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Old 08-12-2018, 11:11 AM   #1
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Boat Shrinkage?

Hi All,

This is a tale of water leakage woes. The good ship after being in covered moorage for 20 years, didnít do too bad this past winter up here in the PNW, as far a leaks go; a few windows and the decks.

We have had 2 weeks of killer good weather (for us), hi in the 80ís. Yesterday on the way home from our first trip week trip with the boat, we went through a squall that lasted an hour or so and didnít stop until we docked. We had water coming in Windows that never leaked, down sidewalls, even the aft hatch cover was leaking from seams that were part of the hatch construction. We spent an hour mopping up and chasing drips until it stopped raining and then just like that all the drips stopped as well.

I think the boat wood had all dried out and shrunk with the sunshine and heat and opened up. Weird experience.

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Old 08-12-2018, 11:51 AM   #2
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It could be that the window channel drain holes are too small and couldn't keep up with the heavy rain or they could be partially or fully blocked by debris. Also, do you know when your windows were last rebedded? Might be time to reseal them.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:06 PM   #3
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:11 PM   #4
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Yes my experience, all sorts of leaks after wood parts become very dry.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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In the long saga of curing the topside leaks on my boat, I found that fixing, say, a window leak can be situational. I've "fixed" a leak, watched the spot through the duration of a 4" in 2 hour rain with a solid west wind, and declared victory.

Only to discover a week later, with a half inch rain over a day and a north breeze, the repaired spot leaked. Different angle of incidence, I suppose.

The good news is that eventually they got fixed. Persistence is eventually rewarded.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:31 PM   #6
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I don’t mean to brag, but the water around here is pretty cold and our boat hasn’t shrunk at all
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" MurrayM
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MurrayM View Post
I donít mean to brag, but the water around here is pretty cold and our boat hasnít shrunk at all
LOL I thought that all men toys are shrinking when it is cold outside?

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Old 08-14-2018, 09:49 AM   #8
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At least cold water shrinkage is temporary. I'd be thankful for a huge amount of cold water shrinkage.

If the squall raised some heavier seas it could be part of the issue. You might find that you leak more when the hull is flexing than sitting at the dock.

In the quest for interior comfort, structure is compromised. Some boats flex where they shouldn't flex, and in the big picture, the leak is a symptom of structural issues. It's the difference between bulkheads and partitions, such as that.

People see rot and fix it but the deeper issue is all that nice open cabin space filled with pretty bright work and unhindered by structural supports. If it's the price you pay for smiles, that's what it's really all about.

A racing hull is more like a submarine inside.
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