Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Hot work in the sun

We hear reports of snow and further flooding in the UK at the moment so are confident that news of our weather will be welcomed by friends and family back home: hot sunshine (around 30 degrees) and very little wind. We should, of course, be taking full advantage of the conditions to anchor off a little beach in the Bay of Islands for the chance to swim in clear waters and enjoy a bbq or two.

Instead, we've used the hot dry weather to continue our quest to banish the deck leaks! The first job was relatively straightforward - addressing the UV-degraded sealant around the pilothouse windows, a job we last did about 4 years ago. Over time the sealant becomes hard and brittle and the solution is to cut it out and replace it with new:

Man with the golden sealant gun. A tip, for, those doing this job, is to put on two pairs of latex gloves so that once you get covered in the sticky stuff part way through the job,you can discard the outer pair and carry on.

Stage 1: a thick bead of sealant around the window which has been masked off with tape -
we use Sikaflex 295 UV, for those taking notes

Stage 2: apply a gloved finger to make a smooth seal (this is where the extra pair of gloves comes in , er, handy)

The finished result

That job completed, the next was to attack more of the perished caulking (sealant) between the planks of the teak decking. This job is less fun as it requires time-consuming and careful cutting out of the old caulking, cleaning and degreasing of the gaps and then a lot of masking tape before the sealant gun can be used:

The cutting-out process

The deck with masking tape applied

Applying the goo - and remembering not to walk on it! The sealant is smoothed down with a scraper blade  and then the tape (complete with still-tacky sealant) is carefully removed to leave neat black lines
Of course, this being a boat job, it always becomes a little more complicated than you expected. Graham decided to remove the stanchion bases ( the triangular feet, like the one just to the left of the sealant gun in the photo above) to reseal them at the same time. This requires some fun in accessing the nuts below deck:

Crawling in to the space recently vacated by the old fridge ( a whole new chapter to come!) 
We're using a trick we have been told, which is to drill a 16mm hole from below decks, on the centre-line of the 6mm hole for each bolt, about 3/4 of the way through the deck. You seal the bottom of the hole with tape and then inject thick expoxy glue from the top of the hole. Once it has hardened into a solid plug, you drill and tap a 6mm thread though the epoxy so the bolt screws firmly through the deck and the nut on the bottom is almost redundant. 

Anyway, after 2 long, hot days this part of the deck has been done (the port side is in better condition, it seems, but will need the same treatment. Whilst Graham was fixing decks, Di was attacking further jobs below decks and providing vital assistance at key times so we were both pretty exhausted at the end of each day; cold beers and a beautiful full moon rise were just rewards. One cold beer was of the ginger variety, as Di is once again coping admirably with Alcohol-Free January!

Moon-rise over Opua moorings

1 comment:

  1. Looks as though you have your hands full of ongoing jobs. ‘Hello World’ is in Whangarei while I, until tomorrow, am visitiing in Aukland. Hope your work goes well and we eventually meet