Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Watching for Troublesome Deck Cracks

Author:

There are several things going on in this picture, all stemming from the small hairline cracks radiating out from where the chainplate pierces the deck. At first glance, they may not appear to be that serious. However, they will allow water to penetrate the outer skin and enter the balsa core of this high-end daysailer, setting off a series of problems.

In Northern states, at least, this water will freeze in the winter months. As it does so it will expand, forcing the crack to get a little wider and increase its length by an imperceptible amount each time, thus allowing more water in when the temperature rises again. The boat will go through many of these freeze/thaw cycles during a typical winter, and before you know it you have a real problem and a hefty repair bill.

Damage to the fiberglass may be bad enough, but the real danger is to the chainplates themselves. Crevice corrosion, the nemesis of stainless steel that is deprived of oxygen, could be eating away at the chainplate where it is hidden within the deck’s structure.
In this particular case I recommended that the cracks be ground out before filling and fairing with epoxy. The deck could then be repainted to match the original. I also suggested that the chainplate deck cover (the one with the fours screws) be lifted and the bedding caulk underneath be raked out and replaced to prevent water from getting into the deck by this route too. Not a huge job at this stage, but if neglected the damage could become extensive and the repairs far more costly.

Related

01-LEAD-BahiaCobre

Charter the Sea of Cortez

Chartering and the notion of going “off the beaten path” may sound self-contradictory. Charter companies tend to put bases where demand is high and they can turn a profit, so if you’re lucky enough to find an outfit and a destination that gets away from the typical—say yes. To ...read more

22D6FB6F-AA49-4784-A3A8-960F5A7CE330

Cruising: Anchoring Skills

Watching charterers make a run for the last mooring in a cove is fun—and weird. I always wonder why so many would rather try to catch a mooring than drop the hook. Maybe charterers don’t trust their anchoring skills, but it’s harder to drive up and grab a buoy than most people ...read more

BD-TJV21_Malama_063

11th Hour Breakdown in the TJV

11th Hour Racing’s Mālama kicked off the second week of the Transat Jaques Vabre with keel problems, forcing co-skippers Charlie Enright and Pascal Bidégorry to adjust for a more conservative approach to the race’s remaining 2000 miles. “We’ve been dealing with a lot of ...read more

2021-rolex-y-of-y-email-graphic

Rolex Nominations Open

Award season is upon us, and US Sailing is looking for the next Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex since 1980, the annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize individual male and female sailors ...read more

04-IMG_3448

Buying a New Main Sail

I’ve always known the importance of having good sails. As a low-budget boat punk, I prioritize making sure I can get where I’m going with the help of the wind, as opposed to under power. It isn’t necessarily my goal to be engineless, or basically engineless. It just happens that ...read more

WAC

VIDEO: Protocol and Class Rules of the Next America’s Cup

The Defender, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and Challenger of the Record, INEOS Britannia, have announced the protocol and class rules for the 37th America’s Cup. According to team CEO Grant Dalton, “As the oldest trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup maintains ...read more

Chartwork

Are You Ready to Bareboat Charter?

Judging your own readiness is never easy. That goes double for chartering and running a yacht on vacation. What I hear most often from first-time charter guests is that they’ve been sailing for decades, so how different can it be to charter? The truth is it’s very different ...read more

Ventana

Looking Ahead at the USVI Charter Show

St. Thomas, US V.I. – While the crewed charter and bareboat industry are clearly slated for a very busy sailing season, the recent Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA) show https://vipca.org/usvi-charter-yacht-show/ held in Charlotte Amalie Nov. 7-10 ...read more