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Project Log:  Sunday, September 21, 2013

The large freeing ports in the bulwarks on each side of the boat were one of the design's more notable cosmetic and functional features.  The original material used to seal the joints between the hull and deck moldings in these openings had long ago passed the end of its useful life, and the material had become hard, dry, and brittle, and begun to fail and crack away over widespread areas.  It was time to address these areas as part of my overall preparations for painting.



Working comfortably from staging I set up outside the boat, I handled each of the six openings in turn.  To begin, I reamed out the old, failed material from the vertical seams, some of which were fairly sizeable gaps, and scraped off the bead of sealant at the base of the openings, where the deck actually sat on top of the hull molding.  Since the material had long since failed to successfully bond, removal was easy.  Afterwards, I wire-brushed the openings and seams to the extend possible, and thoroughly solvent-washed to remove remaining dirt and residue.




To reseal the openings, I chose 4200 polyurethane adhesive sealant specifically for its strength, flexibility, and adhesion characteristics, as well as for its application properties:  4200 is stiffer than 5200 and stays in place on vertical seams much better, and cures quickly.  I forced the sealant into the openings between hull and deck moldings, filling them up with the material before forming a cosmetic bead over the exterior of the joint for pleasing appearance and an effective seal.  These areas would later be painted as well as mostly hidden by the teak bulwark boards on the exterior.





While I was in the area, I found this was a good time to remove masking tape from around the rubrails, which tape had been in place for several years, since I put a few coats of varnish on those rails way back in January 2011, and also to clean up some excess sealant squeezeout from the outside edge of the caprails, which was now well-cured and rubbery and easy to scrape away.

While I worked on the two forwardmost freeing ports, I took the opportunity to mask over the outsides of the small round deadlights in the forward cabin; I'd masked them from the inside during an earlier session.


Later in the afternoon, I spent some more time masking on deck as needed.  To begin, I wrapped up some wires and the antenna for the AIS system that I'd previously installed through the pilothouse roof, and used some small stuff to tie the taped-up bundles to the shop ceiling so they didn't rest on the deck.  It was kind of a pain having these wires to work around, but I'd needed to run them previously so I could keep moving forward on the jobs I'd been working on in the boat's interior, mainly the overhead and wiring trim chases, and ultimately I'd be able to work around the wires easily enough.


Next, I masked over the anchor roller assembly at the stem, and then taped up the starboard caprail all the way aft to the cockpit, which brought me to the end of the day's labors.



Total Time Today:  4.25 hours

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