View Full Version : Now to seal a teak floor hatch in cockpit?
05-26-2002, 10:15 PM
My girlfriend and I recently purchased a Laurent Giles Normandy class 28' sloop built in 1960 in Denmark. She's in terrific shape overall, but has a few minor issues I'd like to fix soon.
First and formost is there is a removeable section of teak decking in the cockpit to provide access to the top/back of the engine and fuel tank. The hatch has about a 45 degree bevel with about 1/4 inch rim. It's held down with 4 round "nuts" that use a spanner key to tighten.
One of the previous owners attempted to use some paint on rubber to create a gasket - it doesn't work, so I'm looking for a replacement. Any ideas?
05-26-2002, 10:54 PM
I think that trying to get anything to stick to teak is something of a lost cause because of the oily nature of the wood. To effect an adhesive bond on teak generally requires that you degrease the wood locally with a degreasing solvent (not something I would favor).
What I would recommend is one of two options. First, go for some sort of rubber weather seal which is attached via hardware fasteners (all of which would require that you mill out an appropriate channel in the teak. This would be similar to what you have in car doors. Second, look into not sealing the joint at all but rather installing a channel under the joint to collect and route leakage overboard.
Disadvantage with the first option is obvious, you would have a visible seal which requires that you trim away some of the teak to form the necessary groove. The actual design of the seal would depend upon the cross-section of the rubber seal you settled upon. The simplest method would be to use a low durometer sheet rubber secured with small flathead screws. The rubber would have to be thick enough to countersink the screw a bit. I would recommend that you experiment with scrap wood first to see how all of this works and looks.
Disadvantage with the second option is that you would have to keep the channel (probably cres) clean or it would clog up. Also, you would need to tie it into your bilge pump thru-hull (or install a new penetration). Also, the size of the openning to the compartment below would be decreased by the channel size.
If you really are intent upon making this joint weather tight, I would opt for a combination of both. Again, build a few models out of scrap before you start cutting your precious teak but I think that it is inevitable that some carpentry will be required to do this.
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