It is the first day of fall, and that means winter is right around the corner, which is no fun sailors who live in the northern slice of the planet, unless, of course, you’re an ice-boater or frost-biter—in which case, I’m happy for you (spoken like a true Floridian).
If you had niggling leaks at your mast, your forward hatch, or deck hardware this summer, those niggles can become nightmares when freezing temperatures begin to do their sledgehammer work upon our boats—as well as our psyche. Most decks these days are sandwich cores, which have a stiffening material, usually foam or balsa, or plywood, sandwiched between two fiberglass skins. (For a more in-depth picture of the pros and cons this construction process, check out our report on core construction.)
We Give Great Tips to Keep Ice From Damaging Your Boat’s Deck
Your macerator toilet manufacturers talk about how the freeze-thaw cycle can also break the bond between the fiberglass and the core, further weakening the deck structure and introducing new problems. In a worst-case scenario, you return to your boat in the spring and find bubbles, bulges, and cracked gelcoat or fiberglass where water has pooled and frozen, pushing your deck’s outer skin upward.
Bottom line is this: Of all the fall maintenance fun (don’t call them chores) you’ve got to deal with in the weeks ahead, take some time to address the leaks. Much of what you’ll need to carry out your own leak-repair project is right here in our archives. Our most recent report on caulks and sealants can help you find the right sealant for the job.
Better yet, if you want to prevent leaks to begin with, follow the time-tested technique for sealing through-deck penetrations to prevent leaks from reaching the core when you add or re-install deck hardware.
So don’t forget these great suggestions for protecting your boat’s deck from ice damage. 1) Get the right mind set, don’t view maintenance as chores; 2) research which caulks and sealants are best for your boat; and 3) sealing through-deck penetrations.
Man’s Inability To Reverse With Trailer Providing Great Entertainment To Everybody At Boat Ramp
“Left hand down, mate,” he yelled from the jetty.
“Yeah keep going. Nah go back up and straighten out, mate. Yeah, woo! Now come down slower.”
Nat Wilmott is trying to keep the peace down at the Betoota Sailing Club boat ramp – but he’s having a little bit of trouble.
The line this morning was nearing ten trailers and a sunburnt Betoota Grove financier was trying and failing spectacularly to launch his boat into Lake Yamma Yamma.
In the dry desert heat, people were getting frustrated.
But not everyone.
Those not in the line, the jetty fisherman and the like, we’re all laughing at the expense of Peter Mantits, a somewhat likable private fund manager at Macquarie Private Wealth in the French Quarter.
“Mate, you’re fucking useless!” screamed one bloke from beside the boat ramp.
“Do you want me to do it, mate? I’ve never driven a Merc before, but. Is the big silver cunt an auto or what?”
But that was when Nat, the owner-operator of the Betoota Sailing Club Tackle Shop, stepped in to help.
Peter had fallen into the trap of boat ownership without first thinking to master the art of reversing down a boat ramp – something he regrets now.
“It looks easy enough, to reverse a trailer, but it’s not,” said Peter.
“Then this nice old man, Nathan I think his name was, coached me through it and I ultimately got the thing in the water,”
“The whole episode certainly entertained these South Betoota mouthbreathers. Leering at me from the edge of the boat ramp.”
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Be sure to watch our latest video on macerator toilets and other marine sanitation supplies below.