Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-20-2017 Thread Starter
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Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

My Oday 23 has had one deck leak or another for many years. I've rebed some of the deck hardware, and done some dirty and sloppy caulking over the years, and have been able to stop some or all of the leaks at one time or another. But it seems that there's always something adding water to the bilge from above.

Some of the current leaks find their way to the port side of the boat, where they run along the forward bottom edge of the port bulkhead, then around the compression post, into the main cabin, draining into the hatch on the sole that covers the bilge. The bulkhead is ply, and the compression post looks suspiciously like a 2x4.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the outer edge of the bottom of the bulkhead was starting to curl a bit. Uh-oh. I wiped up the moisture on the bottom of the bulkhead and noticed it was getting punky.

And after a glorious after-work sail last evening, I was putting stuff away below when I noticed deformation on the outer lower corner of the bulkhead were it meets the compression post. I went to feel how bad the problem was getting, and it seems that there is about a 1 inch by 1 inch corner of the bulkhead has rotted away. Worse, the rot is starting to attack the bottom of the compression post.

My plan now: remove the rotten parts of the bulkhead and compression post. Unless I am badly mistaken, they are still sound, but I need to catch this early. I will then coat the new edges of the bulkhead and compression post with epoxy to hopefully stop more water infiltration.

I know the "right" course is to find and stop the leaks. I'm just not sure that is feasible. I've tried over the years, and I even had the yard come a couple of months ago and look at it to see if they could get the job done. The yard manager was honest and said that it would be cost prohibitive to have them do it; and together we looked at how difficult it would be for me to get at some of the fittings to rebed them(O'day clearly did not have ease of maintenance in mind when designing this boat).

So the plan (for now) is to at least stop things from getting worse.

Any thoughts or opinions on other options are welcome.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-21-2017
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Re: Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

I'd redo the "dirty and sloppy caulking" that you referred to. It may not be as caulked as you think. Check the threads here about properly bedding deck hardware with butyl tape, and be sure to overdrill the holes & fill with epoxy so that the deck core is protected from any water that gets through. No personal experience with O'Days, but i suspect that if your chainplates go through the deck they would be prime suspects.
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Re: Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

Sorry to hear of the trouble. These issues are haunting. My first suspicion is anything that was caulked more than a year ago. The bond always lets go over time, especially on anything that flexes.

I can't tell how much your post is compromised, but that's one of the components of a boat whose limits shouldn't be tested.

Good luck sorting it out.

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Re: Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

Quit using caulk. One advantage of proper bedding with butyl is it stays soft/sticky, so stuff like chainplates that are worked and wiggled in place will stay drier over a longer period of service time.

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-21-2017
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Have you rebedded the mast step,
(the mounting plate that the mast rests on)? If water is leaking through where that is bolted to the deck, and running along the compression post, water could be seeping in there, running across the support post, and getting the bulkhead wet.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-21-2017
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Re: Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

I had a 25, leaked and rotted, welcome to O'Day wood core and not very good sealing a boat ownership. As others have said use Butyl. As for the bulkheads, swap the whole thing out. Also, pull the mast step as I am sure, form personal experience, that the core under there is rotted as well. Cut it out and replace. Other way to fix this, sell and get a different boat. I would never own another O'Day if ya gave me 2......

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-21-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Compression Post and Bulkhead Woes

Thanks all.

The only water is on the cabin sole, so the damage is limited to the bottom half inch of the post and bulkhead. And I agree wholeheartedly about rebedding vs. caulking. I'm trying to get there, but I don't have the time myself to do the work, and it just isn't worth it to pay to have someone else do it for me.

At this point, I'm trying to get it so things don't get worse. I'm starting to think that if I can't make that happen (live with a certain amount of leaking), the smartest thing to do is get a new boat.
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