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Clean out hatch is rotting / FIXED !

Scottintexas

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last year I noticed a small crack on the underside edge of the clean out hatch, I noticed it because occasionally some discolored water would seap from it. I also noticed the starboard side of the hatch was a little spongey/hollow when you would step on it. I broke the whitecap t-latch handle off last year so I was removing it yesterday to put a new one on and the wood or what was left is flakey and rotted around the cutout. I am assuming most of that side has rotted out. I'm not exactly sure how it happened although the latch nut was only hand tight so maybe water made it through the seal on the top??
How should I fix it? I'm thinking of getting my dremel and cutting the whole underside out to thourghly scrape the rot out or take the entire support board out if I can and put a new one in or would it be better to only take half of it out? Is fiberglassing the new peice in going to be a big deal if I've never done it before? any ideas would be appreciated.
maybe @Glassman
cleanout plug hatch 007.jpg cleanout plug hatch 004.jpg cleanout plug hatch 005.jpg
 

txav8r

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I had no idea that hatch lid was wood! I assumed it was a substrate of some sort I guess but just didn't consider it would be wood. Considering it, it is encapsulated, but around the cutouts and edges, it certainly could be compromised. Epoxy will fill it but I am thinking like you are Scott...eat away the decay and replace with epoxy, glass and gelcoat.
 

steined

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Julian

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Scottintexas

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how do you think the hatch was made?
I'm thinking the top was preformed fiberglass/plastic panel, then they had a peice of plywood cut to shape and just epoxied it in on the bottom? does that sound likely?
 

Gym

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how do you think the hatch was made?
I'm thinking the top was preformed fiberglass/plastic panel, then they had a peice of plywood cut to shape and just epoxied it in on the bottom? does that sound likely?
I agree with that assumption Scott whereas the underside looks so unfinished on these hatches.
 

Lspeedss

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What would it do to have one custom made from Corian? Your going to cover it with Turf anyway.. would it be structurally sound? I'll bet a custom cabinet shop would jump right on it.
 

007

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Bummer! I replaced my latches last season and the wood did not look like that in mine. Seems like water would not have traveled all the way from the latch hole to the edge of the hatch. That makes me suspect the whole thing has to go if you are facing a major section of rot. Not trying to be a pessimist, but thinking it might be better to figure out how to replace the whole piece w/o paying retail for a new one.
 

steined

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Try the rot Dr epoxy stuff I'm telling you! I fixed some old wood on my 1890s house (first house) with this stuff and it saved me thousands. I've been going back to it when I have situations like that ever since. It stops rot and repairs structural integrity.
 

Scottintexas

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@steined - Would you think I would have to cut the top off to get all rot out and then apply the DRrot or do you inject it into the opening?
I'm wondering if I'm just injecting it with a syringe how do I know if I've gotten it everywhere?
 

steined

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@steined - Would you think I would have to cut the top off to get all rot out and then apply the DRrot or do you inject it into the opening?
I'm wondering if I'm just injecting it with a syringe how do I know if I've gotten it everywhere?
No need to cut the top off! It penetrates very well.

I'd call them or email them, they are very helpful. Send them a couple of pictures and ask their opinion. They gave me a plan of attack for my old (1890s) window sills and porch and were very helpful. I sent them a few pictures and they responded with a strategy.

When I did the boat, I didn't bother calling them, I just coated the engine hatch (marine ply with carpet on top) until it didn't take any more, cut out the section that was well beyond repair (it was where the hinge needed to be placed, reinforced with plate galvanized), and coated the new wood with the CPES as well.

If it were me I'd call, but if I didn't call I'd drill a couple holes on the bottom, maybe 3/4" bit but very shallow, evenly spaced around the wood, and just keep pouring it into the wood until it no longer takes any more. Then I'd let it cure and use the fill-it around the hatch holes and the drill holes. If you look at their website the product penetrates very deep into the wood so you shouldn't have to make too many holes. My only unknown is how much wood rot has taken place because it won't work miracles, but it will stop rot and reinforce the wood. It might be $100-$200 in material to try this.
 

Glassman

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sorry, late to the party as usual.....did you fix this yet?

steined has the right idea. There are many penetrating epoxies out there designed for this very thing. I've used Git Rot successfully so many times I've lost count.
004_120_001_009.jpg Shoot some in and let the lid stand on edge to let gravity help. Rotate the part and squirt more in the other side, keep rotating the part til you've come full circle. Don't push too much in or you could expand it somewhat if there is a deep cavity.
 

Scottintexas

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IMG_3383.JPG IMG_3384.JPG IMG_3385.JPG IMG_3386.JPG IMG_3390.JPG IMG_3393.JPG IMG_3396.JPG IMG_3398.JPG IMG_3400.JPG Cleanout hatch rot fix

I had the choice of

1. Cutting the bottom out and replacing it with a new piece of plywood and putting new fiberglass on top.

2. Filling the voids as much as possible with epoxy

With my manufacturing ability and skill level on the low side and I had never attempted anything like this before I chose the less invasive plan of just trying to fill the voids.

I chose “Git-Rot” on the advice of @Glassman I purchased at West Marine for convenience but it is almost twice as much as Jamestown Distributors sells it for. I ended up needing 3 16oz packages. Each package made about 4 squeeze tubes worth.

** The consistency of the mixture will be slightly thicker than water, I had some hairline cracks at the edge and when I applied it to the latch hole and gravity pulled it down it easily seeped out of those hairline cracks. I put some painters tape over the cracks and holes I drilled and that worked well to keep it in.

** important hint, if you mix more than you need at a particular time put the squeeze tube in the freezer, this will slow the curing. I left it in the freezer for aprox. 12 hours thinking I would probably lose the remainder of the tube but after letting it sit out for 10 minutes it quickly became pliable again and worked well.

It takes about 5 hours to go from a liquid water state to a tacky/firm non-moving mass.

I drilled a 4-5 1/8” holes around the edges trying to see if the area was hollow or it would help me inject the git-rot into deeper areas. I didn’t have much success injecting it into the drilled holes. I couldn’t get a good enough seal to keep the liquid in while squeezing the applicator.

I had a 18 inch long 1/8” drill bit that I used to punch deep holes through the rot to help provide a easier path for the liquid to penetrate deeper. I also used it wedged against the side to help raise the bottom side out and create a bigger void while I was applying the liquid.

I would stand the hatch on edge and fill the void as much as possible, return after about 15 minutes and see what gravity did and top it off again, repeating as necessary. I would then have to wait about 6 hours or overnight before I could rotate the hatch and repeat the process on a new side.

I am very pleased with the outcome. It dries to an extremely hard state with and the hatch lid has no give or flex at all. There are a few drips that occurred overnight from cracks that I will have to sand off or somehow remove.

Here are some pictures from along the way,
IMG_3383.JPG
 
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MikeyL

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GREAT thread @Scottintexas and wonderful follow-up post ! :thumbsup:
Many thanks. Learned a lot thanks to this, you and @Glassman.
Hey ! Enjoy this nice springtime weather ! Mikey Lulejian - Lake Oconee, GA
 

jcyamaharider

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Awesome Scott!!!! Making life easier on a lot of us here with the mature boats.
 

rkluck

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Good information and useful for many applications!
 

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@ Julian @ Bruce etc.

Sticky?
 

txav8r

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I made your pics full size so you don't have to open them individually to view. Nice job on the deck!
 

Glassman

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Nice job sir and just in time to enjoy the season. I finally got out on the water this past weekend and it was sooo relaxing for a change. Frankly, I'm just happy that there is enough to float a boat out here.
 
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