Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Keeping the water out

Here in Seattle, keeping the water out is a nearly full-time job.  Aaron and Nicole from s/v Bella Star walk us thru a very well-done repair here:
We’ve had a leak since we got the boat that we were finally able to fix with some helpful insight from another HC33 owner.  Thanks Steve!  The leak was coming from the hole in the deck where our diesel heater’s stove pipe passes through the deck.

To fix it, the first thing I did was remove the charlie noble (boat chimney) to get at the hole.
IMG_6560 (Small)
Next was to remove the fairing block – it was cracked in half so I used epoxy to glue it back together.  For this project I used West System G/Flex due to its greater elasticity.

We could see right where the water was coming in.

With the fairing block removed I used a Dremel with a sanding cylinder bit to clean out the old sealant and prepare the surface for some epoxy and fiberglass tape.

Then I applied the epoxy and fiberglass tape.

I let that cure overnight and then cut off the excess with the Dremel and a cutoff wheel.  ALL HAIL THE DREMEL!  I also sealed up the holes in the deck where the fairing is screwed down.

Then I taped off the area in preparation for applying the sealant. 

I reattached the newly fixed-up fairing pad and tightened the screws just enough to that the sealant was squishing out.  Then wiped away the excess.  (With sealants you want to wait until it’s cured before you screw down the item tightly.)

I pulled the tape while the sealant was still wet.

I let that cure overnight, then tightened up the screws.

Next was to repeat the tape and sealant process with the charlie noble.

So after we got everything put back together all we had to do was wait for it to rain.  We didn’t have to wait long.  Fortunately the work paid off and the leak is fixed.
Usually, finding the leak is much more difficult than fixing it.

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