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Old 12-28-2001
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Fixing Leaking Hatches

What should I do with a hatch that is leaking? Even with new rubbers, the Lewmar hatch that came with my Oceanis 351 continues to leak.

Sue & Larry respond:
Sorry to hear about the leaking hatch. We had a Lewmar hatch on a previous boat that leaked also. It turned out that for us the problem was not the rubber seal around the opening part either. When the hatch was installed at the factory, an insufficient amount of sealant was used to bed it, or the tension was not correctly applied to the fasteners.

In either case, the fix is to completely remove your hatch, scrape away the old sealant and wipe the area with acetone to ensure a clean bonding surface. Clean the hatch frame in a similar manner. Then liberally apply new sealant (3M's 101 or Sikaflex 291 work well) to the cabinhouse area beneath the hatch frame. You want enough sealant so that it oozes out around the entire frame as you begin tightening the fasteners. Each fastener should also have the threads coated with sealant prior to insertion. Tighten with enough pressure so that your sealant oozes out leaving no gaps or air holes. Make sure you donít over tighten though, or you will squeeze out all the sealant and that will eventually lead to more leaks.

Best of luck with fixing your leak.

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