Squelching gushers through the companionway
Our Escale companionway leaked from the day we took delivery from Prout Catamarans. Initially, a lot of water would drip into the cabin on the starboard side of the door frame. Since this was their US show boat, Prout effected some repairs when the boat was back in their possession. However, as we would discover later, the repair was not only wholly ineffective, it also hid the cause and effect of the constant water ingress (see sample of damage above).
Our trouble was that only a strong rainstorm would cause some water to dribble onto the saloon floor. While bothersome, we never attached too much importance to it. After all, the frame had been repaired by Prout Catamarans, right? Early in 1999 I added some insulation material to the frame to redirect the flow of water away from the frame section where it pooled habitually. The drips into the cabin almost stopped at that point.
What we did not know is that the water still entered the boat as much as before, just that the Prout Catamarans repairs caused it to flow into the cabin and on top of the saloon headliner instead of dripping onto the saloon floor as before. This headliner consists of a thin balsa section covered with foam and vinyl that is screwed into the fiberglass monocoque above.
From there, the water would be redistributed throughout the boat by increasing the interior humidity, which caused a lot of mold. In the summer of 1999, a tropical rainstorm finally dumped enough water on the companionway that the absorption limits of the headliner were overwhelmed. A brownish goo descended the wall near our circuit breaker panel, coloring the white wall with a rust stain.
At this point, we decided to remove the headliner from which the brown flow originated and to look for the cause of the leak. This is when we discovered that the leak was actually 8 feet away at the companionway...
Click on any hyper link below to open a specific section and learn the details of our repairs.
Best Estimate of Time Spent Fixing Companionway Defects:
|Design and installation flaws of the companionway||3.33 hours|
|Replacing the rotten saloon headliner||15 hours|
|Retrofitting a proper frame drainage system||23 hours|