We were seeing dripping from the hatch above the head on our Catalina 30, so we took a closer look at the hatch above decks. We could see a void in the caulking around the hatch, so decided it was time to re-bed the hatch. Having never done this before, I called upon the expertise of Jim Knapp, of Kula Marine in Gig Harbor.
Here is the list of tools you will need:
- screwdriver (hatches are usually screwed on with phillips head screws, but double check what you have)
- small hammer (ball peen hammer works well)
- large flat head screwdriver or flat chisel
- plastic stir stick
- caulking gun
Here is a list of products you will need:
- Sealant ( Jim recommends SikaFlex, which we carry at Ship to Shore)
- Paint thinner or denatured alcohol
- gloves (disposal work well to prevent messy hands and prevent chemical skin irritation)
- clean shop rags
- paper towels
- Open the hatch and unscrew all of the screws, and place screws in container so they don't get lost.
- Once all screws are removed, use hammer and flat head screwdriver or flat chisel to pry up hatch carefully.
- Remove hatch, then flip it over and remove/scrape off all caulking/silicone. If silicone was used before, it is critical to remove ALL of it by scraping down thoroughly.
- Then clean deck surface around the perimeter of the hatch cut out thoroughly, dry, then wipe down both deck and the underside of the hatch with acetone.
- Using the SikaFlex loaded into a caulking gun, apply a generous bead of caulk carefully around the underside of the hatch.
- Next flip hatch over and screw in but not all the way, squeezing some off caulk out.
- When screws are all in, cinch down all screws, starting with ones that are on 'less flat' part of deck if the deck has a camber (or curve).
- Its going to look messy at first. when its squeezed out it means there is no gap. if there are gaps, add a bit more caulking (if on a camber deck this can happen)
- Use a plastic stir stick to pull off excess sealant around edges, and scrape off onto rag or paper towel.
- Put paint thinner or denatured alcohol on a clean shop rag and wipe around edges to clean up around sealant still left on deck.
- Let dry.