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Resealing Project - Cockpit Deckplates

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Megabyte

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Today looked like a pretty good day to do a project I've been wanting to do for quite some time - resealing all of my cockpit deckplates.

I replaced all of the Tempress o-rings last season, and I clean and lube the o-rings at least twice a season with Starbright Snap and Zipper Lube, but I had a feeling that I was still getting moisture through the deckplates on occasion.

The biggest offender (of leaking water) was the bilge hatch cover, so that was also scheduled for a rebedding.

Here is a typical Tempress pie plate, and the subject of todays project. This one is the aft plate for the main fuel tank, and is located just forward of the bilge hatch cover. It is pretty typical of the 9 hatches and deck plates on my boat.



Notice how the area of the pie plate in the area of the o-ring seal looks damp? That is the Starbright Snap and Zipper Lube wicking out in the heat. (it was 92 degrees today)

The first order of business was to remove the 6 screws holding the plate to the deck, and lifting it out. The entire assembly came out easilly.

NOTE: Do not take the center out of the pie plate when performing this process. The center plate keep the ring assembly in shape, and stable during the removal and reassembly process.

While I had everything apart, I took the opportunity to carefully remove and clean all of the wires attached to the fuel gauge. A bronze brush and a little sandpaper cleaned them up. The wire connecters were tweeked a bit with a pair of pliars to tighten them... then everything was sprayed down with CRC corrosion inhibitor to keep them happy.



Fresh and clean.



As you can see, the old bedding material looks to be white silicone, and the seal looks to be in pretty good shape. There are a couple of small areas that look like they might have passed water (judging by the dirt that got through), but for the most part, everything looks good for a 1996 vintage seal.

The next step was to reinstall the hatch, and locate it with a couple of the screws to get it square. Then I taped around the hatch with blue painters tape. The reason for that will become clear in the later photos.



Once the tape was down, the hatch was removed and a new bead of clear silicone was applied to the area. Special caution was taken to apply a little extra at each screw hole.



The deck plate was carefully placed back in the deck making sure that the screw holes lined up, and the screws were put back in... but only deep enough to make contact.
I then went around and tweeked each screw until a small bead of silicone squeezed out evenly around the perimeter of the outer ring.



Then take your finger and carefully wipe the exposed bead against the base of the deck plate ring making a silicone fillet to close any gaps in the edge of the plate.
The blue tape will keep the silicone from smearing all over the non-skid.



Remove the tape before the silicone has a chance to set-up (at a temperature of 92 degrees, that would be right away!), and you are done.



Come back in 24 to 48 hours and give each screw another 1/4 turn and the job is finished.



Now on to the bilge hatch...

I have been considering replacing my bilge hatch for quite some time as it has been a constant source of leakage of rain and wash water into the bilge.
I considered a Bowmar hatch, and Armstrong hatch, even one of the industrial strength "NASA" hatches like Warthog5 installed in the X-Shark.

But... after replacing the Tempress gasket and greatly reducing the amount of water passed, rebedding seemed like a good next choice.

Here is the subject...



... and the area with the Tempress hatch removed.



Notice the dirt in several areas... That is where water was passing through the sealant.

Same process here. Clean it up...



Re-fit the hatch and tape it off...



Lay down a proper bead of silicone making sure to get a little extra around each screw hole...



Screw it down until the sealant just squirts out from the edge of the hatch evenly.
Wipe it clean with your finger and make a nice fillet against the edge of the hatch.
Remove the tape, and you're done!

Several caveats when attempting this project...

1. If you do this project on a hot day like I did, your working time with the silicone will be reduced. The first couple of hatches I did, I left the tape on awhile after creating the finish fillets, and I ended up with a couple of rough edges. For best results, remove the protective tape immediately after creating your fillets for a nice crisp edge.

2. Be very careful after finishing a deck plate that you do not step on it for at least 24 hours. The silicone needs time to set-up and stepping on a plate will squish more sealant out messing up your nice work.
Don't ask me how I know this... :cry:

3. You will need a good bit of sealant for this project, depending on how many plates you intend to rebed.
A typical 6" pie plate will take about 1/2 of a typical tube of marine silicone that you normally find in your local West Marine. That bilge hatch took 1 1/2 tubes...
You do not want to run short of sealant when doing this project, so if you are going to be resealing all of your hatches, start early in the day and buy yourself a proper tube of sealant.



7 cockpit hatches re-sealed today, with 2 more in the pilothouse to be done another day when its a little cooler.

Hope this helps anyone else considering resealing their deckplates.
It wasn't difficult, just time consuming and weather dependent. :D
 

Megabyte

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B-Faithful":24uad9uz said:
How often do you think this should be done? 3 years? 5 years?
Hard to say Greg. I think it all depends on how well the job was done initially.

My boat is 10 years old and some of those hatches were actually sealed just fine. Some (like the bilge hatch) had obvious leaks once I took her apart and saw the 'dirt marks'.

To tell you the truth, I was actually quite impressed with what I saw when I took her apart. The core wood inside the cutouts looked to have some sort of epoxy coating on it. Whatever it was, I didn't find any bare wood, and nothing wet either. :D

I can tell you that the hatches aft had more issues than the hatches forward. I'm guessing that is because the natural flow of water on deck is aft, so if you think you might have an issue anywhere, start in the back and work forward. :wink:

Some surveyors will tell you that everything on a boat needs to be rebedded every X number of years.
I'm not so sure that is true if the job was done properly the first time.

I had a peek at Parker quality today, and I have to say that I was pleased with what I saw.
 

Porkchunker

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OK Kevin, now we know why you lead in the post count. Probably also lead in the boat porn numbers too.

You've made me feel guilty...guess I'll have to reseal mine sometime during this hot poor-fishing season and before the fall striper run starts.
 

Megabyte

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Porkchunker":1m9rmanb said:
guess I'll have to reseal mine sometime during this hot poor-fishing season and before the fall striper run starts.
Dave, Trust me... wait for a cooler day.
I think I lost 5 pounds today in sweat alone. Gatoraide is my friend.

Have you any idea how hard it is to stick down blue tape when you're dripping all over the deck? :shock:
It wasn't a pretty sight... :)
 

cbigma

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..............And yet -another- top quality "How-To" added to the Classic Parker Archives! :D

Nice Job Kevin. I swear both your deck and bilge are actually -whiter- than when your Megabyte came off the Parker Factory Floor. 8)
 

Porkchunker

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Megabyte":2paifi7g said:
Porkchunker":2paifi7g said:
guess I'll have to reseal mine sometime during this hot poor-fishing season and before the fall striper run starts.
Dave, Trust me... wait for a cooler day.
I think I lost 5 pounds today in sweat alone. Gatoraide is my friend.

Have you any idea how hard it is to stick down blue tape when you're dripping all over the deck? :shock:
It wasn't a pretty sight... :)
I could stand to loose some weight. :( :( :(
 

Porkchunker

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cbigma":k0da90u3 said:
..............And yet -another- top quality "How-To" added to the Classic Parker Archives! :D

Nice Job Kevin. I swear both your deck and bilge are actually -whiter- than when your Megabyte came off the Parker Factory Floor. 8)
I'd swear he uses tooth brightener on the deck, bilge, and hull.

He certainly has cleaned it up since I saw it full of leaves and with a dull/chalky gelcoat surface from sitting out neglected for a couple of years at Fairwinds Marina in Cape St. Claire, MD.
 

jeffnick

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Great post/pictures.

What a gorgeous/tidy bilge :shock: , but shame on you for going shoeless aboard. :wink:
 

cbigma

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We know all about his secret recipe for keeping the bilges clean.... :D

Now we know his secret for keeping the decks so Tidy-whitey.....He makes everyone leave their footwear on the dock!!!! :shock:
 

Megabyte

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It really isn't all that clean guys...
It's the ancient digital camera I'm using. :)
 

96TL

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Nice job Kevin. I always thought you were supposed to scrape off the old caulk though? Is it not necessary?

Dom 8)
 

Megabyte

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Dom, Other than not adhearing to the bottom of the Tempress plate, most of the old stuff was still well secured to the deck.
So... I cleaned off anything that wasn't in good shape with a scotchbrite pad and left the rest in place.

10 years from now when I do it again, I'll probably cut everything off and start over. I just didn't feel it was needed this time.
 

gw204

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Porkchunker":w410gh3z said:
He certainly has cleaned it up since I saw it full of leaves and with a dull/chalky gelcoat surface from sitting out neglected for a couple of years at Fairwinds Marina in Cape St. Claire, MD.
Ain't that the truth. I pulled it down to Tri-State for him. That boat looks like a whole different rig now! :D

I know I've said it before, but nice work Kev. :)
 

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