Water Leakage in Handrail Area - SailNet Community

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  • 1 Post By jsaronson
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Old 08-23-2012
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Water Leakage in Handrail Area

HELP! Rain water gets into my boat from where the starboard handrail bolts enter the cabin. The boat has these access holes in the cabin ceiling that are covered by plastic plugs to service the nuts that hold down the handrail bolts. This is where water seems to accumulate. I have caulked the areas around the handrails to no avail. I now wonder if the old handrails themselves are soaking water in. It is also possible that water is entering somewhere else and traveling down to these holes, but I have seen no signs. Should I just remove the handrail on starboard side as I never really use it.

Please advise if you have experience with this issue.
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Old 08-23-2012
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Re: Water Leakage in Handrail Area

Don't remove the handrail. Its there for a reason, and BoatUS won't insure a boat without them. (Don't ask!)
The water could be coming either through the bolt hole or getting in around the base of the handrail. Time to unbolt it and rebed it. If you have cored decks don't let this go on or you will have a much bigger repair.
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Old 08-23-2012
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Re: Water Leakage in Handrail Area

Just went through this a couple of seasons ago. Remove the handrails and re-bed them,
As jaronson says.

I did have a cored deck. I drilled oversized holes ( no wider than the base of the handrail) using a Forstner bit set and the original hole as the guide. Then I dug out all the wet core using the old allen key in the drill routine. A little more digging with various hand tools. Had an exceptionally dry couple of weeks, so I let them air out as much as possible. Took the handrails home and re-finished them. Then I filled all the voids with epoxy and rebedded everything. The boat has been bone dry since. Knock on teak.

You'll need new teak dowels too. Casey has a good guideline in his Sailboat Maintanence book.
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Old 08-23-2012
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Re: Water Leakage in Handrail Area

Agree with the others....don't ignore this or serious deck damage may occur. At this point it does sound like removing and rebidding will be your only option. If you don't know how to check your deck for water damage.....find someone to help you/show you.
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