Those Troublesome Skegs, Mistakes Were Made

So the skegs have been cut, spliced, drilled, countersunk, stained, and finished. Now we only have to mount them. Easy, right? Ahem.

I looked for a long time to find just the right sealant and adhesive for the skegs. They get bolted down of course, but you have to seal them really well, both to adhere them and to keep water from creeping into the bolt holes. You want something that is flexible, waterproof, low adhesion (since you don’t want to tear the boat apart if you need to replace the skegs), and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

They had something that would probably have worked at the local marine supply place.  But I was suspicious that they turned me upside down and shook out my pockets to see how much money I had when I walked in. Everything there was ridiculously expensive. They sold tubes of standard window caulk for $20, the same stuff you can get at the hardware store for less than $5. I went to the internets and found something that fit the bill for much much less.

As a former contractor, I’ve used caulk a lot. You apply a modest bead of sealant and apply pressure, wherein it spreads out nicely along the surface. That was my theory here too.

I mounted both bottom skegs before I realized that the caulk was not cooperating.  The thick sealant didn’t really spread and remained as a modest bead.  I put all the bolts in, I had everything together.

At first I thought, eh, it’s probably okay.  Then the more I thought about it, a boat with inadequately sealed holes in the bottom was not a great idea. I realized as much as I hated it, I was going to have to do it over.

Removing the skegs was easier said than done.  If this is low adhesive, I’m glad I didn’t use anything gnarlier, and I’m glad I didn’t tear up the boat any more than I did in my efforts.

I removed the skegs, scraped off the sealant, sanded it down, and refinished.

Then I applied the sealant the way I should have from the beginning, very generously.  

I drove the bolts part way through and set the skegs in place, struggling a bit to line up all the holes.

Then I went under the boat, added washers and nuts, and tightened the shit out of everything.  I struggled a lot with this as some of the bolts were a little too short and needed to be replaced.  And some of the bolts were a little too long and needed to be cut. This time the sealant went squish out the sides like it was supposed to.

The bottom skegs met up nicely with the forward skegs.

The result was a much more boaty looking boat.

The last thing I need to do is a little finishing work to the countersunk ends of the carriage bolts.

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