After a few days of relaxation, we started the strenuous activities. We are repairing the damage caused by the crossing from Cuba to Aruba. We eliminate the causes of this damage. And we remove new damage that occurred after the crossing. And ancient damage that was there before we started in the Netherlands in summer 2019. In doing so, we make discoveries that we would rather not have made. If you as a landlubber have no idea, you should get the idea somewhere or pay with dollar bills and sweat afterwards.
A few years ago we were in Scotland with Sissi. We noticed that after hard sailing against the wind there were a few drops of water in the forward cabin. We never found the cause, nor did it repeat itself. Near Roscoff, on the day our mainsail broke, we had a little water in the saloon. The fans were immediately under suspicion because a lot of water had flowed over the deck. Why did we have to sail donkeys against wind speeds of nine? The fans can now get rid of their hat, I release them from any responsibility for the water damage.
On the long crossing across the Atlantic I complained about occasional dampness in the forward berth. Slowly a suspicion arose that the anchor locker was leaking. The humidity went, we checked the anchor locker in Varadero when Sissi was on dry land. He looks great. The humidity was forgotten again, we had other problems to solve. We have only located the problem in the forward berth.
After removing the first hatch, I knew where all the moisture was coming from. There wasn't much left of the sealing tape; the screw holes were encrusted with salt towers. My landlubber's life experience sees windows as somewhat maintenance-free openings in the wall through which one can ventilate one's apartment. Evil.
How do you properly seal these hatches? Certainly not by re-gluing the frame with Sikaflex. In addition, the local hardware stores do not even have the saltwater-compatible Sika on offer. A trip to Budget Marine later, Jens comes back with a couple of rolls of sealing tape. Very good, this stuff can be bought in Aruba.
Now the hatches are removed one after the other. Everywhere we see that there are incrustations of salt around the screw holes. The old sealing tapes were very old. Very very old. After all, I've had Sissi since 2017. And the tapes must have been old by then.
The window frames are mechanically and chemically cleaned and the salt removed. The boat is also cleaned. There must be no more dirt or dust where the new rubbers should hold tight later. Then the frame is glued.
Then the hatches come back in place. Unfortunately, one of the next abysses opens up at this point. Due to the amount of moisture that has entered and the movement of the ship, some of the screws are spinning. Some more, some less. In particular, the screws that fasten the hatch hinges have suffered a lot.
We get advice from a carpenter in Frankfurt. How can you make these holes in the wood smaller again so that the screws hold again? First he advises us on a solution that we have already figured out. Take bigger screws. Of course, that means a trip to the hardware store again.
The biggest screws spin in the biggest holes? Then the holes have to be glued. Do we have glue? No of course not. That also means a trip to the hardware store again.
A trip to the hardware store takes at least an hour and a half, sometimes longer. It depends on how long you have to wait for the bus. Now we have everything on board, the windows are screwed on and we still have replacements for the future. We are currently considering whether we should not open the construction site with the side windows. The side windows can also be tricky. So far only the one next to Jens' bunk was leaking. We'll definitely work on that.
When you do a job for the first time in your life, the result is not always perfect. We had to learn that it is better not to puzzle too small with vinyl tape.
In the top left corner you can see how we first glued the corners. Water was able to get through between the individual pieces, as the water hose leak test showed - much too nice to see from the inside in the water droplets that found their way back into the salon. In the top right of the cutout, the new solution that no longer lets water inside.