I had some excitement this morning when I got up and found several leaks from the first real rainstorm since I got here in January.
Leak one looks like it is coming through a shroud chainplate. Comes through at a pretty good clip. Their was some really sad looking cracked up grey putty around the chainplate on the deck. The surveyor recomended removing them and inspecting them so its possible that I was thinking I would fix it then and not worry about it. In any case I scraped off the sad putty and smeared it with silicone for now. There is rain forecast for the next couple of days so I can't do anything with it right now and will just have to hope the silicone holds up. Until I get them pulled out and let the wood dry and pack it with butyl.
Bad idea... getting the silicone off the boat will be close to impossible, and it may make it so that other sealants won't stick properly. SILICONE has very little use on a boat.
Leak 2 is a window in the main area. My boat has those large non-openable type of windows. I think I found the issue and gave it the same silicone treatment as the chainplate. My issue here is that I am not sure how to go about fixing the window. It looks like it has been taken out once and the plastic did not quite go back together properly. Its kind of wavy and there are gaps(hence the leak I think) where the edges meet. I did some quick googleing for some kind of replacement but did not find much except for portholes. I guess I am wondering if anyone has dealt with replacing those large static windows? it would look kind of funny if I 3 ports on each side but I find I keep the curtains close all the time anyway so its not like the big windows are an asset especially in the sun.
Replacing them isn't all that difficult. Getting a sheet of plexiglass or lexan and cutting replacements is the hardest part... bedding them is pretty simple and they can often be bedded using butyl tape, which you can get at most glass repair shops. Drill the fastener holes slightly oversized to allow for expansion and contraction, and counter sink the holes to prevent them from becoming a starting point for stress cracks.
Leak 3 seemed to be coming from the starboard inspection hatch in the cockpit. I took it off and I can see why it was leaking. The screws were barely holding in the fiberglass so even resealing it is only going to last a little while. The cover for it is just a black piece of plexi with 6 screws holding it in. Is there a better solution for this? I can expoxy in the holes and redrill them but it just seems really poorly designed. Especially given that you can get to that space from the berth that is right under it and the headliner has an 8 foot zipper that lets you pretty much crawl right up in there. So its really kind of pointless. It does have the bracket and power connector for the autopilot controller mounted to it which I am still trying to figure out why they did not mount the controller on the pedestal someplace so you don't have to trip over the cord that runs to the motor(st3000 autopilot).
So any suggestions for the windows and inspection window?
Why not re-bed the inspection hatch and through bolt it instead of using screws. Through bolting it is far more secure and far stronger. Fiberglass is a lousy material for screws to hold in. It is too brittle and cracks way too easily. Another option is to epoxy t-nuts to the back side of the fiberglass and then use machine screws into the t-nuts. That would allow you to easily remove the cover, since the "nuts" would be permanently affixed.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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