Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Rebedding the Chain Plates #2

#2 - Starboard Side Aft Chain Plate

We had some really heavy rains over the past few days, pretty normal here in South Florida, so today I went down to the boat to check for leaks after completing the Port Side Aft Chain Plate last week. ALL DRY Phew!

Now that I have the process down, I quickly set to on the 2nd chain plate.

The peeling Silicone is pretty bad on this one. The pic is shown after I loosened the Shroud Turnbuckle by 4 turns and removed the Cotter Pin (we call them Split Pins in England) and then pulling out the Clevis Pin to releas the shroud from the Chain Plate Tab.

That all went smoothly.

Here's the Underside showing the Chain Plate from below (ie. Looking up towards the deck from the Cabin seat.)

The Tie Rod, which screws into the Chain Plate was much tighter than the 1st one that I did last week, so I had no choice but to grab the rod with a pipe wrench. After a couple of awkward rotations, it freed and I was able to unscrew it by hand. The Acorn Nuts were easily removed before I took this picture.

Here's the Plate that goes over the Chain Plate Tab, Pretty Crudded! I was able to pry up the plate after pushing the chain plate through the deck by standing on it, ok, just pushing it down with my foot!

The Clevis pin has surface corrosion that I don't expect to need anything more cleaning.

The Screws look ok although, on top, covered with Silicone and below (where they pass through the wood core of the deck) they are shrouded in what looks to be old 3M 5200) 

Looking at the state of this chain plate, compared to the 1st, I'm pretty sure we were just a few rain days away from obvious leaking. 

After removing the Chain Plate from the underside of the deck, there is clear indication of seepage. That brown is actually discolored caulk (probably 3m 5200).

The deck holes are, thankfully, sealed, so there's no damp wood around the Chain Plate where it passes through the deck.

First success, cleaned up the underside. 
I was able to scrape off the old caulking using a Stanley Knife Blade and some chemical de-greaser/cleaner. That stuff is nasty! So I had a fan running to blow the fumes away as I scrapped, washed, and scrapped again, it took about 30 minutes to get it all off.

After cleaning the two Tab Securing Screw Holes with a Drill Bit, I applied Duct Tape under the Tab Holes and then filled the holes with Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure.

Then on the outside I applied Butyl tape over all the holes to keep them water tight until I can reinstall the Chain Plate assembly.

The Plate is really cruddy, I'll have to spend at least an hour working on this one in the Garage. The Deck Screws are just inserted in order to keep everything together for the trip home. I hope to have it cleaned up and inspected by early Monday so that I can reinstall it and start the next one.

FYI, the Starboard side Chain Plates are not so easy to access in the Cabin due to the position of the Cabin Table. On Eximius, it's further complicated because our Cabin Seating around the Table has been raised, that means I have to lay down beneath the Table and Seat, on my back and reach up into the cubbies below the Tie Rods in order to ease the Nut on the end of the Tie Rod - Effectively blind and doing it just by feel alone.

But that just adds a bit of Fun - which is what working on Boats is all about!

Break Time - Need to wait till the Garage is cool enough to work in! Summers can be brutal here in South Florida.

Here's a sped up video of cleaning a chain plate

That's 2 of them cleaned and re-installed. Will work on the others Friday

See you on the Water.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rebedding the Chain Plates

We found a Leak - that's never good on a Sail Boat!
Water was running down the Chain Plate rod between the Deck and the Holding point on the Lower Aft Shroud Chain Plate.
No Surprise! That's Silicone Caulk around the Chain Plate and Securing Bolts on the Deck Port Side.

The Silicone has Shrunk over the past few years and finally gave way on the Port Aft Chain Plate during recent heavy rains.

Time to remove, Clean and Re-bed the Chain plates.

Step 1 was to disconnect the chain plate from the Lower Aft Port side Shroud. After seeing the failure of the Lifeline turnbuckle just a couple of months ago, I was anticipating problems with being able to release the strain on the Turnbuckle. So I gave it a prolonged treatment of PB Blaster. Basically I sprayed PB Blaster onto the threads of the Turnbuckle and then wrapped them in Paper Towel, then applied more PBB to the wet paper towel hoping that keeping the area damp with PBB would do the trick (make it easy to unscrew the turnbuckle) - That worked a treat! After leaving them soaking for several days, it was easy to unscrew them and release the Shroud cable supporting the lower section of the Mast.

Once the turnbuckle was easy rotated, I noted the thread count on each end and then completely disconnected the turnbuckle from the chain plate by removing the cotter pin as seen above.

It took about 20 minutes to clean the silicone from the deck. The good news was that a previous owner had taken the trouble to protect the edges of the 3 holes (plate and securing bolts) with Fiberglass Resin. So once cleaned it would be easy to reinstall the plates.

Here's what the chain plate looked like before cleaning.
That brown crud is just surface corrosion and the white crud on the plate is the residue of an earlier attempt to water proof the plate to deck connection.

There's more crud around the bolts and washers.

After clean up and treating the surface corrosion with Spotless Stainless.

Careful inspection of the cleaned plate with a magnifying glass confirmed there was no apparent crevice corrosion where the Plate Tab is welded to the Plate, nor on the underside where the Rod Connector plates are welded to the Plate.

So I get to reuse them, just as well, they cost about $150 each!

Here's the 1st of the plates, cleaned, sealed with Butyl Tape and, with the help of Peggy in the Cabin, secured to the deck.

Looks so much better and you can barely see the Butyl tape that is under the fender washers and the Tab Plate.

The turnbuckle is re-tensioned and I'm very confident that this will cure the leak and last a long while - at least a couple of years.

With #1 out of 6 done, I started on the other 5 today. PB Blaster soaking the turnbuckles.

Plan is to complete the re-bedding of the remaining 5 chain plates over the next week, then it's time to re-tension the rig - will need a Loos Gauge for that. Hopefully a I'll find a club member that has one and can help out.

See you on the Water.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 4th. 2017

July 4th. 2017 - HISC Cruise 

After working at cleaning the hull for over a week and not feeling ashamed at how grotty our boat looked, we loaded her up for the short trip down to Bahia Mar for the 2017 HISC Independence Day Cruise.

Saturday we left the slip around 3pm and arrived without incident at Bahia Mar by 4pm as planned. From our previous arrivals there and recent arrival at the Big Game Marina in Bimini, we were a lot more prepared to make a Pro arrival. We prepped the boat with lines ready at the Bow and Stern and Amidships on both sides of the boat, fenders ready to deploy and a note pad to write down the Slip position during the radio call to the Bahia Mar. 

We were designated to Slip H828 which is in the North Basin, Eastern most dock facing A1A port side to when tied up aft end in.

When we arrived, we could see Esprit Du Vent, Bob & Pat's boat already tied upon the next dock. Plan was to dine out with Pat, Bob, Pierre and Åsa of Charity. Dinner was at the B just over the street on the East side of A1A.

Pat led me to the Mermaid Show while Bob & Peggy confirmed the reservation. Once Pierre & Åsa arrived, we sat down for a delicious dinner. I'll add 'Two Beet Salad' to my list of favorite dinners.

Pierre & Åsa returned home after the dinner as they live just about 10 minutes away from the Bahia Mar and they planned to bring their boat to the dock on Sunday.

Sunday we went out for a day sail on Eximius with Pat & Bob, just cruising around outside of the Port Everglades channel. Not a lot of wind, but hey, we had nowhere to go in a hurry and it was a beautiful day on the water.  And sometimes it's really worthwhile just to sit back and enjoy, relax and let the Autohelm do it's thing.

Back at the Dock, Peggy took a bunch of pics as club boats started to fill in the empty slips. We ended up with about a dozen club boats, another dozen boats from the Seabird power boat club, and probably over 100 boats around the marina. 

The Bahia Mar was having a problem with the marina bathrooms and showers and they were all closed off for repairs. The hotel provided a room that we could use for showers, but it was not very well managed. Peggy & I waited 45 minutes for the room to become vacant and were then told that the current occupants would be at least another hour! We didn't make a fuss, why spoil our mood, and so we returned to our boat to have a shower on board. Several other club members commented on the poor state of the room when they were able to use it. Good idea but bad implementation.

Bahia Mar was not the only one having a problem! Our AC quit and in the Florida Sun in July that's no fun! After our experience in Bimini last month, I figured the problem was a blocked raw water supply line and that was it. So, using a a hose spout, I back flowed water through the Raw Water system and was able to clear the blockage. We need to do something about that. Joe - Rhapsody, told me about Barnacle Buster and I was able to order some online for pickup at the local West Marine Store. So I have job 1 for when we get back to the slip. The AC required back washing several times over the weekend, but at least it kept us cool over night which was really important in this heat.

We dined on board Sunday & Monday, just being a bit frugal as dining out tends to hit $100 most nights. But that meant we had the chance to chat with many of the other Club members which is always a treat. We learnt about things to do in places that we plan on visiting later this year. In particular, we sat aboard Diversion and had the chance to grill Bob & Joyce about their cruise up to St. Augustine. We're going there in a couple of weeks to celebrate Peggy's birthday and later this year we plan on sailing up there. Getting that kind of personal experience is a huge plus and stories of their adventures are always worth while.

Tuesday, July 4th arrived. I got up and made coffee & breakfast then dressed ship! Ironically, Eximius was the only boat in the marina that was dressed up for the 4th. Come on guys! It reminded me of the time we were in France aboard a Destroyer alongside an American ship and one of our Petty Officers took a tray of Tea over to the US Skipper - great sense of humor on both sides of the dock and both sides of The Pond.

Later that day we helped with the setup of the Celebration at the Skippers room at Bahia Mar, most of the work was done by the Host boat crews - Bob & Pat, Pierre & Åsa. They must have been exhausted with the number of balloons they had to inflate.
Food & Drinks started to arrive around 4:45pm (remember the HISC Cruising rule - Get there early - Get there Hungry & get there sober!). Bob & Pat had set up their Jeopardy game, the Jenga blocks were ready to grab the attention of the first players and the Billiards table was just crying out for someone to setup the balls and prove how skillful they thought they really were!

The Seabird club guys started to arrive, kids, adults, everyone just joined in the fun. Food - Fantastic! everything from Salads to Hams, Beans to Pulled Pork, Coffee to Vodka, and, oh! those deserts by Pat Schuldenfrei! 

Peggy took a bundle of pics and I have posted them on the HISC smug mug site (visit to find the link) and I also put them in a video clip.

Tuesday night the Fireworks were just off Fort Lauderdale Beach. Several of the club members went down to the beach - not our thing - We just walked to the end of H dock and the end of the T pier where we had a great view of the 30 minute awesome Fireworks Display in company with Bob & Joyce Tiger - Diversion.

Wednesday morning it was time to take the flags down, assist some of the club members with departure from the Bahia Mar and then, finally, for us to cast off. We're getting better at doing this and managed to leave the dock without so much as a puff of smoke from our Diesel.

We headed out behind Jeff & Janice - Cheshire, Joe & Barbara - Rhapsody, Bob & Joyce - Diversion as everyone else was leaving early. We were the last ones to leave the dock. Motoring under 17th Street bridge into the turning basin, we raised our sails and headed out of the Port Everglades Channel. The wind was from the East, so we furled the Jib and motored out to the outer marker, then letting the jib fly, we turned to the South East leaving the Port behind us.

We set our sails for a SE course and headed out for a relaxed sail. The weather decided to go dark to the South of us, so we turned back towards the North, with the Gulf Stream and flew up past the Everglades entrance. On the radio, we heard Cheshire  &  Pegasus call each other as they approached the Hillsboro Inlet to the North of us. By that time, I'm sure that Pierre & Åsa  were already tied up at their dock just North of Bahia Mar.

We missed the dark weather as it turned and passed over Hollywood to the South West of us. So we did a lazy run back into Port Everglades with the wind behind us and barely making 4 knots, which was fine as we need to time our arrival at the slip to be at least 2 hours after low tide.

Ambling back under the bridges was easy, we only had to turn a couple of doughnuts before 7th Avenue Bridge to await the opening, simply because we were not in a hurry and didn't need to rush after the boat ahead of us to get through the bridges.

We called 11th Avenue Bridge - Mary was on duty - and it opened. We motored through but then had nearly an hour to kill before getting back to the dock. So we dropped anchor just West of the bridge and had a late lunch of Snackables. Come 16:30 we pulled anchor and slowly approached our slip without incident.

It took us about an hour thirty to pack up our bags, move the food to the coolers and cart if all to the truck. We also moved a couple of Palm Tree fronds that had dropped into the yard / canal rather than leave them to rot. Then we took the drive home.

A relaxed weekend but we were still exhausted! Go figure! Now we're already looking forward to next year - not sure if it will be at the Bahia Mar, but things can change a lot in a year.

Now, well, we're planning our trip to St Augustine in a few weeks to celebrate Peggy's Birthday, that should be a great trip and we hope to check out the city marina with the intent of sailing up there later this year.

Time to fix a few more things on the boat - It's just fun to sail, to motor and to fix!

See you on the Water.

Paul & Peggy