The caulk at the seam between the pilothouse aft wall and the salon deck was showing signs of fatigue and needed to be replaced. Not certain of what the job entailed, we had put the job off for a year and finally decided to tackle it one sunny and breezy October day with a dry overnight forecast.
We had called Dan Helsinger at Nordic Tug earlier to ask what caulking to use and, as usual, we followed his advice carefully.
We started by removing the stack and cleaning the area. Using a long, razor knife (available at any hardware store) and an old screwdriver that had been filed down almost to a point and bent over slightly at the tip, we proceeded to dig out the old caulk. Between those two tools, we managed to clean out the seam without too much difficulty. The fact that the knife blade was so flexible really helped because a stiffer knife was almost impossible to use so close to the vertical surface.
Once all the old caulk was removed, we cleaned up the entire seam with an adhesive remover and allowed an hour or so to make sure the area was dry.
We next put 2″ wide blue tape all along both the horizontal and vertical faces, leaving about 1/8″ on each side of the seam. We then caulked with Sikaflex 291 (white), removed excess caulk with the red Caulk Rite tool (from West Marine) and popsicle sticks (see photo). We had cut the nozzle so that a narrow stream flowed, ensuring that the caulk would be forced fully into the void. When we finished caulking, we removed the tape and let the Sikaflex set overnight, draping some clear plastic over the area to keep any overnight dampness away.
The next day we re-blue-taped the area, this time leaving a hair more clearance from the seam on both surfaces than we had with the first caulking. The idea was to have the silicone caulk completely overlap the Sikaflex. We topped the Sikaflex 291 with GE Windows & Doors Silicone II caulk (white), again using the Caulk Rite tool to clean up the edges. When we were finished, we removed the blue tape.
The entire job from start to finish took about 8 hours, with an overnight set time for the Sikaflex. We were pleased with how everything turned out. Having dreaded the job for a while, we were surprised at how straightforward a process it turned out to be.
The photos, from top to bottom, show: caulk removed from straightaway area; caulk removed from behind stack; tools to remove old caulk; Caulk Rite tool and popsicle sticks to remove excess fresh caulk; and the final product.
Ruth Jansson & Bette Conner
Annie B – NT 32-172