No boat, whether it's brand new or a middle-aged lady like Nine of Cups, is without problems and issues. While we have continually worked to keep her shipshape, there is always a 'to-do' list of things that need attention, repair or replacement. Last week, I listed all her features, and this week, I only thought it fair to list all the things I know of that need addressing.
Decks – Part 1. When we bought Cups, she had beautiful teak decks, which was one of things that sold us on her. Teak is certainly beautiful, but does have a few shortcomings - as we found out after being aboard a few years. It is heavy and adds considerable weight; it gets quite hot in the tropical sun – so much so that we often needed to wear deck shoes when walking on it; and it requires a fair amount of maintenance to keep the caulked joints in good repair. The biggest problem, however, was due to the 3000 or so screws that attach it to the fiberglass deck. Over time, as the boat flexes with motion, moisture works its way under the teak, finds its way to a few of those screw holes and eventually migrates into the core. The core gets wet, possibly delaminating in places (which is very hard to detect under the teak). The water continues to work its way downhill until it finds an opening in the lower layer of fiberglass and starts dripping inside the boat.
Once in Colombia and once in Panama, I carefully removed sections of the teak, cut out a section of fiberglass, repaired the core, and then put it all together again. When it started leaking again, we decided it was time to remove the teak entirely, repair any damaged sections of the core, then fare and paint the decks. It turned out quite nicely, but a few years later, we discovered a few other sections of the deck that also needed repair. We repaired the worst of them in New Zealand a few years ago, and another couple of areas in Fiji, intending to get the last of them when we had the time and opportunity. Well, now is as good a time as ever to finish that job up and I'm working on them as I write this. Done and Completed: 8/2017
Decks – Part 2. The entire deck was painted in Ecuador about a decade ago, and I repainted parts of the foredeck about six years ago after completing the repairs we did there. After I complete the current repairs to the deck (Part 1), the decks will be repainted once again.
Topsides Varnish. We redid most of the brightwork in South Africa a few years ago, and it's time to do it again. I already did the eyebrow and cockpit pads, but the cap rail and deck boxes are in need of attention. Eyebrow, deck boxes and stbd side cap rail done: 8/2017
Aft Cabin Port Lights. Over the years, I've replaced and rebedded most of the portlights. The only ones not done were the three portlights on the transom – just over the aft bunk. They are crazed and starting to leak, and are on the to-do list. Done: 8/2017
Interior Varnish and Paint. We've recently redone some of the interior varnish, but there are several areas that still need to be stripped and redone.
Refrigerator. The refrigerator/freezer that I re-insulated in Australia developed a leak and won't hold gas. I tried unsuccessfully to find the leak in-situ - now I think the only way to find it is to pull all the refrigerant lines out and pressurize the entire system with nitrogen. I found a small nitrogen tank locally and have all the other tools I need, so I'm optimistic I will be able to track it down. Done and working: 8/2017
Sheer Stripe. Most of the hull is solid fiberglass. An exception is the top eight inches or so just below the cap rail, under the sheer stripe. This section is cored, and when the old chainplates leaked, problems developed in a few sections of this cored area. While in Trinidad, I repaired what I thought were all the bad areas and had the sheer stripe repainted with Awlgrip. One more section appears to need repair, so I intend to fix and repaint that section.
These are the major issues with Cups, but there are also the ongoing small maintenance items on the to-do list – waxing the coach roof, polishing the stainless, routine engine maintenance, etc, all of which I plan to take care of prior to turning her over to a broker. It's going to be very busy few weeks! I will document the repairs as I go, with photos and videos, which should generate a lot of Blue Views over the next few weeks as we get her ready for her new family – whomever they might be.