Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Well, I probably didn't put my weather stripping on the undersides of my 17's hatch covers too carefully, and when I roll or am in heavy surf I take on  a lot of water.  I have been thinking of alternative ways of sealing my hatches and have come up wth the following idea.  I will spread vasaline on the deck around the hatch opening.  I will then put silicone sealant on the contacting surfaces of the cover and mate the two together and let cure.  The silicone should assume the shape of the deck perfectly and will not stick to anything because of the vasaline.  I should have a very tightly fitting nearly drip proof system.  

 

So, what are your thoughts... has anyone tried this before?  What other ideas would you suggest.  

 

Thanks,

Colin       


25 replies:

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RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Colin,

Before you go to all that trouble you might want to consider just replacing the open cell foam weatherstripping that comes from CLC with closed cell foam - either stick-on weatherstripping or a gasket made from minicel foam. Though a custom molded gasket does sound pretty good.

Laszlo

 

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

If you go the sealant route, scuff the surface you want the sealant to adhere to.  And try the vaseline release idea on some scrap first (you don't want to have to pry your hatch(s) off if the vaseline does't work right).  Also, several coats of a good wax on the release surface could work (that's what is used to release fiberglass boats from their molds) or a carefully applied layer of a saran wrap-like thin plastic.  Good luck.

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

 

Do what I did - lol - but havent tested yet.  I have four bolts pointing up from within the kayaks flange which is covered in open cell foma strip insulation.  Then, on goes the hatch cover - flush mind you - and four acorn nuts on each bolt and let me tell you, you dont need any more compression than that.

 

Vaseline on epoxy? Yikes - it doesnt sound good - even if its cured for a hundred years, i dont think any oil based product is a friend of epoxy unde rany circumstances. Thats my gut feeling anyway as its so defeating in the curing stages of epoxy to have any film of oil anywhere.  Id hate to see you have the vaseline seep or leech into your epoxy coats!!!!!

 

Pete

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

I have the closed cell foam tape it compresses when the hatch is strapped down and pops the hatch up enough to grab the sides with the straps off.

A form in place gasket will still have a slight leak in the washing machine (surf).

Neopreme is another good gasket material and waterproof.

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

OOT, thanks for mention scuffing it up,

Pete, I really like the idea of bolts holding down the hatch cover.  I wonder if I could find acorn nuts with little leashes.  That would be cool. I also think that the issue with vasaline and epoxy is not a chemical issue but a physical issue of getting anything to bond to a slippery surface, but I could be wrong.  Anyone else wanna comment on the interaction of petroleum products which are briefly (6 hrs) in contact with fully cured epoxy.

Cattail... I also like the idea of something like 1/4 inch neoprene. Maybe neoprene and bolts? What other closed cell foams do people use?  Where do they get it from?  Minicel?

Anyone else have any ideas about the silicone gasket idea?  Any other innovative sealing ideas.

 

Thanks everyone,

Colin 

 

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

The stuff I use got from Ace hardware sells in 25' rolls 3/8 x 3/4" part number 52484 they call it Super firm sponge tape closed cell.

 I would avoid silicone all together.

Have you tryed 3M 4200 sealant? I put my bulkheads in with it and various other things it is a polyurethane base so it doesn't affect varnish down the road.

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Cattail... re: the 3M stuff, how would you describe its elastic/rubbery qualities?  Similar to silicone?

 

Thanks,

Colin

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

I will be putting three (3) small-ish - approx 200mm diameter - round hatches into my new Shearwater 17 S&G - one each in the cockpit bulkheads, and one only in the aft deck.   For all these, I intend to cut out a circle from the ply and use that part to make the hatch lid.   For sealing purposes I have bought some round neoprene extrusion, about 6mm diameter, which will compress nicely to the 3mm or so needed to accommodate the spacer between the hatch cover and internal rim.   I bought this at the local rubber store, which sells an amazing array of rubber and plastic items for automotive, marine, trailer, household, garden, industrial, and other uses.   It cost a measly $1.15 (AUD) a metre!   I will fix it with contact adhesive.   Not that it matters, but this comes in white or grey.

For closure (reading about wing-nuts above) I'm going to use four (4) nylon swivel butterfly-type clips on each hatch, sold in my local hardware store as a flyscreen component.   About $2.50 AUD per pack of four - white or clear.

All the above cheap, easy, light in weight, simple - and should be very effective. 

Hope this adds to this general thread of thought

Wordsmith

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Word, I am interested in the  "nylon swivel butterfly-type clips" but cannot visualize them.  Can you provide a link to what you are talking about?

 

Also, I am wondering if anyone has any experience with the king of form-in-place gasket I was talking about.  Thanks,

Colin

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Wordsmith,

Before you cut that hatch in the foward bulkhead!!! I put bulkhead hatches in my MC 16.5.  The one in the aft bulkhead is just fine.  The forward one is so far up under the foredeck that one must low-crawl on his belly to get to it.  In the year and a half since i first launched the boat, I have never openned that hatch.  Have to wonder what I might be growing in there!!  Anyway, the forward bulkhead on the Shearwater will be similarly difficult to reach.  So, if this is only for very occassional ventilation then OK, but if you ever plan to put anything in there, (and get it out) then not a good idea.

Good luck. Paul G.

PS I am just starting to strip the deck on my Shearwater 17 Hybrid!!

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Years ago a mechanic mate told me a cheap fix for worn / missing / broken car door seals was a made-in-place silicone gasket just like you are suggesting. He said to put sellotape on one side (the door frame) and run a bead of silicone on the other side (door), close the door and leave overnight. I never had need to try this idea but sellotape should remove from an epoxied deck no problem.

I'll be following this thread with interest as I'm also on the lookout for hatch seal ideas.

 regards, Dave P

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

I know that I used to tape a spacer on the bottom of nic-nacs, place 4 spots of silicone and place it on wax paper to dry.  Removing the spacers,   It made GREAT rubber feet

KK

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Colin - the 'butterfly' nuts I refer to are just nylon wing-nuts by another name, with slightly larger 'wings' - I took the wording off the pack of four (made in China, of course!).   They are 1 1/2" across, and the 'wings' are about 1/3" high at their widest.   They have a central hole to screw into the surrounding material and just swivel around to secure (in this case) the hatch.   Sorry I cannot help with photos or link.

Paul G - thanks for the memory jogger!   In my Ches 17LT, recently completed, I put hatches into both bulkheads, but as you rightly say the forward one is quite hard to access, although a little easier in the Ches as I extended the cockpit cut-out forwards by about 3".   I also moved the front bulkhead (cut to proper size) BACK into the cockpit so as to reduce the interior volume.   These changes made access to the forward bulkhead hatch a bit easier, but still a stretch!   But I only use it to ventilate/ check for water, etc - but thanks for the tip.   I'll have to think about the Shearwater - maybe the front bulkhead (again cut to fit) can also be moved back a little, as the design does not have the all-supporting laminated cross-beam as does the Ches.   I'll also be lengthening the cockpit again.

I'll be cutting out bulkheads today, so your note was timely!   I appreciate your thoughts!

Wordsmith

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Word...  Do reconsider the wingnut issue. I can just imagine you doing a self-rescue in big waves and tearing youeself a new *ahem* in the process.  Maybe try out Pete's idea of the acorn nuts.  I bet you'll still feel them on the occasional rescue, but they won't cut your flesh. I may try acorn nuts in the future, but I'd just be worried about losing them while camping.  you'd have to carry a little stash of them with you at all times :(

 

So, I bought some sealant which had a very nice rubbery feel and creamy clear color and proceeded to make some gaskets. I put a fat bead on the hatch cover (after sanding and cleaning with alcohol) and put vasaline all over the hatch opening and put the two pieces together to set up.  Hopefully it wil work out well. Unfortunately it is raining here (humid) and my boat is on an encolsed porch and will not be curing any time soon. 

 

I will post the name of the sealant at a later date. I left the caulking gun inside the hatch :)'

 

 

 

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Colin - my turn to plead ignorance (not for the first time in my life!) - what are 'acorn nuts' please.   FYI, I didn't make it clear that the butterfly fastenings would be inside the hull, mounted to the rear hatch on its underside (*** but see below).   To access the underdeck space from above I'd need to open the hatch in the aft bulkhead first, reach through, and loosen the butterflies.   Fiddly - yes indeed - but I imagine I'd rarely use the rear hatch this way as I don't do any expeditioning and at most might want to pop in a thermos or towel and change of gear if planning a swim somewhere on the cruise.   *** but I'm re-thinking the rear hatch anyway, partly because of the above, also because the 3mm deck looks a bit 'tender' right behind the cockpit and I wouldn't want to weaken it further with an opening!

These threads certainly do get you thinking, don't they!

Appreciate your caveat - stiil like to know about 'acorn' nuts though!   I'm sure we have them Down Here...

Wordsmith

 

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

 

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RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Laszlo, I couldn't have answered Word's question better LMFAO.

 

Word, that does sound fiddly.  A bit too much for me. Hope Laszo answered your question.

 

CB

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Yeah - CB and Laszlo, thanks!   We call them 'Dome Nuts' Down Here!

 

Wordsmith

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

The 3M foam tape is spongie more than neopreme or silicone.

I have been using a lot of the 3M 4200 sealant also its nice medium stick not perm like the 5200.

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Just happend to see this hatch hold down system and thought someone might be intersted.  Never can have too many ideas to modify!

http://www.outer-island.com/FlushHatches.html

 

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Sile...  I kinda like that.  That may be my next plan if thius doesn't work.

 

So, at the moment it is not working out.. yet. The sealant needs dryness to cure, and it has been RAINING here for the entire week.  So far, the outside of the gasket has sealed, but not the inside.  It should be warm tomorrow, so I'll see.  I have hope still.  Should've used dampness curing clear silicone sealant (the kind that stinks like vinegar) next time. 

 

CB

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

Yep.  Use Silicone sealant (I used DAP brand from Ace Hardware). I did it half an hour ago, and it is alread half-sealed and soft and rubbery.   

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

OK, so it is official.  Silicone sealant works magnificently and even cures an cool damp weather (give it 3 days because the inside areas takes the longest to cure).  Wow do I have a tight fit (go figure) and all I need to do is trim up the overflow. 

 

Case Closed.

Colin

RE: Hatch Sealing Alternatives

OK, so it is official.  Silicone sealant works magnificently and even cures an cool damp weather (give it 3 days because the inside areas takes the longest to cure).  Wow do I have a tight fit (go figure) and all I need to do is trim up the overflow. 

 

Case Closed.

Colin

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