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  #1  
Old 02-18-2008
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Deck to hull leaks

Before buying my newport 28 I was told that one of the weak points is, the hull to deck joint can leak. Well it does. So far only on the starboard side when I am heeled over and crashing through S.F. bay chop. So how do I fix this. Or do I.
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Old 02-18-2008
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Unfortunately, fixing this is a pretty horrid thing to do. It generally involves taking the hull-deck joint apart, cleaning the surfaces and recoating them with some sealant and then bolting the whole mess back together. It isn't a job for the faint of heart... and it requires a fair bit of preparation.
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Old 02-18-2008
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What about glassing it from the inside? Of course then it has to be glassed all the way through, but that's gotta be the best joint ever. It is that way on my boat and darn it if there is any way for water to get in there.
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Would it be the toe rail that I would have to remove? I can handle that. As long as I don't drop every screw into the drink!
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Unfortunately, you need to seal the hull-deck join before you can glass over the inside safely. If you don't and water gets in there and freezes...then you'll have a much more serious problem and repair to deal with.
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Old 02-18-2008
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I don't know how the N28 deck/hull joint is put together or how accessible it is. In general...the two pieces in most boats are put together with adhesive and then through bolted or rivited every 4-6 inches. The repair process usually involves getting to the bolts and unbolting...separating the adhesive joint and cleaning out all the old adhesive...putting in new adhesive...and boltng back together. A big messy job and difficult to do in many boats due to lack of access.
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Old 02-18-2008
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The first difficult part will be to determine just exactly where, in fact, the leak is. Water can show up on the inside a long way from where it's first getting in.

I can't recall if an N28 has an overhead liner.... if so access to both identify and repair a leak may be difficult too.

This is a nasty one, but I'd be reluctant to glass from the inside without fixing the problem first. The inside seal will either trap moisture or cause it to show up somewhere else (which is why, of course, Brak said you need to do it all round).

Removing the toerail and grinding off and reglassing the deck edge from the outside is another possibility, but that too is a huge job with no guarantee that all the bolts will come out (or that the toerail will come off cleanly).

Failing all that your looking at SD's "take it apart and redo/reseal it" - no picnic either.......

But before you tackle anything like this make sure you KNOW where the leak really is.

Edit: Oops - lots of crossed posts here with similar ideas....
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The toe-rail and rub-rail must both come off. Then the attaching hardware must be removed or drilled out. Then you can maybe take some piano wire and, with two people, one inside and one outside, work your way around the boat-sawing the joint open. It depends on what the joint's construction is comprised of. There are three commonly used method's of making the hull/deck joint. Check out Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Guide to Sailboat maintenance.

This is not a project you want to just glob some schmutz on and call it good; you'll be back. It's also the type of project that leads to about 20 other projects along the way; and why not, you've got the whole deck adrift and you'll never have better access.

Usually you do this with the boat in her cradle and you lift the deck upwards, and then slide chunks of 4x4 between the top of the hull and the deck. You also need to support the keel and the centerline of the boat quite well or the hull will sag on you sitting in the cradle with the deck off.

There's some photo's here in a thread where a fellow did it to a Cal 20-as part of a total restoration job. I'll see if I can find them.

Here they are:http://homepage.mac.com/bear33/PhotoAlbum14.html
Take your time, you'll rarely see such a well documented restoration in photos.
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Last edited by sailaway21; 02-18-2008 at 10:57 PM.
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That really is an amazing restoration on a cal 20. I really had no idea this was such an undertaking. It may have to go down on the list of to do's. It is not leaking really bad, it is really only some moisture, that I can deal with for now. The information I get from this site is really amazing. Thank you all so much!! Every sail out I come up with a new question, and it always gets answered.
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Old 02-19-2008
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It will just have to leak ...

I have the same problem on my 30' 1970 C&C Redwing. As much as I love the boat and would like to bring it up to speed in a high quality fashion, the cost and effort to fix it properly (probably in excess of $5K even if I did most of the "dumb" work) would be prohibitive. I've decided that it will just have to leak in a couple of spots at the hull/deck seam (I may try the non-elegant solution of sealing the bottom edge of the rubrail knowing it will be a temporary solution at best).

To repair it on my boat I would have to remove all of the toerails and genoa tracks, purchase a new gasket (at $15/FOOT), hire someone to install the gasket (over my head and it sounds pretty tricky ... has to be heated and stretched properly while being installed), then replace the toerails/tracks.

By the way, if it's of any value, I was able to verify and find the leak by taking a hose with a stream nozzle and pointing it up under the rubrail ... my wife was below and the water just gushed in.

The good news (I think) is that no invisible damage is being done ... i.e. there's no core to be penetrated where the seam is and the water is all visible below where I can easily mop it up. It is a pain in the butt when cruising because the V-berth can get fairly wet. (I may try I'll concentrate my efforts on re-bedding hardware to prevent any damage to the core which would be worse in my opinion.
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