Upper Deck Water Intrusion

By Russ & Carol Birchfield — Spirit, 32-182, Galveston, TX

I’ve known for awhile that I have some amount of water holding in the sundeck lay up in the aft overhang area. First indication was while boring a new hole to run power cable for the new bimini frame lighting.
It continued to drip brown water as the boat moved around. Stains the cockpit sole badly. I can assign the cause to stanchion screws, ladder screws and deck flanges needing re-bedding.

My actions and results to date: Resolved to extract any water with vacuum pump. Used vacuum pump and water filter canister assembly to extract and trap any water. Drilled hole under aft, port corner of sun deck overhang. Screwed in brass hose barb. Attached hose to canister and vacuum pump. After turning on pump I had a full stream of water for about two minutes. Then frothy water for awhile and down to just condensation trail and droplets for a couple hours. Caught about 1 1/2 quarts of water total. Scary!

Turned off for thirty minutes while I drilled three more holes along back of roof and tested those areas.
One showed some minor moisture level under vacuum. Two others were bone dry. I will let rest overnight then continue process at first hole in the morning. This may take several days. I may have to leave these holes open indefinitely.

I contacted Dave Allen, at NT. He is going to send me some images of the core build up method from that year. And maybe even my boat if they have it. Or specification drawings at the least. This will give me guidance as to likely areas of water ingress and propagation. The roof does not yield to pressure and sounds solid when tapped with a mallet. Only concerned about screw holes around stack.


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