Today was the final day of chainplate drama (hopefully).  We went out to Sundowner expecting to get underway installing the final chainplates.  It would be a total breeze because… We’ll we’ve done the other five right?  Well as with all things related to boats there is always a snag lurking.

The port side upper chainplate holes didn’t line up perfectly.  The bottom most hole caused the bolt to angle such that the square part of the carriage bolt wouldn’t slide into place properly and the mushroom head of the bolt wasn’t forming a flush fit against the chainplate.  So I broke out my drill and used a big bit to grind out about a sixteenth of an inch so that it would go in correctly.  Of course this happened after we had caulk everywhere.  You can bet your ass I dry fitted the starboard side plate before caulking it.

The procedure was the same as before.  Dani starting the nuts on the bolts inside the boat as I pushed them through outside.

This took up a lot longer than it sounds like it should.  It takes about 40 minutes to sand and scrape all the old caulk off of the hull where the old chainplate was bedded down.  The install of a chainplate itself takes about 40 minutes.  And then there is caulk cleanup.  Well eventually we got it done.  So while all the rigging isn’t done yet, at least all the chainplates are in.  And boy are they shiny.

Chainplates finished

I also connected our long neglected whisker stays.  I had made up the new wires but I hadn’t ever installed them since I was waiting on new turnbuckles to replace some old closed bodied buckles.  So finally, after what seems like eternity… All of the rig is in place, even if we’re still in the middle of replacing individual pieces, at least it is hooked up!

Whisker Stays installed

While I was puttering around with some wire and doo-dads… Dani was busy scraping caulk out of the seams of the hatch.  It is coming along nicely.

Dani scraping caulk

Because we weren’t satisfied with the mess we’d made installing the chainplates, we decided to break out the big tube of caulk.  Dani had discovered another leak in the cap rail further back in the area that we hadn’t recaulked.  Now we really believe the leak is through the screws that hold the rail to the joint, but we decided to really caulk it well anyway.

Caulking caprail

And finally, the last thing we did was epoxy some holes that were left over from the liferaft canister cradle.

Filling deck holes with epoxy

Amazingly, the deck was totally dry in those holes.  No leaks.  It’s like a minor miracle. Every time I pull a piece of hardware I fully expect it to come up with deck rot, but none to be found here.  It’s the little victories right?  So we’re probably going to sell the life raft and buy a new one right before we leave.  I think we’ll go with one of those new age valise rafts that come in the molded plastic and can be stowed down below.  I’ve read too many horror stories about liferafts being taken off the deck by a wave.  And ours is out of its service date.  It was time to get it off the boat.

Another weekend in the book.  Minor progress.  But every time we leave Sundowner, no matter how terrible things look (with stuff just strewn everywhere) I know that she is a little better off.