After a couple of years with my Cape Dory, I finally got around to the arduous task of sealing the suspicious gaps surrounding the toe and rub rails. A bit of sea water, perhaps less than a quarter cup, would enter into the hull of Baggy Wrinkles after a good splashing around under sail. But this small amount of liquid still bothered me, wanting to get her ship-shape in all regards. I just don't like the fact that water came aboard without my permission! Water should definitely stay out of the boat.
First plan of attack is to do the ground work to seal the obvious points of concern. Hot southern summer sun had begun to peel back the varnish on the port-side bow rail. I knew I had precious little time left to protect her before cold winter rains would begin to work further damage on her. ( I'm still waiting on my full deck cover... )
|An obvious point of entry for water splashing up during a hearty beating to port.|
The entire rub-rail, junction between the rub and toe-rail, and where the toe-rail meets the deck, all needed preventative treatment and I employed both black and white sealant for the task:
|This initial sealant is designed to plug the gaps. A 2nd strip will blend the rail for a cleaner look from broadside. I repeated this between the toe and rub rail and then again on the joint where deck and toe rail come together.|
I began with a light sanding of the joint between the toe and rub rail, then applied Epiphanes varnish to help recover what the sunlight had done all summer to the port forward rail, unprotected from my hillbilly cover. I never thought of removing the rails because once that is done, one is committed to a longer term of work. My rails are not that bad. If I were going to do the deck and the hull, yes, I'd have pulled the rails off. However, that means probably, that I'd want to reinstall new teak rather than old teak. But too, one has to wonder about a redo like that, that once done, the boat loses its original flavor and is a cosmetic redo. She is not taking on significant water at all and her rails have much character as well. So a bit of assistance rather than a re-do was my approach.
Once applied, I decided to caulk in the sealant between the coamings and decking as water had slipped into the cockpit under seat cushions before. I wanted to stop that nuisance too! Everywhere there was a possible gap on Baggy Wrinkles, I caulked that gap.
|Using my fat fingers, I blended the strip of sealant to finish the seam. Some places better than others. I'll use a razor to fix the poorer places I screwed up with my fat fingers.|
Once I'd plugged up every visible gap I cleaned up some lines and considered my task nearly done. I want to go below and examine where I may need to employ some additional adhesive plus, I will re-look the cockpit drains and install some white flex tubing which will go better with the interior look.
|View from atop the coaming to the deck. Sealing this natural gap will help to eliminate water dripping into the cockpit while sailing. Plus, moisture really hinders stowing cushions aboard after a long day on the water.|