In this week’s refit video we show you how we bedded down our genoa track with butyl tape. No Sikaflex, no 3M, no polyurethane adhesive, just tape. Also I get to hang out with the locals, now that I’m fully entrenched in my new abode.
Weekly Video Round-Up
The video isn’t just about the genoa track. There’s rum, more rum, and a rudder that no longer fits.
Bedding a genoa track with butyl tape
Since recording our first stay-sail track bedded with black butyl tape we’ve made some improvements on the technique. These photographs are to accompany the video clip, which is more comprehensive. If you can’t watch the video, however, here’s a quick breakdown on how to bed the track.
1. Clean everything
As in, clean the deck, the track and the bolts with acetone. Make sure it’s clear of grease, dust, dirt and, in my case, sweat.
2. Countersink the bolt holes
Perhaps the most important aspect of this exercise is to ensure the bolt-holes are countersunk. This ensures that the tape creates a gasket when pushed down into the hole.
3. Line the track with tape
The tape comes with a dividing strip, so lay the tape on the track and keep that plastic strip on it for the moment. This will prevent the tape from getting dirty. It’s important that the tape comes right up to the edge and that it is even. If the tape is not wide enough, lay another strip along side it and trim.
4. Put tape under the bolt heads
The tape is easy to manage, especially in the tropics when it heats up and goes as soft as Blu-tac. First wrap tape around the heads of the bolts. This will ensure that the countersunk hole in the track is filled with tape.
5. Push the bolt-heads through the track
Take the plastic tape off the butyl tape on the track and push the bolts through the holes. Once done, turn the track over and wrap tape around each bolt so that it tapers down. This ensures the the tape fills the countersunk holes.
6. Push, don’t screw, the bolts down
The trick here is to ensure that you do not screw the bolts. Ideally they should only be pushed into place as turning them can break the seal you’re creating with the tape in the countersunk hole.
7. Do up the nuts without moving the bolt
This really requires two people. One should stay on deck and hold the bolt in place whilst a second person does the nuts up underneath.
8. Trim the extruded tape
Like any sealant the tape will extrude from under your fitting. In fact it can extrude for some days afterwards, so I like to trim as soon as I’ve bedded the track then return to it a day or two later to see how much more extrusion has occured. If it’s significant, do the bolt up a little more.
Job done. It took us two hours to bed our port track down and that included 40 bolts. Hope this helps.
Rudder Doesn’t Fit
Time to put the rudder back on. It’s a big job as the thing is heavy and has to be dug underneath the skeg to allow the rudder to be put back in place.
Somewhere in the back of mind, when we were completing our osmosis treatment, I made a mental note to not put too much biaxial on the rudder and skeg. It was so far in the back of my mind that I forgot all about it and this happened:
What you are looking at here is a rudder that is now too large to fit up the skeg. Doh! Still, nothing that a quick bit of sanding couldn’t sort out.
It’s not all bad news
The varnishing is looking good. Dang is now applying the last coats of polyurethane on the veneer, this time with the spray gun. It’s an unpleasant job, working in the close confines of the forepeak and the cabin, but it’s starting to look rather special.
More deck fittings. Yes, more. Give me a break.