Saturday, April 14, 2007

Keep The Water On The Outside, Part 4: Hatch Gasket

Hatch Gasket, 4/14/2007

Hatches tend to develop leaks over time as gaskets get hardened or worn out. Such was the case with the Bomar hatch over our v-berth. The leak wasn't severe, but it was enough where we had to keep a towel over the cushions when away from the boat.

There are a number of ways hatches can leak. Ours, at first, appeared to be letting water underneath the rubber gasket on the hatch that presses against the hatch frame when it is closed. The old gasket, roughly 1/2" square, was hardened to where it didn't really compress at all.

The most difficult part of this repair was locating the right gasket, and the first step was identifying the brand and model of the hatch. Our owners manual identified it as a Bomar hatch, but did not provide a model number. Pompanette, the maker of Bomar hatches, was tremendously helpful in figuring out the model. Two phone calls plus an email with the attached pictures lead the representative there to conclude that this is a Bomar Hi-Profile hatch, requiring a "lip-gasket", part number p2000-26. I ordered 8 feet from a marine supply, and it was exactly the right stuff.

The old gasket pulled out easily, but left some glue-like residue behind that cleaned up pretty easily with a little WD-40 and Simple Green. I installed the new gasket following the included instructions, and it went in easily for the most part. The corners were tricky, but a small screwdriver helped in tucking the lip of the gasket into the notch between the frame and the glass. I found that it's important not to stretch the new gasket while installing it, or it will shrink back, pulling itself out of the groove when it does. The new gasket provided a much tighter seal.

Unfortunately, it seems that the extra pressure from the new gasket produced another leak, through the handles (called "hatch dogs") where they go through the glass. The handles are seated in o-rings, which are supposed to seal against water while still allowing them to turn. That is a straightforward fix: Unscrew and take apart the handles, replace o-ring, reinstall.

Now we have a dry bed!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You. I think this addresses my leak problem. Off to find gasket material.