Tuesday, September 29, 2020

May 3-9, 2020 St Marys Boatservices week 2

Sunday, May 3-We have often suspected that the well on the stern platform could be contributing to our water leak.  Dave worked on that area today.  He cleaned out the well, removed it’s through hull.  It doesn’t have a shut off like the others.  She sealed the trap door hinge and replaced broken screws.  And he removed the plates for the hinge latch.

I started the day removing all the stickers off of the new fixtures.  That included removing the goo from the stickers.  I used Crud Cutter to clean the “smile” on the stern where the boot will be replaced.  And I used it to clean the door of the well that is on the stern.  Good stuff.


 I also cleaned the inside of the boot with acetone to help with bonding it to the boat.


Pete had to move our ladder to reach the upper ends of the smile on the port and starboard.  He removed the remaining old caulking in the areas he couldn’t reach from the ground.  (the ladder is our only access into the boat while in the boatyard)

Before leaving today, Dave found the elbows he needed for our macerators.  That prompted a Happy Dance before leaving today. 

Monday May 4-Today we placed the boot back on the smile on the stern.  We did a trial fitting to see how things would fit.  Then we acetone the inside of the boot again and the surface of the smile.  Dave placed 5200 adhesive inside the entire boot.  Pete and I helped hold the boot  while Dave started in the center and worked the boot up the left and right evenly.  Then he sealed the ends at the top left and right.  There was no excess 5200 at the top, perfect fit.  We’ll let that set up, then Dave will seal the edges along the entire length tomorrow. 

stern without the boot


boot filled with adhesive


We are placing a new swim ladder on the stern.  When we have our dinghy hanging off of the davits on the stern, we can’t lower our existing swim ladder because the dingy is in the way.  So, if someone went overboard, it would be difficult to climb back into the boat.  We’ve looked at various rope ladders for the side, but they are all tricky to use.  We found a swim ladder that folds in sections short enough to get under the dinghy.  Today, Dave drilled the holes that we needed for the ladder.

On Mondays in the boatyard, there are a couple of guys that like to make pizza for whoever wants to join in.  They make the dough from scratch.  One of the guys is actually from Italy.  They both did an awesome job.  We were able to visit with a couple that we met here in 2016, Rosie and Larry.  Rosie and I would go to church together.  Another boater, single guy, brought a dish to share.  He put several cans of beer in a sauce pan and passed it around.  Fun idea.  Pete brought his guitar and played a few songs for everyone.

Rosie (with Larry behind her), Pete, Mary and Bill

Tuesday, May 5-We were still waiting for through hull parts to arrive that were ordered last Thursday.  “If they aren’t here today, they’ll be here tomorrow.”

Pete started the day with putting Tef-gel on all the screws for anti seize.  Dave started using it when we bought the boat in 2013.  He has seen rust over bolts that he thought would be a problem, but they came right out.  The Tef-gel never comes off, no matter how much sea water they have been exposed to.  He also said “For stuff that creates a slickness, it sure is sticky”.  It seems to get everywhere when working with it.

Dave and Pete placed bedding compound for the swim ladder, cleats and the davit support arms. They were put into place with the bolts attached.


 Dave spent the rest of the day inside the aft lazerettes.   Pete made little rolls of butyl rubber to place between the washer and the fiberglass, otherwise you won't get a seal.  Then Dave replaced the nuts and tightened them down.  Pete was the muscle on the outside to hold the bolts in place.  You don’t want them turning once they are in place.   Good team work.



location of aft lazerette


Dave inside the lazerette with a fan helping him survive

While in the lazerette, Dave found salt on the starboard side, not the port side, and used the shop vac to clean it up.  This is from evaporated sea water that has leaked into the boat.  We always suspected that our leak was on the starboard side.  He had enough of being in the lazerette when he was getting a signal that his leg was about to cramp and an arm was going numb.  

holding the shop vac for him to remove the dried salt

Dave and Pete sealed the two edges of the boot with 5200 on the entire length.  We don’t want any water seeping into that boot again.  Dave said “not in my lifetime!”

Wednesday, May 6-Pete drove to Brunswick today for a physical with a general physician.  We thought we would be back in Brunswick by now.  Wishful thinking.

Dave and I went back and tightened all the bolts on the stern after letting the 5200 set.  We also tightened the through hull in the well.

Dave checked the seal on the stern and caulked where needed.  He had to use a mirror to see into some areas.

Dave removed the hoses in the aft head and measured the lengths to order new hose.  We threw away the old STINKY hoses.

THE THROUGH HULL PARTS ARRIVED!!!!  Dave was impressed that the fittings came with a zerc for greasing the though hull valve.  With the old fittings, he would have to grease them while underwater using a stick with grease that he would shove up the exit of the through hull.  He couldn't reach the inside of the valve.  Now, we can remove a nut, place the zerc, and grease the valve.  BUT, some aren't accessible once they are in place.  So he saved his "grease stick".

Dinner at Pirate's Cove near the marina.  Great gater burgers.  The owner gets his gater locally.  His source will grind it and season it as he requests

Thursday, May 7-We spent some time thinking about the new swim ladder and the old one.  They actually both fit on the stern, so we decided to keep the old one, too.  The bolts for the old ladder were rusty, which could contribute to our water leak.  And if we removed the old ladder, we would have to fill in the bolt holes.  For now, we’ll keep them both to give us time to check out how we like the new one.

I separated and matched up all the through hulls and washers.  Then Pete placed the through hull from the outside and I placed the nut from the inside.  We found out we had to cut some of them to length.  

Pete placed teflon pipe tape on all the threads, and Dave used pipe dope from the inside to double seal.  Then Pete placed 5200 sealant on the outside of the through hull to seal it to the hull. The through hull is then placed through it's respective hole and tightened into place.  There is a tool that locks into the inside of the through hull onto 2 nipples which stops it from rotating.  Pete would put it in place, put a wrench on it and also hold the wrench with a pipe extension.  Dave is putting the nut/washer combo in place on the inside and tightening it down.  Pete is stopping any rotation from the outside. 

you can see the nipple inside the through hull that is already in place
the black through hull is the one that was replaced a year ago in the Bahamas.  It has bottom paint on it.  Dave removed it and replaced it to make room for everything to fit in order

 A through hull in the forward head didn’t have enough room for the valve to turn, so Dave had to remove it, which was a tough job. 

We were a Dream Team that day.  

Friday, May 8-Dave finished all the parts for us to have a functioning sink drain in the galley.  Yippee!!  We had a bucket in the sink and would have to empty it at the end of the day. 

We realized we needed a different size scoop for the through hull in the engine area.  It strains the water as it is pulled into the engine.  We put the order in through the boatyard, and of course “it will be here tomorrow”, actually Monday.

Saturday, May 9-Dave worked on the fitting for the forward head that had to be redone.  He took it to the machine shop in the boatyard and put it in a vice.  He had to cut it and clean the threads.  It took awhile with cut a little, clean the threads, cut a little, clean the threads, etc. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

April 26-May 2, 2020 St Marys Boat Services and Airbnb in St Marys, GA, week 1

We finally moved our boat to St Marys Boat Services outside of St Marys, Georgia.  We have been planning to do this to replace all of our through hulls since we returned from the Bahamas in June of 2019.  One of our through hulls had a broken nut that was holding it in place in the end of March 2019.  We had the boat hauled in the Bahamas and replaced that through hull.  After inspecting the others, we decided to replace all of them.  Our boat was built in 2007, which is fairly young to have to replace the through hulls.  We had some electrolysis issues that leached the metal.  Since we have done some things to correct that issue, we want to replace all of the through hulls to avoid any surprise leaks in the future.   

For those of you that are not boaters, the ones we replaced let water into or out of the boat with a connection through the hull.  That would be sink, shower, toilet, & engine overboard, and engine, air conditioner and toilet flush water intakes.  That made a total of 14, and we did 13 at this time.

On Sunday, April 26, Dave and Pete left the Marina at 9:30 am and anchored near Cumberland Island, outside of St Marys, GA by 3:45.  I drove Pete’s car to St Mary’s, GA where we rented a little house through Airbnb.  We decided to call this a “workation”.  After working in the heat all day, it was nice to have an air-conditioned house with a full kitchen, nice shower, and living room furniture to relax.

 leaving our slip and in the fairway between the docks


 Monday, April 27- Our boat was hauled out and set on stands in the boatyard at about 1:30.  It had to be done at high tide because the approach is too shallow at other times.  We removed 3 through hulls that day. 

We have to center the boat in the slip. Then they bring in the travel lift and place the straps under the boat to lift it out and avoid hitting the mast.


Always nice to be able to check the hull, prop and rudder
It's a tight squeeze to move boats around the boatyard.  Rocky is an expert at moving the travel lift.  Our boat is now on stands.  Notice the antenna laying down next to the solar panels.  That was the new one Dave placed.  He was glad it had a hinge to lower or else he would have had to remove it for the travel lift to back away from the boat.  

 Tuesday, April 28-we watched JoyBird being hauled out.  George had been at Brunswick Landing Marina before having a leak.  He will be working on his boat here.  Seven through hulls out.  As Pete was sitting on a chair under the hull of the boat, he was joking about how he should be wearing a snorkel and mask just to get a reaction from people walking by.  Yes, he is related to his father. 

JoyBird brought to St Marys Boat Services via a trailer from Brunswick Landing Marina

 JoyBird had to be moved from the trailer to the travel lift to be able to set it on stands in the boatyard


That's George by the ladder.  He has a great view of the sunsets from his spot and a nice breeze off the water beyond the bushes

 Wednesday, April 29-Dave did a search of the hardware stores in St Marys and found a bigger pipe wrench for more torque and a baby Milwaukee Saws All to fit in smaller places.  Great tools!  All of the though hulls were out by 3:00.  There were 14 total.  One was replaced a year ago in the Bahamas, but it needed new fixtures.  Interesting event-as Dave was removing the through hull in the galley, the through hull snapped right between the nut and fitting.  At anytime, we could have hit that while storing things under the sink and would have had water leaking into our boat.  Whew!!

 "Baby SawsAll" Had to have Dave's dirty foot in there to give you a comparison for size

Dave started sawing this to remove it and it snapped.  Another accident waiting to happen
Aft head through hull openings for shower and sink drain, fresh water intake to flush toilet, and an overboard though hull for toilet waste when you are beyond 3 miles offshore.

Pete cleaned each of the through hulls while Dave and I took an inventory of all of the replacement parts.  Of course, we needed to order more parts. 

Thursday, April 30-I drove to Brunswick today to pick up packages at the marina. 
Dave ordered the additional parts that we needed through the the boatyard.  According to Rocky, the owner, the parts would be there the next day.

Since we had to wait for parts to continue with the through hulls, Dave and Pete started on another project, finding an above the waterline leak.  The stern of our boat has a “boot”, rubber bumper rail, along our swim platform which they removed to inspect for leaks and reseal.  It is where the deck and hull meet and forms a big smile on the stern of our boat.  Not many other photos of work today, so I included photos of our Airbnb house in St Marys.


the "boot" runs along the stern from the deck, under the Rapid City, SD and up to the deck on the other side creating a "smile"


Our lazy spot or living room, which we enjoyed morning and night

The dining room table looking towards our bedroom doors

Dining room towards kitchen and bathroom




 We even had a washer and dryer!!  And a deck off the back and side of the house.

Friday, May 1-the through hull parts DID NOT arrive today.  Rocky’s comment “If they aren’t here today, they should be here tomorrow”, became a joke after awhile.  So on to other projects. 

Dave pulled the prop off to replace the cutlass bearing because the lip that prevents the cutlass bearing from going up the shaft tube was almost gone.  Dave places a zinc on the shaft, but it could be damaging the cutlass bearing.  So he probably won't put one there anymore.   He remembered this as being an awful job back in 2016, but it went surprisingly well today.  He also cleaned and lubed the prop before replacing it.  Pete shined it up “purtee”. 


                                                                    the cutlass bearing


Dave removed both macerators because, the Jabsco pumps had impellers that would lock up when not being used at a marina for several months.  There was a fan shaped blade, and when the “shit would hit the fan”, it would chop it up and send it overboard.  Problem-hair (from non boating company) would wind around the blade and stop it from working.  Dave was more than sick of taking that apart to fix it.  And they had paper thin gaskets which would leak with the slightest damage.  Then “poop soup” would run down the sides of the pump. 

Dave replaced the Jabsco pumps with Whale pumps.  After Dave gave me a great demonstration with his hands about the size difference, I will tell you that the Whale pumps were larger and was a new concern.  He had to move an outlet and junction box in the forward head, and one junction box in the aft head. 

While working on the macerator in the forward head, the air conditioning duct to the v berth was exposed.  Dave had an “AHA” moment.  We have been considering replacing the duct work because of the “boat smell” that we have whenever we run the air conditioner.  This looked like a great time to go ahead with this project.  He ordered the duct work from a marine store.  While installing, he found out that he needed section in a bigger size.  He was able to find that at Lowe’s.

Pete cleaned the “smile” on the stern of the boat while I cleaned the 5200 sealant out of the boot.  Great teamwork.

Saturday, May 2- I spent part of the day helping another boater find some parts.  I was heading to the grocery story anyway. 

The parts for the through hulls didn’t arrive today, so on to other projects.

Dave and Pete found a pallet in the boatyard to support our dinghy on the ground.  They lowered it onto the pallet behind our boat. 



Dave didn’t want to do any work in the lazerette today because he was worried about getting leg cramps.  He’s been working in some tight places.  But he ended up in the starboard aft lazerette anyway.  The fittings for our swim ladder were rusty, so he removed them along with the cleats and supports for the davits.  Each one could be contributing to the leak.  So it was a good time to re-bed them.  While in the lazerette, Dave removed the corner of a shelf that always hits him in the ribs.  The simple things that make life easier. 

On to other possible water leaks on the stern.  There is a USELESS well on the stern on the port side.  We see no good reason for it being there.  It fills with sea water and grows a slime that we occasionally clean out.  So we don’t even want to store things in there.  Dave removed the trap door.  He installed a plate as part of the lock for the well.  It was easier to access it with the dinghy on the ground.

Dave put epoxy on the stern smile sealing any obvious holes and cracks.  It has to dry for 24 hours.  We’re thinking this is probably the main source of the leak.

Pete was Dave’s “go-fer” today.  It really helps to have someone hand you tools, etc, when you’re in a lazerette or the tool is back inside the boat.  

We originally thought we would be in and out of the marina in one week.  Luckily, we were able to extend our stay in the Airbnb.  One week down, not sure how long to go.