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Joined: 9/27/09
Posts: 498
Head Hatch Leak

Having a problem I just can't figure out. I get a drip from around the mast and also from the forward starboard corner of the overhead hatch in the head. The drips have a brownish color if that's a clue.

I've sealed all aroound the hatches on the outside,I have a rubber boot around the base of the mast and have sealed around all the edges (upper and lower) on that, and I've put sealent block/dam around the inner part of the mast where the furling device is. That seemed to stop it for a while though why a leak inside the mast would give me the problem I am having is beyond me.

Anybody have a similar problem/solution?



Chuck Parker
HelenRita 2072 Mk II
2002 Tall Rig - Winged Keel
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

dlincoln3's picture
Joined: 4/24/16
Posts: 82

I was chasing a stubborn leak around the port dorade for a couple of years.  Brown water dripping onto the galley counter.  I rebedded the dorade and other surrounding hardware multiple times to no avail.  I think now that the Lewmar opening hatch over the dinette table was the culprit.  I removed the hatch from the deck last fall to replace the lens in it, and there was obvious water intrusion and rot in the plywood core of the deck, and probably for a very long time.  I never had any obvious drips coming from the hatch itself, because there is a white plastic bug screen frame on the underside.  When Catalina cuts the hole for the hatch at the factory, they do not seal the exposed plywood.  Photo attached.  Any leak around the hatch frame has access to the core, and I imagine that it will make a path "downhill" from there.  This spring, I drilled a bunch of holes into the core around the periphery of the hatch opening and injected Git Rot into it, then I sealed the opening with epoxy.  So far, so good.  I'm not saying that is where your leak is coming from, but just consider other places from where the water might originate, not necessarily the hatch in the head itself.

For what it's worth, I have found that a cheap moisture meter is very helpful in identifying the full extent of water in your deck.  I bought a ​General Tools MMD7NP meter from Amazon for $40.  It is by no means accurate as far as how much water you have in your deck, but it is very good at giving you relative readings - identifying which areas are dry compared to which areas contain water.  It isn't calibrated for fiberglass or boat decks, so the values it reports are meaningless, but for "wet" vs. "dry" I have found it useful.

pkeyser's picture
Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 446

I agree with Don. Brown drips are usually a sign that water has found it's way into the wood core of the cabin roof. If you are getting brown drips from where the mast passes through the cabin roof, my guess is that the gel coat  encapsulent in that area may have been damaged during mast placement or removal, or, the aluminum mast collar bolts are allowing water to penetrate into cabin roof. If you push on the headliner in that area from inside the cabin, is it soft and does it deflect? I saw this problem on one of the C36's we looked at when we were in the market to purchase.

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