Life on the hard

Now we have been up on land for a couple of days and we continue to work hard with getting everything ready. Our first mission was to remove all anti-fouling. After a couple of days scraping and sanding it was finally gone and we could continue with other things.

Most of the old epoxy primer is in pretty good shape, but there are some places were the old paint has gone loose. We sanded up those places to get an even surface for the new epoxy primer we will paint later.

Now we will let the hull dry for a couple of more days before we seal it up and start painting. But we are not out of work in the meantime. We have some repairs we want to do above the waterline. We have a sandwich hull and a lot of the attachments on deck have small cracks where water can sip through into the hull. As mentioned, thankfully, we have a core material that is not made out of wood.

So while we let the hull dry we continue to work on sealing all attachments on deck. So we removed a bunch of stuff; the sheet rail, mooring bollard, the one fairlead that was left. Started to sand around them and repair with epoxy.

bowsprit sailboat
An old picture from when we just bought the boat, as you can see one of the fairleads are gone and the plastic around the other one is a bit broken.

For the fairleads it has been pretty hard finding an equal one as the old ones. So we bought new one that will sit on top instead of integrated with the hull. So we removed the old one and filled the old holes up.

Work on going filling up the holes where the old fairleads where. Not finished here though, still needs some more filling. (We also took of the bowsprit as we will re-paint the hull, makes it easier to get to everything, she looks pretty naked without it though…)

We also removed the sheet rails on both sides, we drilled up the old holes and filled them with epoxy.

Preparing for some plastic repairs on around the chain plates.

Next up was the chainplates. Our plan with the chainplates is to repair what is needed with epoxy around them, but leave a small opening around the plates. This opening we will fill up with butyl-tape which will be kept in place with a small custom made metal. This was it will hopefully not be any leakages and the movements and tensions from the chain won’t break the plastic around them. But more on this and better pictures in the future when we’ve actually done this.

Small repairs around the chainplates.

Our “On the hard to-do list” and some status updates:

  • Remove old anti-fouling – Done!
  • Repair all possible leakages above deck (chainplates, fairleads etc etc) – work ongoing
  • Go over and change through-hulls were it is needed – some through-hulls removed and new ones ordered. 
  • Go over bow-thruster – Work ongoing, taken apart and new sealings ordered
  • Go over propeller – Prop removed and ready for some love
  • Paint with epoxy primer, both below waterline and above at some places
  • New anti-fouling
  • Prepare topsides before painting
  • Paint the topsides


Deck leakage repair – part one

Last spring we went over some of our deck leakages and did some repairs on them. It has been everything from vents, small windows and stanchions for the guardrail. We have an old boat and water seems to be pouring in wherever you start open something up, and step by step we find them and try to fix them. Next up is to fix some leakages through the stanchions for the guardrail.

We did some leak repairs for two of the stanchions last year, when we did some repairs to them. But it was half-done, by only adding new sealant around the screws and we are not completely satisfied with this. We also want to go over all of the stanchions and make a proper sealing and protect water from sipping into the sandwich core.

The weather forecast showed that it was a big high pressure system moving in over Scandinavia with a promise of warm (and dry weather) so perfect time to fix these leakages once and for all.

We have a sandwich hull, so the idea for this fix is that we will remove the stanchions and the screws through the hull. Drill bigger holes and also remove as much we can of the core material close to the holes. After that we will seal the holes from the inside and fill them up with epoxy. And finally drill new holes in the epoxy and seal them with butyl tape, which we used for the two stanchions we did repairs for a while back seemed to keep the water out. Our main goal with this epoxy solution is that if water happens to get past the butyl tape it at least won’t disappear into the  core material of the hull.

We started with removing the stanchions and to drill up the holes.

deck leakage repair
We used a insex key to remove the core material around the holes.
Nice and open holes.
This wasn’t the first holes made into the deck of the boat, several old holes that we will seal as well.

When we removed the stanchion screws most of the holes through deck was wet, so it is a good thing that we go through this. As they were pretty wet and we had this nice high pressure system above us right now, we let the holes be open to dry out before sealing them with epoxy (with some extra help of different heating devices as well as the sun).

After the holes were dry it was time to start filling them up with epoxy. As we had opened up the holes a lot, we also wanted to have som fiberglass in the mix as well for some extra strength.

Cutting up fiberglass pieces that we put in the holes.
deck leakage repair
Small pieces of fiberglass in the holes.

We drilled through the entire hull and to prevent the epoxy from running through we mixed some epoxy filler and added on the inside of the boat.

Epoxy filler on the inside to prevent epoxy from running through to the inside.

After the filler had harden it was time to fill up the holes with epoxy. We had bought some cheap medicine syringes at an animal store to use for filling up the holes. This worked very well and we think it will useful to have a couple of these syringes in the future as well for smaller epoxy repairs.

We bought syringes at an animal store which we used to fill up the holes with epoxy. Worked really well, great tip if you are gonna do something similar. Almost no spill and mess.
deck leakage repair
Adding epoxy into the holes using the syringes we bought.
deck leakage repair
Epoxy in the holes, ready to harden.

The holes sucked up a lot of epoxy and we had to go around and fill the holes up as time went by to make sure they were properly filled.

Next up for this will be to prepare to attach the stanchions once again. But more about that later on. We will also go over all our chainplates and other things on deck that goes through the hull to at least keep most water out.


Replacing the rotten wood

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago we found another leakage (click HERE) that we thought was in one of the hatches and the water had found is way down to the plywood below where it got stuck due to the styrofoam placed on the plywood. As mentioned in the other post our hull is sandwich material, but the core is not wooden in the structural parts of the hull. And from the aft cabin a part of the hull can be seen, as the deck continues in under the cockpit. The cockpit is then kind of built on top of the hull. Hard to explain, but the point is that we can feel the edge of the hull and it feels really strong.

To the left – a part of our deck and to the right – our hull below waterline. The red part is just plastic (according to some documentation we found the outer part of the sandwich hull is classified as strong enough for this boat), then a synthetic core material and finally a last layer of plastic. So it is pretty thick hull.

But the more we have started removing the rotten wood we have found weaknesses and also the leakage, or at least one of them. The leakage is in the starboard hatch in the cockpit wall and right next to our starboard winch and a mooring bollard. And at some attachments the plastic is really, really thin. So we will not only repair the leakage but also reinforce this part. On port side we don’t seem to have the same issue, but maybe we will do some reinforcements there as well, just in case.

Working on removing the rotten wood in the roof in the aft cabin.
Rotten wood, as you might imagine, the smell was pretty bad…
It was also very wet and we are working hard to get this part dry with a temporary fix for the leakage (duct tape, yay!) and using a cabin heater.

Some water had also found its way down to the wall between one of our big hatches in the cockpit and the aft cabin. Probably some water had been standing in that hatch and made the wall between rot. There was an old drainage hole into the storage under the aft bed that was sealed. We removed the rotten part of the wall to replace with new fresh wood. We also drilled a new drainage hole from the storage hatch but this time we drilled it in direction towards the bilge instead of into the storage.

Removing the rotten part of the wall between one of the storage hatches under the seat in the cockpit.
Bye bye, rotten piece!

We cut the beam that followed the hull further up and the wall it self below so that the cut wouldn’t be at the same place. This way it becomes stronger, which will be good even though this is not what holds the boat together.

Making new pieces.
The beam in position, seen from inside the aft cabin.
Same, but this time seen from the hatch in the cockpit. Here you can see that the beam was cut further up than the wall. If you look really closely you can see the new drainage hole in the corner at the bottom.
Now we just need to paint this wall to make it look nicer and to protect it.

Will try to make a new blog post soon again, we have been pretty busy with a lot of stuff and also we mostly been finishing the interior work, so not so much new stuff anyway. We are very, very soon finished with that so at that point we will have some before and after pictures to show and we will also start with other jobs.

Freezer progress

Lately we have continued with our future fish freezer. We have started to add insulation to it, in the form of some kind of styrofoam with closed cells. The closed cells means that it wont absorb any water.

Before we started adding insulation we replaced one of the “walls” to the freezer. The old one was pretty worn out and also had a big hole in it for the old chiller.

We replaced the old “wall” of the freezer box to a new fresh piece of wood instead.
First layer of styrofoam glued on the the sides of the freezer.

As mentioned above, the styrofoam we have used is a closed cell styrofoam. Each piece is 5 cm (2″) thick and for the side walls we will have 2 layers of styrofoam as insulation, so 10 cm (4″) in total. The bottom of the freezer follows the shape of the hull, which means it is not so easy to make pieces of styrofoam that fits. We also want to have a straight bottom, to be able to attach the aluminium we plan to have as surface in the freezer.

What we did to solve this was to make to “half-moon” (kind of) shaped pieces of styrofoam. The pieces follows the hull in the bottom and are straight on the top. We attached them on the hull next to the side walls. Then we filled the bottom of the freezer with expanding sealing foam between the half-moon pieces and attached a piece of styrofoam on top of that.

The bottom piece in position, underneath it we have filled up with expanding sealing foam.
After the sealing foam had dried, we drilled holes in the bottom piece and filled up with some extra expanding sealing foam to make sure the entire space beneath gets filled.

Next up will be next layer of styrofoam, prepare the aluminum pieces, fix the top part of the freezer and then add the chiller.

If you want more posts about our freezer and how we built it, all posts about it can be found under the tag freezer.

As we mentioned some weeks ago we also found some really wet wood when removing old insulation. We have started to remove all of this wet wood and today we actually found the source to the leakage, or at least one of them, there could of course be more of them. It is a hole  in the plastic in one of our open storages in the cockpit, so we will have some plastic repairs to do there in the spring. Fortunate that we already have a lot of experience with plastic repairs 😉

We have also started to set up some roof panels, and it is starting to look real good in the boat! 🙂

Another leakage found…

Last weekend when we, as usual, were at the boat working we noticed a new place with rotten wood and apparently a leakage from above. We found it when we were removing styrofoam in our aft cabin (see The Boat to see an overview of of our boat). This rot is underneath one of the seats in the cockpit an dour guess is that it is a leak in one of the storage hatches in the cockpit (were we didn’t add any new plastic during our big plastic repair job). But, this is something we will have to do later in the spring. Yet another thing on the to-do list…

But, of course we are glad  that we remove the styrofoam so that we find these things and can do something about it before we leave. We are also really glad that our sandwich hull does not have a wooden core (it is only above the waterline we have some places were there is a wooden core).

But some good news is that we are almost completely finished with setting up all mahogany! 🙂 And it looks so good, Thomas has been very thorough and it really shows. We have also started preparing for setting up som kind of roof panels, which will make our boat look even more fancy. We also plan to set up some LED-lists to put some light on our new hull and to get more light in the boat.

So soon we will be able to show some really amazing before and after pictures. We have also made a slight change of plan when it comes to our sailing route, but more about that soon as well.