Steve, your boat has sunk!

Having purchased ‘Cachalot’ in 2005, there were plans, based on the surveyor’s report, to carry out a programme of winter maintenance, including recaulking and repairs to the counter.

After a summer of sailing and laid up afloat for winter, 2006, ‘Cachalot’ was booked to be lifted out in January, 2007. On 16 December 2006, ‘Cachalot’ was reported to the Tidemill staff as ‘lying a bit low’ in her berth. They quickly hauled her out and called Steve, leaving a phone message: “Steve, it’s Mark, from the Marina – your boat has sunk. Give us a call back!”

Stripping the paint would allow us to assess the condition of the leaking hull more closely and after considerable research, the Farrow System® was chosen. This novel low-pressure cleaning solution is environmentally friendly and introduces heat to the process, achieving maximum performance at minimum pressure. The work was completed in just one sunny day, early March 2007. Removing all the paint revealed an alarming number of somewhat short planks amongst numerous earlier repairs, failed caulking and rotting frames. By April 2007 it became clear the problems extended far beyond the counter. We’ll always remember the night Paul, the boatbuilder, phoned us. With some hesitancy in his voice, he told us the bad news emerging as he took more of the rotten wood out: archboard, beam shelf, frames, deck beams and probably worse as we expose more of the hull.