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Author Topic:   Leaky Conquest Cabin
ivansfo posted 04-29-2003 01:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for ivansfo   Send Email to ivansfo  
I have a 23 Conquest with a factory hardtop. Since day one of owning this boat I noticed small amounts of water leaking into the cabin area whenever it rains. I'm talking about maybe 10-20 droplets in a 1 hour period. It leaves I was able to trace the leak coming in from the mounting plate and bolts of the factory hardtop.

My previous attempt to fix this was to bed on all the bolts with 3M 5200 and retorque them. This failed cause water continue to come in from the bolts. Then I thought maybe water was coming in from the small vent holes on the hardtop tubing. So I sealed them up for a couple of months. This didn't work, still leaking.

Last night I yanked out all the bolts again and put rubber washers (gaskets) on the bolt heads. It rained throughout the night and this morning when I checked, I noticed a few drops of water on the exposed bolts inside the cabin. It's better but still water getting in.

Other than yanking off the hardtop, I'm out of ideas to fix this. Is anyone seeing this?
Could it be water condensing inside the hardtop tubing and trickling down the tubes and into through the bolt holes?



David Pendleton posted 04-29-2003 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Mine leaks a bit too.

Which leg of the top is leaking?

I'm impressed you were able to remove 5200 by the way.

ivansfo posted 04-29-2003 08:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     

Thanks for the reply that I'm not alone in this. The hardtop has 4 legs that mount in front of the windshield. 3 of the 4 legs have bolts that leak water in. It's not alot but enough to leave a small puddle on the vinyl cushions. I was most concerned about the leg where the hardtop electronics wiring comes in from. Fortunately that one is the dry one.

The 3M 5200 came off pretty easily when I put a screwdriver to the bolts.


bsmotril posted 04-29-2003 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
When you bed the mounting plates, are you leaving a spacer in place until the 5200 cures? If you do that (I use 3 pennies spaced around the rim with just the edges under the flange), and let the 5200 cure up, that will probably fix your problem. Pull the pennies out with pliers, torque the bolts, then fill in the small gaps from the pennies with more 5200. You got to slather it on real good when you bed, so that excess squeezes out. Also, clean surfaces with acetone before hand. It helps to mask the deck around the fitting so the squeeze out can be cleaned up easily. Also, try to hold the screws stationary and just twist the bolts so you don't break the seal between the 5200 sqeezed into the screw holes and the screw shank.
ivansfo posted 04-29-2003 11:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Hi Bill,

Which mounting plates are you talking about?

There's the mounting plate inside the cabin but I don't think that's what you're taking about. I presume the base of the legs for the hardtop.

ivansfo posted 04-29-2003 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Ooops....hit the botton too soon. I guess the next step is to try what you recommended. But that involves lift up the hard top to some degress right?

All I did with the 5200 so far was to put it all over the bolt threads and put in back in. Enough of it oozed out around the bolt that it should have made a seal. Apparently that seal wasn't good enough.



dauntlass 18 posted 04-30-2003 06:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
On my Conquest I had water leaks from the bolts and also from the support which has the wireing from the hadtop running into the dash area.The fix on my boat was to A take out all bolts on supports on cabin roof B losen up bolts on rear supports in cockpit area C use a clear sealer, I used GE silicone sealer D use care to raise flange on support on cabin roof one support at a time about half inch. Apply sealer to cabin roof at each screw hole coat screws with sealer and reinstall screws.My Conquest is 21 ft model and had a box built into the head liner.The box removal was more involved but I had a large hole under the flange the wires from the hard top run thru into the dash area it was never sealed at factory.I had water on cabin floor and the box cover behind dash had water in it most of the time, since the fix no problems.Hope this helps you.
bsmotril posted 04-30-2003 09:27 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Gooping up the screw hole is not bedding. As soon as you twist the screw, you break the seel. And, 5200 is not viscous enough to flow back into the new gaps you made. This method would work better if you gooped the hole, set the screw i place leaving a layer of 5200 under the screw head at least 1/32' thick, and let it cure. Then attach the nut and tighten without twisting the screw. If you want to go hole hog, you can lift the front legs all together if you remove the front bolts and just loosen the rears. To avoid all that work, you might also try silcone sealer along the perimeter of the flange and a washer cut from gasket material under the screw head. I also used a soft maleable putty tape called "Coax-Seal" around the cable bundle between the E-box and hole in the leg to seal that hole up. You can find that product at any Amateur Radio shop.
ivansfo posted 04-30-2003 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for ivansfo  Send Email to ivansfo     
Thank you all for the tips. Raising the hardtop to reseal the flanges sounds like a bigger task than I might be able to handle alone. Let me try putting some more silicon sealeat along the perimeter of the flanges. The factory sealant is still there and for the most part it looks okay. There are just a few areas where I can see a small gap. What I'll do this weekend is to dig out some of the factory sealant along the perimeter and apply new one. Hope this helps.

I already put gaskets under the bolt heads and will see how they hold up over time.



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