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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.


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


James M. Cleary
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.

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