September 23, 1998
I use silicon rubber to seal the joint on my chimney fitting. I originally used epoxy but the expansion of the fitting broke the seal. The RTV has the flexability and the heat resistance to work.
The basic idea is to create a perfectly fitting gasket and then put it under compression.
Remove the fitting, clean the mating surfaces and reposition the fitting. Draw a line around the fitting with a pencil. Pick up the fitting and put masking tape on the fitting to keep the silicone rubber off the fitting other than the mating surfaces, likewise mask the cabin top outside the pencil line. Get some small bits of wire or nails about 1/8" in diameter and tape them to the cabin top so that there is a little bit of the wire or nail extending into the joint. When the fitting is installed this will insure a 1/8" gap between the fitting and the cabin surface. Lay down a big fat bead of silicone rubber on the cabin top mating surface, place the fitting in place down onto the nails. The goo should ooze out all around the fitting on both the inside and outside. Install the fasteners. Scrape the excess goo from the inside of the fitting. Scrape the goo around the fitting with a tool such as a screwdriver that makes positive contact at the inner edge of the masking tape on the cabin top and the outer edge of the fitting. Ignore any goo on the masking tape. You may be able to remove the wire or nail spacers at this time and make this scrape complete if the goo is stiff enough to keep the fitting from moving downward and decreasing the thickness of the goo between the fitting and the cabin top, but if not, just scrape everywhere you can and leave the spacers in until the goo sets up more. When the goo sets up enough to remove the spacers remove the masking tape too and trim up around where the spacers were with a very sharp knife. You may be able to fill the little holes where the spacers were by pressing down on the fitting. The presence of the spacers will slow the setting of the goo at their tips inside the holes and usually the uncured goo will fill the hole. After the goo has cured completely, a week or two, tighten up a bit on the fasteners to put the gasket under compression.
I have 19 seacocks, 12 portholes, and three skylights bedded like this and I have never had a fitting leak that I put in place with this technique.
Aug 14, 2001
I'm in the process of tracking down numerous deck leaks on my '79 ketch #113. During a severe rain storm I found water streaming in around the waste pumpout fitting just aft of the port forward chainplate. I removed same and found wet balsa core between the deck skins as far as I could probe. This same malady is present on all 6 of the mainmast chain plates (port/starboard) I later found out. After removing the chainplates and taping over the holes (topside only) I still have water coming into the core area during rain and/or "test hosing" as observed from below decks! I've rebeded the lifeline stantions (they were set on solid deck pads with no core so even if they leak the water only comes into the boat) to no avail. Does anybody have a clue as to where the water is getting in? (The hawse pipes haven't been sealed yet but are still dry.)At this point I suspect the ports and/or hand rails.
Date: Tue Aug 14, 2001 11:43 pm
Maybe the leaks weep through the core from the mast step. Begin by using a plastic mallet and tap firmly in all directions radiating away from the spongy area in relatively large radii. The sound of the soft spots is distinctive. Using Glass Wax to map out the bad spots try to establish a pattern of the damage. It may often lead to the mast step or the hatches.
I removed step plate a few years ago to build a companion plate below to help spread the load over a greater area. The coring in two of the four holes seemed a bit spongy. I used an Allen wrench in the drill motor to separate the wet core and get clear air space between the deck and the liner. I injected a mix of saw dust and epoxy with a small turkey baster type of syringe and slipped greased copper tube through the two holes and let it cure.
Shortly after that I removed the two hatches and their interior trim. A thickened epoxy paste was spatula fed into the exposed deck core and the roughly cut seam. A bit of sandpaper and a layer of 5200 has held up perfectly. These hatches were removed during my latest refit for powdercoating, reglazing and new Bomar seals. This time I reset the hatches in marine grade silicone. The old 5200 was tenacious to say the least.
I would recommend that you drill a couple of test bores into the knees that support the chainplates and the deck while you are at it. The glassed-in wood may easily have suffered from the same fate.
A note about the constant need to reseal the chainplates on the ASW II: After trying literally everything to find a more permanent solution to the wide and very exposed through-deck holes at the chainplates I may have found the only answer.
The chainplates had been removed to duplicate each one in new SS material. With the holes cleaned and cleared I swabbed in some 403 thickened epoxy to seal the deck core edges.
I had the machine shop make up some SS plates similar to those found on the deck side of each chainplate to create a secondary dam. Each one required a bit of filing or cutting to customize the below the deck companion location. Once they had been fitted I screwed them in with #6 X 1/2" self-tappers. From the deck I injected about a quarter inch layer of 5200. About 5 - 6 hours later I tamped in some good old tarred oakum caulking and finished with a final layer of 5200. Screwed in the plates and wiped the excess 5200 off with acetone on paper towels. Tune the rigging after at least a two day set up for the adhesive.The close reach in deck washing seas from Tortola to Bermuda for 9 days and another 5 days in near gale to weather from Bermuda to NY tested the year old repair quite adequately. No Leaks!
Date: Wed Aug 15, 2001 11:45 am
We had leaks from those areas as well when first getting our vessel, #129. What we did was mark each area that leaked with blue tape during heavy rain storms, then when the dry weather came, worked on each blue taped area. Today we have no leaks at all. Granted it has taken a few years, but its achievable.
Further, with regard to the areas that have either plywood or some other core material, we made a tool shaped like a capital L, placed it into a drill, and proceeded to cut out any soft material, the lower portion of the L is in the hole rotating around and clearing out the material. Then I used a ground up glass compound with epoxy resin to fill the void and built it up slowly resulting in a solid area around the through deck areas. Doing it this way, if a leak develops, which it will, I at least know its not getting into the core material and it runs into the interior alerting me that it needs attention. Here in Florida with 4" rains, we must have a watertight vessel or we'd sink at the wharf! A product that might work well is called Bondo-Glass, check it out as it may work as well without all the work I went through mixing micro-balloons in the epoxy to get the right consistency. Bondo-Glass appears tough, sets at a good working rate, and appears waterproof.
Date: Sat Aug 18, 2001 5:15 pm
I had similar problems with my Seawind II (K12). Every fitting in my boat leaked when we got her. Stanchions, handrails, hatches, ports, the turtle. The core around the chainplates was gone! Only a gooey black mess remained.
I would check the 45 degree braces that supports the two stanchions at the lifeline gate. The stanchions bases were cored but the braces were just bolted through the cored deck. I also had a leaky inboard jib track and a poorly installed swim platform brackets.
If the core is really sodden it may leak for a considerable amount of time. On my boat the core under the decks was sodden from the forward chainplates back almost to the cockpit. we wound up drilling up through the bottom layer of fiberglass and removing all the core. Then we filled the void with epoxy and filler. I might do it differently if I had to do it again. I you're interested in what I did and why, feel free to call me (leave a message as I sometime screen calls). I would definitely check the chainplate knees. Mine were OK , but the potential for rot is pretty high.
Date: Thu Sep 6, 2001 3:22 pm
After enduring about 11 days of daily rain recently, I have had the opportunity to discover the capacity for my various deck fittings to leak. I realize that with chain plates, hatches, etc. it is just matter of rebedding with caulk. I noticed dampness in the port and starboard upper storage areas where the hull to deck joint is. Is it common for leakage on the vertical to occur here? I looked up above the storage shelf and noticed bolts and some sheet metal screws protruding from the deck there. If these are the source of the leaks, how do you reseal them? I know that lateral
leakage is common in SW II's due to insufficient application of 5200 under the rubrail at the factory, but I'm not sure about the thru-bolts.
I also notice that water from deck leaks in the vicinity of the head and vanity tends to accumulate in a space under the sole somewhere under the forward head bulkhead. I can see it wetting the sole at this point. I will dry it, and water slowly seeps from the collection point to rewet it, This
will go on for a couple of days after a rainfall event until all the water is gone. While I realized that fundamentally, the deck fittings should be routinely maintained so as to preclude leaks into the interior, I would appreciate any suggestions on how to rechannel this water where it won't
accumulate and cause damage. There is already some rot of the sole where it mates with the bottom of the forward bulkhead of the head. The rot is worse in the upper corner where the vanity cabinet joins the bulkhead.
3806 Sep 3, 2003
The chainplate is a likely source of leak, but I suggest that the bolts holding the mast step may also be a source of leak. I would remove the bolts, replace if corroded, and seal the bolt holes with something elastic when replacing the bolts. I would avoid 5200 here as if 5200 gets into the threads of the bolts, it may be impossible to remove the nuts the next time.
Dick Weaver SWII 75K
3806 Sep 3, 2003
I also get occasional leaking at the top of the compression post,, on my to-do list.
Which chain plate are you referring to? I know the hand holds need to be recaulked, as I pulled the fixed port lights last week to redo, and checked while raining with the port hole out, and water is traveling over the interior lining.
I also suspect the openings where the wiring comes through the deck for the mast may be the culprit.
Bob Gruber Summerwind #5
3816 Sep 4, 2003
Suggest that one by one you remove every item that is screwed or bolted on the deck, recaulk with the proper caulk and your boat will be watertight! The chainplates which the stays attach to need to be removed about every 3 years, pull them right out and check the area that the deck covers, crevice corrosion can develop here, thankfully Allied made it an easy job to do this.
Have a Great Day!
3829 Sep 4, 2003
I suspect you may be right about the bolts for the mast step being a source of leaks around the head door frame. If not 5200, what would you use to seal these holes?
Tony Torphy Integrity 126K
4540 Mar 16, 2004
I saw an article in PS where a product called Silaprene was used very successfully for chain plate leaks. Has anyone ever used this product?
Bob Gruber summerwind #5