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We finally got out for our first overnight Sat-Sun, in the Magothy River. One the way back to our new slip in Swan Creek we ran aground and got stuck. Although we've dragged a little mud and/or tapped bottom a couple times, this was the first time in 11 years of sailing that we've actually run aground and got stuck. After about 1/2 hour I was able to back off (right as I was getting put through to TowBoatUS's dispatch line). We went to deeper water, anchored there, and fixed lunch while we waited for the tide to come in.

Afterwards I compared recorded tracks from two different devices and confirmed that a malfunctioning GPS caused us to deviate from our course in Swan Creek. I have a Garmin 18x LVC connected to my radio that transmits to my tablet over Bluetooth. For the last year or so, it has worked fine for about 3 hours than starts to get flaky and eventually hangs, requiring a reset. Sure enough, we were right around the 3-hour mark when a separate tracking device (which I checked after the fact) showed that we had drifted about 30 meters off our track in Swan Creek That's a pretty severe deviation in a relatively narrow creek. I was about to order a new Garmin 18x to replace it, but it looks like there have been a number of bug fixes in their firmware since I bought it, so I'm going to re-flash the firmware with the latest version before buying a new one.
 

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Ahhh...the old GPS made me run aground story.
Ever have one tell you to do a U turn in the middle of a bridge?
 
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Ahhh...the old GPS made me run aground story.
Ever have one tell you to do a U turn in the middle of a bridge?
I need to venture into an unmarked part of the creek. Until I get familiar with it, I use the GPS to follow my bread crumbs from prior successful passages. But I'll follow a different GPS until I've fixed or replaced the Garmin 18xLVC (which is supposed to be the most accurate GPS that I have).
 

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Yesterday, I removed the last of the masking tape from painting the deck. Woo-hoo it all came off.
I'm at the other end of deck painting: still planning, hoping to do it in July. Any advice?
 

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Yikes! I had to navigate without a GPS for the entirety of my ASA 104 trip through the mid-Chesapeake and one of the best outcomes of that is I've gotten a lot more rigorous about constantly validating my GPS readings using shoaling, navigation aids, and dead reckoning. The technology is great and I love it but I no longer trust it blindly like I did when I first started sailing with it.
 

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I'm at the other end of deck painting: still planning, hoping to do it in July. Any advice?
By way of Disclosure, I work one night a week at West Marine. I work at West in part to get discounts, in part because I like helping people, and in part because I like the people I work with, One of my goals for this project was to try different products and methods. I saw this as a chance to do a deeper dive into the materials that are on the shelves so I can provide better informed, first hand experience derived advice. Because of my West Marine employment, I was able to get direct connection with Petit, International, West System, New England Rope and Harken technical representatives. I always called on my own time and identified myself as a West Marine employee doing a project for myself. I am not sure that a normal person would have the same access that I had to primary sources of information, but it was very useful.

I also sourced materials from other sources.
Jamestown Distributers: They have a good range of fiberglass cloths that compatible with epoxy. I have used their Total Boat epoxy resin in the past that a friend bought to redo his bulkhead and thought it was a good product. I also have used MAS Epoxy and liked it as well.
McMaster-Carr: They have all kinds of good stuff at fair prices. I bought G-10 and the bolt hole covers from them.

Here are my suggestions:
GENERAL
1) I did my decks in three stages, 1) Cockpit, 2) cabin sides and cabin top, 3) flat part of the decks. That have me places to stand and work throughout the whole project. It also made each piece of a more manageable size.
2) Ideally do the project in the spring. I did one phase in each of early summer, fall and early spring. Summer is too hot. The paint skins over too quickly and so its easier to get improperly cured areas and curtains (runs). Also epoxy goes off to quickly. Fall the days are getting shorter so it takes more days to get the job done, and you are working under work lights which is less than perfect. Plus it is a lot more rainy. But the spring was perfect. Temperatures were perfect for painting and resins. Days were getting longer., Not much rain this year.
3) Don't cut corners. Buy the better quality sandpaper, buy the better quality primer, don't try to salvage old bolts, buy the tools that you need. The material and new tools for the whole job (not including the hardware I replaced or upgraded) was around $1,000. I might have saved some small portion of that cutting corners but would not have had a good a job, or would have needed a lot more time and energy to complete.
4) I got away easy. Synergy does not have cored decks. But an Alberg 36 does. You will want to 'pot' all of the bolt holes for your fittings and also you may have core repair to do. I did not have to deal with that.

DETAILS:
1) Mentally think through the process that you want to follow and write out a general sequence of the work.
2) Figure out what hardware you want to replace and order that before you start to make sure that you have it when you need it.
3) If you are going to remove all of the hardware (as I did) look at where the bolts come through the deck and make sure all of those are actually accessible.
4) Do an approximate inventory of the number and size of all of the bolts that you expect to replace. (I replaced almost all of mine, It is way cheaper to buy the bolts, nuts and washers in lots of 30 to 50 depending on the dia. of the bolts. I also used nylock nuts for everything, but that means that you need someone on deck.)
5) Look closely at the gelcoat with a magnifying glass. If the gelcoat has any crazing, then I recommend using an epoxy primer. Otherwise the crazing will telegraph through the paint over time. I primed with PetitProtect because it is a higher build primer and sands pretty easy. The downside is that it leaves more brush strokes. than InterProtect. I sanded those out on the flatwork pretty easily and satisfactory.
6) Make sure that you do a thorough preparation. If you a have ever used silicone on your boat the job just got harder. To remove the silicone start by using a razor blade holder (window scraper) to remove what is easy. Then wire brush (6" or 8" stainless steel wire brush) the living daylights out of it. On flat work follow that with sanding, wipe that with alcohol, which will accent where there is still a residue. Wire brush, sand and repeat until the residue is gone. On the non-skid I left the original molded in pattern. I used a wire brush to prep the non-skid rather than sandpaper.
7) Prime everything. When I rolled on the primer, I used a course nap roller to apply the primer, back brushed it to level and work it into crevices and apply a more uniform millage, On the non-skid I then hit it with a mostly dry roller which left a small amount of stipple. I prepped the non-skid for the topcoat of paint with a wire brush which left the stipple.
8) I used Petit EZ Poxy with the EZ Performance Enhancer. I am not sure that was the 100% best choice if you want a fine yacht finish. I was going for a 6 foot finish. EZ Poxy is a one part enamel. I chose it because it has better coverage than Brightside and is pretty easy to work with., I rolled and tipped using the tight nap mini-rollers and a high quality brush. The EZ Performance Enhancer improves sheen and UV resistance, and helps the paint lay out better. I also liked that if you can recoat in 24 hours, EX Poxy's the second coat can be applied without sanding. Its important to paint when it is cool. I purposefully would paint first thing in the morning. I would wipe the decks with alcohol before each coat to remove any oils or residues, and to dry up any moisture more quickly.
(I am not completely convinced whether i would have been better off with a brushable two part product. i am also not convinced that I have enough texture on the non-skid but I think that I do.)
9) Supposedly the green masking tape comes off easier than the blue tape which is why it is more expensive. My experience is that the green tape did not come off easier and was not worth the extra cost.
10) I used butyl tape as the sealant. I used several rolls of the "Bed-It" product. https://shop.marinehowto.com/products/bed-it-tape. But I also used some of the West Marine store brand. I found that the Bed-it was a superior product in terms of being able to apply it neatly and precisely and end up with a uniform width of the tape. It is a little stiffer and thicker which is helpful. It cleans up easier. The West Marine tape is slightly wider. The West Maine white is a better product than the gray in terms of being able to clean it up. Butyl squeezes out when you tighten the bolts so its important to use a countersink to flare the top of the hole so there is a cone compressed butyl around the bolts. (This is a good explanation: Rebedding Deck Hardware With Bed-It Butyl Tape - Marine How To)
11) During reassembly deep sockets are your friend. Buy good quality six facet sockets for the nut sizes that you are working with, and good quality screw drivers, or we used a brace and bit with new high quality bits. I used an impact driver getting some of the old fastenings out. A dremel tool is also helpful. Find a small person who is not claustrophobic to climb into those impossible to reach places.
12: if you have to drill through the liner to install a nut and washer, drill through the fastening from the top down through the liner to locate the center of the liner hole and then use a hole saw drill bit to drill the hole large enough to get the socket into, I bought a couple dozen of these McMaster-Carr and these McMaster-Carr and snapped them into the holes. If you do use these then size the hole saw to work with them. If you end up with black plugs you can spray them white.
13) You can often buy pre-made backing plates from hardware manufacturers. Sometimes those are a real bargain and a time saver. I bought new Garhauer stanchions and bases. (I needed to buy custom bases with screw hole patterns matching my old stanchions and also wanted beefier stanchion bases than the stock ones that are out there.)

Where i did not have a backing plate and I wanted more strength than a HD fender washer, I used 1/4" G-10 and cut it to size and shape. I sanded the G-10 and the surface it was going on, then set the G-10 in a bed of thickened epoxy. The hot ticket there is to drill a hole or two in the G-10 that aligns with the bolt holes and use nylon wire ties to hold the G-10 against the deck until the epoxy sets. Then drill one of the bolt holes through the fitting, deck and G-10 and temporarily bolt that up, then drill a second hole before drilling out the hole with the nylon wire tie.

That's about it,
Jeff
 

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If you a have ever used silicone on your boat the job just got harder. To remove the silicone start by using a razor blade holder (window scraper) to remove what is easy. Then wire brush (6" or 8" stainless steel wire brush) the living daylights out of it. On flat work follow that with sanding, wipe that with alcohol, which will accent where there is still a residue. Wire brush, sand and repeat until the residue is gone.
FWIW, the "Re-mov" product was written up in Practical Sailor by @pdqaltair, so I gave it a try. It really does wonders for removing silicone residues. It penetrates between the silicone and the substrate and causes loss of adhesion. When done properly with a little patience and very gentle pulling, you can remove the silicone in large pieces without creating a million little flakes and without the need for a wire brush - just a little gentle plying with a putty knife. It also works nicely removing adhesive residues. If you're removing an adhesive item that you'd like to re-adhere somewhere else, just wait for it to evaporate the the adhesive recovers its tackiness. I've found a lot of uses for it around the house too.

I have no financial interest in the product - just sharing something that I think works as advertised:

Re-Mov™ Adhesive & Silicon Remover - S&S Enterprises, Inc
 
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FWIW, the "Re-mov" product was written up in Practical Sailor by @pdqaltair, so I gave it a try. It really does wonders for removing silicone residues. It penetrates between the silicone and the substrate and causes loss of adhesion. When done properly with a little patience and very gentle pulling, you can remove the silicone in large pieces without creating a million little flakes and without the need for a wire brush - just a little gentle plying with a putty knife. It also works nicely removing adhesive residues. If you're removing an adhesive item that you'd like to re-adhere somewhere else, just wait for it to evaporate the the adhesive recovers its tackiness. I've found a lot of uses for it around the house too.

I have no financial interest in the product - just sharing something that I think works as advertised:

Re-Mov™ Adhesive & Silicon Remover - S&S Enterprises, Inc
Darn, I wish I knew about this back in March. That is great advice for anyone dealing with old silicone.

I had researched removing silicone and did not come across that product and so ended up following the advice of the Petit and International Paint reps. That would have been a lot easier.

Thank you for posting this info!
Jeff
 

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Ive used Mottsenbockers adhesive remover on stubborn adhesive (30 year old velcro) and have had limited success with small areas of silicone. they also have a sprayfoam and caulk remover product. haven't tried that yet. Got keyed onto the mottsenbocker by a friend who works for the Smithsonian, and they use that stuff on everything with great success.

FWIW supposed to be rainy day tomorrow. if anyone is down in deale and wants to swing by for a beverage. D15 paradise. I'll be working on the boat...
 

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I'm not out there...I'm watching the buoy at Stingray Point - 7.5' waves this morning! - and I'm happy I'm not out there. Steady >20 now...blows indeed!
By "watching" do you mean visually, or online via CBOFS sensors (or similar)? If it's the latter, could you please post a link? I used to be able to pull up data like that on NOAA's websites, but a few years ago they changed a bunch of stuff and I can't find a lot of the sensor data. Right now all I see for Stingray Point is water temperature and salinity: Operational Forecast System - Station Plot Time Series
 

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By "watching" do you mean visually, or online via CBOFS sensors (or similar)?
Online for sure! I am not 100% up to date on all of the different buoy programs, but I think the CBIBS buoys are not all fully operational; I used to check there (that was in my bookmarks) but when I was watching last week and earlier this week, only the Annapolis and Point Lookout stations were reporting data, so I was going through the national data buoy system:


However, now that I'm looking again, there is some wave and wind data on the CBIBS site as well:


I'm not positive these are actually the same buoys. Looking at the coordinates, they are the same buoy. I have no idea when the CBIBS site started updating, but earlier in the week and last weekend it was not.

Final Edit (I promise): the CBIBS website blog did report that the middle of last week they were expecting to get things online, and it appears that STP and PL came back online Friday with new batteries.
 

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We're hoping for a daysail tomorrow, but it may be tough. I have to lead the town band for he Memorial Day observance at 10:00, then hop in the car for the 90 minutes drive to Rock Hall. With dog in coming along, it's a little tougher than just hopping in the car and going - transition will probably be an hour or so. Looks like the wind may be dying off when we arrive, so it might just become a work day on the boat in the slip. We have lots of things on the list to work on.
 

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at least one good day sailing out of long weekend. tons of sailboats out and about around 83A yesterday. On the plus side got some interior work done and tried to trouble shoot the hvac on saturday and sunday. took a few naps...
 

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Just asking because I do...Should I?
Of course you should use the NOAA Marine forecast. I use it, I assume most of us use it. But sailors are always looking for a range of forecasts and real-time data, so we don't just use one forecast.

The weather this weekend really did blow, the only folks more disappointed than sailors with day jobs were the cicadas
 
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