So why the updates all of a sudden? Well, at least that’s what my Dad has been asking… possibly my only follower here, certainly the one who is paying the most attention! Well the update is because some work is actually happening on Beta! Your jaw might hit the deck at this news, and that would be more than appropriate as it’s the deck that is being fixed.
The deck? Haven’t we been there before? Yup, yup we have. We spent a good summer or so raking out the seams, routering them, caulking them, priming and squeezing sikaflex (remember that ghastly stuff?) but…. All to no avail. It still bloody leaks. This has been fixed on the main deck with an additional cover but on the bow deck, it is still pretty drippy to the extent that it is stopping her being usable and damaging the inside.
There are many reasons why she still leaks. Let me list them…
1) it was an amateur effort in caulking and silaflexing. And while it really was best efforts, there are hundreds of metres of seams, sikaflex is not a forgiving material and one missealed join and lead to a problematic drip, likely a way away from the point of entry, just to confuse things further. I don’t think we could have done a better effort but the proof unfortunately is in the pudding and it leaks.
2) the condition of the teak. The wood is nearly 100 years old. While we’ve patched in a good amount, there are still pieces where it’s just too dry and cracked to be solid. We could try and cut out more sections and patch in more new wood, but….
3) that bow deck is a real mishmash patchwork or deck bolts, hatches, furniture and random pieces. All this means more joints and more chances to leak.
4) what it was built for then, and what we want to use it for now. As a working fireboat the emphasis was on a solid deck, all 3 inches of it. It didn’t matter if there was the occasional drip down into the boat. But when you might be sleeping on it and don’t want the floating garage look on the interior, it very much does. Different priorities.
Time to get the professionals in. We (and by we, I mean Tam) floated her down the river to the Woodbridge Boat Yard. If you haven’t had a look in their workshop which is open to the quay, you really need to. It’s a treat. They have taken a look and we have come to the conclusion that to try and rake the seams and re-caulk in its current state would be throwing good money after bad. All that work could be done and there would be no guarantees that water wouldn’t be getting in elsewhere and we’d be no further on. Not idea.
More on the plan in the next post.