Tag Archives: SV Ganache

Ganache – Interior Tour

The interior of Ganache consists of a large main salon, with a starboard side galley inset next to the companionway. The main salon settees may also be used as sea berths. Teak moldings on the salon table and underneath the ports may be used as handholds, supplementing the overhead grab rails. Ample storage exists in lockers, shelves, underneath the settees, and in compartments inset into the companionway stairs.

The galley boasts a double sink, four burner Broadwater stove and oven, double fridge and ample pantry.

Forward of the main salon lies a sleeping cabin cum office, with a pullman berth to starboard that pulls out into a full double berth. On the port side, a large hanging locker lies just aft of a desk that can be used as office desk/entertainment center or second instrument station.

A head sits in the forward V just aft of a large sail locker.

The chart table is situated to port of the companionway. Just aft of this is a large workbench, useful for all those lovely maintenance projects. The electrical panel and engine access is in this corridor.

A large owners’ cabin sits at the stern of the boat, complete with queen-size berth and private shower and head.

The interior is bright and airy due to the many overhead hatches.

Ganache Lexan Port Replacement

In August 2003, we had gotten fed up with not being able to see out of our side and rear ports. The existing Lexan had become so cloudy over the course of the boat’s 18 year life that it was almost impossible to see through. Light would come in, but that was about it.

We had held off on this job because aside from the cosmetic aspect, the ports were fine – they were completely watertight and nothing leaked. We worried that if we messed with the existing setup, we’d create more problems than we solved. But after three years of living with the cloudiness, it was beginning to make me claustrophobic, so we dove into the job.

There are two fixed ports each on port and starboard, and three ports on the stern. We considered replacing the Lexan with plexiglass, but the curvature of the windows made that difficult. Guy removed the bronze frames, and popped the old windows out. We used the old windows as templates for the new ones, bringing them to a local shop so they could cut the new Lexan for us. That was the easy bit.

The hard bit started when we wanted to put everything back in. The new Lexan was bedded with two compounds. The first is a grey bedding compound that comes in strips. This compound is used industrially on high-rise windows to seal them and keep them in place. We obtained it from a local plastics store. The second is regular 3M bedding compound which we used to fill in the gaps in the frames. Guy then polished the bronze window frames until they were shiny again, and attempted to put them back on. This is where things got tricky, since the window cutouts in the deck were not properly shaped in the first place, and it was difficult to rebed the bolts for the frames so that they had any purchase. Guy was obliged to build some of the cutout areas back up with epoxy just to put the frames back on.

So far, we haven’t noticed any leaks.

Ganache – Teak Deck Seam Replacement

In summer 2002, we began the major project of recaulking all the seams of the teak deck. Actually, we started with a small test case in fall 2001, the seams around our key planks. These were badly cracked and needed immediate attention. In spring, we started again with a small piece, which was the deck pad at the base of our mast. Pictures can be found at the end of this post

Prep

The job of removing the original 17 year old caulking was simplified by our discovery of a neat little tool made by a German company called Fein. The Multimaster is a versatile tool that supports multiple bits. Instead of rotating, the attachments oscillate at high speed, thus helping to prevent “runaways”. The truly nifty thing about the Fein is that in addition to the standard sanding, cutting and scraping attachments, you can buy a bit specifically for the removal of teak seam caulking.

Once the old caulking had been stripped, we did a final cleaning pass on the seams to remove any residual caulking. On the deck pad, this was done by hand with sandpaper, but for the longer sections of deck, we found a small circular saw worked well for this phase. We put enough blades on the saw to span the width of a seam. Curves and smaller pieces were still done by hand.

Any old bungs that looked suspect were removed and replaced. On the deck pad, we removed all the bungs and screws. This was a precaution necessitated by our discovery of a small interior leak. The screw holes were injected with epoxy before all screws and bungs were replaced. As it happens, our deck leak was not at the pad, but rather at another bung on our teak trim “eyebrow” rail. However, the preventative maintenance on the deck pad can’t hurt.

On the deck itself, we also rebedded any planks that had lifted. This was done using 3M 4200. In certain cases, we replaced planks that had warped too badly or cracked, such as key planks or curved planks around hatches. Any deck fittings, like water and fuel inlets, were also removed and rebedded.

Before applying the new seam caulking, all teak was painstakingly taped. We originally used the 3M blue tape, but found that if tape was applied, caulking done and tape removed all in one day, regular masking tape worked just as well, and was far more cost effective.

Application

Once the teak was taped, sealant was then applied using a standard caulking gun. The sealant was then evened out using a small plastic scraper. We had to take care in some sections to avoid leaving gaps or bubbles in the sealant.

Timing of the tape removal was a bit tricky. The sealant must be cured enough not to leave a stringy mess when the tape is removed, but not so hardened that the tape tears and stays behind with the caulking. We found that removing the tape within a couple of hours of sealant application worked best.

We also found that it was important to inspect the seams after the sealant had cured to verify that no bubbles had formed. Areas where this had occurred were quickly retouched, by removing the portion of sealant containing the bubble and recaulking.

Sealant Choice

When we did our small test areas, we used 3M seam sealer as our sealant. However, we discovered that the key plank portions done in fall 2001 had already started cracking by summer 2002. We’ve since switched to Sikkaflex one-part for the rest of the deck. We’ll see how it holds up in comparison. We debated using two-part polysulfide, but after much hemming and hawing decided to try one-part first. Opinions seemed to be split in this area, and the two-part was harder to find, and apparently more difficult to mix and use correctly.

We made the conscious decision not to use bondbreaker tape at the base of the seams. One opinion on the 3M failure is that the lack of bondbreaker contributed to the cracking. However, the cracking appeared widest at the top of the seam, which doesn’t appear to support the above conclusion. We feel that in all probability, we had a bad or expired batch, that had already started curing in the tube before application. This would seem to be supported by the fact that the Sikkaflex was much easier to apply through the caulking gun than the 3M was.

Schedule

The overall deck project was started in July, 2002. We tackled one portion of deck at a time, starting from the bow and working our way back. By mid-July, we’d completed the entire starboard bow portion, and half the starboard beam. The work schedule includes 2 to 3 hours of seam removal per day (which is all our knees can stand) for 2 to 3 days, followed by an evening of final clean and prep, and an afternoon of sealant application. This seems to equate to about 1/7 to 1/6 of the deck area at a time. We finished the entire exposed portion of deck, excluding the cockpit, on the Labour Day weekend.

Helpful Links

We found the following links extremely helpful when doing research for this project.

How to Maintain and Caulk Teak Decks

Teak and Techniques, rotten deck core, and Asian boats

Pictures

Ganache – AquaDrive Replacement

When we originally bought the boat, one of the items identified during the survey as needing repair was our AquaDrive bulkhead.

The AquaDrive is a thrust-bearing device for the propeller shaft that is also tolerant of engine to shaft misalignments. It’s commonly found on commercial vessels and larger powerboats.

We believe it was installed on our yacht due to the slightly longer unsupported length of propeller shaft compared to a similar stern-cockpit vessel. Our engine is relatively far forward underneath the center cockpit. We’ve heard of at least one Liberty 458 without an AquaDrive that has had prop alignment problems.

The problem with ours was that the load-bearing bulkhead was made of stainless steel welded to feet which were then glassed to the hull. This arrangement was apparently not strong enough and the bulkhead broke at the weld to these feet. The problem may have been compounded by the weld not being able to “breathe” beneath the fiberglass. The break caused the bulkhead to move slightly when the boat was put in and out of gear.

The original owner had tried to correct the problem by screwing a metal rod through the bulkhead and into a floorboard support. However, this did not prevent movement of the bulkhead, and since the floorboard support is not a structural part of the hull, we felt that relying on this arrangement for a part that absorbs engine thrust might not be the best idea. This conclusion was cemented when one of us stood on the floorboard while the boat was put into gear, and felt the resulting “thunk”.

We received a variety of opinions from several mechanics regarding possible solutions. These ranged from “ignore the problem, it’s not serious” to “remove the AquaDrive completely, you don’t really need it”. A call to the AquaDrive’s manufacturer indicated that the first opinion was complete garbage, in that the bulkhead absolutely should not move at all. Rumours of alignment problems on other vessels similar to ours led us to believe that in general, keeping the AquaDrive would be in our best interest.

In the middle of the opinion spectrum, there were the options of rewelding the existing bulkhead to new feet or replacing the bulkhead entirely. In neither case did we feel competent to do the work ourselves.

In the end, we chose to go with the solution proposed by KKMI in California. We had them replace the old steel bulkhead with one made from G10, which is a highly compressed fiberglass laminate in epoxy resin. It’s very similar to the material used in printed circuit boards, and can withstand fairly high loads. The bulkhead was made larger than the original and was supported forward and aft by gussets or buttresses. It was a good replacement for steel in our system since it bonds well with the existing fiberglass hull, and won’t corrode, which is essentially what happened to the welds of the existing steel bulkhead.

Overall, we’re very pleased with the workmanship and have had no new problems so far. As well, the prep done by the yard was excellent. We had virtually no cleanup to do ourselves afterwards, and there was no damage to floorboards or walls.

Ganache’s New Faucets

The faucets that originally came with the boat were likely fairly standard marine faucets in the mid-eighties. However, we felt that the ergonomics could be improved somewhat.

In the forward head, the faucet on the sink had a single tap and separate knobs for hot and cold water. It was functional but aesthetically a little clunky. I unfortunately do not have before pictures.

In the aft cabin, the vanity sink had two separate faucets for hot and cold. This arrangement made the hot water tap almost useless, since hot water comes out of our water heater at near scalding temperatures.

We decided to replace both the forward head sink and aft cabin vanity faucets with the same faucet and liquid soap dispenser. The new faucet is not a marine faucet; it’s a regular bathroom faucet. It has a lever to control temperature instead of knobs. We like the lever arrangement, as it eliminates fussing with the knobs to balance temperature. The faucet itself is fairly high off the sink, allowing plenty of room to fit hands or other large objects underneath. Adding the liquid soap dispenser let us hide the original hole in the marble from the extra tap in the vanity and the extra knob in the head. So far, we have not noticed any problems with using a non-marinized faucet.

We felt that the original galley faucet arrangement could also be made more functional. The original was a very low faucet (about two or three inches off the sink) with hot and cold knobs. The foot pump faucets for fresh and salt water were also very low slung. This made it difficult to get large pots into and out of the sink and to rinse them. As well, the dual knobs meant more water wastage when turning the water on and off for rinsing.

Again, in replacing the equipment, we went with regular household faucets. We replaced the foot pump faucets with tall bar faucets. The regular fresh water faucet got tossed in favour of a Delta faucet with a lever control and very high arch. It’s so high that if we felt like it, we could put a bucket on the settee forward of the galley and fill it by swinging the faucet around. Now there are no more acrobatics when rinsing or filling large pots. The Delta also came with a spray nozzle. We had to drill a new hole in the marble countertop to incorporate the nozzle. The drilling was done using a drill hole saw adaptor kept constantly wet while cutting.

One of the major factors in deciding to use regular household equipment was the large selection available. In general, we felt that most marine faucets looked either too modern or too small on our vessel, or did not meet our requirements. We’re very pleased with the result so far.