Monday, October 9, 2017


Looking up at things

For several years now, Eolian has sustained a small yet nagging intermittent leak at the mast partners - where the mast penetrates the deck.  After several failed attempts to locate the leak or to pre-emptively stop it, I removed the interior trim and examined things from below, while it was raining.  And leaking.

I was relieved to see that the water was...
  • not coming down the mast, which would indicate a leak at the top of the boot - one of the places I have very carefully examined several times, and
  • not coming out of the foam deck coring, which would mean a wet deck.  Whew!
Instead, the water was appearing at the joint between the deck ring and the deck.  Tho I have repeatedly attempted to seal between the deck ring and the deck externally, it has never been rebedded.

Removal of the mast wedges

So I pulled up the boot and started the removal of the deck ring. I had thought it was a complete ring, but soon found out it was two half-rings, each held in place with three screws.  Well, not quite.

Half the deck ring is off
On the port side, the ring was less than a half, by about 1/2".  Apparently the end of the ring broke off, either in fabrication or during installation.  The pieces were cut from a teak plank - they were not laminated.  At the ends, the grain runs across them, and it is easy to see how an end could have been broken off.  What is a little more difficult to understand is that the installer solved the problem of the missing 1/2" of deck ring by simply filling the gap with what, I surmise, was a giant blob of polysulphide.  Now, after 39 years, it was as hard as a rock.

And so was the sealant that was between the ring pieces and the deck.  I had not given much thought to this, but the mast wedges driven in do bear somewhat on the deck ring.  And as a consequence, the rock-hard "sealant" broke loose from the deck instead of flexing.

Thus leakage.

Add a strip of 1/8" thick white butyl tape
After everything was dried out, I wiped things down with paint thinner and allowed it to evaporate off.  Then I applied strips of 1/8" thick white butyl rubber tape to the underside of the ring pieces.  I then screwed things back in place.  A couple of revisitations to the screws were required as the butyl continued to squeeze out of the joint.
Gap filled
The problem of the missing 1/2" of teak I solved by trimming down one of the wedge pieces and driving it into the gap (lined with butyl tape), and cutting it off flush.

Handy stuff

The final step was to line the complete outside of the ring with some self-adhesive aluminum-backed insulating foam tape, meant for preventing condensation in air conditioners, etc.  On the sides, where the boot hose clamp has little clamping pressure (the mast cross section is rectangular with rounded ends), I applied multiple layers so that the hose clamp would have something to bear against.

Does it leak?
Never thought I'd say this... waiting for rain.  To see if it leaks...


Monday, September 25, 2017

On One Day In Anacortes...

On one day every year, Anacortes fills with the rolling thunder from thousands of motorcycles: it’s the annual Oyster Run. The entire section of Old Anacortes is blocked off to all but motorcycle traffic, and four rows of bikes are parked for the entire distance, cheek by jowl.

But that isn’t enough either - many businesses designate portions of their parking for bikes, like our local Safeway for instance.

One estimate put the he number of bikes at more than 35,000. Most of the bikes are Harleys with their distinctive sound.

But other brands are represented too, and there is the occasional V8 powered bike...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The End of the Season

After months and months of sunny, warm, benign weather, we sit at the dock being buffeted by constant 20+ kt winds.  It is cloudy and chilly, and rain is coming in later this afternoon.

[we just got hit by a 30+ kt gust]

We made a command decision not to go out this weekend because of the forecast - maybe the best call we've made all year.

[a 38 foot sailboat just blew down the waterway between D and E docks, out of control, sideways.  Just missed our stern...]

I had been planning to clean our BBQ grill, but with this wind, that is out of the question.  If I sprayed Easy-Off™ on it, it would probably land over on E dock somewhere.

Our son and his family are off camping over on Orcas Island where there is no connectivity.  Hope they're all ok and their tent hasn't blown away...

So now we are hunkered down, with all the ports closed and the heat pump running for the first time in I don't know how long...

Winter is coming...


Thursday, August 31, 2017


The Romans were not the first to erect milestones - not by far.  It is a human tendency to mark the passage of time, or distance, or whatever with reminders of how far we have come.

Well, here's one that is relevant to my thousands hundreds many 6 readers who have loyally hung with me all these years...  

That last post about cleaning vinyl windows was the 1000th post on this blog!  (Well maybe.  One of my blogging tools says 1001...but I am pretty sure that if I went back and actually counted, I wouldn't get the same number twice either.)

Who knew, back on January 28, 2009 that this would go on for 8 years?  I certainly didn't.  

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