Monday, October 27, 2014

Deck Leak!

Deck leaks are the bane of boats.  TJ on s/v Kintala once remarked that he had difficulty seeing why a boat deck should leak more than a house roof.  Well, first of all, boat decks are virtually flat, and everyone knows that it is not trivial to keep water from finding its way thru a flat roof.  Next, boat decks have hundreds of penetrations - screws mounting fittings, trim, geegaws, etc.  Each and every screw is a potential leak point.  Each one.  And an amazing amount of water can come thru the tiniest of holes.

For years, Eolian's decks have been leak-free.  But this fall with the onset of the winter rains, water started running down the port side of the cabin.  This isn't my first rodeo tho.  I immediately pulled out my trusty blue tape and hastily constructed an exotic guttering system (the Mayans would have been amazed!) to direct the water into a catch basin.  This was a temporary measure, of course, to prevent damage while the search for the source of the leak went on.

The first measure was to replace the nearby fixed port.  Indeed there was evidence of past leakage around it, but apparently this was not the source of the current leak.  I am not at all unhappy, tho, to have replace the fixed port with an opening one - it was something that I had wanted to do for a long time, and for which I was only looking for an excuse.  But it was not the problem.

In an effort to stop the leak first and diagnose later, I applied tape to everything that looked the slightest bit sketchy on deck in the vicinity of the leak (the replaced port is just in the frame at the top center).

Hallelujah!  The last storm (20-30 kt winds and heavy rain) did not produce a drop inside.  So, one of those pieces of tape is covering the leak.  Which one?

I didn't try to find out.  Instead, I masked off each area and applied several coats of varnish to seal the trim to the deck.

Now we'll see.

It is supposed to rain tonite (of course).


1 comment:

Deb said...

We were doing pretty good recently with no leaks after having rebed the aft cabin port but, alas, a new leak sprung in the last major storm we had where it rained for 3 days straight. back to the Dow Corning 795...

S/V Kintala

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