Tag Archives: leak

Rotten to the core



Some time ago I read an excellent article by David Pascoe called “Attaching Hardware to your Boat”. I highly recommend it, and all his other maintenance articles too.

To summarize: bolts and screws through your deck core will eventually make it rot away.

Now I have proof!

I’ve been sitting aboard Tammy Norie in the rain for several days recently. That gives me a good chance to look around for leaks. I noticed some drips in the heads compartment, and traced them to a nut on the ceiling. It was a bolt from the boom gallows attachment.


I remembered David Pascoe’s article, and decided it was time to grit my teeth and investigate the deck core. So on the next dry day I dismantled the boom gallows and used my 20mm hole saw to cut out the inner fibreglass layer and core (but of course not the deck).



What came out was not pretty. Instead of crisp balsa, I got brown mush.


You can see here how the balsa wood has lost its integrity.


And here are the damp sweepings from drilling out the other three holes.


Looking in to the cut out I could see the dark brown discoloured wood. I can only hope that now that it’s exposed to the air it will get a chance to dry out. It won’t regain structure, but at least I will have stopped the rot.


Out of the four bolt holes, only one looked good. You can see the contrast in the colour and texture. Note that only one of the bolts showed any evidence of leaking. That means two of them were secretly leaking into the core.


I re-fitted the gallows using new bolts backed with washers through just the deck layer, all sealed with butyl tape.  These stayed dry on the next rainy day.  Even if they do leak a little, the water should drip off the bolt and not touch the wood.

David Pascoe recommends sealing the exposed wood. I will do this once it has had a chance to dry out.

So take heed! If you have bolts through your deck core, get them out before it’s too late. Don’t delay!

I’m now looking at all the other fixings with suspicion, and will be working my way around them all.


Filed under Repairs and Modifications

Padding the pulpit

I’ve stripped out the interior of Tammy Norie in order to remove all the rotting headlining.  I’ll write a proper post about the redecoration later, but here’s a preview of the mess!


I was painting during some heavy rain and noticed a leak where the forward light wire comes in to the cabin from the starboard aft pulpit foot.  It’s a leak that would’ve been pretty well hidden by the headlining, forward shelving, etc. and so it’s a good thing I’d taken all that out.

So, time to re-seal the pulpit. Off it comes!


Way back here in my video “First tour of Tammy Norie” I said that I didn’t like the way the stainless-steel feet of the pulpit, pushpit, and stanchions were bolted straight onto the gelcoat of the deck, and there was evidence of cracking. I did a prototype fix of this to one leaky stanchion back in Wells using plywood. That’s not looking too great now, though it isn’t leaking.


So I decided to try a different material suggested by Dad — lino!  He had a bit of offcut cushion flooring from our old kitchen. It’s waterproof, resilient, and slightly squishy. I cut pads for the pulpit feet.



And then bolted the whole thing back in place with a bit of Sikaflex around the bolt holes and the wire from the forward light.  It looks very neat!


We’ll see how well it stands up to a season of seawater and sunlight.


Filed under Repairs and Modifications

Digging for nuts

This one’s for boat nuts only, or possibly fellow Coromandel or Corribee owners who might want to know what they’re in for.

While weatherbound and on a sandbank at Wells-next-the-sea last weekend I repaired a loose and leaky stanchion. The biggest problem was getting the thing apart, as you will see in this video.

I must stress that the arrangement with the backing plate isn’t final. I learned a lot doing this and it’s given me ideas about attaching many of these deck fittings much more solidly. The plate might end up being an L-shaped bracket with tapped holes for the bolts, leaving no protruding bolts.


2014-08-21 · 14:20