Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:08 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 35 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Major front hatch leak
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:03 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
Living in the Chesapeake Bay Area of VA, kayak fishing has been something I have seen huge growth in over the last few years. This season I decided to take the plunge and purchase what I found to be the most versatile kayak I could find, the AI. There was a used 2012 model for sale locally, that was in excellent shape so I picked it up. I have now taken it out 4 times and have realized why it was in such pristine condition. The front hatch has a major leak...I know that they all leak some, but this is different. I have 2-3 standing inches of water inside the boat after a couple hours in moderate conditions. If the bow is submerging at all, I can only get 2 hours on the water before I have to stop and bilge. In even an average chop, that means taking it back to shore.

I filled the boat up with water to help find the source of the problem, and at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on the front hatch spew water. On closer inspection, the hatch cover does not touch the hull at those locations and also does not touch the inner seal. I was able to close the hatch with a thin and flexible gauge between the seals, lash it down, and I was still able to move the gauge freely. There is no seal contact whatsoever at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions.

I have checked out a few threads listing seal solutions for the front hatch, but most seem to focus on stopping minor leaks. What should I be looking at doing to correct a larger issue?


Thanks in advance for the help!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 8:38 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1978
Location: South Florida
Here are 2 methods which are claimed to seal the front hatch 100%.
http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=50166
http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=46308

You could do either one or both.

Keith

_________________
I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:32 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2246
Location: Maui, Hawaii
It may not be (just) the front hatch seal. Have you tried doing a leak test? I use the exhaust from a small shopvac through a small hose (1/2" drip irrigation line) into the original larger drain hole on the side near the rear. Then soap up the whole boat and look for bubbles. A few spots like under the rudder handles can't seal, and the excess air from the test comes out around the front hatch, so not much of a test for it. Most other areas that bubbles show, should be tightened, cleaned or sealed with silicon adhesive.

Besides finding loose hardware, I often have found cracked thin plastic in odd areas like the molded cups for holding the plastic screw-in hardware like the front hatch bungees. Easiest for the molded cups is to feel them from the inside. It is surprising to me how much water can come in a single small cracked "cup" that hold the bungee ends. If found, easily fixed with more silicon adhesive.

When sailing weekly here, we usually compare the amount of water in the hulls upon landing and cleanup. When one hull has more than the others without a good reason, it's time for another leak test.

Good luck with your new AI and enjoy.

_________________
Image
http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 9:41 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
Keith,

Thank you for the links. I had seen the ROIDS seal thread, and even went out and purchased the seal material he listed, but that method causes the front hatch to ride quite high and I was afraid it would cause undo drag through the water. Of course, a sinking boat causes even more drag.

I had also found the post yakass had about a better sealing front hatch, but that method did not help because of the large tolerance issue my hull has.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 10:36 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1613
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Good advice given above, but from what you have described, you have a severe misalignment problem in the front hatch area. There is no way that an AI should accumulate 2-3 inches deep water inside the hull after two hours. That is a frightening leak!

Just had a thought... the position of the leaks suggest that just maybe the hull has been bent... How do you store it? If the hull is suspended by the ends, the hull will distort. Fortunately, leaving the hull lying on the lawn out in the sun might see the "banana" straighten. I would try this as well as anything else you try, as it can't hurt.

Have you taken the AI to your local Hobie dealer? I know the warranty states that it is for the initial purchaser only, but I believe they will still be helpful to you.

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 12:23 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
Thank you Tonystott and KayakingBob for the replies.

Yes, I have done the leak test and found one of the turnbuckles had a leak which has been corrected with marine goop. By far the major leak while testing came from the hatch, which did not bubble as much as it was blowing. I had to plug it just to maintain pressure for the test. The guy I bought it from had it stored on 2 homemade stands, upside down. I think that should have been sufficient. Was it?

From what I can tell, on the front hatch on the hull at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, the cutout draws in (or is concave). The hatch does not mimic that concave line, so it does not match up. Would storage cause this?

Tonystott, it is a frightening leak. I took a passenger out on a short trip and we almost sank. The entire stern was underwater as we raced back to shore. Not a confidence inspiring trip! I mentioned it to my local hobie dealer and when I told them that I did not by it from them, but from craigslist they seemed very uninterested with helping. I can understand them not being willing to warrantee something not purchased through them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:03 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1613
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Sorry to hear the reaction by the dealer. Perhaps you will get a better result if you just ask them for advice, as most dealers seem to build up experience which can help you lots..

IMHO, a leak from a turnbuckle shouldn't be fixed with goop; there is something structurally wrong if a turnbuckle is causig a leak.

Secondly, if the previous owner has been storing the hull upside down, supported at the rails (eg the flat surfaces from behind the mast back to just behind the seat), there shouldn't be any "banana bending" of the hull. Looking down from above, the sides of the hatch and the opening should be parallel, so the problem you have described is from the side view, is that correct?

Someone on here has reported a similar problem with the edges of the front hatch not allowing a proper seal. I suspect that the first solution linked to above is your best bet, as it fundamantally relies on sealing the bottom edge of the hatch lid, rather than relying on the edge of the hatch being the correct shape.

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:55 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1451
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I know from experience on my own TI that if it is not stored properly the hull can sag. My opinion is storing that AI upside down caused the problem. The front on an AI and TI is very slender and weak because of the front hatch. This is why many of us added support bars to the bow of our boats. Especially us guys that have added jibs and spinnakers to our boats.
What I recomend you do is just lay the boat upright on your driveway for a couple days in the hot sun.
I'm willing to bet money (or beer) that if you lay your boat on the ground flat the front of the bow will be sticking up in the air 3 to 6 inches (it's supposed to touch the ground). In the self help videos Hobie has somewhere here on the forum they show how to remove dents and hull deformations with a little pressure from a shop vac and hot water from a coffee pot.
Once you get the hull back to its natural from the factory shape, it should remain that way if stored properly (flat on the ground is best, or at least 4 evenly spaced wide points (hull down). What works best for me storing my boat on the trailer is what kayakman7 showed me he has two parallel 1 1/2 pieces if PVC pipe on 11 inch centers he puts his boat on, it keeps the boat nice and flat when stored on the trailer.
Now once you have your hull back to the proper shape you can easily check for loose hatch seal by using thin strips of paper laid over the opening ( 8-10 strips all the way around). Strap the hatch down and tug on each strip. If any are loose then you have a leak that needs to be corrected. Of course you can remove plastic to get the hatch seal flat by sanding and filing the lip on the hull, but this is not preferred.
Keep in mind you have to have your hull shape corrected before starting any of these fixes.
The best way to fix the hatch seal is to remove the inner seal from the boat and fill the bottom of the inner groove of the seal with clear GE silicone, then carefully put the seal back on (trying not to squeeze the silicone out ( if you know it is only leaking in the middle put more silicone in the middle. Now put the hatch back on and bungy it down. It's important that the boat be sitting flat on the ground and settled into its natural position and cool (not in the sun). Now sit in the hatch lightly ( not too much weight) and tug on all your paper strips to make sure the are all tight all the way around.
Any excess silicone will just ooze out the sides of the seal and can be removed later. Once you have all the little strips snug you know you have a good conforming seal around the hatch. Now let it dry for a day or two with the boat sitting on a flat surface and the bungy straps on (it can take several days for that silicone to dry, don't rush it). When done you should have a perfect form a gasket type seal around the hatch opening. After the inner seal is done you can repeat the same operation for the outer seal. Doing this will insure the hull seal conforms to the shape of the lid and provide a perfect seal for all time. (you can always peel the silicone back out again and try again if you mess up). I don't recommend ever storing the boat upside down, especially on two saw horses)
When storing the boat never leave any bungys on, always remove the tension on all the bungys when not actively using them. Also if someone has left the hatch bungys on too long and they are stretched out, they either need to be replaced, or removed and a new knot needs to be tied on the end (cutting the old knot off) then replaced so when strapped down the hatch is nice and tight. Actually before starting any of this silicone form a gasket crap, make sure those bungy straps are nice and tight, as that might be the whole problem if the previous owner just left the bungies strapped on during storage and they are now all stretched out.
Conclusion:
1. I suspect the hull was stored improperly and needs to be corrected (easily fixed like I discribed above)
2. Make sure the bungys are nice and tight before doing anything else (just tie new knots further up to make them tight again).
3. If after doing all the above if you still have severe leaks then you need to do the silicone form a gasket crap ( note the silicone goes behind the seals in the groove of the seal material, not on top of the seal (that would be dumb).
I've had 8 Hobie kayaks over the years and had to do the silicone thing on 3 of them. Usually just getting the boat back to factory shape does the trick, since I'm sure in the factory the seals and lips were machined to seal ( I believe they use a robot router to machine the hull in the factory, so the seals are typically perfect from the factory) it's typically poor storage or bungys left on too long that causes problems later in life. Trying to get the hull back to factory shape I think is the key starting point here.
Hope this helps you. Yea it will be a little work to fix, but once fixed you should never have a problem again.
Bob


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 4:39 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1613
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Wow! Thanks Bob, you have corrected several misconceptions I had, as well as describing a fix which I had not heard of before (adding silicone to build up seals). I store my TI on its cradles on the trailer, with additional support via rollers bisecting the distance from each cradle to the end.

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 5:32 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1978
Location: South Florida
Blacktalon82 wrote:
Keith,

Thank you for the links. I had seen the ROIDS seal thread, and even went out and purchased the seal material he listed, but that method causes the front hatch to ride quite high and I was afraid it would cause undo drag through the water. Of course, a sinking boat causes even more drag.

I had also found the post yakass had about a better sealing front hatch, but that method did not help because of the large tolerance issue my hull has.

When I use the ROIDS seal, my hatch cover on my 2011 AI rests normally on the hull--it does not "ride quite high," therefore, I'm confused about your statement. Using Kal-P-Dal's seal, where the seal rests in the groove of the opening may cause the hatch cover to ride high. Still, I can't imagine riding so low in the water that the front hatch cover causes a drag?? Is it when your boat is partially flooded that it is riding so low in the water that the front hatch cover is might cause drag?

Keith

_________________
I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 6:44 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1613
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
I can see my front deck with about 1/2 inch of water on it more or less permanently, but only when going downwind with too much sail out in flattish water. (I am a big bloke and sit in the front seat of my TI). You can see how low the bow is in this shot in lower winds.
Image

However, furling sometimes about half the sail sees the bow sitting higher, and speeds increasing.

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:59 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
Thanks again to everyone for the insightful posts. Really nice to have a very active and informative community of island owners!

Chekika - drag might not have been the correct term. My concern was that the larger seal caused the front hatch to ride about 1in higher than stock and would drag in the water as the bow submerged in choppy waves. This would cause a constant spray off the hatch I would assume. Not that the bow is usually submerged, just that it does occasionally in waves and on downwind runs.

Fusioneng - thanks for all the insight! I will figure out how to post pictures and post pics of the boat sitting level on flat ground. I have seen that video on removing dents, so I am familiar with the procedure.

Tonystott - I assume I'm using the correct terminology with turnbuckle, but it had a slight leak as I was going around testing each hole in the boat. I took out the screws, coated the undersides in goop and reinstalled. Leak tested a day later and leak was sealed. Yes, in looking down from above with the bow at 12 o'clock and the stern at 6, the sides of the front hatch hull of the boat (at 3 and 6 o'clock) bow in slightly and are not parallel. I will post pics once I figure that out.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 3:40 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
Ok, I think I have this pic posting thing down.

A view from the top:
Image

View from top, with the bow in the 6 o'clock position. Notice the bow in which is most pronounced in the 3 o'clock position in this shot:
Image

Showing the gap at the 3 o"clock position:
Image


Same gap, with the bungie cords drawn tight:
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 3:47 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2246
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Pic's are showing. Can you add a pic from the side but with the hatch off?

_________________
Image
http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 3:51 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 7:30 am
Posts: 10
fusioneng wrote:
.
I'm willing to bet money (or beer) that if you lay your boat on the ground flat the front of the bow will be sticking up in the air 3 to 6 inches (it's supposed to touch the ground).

Bob



Here you are sir..


Picture of the bow, with the boat sitting on a flat surface. Bow is 3 1/2 inches off the gound:
Image



Picture of the stern, with the boat sitting on a flat surface. Stern in 4 1/4 inches off the ground:
Image


Is this not how it is supposed to look? I assumed that the boat would have a slight upturn in the bow/stern but I would just guessing. What do others here measure out at?


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 35 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group