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Old 12-02-2015, 15:50   #1
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Companionway woes.....

After several storms in the last few months, I've come to the conclusion that our companionway is a problem. In normal rainy weather, this isn't a problem, but during several days of severe storms a few months ago, I found water intrusion to be an issue. While we all understand that things can and will get wet on a boat, the Admiral has decreed that 'something must be done'.

Currently, we have a three teak drop board arrangement. Several friends have suggested a radical departure from that set up, making use of a door. Is a door the answer, or can the drop boards be improved? All I'm really hoping for is a way to minimize (my hope) the water intrusion or eliminate altogether (her request) the problem.

Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:00   #2
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Have you identified where the water is coming in? Are you sure it is the boards and not the turtle cover? Or the space in between the two? If it is the boards, are they fitted and angled properly? I often see wood boards with pleasantly rounded tops and bottoms, rather than angled to fit together.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:00   #3
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Re: Companionway woes.....

A thin piece of weatherstripping, the kind that is self adhesive placed between the boards should cure the problem. That along with a plastic strip on the hatchboard that overlays on the outside should cure it
Water should not be able to enter around the edges or the bottom, I assume you have no Bimini?


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Old 12-02-2015, 16:00   #4
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Re: Companionway woes.....

To find where the leak starts, draw all over the place with a water based marker. I like pink.

There is the chance that it is not the drop boards, but rather condensation off the sliding hatch if it isn't cored... Which might explain why it does it only after a period of time.

If it is the hatch, an inner piece of trim, with a gutter that drains down hill from the inside opening, back outside that stands off far enough inside that a drop can't run down the edge and find its way dripping down the trim.

Bevel the individual boards, so the face on the inside lip is raked far enough to drain outboard rather than down their face, or make up a larger single piece acrylic.

If the boards are substantial, you can fit the acrylic inside a mitered frame, and while you are jigged up for it make another one with a bronze window screen. Admrials generally like those.

Cheers,

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Old 12-02-2015, 16:12   #5
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
Have you identified where the water is coming in? Are you sure it is the boards and not the turtle cover? Or the space in between the two? If it is the boards, are they fitted and angled properly? I often see wood boards with pleasantly rounded tops and bottoms, rather than angled to fit together.
I confirmed it is coming in around the boards, and not the turtle or tracks above. The boards themselves seem to be fit properly, with no rounded bottoms or tops.


Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
A thin piece of weatherstripping, the kind that is self adhesive placed between the boards should cure the problem. That along with a plastic strip on the hatchboard that overlays on the outside should cure it
Water should not be able to enter around the edges or the bottom, I assume you have no Bimini?


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No bimini as of yet. For weatherstripping, would you suggest foam or rubber?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach View Post
To find where the leak starts, draw all over the place with a water based marker. I like pink.

There is the chance that it is not the drop boards, but rather condensation off the sliding hatch if it isn't cored... Which might explain why it does it only after a period of time.

If it is the hatch, an inner piece of trim, with a gutter that drains down hill from the inside opening, back outside that stands off far enough inside that a drop can't run down the edge and find its way dripping down the trim.

Bevel the individual boards, so the face on the inside lip is raked far enough to drain outboard rather than down their face, or make up a larger single piece acrylic.

If the boards are substantial, you can fit the acrylic inside a mitered frame, and while you are jigged up for it make another one with a bronze window screen. Admrials generally like those.

Cheers,

Zach
She is going to see this answer and love it!
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:19   #6
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Re: Companionway woes.....

[QUOTE=Fog Bank;1747554]I confirmed it is coming in around the boards, and not the turtle or tracks above. The boards themselves seem to be fit properly, with no rounded bottoms or tops.


Therin lies the problem, the boards should have either a chamfer or rounded top's and bottom's to prevent the water from seeping in during extended wet weather.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:31   #7
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Re: Companionway woes.....

[QUOTE=Uncle Bob;1747559]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fog Bank View Post
I confirmed it is coming in around the boards, and not the turtle or tracks above. The boards themselves seem to be fit properly, with no rounded bottoms or tops.


Therin lies the problem, the boards should have either a chamfer or rounded top's and bottom's to prevent the water from seeping in during extended wet weather.
They have, in the center and running the length of the area that sits atop the board beneath, a notch that fits into a groove.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:32   #8
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Re: Companionway woes.....

I assume your boat is in a slip and so during some storms you get wind-driven rain up against the companionway?

The most effective edge for companionway drop boards is rabbeted edges:



Resists wind-driven rain. You can easily makes these with a router, a square bit, and a straight edge and come clamps. That said, adding this edge to your existing boards would lessen their height accordingly and so might not be an option. Something to consider if you're making new ones.

Of course, this is not going to solve the problem if the rain is coming in through the side slots that the boards drop into.

Another option is to have one big board made, out of a sheet of 1/2" tinted acrylic. Let's more light in and is easier than deal with three boards, at times. I have one as well as double washboards made of teak and use the acrylic 99% of the time.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:35   #9
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Re: Companionway woes.....

[QUOTE=Fog Bank;1747563]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post

They have, in the center and running the length of the area that sits atop the board beneath, a notch that fits into a groove.
Well there goe's that idea !
I guess I would try the foam self adhesive weather proofing.
Or go the perspex suggestion.
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Old 12-02-2015, 16:37   #10
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Pics of current setup would be helpful.


Is the companionway vertical or slanted?


Mine is rabbeted (2 board) but I am getting some intrusion around the bottom board - grrr...
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Old 12-02-2015, 20:19   #11
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Re: Companionway woes.....

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Pics of current setup would be helpful.


Is the companionway vertical or slanted?


Mine is rabbeted (2 board) but I am getting some intrusion around the bottom board - grrr...
I don't have any photos of it available, but can snap a few over the weekend. The companionway has a slant.
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Old 12-02-2015, 21:03   #12
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Drop boards are the most ridiculous idea for any seagoing boat. the only type of boat they make sense on is a boat with a bridgedeck, low cabin and no dodger.

I have made up a bunch of different doors for various boats. Much better. The simplest uses a one piece bit of heavy ply to replace all the dropboards, and has a smaller door cutout that hinges down or sideways depending on what suits best. It can be tightly lashed down onto gasket material, to reduce leaks and stowed below as in one piece in calmer waters.

Also you can try to stop water leaking onto anything below if it gets through the hatch, put vinyl clears around the companionway, and rig a drip catcher/diverter under the door sill. because no matter how good your door is, it's still open sometimes, and still leaks sometimes.
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Old 12-02-2015, 21:04   #13
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Re: Companionway woes.....

I cut a single piece of clear, heavy plastic into a companion way.

Forget what I used for material. Cut real swell on a bandsaw.

It maximized the visual opening while providing good protection with no joints.

My Wife finds it a tad heavy and cumbersome. I like it.

I was even able to taper the bottom to fit well. I used a grinder with a sandpaper attachment to make fine adjustments.
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Old 12-02-2015, 21:10   #14
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Ohh, and another simple idea for less serious stuff. get a vinyl flap made that covers the companionway on the outside. This can roll down over the opening with or without it being closed. Put heavy battens on the bottom edge to stop it blowing around, and maybe some bungy holddowns. The best way is to have a big flap on the aft end of the dodger, bungied down to the coamings, to completely enclose the hatch area. That way the hatch can be open even in very heavy rain and wind from astern without rain driving below, and you have a dry porch area to store wet gear.
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Old 12-02-2015, 21:11   #15
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Re: Companionway woes.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I cut a single piece of clear, heavy plastic into a companion way.

Forget what I used for material. Cut real swell on a bandsaw.

It maximized the visual opening while providing good protection with no joints.

My Wife finds it a tad heavy and cumbersome. I like it.

I was even able to taper the bottom to fit well. I used a grinder with a sandpaper attachment to make fine adjustments.
We have two pieces of lexan (I think, we inherited it), beveled in between so that the outside of the seam is lower than the inside. Even as two pieces, it is cumbersome. I would not be able to handle a solid piece with one hand. The light and the ability to see out is nice, though.
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