I hope they don't have "high hopes."

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Michael Brigg
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by Michael Brigg »

I have pulled the covers off Torment and cleaned off the winter cobwebs to discover a rather disturbing issue (literally) of ANTS, pouring out from around my mast step.

I would post a picture, but my photobucket account has shut down on me after they discovered I was using it to post pictures on other sites. Their charges for this were exorbitant! (The picture posting facility on this site has insufficient volume to illustrate the problem.

Would "Nippon" gel (or powder) be sufficient. Spread on the doorway to the abode 'Novichok' style, followed by a thorough through rinse of the hull?

(As a historical perspective I came across an advert in a 1942 Yachting almanac for "Zyclon B" as a defumigant for yachts. A nasty reminder of nastier times.)

More worrying though is the though of how big this happy family might be. The mast foot has always struck me as a bit soft. Do I need to set to and surgically remove the (probable) rot?

Do I otherwise risk "Oops there goes another rubber tree plant!"

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he'll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can't
Move a rubber tree plant

But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes :( :(
Michael Brigg
Posts: 1718
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by JimC »

Ants do seem to like it under boat covers without there being any problems involved. I recently evicted a large group from under UnSkol's toe straps.
Michael Brigg
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by Michael Brigg »

It does seem as though the ants are mostly running between one place and another, but the extent of their territory is quite worrying. I have removed the mast foot fitting (for fixed mast) which exposed the older, currently unused rotating mast foot fitting which curiously is a female fitting. (opposite to the fairy /reynolds mast fittings) and so it naturlly tends to fill with water that cannot drain. In invitation to rot!

This fitting is a 1/4 inch tufnol as a bearing surface screwed down to hardwood block that takes the weight of the mast and bears down onto a central longitudinal bulkhead that transfers weight to the keel.

That part is clearly in good condition s it has sailed for 2 seasons now without showing any signs of weakness.

There are however ants appearing from under the foot and also from under the blue foot grip diamond pattern surface.

There is also evidence of a previous repair on thr starboard side of the mast foot and I strongly suspect this is a temporary repair, which leaks. It allows rainwater to enter by runnig down the mast groove, and while afloat the mast foot is in the "sump" of the boat, and at the end of a race I am often carrying up to 2 gallons of water inside the hull. To this you can add a bucketload of sand from the Worlds at Pwlhelli :(

(I have also noticed darkening wood around the shroud plates and as there is some movement in them at deck level this also needs inspection.)

Back to the mast foot, I have peeled back the flooring and revealed a marine ply pate somehow screwed from the inside of the hull to the floor panel close to the forward bulkhead, and about 6 inches square of Chopped fibreglass overlying it.

I can see several bits that are not watertight.

As it will all lie under the nonslip floor surface, I believe it will be possible to cut away the offending 'hole', and than let in a panel of ply and carbon matting before re-gluing the surface flooring. The mast foot heeds a small hardwood block to bear the foot fitting and this may even solve my leak.

Pictures are tricky as Photobucket now charges £20 per year for linking with other websites, and I am too mean to pay for this! but if I enter the url in two halves, without the inittial "http//"

You may enter the code in your address bar then close the "space" between 'michael' and 'brigg' to give the correct address. the relevant code to reach my file on Photobucket. In the Photobucket site navigate if you need to to my "International Canoe" file, pages 1 and 2....Good luck!

s225.photobucket.com/user/michael SPACE brigg/library/?sort=3&page=2
Last edited by Michael Brigg on Mon May 21, 2018 6:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Michael Brigg
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:43 pm

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by Godfrey »

They seem to move in between Wednesday and the weekend, at least they do at our club!
Any harm?
Dont know but we have a problem with boring insects in our club Seafly. One small section is reduced to dust. Will investigate later.
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:29 pm

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by NorfolkNick »

My old half-decker had an ant problem, the mooring I used had some trees above and the ants would drop in from above, they did seem to like it under the cover, nice and warm and slightly damp.

Upon inspection I used to find very disturbing little "nests" composed, I am guessing, of chewed up pieces of my boat. Just about 5cm x 5cm and maybe 1 cm thick, usually under the decks or in the aft locker. These nests were full of tiny larvae and apart from the mess there was the obvious concern that they were actually eating the boat, which, as it was on a floating mooring could end in the whole thing heading for the bottom if they had eaten too much below the waterline.

I went home and checked out the poisons cupboard, but most of the contents seemed to warn against use near water courses. I don't think fish like ant poison, so the use of powder was ruled out as this would invariably have ended up in the bilge and then in the water. In the end I found these little plastic "bait stations" at the supermarket that I could place around the boat, and the small amount of poison would be taken back to the nest and do its work. I would then go around the following weekend with a dust buster and vacuum the dead ant bodies up so hopefully not too much nasty stuff entered the ecosystem.

This seemed to do the trick but the process had to be repeated on a regular basis as new colonies would drop in on a regular basis.
International 14 #85.
Michael Brigg
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by Michael Brigg »

Michael Brigg
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:08 am
Location: Woodbridge Suffolk

Re: I hope they don't have "high hopes."

Post by Aquarius »

I am quite used to evicting ants from the Firefly each spring; they are determined little blighters. I think the dust is actually soil, rather than chewed wood.

Mr and Mrs Mouse, who had fun making a nest with Galatea's Ratsey jib when she was in the museum must have felt a bit peckish because they had a nibble at the hog; just enough to expose some of the delicious white lead paste with which Uffa's lads had luted the inner planking - this "delayed action Novichok" saw the end of Mr and Mrs Mouse..
CVRDA eligible:
1962(?) Firefly F3163 "Aquarius"
1946 International Fourteen K478 "Galatea"
Not CVRDA eligible:
1991(?) Nethercot IC K229, "Ogaf the Unbearable"
Squib. possibly number 251, "Squirt"
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