Permanent fix for forestay tang leak

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Bob MacWright
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:30 pm

Permanent fix for forestay tang leak

Post by Bob MacWright »

When I installed a washdown pump, I discovered the joint between the hull and the forestay tang was leaking. When I hosed down the anchor locker, I found a trickle of water coming from the limber hole into the forward storage locker under the v-berth; and when I reached my hand through the access port in that bulkhead, I found mud in the bottom of the space under the anchor locker! (that access port seems to be new; as is clear from the photos in Mainsheet about installing a washdown pump, older 350's don't have it. I suspect that if enough mud gets into that space under the anchor locker, it could block the limber hole, andyou would wind up with a sloshing pool of water - the new access port would allow you to clean this out).

I read here about others who have caulked the forestay tang, which is a challenge, because it goes through the hull right between the two anchor shank channels, in a v-shaped recess. I tried their idea of using a soda straw on the end of the caulk tube to get down in the spaces beside the tang, but it was just a big mess.

I also had a 1/4" gap right in front of the forestay tang! No wonder it was leaking.

Looking for something to plug this hole, I discovered that Lowe's sells something called "backer rod," which is insulation foam in a 1/2" diameter rod shape. Reading the package, it says it is for filling large gaps prior to caulking. Hmm. That's exactly what I had around the forestay tang, a large gap, between the two anchor shank channels and the forestay! So, I cut some strips of the backer rod, and shoved them down between the anchor shank channels and the sides of the tang, until they came to about 1/4" from the top of the channel sides. I also cut some strips and stacked them in front of the tang. Then I covered the whole works with clear West Marine silicone caulk. After it dried, I put another coat of silicone over the backer rod stacked in front of the tang, and put a small piece of clear plastic in front to keep the silicone from sagging out before it dried.

Now the tang emerges from a very flexible but solidly caulked "V" that comes up to the top of the sides of the two anchor shank channels, and extends about 3/4" in front of the tang. I don't think this will be leaking again! And if it does, it will be a snap to re-caulk.

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