Friday, March 4, 2011

A productive, yet terrifying step forward.

Drilling holes in a boat is always kinda scary, especially in any exterior part of the boat. The first time I had to drill a hole in Madrigal's deck was to install the 3" flue vent for the fireplace. That was a scary one. Madrigal however, was already full of various holes for deck fittings and thru-hulls.

Our Creekmore, is another story. I had before me the brand new, unspoilt, hand-laid, 45 foot, fiberglass hull of a future offshore cruising sailboat. And I held in my hand an 8-volt DeWalt power drill with a 1-7/8 hole saw bit. Ugh. I was sick to my stomach at the thought of what I was about to do.

"Measure twice, cut once" is the ever present advice of my Grandfather. I must have measured at least 10 times and I was still shaky with bad nerves when it came time to pull the trigger. Of course, this begs the question, "WHY? Why are you drilling holes in your new boat?" Well, the shrinkwrap was a bit of an ordeal and eventually leads to a need for holes.... The wrap and frame was hastily erected with a storm about to blow in, and our big trouble was that there are no stanchions, cleats, lifelines, masts, rigging lines or anything else to tie the frame off to. Nor could we tie the shrinkwrap strapping to anything. All lines had to be led under the boat as belly bands (which only works until the keel starts sloping forward and then the ties just shimmy off the bow) or they had to be tied to the boat stands. Lets just say the whole job came out shoddy, floppy, loose and annoying. Amazingly, I was able to coax it along and keep the system upright and shedding snow through all of our winter storms and large snow falls. I was impressed -until last Sunday. We had one of those awesome 50 mph nor'easters blow through and it finally collapsed the wrap. The frame splintered, the wrap shredded. It was a mess.

No shrink wrap creates issues. There are no hatches in the boat and there are no cockpit drains. We can tape off the hatches with plastic and no-stick duct tape (amazing stuff). That's easy enough and seems very waterproof. The cockpit drains are another issue. Hence, I had to drill holes in the boat.

Hull core plug.

I put two drains the back wall of the cockpit (using fancy little flat sided thru hulls I found, but do not currently have pics of- sorry) that run back into the aft lazarette and down though the overhang. Soon I will install two more that go down through the bottom of the cockpit and out the sides, and I'm even going to put a big ol' pipe or two that goes straight out the back in case we ever get a boarding wave. Lots of cockpit drainage is a good thing. In the end it will be four 1.5 inch drains (2 down and to the sides and 2 going back) plus two 3 inch pipes going out the back.

Looking forward and port this is a cockpit drain that comes back out of the aftmost
cockpit bulkhead and runs down out of the overhang above the waterline. (a temporary install)

The current scupper/drains are only siliconed in place for now. They are just place holders that are just waterproof enough until I can properly bed them. It was a quick job to accomodate the sudden lack of shrinkwrap. But really, it works out well as it gives me a good launching point. I can now spend a day fairing in the areas around scuppers and molding things exactly how I want them before I 5200 them in permanently. Hopefully I can get this cockpit to shed tons of water in no time flat :)


  1. Wow that hull is solid fiberglass, no core material! That is so much better then what you get these days!

  2. The blog is informative.. Thanks for the useful information..that hull you have used is much better than what we get now a days..