Water Leaking Into Engine Room at Cockpit Deck Hatches - '68 31' Commander

Hello all.

David Sloat here. I'm the proud owner of a 1968 31' Commander - Cormorant. Unfortunately, due to the wildly exorbitant cost of covered slips in the Galveston/Clear Lake area (thanks Hurricane Ike), Cormorant is currently in an uncovered slip and I'll be darned if I know how to keep water (rain, wash water, etc.) from leaking into the engine room through the gaps between the three hatches. Went down to check on her the other day after a big rain and there was water all over the place down there - and it's been that way since I bought her. You can imagine what kind of corrosion it has caused.

She has from what I can tell, the standard 3 unhinged hatches that overlap at channels that seem to drain right into the engine room. Sorry, but I don't understand the logic of the way they're designed. Am I missing something? Looking at them I thought, OK, the channels are supposed to fill up and overflow onto the deck and thence to the cockpit drains. I still don't think that's right though - the channels are totally open at either end.

So I went to O'Reilly and got some adhesive rubber weatherstripping and ran it all the way around the top of the raised lip on the ER opening - I think that helped leaks from the perimeter but how do you stop leaking from the gaps between the center hatch and the outboard hatches? I've really got to get this under control as one of my first priorities is to try to get all the corrosion below treated.

If anyone has pictures of deck hatches on their '68 31' Commander, I would love to see them! Thanks

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The decks are designed to drain thru weep holes down into the engine area.  The weep holes are difficult to keep clean and often plug up allowing water to drain down everywhere.  Some people have attached drain hoses to the weep holes to redirect the water away from the engines.

A better solution and what we have done is a canvas tent-back.  It goes from the hardtop to the gunnels and keeps everything underneath dry.  We get 5 plus years out of the tent backs with a fresh waterproofing every spring.  Stays 100 percent dry on the decks.

Darin

I don't quite understand how it's raining on you forward deck hatches with a hard top above them. Sounds like you certainly could use some canvas though,. That will be the best way to keep the rain out, not only for your engines but also your helm, electronics, seats, etc. Another thing that can cause rain water to get down there are leaking/ rotted drain hoses. Mine are all eaten up on the bottom, I'm assuming they're original. Not to hijack btw, but anyone know the size of those hoses?

BTW I have an early 31 Commander. My hatches are hinged, one by itself on the left and the center and right are hinged together, not sure if this is factory or not.

You need to invest in canvas that covers just beyond the hatches so the rains rolls into the deck drains. Right now even though I have a camper back on my 27', water is sneaking in between the windshield and side canvas and leaking into the engine bay. I play to add glass there maybe to seal it better, I am nervous to let it sit unattended at the dock next year. But Darin is correct..there are 4 weep holes in the deck hatch channels and mine drain right onto the fuel tanks if it gets wet.

I can measure mine on Thursday if you want. But be advised it is a bear to get access to the top part of the drains.And the drains are epoxied into the deck itself. I have super long arms and I can't even reach into the top part of the drain hose to loosen it. My drains were cracked and leaking into the engine bay..I found a simple solution by getting clear JB weld epoxy and coating the inside of the drains...Haven't leaked since. ;)

Mike H said:

BTW I have an early 31 Commander. My hatches are hinged, one by itself on the left and the center and right are hinged together, not sure if this is factory or not.

It's not a big deal, Mine are really easy to get to right now as I have just about everything pulled out of the engine compartment from the transmissions to the transom. I just have to pull them out and size them up so I can get new hoses. The hardware is still good on mine, pretty much all bronze except the T is plastic.
 
Steve said:

I can measure mine on Thursday if you want. But be advised it is a bear to get access to the top part of the drains.And the drains are epoxied into the deck itself. I have super long arms and I can't even reach into the top part of the drain hose to loosen it. My drains were cracked and leaking into the engine bay..I found a simple solution by getting clear JB weld epoxy and coating the inside of the drains...Haven't leaked since. ;)

Mike H said:

BTW I have an early 31 Commander. My hatches are hinged, one by itself on the left and the center and right are hinged together, not sure if this is factory or not.

On our '67 31 the drain "scupper" on the deck is not glassed in or anything special.  It is simply a sink drain fitting (like you would find in a bar sink or the fiberglass sink in the head).  Picked two up at Home Depot and replaced both sides when replacing the rotten hoses.  Mounts with plumbers putty, just like in a sink.

Not sure if all years used the same method.

Darin

As I remember, Jim Wick told us these are standard lav sink drains.  Should be on the Superdisc along with a few tips on hatch drains plus much, much more.

I think my drains are epoxied in ...I got my camera up there to take a picture of it...on a 27 there is literally no room to get up there...Mine were leaking from the outside of the drain, they corroded around the area the hose clamps to. I solved my problem last week by coating the outside of the drain with JB Weld Clear epoxy and it sealed it right up!

Attachments:

Here is a photo of the aft curtain on my '67 31. Kept the cockpit nice and dry.

The engine hatches were hinged, not lift out.

Attachments:

The cost of canvas work varies widely in NE Ohio. Have to go get a quote to get a good number.The piece you will need is fairly large. I would guess 11ft wide and 14 ft long more or less. I had it made without any Eizenglas (sp?) windows. Makes it easier to roll up, less expensive, and lasts longer. I also had it slit down the fore/aft middle line so I could unzip and remove half of it while at dock if I wanted some wind protection, but it was not raining.

The canvas fastens to the underside of the hard top with a track screwed to the hardtop and some sort of slide in ribber/plastic trim on the canvas. This is a standard arangement any canvas shop should know what you want. Sldie in , not snap in...Snaps are used down the cockpit sides aned around the cockpit perimeter.

I had them upsize the zippers. Smaller/normal size wore out after about 7 years.....before the canvas wass worn out.

 

John

 

Does anyone have a source for the rubber gasket material for the edges of the deck hatches?

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