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Old 19-05-2006, 01:56   #1
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Location: Carriacou, Grenada
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Leaking Hatches

Just joined this forum and it looks very interesting and active. Our Cheoy Lee has 4 original wood framed hatches, (26 years old). What is the best way to repair some very small leaks in the corner seams? We live in the southern windwards and rainy season will be here soon, thanks

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Old 19-05-2006, 07:14   #2
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hi sue.
the best way to stop old wooden hatches from leaking is really to disassemble them, clean them up and reassemble. but that probably means digging out the plugs and hoping the screws holding them together don't snap. i did it on the two hatches on my previous wood boat and replaced the scratched up hatches at the same time and it was a fantastically rewarding chore.
it usually rains everyday for a few minutes in carrriacou now, so it won't be too convenient down below!
if john smith on mermaid is in the harbour, he can give you some good advise for a pop of rum, he really does know every repair imaginable on a wood boat.
good luck!

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Old 19-05-2006, 08:57   #3
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I also have a Cheoy Lee with the same type of hatches. They dissasemble very easly. I did mine last winter and you just need to plan a few days to be able to let whatever sealant or epoxy you use to set up. I took mine apart and epoxied the frames back together then replaced the lexan and sealed it to the surface with silicone. Once everything was set up I varnished the frames.
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Old 19-05-2006, 13:32   #4
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This is a common issue with all wooden anythings. It is due to the timber expanding and contracting from winter to summer, rain to shine, jupiter aligning with mars and so on. It doesn't matter what you put down the gap, more epoxy, sealant what have you, the problem will continue. You actually have to creat an expansion joint if you want to do the job correctly.
Firstly, you have to ensure the hatch joints are well fastend. No good in doing any of this if the hatch is actually falling apart. If it is falling apart, then total deconstruction and reassembly is required.
But assuming it is in good condition, take a router of some means of actually channeling a notch along the seam. You need to go at least a 1/4" deep and the same wide, deeper if you can, but no wider. Now fill the channel with a good adhesive sealant. Sikaflex is a good choice. Only because it has primers available to ensure you get a very good adherance to the timber.
This joint will now act as an expansion joint. It doesn't matter how much the timber moves, the joint will expand with it.

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Old 20-05-2006, 08:07   #5
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My hatches don't leak, they just water cool the inside of my boat Which is my way of saying, I have tried everything, and when I fix one leak, they start to leak somewhere else. But... That is just my curse. I have had a leak in every place I have lived my whole life. It is usually right over the bed (doesn't matter where I locate the bed). sigh...
Rebuilding and sealing the hatch will probably work for you unless...
My wife read a book on astrology a few years back. It says if a Gemini and a Pisces are together, you will have leaks, Just buy a bucket. I have been married to two Geminis, and can confirm this to be true. FWIW, my brother was also a Gemini, and we always had leaks growing up.
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Old 20-05-2006, 08:22   #6
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Do you really believe in Astrology?

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Old 23-05-2006, 07:59   #7
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Leaking Hatches

Thanks for the suggestions, am going to the states for a visit and will put sikaflex on my shopping list. I know they have to come completely apart, I'm just hesitant to start. One of these days....Sue
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Old 23-05-2006, 11:59   #8

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Leaking hatches

At the first opportunity , copy them in aluminium. If you make them lockable from the inside and reach the lock thru a porthole, you make the boat extremely diffcullt for anyone to break into.
Aluminium hatches can be trouble free for a lifetime. Leave the style over substance nonsense to the gullible.
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Old 30-12-2010, 04:45   #9
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Remember when using sealer to coat the surface good, then do NOT tighten all the way down, just evenly seat it until the sealant begins to ooze. The next day, after it has completely cured, tighten it up the rest of thye way. This allows a gasket to be formed. The big mistake many people make when using sealant is they squeeze it all out by overtightnening when it is still wet. It won't seal well unless it is thick and fills a space.

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