Sunday, 3 October 2010

Yukky sealant

Yesterday the sun was shining and although everywhere was soaking wet, it turned into a good drying day. I got all the hatches and windows open to maximise the evaporation process, mopped up the worst of the standing water from the bilges and then set about removing the two worst leaking deck hatches.

Even before I disturbed the offending sealant, I tooks pix and could see what a mess it was. Barely skinned over, and beneath, a runny puddle of yuk, little more than water, which explains why ive had so many leaks.

I stripped down and cleaned the mess off both frames, and rebuilt them this time using clear glazing silicon. Also, unlike when I previously fitted the hatches and windows, I set the glass units in the frames whilst they were on the bench. Although this makes the whole unit very heavy and awkward to handle, I think it will stop them distorting. Damn things must weigh 30 kg each and not easy to refit when having to get them back on deck, up a slippery gang plank, without falling off or scratching them.

For those of you who have embarked on an arduous project, im sure you will be familiar with the promises of help from well meaning friends. These promises are like the invitations to dinner or drinks that were never meant to happen, just platitudes to throw into a conversation of mock sincerity.
Where were you, ya bastards?
Watching from behind the bushes, waiting for the last brick to leave my hands before waltzing along to suggest I shoulddnt be working so hard and that you could help.?
I have a long memory, so please dont be offended when one day, I appear to be more than a little selfish whilst you struggle with moving house or whatever!!!

So, the rest of the day was taken over to loading the other two packs of bricks, all 936, 2.5 tons of them in through a side window and laying them between the scantlings.

This time it was harder than the first pack as I had further to carry them, so I made stacks of 9 which I could carry the full length of the boat, making the walking back and forth more efficient. Finally, I cleaned up and replaced the window, sealing with silicon just as it was getting dark.

Another 10 hour day. My poor bones and muscles are realy starting to ache now, and I had a hot shower and felt so glad I dont have to do it again. Today is Sunday, so Ive had a few extra hours in bed. Its rained a lot in the night so I cant wait to get aboard and see if the hatches are water tight.


  1. You will need to retire when it's finished. Having help with the heavy stuff is great but the rest of the time you are better doing it yourself. No one will do it like you, even the pavers, I bet you took care not to chip your paint!

    Well done, set backs are a hassle but hey.


  2. There is nothing like doing a job twice. Recently tiled my bathroom - set the first row with too thick of a layer of thin set. After the job was finished the first row was prox 1/8" high. Lots of fun chipping out the first row and redoing.
    After you hammer the last nail - set the last screw - and get the floating home in the water you will find that all your friends will magically reappear and will be of great help in reducing your liquor supply.
    With that many bricks as ballast the boat should be very stable.
    You are doing a great job with just a few set backs.

  3. Just got back from the boat. Sadly, the windows are still dripping. I guess they simply arnt designed to work on a slant of 50 ish degrees. The frames have got drain holes in them, as though they are expected to leak and the water can run straight through. Maybe it works well in a vertical plane but not at 50 deg.
    Im seriously thinking of wrapping them up with cling film for the winter so I can get dried out and do more productive things.

    It was raining again this morning so I went back to bed and didnt wake untill gone 1400, thanks to the little scrote who lives above me. He regularly likes to assemble flat pack furniture with a large hammer and chisel at all hours. I cannot wait to move out. The stress caused to me whilst containing my desire to strangle him is immense. God knows im a patient woman, but some little jerks realy know how to wind me up.
    Anyway, it was nice to get some sleep.

  4. Hi Amy:

    I am having the same problem on my boat with sealants on my port lights. These are the recommended sealants from different posts on CF.

    "As for sealant Dow 795 is the most widely used sealant for this type of application. Alternatives are Sika Flex 295 UV with the primer & GE SG-4000."

    I don't know if they are available in the UK. I used the Dow 795 and am very happy with all of my hatches. There is one place where it leaked but when I looked it over it was installer error and not the sealant. The Dow product ( and I think the other two) are used by glazers on office buildings. They are less expensive then the marine products if you can buy them at a glazers supply.

  5. Charlie
    Im sure I dont have a sealant problem now im using the silicon. Its down to the design of the hatch frame and my particular installation because its not in a vertical plane but on a 50 deg slope.
    The rain water ponds against the bottom glazing bar and gets past the seal into the rebate.
    I need to talk with the guy I bought them off but hes offshore sailing at the moment.

  6. Amy
    You could use the static caravan trick.
    To reduce the depth of the frame they remove the gasket and use clear silicon inside and out. I also once changed some failed units and found silicon between the glass and the external gasket.
    Its worth a try

  7. There is no gasket and I have used silicon.
    I dont think there is a problem anymore with the frame to siding seal, just the glazing bead to glass seal

  8. Amy:

    What if yo took glazing putty and placed it at such an angle that the water can't pool at the bottom of the window? Then again they are new windows and should work right without adjustment.

  9. Time for a design change - remember to fit depth charge launchers

  10. Hi Amy
    I admire you energy and drive to make your dream come true. Sorry to read about your hatches. No advice from me as every time I try and re-bed a hatch or repair the windshield on my old boat either the silicon does not cure or it just still leaks. Keep on keeping on. If I still was living in the UK I would come over an do some helping with you. Keep up the posting enjoying reading your blog and your progress!

  11. Hi Amy

    what is UPVC? The glazing putty that I am thinking about is the type used for old wooden sashed windows. It is made with linseed oil and hardens after sitting in the sun for a day or two.

  12. I once bought some glazing silicone which was badged as a quality make (sorry, cant remember who it was), but the stuff wouldn't go off, it was terrible stuff to clean off and start again. What tubes I hadn't used I threw away as it was too risky to try again. To recap, there is some crap stuff out there, shame it has to be used to find out!

  13. Amy
    "You could use the static caravan trick.
    To reduce the depth of the frame they remove the gasket and use clear silicon inside and out."

    PS should have said the the silicon replaces the gasket between the frame and the glass