Busy rainy weekend: hatches; socializing

We had a busy weekend at the marina.

I accomplished a few fixit-type tasks.  My main goal for the weekend was to get all three of the old small cabin hatches replaced with the new ones.  Things started out well on Friday.  I pried out the old hatches carefully.  I found the best approach is to slowly work your way around the hatch, tapping a flathead screwdriver under the hatch flange with a mallet to slowly separate the sealant.  You really don’t want to violently rip the sealant since it’ll probably take the deck off with it.  Two of the hatches were easy; one took some patience.  But I got them all off, then used a metal brush bit to clean up the excess sealant left behind.

The new hatches have a plastic flange and are slightly too deep for the existing cavity.  Doug’s idea with the hatch we replaced before was to just cut the hatch itself down by about 8mm to avoid having to redo all the trim inside; that worked really well.  Once I got the hatches out I measured (all still about 8mm too deep), and then zoomed out to town to get Mr Loo at Royal Star Plastics to cut the hatches.  Back at the marina later I filled the old screw holes with liquid epoxy, waited a while, and then laid down some epoxy putty around the openings.  Saturday I ground that down, then added a tiny little bit more putty to better fair a couple patches, and that’s where things stopped because it started raining.

Everything is fairly well covered and sealed, but it’s been raining during optimal boat-work-time for a few days, so I didn’t get the hatches finished.  I’m still hoping to wrap them up over the next couple of days before we take off for a long-weekend trip to Phuket Thursday night.

I ended up hiring Amir to do some bottom cleaning after running into him on the way out of the marina.  I was planning to do it myself, but the fact of the matter is he does a great job for a good price whereas once the barnacle infestation gets to a certain level, I’ll probably end up ruining the antifoul if I’m scraping everything off myself.  I’ll have to try to emulate Owen on Malaika and clean every week or two from now on to keep things easier.

We got a few easy things done despite the rain: Charlene helped me finish tightening all the bolts on the dodger windows; I replaced some wire ducting on the underside of the dodger that I’d removed during that job; and I bought a bunch of nice containers and organized various tools and parts.  I’m noticing some sagging of the sealant on the side dodger windows, and I can only assume it’ll get worse, which is really disappointing after everything I did to avoid it.  Cosmetic perfection is really hard to achieve.  C’est la vie, it doesn’t affect the functionality of the windows and you only notice it if you’re up close.

I heard from Beta Marine that the new engine won’t be shipping according to the original schedule and will only be arriving at Port Klang in Malaysia on Sept 28.  Still trying to figure out when it will actually arrive in Langkawi.  I really hope the contractors I’ve lined up will still be able to take the job after the schedule change; if not that’d throw quite a loop in things.  Either way, there’s a little less immediate pressure to have everything ready to sail up there.

Lastly, on Sunday Charlene and I went out for a sail with Owen and Jessica on Malaika, along with Wayne and Fion, a couple that’s interested in living aboard who’d gotten in touch thanks to this blog.  Charlene is working on a post about that.  We had a great time and it was a perfect day for a sail — and then, back at the marina later, we found a party happening on the dock near Oia and joined in there for some socialization.  Nice to finally meet and chat with a bunch of the other folks I’m always seeing puttering around the marina; as they rightly point out, I should spend more time socializing and less time grinding and sanding and so on.

Leave a Comment

Filed under deck, hull, liveaboard, photos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *