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  #1  
Old 07-02-2007
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New Islander 32' Owner

Hey guys,

I just purchased a 1979 Islander 32 that will be on Lake Lanier just outside of Atlanta. Overall it's in good shape. Maybe $400 worth of blister work.

The bigger things are a few leaks. I sat through a storm friday night (first day of ownership) and saw where 3 of 4 of the leaks were coming through the ports, and the last was through the starboard chainplate in the cabinet behind the head.

I've talked to a few folks about how to go about repairing those leaks, but if anyone has some advice I'd love to hear it.

I'm sure I'll be on here quite a bit as I get everything up to par.

Thanks
Matt
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Old 07-02-2007
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Matt-
There's only one real way to seal Islander ports: Break 'em out and replace them. The originals are still available from Mark Plastics (somewhere in Cali) who still swear they should be installed with silicon seal (not my concept of a great sealant). In order to get the old ones out on an I28, we had to pop the glazing them "implode" the rims, collapsing them in order to break the bond of the remaining original silicon. Lots of cleaning to get that all off, lots of generous rebedding to install the new ones. I just don't trust silicon sealant of ay kind to make a long term (20 year) seal for that type of application, I'd rather find out what's compatible with the plastic and use a BoatLife or Sika or 3M higher-tech product.

On the chainplate, that's serious too. It can result in loss of the bulkhead especially if the bulkhead is staying damp behind the teak trim strip against the hull. Usually to reseal a chainplate, you slack the rigging (use a halyard ot the rail as a temporary stay) and unbolt the chainplate from the bulkhead, then lift it out completely. Clean out the spot that penetrates the deck, if there is any rot, clean it out and replace with epoxy. Otherwise, seal with epoxy, leaving a gap around the chainplate itself. After the epoxy has dried, fill the gap with your choice or good bedding compound when you reinstall the chainplate. Another matter of personal religion <G> to pick the bedding you think will be most durable and FLEXIBLE since it must flex with the deck or it will tear up and leak. I'd also suggest putting a piece of neoprene or other durable synthetic rubber over the chainplate before screwing down the trim plate--so that compresses and forms an extra seal.

And last of course reconnecting the rigging. Neoprene and other sheet rubber can be obtained from Grainer and McMaster online or their local stores if you have no local source.

A good way to make sure you've gotten ALL the leaks, is to close up the boat, including all vents, and use a piece of corrugated cardboard or thin scrap instead of one companionway board. Stick the exhaust from a shopvac or leaf blower in through that one board, and pressurize the boat.

Now, throw buckets of sudsy water all over the deck and fittings. (Slippery on deck, careful!) You will find that the boat "blows bubbles" quite literally from the source of every leak. No matter how the water travels into the boat--those bubbles will show you the point of entry that needs to be resealed.
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Old 07-03-2007
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Sailor.

Thanks for the info! I could have been very stuck if I had gotten into resealing those ports without a replacement port on hand if I had to implode the rims..

I'll try to get in touch with Mark Plastics.

Good tips on the chain plates as well.

I knew this would be a great place to get some good advice.

Thanks again.
Matt
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Old 07-03-2007
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One other things that I need to work on. the deck, just forward of the forward hatch appears to be soft (surveyor whacked it with fiber hammer and said it was separating). After the survey we went to look at his boat on which he is repairing the decks by drilling 1/4" holes about an inch apart over the affected area, using forceps to dig out the rotted wood, then using a blower he dried out anything left in there, then filled it all with epoxy up to the deck level.

Do you know if this technique would work on the islander decks?
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Old 07-03-2007
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I think the I32 deck is cored with Bruneel Plywood, an especially dense marine plywood. It's not balsa, and while the same technique probably would work. you might only have the FRP separating from the wood, which would be easier to deal with. It may not have water damage, just delamination. You'll have to get in to explore. If it is adjacent to the hatch, it might be worth removing the hatch completely, and going in through the exposed edges that way. And the reinstalling the hatch, since presumably the water got in where the hatch wasn't sealed down right.

Depending on where you want to take the boat, beware that the original Mark portlights are thin acrylic glazing--you can bash 'em out with an elbow or a hammer handle. If you're planning to go offshore, you might want to install something more robust.
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