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magictime

Kedian side hatches/doors 1 yr on (not impressed)

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Martin Kedian fitted two of his glazed side hatches for us last year (January and April). At the time I posted on here saying how pleased I was with them, so I think I should really correct the record.

 

One of them leaks in heavy rain; we first thought there might be an issue as early as last spring (water was appearing below the side hatch under the level of the gunwales), but during the drier months of the year it was hard to be sure there was a genuine pattern and that the side hatch was the source of the water. After a full winter it's clear what the problem is. (Pic is of the most visible signs; most of the water, as I say, drips out below gunwale level.)

 

The other is now impossible to shut securely without pushing the doors in from outside; if you don't do this, the bolts and holes don't line up (see pics). Whether the steel frame or hinges have flexed somehow, or the wood has warped, or what, I don't know. Now hopefully this issue will be easy enough to 'bodge' with adjustments to the holes or bolts (or both), but presumably that would still leave a gap that shouldn't be there when the doors are shut, which doesn't inspire much confidence especially when we've had the issues with water-tightness of the other hatch.

 

I contacted Martin this week and his response was simply that he can't offer 'an endless warranty'. (The second hatch was fitted just under twelve months ago, the first only three months before that.)

 

So as nice as these things are in theory, I could not honestly recommend them as being fit for purpose. And to anyone considering getting Martin to do other work for them, I would suggest you at least get clear beforehand on whether he's prepared to vouch for it in the medium to long term. I know he has a good reputation on here for various jobs including overplating and boat lengthening, but he does seem to have very different ideas from me about what lifespan you can reasonably expect from an expensive, permanent alteration to a boat before it needs repair (and about the sort of aftercare you might expect after spending that sort of money).

 

Other people might have had a different experience, or might think I've got unreasonable expectations, and that's fine; this is just my experience, and my thoughts, a year after having these side hatches fitted, and as I say, it's intended to 'correct' my earlier positive comment more than anything.

 

 

 

 

IMG_20200410_105502.jpg

IMG_20200410_105418.jpg

IMG_20200410_105429.jpg

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Are these side hatches which have a separate steel frame bolted to the cabin side, rather than being welded in? If so have you determined whether the leak is between the frame and the cabin side, or somewhere round the edge of the doors (or between the doors)?

The need the push the doors shut from the outside and the misalignment of the bolt holes is most likely because the timber has swelled over the damper winter months. It will shrink back with warmer drier weather. But you if you plane a bit off the door edge and enlarge the bolt holes it will probably fit winter and summer.

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Side hatches can leak. On mine I use a neoprene strip as a seal  round the inside and outer edges. The neoprene is sticky on one side, comes in various thickness' and available from ebay .... real inexpensive.

 

 

 

 

Edited by mark99

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3 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Are these side hatches which have a separate steel frame bolted to the cabin side, rather than being welded in? If so have you determined whether the leak is between the frame and the cabin side, or somewhere round the edge of the doors (or between the doors)?

The need the push the doors shut from the outside and the misalignment of the bolt holes is most likely because the timber has swelled over the damper winter months. It will shrink back with warmer drier weather. But you if you plane a bit off the door edge and enlarge the bolt holes it will probably fit winter and summer.

Separate steel frame, and I think the leak must be around the edge because I think the water is coming through internally, if you see what I mean. Time will tell whether you're right about the other doors; hopefully that's all it is, but then I'd have expected Martin to make the same diagnosis.

7 minutes ago, mark99 said:

Side hatches can leak. On mine I use a neoprene strip as a seal  round the inside and outer edges. The neoprene is sticky on one side, comes in various thickness' and available from ebay .... real inexpensive.

 

 

 

 

I'll take a look, thanks.

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It certainly doesn't seem ideal BUT if you first had a hint of a potential leak last spring why didn't you mention it to Martin then? I think perhaps a call to mention that you had found some damp and would be monitoring it just in case rather than leave it a year before bringing it to his attention? 

 

There was a dry period last summer but a hose pipe played on the hatch to replicate rain might have been a good test and then we started with the wetest autumn on record by October and that was 6 months ago now yet you only mention it to him this week?

 

Good communication can often ease these things, if Martin had known there was a potential problem bubbling up last autumn he might have got it sorted but he will have a lot of other problems on his plate now with customers and their boats in lock down and potentially customers who had a decent income now struggling to pay the mortgage with coronavirus

 

I hope it is something simple that a bit of sealant  and maybe some brute strength will sort out for you 

 

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A so called bespoke boat here had a leak on the side hatch. The angle used for the outer frame at the bottom was in two bits butted against each other in the middle!! not even any sealant on the butt. I wanted to weld it but the owner wasn't keen so a smear of Sikaflex did the trick, not leaked since. lovely.

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3 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

It certainly doesn't seem ideal BUT if you first had a hint of a potential leak last spring why didn't you mention it to Martin then? I think perhaps a call to mention that you had found some damp and would be monitoring it just in case rather than leave it a year before bringing it to his attention? 

 

There was a dry period last summer but a hose pipe played on the hatch to replicate rain might have been a good test and then we started with the wetest autumn on record by October and that was 6 months ago now yet you only mention it to him this week?

 

Good communication can often ease these things, if Martin had known there was a potential problem bubbling up last autumn he might have got it sorted but he will have a lot of other problems on his plate now with customers and their boats in lock down and potentially customers who had a decent income now struggling to pay the mortgage with coronavirus

 

I hope it is something simple that a bit of sealant  and maybe some brute strength will sort out for you 

 

I am inclined to agree.

 

Mention was made of warranty, and most warranties require you to highlight any issue as soon as is reasonably practical, particularly when the situation could worsen if it isnt dealt with promptly. Damp and water ingress is something that rarely gets better on its own and needs prompt attention.

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Hard to tell where the waters coming from without seeing pics of the outside. Hinges? Is there an opening lid on the roof? Water is very good at getting through gaps and having sloping cabin sides adds another problem. As David Mack says wood swells and shrinks and things that fit perfectly in summer jam solid in winter. Our boat is totally leak free...... except when the wood dries out  and leaves gaps, or when leaves clog things, or when the wind is in the East, or sometimes in the North, or when the sealant falls out. Well, you get the picture.

  • Greenie 1

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I'd say the time and effort needed to trace and fix an awkward water leak like this is likely to far exceed the time it took to make the doors.  Might well involve several visits to the boat.

 

I'm not surprised Martin is swerving it as he will be very aware of this.

 

Just outlining what I think is happening, not saying its right or wrong. 

 

 

 

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I will add that we had a very irritating leak below one of our side hatches throughout the autumn. We had only bought the boat last summer and we had plans to replace the side hatches this year as they are wooden and starting to rot at the bottom. I placed dishes in a variety of places to catch the drips thinking that we would have to put up with it until the hatches are replaced and hope that we could limit any damage from the moisture.

 

We got on with fettling a few other bits through the winter and put a temporary smear of silicone around a porthole that was leaking a little bit. The porthole in question is around 10' forward of the side hatch that was leaking. 

 

We didn't get another drip of water around the side hatch after that!

 

You don't say how old your boat is but I wonder if you might have a seal leaking around a window somewhere that?

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My previous boat used to leak like a leaky thing if it faced one direction on it's mooring, but never leaked a drip if it faced the other way, due to the angle the wind could drive water sideways into a window frame.

 

I didn't figure out where it was leaking from until after I had sold it! (Still fixed it for the new owner though)

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1 hour ago, cheshire~rose said:

It certainly doesn't seem ideal BUT if you first had a hint of a potential leak last spring why didn't you mention it to Martin then? I think perhaps a call to mention that you had found some damp and would be monitoring it just in case rather than leave it a year before bringing it to his attention? 

 

There was a dry period last summer but a hose pipe played on the hatch to replicate rain might have been a good test and then we started with the wetest autumn on record by October and that was 6 months ago now yet you only mention it to him this week?

 

It's a perfectly fair point. All I can say is what I said above, which is that it took some time to be sure there was a recurring problem and what the source of that problem was. I guess a bit of inertia crept in as well if I'm honest - 'oh we really should say something about this', then you go weeks without noticing the problem and the urgency evaporates. If a future customer learns from our experience, flags up a problem more quickly, and gets Martin to address it as a result, that's fine by me.

 

3 minutes ago, cheshire~rose said:

I will add that we had a very irritating leak below one of our side hatches throughout the autumn. We had only bought the boat last summer and we had plans to replace the side hatches this year as they are wooden and starting to rot at the bottom. I placed dishes in a variety of places to catch the drips thinking that we would have to put up with it until the hatches are replaced and hope that we could limit any damage from the moisture.

 

We got on with fettling a few other bits through the winter and put a temporary smear of silicone around a porthole that was leaking a little bit. The porthole in question is around 10' forward of the side hatch that was leaking. 

 

We didn't get another drip of water around the side hatch after that!

 

You don't say how old your boat is but I wonder if you might have a seal leaking around a window somewhere that?

Yeah this is part of the reason I talk about being unsure initially about the source of the problem, because we had new windows fitted last year too and thought potentially (some of) the water might (sometimes) have been coming from there. The visible water staining under the side hatch is what really clinched it and that didn't appear for some time.

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When we were contemplating our new boat, we wanted a side hatch. My mate who has had boats for about 45 years, said “oh you don’t want a side hatch, they always leak.” But we pressed ahead anyway. 9 years later, still no hint of a leak. So it can be done.

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4 hours ago, nicknorman said:

When we were contemplating our new boat, we wanted a side hatch. My mate who has had boats for about 45 years, said “oh you don’t want a side hatch, they always leak.” But we pressed ahead anyway. 9 years later, still no hint of a leak. So it can be done.

It certainly can, we have six side hatches (Orion's choice, not ours) and none of them leak.

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I know someone on the G&S who has the same hatches by the same company, all of which leaked. The timber linings had started to rot. To add to that, all the external window frames are very rusty after about 2 years as they were only primed. Looked a bit of a mess to be honest, can’t say I’d recommend.

Edited by RichM

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6 hours ago, frahkn said:

It certainly can, we have six side hatches (Orion's choice, not ours) and none of them leak.

 

I have seven pairs of side hatches spread across the three boats. The two pairs of side doors on the oldest boat leak a little in rain when combined with strong wind. These side doors are made very simply and crudely from when a steel cabin was put on back in the mid 70s.

 

The five pairs the pairs of side doors on the newer boats are all fine. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
Clarify.

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10 hours ago, cheshire~rose said:

 

 

We got on with fettling a few other bits through the winter and put a temporary smear of silicone around a porthole that was leaking a little bit. The porthole in question is around 10' forward of the side hatch that was leaking. 

 

We didn't get another drip of water around the side hatch after that!

 

 

 

Had similar couple years back. Chimney collar, once resealed, cured a leak that was near the sidehatch about a foot away. I was sure it was the sidehatch.

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We have two pairs of side doors. One by Reeves the shell builder, 13 years old, one by Martin, 10 years old.  Never had any leaks from either but I did run a bead of silicone sealant around Martin's just after they were fitted.

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There is a general point here that I think should be made and that is that boats are not the same as most goods. They are not like cars, washing machines, hair dryers and all that sort of stuff. There is nothing on a boat that is 'fit and forget' Everything is 'fit and maintain, repair, paint, understand and alter' Its just the way it is. You really cannot fit something / get someone else to fit something and just watch it fall apart. Obviously there is poor workmanship and poor design but often as not most things can be fixed by a bead of silicone, a strip of foam rubber, an adjustment of some sort or a clout with a hammer. It is absolutely necessary to build up an arsenal of skills and tools as soon as you get a boat.

  • Greenie 1

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2 hours ago, RichM said:

To add to that, all the external window frames are very rusty after about 2 years as they were only primed. Looked a bit of a mess to be honest, can’t say I’d recommend.

I don't think painting the hatches with many paint layers to match the boat colour is really part of the purchase agreement.

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Interesting pictures, a couple of the exterior fitting would be helpful.

 

Bee's comment about tools and skills is the quote of the week.

 

L.

  • Happy 1

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2 hours ago, RichM said:

To add to that, all the external window frames are very rusty after about 2 years as they were only primed. 

 

To be expected. Primer is the first coat of a multi-layer paint system, and is not intended to be weatherproof. It should have been undercoated and top coated as a soon as possible after installation.

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The black running down the lining looks more like some uninsulated steel. Does the trim come off easily? You can then repack with rockwool or similar.

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16 hours ago, magictime said:

 

 

 

IMG_20200410_105502.jpg

 

 

 

There is something odd about these side doors. Firstly I can't make sense of this photo. Side doors normally come down to gunwale level but here, there is  what looks like a flat panel about a foot high, below the side door. And all the photos are so close and only from the inside that one cannot get a proper idea of what work has been carried out.

 

Secondly, when Martin made my two pigeon boxes he absolutely and resolutely refused to get involved in the internal carpentry finishing in any way. So here, he either had a change of mind or someone else did it. Maybe the presence of third party finishing carpentry is another factor in Martin's reluctance to investigate the leaks.

 

Could we have some better photos please?

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

There is something odd about these side doors. Firstly I can't make sense of this photo. Side doors normally come down to gunwale level but here, there is  what looks like a flat panel about a foot high, below the side door. And all the photos are so close and only from the inside that one cannot get a proper idea of what work has been carried out.

 

 

There's pictures of fitting side doors of this type on Martin's homepage at http://www.kedianengineering.co.uk/index.html#

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