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Old 11-21-2023, 10:06 PM   #1
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Rain intrusion into bridge

The rain started earlier and going overnight. I just noticed water leaks inside through zippers and canvas where the windows connect to the aft hardtop (sundeck roof). See the picture I attached. I attempted to patch a vinyl tape but failed to seal it. Water still comes in continually.

What caulk can I apply along the perimeter inside or outside to block the water?


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Old 11-22-2023, 12:15 AM   #2
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I have never had, or wanted, to caulk canvas. A property designed enclosure shouldn’t leak very much. In a deluge you may get some leaking but normal rain no. As to caulking your existing enclosure I am not sure exactly what caulk I would use.
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Old 11-22-2023, 08:21 AM   #3
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The bridge deck is designed to shed water. As long as you’re not holding water and leaking to the interior I wouldn’t worry too much. If it’s really troublesome, there are self adhesive vinyl rain gutters you can apply to channel the water for better drainage.
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Old 11-22-2023, 09:47 AM   #4
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Over view perspective.
Rain and snow will come. If you block off one area , the water will go somewhere else. Hopefully OFF of the boat. If the rain accumulates in a crack or crevice and freezes, you will have bigger problems. There are some cold weather tapes that work well and can be removed without harm in the spring. Caulking is semi permanent and makes a mess upon removal.
Think of shingles on a roof and the gutters. They dont need to seal 100% as long as the joints and layers overlap.
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Old 11-22-2023, 11:46 AM   #5
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Zippers though will often leak, they're not water proof. As to intrusion through the canvas, I've never had that with Sunbrella but if it rains hard enough it may happen. The amount of water you show seems quite minor.
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Old 11-22-2023, 12:50 PM   #6
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The bottom of the canvas shouldn't terminate "inside" your flybridge. It should end on the outside of your flybridge. This way, the water just drips down outside instead of in. In the meantime, I'd put towels down to catch the water until it can be remedied.
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Old 11-22-2023, 01:14 PM   #7
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If it's older sunbrella you can use 303 Marine Fabric Guard. I've been using it for quite a while. It's made for Sunbrella and does restore water repellency. It is a bit expensive but is a cheaper alternative than new canvas.

If you are leaking at the seams or zippers, that's another issue. Not sure where someone would use caulk in canvas though.
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:25 PM   #8
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Looking at the picture, my guess is that you have black welt cord in a white track. Looks like the upper part of the track is broken/ missing ? If so, it's new-track time. Not expensive.
How's my guess ?
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Old 11-22-2023, 02:55 PM   #9
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Remember that when you put caulk on the canvas it is there forever or until you make new canvas…
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Old 11-22-2023, 05:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for your input. water seems to have mostly come in through where the white track attaches to the hard top. I'm going to apply this kitchen/bath caulk along that track.
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Old 11-22-2023, 06:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulga View Post
Thanks for your input. water seems to have mostly come in through where the white track attaches to the hard top. I'm going to apply this kitchen/bath caulk along that track.
I`m sure RTFirefly will respond in horror to the use of "super silicone' caulk. A bathroom/kitchen silicone can impede painting an affected surface long term but in my experience(at home not onboard) the "roof/gutter" variety does not. For abundant precaution a polyurethane caulk/sealant is safer.
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Old 11-22-2023, 06:34 PM   #12
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I`m sure RTFirefly will respond in horror to the use of "super silicone' caulk. A bathroom/kitchen silicone can impede painting an affected surface long term but in my experience(at home not onboard) the "roof/gutter" variety does not. For abundant precaution a polyurethane caulk/sealant is safer.
I thought the hard top is just fiberglass. Is there painting?

I didn't get the concern about impede painting. This one is called paintable, so is this better?
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Old 11-22-2023, 07:06 PM   #13
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It`s not unusual for gelcoated or painted f/g surfaces to eventually be painted.For unknown reasons I`m barred from acessing home depot but if it`s paintable, it`s paintable, resolving the issue.
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Old 11-23-2023, 04:33 PM   #14
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It was the existing sealant has worn away over time. First picture shows the connection at the sundeck top, second picture shows the bridge hard top. The inner side of the connection seems was never caulked before.

I'm going to strip away those cracked stuff on the outside using a caulk tool and apply new sealant.

does the area need "priming" before applying the new sealant? 
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Old 11-24-2023, 11:34 AM   #15
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Just putting a little caulking on the exterior should be considered a temporary fix. The right way would be to remove the track, clean both surfaces, check for and fix any soft wood at the screw holes, re-bed the track with quality sealant.
Siliconized latex wouldn’t be on my list of things to use there. I’d be using something like 3m 4200, or maybe butyl tape.
Caulk on the exterior edges doesn’t address all of the potential leaks at the screw holes.
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Old 11-24-2023, 11:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Just putting a little caulking on the exterior should be considered a temporary fix. The right way would be to remove the track, clean both surfaces, check for and fix any soft wood at the screw holes, re-bed the track with quality sealant.
Siliconized latex wouldn’t be on my list of things to use there. I’d be using something like 3m 4200, or maybe butyl tape.
Caulk on the exterior edges doesn’t address all of the potential leaks at the screw holes.
Agree on the assessment and approach to repair. My choice of sealant would likely be 3m 4000UV, for its ability to hold up better under UV exposure.
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Old 11-24-2023, 01:18 PM   #17
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Thanks for your inputs.
I just ordered 3m 4k from amazon, will apply it tomorrow.
@Bmarler Thanks for reminding me the proper way of fixing. that would be a project when I get time..
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Old 11-27-2023, 10:25 PM   #18
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I thought to smear the caulk yesterday but had to wait for the rain. finally got it done this afternoon.
I thought it would be as quick and clean as the Home Depot how to video. it turns out i had to climb onto the roof multiple times. it was a pain to scrape away the existing caulk. the tiny grey chips and dust got everywhere. then I had to wipe clean using alcohol, wait dry. the real pain came when I squeezed the stuff from the caulk gun, no idea why it looks so easy on the video. I had to exert enormous amount of strength and maintain for a long time, as the sealant output was so slow. I may have let out a bit too much, in the end it got all over my hand. it was already dark when I was done. the sealant may take extended duration to fully cure in cold weather (below 39F all day)
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Old 11-28-2023, 10:37 AM   #19
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Boats leak, canvas leaks more.

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Old 11-28-2023, 04:04 PM   #20
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Be aware of application temperatures when doing any caulking or painting. 3M 4000 series has a lower limit of 40° F for the full cure time. Full cure time is 24 Hrs.

A tip for smoothing out this type of caulk is to use a wet finger (dipped in water) to lightly smooth out a newly deposited bead.
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