Monday, June 05, 2006

Streaky wheelhouse

It's a case of two steps forward, one step back.

Streaky wheelhouseThe other evening I arrived at Lady Jane, only to be greeted with this sight - streaks of bitumen run off from the roof of the wheelhouse.

To explain: Lady Jane's wheelhouse is comprised of both aluminium (aluminum) and steel, with aluminium making up the forward and upper part of the wheelhouse. Other than weight, which I think is negligible, I can think of no reason why this should be so.

The upshot of the aluminium/steel combination is a line all the way round where the two metals are joined, which are subject to galvanic corrosion and therefore leaks.

I've filled this line with bitumen and other roof sealants as best I can, but this will remain a problem area until I replace the aluminium section with steel, as part of the overall wheelhouse refurbishment project.

In addition, the original compass binnacle housing in the wheelhouse roof has been cut away and replaced with a plastic cover from somewhere or other. This has always been prone to leaking.

I know I need to make time to do a proper repair, but it's not been that high on my list of priorities, as it has only really needed periodic patching to stop any leaks.

Anyway, I had just done another of the periodic patches, this time with a dollop of bitumen. Well maybe quite a big dollop - bigger than strictly necessary - on account of the fact that I was fed up with having to do this again after hearing drip, drip all night.

The thing was, I had applied this 'dollop' just before a spell of heavy wind and rain, which meant that the bitumen had not set before it got blown/washed all over the place.

I had planned on working the evening I first saw the mess, but changed my mind and went down the pub instead. Needless to say the black streaks were invisible by the time I got back from the pub.

I suspect that cleaning this up will be no trivial task. Oh well, things had been going rather too well.

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