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Old 14-07-2014, 14:16   #1
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Leaky Deck Hardware

Hi,

I have been sailing my 1970-something Catalina 27 and now looking to purchase a bluewater cruising boat to step 1) live-aboard and step ) cruising! I live in Vancouver, BC.

This weekend I looked at at 1976 Tayana 37. Boat was beautiful. What a classic. The owner had obviously taken great care of her and faithfully performed the required maintenance.

I did notice past examples of water infiltration. At the chain plate area, around the hatches (now replaced with standard type but still leaking a tiny bit says the owner) and just generally at the side of deck to hull transition. These leaks appear to have been rectified and barely visible.

My question is this. Is this type of minor leaks common for boats of that vintage? My Catalina 27 always seems to have some leak somewhere that requires my attention. Is this common or are there some 1970 something era boats that do not suffer from this predicament at all and have never had a single leak?

Your overall experience would be helpful. I am guessing that as all things, leaks and maintenance are common, especially when looking at 30 plus year old boats but I have never confirmed this with the greater sailing community.

Thanks!
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Old 14-07-2014, 14:29   #2
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Welcome to CF. Cant help you with your question, but welcome aboard.
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Old 14-07-2014, 14:43   #3
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Pretty much all boats leak. From the 50+ year old "classic plastic" to the 2014 Bene just down the dock. Butyl (sp?) Tape works well to help seal up leaks. Pretty much a constant struggle though. One thing to beware of, the Tayana will have MUCH more teak that will require you to varnish/oil regularly. Think 500% more than your Catalina. If you don't like to varnish, you will not enjoy the hours required to keep that boat looking good.

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Old 14-07-2014, 14:47   #4
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

The leaks that are less troublesome are at locations where the bedding compound needs replacing at points where hardware fasteners pass through solid fiberglass or at the junction of metal, plastic, glass or rubber gaskets with the fiberglass.

Leaks that have wood at an interface can be major problems. If intruded water has traveled into a wood coring material, then a fix may require tearing everything apart and rebuilding if the wood has been subject to rot & decay..
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Old 14-07-2014, 14:55   #5
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Sealants used for sealing eventually fail. I just re-did the chain plates on my 30yo boat recently that was suffering a lot of deck leaks. The polysulfide sealant had failed completely to the point that it could be lifted out of the joint like a gasket. I resealed with butyl tape which I've heard has a service life of 30 years plus. As a comparison, I've read that silicon sealant has a service life of around 20 years and polysulfide under 10.
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Old 14-07-2014, 19:51   #6
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

ONe of my windows always leaks a drop every 30 seconds onto one bunk in heavy rain. Fastened a long tray underneath the window to catch it.
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:19   #7
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Welcome to CF chill...

The Tayana 37 is sweet ride to be sure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
The leaks that are less troublesome are at locations where the bedding compund needs replacing at points where hardware fasteners pass through solid fiberglass or at the junction of metal, plastic, glass or rubber gaskets with the fiberglass.

Leaks that have wood at an interface can be major problems. If intruded water has traveled into a wood coring material, then a fix may require tearing everything apart and rebuilding if the wood has been subject to rot & decay..
Do your homework on Tayana chainplates... I know nothing of the details of this particular boat, but leaky plates usually = corroded plates...

AND corroded plates = well... you know... not good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Sealants used for sealing eventually fail. I just re-did the chain plates on my 30yo boat recently that was suffering a lot of deck leaks. The polysulfide sealant had failed completely to the point that it could be lifted out of the joint like a gasket. I resealed with butyl tape which I've heard has a service life of 30 years plus. As a comparison, I've read that silicon sealant has a service life of around 20 years and polysulfide under 10.
Sweet "down under" location reef...

Butyl is the way to go for rebedding... and EASY!
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Old 14-07-2014, 20:53   #8
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Different people seem to like different bedding compounds. We generally use Sika 291, and are pretty pleased with both its sealing and longevity. No sealant is forever!

Cheers,

Ann
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Old 15-07-2014, 04:24   #9
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, chillmobil.

They're called "Leaky Teaky" for a reason.
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Old 15-07-2014, 18:46   #10
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Thank you everyone fro your replies and the warm welcome. I don't think I have ever been so warmly welcomed in an online forum before! In summary, leaks are part of the boating life. You can only hope to find an used boat in good condition that has been meticulously cared for. And Buty is the best! Actually we replaced the seal on one of our leaky windows on the Catalina 27 with Butyl tape and it has worked like a charm so far.

Thanks again,
Emmanuel
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Old 06-08-2014, 23:06   #11
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

I've had great success rebedding deck hardware and windows with Dolphinite bedding compound. Don't use anything else, as all the synthetics and various ...poly this and that have all failed over a fairly short period of time (1-3) years here in the PNW rain forest. So went back to Dolphinite 7 or 8 years ago and have been a happy boater ever since. BTW, Life expectancy for the stuff is 30+ years, and it contains a natural mold and mildew retarding agent. Nothing grows in it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 00:37   #12
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

Not specifically familiar with the T-37, but as a general statement, leaks around deck hardware and hatches and ports are fairly easy to spot and to address when found. Leaks at the hull to deck joint are a much harder villain to track down and to rectify... and can be a source of serious water ingress.

I'd have a really good look at those areas and the purported fixes already attempted. These can be a deal breaker IMO.

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 10-08-2014, 16:58   #13
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

A knowledgeable surveyor with a keen ear and a mallet can go about finding the degree of water intrusion so you know what you're dealing with. As mentioned above, leaks are a guarantee and not necessarily a big deal, but you certainly don't want to take on a huge deck rot project right off the bat!
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Old 13-08-2014, 09:51   #14
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Re: Leaky Deck Hardware

I have a '77 T37, and yes, the leaks you've mentioned are very common. I spent most of last summer sealing up all the deck hardware, and this season I'm fixing the cockpit coamings that leak into the galley.

Ta Yang used teak blocks between the fiberglass and the stainless hardware. That means 2 potential leaks for every single bolt. I epoxy coated all the teak blocks, then epoxied them to the glass after scraping through the gel coat, and then painted them with AwlGrip before re-bedding them with butyl tape. I also over-drilled the bolt holes, ground out the core material, and potted them in thickened epoxy before drilling new holes for all the bolts. No more leaks. We also removed all the teak decks and filled roughly a thousand screw holes with epoxy in preparation for new topside paint and non-skid.





The chain plates are another problem, and our plan is to move them outboard of the toe rails sometime next year.
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