Dry Storage .. Finally!

Leela leaks. A lot.

Funny when we purchased her last fall she was bone dry. Makes sense as we just purchased the boat at the tail end of the summer. So when the first big rain came she barely showed a tiny leak and we thought “we have such a perfect boat!”, “We are so lucky!” I guess compared to the first Tayana 37 we had looked at she was indeed perfect. But what was really happening was that the plywood core on the decks and cabin top was more or less on the dryer side of things following a dry summer. When the fall Pacific Northwest rains started in earnest she slowly but surely started completely saturating the core to the point where a 10-minute rain event produced an instant leak in the boat. Seems like there was a new leak appearing every day. And sure enough, as Saxony can attest, I was losing my mind. As an Engineer with water-intrusion-a-phobia, leaks in my living space are completely unacceptable. Over the winter months we covered Leela as best we could with tarps which stopped most leaks except for the ones that were caused by water intrusion into the side decks from the teak deck screw holes. I bid my time knowing that April 1st she would be going into dry storage. The day finally came and finally, our beautiful Leela can dry up in a wonderful shop. It’s kind of like a hospital for boats. Except we’re the doctors, and the surgeons, janitors, painters, and taxpayers..

Finally a nice dry space to work on the topside and decks

Finally, a nice dry space to work on the topside and decks

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We could not have landed in a better place. The shop is a marine trade COOP of sorts led by a wonderful man by the name of Phil. This guy is a commercial Alaskan fisherman and knows boats. He previously lived on a 57′ sailboat for 19 years with his wife raising 2 children as well as travelling down to the South Pacific. He has taken a liking to us and our grand dreams and comes over 3 times a day for “progress checks”, offering advice, lending obscure tools and offering his “pro tip” a day. Phil’s word is law and when he approves or disapproves of our ideas we quickly fall in line. Over the next 6 weeks, we have our work cut out. We have begun removing all the teak in the cockpit to seal all the screw holes with epoxy and create a new cockpit gutter as well. We will also be taking out all of the teak deck screws (all 1,000 of them) and filling the holes with epoxy. Every single piece of deck hardware will be re-bed with Butyl Tape. Leaks must Stop and we’re on a mission!! We are replacing the leaky diesel tank and have a host of interior projects as well.

Our rudder was removed and re-glassed over the winter. Here it's finally back on the boat

Our rudder was removed and re-glassed over the winter. Here it’s finally back on the boat

Saxony hard at work removing the teak bung that covers the screw that must be removed prior to chiseling the teak planks out without breaking them for re-use so we can finally plug the screw holes with epoxy

Saxony hard at work removing the teak bung that covers the screw that must be removed prior to chiselling out the teak planks without breaking them for re-use so we can finally plug the screw holes with epoxy. Phew!

Luckily we have been able to enjoy very few and far between moments of relaxation together including a sunset at Secret Beach in Vancouver. Soon enough we will be drowning in sunsets!

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