Tool of the Day … Life Calk

In the latest episode of the quest to PLUG ALL THE LEAKS …. we had a carpenter / captain take a look at Sanitas in White Sound at Green Turtle Cay. He pointed out some small cracks in the teak toe rail on the bow, and suggested that they could be the source of the water intrusion into our forward cabin. You remember that “water intrusion”, aka leak, right? I now admit that we’ve been fighting this leak since the boat yard. So far we’ve:

  • Re-set the deck fitting for the head pump-out
  • Re-set the deck fitting for the foreword water tank input
  • Replaced the mattress and bought three different mattress pads
  • Side-tripped to Miami and re-glassed the anchor locker

Now we are trying again to get to the root cause and fix this dang leak once and for all by repairing the connection between the wooden toe rail and the fiberglass deck.

We grabbed a slip at the Conch Inn Marina in Marsh Harbour so that we’d have a safe and secure place to work, protected by wind and waves. Then I made the trip the Island Boy’s Tackle and bought them out of Life Calk tubes.

The material supposedly stays slightly flexible when dry, so it should work for the necessary flexing of the bow when we sail into waves. But it should also be well waterproof, and fill any existing cracks in the decking. Mike spent one entire day standing in the dinghy, tied to Sanitas, scraping old adhesive from beneath the toe rail, all the way from the bow to the beam. He did find several spots where the old adhesive was black and rotten – a good sign that this could be the culprit in our leaks. The black spots did roughly correspond with the places we see water trickle down the walls of the cabin too. Another good sign!

The second day, Mike spent back in that dinghy (core and balance workout?) filling the seam with a new bead of Life Caulk. We let her dry for 48 hours in the sun, and hoped for the best.

I really hope this does the trick. It would be great to be able to leave the mattress in the cabin while we sail. Lately, we’ve been folding the mattress in half, pulling out all of the pillow and blankets, stuffing chamois into the “ceiling” when the water comes in, and laying beach towels along the hull. Oh, and the headliner has been sitting in the salon on the floor leaning against the settee, so that it does not continue to get wet. It will be great to get back to normal, and clear up some of the chaos on Little Sanitas!

Here’s Mike putting the headliner back in place …

3 thoughts on “Tool of the Day … Life Calk

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