Friday, October 24, 2014

Air Inlet Into Engineroom


During the dismantling of the teak deck it became clear that water was going into the boat through the slotted hole in the deck near the steering cabin. This resulted that in my case the inside deck beam, under the deck house, was rotten away.
Of course there always will be the chance that water will enter this area due to the opening at the front of the cover, with rain or bad weather during sailing.
When removing the fiber glass panel’s port and starboard it was noticed that these were glued against support wood and on top of the teak deck.

At the same time it could be seen that a seal of silicone on top of the deck should prevent water from entering the opening in the deck. 
For me this is not the right solution but must have been a good solution when the boat was designed, not the same types of glue/epoxy available.
The disadvantage of gluing something onto a teak deck is that teak is a greasy type of wood and it is difficult overtime to keep a good seal.

The Fiberglass covers were positioned onto the deck hold in place and with a pencil the outside was drawn onto the deck.
From there measurements were made to decide the width of the slot into the deck.
Then pilot holes were drilled into the deck at the center-line of the too be created slot.

With a whole saw larger holes were made to be able to remove the wood for the slot into the deck.
Made a minor mistake in measuring and ended up by removing wood of the deck in way of the wet unit. This was closed with epoxy at a later stage.

The wood of the deck was removed between the two outer holes by means of the help of a multi tool.

Next step was to create a barrier between the deck and the opening by means of a fiberglass “box”. With duct tape a barrier was created between the deck and the slotted opening.

When all was taped close a wall was created with fiberglass cloth and fiberglass against the duct tape but also against the cabin structure as well as against the whole slotted hole, wood was completely covered with cloth and epoxy.

After the tape was removed a small thin ‘box” of epoxy was created into the deck.

Several more layers of cloth and epoxy were added to create strength of the “box”. Also to make sure that there were no holes between the box and the deck an extra layer of epoxy was added at the outside of the “box’ to make sure that there is a watertight seal between the two: box and deck opening.

When all was finished to my satisfactory the box was tested with water on deck and no water passed through, the lowest part of the ”box” is higher than the toe rail so the chance that water will enter the engine space with water on deck will be minimum.

The following step was to recondition the fiberglass covers, wood from the inside was rotten away as can be seen on one of the first pictures and the type of paint used was normal white paint.
After al was cleaned and sanded I noticed 4 mall holes and a bigger hole on the covers.
Placing the navigation lights on the cover the holes matched up with the mounting holes of the navigation light.

Inside was cleaned and loose materials removed and new support wood was made to fit.
This wood was glued with epoxy against the cover approximately 2 mm lower than the cover rim. This way creating space for a seal.

When all was fixed the complete inside was painted with two component paint as protection for not only the wood but the fiberglass as well.

Since I do not plan to permanent fix the covers against the deck house I have been looking into an installation which allows me to remove in not a too difficult way these covers.
Main reason for removing the covers is that once a year I need to protect the wood with Owatrol D2, if the covers remain in place it will be difficult to protect the wood behind the covers.
Covers are fixed with screws original from the inside.
The solution I have is to place the same type of rubber as between the deck house of the steering cabin and the cabin walls.
This rubber was glued with sikaflex, after degreasing of course, onto the wood in the inside of the covers.
This was done with staples and later a thin layer of sikaflex was placed over the rubber with staples. When one does not degrease than the sikaflex will fall off after drying, after degreasing it sticks to the rubber.

Before the rubber seal was added the cover was sanded and painted twice with sanding in between with two component epoxy paint.

The covers were mounted onto the deck house and with this type of seal I can remove them whenever I do require.
As can be seen from the below picture no seal was added between the bottom of the cover and the teak deck, this way no water will be collected between the two and I do expect with the above described construction that the deck and the slotted opening will remain intact over the coming years.

What is left now is the decision where to place the navigation lights on the covers which I do prefer since if there is a water build up between the navigation light and the cover it will not affect either of the materials. When placed where I did remove them at the corner of the steering cabin on the wood there is again a chance that the wood will be affected and will start to deteriorate.
Below some pictures of the navigation light mounted onto the engine inlet cover.

If any of my followers do have the same set up on their boat I would like to hear from them and if possible with a picture.

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