The author fixes a functional eyesore with some hard work and elbow grease.

Tulum would not still be sitting on the dock unless we were doing some serious upgrades and maintenance on the boat (especially in the middle of Baja summer).  Read on for the fix to some uglyness that I installed and now have fixed:

I work hard to bring you real sailing and cruising life; not just bikinis, bars and beaches.  But I like those too.  This post is about an ugly mistake I made a couple years ago on the boat that hasn’t effected us while we’ve been out cruising but it’s an eyesore and I’m fixing it.  See, I’m all about getting things DONE even if it means the job isn’t always pretty.  My partner in crime on this job was the gentlemen we call the “Savant”….who cringed when he saw the work but it was already done so he just told me it would be a bitch to fix and we moved on.  This particular ugly I’m talking about is the mounting for our six new solar panels over the doghouse, which we finished up in 2019 and we’ve been using ever since then.  The flexible panels we installed along with the second Blue Sky MPPT Controller have worked beyond expectation….I’m sitting here trying to remember when we last used our generator, but having some trouble remembering, especially after we put in the new Lithium Batteries.  When mounting the thin, flexible solar panels to the top of the doghouse, I really didn’t want to drill holes through the top of the doghouse and we couldn’t think of many other options to mount the panels.  The panels had to withstand whatever wind came our way and if an edge caught in the wind, I was worried about them ripping off.  So we decided to use motorhome tape to keep all the edges down tight.  This approach has worked well, except that when I laid the tape it overlapped the edges of the doghouse and could be seen, thus unsightly it was.  Fast forward two years and I’m aware of how it looks but it’s a bitch together off like the Savant warned me it would be.  Yeah…the job has gotten done but in the heat it turned out to be a much bigger and slower job than I had anticipated.

Here’s the pics so you can share in my handiwork:

How it looked..functional but an eyesore.
The tape overlapped the top of the doghouse, functional but not pretty.
To get it off, a cut had to be made along a straight edge then it had to be peeled by hand. Oh what fun this is when it’s over 96′.
But the fun’s not over yet, cause the tape left behind a sticky goo adhesive that also had to come off. This work was a combination of scraping and liberal use of an adhesive remover.
Nearly there- scraping done.  Several rounds of adhesive remover come next. 
Done.  There’s still tape holding down the solar panels but we’ve removed the extra so it’s not so obvious or ugly. 

Since I’ve been out here I’ve seen the same flexible panels mounted a variety of ways, but I’m still keen on keeping all the edges of my panels sealed down and I think the tape is working well so far.  As I said above, the panels are still taped down, but we just cut the tape back to make it less obvious.  This approach is much more noticeable for the port/starboard side of the doghouse where the tape previously came over the sides and was pretty ugly, with it cut back now is nearly invisible unless you go up on the doghouse and take a look at it.  Glad to have time to knock out this project as well as the serious two year engine overhaul we’re currently doing while we’re here…more about that this Saturday.

While Tulum is for sale and we’re thinking through improvements and upgrades as we go….we would be doing these things for ourselves anyway, upgrading the boat as we go is normal business.  Stay with us for the Weds addition of the HelmsMistress post and my upcoming post about the largest bit of maintenance we’ve done on Tulum in the several years….another engine overhaul just to keep her spry.  We knew we had the time this summer and we have a great mechanical team as well as a low key marina that’s fairly isolated and more Covid safe than other places, so we decided to get a more in-depth service done on the engine.  This has involved some major work and waiting on parts as our mechanical team insists on new gaskets, upgraded hoses and real stainless steel clamps so that we have a strong functioning engine.  The decision to do this preventative maintenance and service check was made before we decided to put Tulum up for sale, so we’re driving the work….not the potential sale.  Pictures and story coming this weekend.

We hope to be back off the dock next Monday, so keep following us as we prep ourselves and Tulum for potential sale and move through cruising life slowly.

2 Responses

  1. Gulp. On the edge of my seat. Call me. Will there be a Tulum VI?? Either way, would love to see when we can connect again… Miss you. HUGE HUGS. 🥰

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