hard-to-find leaks

Trying to find a leak in my Greenlander. Day hatch is getting wet (1/4" or so of water after a day paddle and some play in waves). I just replaced the hatch, the seal is rock solid. Rear hatch is bone dry. I can’t see a break in the bulkhead seal separating the day hatch from the cockpit.

Any ideas?

hard-to-find leaks
I get small amounts of water in my front compartment of my Explorer.I have found that other people have resealed the hatch ring,where it meets the deck to eliminate this. There is a Yahoo group called NDK Owners. It is an excellent resource.


Yahoo Group
Sign up and check the past messages, it comes up once in awhile. If you have a cable skeg, check the seal in the bulkhead around the tube. Any deck fittings above the day hatch? They’re all potential trouble spots too.

Put the boat on sawhorses
pour water in the compartment put the hatch cover on. Turn the boat from side to side and upside while watching for leaks.

and then put a hole in your bulkhead
It probably is where the skeg cable passes from the cockpit through the day hatch. I’ve seen dozens of NDK boats that leak in that spot. Nigel glasses the tubing to the boat there, but there is enough flex that it will eventually break free and allow water to pass. A little silicone from both sides and it should be fixed for life.

After your hatch is air tight, drill a small hole in the center of every bulkhead. You can glue in a smll diameter tube about about 1" in length in this hole to keep water transfer minimized, but those hatches need to breath. I’ve seen a several boats now that went from hot sand to cold water and the vacuum caused by airtight hatches cracked either the coming or the boat, depending on how heavily or lightly Nigel built the specific boat.

add food coloring dye to the water

I like how Nigel builds the boats
himself. :wink:

I know people who drill holes, Foster boats come with holes, P&H boats come with purge valves. I wouldn’t drill holes because I like water-tight hatches, it does come with a slight risk of gel-coat cracking though.

A mild soap like what’s in bubble stuff can be spread around and tested with a source of air.


Spy camera
Put a tiny 007 style waterproof spy camera in the day hatch and then close it up tightly and spray it with a garden hose. Watch with camera to see ingress of water.

thanks all
I think I’m going to try the sawhorse suggestion, thanks tsunamichuck.

I can’t spot the leak easily when the boat is in the water. I never thought of the hatch rim but that makes sense.

BTW no skeg on this boat - it doesn’t need one!

One more thought
My local dealer has a day hatch with a bike pump fitting to apply pressure inside the compartment. Applying a soapy solution at all possible leak areas on each opposite surface of the day compartment should help you zoom in on the leak. I am in the Detroit area but it is not uncommon for other dealers to have these also.