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Old 06-03-2019, 22:32   #1
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Leaking Deck Hardware

So I went down to my Ranger 22 the other week and discovered that, rather unnervingly, there was a large water stain on the floor directly under an old screw hole in the roof. The hole in question is directly below the set of cleats on the cabin top. I suspect that the 40+ year-old sealant has decided to stop being sealant. The boat was dry as a bone before then and there was no rot or de-lamination discovered when I bought the boat last year. Even more worrying is that, even after I covered the hardware up top with thick plastic and taped it up after the first time (it's been quite a heavy winter), the stain is back and bigger than ever. There is a heater and two containers of moisture-remover inside which should be more than adequate for a boat the size of a shoebox. I was planning to replace all of the original hardware this spring anyways but I'm wondering just how big of an issue this is. Thanks,

Willem
Ranger 22 #207 "Hell-Bent"
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Old 06-03-2019, 23:46   #2
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

Donít lose sleep over it. If thereís damage it will be minimal and you can deal with it in the spring. Try and cover the cleats (plastic bin) or if itís runoff make a dam with butyl (peel it off in the spring). Remove the hardware, ream out the holes, fill with epoxy, re-drill and re-bed hardware.
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Old 06-03-2019, 23:57   #3
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

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Donít lose sleep over it. If thereís damage it will be minimal and you can deal with it in the spring. Try and cover the cleats (plastic bin) or if itís runoff make a dam with butyl (peel it off in the spring). Remove the hardware, ream out the holes, fill with epoxy, re-drill and re-bed hardware.


Thanks for the reply. I did cover the entire area with a sheet of industrial plastic which I then sealed down with shrink-wrapping tape. As I said I was going to replace the hardware anyways which will be the perfect opportunity to do the necessary repairs. I also have to take the mast down to replace a broken windex and replace the main and spinnaker halyard blocks as I am converting from wire halyards to rope ones which will allow me to remove and re-seal/reinforce the mast base plate. It is starting to show a worrying amount of stress-cracking in the gel coat around it. In the Ranger 22 the mast compression is handled by what amounts to a reinforced wooden board spreading the load off to twin compression posts. I have been considering reinforcing this as well to ward off any issues down the line.
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Old 07-03-2019, 00:30   #4
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

These days I will only use the very best flexible sealant although I suppose in 40 years that will break down too.

I also raise the deck slightly where anything is through bolted.
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Old 07-03-2019, 00:45   #5
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

Remember that leaks in boats have a way of coming in at one location but manifesting themselves as a stain in a totally different location. You may have thought you were covering the source of the leak only to discover later that the fitting you covered was not the source of the problem. The water may have tracked sideways, sometimes quite remarkable distances.

Donít ask me how I know this except to say I just replaced all 24 square meters of deck on my boat from scratch because some of the leaks were downright incomprehensible.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:33   #6
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

Capt Tolleys creeping crack cure...Go over every screw, crevice, cleat, window, edge, about three times...problem solved.

It really works...I had doubts some years ago just like the inflatable dinghy sealant...but by golly it works. CLean it up before it dries though. It is pretty tough to get off later.

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Old 07-03-2019, 12:07   #7
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

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Originally Posted by D Rock View Post
Capt Tolleys creeping crack cure...Go over every screw, crevice, cleat, window, edge, about three times...problem solved.

It really works...I had doubts some years ago just like the inflatable dinghy sealant...but by golly it works. CLean it up before it dries though. It is pretty tough to get off later.

D
Being tough to get off when cured is why you should caution the use of this.

One of the previous owners decided to 5200 our port lights in and also 5200 bungs in place covering the nuts for the interior grab rails(through bolted the cabin top). A GIANT pain in the ass when it leaks because its incredibly difficult to remove.

Use something that is less permanent and fix the issue right.

I wouldnt worry about it too much. Mitigate the inflow of water until spring hits then deal with it then.
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Old 07-03-2019, 13:17   #8
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

If the boat has a liner, the leak could be anywhere upriver of where it's coming out. A few months won't be a killer but if the leak is allowed to continue will rot the core in the deck. Don't know about all Rangers but the two I looked at had large areas of core rot because the on deck fittings had been leaking for a long period of time. It's a PITA to do but removing all the on deck fittings, routing out the core, filling with thickened epoxy and redialing the holes would stop any problems with core rot.

5200 is a strong adhesive. It's use should be restricted to hardware you don't ever want to have to remove. I alternate between butyl tape and LifeCaulk for bedding compound.
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Old 07-03-2019, 23:47   #9
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Re: Leaking Deck Hardware

I had considered that the leak could be tracking from elsewhere. After I bought the boat I removed and resealed the rails for the companionway hatch (the old one was shattered and had to be replaced). I might service the winches before next season as two are giving me grief which will give me a chance to reseal their mountings as well. The only other holes in the cabin top are for the four original horn cleats for the halyards that are no longer in use, so I might just remove them entirely. Other than that, there are no other holes anywhere in the cabin top (windows were resealed after I discovered on one fateful, rainy day that they leaked by the gallon but the holes had no exposure to the core). Definitely won't be using anything quite as permanent as some of the suggestions but it will be flexible and strong. Removing part of the interior liner to assess the damage is not out of the question as I was planning to fabricate a metal plate to back the new hardware anyways (some of it was installed poorly and has crushed parts of the liner and core) which would then be bonded to the ceiling. Quickly becoming thankful that my boat was missing the original plastic panel (which was actually screwed into the hole I which was leaking) that would have covered up all of this. I'm headed down this weekend to empty my moisture removers and check on the leak again so I can snap a few pictures to help get the image across.
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