Page updated: 27 January 2010
Do you find your bilges filled with water each time you come to your boat? If you can't see drips or a stain line running from one of the through-the-hull fittings, then the most likely cause is a leaking cockpit locker.
Reedcraft style lockers are fixed with self-tapping screws. In a case like that shown below, it can be seen that the lockers have been removed in order to fit the hinges for the locker hatch. The edges of the aperture have then been cut away to accommodate the hinge bolts. On refitting the locker was poorly sealed.
Experience shows that an astonishing amount of water can be caught on the top edge of the locker cabinet, much of it apparently running off the seating. It then finds its way in and runs down to the lowest part of the bilges by the keel hinge.
Austin Holden wrote:
"I also found that after rain, water was seeping into the boat from somewhere. So all last year I gradually made my way round the boat, removing and resealing all the fittings on the deck.
After doing this there was still water filling up the keel casing. Finally I removed the two cockpit boxes and found the problem. The cockpit sides and the box flange/lip had a number of wavy areas, some gaps of up to 10mm! So I replaced them with some 12mm ply panels. This also allowed me to re-seal the aft deck fittings, as well as giving more storage space."
It has also been reported that Moore style lockers can also let water into the boat. It is certainly important to keep the small drain hole clear of debris so that the locker does not fill with water.
Unlike the Reedcraft locker which can be retro-fitted, it appears that the Moore's type is fixed using epoxy resin and must be fitted during manufacture before hull and superstructure are joined. Photographs taken from within the quarter berth showing exactly how they are fitted would be welcome!