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  #1  
Old 12-27-2007
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Deck hardware sealing

Hi everybody,
I have a few questions that I would love your help with.

The first question is about my forward hatch. A few weeks ago I noticed a small amount of wetness on my V-berth right below the hatch. I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to have to replace the hatch...$$$. but when I went out today to take measurements, closer inspecton of the hatch revealed that it is only leaking from where the lexan sits in the aluminum hatch frame. Someone, probably previous owner, has put some sort of silicone looking caulk around this seal and it is now tearing away in parts causing this leak. I am pretty confident this is where the leak is coming from.
My question is: should I just try to remove the caulk that is there and then reseal with new caulk or should I still be looking at getting a whole new hatch? If I should just try to reseal then what should I use to clean the old stuff off with and what should I use to seal with???? Pics attached.

thank you.
http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/_MG_5932.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/_MG_5934.jpg

My second question is regarding those little studs that are placed in the deck to allow attachment of biminis. I noticed the other week that I was missing one (guess it fell out sometime). SO I went to West Marine and picked up some to replace it with. As I was replacing it I checked the others and they were all fairly loose, some very loose. My questions is are these supposed to be sealed with something or is some type of caulk or resin supposed to be placed in whole before the little stud is screwed in??? It seems that water could easily make its way under these little studs, especially when they are in the non skid. Again, thank you for your help. Pics attached.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/_MG_5937.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/_MG_5938.jpg

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/b...y/_MG_5940.jpg

Thank you,
Jon
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Old 12-27-2007
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Jon—

Those little studs should ideally be screwed into thickened epoxy, or through bolted. If they're just screwed into caulk in the deck and the deck is cored, you're in for a rude awakening when they leak and cause the core to delaminate.

As for the hack job on your hatch... you need to remove the lexan and clean off all that silicone... and then rebed the lexan properly. There are some commercial cleaners designed to get rid of silicone sealant...but getting the bulk of it off with a razor blade would be a good idea. If you use a razor blade... use some fine sand paper and round the corners of the blade, so that they don't dig in and scratch the hell out of the aluminum or lexan.
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Old 12-27-2007
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I'll second what sailingdog said. The hatch does look like it had a leak for a long time and someone was trying to stop it.
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Old 12-27-2007
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Reading your post my thoughts were the same as Dog's re: strpping everything and resealing. On seeing the pictures, this looks like a hatch that someone has tried to seal unsucessfully, many times, maybe since day one. Might be labor and cost effective to replace.
I suggest replacement because I think that somewhere under all that silicone is a black rubber seal or gasket between the Lexan and the frame. The failure of the original factory seal between lens and frame is what lead to the silicone.

Last edited by capttb; 12-27-2007 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 12-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capttb View Post
Reading your post my thoughts were the same as Dog's re: strpping everything and resealing. On seeing the pictures, this looks like a hatch that someone has tried to seal unsucessfully, many times, maybe since day one. Might be labor and cost effective to replace.
Since these hatches cost in excess of $1000 I'd say it's worth a shot at reglazing and resealing. We have a similar project (same problem) but in addition our gaskets are leaking too.... anyone got any ideas there?
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Old 12-27-2007
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Thank you guys.

I was thinking along those lines as well Capttb, that this is a leak that's been attempted by previous owner to fix and maybe it is time to pay up and put a new hatch in............but not yet. Although, I'll probably writing in six months to you all about advice on the best way to install a new hatch
What should I use to reglaze the lexan back to the aluminum frame??? My plan is to reglaze the lexan to the frame and then put a hopefully much cleaner looking bead of silcone on top. What do you think? Any specific recommendations on particular reglazing and silicone products?

As for the studs, I think they have been like that, just screwed directly into the deck since day one Does removing each one, filling it with thickened epoxy and then rescrewing sound like a viable option? Sailingdog, I was planning on using the same MAS epoxy and thickner from the last project you advised me about.....do you think it will work for this (the chip in the deck gelcoat) I am scared now that with winter and freezing temps coming anytime soon that I will get moisture and a nasty freeze thaw cycle going on under these little suckers


Thanks again guys,
Jon
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Old 12-27-2007
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There's a company that can replace the lexan which should solve the problem. From my recollection of discussing a similar issue on my boat, I'd guess you'd be looking at around 3-4 hundred dollars for the fix.

Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the company. Perhaps you can find a list of vendors on the Annapolis Boat Show website.

Good Luck.
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Old 12-27-2007
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Thank you for the suggestion midlifesailor.

I am assuming you would have to remove the hatch and send it away to have the lexan repaired??? How did you protect the exposed hole on your boat? Do you remember their turn around time??

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 12-27-2007
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Select Plastics is the name of the company. However, Google "refitting hatch lenses" and there is a good article in Sailing magazine detailing all the steps to do it yourself. I did mine, and while it is a bit of work, I did all 4 of my lewmars for about $400, plus the cost of a couple of hinge kits ($30. ea). I bought the Sikaflex material from Jamestown Distributors (again, see Google) and replacement lexan at a local glass shop. Store the cleaner and primer in the refrigerator and it will extend the shelf life for a long time after opening. No leaks at all!! Good luck with it!
DD
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Old 12-27-2007
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J34035 thanks for the info. i will research this.

thanks,
Jon
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