Hatch rebedding issues
Hi friendly sailnetters. This past weekend, I embarked on a project to rebed one of the three large Lewmar hatches on Pinniped. After being on board during several storms, I saw that we were getting some drips from the port forward corner under the trim around the headliner. I disassembled a bit during the weekend prior, and found that it looks like there has been a bit of water incursion here for a while, but it was not making itself apparent. As part of the project, I also decided to start the repainting of the cabin trunk, as the hatch was mounted on a riser to form a raised, flat mounting area, and this seemed like a great opportunity to paint that without the hatch in the way. I budgeted two and a half days, knowing that the paint (Interlux Brightside) was going to need an overnight dry between coats.
Removing the hatch and frame took most of my Friday after work. It was secured by a combination of wood screws (some strategically penetrating the raised frame and down through the deck into stringers on the aft end), and six through bolts in the hinges on the forward end that were hidden behind a trim piece that took me a while to figure out how to remove. The old sealant was in good shape in most places, but was brittle in the area around the hinges, especially in the port forward corner. Ok, cool, thatís probably the source of our tiny drip. And, in fact, after removing the screws and bolts, the screws were entirely clean, but the bolts showed some minor corrosion. I got the old sealant mostly cleaned up before dark.
I had decided to rebed using butyl, as Iíve used butyl for all sorts of other sealing projects to great effect, even with screws. Saturday morning, I sanded everything I was going to paint, and wiped everything down with the Interlux 333 brushing liquid (basically high-grade kerosene). I masked-off everything and got the first coat of paint down, then turned my attention to cleaning up the hatch frame. After about eight hours of dry time, I butylíed up the frame and got about getting it re-mounted.
Everything was mostly fine, except I ran into two issues. The hinges for these hatches hook under the lip of the frame, and then the through bolts go down through the hinge, frame, mounting base, and deck, then are secured with backing plates. This means I had to kinda wedge some butyl between the frame and hinge when hooking the under the lip, and I couldnít put the bolts in until after the hinges were in place. But, it all finally went together, and I got a really good arm workout with the screws because I forgot my power driver at home. Grr.
Sunday morning I sand for a second coat of paint on deck, and wash down with water, so I could also test the hatch seal.
I had a tiny drip again, but only from the port-most bolt. Ugh. I noted when I installed it that it had dragged some butyl with it. So, I pulled it out, made a really extended cone of butyl on the shaft, and re-inserted. When I removed it, the nut wasn't all that tight, so Iím thinking I may not have tightened that one well, which could also contribute to the failed seal.
At this point, I had to get the second coat of paint down because I had to leave in a few hours. I wouldnít be able to test it again without spoiling the gloss on the paint, so I left the cabin trim un-done so I can look for leaks again next time Iím there.
I think I know what the answer is going to be here: If it is still leaking, remove and rebed with tube sealant, like 4000uv. If it comes to that, whatís the best course of action to clean up the butyl? I also have a feeling that Iíll have to repaint the hatch frame if I do that, too, because Iíll bet I damage the paint during the removal process!
Iíve attached some photos for reference below.