As we have quickly discovered, boats leak from all sorts of areas – and often, the water enters a spot nowhere near the apparent leak.
While preparing for a 850+ mile journey from Gibraltar to Malta we discovered a minor water flow coming out of one of our cupboards. At first we thought the water was making it’s way in through a deck fitting but later discovered it was running under our teak and in through a missing teak nail! During a rain storm we all had to take turns holding a towel up to the ceiling of the cupboard to limit water damage. Needless to say, the water was entering the boat much further away than we originally thought.
We’ve also had water leaking through side hatches and even up through the underside of the hull!
One leak that we were determined to fix quickly was our aft bedroom topside hatch. The leak was slow but during a rainstorm we’d have a small damp patch on our bed. At first, we assumed that the rubber seal was ineffective, however after an expert inspection we were told that the rubber holding the glass inside the upper casing was at fault.
Until our expert, Andy Willett from Stella Maris Yachting Services, pointed out the defect I didn’t even realise that the potential leak area even existed. Please watch the video below to see the start to finish steps on how to fix a topside hatch from leaking.
How to fix a topside hatch from leaking
Hopefully the video offered a solid example on how to fix a topside hatch. Apparently, silicon is usually a no-no on boats but for this particular job, it worked a treat. It has now been over a few months since I shot this video and I’m happy to confirm that everything has been dry ever since.
Andy also gave us a great tip concerning our side windows
One of them leaked during heavy rain and he suggested that we put a washer between the open/close lever and the window. By doing so the open/close lever created a tighter seal. My husband did this to a couple windows and we’ve had no leaks!
Finally, it’s very important to put Vaseline on the rubber area of all windows. The Vaseline keeps the rubber soft and less apt to cracking or drying out. Every couple months my hubby does this job. For more information on maintenance tips, read: My top 15 sailing maintenance tips, tricks and little known secrets from 2014