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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Leaky Tikis: Rain Inside Our Boat . . Subsides!

We are no strangers to getting rain-soaked aboard our boat.
This is me on our first sailboat in 2012, in route to Port Townsend, Washington.
Shhhhh. Dribble.Dribble.Dribble, SLOSH.

It's pouring out today—again. Summer in the Pacific Northwest. We're no longer under covered moorage, our big boat umbrella.
A few days ago. It's raining more today, but this pot is dry.
A few days ago, rivulets of rain worked their way onto our bed. We'd already decided past leaks gave our mattress a mildewy order that wouldn't fully go away even after all the leaks were stopped. 
We're at the dock plugged into power. We could use an electric heater to dry our bed.
We ordered a new mattress, determined we'd find a way to keep the new mattress dry. 
Wayne plays water leak source detective inside our boat.
Wayne caulked the window where he believed the water entered. He's also figuring a brow over that window would redirect the water that runs off our upper deck away from the window.
While there's a longer-term solution planned, this plastic window covering is keeping our bed dry.
Or maybe the caulking is. WHatever. It's relatively subtle, but effective.
Here's what's not happening inside our boat: drip, drip, drip.  All the water is outside our boat—at last! The credit goes to a lot of hard work on Wayne's part.
This is a leak source. Fixing it will require a portion of decking to be removed, the fiberglass underneath it leveled, then the decking put back into place, resealing between each plank and refinishing.
It's on our to-do list.
There's still a pot inside our stateroom to catch drips. Even though it's rained the last couple of days, the pot is dry. We're not sure why, but we're grateful. 
New mattress! This gets a head start on minimized condensation with an aeration layer that separates
the vinyl mattress case bottom from its wooden base.
We picked up our new mattress. I kept it in my car until we had a dry period to move the mattress onto our boat.
Our mattress frame, all cleaned and ready for its new mattress.
I thoroughly cleaned the area—bed frame, walls, overhang, with clove oil and water.
Clove oil and water mixed work well on mildew.
I love the scent of clove oil. Wayne doesn't.
Sure the new mattress would work, we said goodbye to our faithful former mattress. The leaks weren't the mattress' fault.
Alas, poor mattress. It served us well. We're sorry the smell made us bid it farewell.
Onto the next items on our list. Meanwhile, it's nice to be in a place where we can make our boat more comfortable. 

Update from Our Friend Chris of S/V Scintilla (& Us)
Dana and Wayne,

Congratulations on slowing the leaks!  It is a boat so it is only temporary.  
Yes, Chris is indeed correct. We have slowed our leaks but also determined after some heavy rain we needed some additional "band-aid" (short-term work-arounds) and some longer-term things to try. They all deal with how the boat pools and drains water from the other decks and what to do about it.
I have 40 years of experience in the PNW with this problem and just in case you did not know I wanted to share some tips.

  1. You can buy tributyltin in the liquid form (used to be able to get it from Rodda).  Add it to paint it is an anti-mildew agent and paint the bottom of your berth before you put down the mattress.
  2. Put tea tree oil in a spray bottle if you don’t like the smell of cloves.  It is also an anti-fungus agent.

    I'm pretty sure Wayne won't like the scent of this any better than clove oil, but you never know!
  3. If you ever go to replace your windows use acrylic.  You can take your old windows to TAP Plastics and they will cut you a new piece to exact size.  Very reasonably priced too.

    We will likely do this in the next year, along with changing the angle of our window frames so they don't pool water "in."
  4. Bed your new ports in either Dow Corning 795 or Stikaflex 295 UV WITH the primer. The Dow is cheaper and may last longer but must be super cleaned off if you ever have to re-bed.  The issue is what will stick to acrylic long term.  Also, you can use butyl or old-style windshield mastic (they use urethane now).  Butyl does have a tendency to come off on your shorts if you rub against it.  I have also used synthetic butyl, but I would go Dow first.


Location Location
Long, hot marina showers and Toni Doggett's wry artwork are some of the marina pleasures.

For the remainder of the month, we're in St. Helens Marina, unless the sunshine tempts us to anchor off our favorite river beach.

Yesterday and today were warm and sunny. Tomorrow is supposed to be as well. Until the rains return on Saturday, we are "on the hook."


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