Saturday, 3 August 2013

Maintenance Day

The plan was to do something about the possible leak in the centre Houdini hatch today but sitting on the throne this morning I happened to glance up at the oak trim between the ceiling and the end of the wall partition and notice a large gap.

Partition between the shower and toilet

On further examination it was obvious something similar had occurred in the same position on the partition between the shower and the bedroom.

It’s rather obvious this damage occurred two days ago when we were smacked by a boat passing us on a straight whilst moored in Middlewich.  The kinetic energy has flexed the side of the cabin at the point of impact which just happened to be the shower room.  The partitions have moved back into place but the oak trim on the end has been dislodged and the pva glue seal broken.

Both oak trims need to be removed and re-seated. To do this the oak plug covering the retaining screw needs to be removed.  This was achieved by using the battery screwdriver to screw another screw into the plug.  When the tip of the second screw hit the head of the original screw the plug gets forced out.  I learnt that trick off the joiners!  With the head of the original screw exposed it’s possible to remove it with the drill.

The hole nearest the oak is from the temporary screw that was used to secure the partition during its installation.  The fact that the hole is visible means the partition is in the correct position.  More pva glue was applied the piece if oak trim.  Actually considerably more glue!  It was then screwed back into place.

Finally, a replacement oak plug was glued and driven into the screw hole with the mooring pin club hammer (I don’t have a carpenters hammer).

You will have noticed my mistake.  I forgot to align the grain in the plug with the grain of the oak trim.  I now need to find some way of trimming off the surplus oak on the head of the plug to make it flush and then apply a couple of coats of varnish.

My attention then turned to the centre Houdini hatch.  I’m not sure if it’s a leak or condensation but today I made sure.  The Houdini hatch was removed by unscrewing the hundreds many small machine screws.  After a careful examination of the Houdini opening I couldn’t see any sign of water entering via the roof seal.  The first task was to run a fat bead of silicone around the inside lip of the Houdini frame.

I’ve used silicone rather than construction adhesive because the hatch might have to be removed one day and if it was held by construction adhesive that would be an extremely difficult task.

The remaining silicone in the gun was then used to fill any gaps between the steel of the roof and the oak trim.

This probably wasn’t necessary but it will assist in the minimising of any opportunity for condensation to form.  The Houdini hatch was then fitted back into the hole and screwed down.  The screws were tightened down in a sequence diagonally opposite and done twice to ensure a tight fit.

As I had hoped, surplus silicone was squeezed out between the foam seal on the hatch and the steel roof.  This was then wiped off and the area around the edge of the hatch cleaned.  Now we must wait for the next bout of rain to see if there is any further dripping from the hatch.  If there is then it’s condensation.


Halfie said...

What about the possibility that the steel shell of the boat has expanded in the hot weather to open up joints? I've noticed something similar happening to the ceiling lining T&G on Jubilee. And we haven't been clonked.

Tom and Jan said...

If it were the heat then all the trim would be like it and we'd have seen it on previous hot days. The fact that it hasn't previously been seen and is confined to the vicinity of the impact area strongly suggests to me it was the impact. Of course I'll be monitoring the trim to see if you are correct! But if I were you I wouldn't place money on your theory! :-)