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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we've had a bit of rain here lately. Nine inches in four days.
My hatch in the head has sprung a leak and the one in the salon has become suspect to leaking.
I removed both of them today and the one in the salon was not thought out very well by the manufacturer.
The deck stops short of the liner by about a 1/4". Basically, I have two butt ends with nothing in between or underneath. On top of this void sits my hatch with an overlap onto the deck of about 1/8" of an inch. Not much at all when you consider that that is the last defence for keeping rain water out of the inside of the boat.
I have purchased some epoxy putty for filling this gap and I will bed the hatch onto this puttied gap with some bedding compound. I will be using the putty as backing for the bedding.
Does anyone have any better ideas or know of a better product for filling this gap? Other than the 1/4 inch flange it is all visible so fiberglassing it is not a pretty option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think that is the way I am going to have to go with this, Desert Rat.
I will fill the gap with the epoxy putty and then make a ring or collar that sticks out further than the hatches flange does. That will give me a much better overlap for sealing it to the deck. I'm thinking 3/8" or 1/2" black Starboard.
 

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How about building up a 'curb' of epoxy around the hatch hole while you're at it?.. then rainwater would be less likely to climb the curb and challenge whichever sealant you use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There already is a rise in the fiberglass deck all the way around both hatch holes. They shed water quite well.
The biggest issue is the lack of overlap the hatch flange has over the deck and the fact that the edge of the flange is almost on the edge of the hole that was cut in the deck for the hatch. If I were to step on the hatch or on the deck nearby it will more than likely break the seal again.
Also, the screws that hold the hatch frames in place pass through the 1/4" gap that needs filling with epoxy putty. These screws also sit in the rain gutter of the hatch's frame. This gutter collects the rain that runs off of the opening part of the hatch. By adding to the thickness under the flange it will offer a better area to seal the screw's shafts.
It's just a bad design all around.
I feel pretty good about the idea of enlarging the width of the hatches' flange with Starboard.
Of course being Sunday Industrial Plastics and Paint is closed.
Grrrrr!!!
 

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dogship, it sounds like you've got a good approach to it. Remember to use mold release or wax if necessary, so you don't wind up "gluing in" the hatch body, in case you need to remove it at a future date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I managed to get the gap cleaned out of the old filler and filled with epoxy putty. I've never worked with this type of product before and I have to say what an awesome way to fill a hole.
I purchased two tubes of Starbrite epoxy putty and the stuff is a dream to work with. It penetrated the gap very well and if you keep your fingers moist with water there is no mess at all.
Very happy with this product and the end result.
It's a bit cool out so I will let the epoxy kick off for a few days, rasp it flat, cut some collars for the frames and re-bed the hatches.
I am also going to use some much longer bolts with nuts and extend them down through the liner. I will be able to see the bolts from the inside but they only had some 1/4" machine screws holding the frames on before. They were bedded into the old filler material.
When I removed the old filler from the heads hatch hole I could see why it started leaking so badly. I could see water sitting in between the deck and liner. We had a bit of a cold snap just before we had some huge amounts of rain.
This hatch had always leaked a little bit but in leaked into the head so it didn't really bother me too much. Anyway, I guess it must have froze during the cold snap and broke the seal even more.
Really happy to finally get this fixed. It's been bothering me for a while.
 
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