Hatch cover rim adhesive removal

The hatch cover rims on one of my boats have begun to separate from the fiberglass and leak. I need to remove the rims completely so I can clean them up and reglue them. Anyone have experience with getting the old adhesive to release from the rims and the boat? I’m hoping a heat gun will help get all the old glue off, but have never done this before. Thanks-----

Thought you’d get a reply by now
because there was a discussion of this problem recently. Other than being an experienced fiberglass hacker, I don’t have knowledge of what glue you may be dealing with. In the abstract, I might try to cut or wedge through the glue line, using a narrow knive (box cutter), or if I had one, a vibrating cutter like those sold by Dremel, etc. Heat will work with some glues that are low temperature, but if they used epoxy, the melt temperature may be similar to that of the resin in the fiberglass.

Be sure to contact your boat’s maker if you can, and also consider asking advice from a good dealer who sells different brands of kayak.

more info
What’s the boat and the hatch made of? Just telling us which boat it is would help. They arn’t all made exactly the same.

Bill H.

If it’s a flexible sealant…
…you can work a knife blade between the rim and deck and saw through the sealant. Another method is to use a piece of thin steel wire to saw your way around the rim.

As for removing the original adhesive, if it’s well bonded to the deck, just leave it. Clean the surface and apply the new sealant right over it. If you must remove it, you’ll probably have to scrape most of it off (a sharp chisel will make short work of it and leave a smooth, clean surface), then try to remove the remainder with a solvent such as lacquer thinner. Again, I wouldn’t bother to try to get it all off unless it’s not bonded well.

boat and rim materials
Sorry for not including the obvious- fiberglass boat, valley type rims and hatch covers, but all my boats have that set up so I guess I assume that’s it. I’m not going to mention the boat for fear of starting another boat construction quality thread–it is not an NDK- in fact, I have three NDK’s and have never had this problem with any of them (just an aside to offset the 200+ response on this list). The entire problem seems to be that the adhesive used is not bonding adequately and the rims are separating from the adhesive and hull. My guess is inadequate preparation of the rim and fiberglass before gluing in the rims, so I’ll have to remove all the adhesive before regluing. Thanks in advance----------