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Old 16-11-2017, 18:08   #1
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Leaking hatches

I have a set of Lewmar hatches that are nearly all leaking.
For a long time I thought it was leakage below the bottom frame of the hatches, and I tried to remove one of the hatches only to find that all the screws had become compromised and could no longer be extracted. This more or less confirmed my thinking that a leak had rotted the screws in the wooden surround.
More recently I have discovered that the leaks are occurring between the rubber seals and the top frame, where they attach to the frame, particularly at the corners.
Where the hatches mount is still an issue, but I do want to fix the leaking as a matter of higher priority. Has anyone else had this problem, and how did you solve it?
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Old 16-11-2017, 18:20   #2
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Re: Leaking hatches

I think u mean the gasket is leaking. Clean and armorall. If the gasket is cracked u will need to replace.
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Old 16-11-2017, 18:34   #3
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Re: Leaking hatches

Hi rossl32123

I bought the boat which came with leaky forward, main and galley hatches.

1. Leaking between polycarbonate and top metal frame.

I use butyl for the bottom contact and for the side I use sikaflex UV. No more leak from this area.

2. Leaking between rubber neoprene gasket.

Tried various rubber gasket, the best - get it from the manufacturer. I got a custom made to size but the density was thick so that frame cannot close. Easier to buy extras from the hatch manufacturer.

3. Leaking bottom metal frame to wooden housing.

Remove and seal with butyl and screw back .

4. Leaking screw hole on bottom metal frame .

Remove screw, which sometimes seems seized. Use butane flame to heat up the screw. Use enough heat to make the screw come loose only. Careful not to burn the boat. Use wet towels around the area.

Use butyl.

5. Leaking handle knobs or top caps.

Remove and replace O ring.

These are what I did for my boat and managed to the leak. Sure spoil my day during a passage or raining day.

I will be making canvas covers for the hatches with side skirts, if that will help at all.
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Old 16-11-2017, 18:35   #4
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Re: Leaking hatches

Problem with those deck hatches is that with age....they are prone to leak from many places.

The glazing and handle gaskets and bedding around the acrylic

The rubber gasket, especially at the radii no longer line up for 100% waterproofing

The aloy flange that seals the base to deck cuttout also corrodes, allowing a pathway for leaks.

My own hatches at 20 years all had these problems and I tried a number of fixes from time to time.

Like making a riser to get frame off deck and then reseal cut out.
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Reglazing and caulking hatch but corrosion limited talking all parts apart to gasket.

In the end, new minor leaks would develop and the hardware was tired....So I have just bought the bullet and ordered 4 new ones that will fit the new risers.
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Old 16-11-2017, 19:09   #5
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Re: Leaking hatches

Thankyou all for your replies. I will attempt some of them this weekend.
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Old 16-11-2017, 23:07   #6
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Re: Leaking hatches

In time, water always leaks down the screw threads. The only way to stop the leaking is to squirt epoxy down the pilot hole before driving the screw. No mater what you bed the hatch with, water will get by via the screw holes. Without the epoxy, you eventually get leaks and wood rot or wet cores.
With wood rot damage, clean out the rot, fill the area with epoxy with high density filler added. Drill a slightly larger pilot hole because the epoxy doesn't give. If you want to keep the screw from ever wiggling, squirt some epoxy down the hole before driving the screw. Epoxy holds much better in any material than metal screws. I've done thousands of screws this way and would bet none are leaking.
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Old 17-11-2017, 04:11   #7
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Re: Leaking hatches

Great advice Lepke, I just picked up my 4 new hatches this afternoon and will be installing them in the next two weeks
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Old 17-11-2017, 04:22   #8
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Re: Leaking hatches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
In time, water always leaks down the screw threads. The only way to stop the leaking is to squirt epoxy down the pilot hole before driving the screw. No mater what you bed the hatch with, water will get by via the screw holes. Without the epoxy, you eventually get leaks and wood rot or wet cores.
With wood rot damage, clean out the rot, fill the area with epoxy with high density filler added. Drill a slightly larger pilot hole because the epoxy doesn't give. If you want to keep the screw from ever wiggling, squirt some epoxy down the hole before driving the screw. Epoxy holds much better in any material than metal screws. I've done thousands of screws this way and would bet none are leaking.
I just fully rebedded four Lewmar Ocean hatches. I bit the bullet and epoxy potted every single screw hole. Over drilled, wetted and filled with thickened epoxy, and redrilled. I used 4000UV for the rebedding as I don't have confidence using butyl without bolts and the attendant pressure. If you go to the trouble to take the whole frame up and you don't pot all the holes you've squandered a good opportunity to improve the boat.

I've reglazed a couple of the hatches, one myself and one I sent out to Select Plastics. Doing it myself was a chore and in future I'll just send the others out when they need it. Select does an amazing job and will update with modern handles and hardware if you ask (which can be wise as parts for older hatch hinges and handle assemblies may no longer be available).

You can in a pinch stop leaks in the glazing or the frame foot by smearing with caulk, but it's a temporary fix.
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Old 18-11-2017, 02:12   #9
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Re: Leaking hatches

Pelagic, you might consider building hatch dams around your hatches. Our hatches, with the dams, have been basically trouble free for the almost 15 yrs. we've had this boat.

Ann
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Old 18-11-2017, 02:37   #10
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Re: Leaking hatches

Hi Ann,
What do you mean by dam?
.....last refit I installed a riser to get the hatch flange off the deck, is that what you mean?

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Old 24-11-2017, 19:47   #11
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Re: Leaking hatches

Is it possible to get new gaskets from Lewmar?
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Old 24-11-2017, 21:24   #12
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Re: Leaking hatches

My Hatch dams around all my Lewmar hatches. It gives me the option of putting a sumbrella cover over the hatch and maybe building a small pram style cover as well in future. It deflects the bulk of boarding seas from putting full water pressure on the gaskets, the raised flange reduces possibilities of leaking as well.
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Old 25-11-2017, 00:26   #13
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Re: Leaking hatches

As those rubber gaskets get tired over time and no longer apply pressure against the plexiglass, water can seep in. What I have done is to carefully pry the old rubber gasket seal and lift it out, then apply a medium to light bead of regular kitchen and bathroom caulking to the groove and lightly set the same old rubber gasket back into the groove.
This lifts the height of the gasket so it will make better contact with the glass. Therefore, lightly close the hatch and let only the weight of the cover sit on the newly laid rubber seal to just align the level on the rubber. Don't screw down the cover for a day or two till the caulking sets harder. Good for another 5 years.
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Old 25-11-2017, 20:52   #14
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Re: Leaking hatches

Thanks for all the great ideas. I suspect that I am going to have to eventually build some hatch dams as well.
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