Minor repair, major problem.

It's that time of year, not quite Spring, but getting to be just warm enough to start work on the boat.  I've talked about the to-do list in the past and this year is no different.  Well, yes it is actually because we're planning to take CALIX to Maine for a few weeks for a CCA cruise.  There are a number of items on the list that otherwise wouldn't be since we'll be doing a coastal passage from Annapolis to Rockland, ME.  Besides some of the bigger items like new batteries, there are also some minor repairs.  This weekend I got going with the first fix.

The companionway steps have a non-skid strip of tape along the edge.  Over the past few years of wear and tear, the tape is peeling up and looks bad.  I ordered replacement grippy (my technical term) tape last year in April and yes, I'm finally getting around to this little task.  No time like the present to get something done so once I set my mind to it, I was ready to get started.  The first part of the repair is to remove the old tape.  The top step was already without tape, it had peeled off a while ago, but still had no longer sticky, dried up residue that had to be removed.  I figured the best thing to do would be go and ask the experts at the Beneteau service office.  Thankfully, Fred was around and in his always helpful way, gave me an already open can of 3M Adhesive Cleaner from the workshop that had just enough to do the job.  It should be noted that this particular cleaner will only remove the old tape goo and not mess up the wood finish.  Perfect.

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Once I got back to the boat, I saturated a little bit of paper towel and began to take of the residue.  I found that I could gently scrape off most of it and then wipe it smooth and clean with the 3M stuff.  I was making progress!  Soon enough I had the top step all ready to go so I went and got the package of tape out of the spare parts bin.  That bin is going to see a lot of visits this season.  Feeling a bit excited about finally tackling this, I opened the tape and pulled out a strip.  Something didn't seem quite right but it wasn't until I laid it down on the step edge that it became quite obvious.  Major problem, too short!  I finally get motivated to really get a little fix accomplished and then full stop because the part isn't quite right.  How aggravating!!

Saturday morning I shot off a quick email to Fred and the parts folks down in South Carolina where Beneteau has their US manufacturing facility, in the hopes that this coming week we'll get this sorted out with tape the right length for the width of the steps.  If I have to order grippy tape from somewhere online, that's a fine solution too.  Stay tuned.  I hope to have the steps completed after I do finally get the proper tape before the sailing season begins in earnest - would be nice to know we won't slip and crash our way down the steps!

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