|Scott removing the leaking track and 5200 with Debond 2000, in order to re-bed it properly with UV4000 so it does not leak.|
It wasn't our rigger's fault. He's a really good guy who's been at this for a long time and he and Scott had formulated the plan for the deck together. But at the end of the day, Scott and I were uncomfortable. Something didn't sit right. We knew what we were doing was not right. It was a half-baked solution and felt rushed. On Rasmus, we didn't cut any corners. This time, however, we were up against the clock, under a tremendous amount of stress, and hastily decided to go with the fastest, easiest solution. We were taking a short cut, and we all knew it.
After our friend emailed me with his concerns, I hit the internet and did some research. It confirmed our fears: that our piece-meal solution was a one way ticket to Leaksville, USA. I showed Scott what I found and we decided together to press stop and rewind. We needed to do this project ourselves, a better way, even if it meant more time. We needed ensure we would sleep well at night and never worry about our stays'l track leaking and rotting out the newly replaced deck coring underneath it.
It's scary, really, how much trust we put in people because of their titles. This obviously doesn't only apply to boating, but to "normal" life as well. Auto mechanics, contractors, doctors...etc. We assume they know what is best and trust them implicitly with our cars, our homes, our lives. Scott and I are by no means "experts" on boat maintenance, but we know enough to be dangerous. We know enough to know when we see something that doesn't seem quite right, we know to ask questions and do our homework. Such was the case with the stays'l track fiasco. We were simply not comfortable with the work and how it was being done.
There is a TON of subjectivity when it comes to all things "boat". Some people swear by teak oil, some by Cetol, others by nothing (me by Honey Teak!). Some people love their CQR anchor and others would using nothing other than a Rocna. Some love catamarans, others love monohulls. Some believe that a full keel is the only way to go on a blue water boat, whereas others believe a faster, fin keel is best. Heck, the term "blue water boat" is up for grabs as well. The list goes on and on and on... It's kind of like parenting, actually. There is no right and wrong, just what's right for you and your child. Same goes for your boat, no matter what your method or opinion, you'll find some out there who support it and some who do not, usually vehemently. We're not a wishy-washy group, us cruisers.
For us, our first red flag with the stays'l project was the fact that it was being "bedded" with 5200. Now I know there are those of you out there who believe firmly in this stuff, but Scott and I do not. I'm sure it has a place somewhere on a boat, but in our opinion* it is NOT a bedding compound for deck hardware. It is an adhesive. A super strong, super permanent adhesive. There is a ton of research online to support the notion that it really has no place on the deck of a sailboat. I'm not going to go into it because this is besides the point. What IS the point is this: When it comes to hiring out boat work do your homework. Don't simply trust an "expert" and assume he or she is doing things the way it should be done. Remember, they don't care about your boat nearly as much as you do. You need to question what they are doing, why they are doing it and how. You also need to trust your gut. As the old adage goes: if you want something done right - you'd better do it yourself. We've hired help for many projects on this boat simply because we are short on time and man power (with me being more or less out of commission with the baby and all) - but we're always working alongside them to learn and observe as we go. There is no doubt we're making mistakes and there almost certainly will be unforeseen surprises, but we're trying to limit them as best we know how. At the end of the day, we can only do our best, right?
If you do decide to take that short cut, be prepared to deal with a potentially much bigger problem on the flip side because "if you take a short cut, you get cut short".
*Again, I'd like to point everyone to our DISCLAIMER.