How not to find a leak 101
After the unending rain of our 2009 vacation I knew there was a leak hidden under the headliner somewhere. I assumed ( insert joke here) that it was around the mast
and I also assumed that if I removed the trim on both sides of the mast I could see / fix the problem. Oh what a fool I was. The headliner was one continuous piece of
vinyl fabric....no joints! The drip had migrated across the entire headliner for several feet each way and the plywood above the headliner was a soggy mess. I found the leak...
not even at the mast, but at the hatch aft of the mast. The previous owner had missed with a screw and left the hole exposed! It is amazing how a 1/8" hole can drip so much water!
I quickly reached the point of no return and ripped out the entire thing. Insert some wise quote about needing to break eggs to make omelettes.
Luckily the deck core was dry and solid except for about 3 inches aft of the mast. I poked and pried with a screwdriver and got most of it out, dried it up with a heat gun, washed with
acetone, filled with west epoxy mixed with fibreglass cloth, and should be good for years.
After getting the mess cleaned up the only real damage was the wood frame around the hatch. Some new strips of plywood and a bit of West Epoxy ( I put some extra over the #@^%$#@67 screw hole)
and reconstruction could begin. I decided that several removable small sections rather than one giant one would be easier for me to install and if repairs are required in the future, much easier to
deal with. I used 1/4 " plywood and covered it with sponge padding and then vinyl. I also split the sections down the center line.
The plan is to cover the joints between sections with the original trim. The end is near.
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