Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head…….

posted in: Boat Projects | 1

There was this little annoying thing – the rain drain from the flybridge allowed water to fall directly onto the teak rail below, always splashing inward. Not a big thing, but kind of annoying.

Remember this photo from a foggy rainy morning? Follow those rain drops – From the flybridge, through the little drain spout and directly onto the varnished teak rail, and splashing inside onto the teak deck.

This occasional conversation about a small thing turned into a HUGE winter project. For Al, not me. Remember, he loves tackling something new, if it is for the boat…… and loves a good challenge. especially during the winter months

From October, 2020 through March, 2021, this drain spout became an ongoing mission in the background while he worked on assorted other projects. Al spent hours researching and watching YouTube videos, as well as just figuring out solutions on his own.  It became a complex, labor-intensive, multi-step process. This guy doesn’t give up!

Step #1 Removing the old short rainspout.

Al carefully removed the old rain drain, separating it with a putty knife to gently pry it off. Why did they use 5200???

Step #2 Making the new extended rain spout prototype. This began with the PlayDoh.

Blue PlayDoh was formed around the old piece as a base for the extension. Anyone with grandchildren has PlayDoh around.
Al’s prototype for the extended drain.

Step #3 – This PlayDoh/PVC/old drain prototype was next covered with fiberglass and wetted out with resin to make a reverse mold.

Creating the reverse mold with fiberglass and resin.

Step #4 – Wood supports were added to the mold above to keep it from bending. Resin was then poured into the reverse mold.

Taking the reverse mold apart after the resin has set. This actually destroyed the single use mold.
Al now removes the new longer resin rain drain from the reverse mold.
The finished rain drain, painted and ready. The scoring (on the inside only) is added to make the drain extension a break-away piece just in case it ever hits something.

Now Al needed to figure out how to make a pair of rain drains…… and four spares. One was not going to be enough.

Step #5 – A reusable mold was needed. The finished rain drain above formed the basis for a reusable silicone mold.

The rain drain is placed into a container. Al mixed silicone rubber and then poured it all around the drain in the box.
A true Mac Guyver, Al used assorted things that he had at hand – plastic shoeboxes, pieces of wood, old pill bottles, chunks of plastic foam. He brings “repurposing” to a whole new level. These pieces were added to the box so that less silicone was needed to cover the drain spout.

The silicone needed to dry for 24 hours. I can tell you that Al watched that box on the kitchen counter for almost the whole 24 hours, checking it hourly to see if it was “ready.” This silicone mold would be used to reproduce resin duplicates of the new rain spout.

Step #6 – Removing the new longer rain drain from the silicone mold.

After a long 24 hours, Al flipped the mold over and eagerly removed the new longer drain from the silicone mold. Now he has a way to create multiple rain drains!

Step #7 – The silicone mold is now ready to be used, over and over again, to make as many longer rain drains as Al wants.

Al mixed two-part epoxy resin and poured it into the mold until filled.
Comparing the original longer rain drain (in his hand) with the first poured resin rain drain in the mold.
Five of the six new longer rain drains with the old short one. After unmolding, each new one received a covering of gel coat. Ready for installation!

Step #8 – Installation on the boat.

The longer rain drain has been installed on the starboard side.

This has to be the hardest blog post I have ever written!!!! Even harder to grasp than electrical wiring. There were so many steps and so many iterations that I became lost in the process over the 6th months as well as while I tried to write this blog. My head was ready to explode!

I do, however, appreciate the final outcome. 😉

Latest update on this project……. We tested these new longer drains with a lot of water. Hmmmmm, not quite the solution we hoped for, but better than before. Some water still hits the teak rail, but most was shooting out well beyond. We shall see what happens when the boat is in the water and rain falls.

Most of the water is well away from the boat, but there was still some dribbles falling onto the teak rail.

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