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Leaking Hatch cover


Parnz62
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I have just bought a 2009 39ft East West Marine narrowboat, and see that the hatch cover has been leaking, damaging the bamboo deckhead...has anyone else had this problem and what is the solution?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

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30 minutes ago, Parnz62 said:

I have just bought a 2009 39ft East West Marine narrowboat, and see that the hatch cover has been leaking, damaging the bamboo deckhead...has anyone else had this problem and what is the solution?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

 

Did you have a survey done ?

 

Where you aware of the leak / damage before you purchased the boat, ie did the surveyor make note of the problem and give any suggestions as to likley methods or costs of rectification ?

If the surveyor didn't make note (or mention) the leak then you may have some 'comeback' on his business insurance for negligence.

 

Tracing and fixing leaks is one of the hardest things to resolve on a boat as the water often 'shows' itself some considerable distance from where the leak is, boats are generally bow-high so the water can run down inside the ceiling or walls and appear by causing watermarks and damage  at the 'other end of the boat'.

 

If you are sure that it is the hatch leaking then you will need to remove all of the linings (wall and ceiling) around the area, close the hatch and get someone to play a hosepipe over the hatch whilst you look for the leak.

Once leak is found, rectify the problem and rebuild the boat linings.

 

A common problem with the East West boats and the use of bamboo, is that it is a very unstable wood in moist climates an not a particularly good choice for boats to be used in the UK. You will find that in the Summer the cupboard doors are all 'loose fit' as they dry out and shrink, whilst in the Autum and Winter they will swell up, jam and you will struggle to open the same cupboard doors.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Just now, Parnz62 said:

I would hope that as a novice owner most people would be sympathetic and try and offer advice, but no doubt there will be some trolls.....I'll wait and see

 

Some will, but we have a bit of history on here of members putting off new members from ever posting again.

 

If you have some pics of the hatch and damage in question that will help.

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The first thing I'd be looking at is the hatch runners. Rainwater can collect on the exposed part of the runners and then run back under the hatch and into the boat. It happens on lots of different boats from different builders.

 

If that is the issue the solution is fairly simple: assuming they're brass runners you cut a groove or slot into the runners just in front of the hatch at 45 degrees which will divert the water off the runners and onto the roof before it can get under the hatch. An angled cut is essential to ensure your sliding hatch still works. Don't cut at 90 degrees!

 

Have a search on the forum as there are probably some pictures of how people have done this fix. I actually took a 5mm strip out of the brass runners but that might be a bit OTT. I think others have just put a blade thin groove in with a hacksaw.

Edited by blackrose
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1 hour ago, blackrose said:

 

 

Have a search on the forum as there are probably some pictures of how people have done this fix. I actually took a 5mm strip out of the brass runners but that might be a bit OTT. I think others have just put a blade thin groove in with a hacksaw.

This is a valid and effective way of reducing 'run down'. It is also helpful to assist gravity by lowering the high side of the cut so that any run down hits a vertical wall rather than just falls down a narrow slot.

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If we are talking rear hatch, then the East Wests had a bespoke hatch runner which very closely resembles a sliding patio door runner, so closely in fact that it is. 

The leak is probably from the forward end of the hatch where the wood usually drops below the metal down part and rots away....usually at the centre of the boat side. The central runner is also not far above the roof height either, and if the sealant has degraded, can let water in via capillary action.

You will need to remove the old piece of wood, and fabricate a new one....weatherproofing it well.

The other area of water ingress is where the hatch sits over the door.....water sometimes gathers on the door top, then dripping inside.

 

You will also need to keep the drain holes in the step(if you have one or more) clear, as otherwise heavy rain can fill the step and flow into the boat under the door

 

20210929_172826.jpg

Edited by matty40s
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  • 2 weeks later...

All sorted....it was a leak through the hatch runner as matty40s suggested, took the rail off and screwednirt back down onto a rubber gasket seal, then sealed the gaps for good measure. We has torrential rain yesterday and dry as a bone inside! Thanks for the advice!!

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I've got a similar design to robtheplod ie central hatch with an overhang at the front (see about 9:30 in video). My solution was slightly less technical. Length of flexible strip measured to the width between the runners. Height of strip defined by distance from roof up to slightly less than curve at top of front edge of hatch. Then a length of fairly beefy duct tape - I actually got one of the fancy ones that is a similar colour to the boat. Duct tape half on the flexible strip and half on the front face of the hatch so that the strip almost 'wipes'  the roof when the hatch is opened.

The intention is not to actually wipe the roof - just to stop heavy rain splashing up off the roof and under the front lip of the hatch. Has worked well so far. Not a permanent solution - the tape probably lasts about a year before it looks a bit tatty but its a ten minute job to remove, clean metal and replace tape.

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