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Old 18-06-2016, 13:38   #1
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Rub rail leaks

Hello all,
One World has relocated from the hot sunny southeast Caribbean to the cold rainy Pacific Northwest. Last night it rained. The port side seems dry as a bone. The starboard side (this is a Duo) wall between the head and the stateroom is leaking under the sponge vinyl liner. Suspected the window seal was leaking so I pealed away the liner and Linda hosed the window. No leaks, so we moved up to the rub rail. Water appeared at several unused screw holes behind the wood 1x6 trim board. There are also 2 small machine bolts that seem to serve no purpose. The leaking row of screw holes almost seem to have been used to secure a piece of inside furniture to the wall. The trim board covers them on the inside and they do not penetrate to the outside.

Anyone ever had this problem?

I plan to pop the rub rail loose and rebed with Life Caulk or Sikaflex unless someone has a better idea.

What concerns me is if the mystery screw holes continue forward and aft behind the fiberglass shower liner and the same in the stateroom.
Ideas?

Cheers, Martyn
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Old 18-06-2016, 18:02   #2
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Rufduck,
Life Caulk Boat Life - Life Seal is much better for fixing leaks.
Seal the whole seam under the trim board on the inside.
Pull the rub rail and dig out any loose sealant.
Seal the hull seam and re-install the rub rail and you should be all set.

I know you said you checked the window, but check it one more time by high pressure hosing the window from the out side.
Then after a few minutes of that. Take a paper towel and push it in to the lower corner of the inside of the window. Wipe the whole bottom to see if the paper towel gets wet.

I struggled with what I thought was a rub rail leak for a week before I realized it was the window.

Leaks are a stinker to fix, so please come back and post what worked for fixing your leak.
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Old 18-06-2016, 19:25   #3
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Thank you for the heads up to double check the weather stripping sealant around the window.
Any idea how to remove the inside window trim "ring"?

Cheers Martyn
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Old 19-06-2016, 04:36   #4
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Rufduck,
I think the inside window trim "ring" is glued on. Never was able to remove one as it seemed like it would break.

The only way to fix any of the windows is from outside, so taking the inside trim off was not a priority.
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Old 19-06-2016, 07:20   #5
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Understood. I have removed the sponge vinyl liner except around the window trim and thought it would be easier to replace if free from the window. Looked again this AM and decided to just use 3M spray adhesive to re-affix.

Cheers Martyn
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Old 19-06-2016, 22:36   #6
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Martyn, somewhere on this site was a more detailed discussion of rub rail leaks. I could be wrong but it seems like the screws you are talking about were used when bonding the hull to the deck and just left there. Can't recall where I saw it but could have been on one of the handy Mahe threads. See the last entries in the sticky "original Mahe thread" to learn how to navigate there.

You really got me thinking about a Mahe......
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Old 20-06-2016, 01:43   #7
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Re: Rub rail leaks

You're talking rub rail (side of hull) not covering board (over deck to hull seam). Right?

Don't know the construction material of your boat but if it is cored fg then screws you say don't go all the way through to the outside may be just letting in the water leaks from other places like ports or deck seam or chainplates or ...


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Old 20-06-2016, 10:57   #8
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Re: Rub rail leaks

I found the thread where I read about several folks who had and solved their rub rail (and other) leaks. Its near the bottom of page 6 of the Mahe Hull thread, post #79 I think. Good stuff.

Here is a link
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Old 20-06-2016, 22:36   #9
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Re: Rub rail leaks

The leaks were from the hull deck joint on the starboard side. I stripped the vinyl hull covering from the inside area between the head and the stateroom and found 4 empty screw holes that were obviously leaking. It was inline with the rub rail. It appears that the holes were from when the hulls and deck were joined and my guess is that they screwed into small blocks to suck the two parts together after thickened resin glue was applied. The screws were removed but were never filled (really sloppy workmanship). Then the outside gap at the join was filled with a white sealant like 3M 4000 but the buffoon who did the job was holding the caulking gun at the wrong angle so only the top edge actually sealed. It was solid but 20% of the inner face and 95% of the bottom edge were cold joints and unsealed, wicked the water in and to the unsealed holes and then inside. The whole rub rail acted like a big rain gutter supplying the screw holes.

I cut out a generous chunk of the sealant exposing the top edge of the hull and part of the inner vertical face and refilled with 3M4000 Fast Dry (2 caulking cylinders worth). That has cured and the rub rail will go back on tomorrow using butyl tape as a primary water seal.
I will reinstall the hull liner and decide later if I will replace it with Frontrunner fabric (it's warmer and easier to maintain than the original sponge vinyl).
Tomorrow, I will remove the wood panel in the stbd stateroom to access the heater wiring that, I hope, lies behind it. To trouble shoot the heater, I need the thermostat connection to the wire loom to access the heater to get any fault codes and that is buried behind that panel.
I'm afraid Linda won't come with me to see the start of the Race to Alaska (r2ak) this Thursday early AM without a heater.

Cheers, Martyn
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Old 21-06-2016, 06:20   #10
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Re: Rub rail leaks

So glad you tracked down the culprit for the water ingress. Best of luck in a good dry repair.


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Old 30-07-2016, 23:53   #11
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Re: Rub rail leaks

While re-bedding some loose screws in my rub rail, I discovered that the forward 7 screws are 1.25 inches long, and the screws aft of number 7 are 1.5 inches long. The forward screws are too short to fasten properly. Anyone else have this problem, or was my boat built on a Friday-Monday shift?
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:45   #12
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Re: Rub rail leaks

Greetings VanIsle, happen to be wearing the t-shirt.

I don't recall 2 sizes of screws, but they came out and into a can without much attention. I replaced several with compromised heads but don't recall any differences . I have found differing lengths elsewhere on the boat and wrote that off to what was available to a PO.

How was the seal as mine was quite shoddy and was replaced with no further issues.

Where pray tell is Nanoose Bay? Am delighted that there is another Mahe in the PNW. Boat name?

Cheers, Martyn
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