Saturday, May 6, 2017

__________________ MARINER HEADS NORTH (Part 2) ___________________


As if a forest of barnacles wasn't enough at haul out time, I found some very small cracks in the hulls fiberglass sheathing that had a small amount of water seeping out. When I peeled back some of the fiberglass I found damp wood around the seam between the lead keel and the wooden keelson. Water has got in under the hulls fiberglass covering and traveled along the length of the keelson and up into parts of the wooden cold molded hull.

So it's been a hard few days, encamped under the hull with chisel, mallet and a huge amount of  patience and elbow grease removing the fiberglass in the offending areas on both sides of the keel. Tomorrow I will tape to the hull a plastic tent of sorts around the keel and place a fan heater inside to dry out the timber. Then it's a sequence of sanding, filling, sanding again, fiber glassing, fairing, sanding yet again and painting.

I began building 'Mariner' in 1975 and she was launched in 1979. This makes her 38 years old, so I guess a problem such as this could be expected in the high stress area around the keel where nearly two tons of lead is bouncing around and trying to wrench itself free. 

As with all issues to do with boats the sensible thing is to face these sorts of problems head on and just get on with it; which is what I am doing. But it has put a bit of a spanner in the works and delayed sailing up to the Bay of Islands to get the diesel engine restored. 

Never mind, considering all the grief in the world my problem with a yacht can certainly be defined  as a  'first world problem'...... I am well acquainted with all my blessings and have them all counted.


Dan Gurney said...

Perhaps the most important blessing has to do with approaching the problem with a positive attitude as you are doing. I personally do not have the money or the maturity that a large sailboat demands of its owner. Plastic kayaks are more my speed. I hope your repairs go smoothly from his point on.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan. I guess all things big or small are just "stuff" - which are useful for the experiences they can provide us, but it's important to keep things in perspective and not to get too attached the them (or the experiences for that matter). "Attachment" as the Buddhists teach us can become a burden on our health and well being.

Alden Smith said...

........ also Dan, your mention of Kayaks reminds me of a piece of 'boaty' wisdom that states, "The smaller the boat the bigger the fun" which is as true as my experience that the bigger the boat the bigger the expense and maintenance.

George A said...

Good to find a problem like this when the boat is on the hard and you have full access to tools and materials rather than dealing with losing the keel while at sea!

Question: Couldn't the engine be removed and shipped by truck to the shop for overhaul? That way Mariner's keelson could receive your leisurely and undivided attention. I know, not much adventure in that.

Alden Smith said...

George you are correct on the first count - catastrophic keel loss would be no joke.

The second point you make is a bit more complex. A number of people have suggested the idea of trucking the engine up North for the overhaul. The problem is that the engine beds, prop shaft need some attention and I also require a change from the old fashioned packed stern gland to the newer dripless bearing model. Sea Power in Opua would be a one stop shop for completing all these aspects of the job. But I have found another marine shop here in Whangarei that comes highly recommended (expect he's not available for 2 months - such is the problem for clients with people who come highly recommeded!) I have also found out about an excellent motor installer here in Whangarei that would facilitate the option of just trucking the engine north and I will make contact with him today. So the situation has become a bit fluid. If the repairs around the keel area take some time it may be more sensible to just wait a month and a half and get the whole job done here in Whangarei - I'll see how things go.