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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-20-2010
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Help with some general maintenance

Trying to work through a large list of winter maintenence items and I've got a few smallish questions. Being my first winter with any boat I'm still trying to understand the marine maintenance landscape and do things the right way.

1) There are various unused screws and hardware going through the side of the coachroof. Old GPS mount etc. When I yank out the (corroded) hardware what is the best stuff to fill the hole?

I've got some 4200, lifeseal and lifecaulk but want to use the best stuff. Epoxy? - If so, what type? Any other suggestions?

2) Right now, with the boat on stands it's tilted back and to port. I'm getting a pool of water in the port berth which I attribute to the leaky port portal. Its an opening type and it looks like it has just a home depot type adhesive gasket that's not in good shape. Whats my best bet for replacing it? Find a high quality adhesive gasket? Find the manufacturer of the portal (I don't see any names on it)? Have the right gasket made?

The portal itself seems sound and reasonably new (unlike the forward ones, thats a different story). See picture

3) Another random question - to what extent is having magnets a problem on the boat? I added a magnetic reacher to my shopping list the last time I dropped a wrench in the bilge. Do I have to mind where I keep this to avoid distorting the compass reading? Should I not have it on-board at all?

Example:
Amazon.com: OEM 25016 Telescoping Magnetic Pocket Pick-Up Tool: Home Improvement

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2010
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Permanent filling of these holes is best done with thickened epoxy.. sealant may not truly seal, will discolour over time.. You can try colour matching your repair but that's always a bit of a problem getting it right.

There may well be a readily available gasket for your port. There's nothing to be lost trying whatever you can find, esp if you're unable to find a manufacturer.. but hopefully someone will recognize it for you. Effecting a temporary outer seal or setting up a tarp will help avoid water damage below in the meantime.

The magnet tool will be a great thing to have around.. just be sure to stow it a good distance from your compass, say at least 3-4 feet away, so not in the aft bulkhead shelf .
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Leaks have a way of starting at point A only to appear, like an unwelcome relative, at point G. I'd first start by making sure the leak was where you think it is. Then I'd determine exactly where - gasket, latches, screws, etc. You might also check that the port seals completely. In the past I've had leaking ports and found out that the pin at the top had distorted the interior frame. That meant finding a new interior frame or complete portlight.

I used a piece of paper to find where the seal was poor. If I could pull the paper out between the port and frame I knew water would certainly follow.

Your pictures appears to show some white material around the outside of the frame and if it's bad it's a place to start. What concerns me is that the PO (assuming it's not you) attempted to fix the leak by moving the output rather than fixing the place where the water got in. And if they did that, there's a good chance there's moisture between the port frames.

I'd start by trying websites that support your boat. Sometimes you can get a hint or two off the frame or knobs or even the plastic/glass. You might frequent the used marine stores and look there.

I tend to use what the manufacturer installed as opposed to an RV or HD solution, but sometimes you've got to go with what you can find. I'd use some silicone sealant to make sure the new seal is secure and that the port closes tightly on all the surfaces.

As for the magnet, we've all gone bilge diving and I have one of those as well. I keep it well away from the binnacle compass (magnetic) as well as the flux gate compass (for the autopilot).
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Old 11-20-2010
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another way to test seal and my prefered method get some kids sidewalk chalk and coat the knife edge of the frame then close the port open it and look for good complete ring of chalk on the gasket surface if not then you found a possible leak. coat the seal with silicone grease real light just to retain the elastacity of the gasket thats how we did it in the us navy.
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Old 11-20-2010
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You can temporarily seal those hardware holes with tape -- I've come to prefer aluminum ducting tape (not the fabric "duct tape" stuff) since it's very easy to cut to just the right size and shape, withstands weather well, and comes off cleanly. Gorilla Tape also works well, but tends to leave a little adhesive residue behind which can usually be tacked off with the adhesive side of a fresh piece of tape. Adhesive remover will clean up any stuborn hangers on.

As far as permanently sealing those hardware holes, I think your first decision should be "how inconspicuous do I want the repair to be."

If your coach roof has a paint finish, I'd fill them with Cabosil thickened epoxy, fair, prime, and paint. If your coach roof surface is unpainted gelcoat, then I'd fill them with a polyester filler, fair and then finish with gelcoat. The epoxy will be a stronger bond, but since this is a cosmetic repair it's not critical. With either option, make sure that you clean out the openings well (a Dremel comes in vary handy for this step), and wipe with acetone before you apply your filler of choice.
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Old 11-21-2010
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Remember that most thickened epoxies need to be protected from UV damage or they will yellow and then fail. Properly prepared epoxy can be gelcoated.
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Old 12-03-2010
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Thanks for the replies. I put some tape over the portal and the leak basically went away. Over winter I'll try to contact a company that sells replacement parts for portals and get a new gasket made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Permanent filling of these holes is best done with thickened epoxy.. sealant may not truly seal, will discolour over time.. You can try colour matching your repair but that's always a bit of a problem getting it right.
Any specifics on the epoxy? Epoxy (like grease and sealant) has a million different types. Sailingdog did an excelent overview on sealants but I haven't found anything similar on epoxy.


As a new question, I'm about to mount a new compass in a large cutout in the bulkhead. The compass has a rubber gasket, and screws in with 4 plastic nuts. In other areas, such as deck hardware, I've seen it noted that rubber gaskets are a terrible way to make a long term seal.

Would sealant or butyl tape be better for for this or should I stick to the included gasket?

Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2010
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The gasket may be adequate given the compass is on a vertical surface and will not suffer pooling and puddling that a deck fitting might. However I'd imagine that butyl would work well here too.

As to epoxies, for small jobs I don't think it would matter much.. if you're doing this now and it's coolish, a cold curing resin (or fast catalyst) might be useful, and all sorts of fillers are available from linen fibres to microballoons etc etc. They are mixed into the resin until it's a high enough consistency (a la peanut butter maybe) to stay where you put it, and not run out as it cures.

While there are other suppliers out there, you probably can't go wrong following West Systems' recommendations.
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Old 12-03-2010
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for the filling of holes, either west marines gelcoat paste, its white. or marine tex. both are already thickened and will do well.

for old screw holes cover in painters tape, then using a counter sink bit run it in reverse and "drill" out the hole a little for more surface area. or drill it out and cut a small hole in the tape and cover around the hole. then mix up what ever you are using for a filler and use a small spreader to fill the hole and smooth to level of tape. remove tape and allow to cure, the tape will let the filler be a little above the surface so you can sand it smooth. make sure to use a sanding block

WEST MARINE Waxed, Non-Laminating, Finish Gel Coat at West Marine

TRAVACO 004_120_005_502 at West Marine
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Schedule your work as a function of antisipated weather and temperature.
When overnight temps are above or close to freezing do any work that is temp dependent about mid-day after things have started to warm-up but with enough time left to complete.

As it gets colder shift to stuff you can do in the cabin with an electric heater on and with mechanical fastening only.

As the weather warms again in the spring, shift to hull and deck work.

If your objective is earliest splash possible in the spring, shift as the weather warms to hull paint and through-hulls.

If some of your work list can wait until after splash then place on low priority and concentrate on what you must have completed before splash.
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