Hey all, quick question, is a pressure check something I can do myself? Last season my then brand shiny new Chatham 18 started taking a little water into the front compartment. It only happens in rough water when I’m getting waves breaking over the deck. When I called my dealer they said it wouldn’t be the hatch cover, probably around the rigging somewhere. So per their advice, I’ve tried pouring water over the deck and looking into the compartment for the leak. Sooo, the dealer said to bring it in and they would fo a pressure check to find the leak. It is a hike, so I’m just wondering if that is something I can do at home. Thanks!!!
filling the compartment with Dihydrogenoxide and assaying for evidence of breaches of integrity.
In other words
Just fill your bow compartment with water with the boat on a sawhorse. turn the boat over and look for leaks.
Not sure where you are since you have no profile to look at. If it's cold there, allow the boat to cool and then bring it into a warm garage, pool, or whatever you have available. The air in the compartment will expand as it warms, looking for a way out. Soap down the suspect areas with a solution of dish soap and water and you will get notable bubbles wherever the air is leaking out.
This can also be done by making a temp hatch cover with a port to blow air into. Don't go crazy with an air compressor! Just a couple psi or you might cause more damage than good.
When I go from 30° air into a pool for a pool session, my storage compartments build up a great deal of air pressure which causes the hatch covers to noticeably bulge out. Whenever I notice this, I am quick to vent the air through the hatch covers to avoid possible damage from excessive pressure.
If you don't like these options, check with your local auto mechanic. Good shops have a "smoke machine" for locating leaks in vaccuum and emissions components. Would work just as well in any small sealed compartment.
You could just try
to silcone around the hatches, and any other suspect spots. Then go paddle and see if any water comes in.