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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I don't think they ever had rubber gaskets. But you could just measure the channel width and height and get some from Jamestown or Defender.

I was thinking that it would be good to know what 31 Dave has since we are all over the board on helping him and clicking on his pic goes without response, search his name and nothing comes up, guess he got all the answers needed.

Andy, I have no deck hatch gaskets, can't help.

I have a 1973 sports express, totally original. No rubber gasket around the hatches. Always assumed the hatch grooves drained into the bilge, the deck drains were for excess. A bothersome but acceptable design. Always thought I could plumb drain lines from the drain holes in the grooves overboard, but still in a heavy rain the vents allow water in so I'd still collect water in my bilge. Never had trouble with the engines getting wet.

We need to get together! I have a 1967 Commander 31' at Seabrook Marina!

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