The weather turned wet here recently, and last weekend was a downpour. We went to see how how the boat was doing, and look for leaks. Yep, found lots of leaks!
Earlier when the weather was good we had tried to anticipate where leaks could occur because we found dryrotted wood in several places at both sides of the boat (some pretty advanced which we had found before buying the boat), and saw other evidence of water intrusion in various places (windows, a couple of places in the ceilings, etc). I mentioned in an earlier posting that we replaced the drain hoses from the drains that catch all the water from the front and sides of the boat (those 38 year old hoses looked like swiss cheese and were just pouring hundreds of gallons or water over wood framing and into the bilge). We had also done some work with a garden hose trying to find leaks, but we knew the acid test would be a good hard rain storm.
We got dry weather yesterday and this morning, so we have been busy doing a lot of caulking now that we know the areas where water is getting in. And of course the closer we looked at things, the more places we found that needed attention. For example, we found the glass in one of the front windows in the vee berth was a quarter inch short of reaching the frame on one side! It had been caulked, but that had failed.
We also found places where metal moldings or gutters had caulking failures allowing water to run under them and get into seams. I ran a couple hundred feet of 4M 5200 marine caulking (small beads) along seams and along the top edge of trim pieces, and other places where water could be entering.
I also removed all the hand rail stanchions and their bases from the teak toe-rail today redoing the caulking, and touching up other places where water was or could be getting in.
It rained again this afternoon, and it looks like we have fixed about 90% of the leaks, and I think we see the solution to the remaining ones -- most involve minor modification and tweaking of the canvas flybridge and cockpit enclosures which are attached to wood roofs built by the previous owner. We want to get this boat weathertight for the winter since we don't have a covered moorage and Portland is famous for rain! Another day of dry weather and I think (hope) we will be on top of nearly all places water is getting in.
We did have a little fun today also -- we needed to turn the boat around to put the port side next to the dock, but after we fired up the engines the sun came out for a while, so we figured we may as well take her for a little spin. All was good, and I gotta say that it is sure nice to be able to turn the keys and drive the thing with some level of certainty that we can get back to the dock! Our new 4 Trojan T125 golf car batteries are working great in conjunction with our 60 amp smart 3-stage charger and battery combiner. I am anxious to install the Xantrex Link 20 twin bank battery monitor I got, but that will come after we take care of leaks.
1967 fiberglass 38' Chris Craft Commander Sportfisher with twin 427 CID 300 HP engines.