Like Dad always said, “If it’s stuck, use a bigger hammer. If it breaks, it probably needed fixin’ anyway.”
Proper ventilation is critical to a comfortable life aboard a sailboat. Ever walk on a boat that’s been closed up for a few weeks only to be met with that “musty boat smell”? We noticed that a lot when we were shopping around for a sailboat to buy. We’ve invested quite a bit in fans, hatches, port lights and screens lately to be sure that Ramble On can always breathe freely. However, it’s always bothered me that we weren’t able to rotate the cowl vents to catch the ever present breeze blowing down here in the Delta. Most cowl vents screw into the flange of a deck plate bolted to the dorade box, and can be rotated, removed, and capped off, if need be.
I just assumed (like everything else on our boat) that ours were stuck in place from corrosion. Turns out that they used some sort of glue on the threaded fittings, and a bigger hammer wasn’t going to work this time. With the help of a propane torch and my trusty deck plate key I was finally able to twist it loose. A short soak in a bucket full of CLR and a rub down with a soft Scotchbrite pad restored the original bronze shine, and my spearfishing buddy Phil said he can braze the cracks in the hood for me once I get them all removed and cleaned up.
I also managed to get the teak removed and all the holes filled on the starboard side deck this week, and plugged up the old opening in the the coach house for the bilge blower vent. Earlier this month at the Oakland boat show I picked up a handy little set of damaged screw extractors, and at $20 for the kit, it’s already paid for it’s self ten times over.