Gene went into town to commision some new cushions and covers for the v-berth. They are so old and stinky I can't take it anymore. The scuttlebutt is that there is a new policy in place at the marina that adds a fairly hefty charge on all work done by independent workers, so Gene is in town doing business outside the marina to save extra costs and I am in the boat trying to stop the leaks. Yesterday, I went into the aft cabin to pull out the aft-berth mattress and found it was wet! I thought the leak back there was taken care of, but it wasn't. Unfortunately, we have kept the door to the aft cabin shut so that the air-conditioner we have jury-rigged over the main-salon hatch doesn't have to cool the entire boat and we never go into the 'garage'. When I cleared the ditch bag, plastic storage bins containing sewing stuff, small electronics, trinkets and whatever away, I got down to the wood and found I had the same thick mushroomy mold growth I had several years ago when we left Peregrine for seven months and came back to a moldy cave. We have wood rot and all kinds of stuff going on. Gene said he thought the leak must where the stainless bimini tubes attach to the deck. I scrubbed the whole section down with bleach water and put the air filter back there. We left the door open last night so that the air conditioner could help dry things out.
This morning, I saw water dripping and put a bowl under the main drip coming from a spot in the zipper of the headliner. The bowl was filling quickly and I saw that the headliner was sagging at one area and when I tugged on it water came through the zipper like a faucet turned on full blast. The vinyl headliner that covers all the things that could be the cause of the leak (ie: compass, winches, stanchions and bimini hardward) had a one inch gap started in the zipper where the broken off zipper head used to be, so I opened the gap on the zipper wider. A five inch gap was all that was needed to see a soaked piece of foam and a blackened, opposite side of the headliner. No wonder the place always smells moldy! I made an executive decision and tore out the moldy headliner. While I was tearing it out, I figured Gene would rant about it, but his rant would be nothing like mine!
The moldy headliner and the offending compass base.The leak was a fast, large drip from the compass. I threw the moldy stuff in a trash bag and went out in the cockpit with another trash bag and covered the compass. I went below, wiped up the mess and sprayed the whole section with lysol spray. The drip at the compass continued. The rain was really coming down but I went back out to the cockpit and decided the water must be traveling down the cinch strap that clipped to the stainless cage over the compass. The strap held down the left side of the front of the bimini frame. I unclipped the strap and left it hanging. The bimini cover is nothing but green mold now and needs to be taken down anyway and I figured I'd do that during a break in the rain. I covered the the top of the compass's protective cage and went below. I wiped down the back again and the next time I check the leak had stopped.
The design of the compass and the bimini hook.Ok, now the leak (mini-waterfall) running down the back wall in the head just ahead of the head's hatch. I don't know where the water is coming in, but it was quite a bit. The hatch is open a few millimetres for the cord to the solar panel and my temperature gauge, but there is a lip on the hatch and I didn't think that is where the water was getting in. I took another trash bag and covered the head's hatch. I also had to wrap around a halyard next to the hatch in case the leak was where the halyard attaches to the deck and I think I will have the same trouble as with the bimini strap; water will run down the wire halyard and get under the plastic trash bag and down into the boat. The plastic cover seems to have done the trick, but if we get more wind and heavier rain, it probably won't hold up.
The solar vent in the aft-cabin is also leaking despite our putting plastic under the stainless cap on deck. The water ran onto the shelf below it and I had to peel off the warped and mildewy veneer. More Bleach.The boat looks like hell. All the canvas is black or green, the deck paint is thinning and bare in spots, the interior is rotting and I am depressed. The new cushion we had made in Italy that was back in the after-berth is gonzo. It doesn't matter if I try and clean up because the leaks will just undo what I did.
Gene will probably not be happy with the headliner removal, but at this point I don't care. I'm at the "If you want something done, do it yourself." stage. I would rather have the nuts and bolts and fiberglass showing and be rid of mold than have the mold covered headliner up.
It's now 11:45. Gene should be home soon and the fireworks will begin. I won't be able to yell much because I'm hacking away from all the mold spores I've breathed in this morning.
I've got the foam from the aft cabin berth drying in the main salon. I've sprayed it with lysol and I washed the cover in bleach and detergent--the mold stains didn't come out; but at least it's clean. We were going to have the zipper repaired on it and put it back on, but I don't think it's worth repairing. The cost to replace it here seems high, but we're unrealistic sometimes on what things cost anymore. The two cushions in the v-berth are going to cost us $750. to replace, but they have to be done. For the aft cabin, I think clean, but stained, will have to do until we get home. I don't know what to do about the wood rot. After the fireworks and battle of wills, we will have to talk about the logical thing to do. Ignoring isn't acceptable, but this is a really bad place to get things done.
Ok. Rant and whining over. Tomorrow is another day.