Preparations Are Under Way

Since we have finally put the boat delivery behind us we have been working on the new boat every day from morning to evening. We only have a few weeks before we need to head south. We have a commitment in the Bahamas so really want to be under way by December 1st and still have lots of work to do. We have ordered new equipment, a VHF radio with remote mic for the flybridge, a wash down pump for the anchor, a new windlass and a whole lot more. But before any of that gets installed we have a few other priorities.

A few weeks ago we had what amounts to a tropical down pour that brought 8 inches of rain to the area, including Charleston. During the two days of rain, we found a few water leaks that needed immediate attention. Unfortunately we had to leave to deliver a boat before we could correct the problems, but hit them heavy once we returned. The sampson post had been replaced and the teak decks removed and fiberglassed by the previous owners. But where the sampson post went through the deck, it had been glassed around with no other sealing. The wood and fiberglass separated and the leak was substantial. The trim around the post had to be removed and some of the fiberglass ground back to get some caulk in between. In addition we sealed the deck area core with epoxy so that if it leaked again the core would not get wet. Besides the sampson post, we had leaks around one of the aft windows and around the aft cabin companion way. With all of the rain, it was at least obvious where the leaks were and what we needed to do to correct them.

Most of the problem were due to either improper caulking or a total lack of any caulking in these areas. We did not need to remove any windows or do any major repairs since this had already been done just not correctly. We just needed to fill the gaps that had been missed with the correct material. Some of the windows had gaps of 3/4 inch wide and over a 1/2 inch deep that were never filled. The wood trim around the aft cabin companionway had not been re-caulked in years. In addition to caulking we removed the deck fasteners and injected all of the holes with epoxy until they were saturated, then re-installed the fasteners with 3M 4200. The 4200 was`used for most of the caulking except around the windows. For that I prefer to use SikaFlex since it does a better job of adhering to glass and will be flexible enough to work with the wood frames. We also removed and re-caulked all around the cap rails on both the deck side and hull side. At this point we hope the leaks are contained but will have to wait for the next rains to be sure. It looks like we won't have to wait for long since rain is forecast in the next couple of days.

We will also need to replace the ports in the aft cabin since they too leak a bit and really look pretty bad. We have found some very nice stainless steel replacements from Newfound Metals at a great price. They too will need to be ordered and may get installed on the trip south. On top of all of this the electronics will need to be installed and we are still moving stuff out of our storage locker and stowing it on the boat. We have quickly filled most all of the storage space and are wondering where the rest will go. But it will all get done.

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