Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Leak

Frank's very good at tracking down and fixing what few leaks we have ever had every time it rains.  The only one that has alluded him, up until now, has been the one in our workroom.  Well, I wouldn't exactly call it a leak,  it was more of a seep which would only make a guest appearance during extremely heavy downpours, and even then you'd only notice it if you ran your fingers along the trim on the doorway.  Tracking it down proved to be a prime example of the snowball effect of boat projects.  Frank began by removing the related bungs to get to the screws, to remove the piece of trim where the leak was visible.  This allowed him to see, ah, there were wires coming through and it was running down them.  On a side note, the only way he was able to see up in the tiny space was using his iPhone on video mode with the flash on.  Because the camera is located so close to the edge of the phone, this allowed him to squeeze it into the tight space and view it on the iPhone screen.  We've used this method several times with other projects, and it's proven to be very effective.  A regular digital camera sometimes isn't quite small enough.

Since it's bad practice to plug a leak from inside, the source of the wires had to be established.  Ok, easy enough, the only electronics in that area, were the instruments in the instrument panel.  Getting to these proved to be more difficult, there is an access panel behind the instrument turtle but it only allowed a small child's hand to fit through....so, apart comes the panel.  Easier said than done, in the end, Frank ended up having to disassemble, rebuild, and re-bed the whole thing, using new screws and messy, black 3M 4200 for added strength and waterproofing.  Not only that, but the job required a plethora of tools-for everything from extracting broken screws, re-drilling pilot holes, caulking, gluing, cutting, etc.  It's amazing how much goes into fixing a "small" problem.  If left unchecked, small problems will inevitably turn into big ones, requiring twice as much effort and money.  Frank's mantra revolves around preventative maintenance...STOP all leaks.  I can proudly say, we're totally leak-free...for now.

These were all the tools used


  1. Hi guys,
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop of the latest adventures and scary things. As we had told you previously, your big sister, LAYLA, a 43 ft HC is in Beaufort NC preparing for departure south. We too have stories of scary discoveries and surprises, but remain committed to our departures south as soon as possible. Thanks again for your bold embrace of all things nautical.You remain an inspiration. Hope to meet you soon. Richard and Tracy of SV Layla.

  2. Hi Richard and Tracy,

    Thank you for your kind words. It's nice to see that our commitment to writing this blog is paying off and helping to inform new boat owners/buyers of all the trials and tribulations of embracing this dream. It's definitely not easy, and everyday we find that we're not only learning about Moitessier, but about ourselves as well.

    We would love to hear your stories of "scary discoveries and surprises" as hearing stories from people in the same boat (pun intended) helps us to understand that it's all a part of it, and pushes us to persevere. Misery loves company, I guess. ;)

    We hope to meet you both, please feel free to drop by whenever you're in St. Augustine.

  3. Also, forgot to write that we added your blog to our list (for when you write write your about your adventures). Blogger seems to be having some issues though, we'll try to fix the glitch when we can.

  4. hey guys just started reading your blog and love it. The better half and I are also planning on living aboard, and this give us inspiration. Particularly like the iphone cam method as i have done the exact same thing running wires in a cieling being an electrician. Aslo, is that a fien multimaster on the left? did you break down and get one/ if so congrats, they are amazing.

    merry christmas and fair winds,
    Myron & Samantha

  5. Hello Myron and Samantha,

    Thanks for your compliments, you're making us blush :)

    So, yes, we finally broke down and got a Fein Multimaster. Only wish we got it before we finished all the caulking! When are you planning on making the change to living aboard? Where are you located?

    Happy Holidays to you both!

  6. Yu & Frank,

    Going to make an offer after the new year, then hope to make the move in 2012. Like I said we've been planning for a couple years and managed to rid ourselves of 90% of our dirt dwelling possesions, but I'm sure there will be heaps more to get rid of.

    Located in Cocoa Beach, My wife grew up here and my family's been here since '79

    Happy New year,
    My & Sam

  7. Hello! I have just discovered your blog and I love it! My fiance and I bought an HC33 three years ago and I feel your pain on so many of the problems you have faced. I certainly find inspiration from you guys and I'm so jealous of the workshop and space you have on that boat! I am an expert on using dock boxes as work benches. We are living on our boat in SC but we are shipping it to FL in April around the Space coast area. Maybe we will run into you two one day. Keep up the good wirk!