Sunday, October 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by S/V Raft.
We sat all summer watching the hurricanes and tropical depressions flirt with the central Florida, worrying but not able to do anything.

We had chosen to leave RAFT in Riverside Marina, Fort Pierce, because 90% of the boats there survived the 2 major hurricanes that destroyed most of the other marinas in 2004. Sally at Riverside, reassured us that only one boat away from the shore had fallen over during the 2004 season and that one was the owners personal boat and they took jackstands away from it to shore up the other boats. They did lose some boats at the water's edge, taken out by docks and other boats brought on land by the storm surge. Where we left RAFT, was as far from the water's edge and backed onto a treed and fence windbreak. As an added precaution, we took down the mast, as we had seen the mast pretzils made by Frances and Jean.

Fortunately for us, there were no hurricanes in Fort Pierce this summer. It had been an incredibly hot summer and they did receive a lot of rain in September from Katrina, crossing Florida to the south, and Ophelia hanging offshore for about a week.

Returning to RAFT, we were pleased to see her standing tall just as we had left her, and clean, from all that rainfall. Opening her up, there was no mould or foul smell, Hurray. There was water in the bilge and evidence of water in the cabin, but all we could do is open up the hatches and get out, as the mildew stuff was burning our eyes. Off we went to a motel, to spend the evening. We would start the clean up the next day.

Our last posting, told of all the steps we took to prepare RAFT for her hot, wet, and potentially stormy summer. As it was our first time doing all of this, now is the time to see what worked and what didn't.

We had no damage from wind, insects, and very little mildew, all of our taking and tying down, screening and mildew/insect remedies worked well. Our books and clothes came through clean and fresh smelling, we had added fabric softener sheets to each bag before it was sealed.

Biggest problem: rain water entering the cabin. Largest source: roof vent/fan installed over mast hole. But the rain also found its way into the head, nav station, dorade boxes and probably other areas we haven't discovered yet. Also soot came in the cabin, leaving everything inside dusty, or if wet, dirty. Source at this point unknown.

Rust: Some things were more affected than others. We have had to throw out most of our cutlery and small kitchen utensils which were stored in an open drawer by the sink, but the other utensils in another cabinet were not affected. Most of our cans show some rust on the bottom edge but should still be okay.

Heat: It must have been really hot in the cabin. Hot enough to burst a 10 litre unopened plastic water tank, a 1 gallon jug of vinegar, and 1 gal jug of All Off. Hot enough to melt our candles, but not affect packages of crayons.

Stuck things: If you don't use it, and it has seen salt water it will be stuck or corroded. This goes for plastic zippers on back packs, and coats, flashlights, the solar panel deck plug, throttle cable and we haven't checked everything yet.