No. 68 - July 1986

By John Charters #1000


As we all know the Tanzer 22 is virtually indestructible. Just about as perfect as any man made product can be. However, having said that, we must admit that there are occasionally minor, but often annoying, little problems that develop as the boat grows older. In the next few issues I will try to suggest various remedies for some of the more common ones.

Let's start with the ports. If you have been paying attention to your Newsletters, you already know that the fog or hazed Plexiglas can be restored by polishing with "Brasso" brass cleaner, then waxed with a silicone boat wax, such as Boat Armor or Starbright. Hazing is not the only thing that can happen to ports, they can also leak. Either between the aluminum frame and the Fiberglas or between the Plexiglas and the frame. In the latter case, it is easier to replace that gray vinyl gasket than to try to seal with some sort of windshield sealer. You will need about four feet of port splines [gaskets] - part #41603 - per port and it will cost you about 90 cents per foot. When you get your new splines, remove the old ones, just pry out one end from the frame and pull the old spline out. To install the new one, push it in place with thumb or finger, working your way around the frame until you are back where you started. Now, a word of warn­ing. It is very easy to stretch the spline when installing. If you do, it will shrink and when you return to your boat in a few days, you will discover an ugly gap. Therefore, try to compress the spline as you go. I like to cut the spline about 1/8" to 1/4" too long and then force that last little bit into the frame. If it turns out to still be too long after a couple of days, it can always be trimmed.

Sometimes, it is the sponge seal on the inside of the Plexiglas that needs to be replaced - part #41604 at 45 cents per foot. If this is the case, remove the Plexiglas and strip out all the sponge seal, then apply the new. Re-install the Plexiglas and proceed to fit the gray splines as outline above.

If on the other hand the port is leaking between the frame and the deck you should do the following: if you are lucky, a small bead of caulking [I like "Life Caulk" by Boat Life] applied around the frame and forced between the frame and the deck with your finger may do the trick. I recommend you try this first and if it works leave well enough alone. If it doesn't you'll have to re-bed the frame. Unscrew all those little screws that fasten the frame to the deck about half-way then very very care­fully with a putty knife or similar gently separate the aluminum frame from the Fiberglas. Here is where you could do more harm than good. It is easy to bend that aluminum frame so take care! Keep working your way around the frame until it is uptight against the head of the screws and a 1/8 of an inch or so away from the deck. Then with your caulking gun force Life Caulk all around between frame and deck and re-tighten all the screws again gently as it is not too difficult to strip the threads. I like to work my way around the frame tightening each screw a bit at a time, until all screws are tight. Remove excess with whatever solvent is recommended for the kind of caulking you are using. Although I didn't mention it obviously you should remove any old bits of caulking that are hanging loose and generally clean up the frame and Fiberglas as well as possible without bending the frame! And that should do it.

Every once in a rare while we hear of a jib sheet winch pulling out. If you only sail in nice weather and treat your boat kindly like we all should those jib sheet winches will still be securely fastened to the coaming for ever and ever. But if like me you sometimes drive your boat to the limit, crashing through the waves when more sensible sailors are in port enjoying a libation, perhaps you should consider through bolting those winches. They are presently screwed to the plywood that is laminated between the Fiberglas. The deck is surprisingly thick. You'll need long bolts - say four inches plus washers and nuts.

If your Tanzer 22 is an earlier model all deck fittings are bolted right through the headliner. If this is the case you will probably want to finish off the interior with cap nuts, rather than ordinary hex nuts. The easiest way is to first tighten each bolt with hex nuts then, with a pair of vice grips, grab the left over end of the bolt, wiggle back and forth until the bolt breaks off. Then remove the hex nut which will dress the threads and install the cap nut.

Later model Tanzer 22's have a gap between the headliner and the underside of the deck and the hex nut is hidden with a little white plastic plug or headliner cap. These are available from the factory #F1200 at 25 cents each. You will need to drill a hole just under 7/8" for each cap. The best way is to buy a 7/8" hole saw then file off every second tooth to reduce the diameter.

Needless to say - a liberal dose of caulking is needed for every bolt and all around the base of the winch. Here is another little project you might want to do at the same time. The jib sheets leads to the winch are nearly horizontal when in fact there is less chance of a wrap if the sheet leads to the winch at a slightly upward angle. The solution is to install teak pads under each winch to raise them about 3/8 of an inch. Even better, use teak pads cut on an angle to tilt the winch slightly aft.


Speaking of teak, the two best teak oils I have found are "Teak Wonder" and "Boat Armor Unique Teak Sealer". Both products last almost a season.