Finally, my mate assisted me with potentially fixing a leaky hatch. I say potentially because since we did the repair it has been dry as a bone in this usual moist climate. How are we to know if the leak is a thing of the past when no rain befalls us.
To fix the leak we used butyl tape around the underside of the glass where it touches the frame. Having never even heard of butyl tape before, I was impressed with how easy it is to measure, cut, and tape to the surface. Four separate pieces were measured to fit each of the four sides of the hatch. Tiny pieces were cut to fill in the sections where the lengthwise sides met the widthwise sides of the hatch.
One side of the butyl tape has a paper-like substance to keep it from sticking to itself while rolled up prior to use. Equally important is that the paper-like substance allows you to put the butyl tape sticky side down against the surface you want stuck to something. Using our fingers we gently pressed paper-like side of the butyl tape onto the surface. Convinced we had a good seal we gently pulled the paper-like substance off the four sides of the glass. Then, using our fingernails we peeled back the paper-like substance from the tiny corner pieces.
Before the final step, we set the glass with the butyl tape stuck to it down onto the frame. The butyl tape allowed time to maneuver the glass within the frame making sure it was a perfect fit. Using the palms of our hands we pressed the glass onto the frame. A bit of the gooey stuff (sealant) o0zed out the sides where the glass and the frame meet. The oozed sealant was less than the amount oozed when I use silicone from a caulking gun to do similar sealing jobs. Again, it looked nice and neat; almost professional…
Lastly we placed two small 1/4 inch flat boards on top of the glass with a 25 pound weight on each of the boards. This secured the hatch in place without putting undo pressure directly onto the glass. Knowing we would be out of town for three or four days the weights also abated any fears of a storm blowing the glass off its frame, should the butyl tape not hold.
After our 4 day absence I was excited, when we returned, to see the inside of the boat dry as it has ever been. There wasn’t even a sign of condensation. “Wow, this is great,” I silently cheered. As I moseyed back to the house I stopped to check on my vegetable garden where I noted the leaves on my tomato plants hanging in a limp.Along the edges of the garden box there was a 1/4 inch space between the dirt and the wooden fence like wall. “Oh, pooey,” I conceded. No wonder the boat was so dry, there probably hasn’t been a drop of rain while we were gone.”
Sinking into sulkhood, I went inside the house and ate a box of crackers. What else is there to do when disappointment strikes? For the next four days I barely paid a moment’s attention to my beloved SPRAY. Pray for rain, though, I did.
Finally, today at 4 pm, while waiting to go for a planned afternoon walk the thunder roared. Lightning struck. My pals and I cancelled the walk. I reveled inside while the rain pummeled down and the sky lite up in a random pattern of thin, bolts of lightning. It will be an hour or so though til I get home and check the hatch. . .
So, you will have to stay tuned until then get back to a public wifi source as I am too cheap to pay for its use at the house…. 🙂 Ay, the life of a retiree and sailor on leave from the sea.