2003 12:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for elaelap  Send Email to elaelap     
Enthusiastic addendum:

Because of the age of my boat, I wasn't at all sure that the male portions of the snaps screwed into the console would fit the female portions of the snaps along the bottom of the canvas windscreen, so I told Mills not to install the female snaps to the canvas. This morning I lightly lashed the top of the windscreen to the rail, preparing to measure and mark the bottom for the installation of the snaps. I lined everything up, and for the first time noticed that someone at Mills had already marked, with very light "x"s, the original snap positions. These lined up exactly with the male portions of the snaps already in the console, greatly alleviating my anxiety about blundering in the placement of the snaps.

No big deal, many of you more competent craftsmen/women will say. For me, it was one more example of quality work that just isn't much to be found anymore, unfortunately. Another example: Mills sent along half-a-dozen more snap/fittings, both male and female, than needed. Again, no big thing...until compared to the penurious approach taken by manufacturers of assemble-it-yourself furniture, where every tiny screw is provided to exact count, and woe betide the purchaser who loses one of these screws during home assembly. And one final example of fine craftsmanship, this time on the part of Boston Whaler: The male portions of the snaps, installed at least 32 years ago in the console of a boat that has been very harshly used during the intervening years, are in perfect condition; I won't bother to replace them with the hardware provided by Mills.

Well...just couldn't resist sharing today's little burst of enthusiasm with those who will appreciate it. I just tried it out on my wife, who gave me that certain, bewildered but indulgent smile and then asked her usual question..."How much did it cost?"

As to any more work on the boat today, hell, it's beginning to rain again so I'll take hooter's advice, via Gone With The Wind, and think about it tomorrow.


baltica posted 02-16-2003 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for baltica  Send Email to baltica     
I purchased a well kept 1970 Katama 2 yrs ago and also bought a windscreen from Mills to go with it. Ditto on the prompt service. Hope you enjoy your Katama as much as I do mine!
Gary Philbrick posted 08-29-2011 04:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gary Philbrick  Send Email to Gary Philbrick     
I just found this post and was wondering what you paid for your windscreen. i have an original off a 1974 Katama, in like new condition that i would like to sell, along with both rails and hardware. i[ would appreciate it if you could help me out with the value.
Thanks, Gary Philbrick 239-281-4025
L H G posted 08-30-2011 02:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
I would call MIlls and find out the cost of a new one, then list it for half.

The reason I say this is that your original is the old tan duck canvas they used back then, which is nowhere near as long lasting or easy to maintain as the modern Toast color Sunbrella now being used.

Here is the Toast Sunbrella windscreen Mills made me for my Ribside 21. I think it was about $350. current=Scan_Pic0005.jpg

Tohsgib posted 08-30-2011 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
His is blue so not OEM.

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