Sailboat renovation

Deck leakage repair – part one

Last spring we went over some of our deck leakages and did some repairs on them. It has been everything from vents, small windows and stanchions for the guardrail. We have an old boat and water seems to be pouring in wherever you start open something up, and step by step we find them and try to fix them. Next up is to fix some leakages through the stanchions for the guardrail.

We did some leak repairs for two of the stanchions last year, when we did some repairs to them. But it was half-done, by only adding new sealant around the screws and we are not completely satisfied with this. We also want to go over all of the stanchions and make a proper sealing and protect water from sipping into the sandwich core.

The weather forecast showed that it was a big high pressure system moving in over Scandinavia with a promise of warm (and dry weather) so perfect time to fix these leakages once and for all.

We have a sandwich hull, so the idea for this fix is that we will remove the stanchions and the screws through the hull. Drill bigger holes and also remove as much we can of the core material close to the holes. After that we will seal the holes from the inside and fill them up with epoxy. And finally drill new holes in the epoxy and seal them with butyl tape, which we used for the two stanchions we did repairs for a while back seemed to keep the water out. Our main goal with this epoxy solution is that if water happens to get past the butyl tape it at least won’t disappear into the  core material of the hull.

We started with removing the stanchions and to drill up the holes.

deck leakage repair
We used a insex key to remove the core material around the holes.
Nice and open holes.
This wasn’t the first holes made into the deck of the boat, several old holes that we will seal as well.

When we removed the stanchion screws most of the holes through deck was wet, so it is a good thing that we go through this. As they were pretty wet and we had this nice high pressure system above us right now, we let the holes be open to dry out before sealing them with epoxy (with some extra help of different heating devices as well as the sun).

After the holes were dry it was time to start filling them up with epoxy. As we had opened up the holes a lot, we also wanted to have som fiberglass in the mix as well for some extra strength.

Cutting up fiberglass pieces that we put in the holes.
deck leakage repair
Small pieces of fiberglass in the holes.

We drilled through the entire hull and to prevent the epoxy from running through we mixed some epoxy filler and added on the inside of the boat.

Epoxy filler on the inside to prevent epoxy from running through to the inside.

After the filler had harden it was time to fill up the holes with epoxy. We had bought some cheap medicine syringes at an animal store to use for filling up the holes. This worked very well and we think it will useful to have a couple of these syringes in the future as well for smaller epoxy repairs.

We bought syringes at an animal store which we used to fill up the holes with epoxy. Worked really well, great tip if you are gonna do something similar. Almost no spill and mess.
deck leakage repair
Adding epoxy into the holes using the syringes we bought.
deck leakage repair
Epoxy in the holes, ready to harden.

The holes sucked up a lot of epoxy and we had to go around and fill the holes up as time went by to make sure they were properly filled.

Next up for this will be to prepare to attach the stanchions once again. But more about that later on. We will also go over all our chainplates and other things on deck that goes through the hull to at least keep most water out.


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