Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

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andynormancx
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Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by andynormancx »

I've got a couple of hatch rims with a leak and I've identified where it is leaking, there are small voids between the rim and the deck in one spot on each rim. The voids are just small enough to be hard to see visually, but large enough to squeeze the tip of a 1mm syringe need into and move it about between the rim and the deck.

I believe this boat was made just over two years ago, we've had it for a nearly year (it has taken me a while to get round to tracking down where the leaks were, given we've managed relatively little time on the water (and it our spare "visitors boat").

I've noticed that whenever the boat is wet, the sealant round the rims appears to weep. I looks sometimes like the boat's mascara is running...

I assume this is not normal 2+ years after manufacture, the sealant shouldn't be water soluble once cured. I'm guessing it means the sealant never cured properly for some reason ?

Owen
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Owen »

If you can get a syringe into the gap why not just inject some slikaflex under the rim.

andynormancx
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by andynormancx »

I tried that today, though with 3M 5200 rather than Sikaflex.

The sealant, even on a nice hot day, was too viscous to get through the needle.

I have also tried using a vacuum to draw the sealant into the gap (by heating the air inside the boat and then putting the hatch cover on). But again it looks like the sealant was too viscous to get a decent amount into the void. I clearly got some into the edge of the void, as the vacuum held, which it didn’t do before the extra sealant.

So I might have plugged the gap a bit.

However I doubt that solves the problem. If my suspicion is correct that the sealant never cured properly then I expect the rims will have to be refitted, after removing all of the old sealant :(

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Ceegee
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Ceegee »

It would help if you identified the kayak and hatch type, e.g. Valley, Kajaksport, other proprietary make. Bear in mind that although rims leak, so do covers, so it may be both, especially if a lot of water is involved, so check hatch covers for cracks too. A light spray of silicone on the inside of covers usually helps seal them.

It it is just the rims, the most reliable method might be to remove and reglue, but you risk cracking or deforming the rim if not done carefully. Obviously the existing glue would need to be fairly perished, and it helps in removal if they are warmed up.

If you do go this route, in my experience avoid metal tools and try and work a large area free, e.g. use LOTS of wooden wedges over a large section of radius. 1/2 clothespegs are good tapped in with a mallet.

You would need to clean the rims and mateing surfaces up with a Dremel or similar, and reglue. A 2-part methacrylate e.g. Devweld is best here, although Sikaflex would work too. Avoid bolting as this stresses the joint and induces point loads.

At 2 years old, I would consult the manufacturers, even if you are not the 1st owner. Most of the locally based (UK) smaller manufacturers are only too pleased to help in my experience.
Cheers,
Steve C. G.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by andynormancx »

The covers and the rims themselves aren't leaking, I identified where the leak was by pulling a vacuum in the compartment. You could then hear the air rushing in through the leaky spot and covering the spot stopped the vacuum from diminishing.

Further, when I applied sealant over the voids (in my probably failed attempt to get some into the voids) the vacuum also held. So I'm 100% confident these voids are where the only significant leaks are.

Anyway, this is just a distraction from the question I was trying to ask...

I will be going back to the manufacturer on this. I just wanted a bit of confirmation from the experienced people here that what I'm seeing with the sealant weeping after contact with water is not normal in anyway before I did.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Chris Bolton »

I've never heard of sealant doing that. Is it possible that there was just a gap in the sealant, and it's filled with whatever got in there (salt?) which is what washes out?

It's difficult to say more without knowing the type of sealant, either directly or by knowing the manufacturer. You wouldn't be libelling the manufacturer by naming them, all you're doing is stating the facts, and it might help other UKRGB members with similar problems, now or in future.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by PeterG »

I had/have? almost the opposite problem, I have an original Tahe greenlander so quite a few years old now. I noticed that my dry bags started getting smears of sticky white sealant as I wiggled them in and out. It was only from one of the hatch rims, the other was still solid clean sealant. I cleaned the area with white spirit and it cured the problem for now, but it looks as if surface of the sealant is degrading. No leaks however and it all appears to be very solid.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by andynormancx »

I don't think it was a gap in the sealant that is now being washed out. All the sealant on all the hatch rims weeps when water is on the surface of the sealant.

This video shows the sealant on the day hatch, which at the moment doesn't leak and has no visible signs of a void. It is hard to see the sealant weeping on camera, though in person you can see the black material coming away with the water. I wiped it with kitchen towel to show the black particles. This is just tap water.



I'm not worried about libelling anyone, I was just hoping for a quick answer to my question before I spoke to them. But then I asked the Internet my question 😉

It is a Tiderace Xtra HV, we bought it ex-demo last year. It is a Nelo manufactured boat. I will be contacting them to talk about it.

With the current void in the rear hatch rim it will leak ~300ml of water in a couple of hours, even when sea conditions aren't exciting. The front hatch leaks less, but I'm fairly sure now that both are just going to get worse.

It's a great boat, though we obviously need to get this issue sorted and I expect all the sealant is going to have to come off to deal with it 🙁

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Chris Bolton »

But then I asked the Internet my question
It is a Tiderace Xtra HV
It would not surprise me, now you've said it's a Tiderace, if Aled posts an answer here for you. You could even send him a PM to ask.

pathbrae
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by pathbrae »

150 ml per hour in a rear compartment in a calm sea. Could the vaccuum generated when the hull cools with the boat in the water be pulling a bit of water through the skeg box too??
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by PeterG »

pathbrae wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:11 pm
150 ml per hour in a rear compartment in a calm sea. Could the vaccuum generated when the hull cools with the boat in the water be pulling a bit of water through the skeg box too??
The mysteries of water in the hatches...... We had an Anas acuta from the 1990s that had never leaked a drop for 25 years and then suddenly 100ml of water in the front hatch after 4 hours, every trip, even on a calm sea. Impossible to find with all the tricks of pressurising through a bike valve on an old hatch cover and soapy water all over, filling with water and leaving at any angle etc. After 6 months of frustration I noticed that the front bolt on the foot rest rail on one side just touched the curve of the bulkhead, whereas the other side was a mm short of the curve. I could not mimic the leak even with the bolt out (fortunately it is a plastic one so unbolted easily rather than the stainless bolt into aluminium type that weld themselves together). However some sealant around the bolt before reinserting it cured the leak just like that. There must have been an invisible crack through the curved bulkhead into the front hatch from the bolt where it entered the foot rail that had opened up after 25 years. I had never interfered with the foot rail.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by SJD »

I hope to see an update on this situation, one of which I’ve never seen before.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Dyllon »

It is good to hear that Nelo are continuing the strong Tiderace tradition of building boats with removable hatch rims.

All four hatches of my Cobra manufactured boat have come off over a 3 year period despite being returned to Tiderace twice. Happily, only one trip has been ruined due to a completely flooded rear compartment. The other failures have resulted in inconvenience only and, as was par for the course, no apologies.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Aled »

Hello 'andynormancx',
Hopefully Nelo are addressing this for you...
Why does this happen? Over the years, I've found 2 sources to this problem: the rim hasn't been sufficiently prepared for glueing or there's insufficient sealant leaving a small gap or burst bubble in the bonded joint.
How is it fixed? Removal and refitting of the plastic rim. By gently wedging a flat screwdriver or chisel under the outside of the rim and leaving it for a few hours to slowly un-stick the adhesive, adding small amounts of pressure/wedging as the peeling process develops. Any attempt to speed up the un-peeling is likely to tear the laminate, crack the gelcoat or dent/crack the rim. Slow steady pressure is the key here... Eventually, once half the rim is free, pulling the rim gently by hand will peel away the remainder. If you perform this slowly and reasonably gently you can detach the rim cleanly from the boat. Once detached, scrape away the old glue from the deck (it will peel off the ABS plastic of the rim before it detaches from the gelcoat), and sandpaper away any residue. Personally, I tend to upgrade my adhesive by using a Methacrylate structural adhesive - it does not require priming nor any special cleaning before glueing, just sand everything and wipe / brush off the dust. Methacrylate etches and creates a chemical bond into both rim and deck, as opposed to a mechanical bond created by using a polyurethane based adhesive. Use this stuff:
https://www.easycomposites.co.uk/#!/res ... esive.html
A 25ml syringe (and a mixing nozzle) is more than enough for the fix. Place a sheet of newspaper or equivalent inside the boat to catch any drips, apply a not too generous bead of the adhesive to the rim recess in the deck, bed / push the rim into place, but not to the point where all the glue is displaced (the glue achieves a good bond when it's thick-ish) - I dont spin the rim, just apply straight downwards pressure, no need to clamp as too much pressure displaces the adhesive. Immediately wipe / scrape away any overspill before it sets - try not to smear it onto the ABS. Leave for 30mins, then it's good to go (full cure takes about a day).
I hope, by one way or another, you get it resolved. If you fix it yourself please contact me again if you need further guidance or help.

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Mr Ed
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Mr Ed »

A problem i'm familiar with unfortunately.

Recommend a professional repair. Rip out all the rims and start again. Note it might not be possible to extract the rim intact. Mine had to be cut out bit by bit.

Was expensive in terms of time and labour but ended up with a dry boat.

Problem was lack of sealant/poor sealant quality leading to direct water ingress all around my hatches. Several litres in one hatch over the course of a normal paddling day.

Ivan Lawler
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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by Ivan Lawler »

Hi Andynormancx,

As the UK Nelo/Tiderace distributor I am more than happy to help out with this. I have not had any experience of this previously, but if you let me know the serial number of the boat I can find out date of manufacture and see if any similar issues from that time have been reported.

Either way I will be able to get some factory advice re repair/replacement of hatches. Drop me an email with some photos and the boat ID and we can take it from there.



Ivan.

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Re: Hatch rim sealant not cured ?

Post by andynormancx »

I was planning on getting in touch with you about it this week Ivan.

It feels like the issue is getting more noticeable, you only need a tiny bit of water on the sealant to get that running mascara look now, I'm pretty sure it wasn't noticeable when first picked it up from you last autumn, if it was I'd have been in touch straight away...

Anyway, I'll send you all the details this week.

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