The time had come to haul her out and get her looked over at M & G (one of our local shipyards). We were all set to motor across to St. Sampson’s, however Mother Nature had some other ideas for us. Thick fog lingered around all day meaning we had to stay firmly where we were. The next day however was bright sunshine and calm seas so we motored her around for the lift which went very smoothly, apart from a broken log which was a bit of an unexpected expense!
The first thing we needed to check was the skin fittings as if these fail you are going to end up with water gushing in through the holes in the hull of your boat. Not an ideal place to be. The most common problem is that they can become red in colour and brittle, eventually causing them to fail. Unfortunately for us there is no sure way to check if they are OK without cutting them open to have a look inside.
Due to this we decided to sample a few of the skin fittings to check out what the conditions of them were. We were then able to predict what the condition of the remaining skin fittings would be and replace them where appropriate. This was not a cheap job, however getting the hull watertight is a pretty top priority in our books!
We were very glad once the holes were filled with some of our lovely looking new skin fittings!
The next thing to think about regarding the skin fittings was which ones needed to be bonded in order to stop them corroding. There are lots of different opinions floating around the internet on this, however it seems to be that if they are isolated to any other metals they do not need to be bonded to the anode. (although if you speak to someone else you will probably be told something slightly different!)
The last thing is to remember that you can’t forget about them! If they don’t get used they will eventually seize up and cause you an awful lot of problems. Nobody wants a toilet that you can’t flush! I have heard some awful stories of people being out at sea with seized toilet outlets… it’s not even worth thinking about! We smothered ours in some white marine grease to help keep them free and smooth.
There are loads of different types out there, but we used Bel Ray Grease which has worked wonders on our seacocks as well as many other things prone to seizing throughout the boat.
Check back in a few days to hear about our rudder antics!