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Shroud Fittings and wet bunks

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  • Richard
    Unlike boats that have a lot of wires for standing rigging, with our simplified, low drag rig we can t just back one off and fix it while the others keep the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2012
      Unlike boats that have a lot of wires for standing rigging, with our
      simplified,
      low drag rig we can't just back one off and fix it while the others keep
      the mast up.

      It's that "all your eggs in one basket" thing.
      It's ok to put all your eggs in one basket, but you have to take real
      good care of
      that one basket!

      While my boat is on the hard with the mast down (and the weather turned
      nice) I
      wanted to do something about an irritating rain leak at the shroud
      fittings.
      Actually both of them.

      So yesterday, in the 80 degree last day of February, I went up over to
      the boatyard
      and pulled the struts and fittings out.

      Cleaning out the old sealer (there wasn't any! Except the Capt Tolly
      Creepy Crack
      Cure that I had run in there).

      I finally got a chance to examine the deck construction in that area.
      I've always
      been concerned that water coming through there might be soaking into the
      core.
      The good news is - no wood - just high density core material.
      I doubt there will ever be a problem with wet core there.

      But drips on my tummy while trying to sleep are not far from Chinese
      Water Torture!

      So...

      I've become disenchanted with silicone.

      To start with it does not stick well.

      Second it is hard to make a good gasket with it. It has to cure before
      it is firm
      enough to not squish out between mating surfaces. Hence the old saw
      about letting it
      dry for a day before torquing down fasteners.But he you don't get good
      surface contact
      and can have voids in the gasket.

      The oils in silicone soak into the gelcoat and glass and are impossible
      to remove
      short of grinding off the contaminated materials.

      I'm going to seal it back up properly using really high quality butyl
      rubber tape
      that I got from MaineSail (link to his How-To site below) It's so
      different from the
      cheap RV store stuff that it should be called by a different name to
      avoid confusion.

      MaineSail's technique is to countersink bolt holes (and the slot too) so
      that the deck
      edges are lightly chamfered - angled - so that the tape will be
      compressed down into
      the opening creating a complete seal. I like the dry bunk idea so much
      that I'm going
      to follow his plan. Will let you know how it turns out (someday), but I
      have confidence
      it will not leak any more.

      Now the problem is, if you have a similar leak, you can't just lift the
      fitting and seal
      under it without dropping the mast. But you may be able to rig a
      temporary stay using
      the main halyard.

      And normally we would not recommend sealing the inside-the-cabin part -
      that would just
      trap any water that did leak in and cause potential wet core problems.
      But is that really a possible problem with this setup?



      MaineSail's How-To site...
      http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/boat_projects



      --

      Richard Lamb
      http://www.home.earthlink.net/~cavelamb
      http://www.home.earthlink.net/~sv_temptress
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