Only 2 pages to go!
23 January 2013 | Whangarei, New Zealand
We've just completed re-bedding and sealing all windows (port holes) and stanchions (the silver poles around the deck). We now have our task list down to only 2 pages (70 items), some of which can only be done when we haul the boat out in March. We are making progress and now that the time consuming re-bedding projects of windows and stanchions are done, progress should be faster.
We had re-sealed all the windows and stanchions prior to leaving San Francisco and had a nice leak proof vessel. What we discovered during this first leg of our journey is the difference between rain and submarine testing.
During the two nastiest storms, the first out of Bora Bora, and the second, and most violent, on our trip to NZ, we had seas that made us act like a submarine due to large seas burying various parts of Tanga underwater. The pressure and direction of the water demonstrated that we needed to overhaul all hardware penetrations. They weren't designed to act as a submarine and take the amount and direction of forces that are placed on them during a collapsing wall of water. The largest demonstration of this was while we were riding out the NZ storm, we discovered water in our bilge! Our bilge is always dry, unlike many cruising vessels, we run a dry bilge. After we got over the anxiety of having a hole somewhere, we discovered that the water was coming in from underneath a window as each wave would smash into the side and push up on the base of the window. Not good, but fixable.
Tanga is now ready to pop out from underneath waves as dry as she entered.
A side note about fluid in the bilge. When a standing puddle of liquid is discovered, it's important to determine what it is so we can determine the source. Our first step is to put our fingers in the fluid and smell it. If it smells like diesel, then we know it's a fuel line issue and can chase accordingly. If it has no smell the next step is to taste it. This will tell us if its fresh water, indicating an internal plumbing issue which has happened as a fitting has vibrated loose in the past. (Since then all hose clamps have been replaced with two 316 stainless clamps, as they should be.) If it taste salty, we have saltwater coming in from outside. Saltwater is the most feared because that means the ocean is getting inside. In most conditions, this means a leak below the waterline which is very bad. Having a dry bilge at all times is considered an essential safety item on Tanga.