Do you know the condition of your boat’s deck hardware bedding?

Your sailboat’s deck hardware should have been installed using a bedding compound. (I sadly write ‘should’ as I have worked on boats where there is no evidence that bedding compound was used!) Commonly used are Sikaflex’s 291 and 3M’s 4000 and 4200 (remember, 5200 is for under the waterline applications that will very very very likely never be removed). SPECIAL NOTE: do not use silicone to bed deck hardware! 99.99% of the time silcone has NO PLACE for use in the marine environment!

Bedding compound isn’t forever. It does, slowly, loose its effectiveness. In high loading areas, such as the tabernacle, chainplates, bow plate and bow pulpit the working of the fixture causes the bedding compound to release from the part and/or deck. Water gets under the piece and a series of bad things happen: crevice corrosion (ie, stainless steel rusting), leaks (ie, water dripping on your head) and wet core material (ie, balsa).

Currently in the Sage Marine shop we are servicing an older boat (not a Sage). The boat is built 12 years ago so all bedding compound is suspect (I would write the same about a 12 year old Sage). The tabernacle showed all the signs of the bedding compound had failed as rust was seeping from under the fixture. After removing the bolts holding the tabernacle in place the fixture fell off as the bedding compound was no longer adhered to metal nor deck.

tabernacle and baseLooking at the part it was clear that bedding compound was used; BUT the tabernacle fasteners were overtightened and most of the sealant was squeezed out. Next the on-deck side of the fastener holes were not beveled to create a ring of bedding compound. Third the wire run for the mast lights was installed in a suspect way for a boat that will have its standing rig raised and lowered multiple times – the wires ran up through the center of the tabernacle. The wires were quickly broken from the mast being raised and lowered (which happened often as the boat is a trailered variety) and the hole the wires ran through wasn’t adequately sealed.

I suspected the core was wet and I hoped that by overdrilling the fastener holes I would find dry material … nope, the core was mush throughout the base.

rotten plywood core

The solution is to completely remove the core material and ‘start over’. I installed new core and then layered on a new top layer of fiberglass and gel coat.

The new fastener holes are over-drilled and then filled with thickened resin.

fastener holes filled

Once the resin had cured correctly sized holes are drilled and then beveled.

The tabernacle is now back in place and even if the bedding compound fails (just a matter of time because of the loads in raising, lowering and the boat sailing) any water will drip into the cabin but NOT get into the core. When the drip is noticed the owner can remove the piece, clean up, and reinstall with new bedding compound (about a one hour 1/4-day job v. 5 hour multi-day job to rebuild the area).

tabernacle installed

So … do you know the condition of your boat’s deck fittings’ bedding compound? If there is any evidence of leaks, rust coming from under the fitting, water drips in the cabin or the nut and washer on the bolt rusting, it is time to remove, inspect (hopefully not repair) and re-install.

Reefing

The question of how to reef a Sage has been asked recently so I am re-posting this description.

Simply stated reefing needs to be quick and easy.  To reef a Sage 17, Sage 15 or SageCat takes less than 30 seconds.

Happenings at Sage Marine

As Spring has come conversations among sailors has increased.  One topic that has been batted around is reefing.  For those reading that are not sailors reefing is reducing the size of the boats sails in response to the wind speed increasing.  The smaller sail catches less wind and the boat heels less (until the wind increases more and you need to reduce, reef, the sails to an even smaller size).

The above video is of Sage 17 AIR BORN sailing in winds blowing 25+ knots. I have double reefed the main and the headsail is a storm jib.

Reefing is a ‘must know’ skill for the sailor.  Sadly I feel that most folks don’t know how to efficiently, or effectively, reef their boat’s sails.   For a sailboat the size of a Sage 17 (ie, 17′ long) reefing should take less then a minute and optimally less than thirty…

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A Fire Extinguisher RECALL – important fire safety information

A well-known fire extinguisher manufacturer, Kidde, in conjunction with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has announced a voluntary recall to replace certain Kidde fire extinguisher units. This recall involves two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers.

Plastic handle fire extinguishers: The recall involves 134 models of Kidde fire extinguishers manufactured between January 1, 1973 and August 15, 2017, including models that were previously recalled in March 2009 and February 2015. The extinguishers were sold in red, white and silver, and are either ABC- or BC-rated. The model number is printed on the fire extinguisher label. For units produced in 2007 and beyond, the date of manufacture is a 10-digit date code printed on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. Digits five through nine represent the day and year of manufacture in DDDYY format. Date codes for recalled models manufactured from January 2, 2012 through August 15, 2017 are 00212 through 22717. For units produced before 2007, a date code is not printed on the fire extinguisher.

Consumers should immediately contact Kidde to request a free replacement fire extinguisher and for instructions on returning the recalled unit, as it may not work properly in a fire emergency.

For more information –

https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/kidde … fr3FggcNkQ

https://inmarmarketaction.com/kidde/ <– this link heads you to Kidde’s details on how return and gain a free replacement if you have one of the recalled units.

Busy at Sage Marine!

We are busy busy and even busier here at Sage Marine! Some photos of owners and their new Sage 17’s Sage 15s and SageCats –

 

We also had a great time at the Annapolis Sailboat Show –

annapolis 17

Looking ahead we are making plans for a big announcements on a boat & events for this upcoming first quarter of 2018. Watch this space!

One week until the 2017 October Annapolis show!

Starting on 5 October Sage Marine will be at our usual place, Land Sites 80 & 81, at the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  The show runs until 9 October 2017.

Sage Marine Annapolis Show location

A Sage 17 and SageCat will be attending.  Let us know if you wish to see the boats!

Following the show, 10 & 11 October, by appointment, there will be SageCat demo sails.  If you want to sail a SageCat let us know by sending an email to info@sagemarine.com

See all’ya’all in Annapolis!

Cody Reviews his 10-day cruise in a SageCat

Cody summaries his thoughts on sailing the San Juan Islands, SageCat and provides a couple of packing lists –

This trip through the San Juan Islands really opened my eyes to how much more there is to explore in this beautiful archipelago.  My wife and her friend both raved about how great and relaxing of a time they had, and we are already planning for a trip to visit the northern San Juan Islands such as Stuart, Patos, Sucia, and Orcas.

Sweet Potato [my Sage Marine SageCat] performed flawlessly under a multitude of conditions and provided a very comfortable home for the three of us and our pup.  I can’t speak highly enough of the merits of a small, seaworthy, easy to rig and easy to handle boat.  I know Sagecat is not the only choice out there to fit these requirements, but she does them as well or better than any boat her size that I know of.

The bottom line is, get out there and sail, wherever you are and in whatever boat you have.  There are so many beautiful places to be visited and experiences to be had by boat.  Especially by small boat!

 

Below is a list of some of the gear I took along:

Cooking:

  • Single burner GasOne butane stove
  • 3 bottles of butane
  • Primus Stainless Steel Campfire Cookset   
  • 3 sets of plastic camping plates, bowls, silverware

 

Boat Gear:

  • 10’6” Jimmy Styks Inflatable Paddleboard, two piece paddle and pump
  • 3 gallon bucket and WagBags for legal and odor free waste management
  • 3 quality life vests and one dog life vest
  • Navisafe portable LED navigation lights
  • Honda 2.3 hp long shaft outboard
  • 5 Gallons of ethanol free gasoline (we burned less than two gallons on the entire trip)
  • 13 lb Mantus anchor, Mantus swivel, 30’ of 1/4” high test galvanized chain, 150’ of 1/2” rode
  • 4.4 lb Lewmar Bruce anchor, 15’ of 3/16” galvanized chain, 50’ of 3/8” rode
  • Handheld VHF
  • Suntactics 14v solar panel
  • Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Battery charger
  • Flares, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, 3 gallon collapsable canvas bucket for bailing and various other safety items
  • Yeti Hopper 30 soft cooler
  • 3 boat fenders
  • Extensive tool kit
  • Seadog telescoping boat hook
  • Bushnell Marine Binoculars
  • Ocean Rodeo Soul Drysuit
  • 3 sleeping bags and pillows
  • Multiple charts, current table books and a cruising guide book for the San Juan Islands
  • JBL Flip 4 Waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker
  • Spyderco Atlantic Salt knife (lashed to my PFD)

 

Day 10 of Cody’s San Juan Islands trip in a SageCat

Day 10 – Fisherman Bay to Anacortes –

I had shared my tales of Holly B’s bakery with the girls the previous evening, so we all got up early and made a pilgrimage to this baking holy site in the morning. After again being dazzled with their confectioner’s wizardry, we spent a few more hours exploring the village shops and getting a few things at the grocery store for our afternoon sail.

Our plan was to sail back around Lopez Island and spend a few hours enjoying the beaches and views at Spencer Spit state park and then making a short hop over to James Island, another state park, which would be a good jumping off point for crossing the Rosario strait on Saturday morning to get back to Anacortes, where our truck and trailer were parked. There was not a breath of wind when we got back to the boat at around noon, so we motored the roughly eight miles with a hefty current helping us for the first half of the trip to Spencer Spit. Upon arrival, we again anchored and paddled ashore where we had a few fun filled hours of beach combing and hiking. I even got in a quick nap on the warm sand. At about 5 o’clock we got back to the boat and again began motoring toward James Island which was about four miles away, where we planned to stay for the evening.

I had been a bit stressed about crossing the Rosario Strait with the girls aboard since I had experienced some rather rough conditions and unpredicted winds a week and a half ago. The winds were forecasted to be about 10 knots from the north, which should have been fine, but the slack tide window on Saturday morning was very short, with strong currents from the south before the slack and quickly turning to strong currents from the north. The late afternoon slack tide window on Saturday had much more moderate current velocities and a longer slack period so I knew I could always wait for that time, but still I was feeling uncertain about what the conditions would turn out to look like.

As we motored up to James Island on a completely glassy sea state, I was finally able to look across the Rosario Strait. It was as flat as a board. Not a ripple to be seen all the way across to Anacortes. I pulled out my current tables and we were perfectly timed to cross the strait in a large window of slack tide with very small currents predicted on either side of the slack. I made the decision that we would be wisest to cross while the conditions were perfect and find a place to anchor near Washington Park, where the trailer was located, and then simply pull the boat out of the water in the morning and get an earlier start home. The girls both seemed happy with this plan so we enjoyed a delightfully uneventful motor across the Rosario strait.

As we approached Washington Park, I had planned to anchor just off the beach as it was protected from the direction of the light winds predicted during the night. However, I also quickly noticed a huge sign on the beach, facing toward the water, reading “DROP NO ANCHOR. ELECTRICAL CABLES UNDER WATER”, or something to that effect. The sun was getting low on the horizon and there didn’t seem to be any quick protected anchorage to get to, so I tied up to the dock, raised the dagger board, backed the trailer in the water and hauled Sweet Potato up into the parking lot. We were all famished after a long day of hiking and motoring in the sun, so we left the boat on the trailer and drove into Anacortes for a meal. We ended up at a great little Mexican place called Real Tequila and we all ate until we were about to pop. The food was fantastic and the service was equally so. Back in the campground, now nearly dark, I reconnected the truck to the trailer and we all walked down to the beach to enjoy the final colors of the sunset and the lapping of the water on the pebble beach. Now that the boat was on the trailer and had the centerboard taking up one sleeping position, I was relegated to the bed of the truck since I had the warmest sleeping bag.