Join Date: May 2002
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Re: O'Day 25 cabin leaking
I had an Oday 23 for almost twenty years; I could never get all of the leaks to stop. Because of the way the boats were built with the liners, it's very difficult to access a lot of the deck hardware to rebed. Some places I found that slowed (but never stopped) the leaks on my boat:
the mast plate on the deck: this is impossible to rebed without taking out the compression post in the cabin, as the post covers one of the four bolts that attach the plate. I did my best by backing out the bolts I could access and doing what I could there.
portlights. Again, because of the liners, leaks don't always make their way into the cabin; they can (and do migrate between the hull and the liner, winding up in the bilge or elsewhere
stanchions: these were the biggest problem. Some of the backing washers are accessible, but many are not.
The forward deck vent (in front of the hatch)
The approved method for trying to track down a leak is to try and get water on only the suspect deck hardware (with a hose or the like) and see if the leak comes into the cabin or bilge. The problem with this method is that sometimes it takes quite some time for the water to find its way into the cabin, so you need a little luck to know that the water you just poured on the stanchion is the culprit, and not the water you poured on the portlight 5 minutes ago.
If you don't stop the water, it will eventually rot the core in the deck. This is not the end of the world, but it will make the boat less desireable to the next potential owner. Some folks think that springy decks with core separation are just awful; I think it depends on what you are doing with the boat. If you are daysailing or overnighting in protected waters, there's no problem. Now if you wanted to go offshore or take the boat out in conditions that test you and the overall construction, then the decks do have to be addressed. The problem is that fixing the decks is a big project. Not very difficult for the handyperson, but time consuming and messy. And you really need to do it under cover. Not to mention that once you've repaired the deck, it will need to be painted (unless you like the junker look). And forget about paying someone else to do it. Depending on the size of the delamination, you could easily what you paid for the entire boat. Even if it's a small job, it's just not worth it.
To find the le