During the winter of 2015-2016, we took a well-deserved break from boat projects and focused on our return to work. Saxony went back to working in Crisis Prevention, and then realized she had lost her appetite for this kind of work. She suffered through a few difficult months before actively searching for work. It was a frustrating exercise but through a mix of perseverance and good fortune, she landed a dream job at ViRTUS. In one move she went from the non-profit suicide prevention world and was catapulted into a for-profit business helping other companies through leadership development programs and strategic planning.
Emmanuel joined his longtime friend Mike in a small startup business called Leavetown.com. A big pay cut compared to the old engineering days but an extremely exciting and promising company in the world of adventure travel and technology.
By March, we were ready to tackle some much-needed projects on Leela. We had noticed that Leela would leak in a few locations when she heeled over. We did some extensive research online eventually communicating with Jim (s/v Moonshine) at now-defunct blog unionpolaris.com who had completely restored an early hull Union 36 like ours. Jim informed us that the design/construction of the scuppers was terrible and the Union yard had eventually changed the design altogether in later hulls. The early scuppers were prone to cracking thus introducing water in the deck core. Jim had proceeded to rip the scuppers out with a jigsaw and replace them with new moulds. We decided on a simpler approach. We sanded down all of the scuppers and re-glassed them completely using G-Flex epoxy which has some inherent flexibility.
As we were doing this work we also noticed the jib track bolts appeared to be leaking which was also introducing moisture in the bulwark. As is the case with most old boat projects, removing the job track bolts turned out to be an epic can of worms. Back in the day, the Union Yard had simply installed a small nut which they bedded in epoxy of some kind within the bulwark. After 40 years of stress from the jib sheet, the nut had freed itself from the surrounding epoxy and did not allow the bolt to be free. Basically, they both turned together and the bolt would not pull out.
We ended up having to drill 3 holes in both the starboard and port side bulwarks to reach the nuts, free the bolt and then re-install new stainless steel threaded plates to ensure this would NEVER happen again. Both of these time consuming but extremely life preserving projects were completed in Spring 2016.