How does the sea hood attach to the cabin?

billie williams

Active Member
Persistent rain here in So Cal has shown me a new leak in the main salon, above the starboard, aft portlight. The water is coming out where the headliner attaches to the inside top of the cabin. I think it could come from:

1. the starboard handrails, although all the plugs are still in and look clean. I keep the wood varnished and inside covers, or
2. the sea hood over the main sliding hatch, or
3. someplace forward that I never would have thought about. (it's probably this option)


Can someone tell me if the screws that affix the sea hood go through the cabin top? If I were to peel back the headliner and stick my hand in there, would I feel anything? I hate to open the headliner zippers since I would have to sew them back up by hand since the tabs no longer function. Has anyone had this part of the boat leak? (I chuckle typing that since all boats are masters of creating unusual leaks.)

Thanks for any advice or suggestions. This is for an E30+ but I suspect they are quite similar to other models.
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi,
Leaks are a challenge because the water can travel in various directions and show up far from the actual leak. However, I had a leak in exactly the area you describe, and it was from the two bolts in the traveler end. I could access this area on my E30+ by opening the zipper above /between the two ports / windows. If you can't open the zipper, you could access that area by removing the top moulding, the staples on the headliner underneath and gently pulling the headliner down to see above it. There is a recess where the traveler mounts.
And yes, the bolts for the hood also go thru the deck, so that's also a possibility, but I would try the traveler end bolts first.
Good luck, and let us know if you fix it.
Frank
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Hi Billie,

If the zippers are Nylon, they're probably still fine. It's the pulls--corroded aluminum and useless.

Just cut the pulls out with a razor blade and pull open the zippers.

Installing new pulls later is easier than it sounds, with only an inch or two of sewing.

Or anyhow, that has been my experience.
 

billie williams

Active Member
Frank, that’s awesome information. We’ll be at the boat on Wednesday and I’ll open the zipper and check things out starting where the traveler attaches.

Christian, I will be so happy to fix these zippers. The PO sewed them up by hand. It’s tidy but irritatingly non-functional.

Thank you both.
 

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi,
I have found that spraying the zipper with a Silicone spray (available in most hardware stores) makes it much easier to open and close them. Open gradually, don't force it, if possible.
Once you open the zipper, you will likely find a thin piece of foam that was intended for insulation, I think. You can push it aside, or cut it with a scissor to gain access and simply put the two halves side by side when you reassemble.
Frank
 
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markvone

Well-Known Member
Billie,

Zipper pull repair thread here:

https://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?8461-Zipper-Pull-Repair

The link to the pulls at Outdoor Wilderness Fabric is out of date in the thread, updated below:

http://www.owfinc.com/LS-5-Coil-Locking-Single-Tab-Slide-Large-Hole-Beige/productinfo/5CLSLBEIG/

Pulls are still $0.19 but now Limited Supply due to being discontinued. I'd (did) buy 25 ($7.50 incl S&H) and keep 'em until needed.

The functionality and satisfaction per boat dollar is hard to beat.

Mark
 

bigd14

Well-Known Member
I had a similar leak and, as Frank said, it was coming from the traveler area. However, the leaks (on both sides) were found to be from a small L bracket that was supporting the traveler ends and was bolted through the side of the pylon the traveler sits on. I thought this might be an aftermarket modification, as the brackets did not seem to be performing any real supporting duties. So I removed them and patched the holes and the leaks are gone. You might check this area for a similar bracket and hole. Good luck chasing the leaks, they are extremely annoying!
 

billie williams

Active Member
Today I opened up the headliner and dried everything off on the underside of the cabin top. Then in sections, we used a hose to flood the outside of the cabin with water. I could not see any issue with the traveler attachments. But one sea hood fastener did leak. Thankfully, I did not see anything leaking around the handrails.

To fix this problem would I remove the fastener, use an epoxy to fill the screw hole and then re-drill a starter hole and then use an equivalent fastener as the one I removed? Any recommendation for the epoxy filler? And how long would I have to let it dry before drilling the new hole? Thanks for any input you have!

It was actually pretty interesting to see this part of the boat.
 
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billie williams

Active Member
That sounds like what I'd do--overdrilling.

A fastener that leaks may just need new bedding. Overdrilling confirms that the balsa core is OK, and prevents future water incursion.
Hi Christian,

Thanks for the link. Very helpful. One bit of confusion I have is that the fastener (machine screw??) doesn't come down into the cabin with a bolt to keep it in place. So there has to be something that has been glassed in - perhaps bolts or maybe a length of metal with holes tapped?? IDK. I'm hoping that when I remove the fastener all will become known (okay, just kidding...but maybe I'll be one step less confused).

I found this post you made a few years ago, but it's not clear to me if you removed the hood or not.

https://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?15407-Ericson-Sea-Hood-Maintenance-and-Removal&highlight=sea+hood
 
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Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
I never actually removed my sea hood. My guess is it's just screwed to the deck, since the hood isn't structural.
 
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I recently removed the sea hood on my E33 to replace the acrylic sliding hatch cover. The screws that attach it to the deck are SS wood screws and they appear to go straight into the deck core with no overdrilling/filling. I can easily imagine that water is entering there. It appears to be a very unsatisfactory design, when it dries up in the summer I will do something about it. In the mean time I bedded them as best I could with butyl tape.
 

Kenneth K

Well-Known Member
One bit of confusion I have is that the fastener (machine screw??) doesn't come down into the cabin with a bolt to keep it in place. So there has to be something that has been glassed in - perhaps bolts or maybe a length of metal with holes tapped??
Over-drilling and filling with epoxy is the "right" way to do it if the fastener is subject to water (and the core is wood).

If the faster is a bolt & nut (or machine screw & nut), re-installation is easy. If it's a wood or sheet-metal type screw, reinstalling into epoxy is a bit trickier. You have to drill a larger pilot hole into epoxy than you would into wood because the screw threads won't cut into the epoxy like they do into wood grain. Too small a pilot hole and you can break the screw, crack the epoxy, or end up with a large raised 'welt' in the epoxy around the screw-hole. Too large a pilot hole and you'll strip the 'threads' the screw cuts into the epoxy. I'd practice on something other than your actual cabin top until you get it right.

Another alternative is to over-drill, fill with epoxy, and then tap threads directly into the epoxy to receive a machine screw. I've done this a few times recently and have always been pleased at how easy it is to tap threads into epoxy.
 

billie williams

Active Member
Over-drilling and filling with epoxy is the "right" way to do it if the fastener is subject to water (and the core is wood).

If the faster is a bolt & nut (or machine screw & nut), re-installation is easy. If it's a wood or sheet-metal type screw, reinstalling into epoxy is a bit trickier. You have to drill a larger pilot hole into epoxy than you would into wood because the screw threads won't cut into the epoxy like they do into wood grain. Too small a pilot hole and you can break the screw, crack the epoxy, or end up with a large raised 'welt' in the epoxy around the screw-hole. Too large a pilot hole and you'll strip the 'threads' the screw cuts into the epoxy. I'd practice on something other than your actual cabin top until you get it right.

Another alternative is to over-drill, fill with epoxy, and then tap threads directly into the epoxy to receive a machine screw. I've done this a few times recently and have always been pleased at how easy it is to tap threads into epoxy.
That's a great tip, thank you!

I took down the molding that hides the edge of the headliner and then undid a bunch of the staples. That was very helpful. Now you can really see what's happening - where the water has come in and where it is totally dry. And I could see that there doesn't appear to be water intrusion into the balsa - everything looks nice and golden-colored.

In the past there had indeed been water leaking at the traveler-to-cabin-top attachment point. (So this is an important area to check if you're having an issue with leaks of this sort.) This, along with 3 of the wood-screw fasteners along the edge of the seahood, had already been repaired by a PO. My problem was with a couple of the screws forward of that point. Water was coming in there. So I re-bed all of the fasteners in the seahood that had not been previously repaired. Then it rained for a good 12 hours.

Came back today and everything is dry as a bone except for one fastener. I'll go back this weekend and over-drill that using the method outlined above. I also have the zipper slides on hand to fix the zipper when this is all done.

I really appreciate all the help - any suggestions still welcomed! :)
 
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