Compression post de-lamination:
While Richard was in the anchor locker... Now, you might ask, "Jen, what WAS Richard doing in the
anchor locker?" Good question, I, however, will just shake my head sadly and continue on. While in
the anchor locker, Richard noticed something odd about the fiberglass outside the compression post.
It was, um, weeping. This is not a happy state for fiberglass to be in.
Apparently someone had drilled two holes in order to route some wires down the mast and into the
salon. This let water in between the fiberglass and the post. Not good. By this time the fiberglass
had actually de-laminated. Seriously not good.
Since the compression post takes all of the weight of the mast and the cranked down rigging, we
thought we ought to fix this. Call us radical.
Swearing, lots and lots of swearing. Oh, alright first we (we meaning Richard as I had enough sense
to be terribly busy doing something else) asked our friendly neighborhood naval architect if we
would be doing something very, very bad if we took off the fiberglass. Once the NA gave his okay
Richard ground off all the existing paint and fiberglass. (By the way, be warned, the grindings are a
fine white powder that gets everywhere. If you don't seal off the area being ground, the stuff covers
anything in the downwind path with what looks like powdered sugar. You will find traces of the
insidious stuff for weeks. Not that we know firsthand or anything.)
After drilling a couple of small holes in the compression post we determined that it was fine, no
rotting. We then did a happy little dance of solid wood. Richard then let the post dry out for a week.
We helped it along with a small heater in the locker whenever we were around.
After all that Richard did a simply glorious job of re-fiberglassing and painting the post - sans holes.
Check EVERYTHING yourself before leaving even if it had been inspected by a surveyor. Playing
ostrich makes no sense. Its better to have to repair at the dock than at sea.
The bow hulls looked like they were breathing. No, I'm not kidding. Whichever hull was under load
(port while on port tack, starboard on starboard tack) was flexing. It actually looked like the hull
was gasping for breathe. It was, to say the least, disconcerting.
Some online research revealed that this could be a BIG problem, or, simply annoying. The problem
was, how to tell the difference.
We were advised to consult a good naval architect. Horrors! This was going to be expensive, or, so I
thought. I completely lucked out and found Jim Antrim, an expert in multi-hull vessel design and an
all-around good guy. Jim walked all through the boat with us and answered all our questions, hull
related or not.
After calculating the loads on the hull, Jim came down on the side of probably merely annoying but a
set of mini bulkheads would probably help the disconcerting motion.
Richard glassed in set of small bulkheads on both bows. It worked like a charm. Not breathing, no
Consulting a naval architect is not a scary, expensive thing. It was a relief to have an engineer
calculate loads and give well thought out advice. Peace of mind, especially for such an important
thing as a hull is priceless.
Newly installed mini
Leaking Salon Windows:
The problem is puddles. Generally speaking, puddles in the salon are frowned upon. These puddles
spring up anytime we hose off the salon roof. Unfortunately, the puddles are not from the nifty
little hatches. No such luck, these puddles are from the rather large windows that surround the
salon and appear to be held on by a gasket and really, really strong glue. I hope really, really
Upon deep inspection, and occasional disapproving glances at our neighborhood seal who was
wantonly encouraging Jennifer to laze in the sun, the windows reveal their geologic history. Each
window had several layers of old caulk covering older caulk covering what appears to be old
electrical tape and bright orange flower petals. This was all on top of the gasket and glue, neither
of which appear to be watertight.
After a lot of on-line research, it appears that the frame around the window was not properly
cleaned before new caulk was applied. In addition the wrong sealant had been used. You see, the
windows are not glass but rather an acrylic. A lot of sealants either won't seal or will damage the
acrylic. In addition, the boat flexes, so, whatever sealant is used must have some give without
breaking and so letting in water.
Jen the fearless, armed with a dental pick and some chisels, bravely ventures forth to do battle
with the old caulk monster. After much swearing (yes, swearing and boat projects seem culturally
related.) the old caulk, dirt and petals was removed.
The area then had to be vacuumed (yeah wet dry vacs) so all loose material was gone, cleaned
with soap and water, dried and then wiped with acetone in order to remove all wax and grease.
I used blue electrical tape to mark the perimeter of my new sealant. I then applied an extremely
generous layer of Life Seal. This sealant works really well with plastics and has the give needed
to account for boat flexing. The tape was removed immediately so a clean line remained.
Orange colored petals are evil.
Actually, the lesson is check your sealants carefully. Just because its sticky stuff does not mean it
will work for your particular application.
The offending windows