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Companionway leak

Finally traced the leaks that have mystified me for years. The outside teak rails that are on each side of the sliding companionway hatch are attached with #12 Phillips pan head sheet metal screws under teak plugs. When they were hacked in, an undersized hole was drilled in the coach roof to allow the screws to bite in. However, the concept of counter sinking or chamfering the gel coat to prevent spalling and cracking was apparently unkown. All of the holes except the first one on each side do not penetrate the interior. Naturally the first hole goes straight through and provides a path between the bulkhead teak plywood and the cockpit fiberglass. Because the screws fractured and spalled the gel coat and to some degree the laminate, it became a perfect course for water to drain to the top on the motor box.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Interesting, thanks for sharing that John. I’m going to scrutinize those screws on Zia.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John
Thanks for the info. It's one of my winter project plans to remove the sliding hatch cover and inspect the wood beneath. Rebedding the rails will be part of that job.

Jim
 
Should be no problem. The teak on my boat was not bedded. After removing the teak plugs and screws it just popped up. My reinstall method is to countersink the existing holes in the coach roof and the teak to provide an conic area for the sealant.
The water intrusion has made a mess of the teak veneered plywood so I am considering a 3M wood grain vinyl wrap. I've got a few samples and they are pretty impressive. The teak is a really close match but I'm drawn to a burl pattern kinda like dash on a Bentley.
 
It's solid. The core stops short of where the teak guide rails and the sea hood attaches. Except of course the first one on each side that go through the glass to a hollow void to the bottom the the companionway bulkhead. I just checked the boat this morning. The west coast had a fast moving bomb cyclone with about an inch of rain last night. NO LEAKS!!! WhooooHoooo
 
Finally traced the leaks that have mystified me for years. The outside teak rails that are on each side of the sliding companionway hatch are attached with #12 Phillips pan head sheet metal screws under teak plugs. When they were hacked in, an undersized hole was drilled in the coach roof to allow the screws to bite in. However, the concept of counter sinking or chamfering the gel coat to prevent spalling and cracking was apparently unkown. All of the holes except the first one on each side do not penetrate the interior. Naturally the first hole goes straight through and provides a path between the bulkhead teak plywood and the cockpit fiberglass. Because the screws fractured and spalled the gel coat and to some degree the laminate, it became a perfect course for water to drain to the top on the motor box.
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While the foregoing was though to be correct, it was not. The dreaded leak continued. I siezed upon a solution for the only remaining possibility. The teak surrounding the interior of the companionway. With the aid of a plunge saw a 3/8" cut was made at an angle for the full length on both sides. 2 recent storms have validated the repair. I chose to use a colored acrylic caulk to fill the triangular void. It was a less drastic solution than the one Fergus took by reengineering the entire companionway. There have been 2 rain events so far this month since the repair and for the first time in 20 years the interior is dry.
 

Attachments

I like that hack. I simply used 4200 in the corner to build a fillet of sorts. It's worked a couple years, but I know it will need to be redone, and it doesn't look professional.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

I made a copy of your great drawing and will check it when I'm at the boat tomorrow. This may be the answer. Thanks.

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

I just returned from the boat. I can see what you did and how it would stop a leak behind the teak coaming but I am confused as to what kind of saw you used and exactly how the cut was made. Please run through it for us.

Jim
 
Plunge saws are now the generic version of the formerly patented Feintool. (aka variable speed multi-tool) They are available at Harbor Freight and simply oscillate a 1 or 2 inch blade of your choice. With a carbide tipped triangle rasp it can remove almost anything including molded (non) skid gel coat. I placed a length of duct tape above the cut to act as a guide. It's just a matter of a steady hand working the length of the wood. It's a boat not a piano. Next to Japanese draw saws it is the most versatile wood working tool I have used. Hope this helps
 
I agree John, should be in every tool bag. I have to admit, the term "plunge saw" was new to me. But it makes sense. Just always called them Multi Tools. I have a Delta 20v battery powered that I really like. But man is it loud.

My first experience with this tool, was at the Doctor's office to have a cast removed from my shattered wrist. The Doc came at me with that thing! I backed up and said something to the effect of wtf? Then she put the blade against her hand and all it did was vibrate. I said, ok. Worked great even for the cast removal.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
John

As with Mitchell, I had never heard the term Plunge saw. I am familiar with the tool and it's versability. My coaming had leaked a few years back but stopped mysteriously. I always put it down to a weird angle that the boat was propped up for the winter in the boatyard. Your idea looks good and will be given much thought. I also agree with your use of the japanese draw saws.

Jim
 
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